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ABC News

Sydney man fears Iran's execution of cousin arrested in protests is 'imminent'

Mohammed Hashemi awaits news every day about his cousin who is on death row. (ABC News)

The Sydney cousin of a man facing imminent execution in Iran says family members were told they have made their last visit to him in prison.

Mohammed Hashemi, from northern Sydney, said he holds onto hope every day that his cousin, Majid Kazemi, has not been killed.

He said there have now been two public protests outside the jail, with the most recent last night being forcibly shut down by police. 

He thanked people for their support, saying it may have prevented the executions from occurring, given they can't be carried out when the "safety of the jail" is  jeopardised.

Mr Kazemi was arrested alongside Saleh Mirhashemi and Saeed Yaghoubi in November during anti-government protests sparked across the nation by the death in custody of Mahsa Amini.

Family members visiting the men held in Dastgerd Prison told Amnesty International they were informed on Wednesday it was their final visit.

They have taken this as indication the executions are imminent.

The men were accused of killing three security officers, but their family and human rights organisations say the case was manufactured, and the men subject to unfair trials.

In January they were sentenced to death on the charge of "enmity against God" (moharebeh) for the alleged possession of a firearm. 

According to Amnesty International, the men were tortured and forced into making incriminating statements that underpinned the criminal cases against them. 

Saleh Mirhashemi (left), Saeed Yaghoubi (middle), Majid Kazemi (right) (Supplied)

Mr Hashemi says his cousin was shown videos of officers torturing his brother, who they also threatened to kill, to induce a false confession.

Foreign Minister Penny Wong on Tuesday posted on social media saying the Australian Embassy had demanded Iran end executions. 

Mr Hashemi welcomed this step, but given the critical and urgent situation, said it did not go far enough. 

"She should pick up the phone and call Iran's foreign minister directly herself," he said. 

"This is just a political way to show like they are doing something, but honestly, it doesn't work."

"We need more strong, serious action."

Majid Kazemi says he has been tortured into giving false confessions by the Iranian regime. (Supplied)

Mr Kazemi was recorded in an audio message inside Dastegerd prison maintaining his innocence, saying he was tortured into the false confession. 

"I swear to God I am innocent. I didn't have any weapons on me. They [security forces] kept beating me and ordering me to say this weapon is mine," he can be heard saying.

"I told them I would say whatever they wanted, just please leave my family alone. I did whatever they wanted because of the torture."

Amnesty International's Middle East deputy director, Diana Eltahawy, said it was another example of Iranian authorities' brazen disregard for the rights to life and a fair trial. 

"The use of the death penalty against these men is a blatant act of vengeance against a courageous generation of protesters for steadfastly demanding the rights of Iranian people during the past seven months," she said.

"The international community must take urgent, and bold action to stop the execution of these protesters before it is too late."

Majid with his mother. His family in Iran are being pressured to stay silent, according to Hashemi. (Supplied)

This month, Amnesty International reported that recorded executions in Iran had risen from 314 in 2021, to 576 in 2022. 

Kylie Moore-Gilbert, an academic who spent more than two years imprisoned in Iran on espionage charges, has been working with Mr Hashemi's family. 

Dr Moore-Gilbert said Australia is limited in what it can do, because Mr Kazemi is not an Australian citizen, adding the federal government could help by naming him specifically.

Senator Wong announced sanctions against Iran in December, including asset freezes and travel bans for some Iranian individuals involved in protest crackdowns. 

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