Had only 15 minutes to argue his case

Mohammad Mehdi Karami was charged with killing a paramilitary force member but could not choose a lawyer

According to sources who spoke with BBC Persian, Mohammad Mehdi Karami, an Iranian protester who was executed on January 7 had less than 15 minutes to defend himself against the death penalty.

Karami, a 22-year-old karate champion, and Seyed Mohammad Hosseini were executed by Iran in November after it found them guilty of killing a member of a paramilitary force in Karaj, west of Tehran.

The death in custody of Mahsa Amini, 22, days after she was arrested by morality police at the beginning of September on charges of wearing her hijab “inappropriately,” has sparked nationwide protests that have gone on for months. Iran’s rulers are attempting to put an end to those protests.

In Iran, defendants have the right to have a lawyer represent them, but the country’s judiciary doesn’t let protesters and dissidents pick their own lawyers for sensitive trials.

Because of his involvement in the murder of a member of Iran’s paramilitary Basij force on November 3, Karami was detained during protests in the city of Karaj. He was given a lawyer appointed by the court because the judiciary deemed his case to be sensitive.

The court hearing before the execution of Mohammad Mehdi Karami and Seyyed Mohammad Hosseini.

Mashallah Karami told the Etemad newspaper, which is based in Tehran, that his son’s public defender had not responded to the family’s calls in the week leading up to his trial and that he had not been permitted to hire alternative legal counsel.

After being found guilty of charges connected to the popular uproar over Amini’s death in September, four people have been hanged. Iranian media reported on Saturday that Alireza Akbari, a former employee of the Defense Ministry, was executed for spying.

Europe and the United States condemned the executions, but Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi has insisted that “identification, trial, and punishment” of all those who are believed to have been involved in violence will continue.