Friday, June 22, 2012

For Immediate Release

Iran: Reveal Fate of Arab Minority Prisoners
Reports Suggest Activists Were Executed

(New York, June 21, 2012) – Iranian authorities should immediately provide information regarding the whereabouts and well-being of seven men from the country’s ethnic Arab minority who are known to be in Iranian custody, Human Rights Watch said today. Human Rights Watch is concerned that prison authorities in the southwestern city of Ahvaz may have executed at least four of the seven men in recent days, and have so far refused to hand over the bodies to their families. Iranian authorities should immediately suspend use of the death penalty, Human Rights Watch said.

Sources close to the families of three brothers – Taha Heidarian, 28; Abbas Heidarian, 25; and Abdul-Rahman Heidarian, 23 – told Human Rights Watch that on June 17 authorities notified the family that the three had been executed. Two weeks ago, prison authorities had transferred the brothers, along with three other prisoners, from Karun prison’s general ward to an unknown location. Another brother was arrested and also taken to an unknown location when he inquired about their whereabouts. The brothers’ families had not received any information since their transfer, raising fears that four of the men, who had been sentenced to death, would be executed within days. The fourth man believed to have been executed is Ali Naami Sharifi.
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