Feb 23, 2006

UNPO on Imminent Unjust Execution of Ahwazi Arab brothers

The Hague, 23 February 2006-
UNPO has issued an appeal for urgent action to Mr. Philip Alston, United Nations Special Rapporteur Extrajudicial, Summary or Arbitrary Executions to pay urgent attention to the imminent execution of the two Ahwazi Arab brothers in Ahwaz City on the conviction of “waging war against Allah”. Mehdi Nawaser, 21, and Abdolreza Nawaser, 31, were arrested in November 2005 before the Eid-al-Fitr anti-government demonstrations and are reportedly facing impending execution by hanging. Following their conviction they are reported to have told the court that they refused to accept the ruling of a non-indigenous, non-Arab, discredited and undemocratic regime.

The appeal follows the statement by Iran’s State Prosecutor General Ghorban-Ali Dori-Najafabadi, indicating that the execution verdict of the two Ahwazi Arabs is “definitive”, quoted by the hard-line Mehr News Agency on Monday 20 February.

In the appeal, UN expresses concerns about “the fairness of the proceedings leading to Mehdi Nawaser and Abdolreza Nawaser’s conviction and fears that political factors may have influenced the way in which their cases were prosecuted; that the Nawaser brothers are prisoners of conscience, convicted for their peaceful criticism of the government. The Iranian regime has a history of execution of Ahwaz Arab people and political dissidents on the basis of similar arguments”.

UNPO calls upon Iran to stop the execution of Mehdi Nawaser and Abdolreza Nawaser. Meanwhile, it also urges the UN Rapporteur to address the issue of unfair trials, extrajudicial and summary executions concerning indigenous Ahwaz Arab people, and to urge Iran to comply with minimum international standards for fair prosecution.