Iran has sentenced three Kurdish citizens to a total of 16 years in prison for burning a banner of slain Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) commander Qassem Soleimani in January, according to an Iranian Kurdish rights group.
Twenty-year-old Arman Hosseinzadeh and 19-year-olds Milad Hosseini and Bahman Rahimi have been sentenced to a total of 16 years and seven months in prison on charges of “propaganda against the regime by burning Soleimani banners” and membership in an Iranian Kurdish opposition group, rights group Hengaw, which reports on human rights violations in Iran’s Kurdish-populated areas, said on Saturday.
A 17-year-old was also arrested alongside the other three but his sentence has not yet been announced.
The four were arrested days after Soleimani – the overseas arms of the Islamic IRGC – was killed in a US airstrike at Baghdad’s international airport on January 3.
On January 22, Iranian police said it arrested a minor for ripping up a poster of Soleimani.
Several videos emerged online in January showing Iranians ripping up and setting fire to images and posters of Soleimani amid the anti-government protests that followed Iran’s belated admission to downing a Ukrainian passenger plane.
Iran admitted to downing the plane after vehemently denying responsibility for several days triggering angry protests in several cities.