Balochistan: Appeal Concerning the Men Arrested in Nasir Abad
The Balochistan People’s Party (BPP) has released an appeal with the aim to put pressure on the Iranian Authorities to release those arrested on 4 January 2015. However, the reason for the arrests remains unclear, as various representatives of the regime have given different explanations, numbers, and accounts for the arrests. Since then, families have not had the chance to visit the victims. As the rights of Baloch people are violated and as the discriminatory policies of the Iranian government allow torture and execution of Baloch prisoners, the BPP is urging for action to call upon the Iranian authorities.
Below is an appeal published by the Balochistan People’s Party, also attached:
On the evening of Sunday January 4, 2015, when most people were asleep in their homes, the Iranian Revolutionary Guard’s Quds Forces raided Nasir Abad, a small village in the district Sarbaz. During this raid the Quds Force arrested about 18 people, the majority of whom were young men, between 18 and 30 years of age. The village of Nasir Abad is situated 35 kilometers from Rask, and is the center of Sarbaz district in the Sistan and Baluchistan Province.
Various representative of the regime gave different versions, accounts, and reasons for the arrests of the people in Nasir Abad. Mr. Hossien Rahimi, Commander of the Iranian Security Forces, said that the group of people arrested in Nasir Abad on 4 January was responsible for the killing of Molavi Jangizahi in November 2011. Following the assassination of Molavi Jangizahi regime arrested 15 innocent Baloch civilians from January to March 2012; some of whom were later forced to confess under torture on national television and sentenced to various terms.
The sentencing of two of the prisoners, Faghir Mohammad Raisi and Gul Mohammad Boladai, has not been specified yet. Mr. Malik Mohammad Abadian’s daughter has sent an open letter to Mr. Hossien Rahimi and other Iranian authorities to inquire why her father, two brothers and an uncle Gol Mohammad Boladai, and others were arrested in 2012, allegedly for the assassination of Mulavi Jangizahi - a crime they did not commit; why the regime has tortured them, forced them to confess on national television and sentenced them to death why several young people from Nasir Abad were arrested without any concrete evidence, yet again for the assassination of Mulavi Jangizhi. The arrests in Nasir Abad, in 2015, as well as in in Paroud, Hiet and Jask in 2012 are part of the Iranian regime’s policy to weaken the Baloch community by creating a sense of insecurity. Since the arrests in Nasir Abad, the families of the victims have been unable to visit them, and prisoners have been provided a due judicial process according to Iranian law.
Based on the discriminatory policies of the Iranian government toward the people of Balochistan, which allows torture and execution of Baloch prisoners, the Balochistan Peoples Party urges you to call upon the Iranian authorities:
To provide a due judicial process to the arrested people in the Nasir Abad; to provide them with defense lawyers and open legal trials; and to free the innocent; To release also those who were previously arrested for the same cases that the regime is now accusing innocent people in Nasir Abad for; To free all political prisoners, while ensuring that people charged with committing crimes under the country’s law be given a fair, free and open trial, as well as access to defense lawyer.
During the mass arrests, people sleeping at their family homes were terrorized, creating anguish among women, children, and the elderly. Their homes were surrounded and innocent members of the families were taken away in the middle of the night.
Background and Analysis: “Divide and Rule Policy”
When it comes to Baluchistan, Iran follows a discriminatory, colonial policy of divide and rule. The regime kills one Baloch and accuses the other ones for a crime that they have committed and punish them.
Iranian government uses different pretexts to suppress the Baloch people. To make sure that nobody can understand the real reasons behind the regime’s mass arrests, killings and other methods of suppression in Balochistan. Every representative of the regime gives a different version of the same incident (mass arrests) different than the other authority’s accounts. The different versions and accounts are provided to hide the real reason behind regimes suppression policy against Baloch people.
Following the arrests in Nasir Abad, in their official statements and interviews to news agencies, several representative of the regime such as the provincial governor, Members of Parliament, the spokesperson of the Minister of Interior, the Quds Force and the security forces commander, each gave different accounts, numbers and reasons for the arrests.
Mr. Hossien Rahimi commander of Iranian security forces, announced that they had arrested 18 people, with the help of Quds Forces, Foreign Unit. He blamed the arrested people for being terrorists that had received funding from abroad. He added that for each successful operation they had received between 400 000 and 1 000 000 Iranian tuman, which corresponds to between 131 and 341 US Dollars. With the current exchange rate of 1 US dollar is more than 3000 Iranian Tuman.
