An anti-regime protester accused of setting a wheelie bin on fire in Iran is facing a death sentence for ‘waging war against God’.
Accused Sahand Noormohammadzadeh is currently on trial at branch 29 of the Islamic Revolution Court in Tehran, the Iranian capital.
He stands accused of ‘moharebeh’ – waging war against God – through destroying and setting fire to public facilities in order to disrupt the order and security of the country.
The fire – reported local media – is seen as a confrontation with the Islamic government.
The intention – the court heard – was to commit crimes against the security of the country and disrupt public order and comfort through participation in illegal gatherings.
If the court convicts him of moharebeh, his punishment could be death by hanging.
He has denied the accusations against him and alleged that a street protest had simply taken place in front of his workplace.
The prosecutor’s representative told the court: “Following the actions taken by Sahand Noormohammadzadeh, Ayatollah Ashrafi Esfahani highway has been blocked for some time and the passage of cars has been disrupted.
“Accused Noormohammadzadeh caused the blockage of the highway by tearing down the fences of the highway, setting fire to waste containers and tyres.”
The case judge reportedly told the accused: “You yourself saw that you set fire to the waste container in the images that were broadcast.”
But the defendant’s lawyer stated: “As we saw in the pictures, there was no picture of my client setting fire to a trash can or removing a fence.
“The burning of the waste container, which the prosecutor’s representative mentioned as a criminal act, was not seen in the video, and my client also denies this issue.
“He only set fire to a tyre, which is not considered public property.”
There are two other defendants in the case, identified in reports as Behdad Iskandernjad and Ali Houshmandi.
Iran’s judiciary has been accused of issuing harsh sentences – including death – against anti-regime protesters following fast-track trials as a form of ‘retribution’.
It has also been accused of refusing to recognise the defendants as protesters and has instead been referring to them as “troublemakers”.
The ongoing protests in Iran, which began on 16th September, have claimed between 304 and 356 lives and injured at least 1,160, according to independent estimates.