Old photographs of the hanging of Iranian killers falsely linked to anti-government protests

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Photos of an Iranian man put to death in 2007 for killing a judge have circulated in social media posts falsely linking his execution to anti-government protests that have rocked Iran since September 2022. While Iran has issued a stream of death sentences over the protests, the photos of Majid Kavousifar with a noose around his neck are presented in the wrong context.

“Jyoung Iranian man Majid Kavossifar (sic) was hanged by the authorities for taking part in the hijab protests,” a statement reads. simplified Chinese tweet posted on January 11, 2023.

Facing the noose, the hero showed no fear, even smiled and said to the crowd:Even if I were executed a hundred times, I would still come back and do the same thing’.

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The photos show a man with a noose around his neck, smiling and waving.

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Screenshot of the Twitter message

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Authorities have arrested thousands of people in the wave of demonstrations that began with the death in custody of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini in September.

The Iranian-Kurdish woman had been arrested by the vice squad for allegedly violating the regime’s strict dress code for women.

The judiciary has confirmed that 18 people have been sentenced to death in connection with the “riots”, according to an TBEN tally based on official announcements. Four have been executed.

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The photos circulated widely on social media in similar posts, including on Twitter, Weibo, Facebook, the Chinese version of TikTok Douyin and on the US platform Gettr.

2007 version

A reverse image and keyword search found a similar photo in TBEN’s archives.

According to the photo caption, the photo shows Majid Kavousifar, an Iranian man who was hanged on August 2, 2007 in the capital Tehran along with his cousin Hossein Kavousifar for the murder of a judge.

TBEN reported at the time on the hangings, which marked the first known public executions in Tehran in five years.

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Hassan Moghaddas, who worked at the “guidance court”, which hears sensitive cases of “moral corruption”, was killed by the two gunmen in August 2005 as he got into his car after work in the middle of a busy business district.

Below is a comparison of the photos circulating on social media in a false context (left) and the photo from TBEN (right).

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Comparison of the photos circulating on social media in a false context (left) and TBEN’s photo (right)

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TBEN has previously debunked another photo of Majid Kavousifar that circulated in reports falsely linking his execution to preaching in Syria.