Iran's judiciary takes a military colour
Guardian / Massoumeh Torfeh

A new phase of political killings is set to begin in Iran with the trial of five demonstrators charged with being mohareb – a description for someone who fights against Islam.

Tehran's "general and revolutionary" prosecutor, Abbas Jafari Dowlatabadi, told the Iranian news agency, IRNA, that those who "set fire to vehicles and committed other crimes" could be regarded as mohareb and will be dealt with in revolutionary courts. He said the cases against them had been "prepared by security forces, after taking their confessions". The usual punishment for being a mohareb in the Islamic Republic is execution. In other words five people face execution for taking part in a demonstration.

Rightwing MPs who dominate the Iranian parliament have also been busy rushing through a new legislation calling for a faster process for dealing with those cases. They want to reduce the period for seeking an appeal from 20 to five days. "There are too many cases, and these must go through the system as soon as possible," said judiciary officials.

The call for using the "harshest punishment" for those who "insulted the supreme leader and the Islamic Republic" has continued for several weeks. However, in the last week religious and political authorities have raised the bars by calling demonstrators mohareb. Two high-ranking officials, both with background in the Revolutionary Guards – the police chief, General Esmail Ahmadi Moghadam and the interior minister, General Mosta... >>>

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