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...

Amnesty: Appeal for Ahwazis facing execution

The following is an appeal by Amnesty International regarding the imminent execution of three Ahwazi Arabs - Khaled Hardani, Shahram Pourmansouri and Farhang Pourmansouri - accused of attempting to hijack an aircraft.

Khaled Hardani's execution date has reportedly been set for 4 July. He was sentenced to death for his part in the January 2001 attempted hijacking of a 30-seater passenger aircraft.

The Implementation of Judgements section in Branch 6 of the Revolutionary Court in Tehran reportedly confirmed the execution date on 2 June, and said that Khaled Hardani had been officially informed of the verdict. He is reportedly held in Raja'i Shahr prison, in the city of Karaj, around 50km west of Tehran.

Khaled Hardani was one of 11 members of an extended family who attempted to commandeer a scheduled flight between the southern Iranian cities of Ahvaz and Bandar Abbas, and force it to fly to Dubai, in the United Arab Emirates. Security guards already on board ended the hijack attempt while the plane was still on the runway at Ahvaz, reportedly shooting Khaled Hardani in the process. The family were reportedly trying to escape the poverty and hopelessness they were experiencing as members of Iran's Arab minority. Khaled Hardani was sentenced to death, together with his brothers-in-law, Shahram and Farhang Pourmansouri, on charges of "acts against national security" (eqdam 'aleyhe amniyat) and "enmity against God" (Moharebeh) rather than charges relating specifically to hijacking an aircraft. At the time of the hijacking, the brothers were reportedly aged 17 and 18 respectively.

Khaled Hardani was originally scheduled to hang on 19 January 2005, but the Head of the Judiciary ordered a stay of execution the previous day, apparently to allow lawyers to appeal. As a state party to the International Covenant on Civil and political Rights (ICCPR), Iran has undertaken not to execute anyone for an offence committed when they were under the age of 18. The Head of the Judiciary reportedly ordered the executions of all three men to be stayed because of the ages of the two brothers. In May 2006 Khaled Hardani told Amnesty International from Evin Prison, where he was held at the time, that following the stay of execution his case and those of his brothers-in-law had been referred to the Board of Monitoring and Follow-up (Heyat-e Nezarat va Peigiri).

Amnesty International has no new information regarding the Pourmansouri brothers.