After Distributing Chocolates and Hugs, an Iranian Student Faces the Death Penalty

Four young guys walked to the main street of the northwest Iranian city of Qazvin in the early days of the country’s protest movement to offer “free hugs” and chocolates to onlookers as well as calls for greater freedoms and gender equality.

Two of them were giving out chocolates and hugs, and the other two were filming and keeping an eye on the security personnel.

Despite these safety measures, Mohammad Nasiri, 21, was detained last month and charged with “waging war against God,” a crime that carries a death sentence, after reportedly injuring a Basij force member.

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“Giving free hugs or sweets to onlookers was our responsibility. This, in our perspective, was the most nonviolent manner to protest the state of affairs. “Vahid, one of the group, informed IranWire.

We frequently received support from bystanders.”

“When a motorbike approached us on November 12 after we had been on Khayyam Street for 15 minutes, someone warned us to be cautious because he had observed plainclothes police officials watching us.

The four men packed their belongings in a flash and began to flee. While his three pals managed to escape, a police officer captured Nasiri.

“That cop struck Mohammad with an electric shocker as soon as he got there, stopping him. Two or three individuals assaulted him. They then carried him to the complex’s parking lot after dragging his partially-dead corpse on the ground “.

Forcefully extracting confessions from political detainees regularly results in propaganda broadcasts by the Iranian government.

They identically handled Nasiri. In what he purports to be a “confession,” he claims he used a knife to protect himself against a Basij member.

Later, Qazvin TV aired a program where the host referred to the hugs as “a ruse to spark riots.” A picture of a guy with his legs bandaged, identified as Nasiri’s victim, was displayed.

“I had only five meters to go. When they put Mohammad in the police car at the last second, I could still see him. This statement is entirely incorrect, “Vahid remarked.

Another acquaintance, Hadi, who escaped the security forces, said: “There were no victims present when Mohammad was dragged off the street.

No one had been hurt, and the Basij troops and plainclothes officers were all in good health “.

When Nasiri was transferred to Qazvin’s Chubindar prison, a conscript who witnessed Nasiri’s interrogations said to his companions that Nasiri had been beaten so severely that day that his face was no longer recognizably him.

The authorities denied the student the right to be represented by the attorney of his choice.

His family is afraid to speak with the media.

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