President Biden’s top national security adviser, Jake Sullivan, condemned the death sentence an Iranian court has issued against a protester, reiterating that the U.S. stands with those demonstrating in Iran.
“We are deeply concerned about reports from Iran of mass arrests, sham trials, and now a death sentence for protesters voicing legitimate demands against a government that systematically denies basic dignity and freedom to its people,” Sullivan said.
Iran’s revolutionary court issued the death sentence to an unnamed protester who allegedly set fire to a government building, convicting the person of “enmity against God” and “spreading corruption on Earth,” CNN reported, citing state media.
The sentence comes as Iranians have been protesting the government following the death of Mahsa Amini, a 22-year-old woman who was arrested by the country’s so-called morality police more than a month ago. She died in police custody.
Sullivan noted in his statement that the death sentence against the unnamed protester comes as political prisoner Hossein Ronaghi was reportedly transferred from prison to a hospital in Tehran after reports of torture. Ronaghi is an activist who was arrested amid protests against Amini’s death.
“The eyes of the world are on Iran. The human rights abuses inflicted by its government must not go without consequence. The hundreds of protestors already killed at the hands of Iranian state authorities deserve justice,” Sullivan said.
He called for ceasing the torture of prisoners and said the U.S. and allies will pursue accountability for those responsible for abuses through sanctions and other means.
Additionally, he said the U.S. welcomes the sanctions adopted by the European Union and the United Kingdom against the Revolutionary Guard in Iran.
Biden earlier this month vowed to “free Iran” during a campaign rally and said he thought the citizens of the country will free themselves soon.
The president has condemned the violence against protesters in Iran and warned that the U.S. would impose further costs on perpetrators of the violence. The White House has also said that the U.S. is holding accountable Iranian officials and entities such as the morality police, the government’s enforcers of the Islamic code of conduct.
Source: The Hill