As executions continue in Iran, two people, who had been sentenced to death for blasphemy were hanged on Monday, CNN reported citing news agency Mizan which is affiliated with Iran's judiciary.
Yusef Mehrdad and Sadrullah Fazeli Zare, the two men who were put to death, were arrested in May 2020 and given death sentences in April 2021 for operating online "anti-Islam groups and channels," according to Iranian news agency Mizan. After their arrest, Zare and Mehrdad were prohibited from speaking to or seeing their families for eight months.
According to the US Commission on International Religious Freedom, authorities determined both of them to be members of the Telegram group "Critique of Superstition and Religion," which led to their convictions, CNN reported.
Mehrdad reportedly went on a hunger strike in February 2022 to protest the authorities' unwillingness to let him make phone call, the US Commission on International Religious Freedom said.
The executions took place a few days after that of Habib Chaab, a man with dual Swedish-Iranian national who was accused of spearheading a separatist group blamed by Tehran for a string of attacks in the country.
The judiciary's Mizan News said Habib Chaab, the leader of the Harakat al-Nidal group, was executed on Saturday, calling him the "mastermind" of an attack that killed 29 people in Ahvaz in 2018, reported Anadolu Agency.
Iran considers Harakat al-Nidal to be a terrorist group. Since demonstrations against Mahsa Amini's killing in September last year, the number of executions in Iran has increased.
In September 2022, Iranians took to the streets nationwide in protest for several months against Iran's mandatory hijab law, and political and social issues across the country, following the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini in the custody of the morality police.
Those arrested for participating in anti-government demonstrations have faced various forms of abuse and torture, including electric shocks, controlled drowning, rape and mock executions.