Jan 30, 2013

Ahwazi: UN Human Rights Experts Urge Iran To Halt Execution Of Activists

Five activists of the Ahwazi minority have been sentenced to death on charges of propaganda, corruption and “enmity against God”. 

Below is an article published by the Daily times Nigeria:

United Nations Human Rights experts have urged Iran to halt the execution of five activists of the Ahwazi Arab minority sentenced to death on charges of corruption, propaganda and ``enmity against God''.

Mohammad Amouri, Sayed Alboshoka, Sayed Alboshoka, Hashem Amouri and Hadi Rashidi, all founding members of Al-Hiwar, a scientific and cultural institute, were arrested in their homes in Ahwaz in 2011, ahead of the sixth anniversary of widespread protests by the Ahwazi community. Their sentences were recently upheld by the Supreme Court.

``It is absolutely unacceptable for individuals to be imprisoned and condemned to death for exercising their rights to freedom of peaceful assembly, association, opinion and expression, and affiliation to minority groups and cultural institutions,” said the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Iran, Ahmed Shaheed.

``Under international law, the death penalty can only be employed when very strict conditions are met, for example only in respect of the most serious crimes and only after a trial and appeal proceedings that scrupulously respect all the principles of due process,” said the Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, Christof Heyns.

Heyns also expressed serious concern about the way the trials were conducted.

The Special Rapporteur on torture, Juan Mendez expressed grave concern about the allegations that the activists were subjected to torture and other ill-treatment in detention as well as having been forced to sign confessions.

``This is not only in breach of Iran’s international obligations under the international covenant which imposes an outright prohibition on torture.

``It is also in breach of Iran’s constitution that explicitly forbids the use of all forms of torture for the purpose of extracting confessions or acquiring information,” Méndez said.