Jan 14, 2008

Ahwazi: Appeal Fails to Stop Executions

Despite appeals for clemency, four Ahwazi activists were executed in secret by the Iranian authorities, with further executions widely expected.

Despite appeals for clemency, four Ahwazi activists were executed in secret by the Iranian authorities, with further executions widely expected.

Below is an appeal published by the Ahwaz Human Rights Organisation:

Despite our appeal of 30/12/2007 and the appeals of the international community and a large number of international human rights organizations, the Iranian regime this week secretly executed the following four political activists in Karoon prison in Ahwaz City: Ahmad Marmazi, Abdolhussein Harabii, Hussein Asakereh, and Mehdi Haidari. They were all Arab (Ahwazi) residents of Ma’sur (Mahshar), and were all married with children.

Four more men are slated for execution, possibly next week [Week 4]. They are all members of Iran’s ethnic Arab minority in Khuzestan (al-Ahwaz) province, a homeland to five million Ahwazi Arabs in Iran.

During the funeral of Mehdi Haidari in the Seyed-ol-Shohada Mosque in Shilingaba, a poor section of Ahwaz, agents of the Ministry of Intelligence and Security (MOIS) attacked about 800 funeral attendees and arrested 150 to 200 of them. There are a number of juveniles among the detainees. Since the arrests a week ago [Week 2], the families of detainees have been gathering outside the Khuzestan governor's office, demanding the immediate release of their children and relatives. None but a very few have been released so far.

Iranian Human Rights Activist Group (IHRG) has announced the names of 102 detainees:

1- Sheikh Abuhasan, 2- Mohsen Abidawi (45 years old), 3- Karim Ahmadi (28), 4- Ebrahim Bawi (poet), 5- Ali Abed Bedawi, 6- Muhammad Darisawi, 7- Qasem Daghaghle (18), 8- Rahim Daghaghle (16), 9- Ahmad Daghaghle, 10- Morteza Daghaghle, 11- Mahmud Daghaghle, 12- Abdulreza Daghaghle, 13- Musa Daghaghle, 14- Muhammad Daghaghle, 15- Saeed Dahani, 16- Musa Dahimi, 17 - Musa Dahimi (Abu Auwan), 18- Jafar Dahimi, 19- Sadik Dahimi, 20- Maki Duraghi, 21- Habib Duragi, 22- Jafar Duragi, 23- Seyed Ebrahim, 24- Abbas Eshghi (famous singer/entertainer in Ahwaz), 25- Khaled Halafi, 26- Hussein Heidari, 27- Khaled Halafi, 28- Abu Hassan (Poet), 29- Amer Heidari, 30- Kazem Heydari, 31- Jaber Hamidi (20), 32- Jawas Heydari (Poet), 33- Hamid Heydari Abumajud (Poet), 34- Kamal Heydari (Lawyer), 35- Ahmad Heydari, 36- Adnan Heydari, 37- Jawad Heydari, 38- Jamil Heydari, 39- Saeed Heydari, 40- Amir Heydari, 41- Muhammad Jasem Batrani, 42- Qasem Jalili, 43- Qasem Jalili, 44- Ahmad Khaledian (16), 45- Yusef Khaledian (17), 46- Ramaden Khasergi, 47- Ahmad Majdam (18), 48- Majid Majdam, 49- Saeed Majdam, 50- Seyed Tofiq Musawi, 51- Seyed Muhammad Musawi, 52- Seyed Dahayi Musai, 53- Saeed Muhammad, 54- Seyed Ali Musawi, 55- Seyed Ebrahim Musawi, 56- Jasem Mahawi, 57- Ebrahim Manesh Dawi (17), 58- Yaser Naseri (18), 59- Ramadan Nawabsari, 60- Qader Neysi, 61- Aqil Neysi, 62- Ali Neysi, 63- Qasem Neysi, 64- Yasin Neysi, 65- Hussein Neysi, 66- Mehdi Abu Saleh, 67- Mehdi Abu Saleh, 68- Abdolzahra Sawar(18), 69- Musa Dahimi (Sawari )(26), 70- Fadel Sharifi, 71-  Salem Shakhi, 72- Ali Sawari, 73- Hussein Sawari, 74- Seyad Jume Sawari (Poet), 75- Khaled Sawari (30), 76- khalil Sawari (19),77- Reza Sawari, 78- Feysal Sawari, 79- Rahim Sawari, 80- Kaleld Sawari, 81- Rasul Sawari, 82- Saeed Sawaedi, 83- Sattar Sayahi Abu Sarwar (Poet) (30), 84- Mustafa Muhammad Sawari, 85- Hashem Sayyahi, 86- Hassan Saeedi, 87- Ahmad Shamusi (Lawyer), 88- Khaled Sayahi,89- Jamal Sayahi,90- Khaled Sayahi,91- Muhammad Sayahi,92- Hassan Saeedi, 93- Seyed Nasser Al Seyyed, 94- Abu Shoja (Poet), 95- Jafar Soidi (Dahimi) (13), 96- Qazi Tamimi, 97-  Seyed Ebrahim Yaseri, 98- Seyed Naji Yaser,99- Seyed Fuad Yaseri, 100- Muhammad Amer Ziadat (Poet), 101- Mazid Zargani, 102- Sayed Naser al Sayed[1]

