Swedish members of parliament have stepped up pressure on Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to halt the executions of Ahwazi Arabs.
Egon Frid and Siv Holma of the Left Party, Helena Leander of the Green Party and Fredrik Malm of the Liberal Party voiced their concern over imminent execution of Ahwazi Arabs named in a motion passed by the European Parliament on Thursday (click here for details). In the letter, they reiterate statements by Amnesty International and other international and Iranian human rights organizations that the trials were deeply flawed and that "all the evidence points to their innocence."
"All 10 men were tortured into making false confessions," the Swedish MPs add in their letter. "Their lawyers were not allowed to see them prior to their trial and they were given the prosecution case only hours before the start of the trial, which was held in secret. The lawyers for the condemned men have been arrested for complaining about the illegal and unjust nature of the men's trials. They have been charged with threatening national security."
They contrast the Ahwazi region's oil-rich with the "extreme levels of poverty, unemployment and illiteracy" suffered by the indigenous inhabitants. "Ahwazis are subjected to repression, racial discrimination and faced with land confiscation, forced displacement and forced assimilation," they say. "The convictions are evidently arbitrary and are intended to collectively punish Ahwazi Arabs for opposing the system of apartheid that they are subjected to."
They have also pledged to ensure that the EU and European governments will continue to follow the situation of the Ahwazi Arabs in the future.