Ahwazi Arabs: Lack of Transparency Raises Fear of Torture and Potential Mass Executions
22 Ahwazi activists arrested in connection with the attack on a military parade are subjected to a vague and unfair judicial process. Lacking the right to acquire independent lawyers, in a context of judiciary opacity, these individuals might be the victims of forced confessions under torture and secret executions. Since the attack, more than 800 people have been arrested.
The article below was published by the Ahwaz Human Rights Organisation (AHRO)
Despite the denial of the governor of Khuzestan and a member of the National Security Commission of the execution of 22 Ahwazi activists -in connection with the attack on the military parade- concerns continue about “secret executions “- which is in fact not unprecedented in Ahwaz.
Gholam Reza Shariati, governor of Khuzestan, told "IRNA" that “the news is false.”
Adding that there are charges against the prisoners, but this information should be detained from the judiciary.
However, the families of the defendants are still concerned about the possibility that the detainees may be forced to confess under torture in the Ministry of Intelligence's secret detention centers, as there are many similar examples in the past years where Ahwazi Arab activists were killed under torture or executed following forced confessions. What mainly raises our concern in AHRO is that the detainees are subjected to vague and unfair judicial process without the right to acquire independent lawyers.
The Ministry of Intelligence had previously released a video of the arrest of these 22 people claiming they “supported or were involved" in the military attack and allegedly they were arrested in a house in which "explosives, military equipments and communication devices“ have been discovered and confiscated.
Although ISIS announced the responsibility for the attack, security forces and the Revolutionary Guards have raided various districts of Ahwaz and other Arab cities in the past two months, and over 800 people among them women, the elites of Ahwazi Arab community, cultural activists, and ordinary citizens were arrested as a result.
The Ahwaz Human Rights Organization, calls for transparency and fair trials for these 22 defendants and other Ahwazi detainees and calls on judicial authorities to allow all detainees the right to visit their families.
Ahwaz Human Rights, while condemning these mass executions and forced confessions that are a result of torture and trial behind closed doors, calls for the involvement of legal entities, in particular, the UN Special Rapporteur Mr. Javaid Rahman, to conduct an independent inquiry into the matter
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