February 15, 2007
At its latest meeting of the UNPO Presidency, held at the European Parliament in
On 10 January 2007, independent experts appointed by the United Nations Human Rights Council, Mr. Philip Alston, the Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, Mr. Leandro Despouy, the Special Rapporteur on the independence of judges and lawyers, and Mr. Manfred Nowak, the Special Rapporteur on torture, issued a statement urging the Iranian Government to "stop the imminent execution of seven men belonging to the Ahwazi Arab minority and grant them a fair and public hearing".
In blatant defiance to the UN General Assembly, UN Independent Experts on Human Rights, the European Parliament, and international human rights organizations, the Iranian regime has executed a further four Ahwazi opposition activists on 24 January 2007; Mohammad Chaabpour (28), Abdolamir Farjolah Chaab (26), Alireza Asakereh (24), Khalaf Dohrab Khanafereh (Khazirawi) (34). Despite rising voices of condemnation following these events, an additional three Ahwazi activists, Ghasem Salami (Salamat) (41), Majad Albughbish (30) and Abdolreza Sanawati (Zergani) (34), were executed on 14 February 2007.
In the wake of this series of executions, UNPO is particularly alarmed at the systematic targeting of ethnic Ahwazi Arabs and the fact that the Iranian Judiciary in many of the cases conducts secret trials, effectively denying the defendants the most fundamental of legal rights.
On 19 December 2006, Malek Banitamim, Abdollah Solaimani, and Ali Matorizadeh were executed for "waging war on God" in
On 13 November 2006, the Iranian regime broadcasted videos of forced confessions of 11 Ahwazi Arabs on Khuzestan TV, international outrage, including a condemnation by the European Parliament in a resolution of 16 November 2006, as well as a resolution by 48 British MPs and similar actions by other national parliaments ensued and the executions of the these men were delayed.
On 9 November 2006
Reportedly, all these men were tortured into making false confessions. Their lawyers were not allowed to see them prior to their trial, nor were they given the prosecution’s case until hours before the start of the secret trial.
UNPO remains deeply concerned by the routine arrest and execution of
UNPO has therefore appealed to Prof. Philip Alston, UN Special Rapporteur on Extrajudicial, Summary or Arbitrary Executions, Ms. Louise Arbour, United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, and Mr. Luis Alfonso de Alba, President of the UN Human Rights Council, to:
Request Iranian authorities to ensure due legal process in accordance with internationally recognized standards and to cease in the use of the death penalty as a weapon of fear and oppression;
Call upon Iran to uphold its obligations with regard to civil and political rights, including the provision of equal rights to ethnic, religious and minority groups in Iran, such as the Ahwazi, Azerbaijani Turks, Baloch and Kurds; and
Consider the establishment of an investigation team, mandated by the UN Human Rights Council, to consider the series of arrests, trials, and executions, with findings reported to the UN General Assembly.