GENEVA - UN-appointed human rights experts on Monday urged Iran to revoke the death sentence against an anti-corruption activist.

Mahmoud Mehrabi was convicted on charges of “corruption on earth”, a term they said “refers to a broad range of offences, including blasphemy and ‘crimes’ relating to Islamic morals.”

He was rearrested on 16 March 2023 in connection with his online activism on justice and corruption.

He later faced additional charges, including propaganda against the state, incitement of police and military forces to disobedience, incitement to war, crimes against national security, and insulting the founder and Supreme Leader of the Islamic Republic of Iran.

“It is alarming that Iran’s punishments for freedom of expression include the death penalty or long-term prison sentences,” the experts said, noting that local rapper Tomaj Salehi also received the death penalty two weeks ago.

They noted that at least five people were sentenced to death in connection with nationwide protests in 2022 against the death of Mahsa Amini in police custody. At least 15 others are at imminent risk.

“We urge Iranian authorities to amend the Constitution and the penal code to prohibit executions and commute all death sentences,” they said.

The statement was issued by Javaid Rehman, Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran; Alice Jill Edwards, Special Rapporteur on Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, and Morris Tidball-Binz, Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions.

The experts receive their mandates from the UN Human Rights Council. They are not UN staff and do not receive payment for their work.