Iran sentences 2 people to death over last year’s shrine attack

General

A court in Iran’s southern Fars province on Saturday sentenced two people to death over last year’s attack on a popular shrine in the southern city of Shiraz.

The two men were convicted of “aiding in corruption on earth, rebellion and action against national security”, Mizan News said, citing the province’s top judiciary official Kazem Mousavi.

At least 13 people were killed and 40 others wounded after a heavily-armed man opened indiscriminate fire at the Shah Cheragh shrine in Shiraz on October 26, 2022.

Housing the grave of a revered Shia scholar, the 12th-century shrine is a popular pilgrim destination in southern Iran, thronged by both local and foreign pilgrims.

The CCTV footage showed the lone attacker barging inside the shrine and shooting at the guards and pilgrims inside the compound before being overpowered by police.

Identified by local media outlets as Hamed Badakhshan, the attacker succumbed to injuries he suffered during the attack days later at a hospital.

The responsibility for the attack, which came amid anti-government protests in Iran over the death of a young woman in police custody, was claimed by the Daesh/ISIS terrorist group. Iranian authorities at the time said the attack “will not go unanswered”.

Mousavi said the two men sentenced to death were “directly involved in the arming, procurement, support and guidance” of the main perpetrator of the attack.

He identified the duo as Mohammad Ramiz Rashidi and Sayed Naeem Hashim Qatali, stressing that their “actions and cross-border communications” led to the shrine attack.

The judiciary official further noted that three other defendants were given 5, 15 and 25 years in prison respectively for being members of the Daesh/ISIS group in Iran.

The verdicts are subject to appeal in the apex court as per the country’s criminal procedure code.

Saturday’s verdicts came a month after intelligence officials in the southern Fars province said a total of 42 people were arrested in connection with the attack on the Shah Cheragh shrine.

Source: Anadolu Agency