Execution in Iran
Mohammad Mehdi Karami’s father did what he could, begging the Iranian authorities to spare his son’s life. It didn’t help. Instead, they hanged the 22-year-old on Saturday, along with another man, Mohammad Hosseini. Both had been convicted of killing a member of Iran’s paramilitary forces during nationwide anti-government protests. This, despite claims their confessions had been extracted through torture. Amnesty International called their trial a “sham”.

On January 9, reports that two more men were expected to be executed soon sent crowds of demonstrators to the prison where they were being held. Among them was the mother of one of the men, who says her son has a history of mental illness and should be spared.

Officials in Iran have so far chosen to ignore calls from Western countries to stop the executions, which one UN human rights advocate called “the weaponisation of criminal procedures”, something that amounts to a “state-sanctioned killing”.
Abubakr Al-Shamahi,
Al Jazeera

Weapons for Ukraine
Dozens of Western countries met on January 20, 2023 at the sidelines of Davos summit at the Ramstein Air Base in Germany to pledge to send weapons to Ukraine in a gathering that could shift the momentum of its war with Russia. All eyes were on a showdown between the US and Germany over the latter’s hesitance to provide its Leopard 2 tanks. Berlin might be willing to change its mind if Washington sends its own Abrams tanks, despite its reluctance to supply offensive weapons that might escalate the conflict. The meeting between Germany’s new defence minister, Boris Pistorius, and the US Secretary of Defense, Lloyd Austin could provide clues about what is to come. “Many Germans are against sending tanks to Ukraine,” said Bastian Brinkmann, deputy head of the economics department of Süddeutsche Zeitung. “That’s why the German chancellor is asking the US president for backing to deliver tanks together, which will be a better sell to the German public.” It’s a huge early test for Pistorius: judge the mood incorrectly and he might struggle in a job so precarious that it is known in Berlin as the “ejector seat”.
A Reader

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Vol 55, No. 33, Feb 12 - 18, 2023