UK summons Iran's charge d'affaires over protester's execution

Execution of Mohsen Shekari by Iranian government is 'abhorrent,' says British Foreign Secretary James Cleverly.

UK summons Iran's charge d'affaires over protester's execution

The British government on Friday summoned Iran's top envoy to the country over the execution of a protester, a Foreign Office statement said.

Foreign Secretary James Cleverly "instructed the FCDO (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office) to summon" Mehdi Hosseini Matin, Charge d'affaires of Iran, after Tehran carried out the first execution of a protestor since demonstrations began in September over the death of a young woman in police custody, it said.

"The execution of Mohsen Shekari by the Iranian regime is abhorrent. He is a tragic victim of a legal system in which disproportionate sentences, politically motivated trials and forced confessions are rife," Cleverly said.

"We have made our views clear to the Iranian authorities -- Iran must immediately halt executions and end the violence against its own people," he added.

Following reports of the execution, the foreign secretary said in a statement on Thursday that the UK was "outraged."

FCDO officials held a meeting with Matin to "underline that in the UK's view this is a grossly disproportionate action, which is designed to intimidate ordinary Iranians and stifle voices of dissent."

Matin was also told that the UK "opposes the death penalty in all circumstances and urged Iran to immediately halt executions and the imposition of death sentences."

The execution was ordered for Muhsin Shikari, who, according to the Mizan News Agency, affiliated with Iran's judiciary, "threatened citizens with a cold weapon and injured a security guard during protests on Sattar Khan Street" in the Iranian capital Tehran

Shikari was given the death penalty on Nov. 20 and the execution was carried out on Thursday morning.

Iran has seen widespread protests in recent months following the death of a 22-year-old woman, Mahsa Amini, in the custody of Iranian morality police.

Thousands of people have been detained, according to human rights groups, while more than 200 people have died, as acknowledged by the Iranian Interior Ministry last week.