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...

Iranian torture of Ahwazi prisoners over execution furore

Three Ahwazi political prisoners are being tortured in relation to a pre-execution video appeal to UN Special Rapporteur on Iran Ahmed Shaheed. The four men who made the video, who were executed last month, were wrongly convicted by the Iranian revolutionary courts of terrorist acts following trials that were widely condemned by Iranian, Ahwazi and international NGOs and three UN Special Rapporteurs.

The prisoners accused of involvement in the video leak were transferred from Karoon Prison to facilities run by the Ministry of Intelligence. They are under intense interrogation and severe torture, according to Ahwazi human rights activists. The three prisoners are engineer Ghazi Haidari (39), Nazem Beraihi (27) and Yahya Naseri (32). The authorities are keen to blame them for the video in which four condemned men, now executed, protested their innocence thereby causing huge embarrassment to the regime. Interrogations involving torture are usually used to extract false confessions.

Haidari, a former employee of a metal pipe company, was arrested in April 2009 in relation to his cultural activities and sentenced to 10 years imprisonment. He had always supported non-violent activism. Under torture, he has suffered a fractured ribcage. Beraihi was a student in an Islamic school - Hawza-e-Ilmiya  - and was initially sentenced to 15 years imprisonment, but the term was lengthened to life imprisonment. Naseri was arrested in 2005 along with Beraihi and sentenced to life imprisonment.

Concerns are also rising over the fate of protesters arrested in peaceful demonstrations against the recent executions. Two sons of Almlashih-based Shi'ite clergyman Shaya Haidari, Jassim (25) and Mohammed (22), have been arrested and their whereabouts unknown, according to the Ahwazi Centre for Human Rights. The relatives do not know the charges against them.

Separately, there is alarm over the abduction by security forces of Leila Baghlani, a 32-year old Ahwazi Arab student of Ramez Azad University. She was taken on 13 June and is believed to have been targeted because she is an Arab social and cultural activist. Her family are unaware of her whereabouts. Ahwazi activists are trying to establish more information on her disappearance and are deeply concerned for her wellbeing.