Britain tells Iran to halt execution of twin citizen Alireza Akbari

Remark

LONDON — Tehran signaled that it intends to execute Alireza Akbari, a former senior Iranian protection official and a twin British-Iranian citizen, prompting London to sentence the demise sentence and demand his speedy launch.

“Iran must halt the execution of British-Iranian national Alireza Akbari and immediately release him,” Britain’s International Secretary James Cleverly wrote in a tweet, including that the sentence was a “politically motivated act.” The British International, Commonwealth and Improvement Workplace, in the meantime, repeated requests for consular entry to Akbari. Iran, nevertheless, doesn’t acknowledge twin nationality.

Akbari, a former deputy protection minister in Iran, was sentenced to demise after Tehran accused him of spying for Britain, in keeping with Mizan, the information company of Iran’s judiciary, which gave no particulars Wednesday on when the sentence was handed down or when it might be carried out. The company additionally didn’t say when Akbari was arrested, although his spouse informed the BBC’s Persian service that he was detained greater than three years in the past.

Mizan’s article described Akbari as “one of the most important agents of Britain’s spy service” and mentioned an enchantment in opposition to his execution had been rejected after he was discovered responsible of “corruption on earth” and “extensive actions against the country’s internal and foreign security.”

Akbari was accused of passing necessary info to “the enemy’s spy services,” Mizan mentioned, referring to Britain’s international intelligence company, MI6.

On Thursday, the Iranian information company IRNA broadcast Akbari’s alleged confession. However Akbari mentioned in a recording made in jail and obtained by BBC Persian that he was pressured to make the confession underneath menace of demise. He additionally mentioned he was subjected to greater than 3,500 hours of interrogation, throughout which his “will was broken” and he was “driven to the point of insanity” by torture and psychedelic medication.

He said in the recording that Iranian authorities had “no proof for any of the claims it is making” and easily needed to “take revenge” in opposition to Britain.

Akbari’s spouse informed BBC Persian on Wednesday that he had been taken to solitary confinement and that kinfolk had been informed any go to to Akbari could be his final. She added that the household had beforehand determined in opposition to publicizing information of his detention in hopes of reaching a decision, however that Iranian media retailers had then printed the information of his conviction and demise sentence.

Iran’s supreme chief, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, controls the judiciary and has the ultimate say on all political and spiritual issues within the nation. He wields the ability to pardon prisoners and commute sentences.

In accordance with the Related Press, Akbari served as deputy protection minister underneath President Mohammad Khatami — a pro-reform cleric who got here to energy in 1997 — till 2001. He additionally performed a job within the cease-fire that ended a bloody eight-year struggle with Iraq in 1988, the AP mentioned. He lived in Britain for over 10 years, the Guardian reported.

Iran has come underneath renewed strain over its demise penalty since hanging at the very least 4 ­males arrested within the anti-government protests that adopted the September demise of Mahsa Amini within the custody of the nation’s “morality police.” The 22-year-old had been detained for allegedly carrying a head protecting improperly.

Greater than 500 protesters have been killed within the unrest, according to the Human Rights Activists News Agency, whereas others have obtained demise sentences.

Iran hangs two extra individuals in brutal marketing campaign in opposition to protesters

Twin nationals have been focused by Iranian authorities in recent times, and lots of Western international locations have warned in opposition to journey to Iran because of this.

Dissidents primarily based overseas additionally face threats. Jamshid Sharmahd, a California resident in his 60s, was allegedly kidnapped throughout a flight layover in Dubai in August 2020 and brought to Iran, the place he was accused of main a “terrorist” group — a cost he denies.

Rise in Iranian assassination, kidnapping plots alarms Western officers

In accordance with his daughter, he additionally faces costs of “corruption on earth.” His eighth and ultimate court docket look had been scheduled for Jan. 10, however Sharmahd’s daughter mentioned it had already occurred behind closed doorways. The court-appointed lawyer, she said, informed the household {that a} demise sentence could be carried out inside 10 days.

She previously said that her father had misplaced 40 kilos and most of his tooth whereas in custody.

Sharmahd’s ordeal shares some parallels with the case of Ruhollah Zam, a outstanding exiled journalist residing in France who was arrested and extradited to Iran after being lured to Iraq in 2019. He, like Akbari, was convicted of “corruption on earth.” He was executed in December 2020.

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