Aug 19, 2016

Ahwazi: Three Members of Community Executed in Secret

Having been convicted by the Iranian authorities for threatening national security, three Ahwazi Arabs were executed in secret. These executions come in the wake of an aggressive increase in the use of the death penalty by the Iranian regime in 2015 and 2016, often meted out to the minorities such as the Ahwazi, often even where allegations are backed up by little to no substantive evidence of criminal behaviour.

The article below is published by the Ahwaz News

Three Ahwazi Arabs were executed in secret today following convictions for threatening national security, according to the Ahwaz Human Rights Organization (AHRO).

Gholam-Hossein Mohseni-Eje'i, first deputy of the Chief Justice, announced in June the death sentences against the three - Ghais Obidawi, Ahmad Obidawi and Sajad Balawi. Four others were given lengthy prison sentences and internal exile - Muhammad Helfi Yabagh (35 years in prison in Yazd), Mehdi Abbas Zayer Saahi (35 years in prison in Yazd), Mehdi Marabiye (25 years in prison) and Ali Hassan Saleh Obidawi (25 years in prison).

Mohseni-Eje'i accused them of "enmity with God", "corruption on the Earth", and "threatening national security" for alleged membership of an armed group that assassinated three members of the Revolutionary Guards. The attack on the Revolutionary Guards occured in April 2015 in the village of Alkamboah, Hamidiyah, west of Ahwaz City. No evidence has been presented to show that the men were political activists, let alone involved in militant activities.

The seven were tried in secret without access to lawyers and were forced into making confessions following lengthy torture sessions. The confessions were broadcast on the English language Press TV station in May 2015. Press TV is notorious for filming confessions following torture, which are then used in secret trials as evidence for capital crimes.

AHRO notes that the executions come in the context of an escalation of state killings of Ahwazi Arabs and Kurds and accused the courts of failing to provide even the minimum standards of justice.

Photo courtesy of Ahwaz News