Mehdi Bahman, an Iranian author and illustrator has been sentenced to death by the country’s regime over espionage charges, according to reports.
Mehdi Bahman was arrested on October 12, after giving and anti-regime interview to an Israeli news channel, according to news channel Iran international.
In the interview, Mehdi Bahman strongly criticized the regime in Tehran and the imposition of Islamic law in the country, while also calling for the normalization of ties between Israel and Iran.
Bahman was known for his artworks containing symbols from various religions, and he then gifted those symbols to the leaders of the minority Jewish, Christian, Zoroastrian, Sunni Islam, Mandaean Sabian, and Baha’i communities in Iran. He used to disseminate communal harmony and religious co-existence among different sectarian groups within Iran.
Meanwhile, Iran has been witnessing months-long nationwide protests following the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini over not wearing hijab properly. So far, hundreds of Iranian have been arrested during the protest possibly facing serious charges, with 11 already sentenced to death.
Iran’s Islamic government strongly punishes those who criticize the ruling regime, with possible death punishments. This is not something new, over the last couple of months several protestors across Iran have been arrested, and their sentences have yet to be announced.
These arbitrary arrestments have sparked widespread condemnations from the international community calling on the Islamic regime to respect human rights and allow ordinary people to organize rallies and public gatherings. However, Iran calls protestors “rebellions” and deals with them according to the established rule of the Islamic regime.