Ahwazi Arab activists in the restive districts of Hamidiya and Hey Al-Thawra have pledged to create civil unrest across the city if the regime carries out the hangings of Mohammad Ali Amouri, Sayed Jaber Alboshokeh, Sayed Mokhtar Alboshokeh, Hashem Shaabani and Hadi Rashedi, who were convicted and sentenced in July 2012.
The condemned men have won the support of several UN Human Rights Council specialists, the European Union, the German and British governments, Nobel Peace Prize winner Shirin Ebadi and a multitude of human rights organisations. There has been widespread condemnation of the illegal nature of the trials and sentencing.
In response to potential civil disorder, the Iranian security services have set up surveillance operations at road junctions and traffic lights. A number of Ahwazi Arab activists with suspended sentences or who are in the process of appealing against their convictions have also been called to report to the Ministry of Intelligence.
Daniel Brett, Chairman of the British Ahwazi Friendship Society (BAFS), said: "Clearly the regime is in a panic and has been taken aback by the scale of international solidarity. If it executes the men, it will be shown up as an abuser of the rights of ethnic Arabs and, particularly in the case of UNHCR-registered refugee Mohammad Ali Amouri, will have committed crimes against humanity due to the complete lack of material evidence. If it climbs down, it will be a victory of human rights and could set a precedent across Iran for greater freedoms ahead of the presidential election.
"We call on the judiciary and the civilian authorities to show strength and desist from executing political prisoners. Any further executions will be a sign of weakness in the face of opposition and signal that the regime feels threatened by even the mildest opponents, such as the five currently facing hanging. It will also demonstrate that the Iranian regime is not a liberator of Arabs or a leader of Muslims, but a violent oppressor at a time when it is arming and aiding tyranny in Syria."