Iran is continuing its ritual executions in Al-Ahwaz (Khuzestan) with three men facing the death penalty for recent bombings - despite the fact that they were in prison at the time of the attacks.
Ali Manbouhi, Ali Helfi and Nazem Bereihi have been serving sentences of 35 years imprisonment since their arrests for insurgency in 2000. They were among those made to confess to recent attacks on Khuzestan TV last week. Reports suggest they are likely to face a retrial on charges of "waging war on God" and murder soon, with the regime seeking to make them scapegoats for unrest in Al-Ahwaz. The punishments for these crimes include hanging, crucifixion and amputation.
Nasser Bani Assad, spokesman for the British Ahwazi Friendship Society, said: "We know for certain that these men could not be responsible for the bomb attacks in Al-Ahwaz because they are being held in a high security prison. The retrial and execution of these men is illegal even by Iranian law. It is an act of vengeance and intimidation against the Ahwazi people and is part of the government's campaign to portray all Arabs as enemies of the state.
"President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad believes that once the Ahwazi Arabs are scared into silence, the ethnic cleansing programme in Al-Ahwaz can be stepped up to secure oil supplies and to tighten Iranian control over neighbouring areas of Iraq. But state violence is only inflaming the situation. Recent developments indicate that Ahwazi Arabs are now seeking to cripple the national economy by attacking oil installations."