Relative Of Hanged Ahwazis Calls for International Prosecution Of Judges

A relative of two executed Ahwazi Arabs is calling on the international community to issue a warrant for the arrest of two Iranian judge...


Two young men - Mehdi Nawaseri and Muhammad-Ali Afrawi - were hung in Ahwaz today by the Iranian regime.

Mehdi and Muhammad-Ali, who the regime claims are Salafist extremists working on behalf of the British forces in Iraq, were met with taunts and jeers by Basijis shouting "Death to Israel!" Witnesses say they were gradually hoisted into the air, causing them to die slowly of strangulation. They were convicted of carrying out bomb attacks in Ahwaz on 15 October 2005 by a secret religious court. Their death sentences were approved by the Supreme Court. They died after months of torture and forced confessions by the regime. But they were not alone as Ahwazis in Al-Ahwaz and across the world held all-night vigils for the two young men.

The night before, the two young men in their early 20s were shown on Khuzestan TV, frightened and barely able to speak as they were forced to confess to crimes many believe they did not commit (right click here and save to download "confessions"). Their executions follow the hanging of three Ahwazi Arabs in Karoon Prison on Tuesday morning.

Amnesty International, Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organisation (UNPO) Ahwaz Human Rights Organisation (AHRO) and the British Ahwazi Friendship Society (BAFS) sent out appeals to governments, UNHCR and Members of the European Parliament to intervene to stop the executions. However, the appeals were ignored as the international community tried to appease the Iranian regime to forge a deal on the nuclear issue. Human rights in Iran have been kept off the international agenda, despite reports of an upsurge in abuses and executions.

President Ahmadinejad has cancelled public visits to Khuzestan on three occasions due to anti-government unrest among Ahwazi Arabs. He has been embarrassed and humiliated and now he is attempting to prove his hard-line credentials by taking violent revenge on Ahwazi Arabs. The unrest is the result of the government's ethnic cleansing of Khuzestan, which involves land confiscation, forced migration and enticements to non-Arabs from outside the province to settle in plush new residential areas. The regime is clearing out the Arabs to secure its control of local resources and to extend its political influence over Iraq.

BAFS spokesman Nasser Bani-Assad said: "This is yet another tragic day for the Ahwazi Arabs. We thank Amnesty, UNPO, AHRO and countless sympathetic individuals for trying their best to stop this latest wave of executions. The regime thinks that public hangings will weaken the resolve of Ahwazi Arabs to fight for their rights. They could not be more wrong. Every abuse strengthens the will to overcome oppression. Every bullet fired, every punch and kick of a prison guard, every man and woman that dies at the hands of the tyrants of Tehran will only help unite the Ahwazis.

"The Ahwazi Arab homeland is the most oil-rich region on the planet, but the Ahwazi Arabs are among the world's poorest people. They hold the destiny of Iran, the Middle East and the world in their hands. The more they are oppressed and impoverished, the stronger they will rise up and change the course of history. The international community will not be able to ignore the Ahwazi Arabs for long."