Ahwazi: Urgent Request for Inquiry by Arbour
Faced with continued extrajudicial executions the
Below are extracts from a letter sent by the
To: Ms. Louise Arbour, United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights
Dear Madam Commissioner
Again, in a blatant defiance to the UN General Assembly, the European Parliament and international human rights organizations, Iran has began preparation to execute yet another 2 ethnic Iranian (Ahwazi) Arab opposition activists. Their names are as follows:
1. Abdiolreza Sanawati, 34 years old, married, resident of
2. Mohammadali Sawari, 37 years old, teacher, married with 5 children
The families of these men were informed on Monday, August 27, 2007 by Iranian authorities in
On 10 January 2007, independent experts appointed by the United Nations Human Rights Council, Mr. Philip Alston, the Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, Mr. Leandro Despouy, the Special Rapporteur on the independence of judges and lawyers, and Mr. Manfred Nowak, the Special Rapporteur on torture, issued a statement urging the Iranian Government to "stop the imminent execution of seven men belonging to the Ahwazi Arab minority and grant them a fair and public hearing (http://www.ahwaz.org.uk/2007/01/unhcr-iran-must-stop-executions-of.html). Despite that plea, on 14 February, 2007 Ghasem Salami, 41, married with 6 children, Majad Albughbish, 30, single, were executed in
On 24 January four out of the seven, Mohammad Chaabpour, Abdolamir Farjolah Chaab, Alireza Asakereh, and Khalaf Khanafereh (Khazirawi) were executed in defiance of the UN plea and the international Community and contrary to Islamic faith which prohibits execution in the month of Moharam,
On Tuesday December 19, 2006, the Khuzestan branch of the Iranian Students News Agency (ISNA) reported that Malek Banitamim, Abdullah Solaimani, and Ali Matorizadeh were executed for "waging war on God" in
On March 2006, 2 other ethnic Ahwazi Arabs, Ali Afrawi-(age 17) and Mehdi Nawaseri (20 years old), were publicly hang in Ahwaz City for similar charges, after a TV broadcast of their “confession” was shown a day earlier on Khuzestan TV.
On November 13, 2006, the Iranian regime broadcast videos of forced confessions of 11 Ahwazi Arabs on Khuzestan TV but due to international outrage including unanimous condemnation by the European Parliament in a resolution on November 16, 2006, a resolution by 48 British MPs and similar actions by other EU parliaments, the execution of the these men were delayed.
On 8 June, 2006,
These men have been found guilty of allegedly bombing oil installations at Southwestern Iranian
All these men were tortured into making false confessions. Their lawyers were not allowed to see them prior to their trial and they were given the prosecution case only hours before the start of the trial, which was held in secret. The lawyers for the condemned men ( Khalil Saeedi, Mansur Atashneh, Dr Abdulhasan Haidari, Jawad Tariri, Faisal Saeedi and Taheri Nasab), all Ahwazi-Arabs but one, have been arrested for complaining about the illegal and unjust nature of the men's trials. They have been charged with threatening national security.
Although Ahwazi-Arab homeland in
Peaceful opposition among Ahwazi Arabs to the Iranian regime […] has been brutally suppressed. Since April 15, 2005 […], over 5,000 Ahwazis were arrested, at least 131 were killed and over 150 were disappeared (believed to have been tortured and killed by Iranian security forces).
We kindly request that you visit Karoon and Sepidar prisons in Ahwaz City in Khuzestan province (al-Ahwaz) in southwest Iran to verify these arrests, trials, and executions and to speak to these prisoners, their families and their lawyers and call upon Iranian authorities to ensure due legal process in accordance with internationally recognized standards and to uphold its obligations with regard to civil and political rights, including the provision of equal rights to ethnic, religious and minority groups in
Attached please see a short dossier of other human rights violations against indigenous and ethnic Ahwazi-Arabs in
Karim Abdian, PhD