Mr. Rahimi listed at least 15 killing incidents that according to him the group had confessed to committing. He added that the group had been established in 2008, to create instability. Mr. Rahimi said that these people had been involved in the assassination of Mulavi Mustafa Jangizahi and one of his companions on 22 December 2011, and also blamed them for killing teachers: Jawad Nourozi on 15 April 2014, Reza Sargazi in October 2014, Mohammad Islami in 2011, Esa Sharaki along with a Baseeji from al Sunnat, Adham Sabouri on 1 January 2015, in the Nasir Abad village. Mr. Rahimi added that they had also confessed to killing of Mohammad Reza Sayadi, an employee of Government ID card registration office, and killing two soldiers of the security forces at a check point. He also alleged that they had confessed the killing of four members of border security forces headquarters in 2012. The head of security forces added that the arrested people had confessed that they had been planning to plant roadside bombs to target security forces and police vehicles.
According to Commander Rahimi, the arrested had confessed to having received military and ideological training for 3 months in Pakistan and Afghanistan and to having received money from someone in the Gulf countries. Meanwhile ‘Quds Force’, in a statement which was quoted by ISNA, announced the arrest of 12 people by a joint operation of Quds Forces and other security forces units under the command of Quds Force.
Mr Hussein Zulfaghari Vice Chairman of the Interior Ministry had said about the assassination of the Eisa Shahraki on 1 January 2015, that this killing has not been a terrorist act but a criminal act.
Mr Ali Amiri, spokeperson of the Home Ministry said that 20 people belonging to Jaysh ul-Adle were arrested in a cell.
Mr. Hossien Ali Shahryari, Member of Parliament, close to the Iranian conservatives and security forces was quoted by IRNA, a semi-official news site, allegedly saying that 9 people had been arrested and some people have escaped arrest. Mr. Sharyari in an interview, with Asre-Amoun an online news service, rejected any contact between Jaysh ul-Adl and the group arrested in Nasir Abad village and said that the latter was much more dangerous than other groups since it was active inside the country.
Another Member of Parliament, Mr Sayad Bagher Hossieni, in an interview with Mehr news agency on 31 January said that 12 people belonging to a Jaysh ul-Adl cell had been arrested.
Mr. Ali Usat Hashami, Provincial Governor, was the last to offer his version concerning the arrest of the people in Nasir Abad, in an interview with IRNA. Mr. Hashami blamed this group for all incidents that had happened in all districts of Balochistan, including Zahiddan Chahbahr, Sarawan, Nikshar and Sarbaz districts in recent years.
Assassination of Mulavi Jangizahi
Mulavi Mustafa Jungizahi was assassinated on 22 December 2011, and the assailant escaped from the crime scene. Before his killing, Mulavi Mustafa Jangizahi had criticized the regime’s economic policy in the region, which has led to the worsening of the situation for traders in the border region. People in the region suspect that regime’s death squads are behind Mulavi Jangizahi’s assassination.
Between March until 14 May 2012, the Iranian security forces arrested more than 15 persons in the Sarbaz district. They were blamed for Mulavi Jangizahi’s assassination, and for receiving fund for operation from Gulf countries for this assassination. Under torture they were forced to confess to a crime they did not had committed. Their confessions were broadcasted on the Iranian official television. Charges alleged upon the detained people varied from being supporters of armed groups, to spying for foreign countries and planning to assassinate nuclear scientists. Some of the prisoners were sentenced to death, while others to lengthy imprisonments.
The regime’s aim when assassinating Mulavi Jangizahi was to create rift and tension in the Baloch society, by killing one Baloch and blaming another one for the crime. Mulavi Jangizahi’s family did not accept the regime’s official view; instead they said they did not suspect any of the arrested people to have been involved in the assassination. Since the arrested people did not have any motive to kill Jungizahi, there was no conflict between the two groups.
The regime did not succeeded in creating rift between those two groups, although it is currently continuing its effort to create a rift between Mulavi Jangizahis family and the people in Nasir Abad. Some of the young men, who were arrested in Nasir Abad on January 4, 2015 for involvement in the Mulvi Jangizahi’s assassination in December 2011, were only 12 or 13 years old at the time of assassination.
Target killing of Government Employees’
In recent years several government employees both belonging to Sunni faith or Shiite have been killed under mysterious circumstances. All signs point to organized targeted killings, and state protection for the killer. The assassins were never pursued by security forces, nor were any immediate search operation conducted. The killers have safe homes and can disappear without being chased by security forces. Later, an individual or a group of people are arrested and blamed for this crime that they had not committed.
After the elimination of Javad Nourizi, a teacher in Rask, the Iranian security forces arrested Sedigh Daleri, the son-in-law of Malik Mohammad Abadiyan. Malik Mohammad has been in prison since March 2012, for participating in the planning of the assassination of Mulavi Jangizahi. According to a report by Baloch Activists campaign, before the killing of Javad Nourizi, Malik Mohammad Abadian was under pressure to confess once again on television and to admit his crimes and his connection to external links that had supported him financially to assassinate Mulavi Jangazahi.
