June 4, 2023

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UK sanctions Iran’s prosecutor general over execution of British-Iranian Alireza Akbari

The UK has sanctioned Iran’s prosecutor general after Tehran carried out the execution of British-Iranian national.

Foreign secretary James Cleverly said the government was “holding the regime to account for its appalling human rights violation” following the death of Alireza Akbari.

Following condemnation of the killing by Rishi Sunak, the Iranian foreign ministry summoned the British ambassador over what it called the UK’s “meddling in Iran’s national security realm”, Iran state news agency IRNA reported.

Earlier on Saturday, Britain had described the execution by Iran of British-Iranian national Alireza Akbari as barbaric and said it would not go unpunished.

Writing on Twitter, Mr Cleverly said: “The UK has sanctioned Iran’sProsecutor General.

“Sanctioning him today underlines our disgust at Alireza Akbari’s execution,” he continued. The Prosecutor General is at the heart of Iran’s use of the death penalty.

“We’re holding the regime to account for its appalling human rights violations.”

Iran’s Mizan news agency, associated with the country’s judiciary, announced Mr Akbari’s hanging without saying when it happened. However, there were rumors he had been executed days earlier.

Iran has alleged, without providing evidence, that Mr Akbari served as a source for MI6. A lengthy statement issued by Iran’s judiciary claimed he had received large sums of money, his British citizenship and other help in London for providing information to the intelligence service.

However, Iran long has accused those who travel abroad or have Western ties of spying, often using them as bargaining chips in negotiations.

Mr Akbari, who ran a private think tank, is believed to have been arrested in 2019, but details of his case only emerged in recent weeks.

Those accused of espionage and other crimes related to national security are usually tried behind closed doors, where rights groups say they do not choose their own lawyers and are not allowed to see evidence against them.

Iranian state television aired a highly edited video of Mr Akbari discussing the allegations, footage that resembled other claimed confessions that activists have described as coerced confessions.

The BBC Farsi-language service aired an audio message from him on Wednesday, in which he described being tortured. “By using physiological and psychological methods, they broke my will, drove me to madness and forced me to do whatever they wanted,” Mr Akbari said in the audio.

“By the force of gun and death threats they made me confess to false and corrupt claims.”

Original News : https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/alireza-akbari-iran-execution-uk-b2262201.html

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