By Pierre Meilhan, Pauline Lockwood and Heather Chen, CNN
Sweden has summoned Iran’s acting ambassador to protest against the execution of Habib Chaab, a dual Swedish-Iranian national who had been convicted of leading an Arab separatist group accused of attacks.
“The death penalty is an inhuman and irreversible punishment and Sweden, together with the rest of the EU, condemns its use under any circumstances,” the Swedish Foreign Ministry said in a statement Saturday.
Chaab was executed on Saturday morning over his alleged involvement with the Harakat al-Nidal separatist group, reported Mizan, an Iranian state-affiliated media outlet.
Iran considers Harakat al-Nidal to be a terrorist group.
Mizan claimed Chaab was the leader of Harakat al-Nidal and the suspected mastermind behind the shooting attack on a military parade in Iran’s southwestern city of Ahvaz in 2018 in which 29 people died.
Executions have risen in Iran following a nationwide uprising sparked by the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini last September, according to reports released by rights groups.
According to a joint report issued by the Norway-based Iran Human Rights (IHR) and the France-based Together Against the Death Penalty (ECPM) groups revealed at least 500 executions were carried out last year — a 75% increase from the previous year.
The increase was Tehran’s way of trying to frighten protesters and prevent dissent, groups said.
Addressing the 2018 incident, Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei accused Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates of financing the perpetrators of the attack and threatened to “harshly punish” the masterminds.
UAE Minister of State For Foreign Affairs Anwar Gargash said the accusations were “baseless” and “official incitement against the UAE in Iran” was “unfortunate.”
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