For Immediate Release
Iran: Prevent Execution of Arab Activists
Five Men Sentenced to Death Following Closed Trials
(New York, July 11, 2012) – Iran’s judiciary should immediately quash execution orders against five activists from Iran’s ethnic Arab minority and allow the men’s lawyers and family members to visit them in detention, Human Rights Watch said today. Human Rights Watch expressed grave concern for the safety of these and other Iranian-Arab detainees following reports on June 17, 2012 that authorities had executed four Arab men charged with terrorism-related activities.
Hadi Rashedi, 38, Hashem Shaabani(nejad), 32, and Mohammad-Ali Amouri(nejad), 34, are at imminent risk of execution, a close family friend of the men told Human Rights Watch. A revolutionary court convicted the men behind closed doors of terrorism-related charges that carry the death penalty for their alleged membership in an armed Arab separatist group and participation in armed activities. The judiciary has also issued death sentences for two Iranian-Arab brothers – Seyed Mokhtar, 25, and Seyed Jaber Alboshokeh, 27 – who were arrested around the same time. Due to the information blackout and secrecy surrounding security trials in Iran’s majority-Arab Khuzestan province where all of these men live, there is little information available about the evidence used against the men except for televised confessions.
“The judiciary has put forth no public evidence suggesting that these men should spend one more day in prison, let alone hang from the gallows,” said Sarah Leah Whitson, Middle East director at Human Rights Watch. “The lack of transparency surrounding these men’s convictions and sentences is just one more reason why these execution orders should be quashed.”
Security forces arrested the five men sentenced to death in February 2011 in connection with their alleged membership in a terrorist organization and involvement in shootings that authorities say occurred in and around the town of Ramshir (also known as Khalafabad) in Khuzestan province.
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