Hundreds gather for the Iranian American Women Foundation's candlelight vigil for Mahsa Amini at West Hollywood Park in West Hollywood, California on Sept. 29. Iranian officials charged bout 1,000 in Tehran for the protests. File Photo by Jim Ruymen/UPI | License Photo
Nov. 1 (UPI) -- Facing a wide range of charges, about 1,000 people in Tehran were charged this week in connection with anti-government demonstrations that have raged around Iran since the death of Mahsa Amini in police custody on Sept. 16.
While Iranian authorities have continued to downplay the number of people arrested and charged, human rights activists have estimated that more than 14,000 could be tried in open mass trials.
The country's Human Rights Activists News Agency has reported that 284 people have been killed by security forces in the crackdown on protests.
The mother of protester Mohammad Ghobadlo said on Monday her son was sentenced to death after being found guilty of the charge of "corruption on Earth" for taking part in the anti-government riots. She said Ghobadlo was denied access to an attorney and was ill.
Iranian officials said despite the numbers, each person will be tried alone for "subversive actions" including assaulting security guards, setting fire to public property and other charges. Some will be charged with collaborating with foreign governments.
"Those who intend to confront and subvert the regime are dependent on foreigners and will be punished according to legal standards," said Iran's judiciary chief Gholam-Hossein Mohseni Ejei.
Iran continues its effort to try to reshape the narrative of the mass protests as a conspiracy against the government. In a recent report, government officials blamed two journalists who covered the original Amini case as being trained by a U.S. spy agency.
Amini died in the custody of Iran's morality police for not wearing her hijab properly and later died while being held by them.
Niloufar Hamedi had reported on Amini's death from a hospital in Tehran. Journalist Elaheh Mohammadi covered Amini's funeral in her hometown of Saqqez. The editors-in-chief of the two newspapers said the reporters were on assignment and only did their jobs.