To put more pressure on Mr. Malik Mohammad Abadian, his son-in-law Sedigh Daleri was arrested on 28 May and blamed for the assassination of Mr. Javad Nourizi, a teacher in Rask, on 15 April 2014. When they were successful to get another confession from Malik Mohammad Abadian they Released his Son of Law. Who was innocent of any charges anyway.
When the victim of a murder belongs to the Baloch community, the police blames and arrests other Baloch for the killing. It also starts propaganda to create a rift between Baloch families. In many cases the regime also offers ammunition to families that have lost a member of family if they want to take revenge from the family that the regime has blamed for the crime.
If the employee or person killed belongs instead to the Shiite community in Balochistan, the authorities blame Baloch armed groups and what the regime calls their foreign supporters and implies that the killing is an organized attack against the Shiite community, making it an emotional case that is to say a death of follower of “Ahl-ul Bayt”. Ahl-ul Baytṫ is a phrase meaning, literally, "People of the House" or "Family of the House". Within the Islamic tradition, the term refers to the family of the Islam’s Prophet Muhammad”. The Iranian government refers to the Shiite as Ahl-ul Bayt. This term is used to excite the Shiite against the Sunnis.
All these efforts are part of the Iranian State policy to create division and tension between peoples in Balochistan: Mahmud Khalatbary, who served as Director General of the Central Treaty Organization (CENTO), in a discussion with Selig S. Harrison recalled that: “In CENTO, we always assumed that the Baloch would attempt to create their own independent state someday, with Soviet support, so it was desirable to keep them as politically weak, disunited, and backward as possible.”
The policy to retain a sense of insecurity in Balochistan and to kill was expressed clearly by the commander of Mersad garrison in south-east Iran, who told the media that "we have not been given orders to arrest and hand over those who carry weapons. On the basis of a directive we have received, we will execute any bandits, wherever we capture them" (Ettela'at, 25 February 1998).
Foreign Support Card
The Iranian government considers any political demand by Baloch people cultural or economic right or a political demand. To avoid fulfilling the Baloch people’s demands it blames Baloch activists of having contact with foreign countries and receiving wages as mercenaries of foreign countries. In the case of Jangizhi’s assassination, the authorities said that the foreign country had paid about 4 000 000 Iranian tuman at the time when a dollar was less than 1000 Iranian tumen, meaning it amounted to about 4000 US dollar. In some of regimes propagandas they showed an amount between 400 000 to 500 000 US dollars.
Mulavi jangizhi was not well known or famous in the Baloch region, he was prayer leader of a simple local Mosque. He was not a threat to any foreign country but actually a critic of the Iranian regime’s economic policies. Mulavi Jangizhi was killed simply for being a Baloch. In fact, it is hard to believe that any country would pay about 4,000,000 dollars to eliminate Mulavi Jangizahi.
People that have been arrested in Nasir Abad, according to Mr. Hamiri has admitted to receiving fund from abroad, from the Gulf countries. This time, the regime announced that the arrested people had confessed to receiving the funds, from 400 000 to 100000 Iranian Tuman, which currently with exchange rate of 1 dollar to more than 3000 Iranian Tuman, corresponds to between 135 and 300 dollars.
The regime claims that these people had received 135 to 300 dollar per operation, which is hard to believe. It would be very difficult for these people to keep their operation capacity and infrastructure for such a small amount of Money. Obviously the regime’s claims against these people are artificially created and far from the truth. In fact even the Iranian government itself has difficulties in keeping the details of these allegations straight.
The violation of rights in Balochistan is part of the Iranian regime’s policy to arrest people and hold them hostage and execute them when it considers it useful to take revenge against the Baloch people. For instance, in the early morning of 26 October 2013, 16 Baloch prisoners were hanged in a revenge act, only 8 hours after an armed clash between Sunni rebels and Iranian border guards had taken place on the evening of 25 October 2013. The attorney general of the Sistan-Baluchistan province was quoted as saying that the rebels were "linked to groups hostile to the regime", and that they were executed for the killing of Iranian border guards. While they accused some of them of being supporters or members of armed groups, about 6 others had already been charged for smuggling. It is clear they were executed exclusively because they were Baloch.
This is not the only time Iranian regime has killed innocent Baloch people accused for crimes that happened while they were already in prison.
Most of the killings in the form of extra judicial killing, target killing, random arrests and execution of people blamed for drug smuggling, are part of an Iranian state policy to weaken the Baloch society, to continue its despotic rule over Balochistan and exploit its resource and geopolitical location.