West Balochistan: Amnesty’s Scathing Report
Amnesty International has released a comprehensive report on the human rights situation in West Balochistan in
Below are extracts of the report published by Amnesty International on 17 September 2007:
4. Human rights violations against Baluchis
A number of Baluchis, including Sunni clerics, have been killed in suspicious circumstances both in
4.1 Military response
For many years, the east of the country has had a heavy military presence. A small force known as Mersad (Ambush), which has reportedly been based in
4.2 Judicial response
In May 2006, Hojjatoleslam val Moslemin Mohammad Ebrahim Nekunam, a judge who was the Prosecutor for the Special Court for the Clergy before being appointed Deputy Prosecutor-General, was appointed adviser to the Chairman of the Judiciary and the Managing Director of the Administration of Justice of Sistan-Baluchistan province.(82) The same month Brigadier-General Qasem Reza’i announced that a special court was being established in the east of the country.
Amnesty International has no other information about this court or the procedures under which it operates. It is unclear whether the court operates as a branch of the
Amnesty International is concerned that procedures before this court, like those before other courts in Iran such as the Special Court for the Clergy, fall far short of international standards relating to fair trial, such as those laid down in the ICCPR, to which Iran is a state party. The scanty information available about the trials of some Baluchis who have been arrested, tried and executed in a matter of days, and the large numbers of Baluchis who have been executed since the establishment of the court in May 2006, along with Hojjatoleslam Nekunam’s statements regarding the necessity for speedy implementation of sentences, seemingly without regard to the right of appeal, and the need to solve “"system blockages”" give rise to serious concerns that fair trial procedures are being flouted in the special court for security offences. Amnesty International is particularly concerned about the unfairness of procedures before that court, given that the death penalty is a possible sentence and carries with it particular international obligations regarding fair trial rights of accused persons. Any death sentence carried out after an unfair trial amounts to arbitrary deprivation of the right to life.
4.4 The death penalty
Death sentences have been reported for many years in Baluchi areas, imposed mainly for drug-smuggling and armed robbery, banditry and kidnapping. However, in 2006, the numbers of Baluchis executed, mainly on these charges, rose dramatically.
In 2005, Amnesty International recorded six executions of people considered likely to have been Baluchis, out of a total of 94 executions recorded across
By August 2007, Amnesty International had received reports of the execution of up to 50 Baluchis, out of a total of 166 executions across the country since the beginning of the year, all but one of which took place after the February bus bombing. Baluchi sources say that the Iranian authorities have begun taking Baluchis to other provinces to execute them after Amnesty International and others drew attention to the rise in executions of Baluchis. […]