Sara Hossain. REUTERS./

 – A fact-finding mission mandated by the U.N. urged Iranian authorities on Wednesday to stop executing people who were sentenced to death for taking part in anti-government protests that rocked the country last year.

The death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini in September 2022 while in the custody of the country’s morality police unleashed a wave of mass protests across Iran, marking the biggest challenge to its clerical leaders in decades.

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Since then, several people have been hanged for participating in the unrest, which Iran‘s leaders have accused the country’s Western enemies of fomenting.

“We call on the Iranian authorities to stop the executions of individuals convicted and sentenced to death in connection with the protests and reiterate our requests to make available to us the judicial files, evidence, and judgments regarding each of these persons,” Sara Hossain, chair of the Iran Fact-Finding Mission, told the Human Rights Council in Geneva.

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The mission also called for the “release all those detained for exercising their legitimate right to peaceful assembly and for reporting on the protests”.

Responding to the statement in comments to the Council, Kazem Gharib Abadi, secretary general of Iran‘s High Council for Human Rights, called the establishment of the fact-finding mission last year “an entirely politically motivated and unacceptable move”.

In May, Iran executed three men it said were implicated in the deaths of three members of its security forces during the demonstrations.

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(Reporting by Gabrielle Tétrault-Farber, Editing by Helen Popper)

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