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Urgent Appeal to EU Foreign Affairs Chief over Iran Executions

The Ahwaz Human Rights Organisation has issued the following appeal to Javier Solana, High Representative for the EU's Common Foreign and Security Policy, over continuing executions and human rights violations against Ahwazis by the Iranian regime:

We are writing to inform you of the imminent execution of 10 ethnic Arab-Iranian (Ahwazi Arab) youth in Ahwaz, provincial capital of Khuzestan in southwestern Iran.

On June 7 and 8 the Islamic Revolutionary Court of Ahwaz, in secret trials, sentenced these human rights activists to death. They are awaiting the execution order from the Supreme Court in Tehran. Their names are as follows:
1. Yahia Nasseri
2. Nazem Boraihi
3. Abdolemam Zaeri
4. Abdolzahar olichi
5. Hamza Sawaeri
6. Jafar Sawari
7. Reisan Sawari
8. Abdolreza Nawaseri
9. Ali Helfi
10. Zamel Bawi

After the public hanging of Ali Afrawi (age 17) and Mehdi Nawaseri (20 years old) in Ahwaz and seven other political prisoners inside prisons in March and April of this year, the Iranian regime is once again embarking on a new wave of executions of Ahwazi Arabs.

Last month, Prosecutor-General Iraj Amirkhani, in an interview with Iranian official news agency ISNA, announced that 22 Ahwazi Arab political activists had been arrested and are expected to be tried and sentenced to death. These men, like the 10 named above, are also being tried in secret without the presence of independent observers. They are accused of being "Mohareb" or enemies of god which carries death sentence. Other charges are "Destablizing the Country", "attempt to overthrow the government", "possession of home made bombs" and "sabotage of oil installations". However, no evidence has been presented. The government has accused them of working as agents for the US, the UK and Israel, and claimed they have received training in Iraq. Again, the regime has failed to produce any evidence.

This brings the Ahwazi men who face death and risk of executions to thirty two. This number includes three brothers, university students, who are among a number of activists listed below:
1. Imad Bawi
2. Mohsen Bawi
3. Taregh Obiat
4. Dr Awdeh Afrawi
5. Tarigh Obeyat
6. Ali Manbouhi
7. Jallil Bureihi
8. Hadi Bateyli
9. Mohammad Sawari
10. Moslem Al-Ha'
11. Saeed Hameydan
12. Abdulamam M Zaeri
13. Abdulzahra Khazali
14. Hamzeh Lefteh
15. Aliredha Salman Delfi
16. Ali Matouri-Zadeh

We are also concerned about the arrest of the wives and young children of political activists in what appears to be an attempt to pressure them into making false confessions or returning from exile. Ali Matourzadeh and his wife Fahima Ismaili Badawi have been detained since February 28; Fahima gave birth to their daughter, Salma, in Sepidar Prison in Ahwaz in March. Matourzadeh is founder of the reformist Hizb-i Vifaq (Unity Party). His whereabouts are unknown, while his wife and daughter are being held at Sepidar Prison in Khuzestan Province. Amnesty International has suggested Fahima and Salma are being held in order to force Ali Matourzadeh to cooperate and the group demanded their unconditional release.
Other recently arrested Ahwazi women and children are:

1. Ma'soumeh Ka'abi (f) and her sons Imad (m), aged 4, she is the wife of political activists, Habib Nabgan. (Released and re-arrested several times).

2. Sograh Khudayrawi (f) and her son Zeidan (m) aged 4. Her husband’s name is Khalaf Khudayrawi, who is currently being held at Sepidar Prison.

3. Sakina Naisi (f), mother of five and wife of Ahwazi opposition activist Ahman Naisi.

4. Hoda Hawashem (f) and her son Osameh (m), aged 2 and her other son Ahmad (m), aged 4 and wife of opposition activist, Habib Faraj-allah.

Iran and its ally Syria are also violating the Geneva Conventions on refugees by returning or threatening to return Ahwazi refugees registered with the UNHCR back to Iran, where they face arrest and likely torture and execution. Iranian Arab refugee Saeed ‘Awda al-Saki was arrested on 11 May in the Syrian capital, Damascus, at the request of the Iranian authorities. He was forcibly returned to Iran three days later and now is held incommunicado at an undisclosed place. Saeed ‘Awda al-Saki, is registered and recognized as a political refugee by the UNHCR. According to Amnesty International he is also facing torture and ill-treatment, and possibly death sentence.

Under pressure from Iran, on May 11, 2006, eight Ahwazi men were detained by the Syrian authorities. These are all mandate holder political refugees, registered and recognized by UNHCR in Syria:
1. Mousa Sawari
2. Issa Alyassin
3. Gamal Obaidy
4. Ahmad Abiat
5. Taher Ali Mazraeh
6. Rasool Mezrea'
7. Jamal 'Abdawi
Three of the above have been released and four remain in detention in Syria. Faleh 'Abdullah al-Mansouri, a Dutch national, has also been detained and has yet to be released.

Since the Ahwazi Intifada (uprising) began on April 15, 2005, more than 25,000 Ahwazis have been detained, at least 131 have been executed and over 150 have "disappeared" (believed to have been tortured and killed by Iranian security forces). Confiscation of Ahwazi Arab farmland, forced displacement and other measures of ethnic cleansing and ethnic restructuring are other examples of repression and persecution of Arab ethnic minority in Iran. Iranian authorities level accusations against the US, UK and Israel as the cause of Ahwazi demands for democracy, social and economic justice.

We urge you and the Council of EU to take immediate action to prevent the executions of these political prisoners.

Links:
Iran: Retry Ethnic Arabs Condemned to Death - 24 June
UNPO Urgent Appeal Concerning Ahwazi Executions
Ahwazis face arrest, deportation and execution - 1 June
Amnesty International: Eleven Ahwazis Face Execution - 17 May
Iran prepares for new round of executions in Ahwaz - 13 May
Executed: Young Men Hung by Iranian Tyrants - 2 March
Iran prepares to execute tribal family - 19 February
Iran sentences seven over Ahwaz bombings - 15 February
Iran increases repression in Ahwaz - 8 February
Ahwaz Bombings Come After Weeks of Unrest - 24 January