In the 12 months prior to the most recent executions, at least 19 Ahwazi-Arab activists have been publicly hanged (three were executed just days after UN Human Rights Commissioner, Ms. Arbour, visited Tehran in September 2007). Four others, including Zamal Bawi, Faleh al-Mansouri, Said Saki, Rasoul Mazrea, are in danger of imminent execution[2] [3].  The news of their impending executions has come from family members as well as the Federation for Human Rights (FIDH), Amnesty International, and the Human Rights & Democracy Activists group, and from Mr. Musa Pirbani, Khuzestan’s prosecutor.  Mr.  Mazrea, Mr. al-Mansouri and Mr. Saki, along with 3 other Ahwazis, were deported by the Syrian government in May 2006. The men were all recognized refugees under UNHCR protection, and were pending third-country resettlement at the time of their deportation to Iran.

The charges against them include hoisting the Ahwazi flag, giving their children Sunni names, converting from Shi'ism to Sunnism, preaching “Wahabbism”, and being “Mohareb” or enemies of god, which carries death sentence. Other charges are “destabilizing the country”, “attempting to overthrow the government”, “possession of improvised explosives”, “sabotage of oil installations” and being a “threat to national security.”

Last year [2007], Mr. Emadeldin Baghi, a leading Iranian human rights activist, in a letter to the chief of the judiciary Ayatollah Hashemi Shahroudi, argued that the trials of Ahwazi Arabs were flawed, the charges baseless, and that the sentencing was based on a spurious interpretation of law and that no evidence has been presented.[4]  Mr. Nkbakht, a prominent defense lawyer in Iran, made a similar statement. Others, including the President of the European Council, the UN General Assembly, 48 British MPs, the EU Parliament, Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch have condemned their trials as unjust and unfair, and appealed for a halt to further execution.[5] [6] [7] [8] [9]

This new wave of executions is designed to intimidate and terrorize the indigenous Ahwazi-Arab population into submission. Although the Ahwazi Arab homeland in Iran's Khuzestan province is one of the most oil-rich regions in the world and represents up to 90 percent of Iran's oil production, the community endures extreme levels of poverty, unemployment and illiteracy. Ahwazis are subjected to repression and racial discrimination, and are faced with land confiscation, forced displacement and forced assimilation.

Also, on Friday 12 October 2007, in the predominantly Arab city of Hamidieh in Khuzestan (al-Ahwaz), some 200 residents were arrested following a peaceful march against poverty, unemployment and excessive repression and persecution, on the occasion of this year’s [2007] Muslim Eid ul-Fitr holiday. The Iranian government refuses to divulge any information on the whereabouts of the detainees.

We appeal to you the world leaders and the international community to condemn the latest wave of arbitrary arrests and secret executions, and call upon the Iranian authorities to halt the imminent execution of the others. We request that you further call upon Iran 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 Iran, including the indigenous Ahwazi-Arabs.

For further information, please see a dossier of other human rights violations against indigenous and ethnic Ahwazi-Arabs in Iran: http://www.ahwazmedia.com/dossier.pdf

Ahwaz Human Rights Organization


[1] http://www.iranpressnews.com/source/034624.htm

[2] http://www.fidh.org/spip.php?article4711

[3] http://pejvakzendanyan.blogfa.com/post-108.aspx

[4] http://www.emadbaghi.com/en/archives/000761.php

[5] http://www.consilium.europa.eu/ueDocs/cms_Data/docs/pressdata/en/cfsp/92611.pdf

[6] http://web.amnesty.org/library/Index/ENGMDE130052007?open&of=ENG-IRN

[7] http://web.amnesty.org/library/Index/ENGMDE130852006?open&of=ENG-392

[8] http://www.hrw.org/english/docs/2006/11/11/iran14560.htm

[9] http://hrw.org/english/docs/2006/06/26/iran13609.htm

(Source: Ahwaz Human Rights Organisation)