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Iran Arrests Relatives of Man Executed Over Anti-Government Protests

In this photo released by Mizan News Agency on Jan. 9, 2023, Majid Kazemi attends his trial at the court in the city of Isfahan, Iran. Mizan, the judiciary's website, announced the executions of Majid Kazemi, Saleh Mirhashemi and Saeed Yaghoubi.

Iranian authorities have arrested two brothers of Majid Kazemi, one of three men executed last week in a case linked to last year’s anti-government protests, according to family members.

Mohammad Hashemi, a close relative of the Kazemi family, tweeted: “Last night, security agents attacked Majid Kazemi's family, and after beating his brothers and parents, they arrested Hossein and Mehdi, his two brothers.” The sister was reportedly later taken into custody.

There has been no comment on the matter from Iranian police.

Majid Kazemi, Saleh Mirhashemi and Saeed Yaghoubi were executed Friday in the central city of Isfahan. They had been convicted of killing two members of the Basij paramilitary force and a law enforcement officer during anti-government protests November 16.

All three men and their families had repeatedly denied the accusations. The three defendants also alleged that they were forced to make televised confessions under duress.

Mass demonstrations broke out late last year in Iran following the September 16 death in police custody of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini, following her arrest days earlier for alleged violations of the country's strict dress code for women.

In the following months and weeks, demonstrations for women's rights evolved into a nationwide wave of government protests that were met with a swift crackdown by state security forces.

More than 19,600 people have been arrested during the protests, according to Human Rights Activists in Iran, a group that's been tracking the crackdown. Upwards of 527 people have been killed by authorities amid a violent suppression of the demonstrations, which have subsided in recent months.

Friday's executions bring to seven the number of people put to death by the government in connection with the protests. The United Nations Human Rights Office has said trials of the accused were "marred by violations of due process guarantees in proceedings that fell short of international fair trial standards."

The agency said executions following such trials were "tantamount to arbitrary deprivation of life under international law."