Hadi Rashedi (left) and Hashem Shabani (right) had their death sentences upheld earlier this year following convictions for "enmity with God", a charge used by the regime against those who oppose it. The men were members of a cultural association, Al-Hewar, that promoted Arabic language and literature among Ahwazi youth. A total of five members of Al-Hewar were sentenced to death.
According to reports from within the prison, Shabani spent 52 days in a secret prison run by the intelligence services. In a letter that was smuggled out of prison, Shabani protested his innocence and accused the Iranian authorities of torturing him to confess to crimes he did not commit.
Rashedi was taken from Karoon Prison and held for three weeks at an unknown location. He had pledged to begin a hunger strike if he was taken from prison, despite his ill health.
Ahwazi Arab activists claim the two men were returned to Karoon Prison in poor health with signs of torture over their bodies.