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...

British Foreign Minister condemns Iran's treatment of Ahwazis facing execution

British Foreign Minister Kim Howells has voiced his opposition to the planned execution of Ahwazi Arabs, who were convicted of "waging war on God" in Iran's secret revolutionary court in Ahwaz City (click here for his full response).

In a reply to a written question by Conservative MP Graham Stuart, Mr Howells, Minister of State with responsibility for the Middle East portfolio, said that the UK government had "closely monitored" the cases of 11 men facing execution. He said: "We oppose and condemn the death penalty in all its forms. In this case, we have specific concerns about the conduct of the trial including whether it was held secretly behind closed doors; whether a jury was present; and whether the defendants had adequate access to lawyers before the trial.

"The presidency of the EU raised our concerns about this case with the Director General of the International Department of the Judiciary on 20 November and highlighted the EU's longstanding objection to the death penalty in all its forms. We will continue to monitor this case closely with EU colleagues."

Mr Howells' condemnation coincides with an Early Day Motion (EDM) in the House of Commons condemning the trials and executions (click here for more information). The EDM was drafted by Labour MP Chris Bryant and supported by MPs across the political spectrum, from Jeremy Corbyn on the left to Michael Gove on the right. It follows a successful move by British Green MEPs Caroline Lucas and Jean Lambert to secure unanimous cross-party condemnation in the European Parliament of the planned execution of the 11 Ahwazi activists on 16 November (click here for further details). On 21 November the UN General Assembly approved a Canadian-sponsored motion condemning Iran's "increasing discrimination and other human rights violations against ethnic and religious minorities" and its "persistent failure in Iran to comply fully with international standards in the administration of justice - including the absence of due process of law, the refusal to provide fair and public hearings, and the denial of the right to counsel by detainees." (click here for further information)

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