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Iran charges 11 people over killing of Basij paramilitary member

Iran has indicted 11 people over the murder of a Basij paramilitary force member during a ceremony held last week in honour of a slain protester, a judiciary official said.

Eleven people, including a woman, had been summoned and charged over the killing of Basij member Ruhollah Ajamian, said Alborz province’s judiciary chief Hossein Fazeli Harikandi on Saturday.

The indictments followed an investigation launched after images posted on social media networks showed “a group of rioters assaulting and killing” Ajamian, the judiciary’s Mizan Online website quoted him as saying.

“Rioters attacked this security officer, who was unarmed, stripped him naked, stabbed him with knives, beat him with brass knuckles, stones and kicks and then dragged his naked and half-dead body on the asphalt street and between cars in a horrific manner,” Harikandi added.

The incident happened on November 3 in Karaj, capital of Alborz province, when mourners were paying tribute to slain protester Hadis Najafi at the cemetery to mark 40 days after she was killed in the city.

Najafi’s death on September 21 came five days into nationwide protests that erupted after the death of Mahsa Amini in police custody, following her arrest for an alleged breach of Iran’s dress code for women.

Tensions continue in Iran’s southeast as more policemen killed

‘Corruption on earth’

Some of the accused face charges of “corruption on earth”, one of the most serious offences under Iranian law, which is punishable by death.

They are also accused of serious disturbance of public order leading to murder, gathering with the intention to commit crimes against the country’s security and propaganda against the state.

Amini, 22, died on September 16 in the custody of the so-called morality police three days after falling into a coma, sparking street violence across the country.

Dozens of people, mainly demonstrators but also security personnel, have been killed during the demonstrations, which the authorities have dubbed “riots” and hundreds more have been arrested.

The Basij is a state-sanctioned volunteer force that is linked to the Revolutionary Guard Corps.

READ MORE: Can Iran nuclear deal be saved amid deadly protests?

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