IRAN: TWO MEN SENTENCED TO DEATH FOR ASSAULT CAUGHT ON FILM
December 29, 2012: The Tehran Revolutionary Court sentenced two people to death for assault and robbery.
The court reports that of the four people recently arrested for an assault and robbery case in Tehran, two have been sentenced to death and the other two have been sentenced to 10 years in jail, five years of exile and 74 lashes by Judge Salavati. The four are also required to return the stolen goods to the plaintiffs.
In early December, a surveillance video recorded how an individual approached a passerby on a busy Tehran street in broad daylight and forced him to relinquish his belongings under threat of a cold weapon.
The head of Iran's judiciary, Ayatollah Larijani, reacted to the airing of this episode in the streets of Tehran, saying: "Although such incidents happen everywhere, the occurrence of such events in our Islamic country is very jarring."
He stressed that security forces should begin a "new round of crackdown on bandits" and added that, according to Sharia, there is no difference between cold weapons or firearms, and the use of either constitutes armed robbery, which is punishable by death.
Khabar-on-line reports that shortly after the video of the incident was aired, the suspects were arrested, and the Tehran prosecutor assured the public that the case would be processed within a week to 10 days.
A single court session led to the sentencing of all four suspects.
The prosecutor's spokesman reported that the prime suspect is 23 years old and has a previous police record. He was charged with "enmity with God and corruption on earth by engaging in armed robbery with a cold weapon and assaulting the plaintiff."
The second suspect is reportedly 20 years old and was charged with "enmity with God and corruption on earth by creating fear in society."
The other two suspects are reportedly 23 and 21 and charged with "armed robbery with a cold weapon."
The lawyer for the second suspect has said that if the film of the episode had not been aired in the media, the suspects would not have been charged with enmity against God, which has resulted in the death sentences. (Sources: Radio Zamaneh, 04/01/2013)