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...

Iran steps up anti-Arab execution campaign

Four more Ahwazi Arab political prisoners are facing execution following verdicts handed down by secretive revolutionary courts this week with three more given prison sentences, according to a report by the Ahwaz Human Rights Organisation (AHRO).

Four Arab political prisoners have already been officially executed so far this year with a further seven killed extra-judicially under torture. With five Arabs sentenced to death in July, this week's judgment brings the total number of Ahwazi political prisoners on death row to nine. All political prisoners have been convicted of the same charges: enmity with God and corruption on the Earth.

The following men are sentenced to hang, although none have any previous convictions:
  • Abdulreza Amir Khanafereh, son of Younes, 25 years old, single
  • Abdul Amir Mojadami, aged 32, married
  • Shahab  Abbasi, son of Ahmad, aged 26, single
  • Ghazi Abbasi, son of Ahmad, aged 30, single
The following men have been sentenced to three months imprisonment in Ardebil:
  • Jasem Moghaddam Payam, son of Saeed, aged 27
  • Sami Jadmawy Nejad, son of Aziz, aged 29, single
  • Hadi Albo Khanfar Nejad, son of Abdul Kheder, born in 1360, married
The British government has condemned the execution campaign against Ahwazi Arabs. In a strongly worded announcement following the death sentences announced in July, Foreign Secretary William Hague said: "Iran's continued, widespread persecution of ethnic minorities, human rights defenders and political prisoners is a disgrace and stands as a shameful indictment of Iran's leaders. The Iranian government should know that its systematic attempt to curtail the freedom of its citizens will not go unchallenged by the international community and only adds to its isolation. I call on Iran immediately to commute these death sentences, to stop torturing its citizens and to end the systematic persecution of its ethnic minorities."

The European ParliamentNobel Prize Winner Shirin Ebadi and leading international human rights organisations have voiced increasing alarm at the number of death sentences imposed and carried out by the government in recent months.

Shortly before their execution in June, three brothers - Taha Heidarian, Abbas Heidarian and Abdul-Rahman Heidarian and the friend Ali Sharifi secretly filmed an appeal to the UN Special Rapporteur on Iran Ahmed Shaheed calling for his intervention to halt the campaign. They vehemently denied the murder charges against them and detailed three months of torture, sometimes in the presence of the public prosecutor, in which they finally agreed to sign false confessions. They also voiced their opposition to terrorism and violence, saying their only interest was to protest against the persecution of their community.

Five others condemned to death following trials condemned as deeply unfair are Hadi Rashedi, Hashem Shabani, and Mohammad-Ali Amouri and two brothers Seyed Mokhtar Alboshokeh and Seyed Jaber Alboshokeh. According to Human Rights Watch, the five were arrested by security forces in February 2011. They have all been accused of belonging to a terrorist organisation and involvement in shootings that authorities say occurred in and around the town of Khalafabad in Khuzestan province in 2010. Human Rights Watch’s Middle East Director Sarah Leah Whitson stated that there was no evidence presented against the men and no transparency in the conviction and sentencing. Human rights groups such as Justice for Iran are calling for Iranian officials involved in the persecution of the country's Arab minority to be subject to international sanctions.