Nov 13, 2006

UNPO Appeal on Imminent Execution of Ahwazi Activists in Iran

Appeals have been sent by UNPO to the UN High Commissioner of Human Rights and the UN Special Rapporteur on Extrajudicial, Summary, or Arbitrary Executions, calling for action to be taken by the international community.

The Hague, 13 November 2006 – UNPO remains deeply concerned about the fate of 19 Ahwazi men convicted on charges of terrorism and mohareb (enmity with God) by Iranian courts.

10 of the men; Ali Motairi, Abdullah Solaimani, Abdulreza Sanawati (Zergani), Ghasem Salamat, Mohamad Chaab Pour, Abdulamir Farajullah Chaab, Alireza Asakreh, Majed Alboghubaish, Khalaf Khaziri, Malek Banitamim face execution by hanging, whilst the remaining nice face long prison sentences or exile. Another man, Saeed Hamedan, has also been included on the list of those to be hanged, though without trial, and so as a result of an illegal summary judgment by Iranian authorities.

UNPO has appealed to UN High Commissioner of Human Rights, Mrs. Louise Arbour, and the UN Special Rapporteur on Extrajudicial, Summary, or Arbitrary Executions, Mr. Philip Alston, condemning the use of public hangings and calling for international action to address the deteriorating human rights situation for the Ahwazi Arabs in Iran.

The trials of the men were marred by gross irregularities, including; forced confessions, the prevention of the accused meeting with their lawyers, and the arrest of the Ahwazi Arab lawyers defending the men. Human Rights Watch immediately called for a stop to the executions and a revoke of the death penalty, citing the failure of the trials to meet international standards.

The Iranian government has systematically used death sentences to silence protests made by its many minorities. The ethnic cleansing of Ahwazi Arabs from their homeland has been documented by human rights groups, and strongly criticized by the United Nations. UNPO remains deeply concerned about the fact that dissidents are routinely killed under the guise of crimes against God.

UNPO has appealed to Mrs. Louise Arbour and Mr. Philip Alston to:

- urge Iran to stop the execution of the 11 convicted men and grant fair trials to the 19 men convicted of the bombing;

-call upon the Iranian government to cease its execution of Ahwaz Arabs for peaceful protest; and

-address the issue of unfair trials and extrajudicial and summary executions of the indigenous Ahwaz Arab people.