23 January 2013 – The Iran Human Rights Documentation Center joins Iranian civil society, Arab rights groups, and groups working towards global abolition of the death penalty to express its deep concern over the imminent execution of five Ahwazi Arab prisoners in the Islamic Republic of Iran (IRI).
In a joint statement released today, 30 NGOs including Nobel Peace Prize laureate Dr. Shirin Ebadi called for the immediate halt of the executions of five men— Jaber Alboshoka, Mokhtar Alboshoka, Hadi Rashedi, Hashem Shabaninejad and Mohammad Ali Amourinejad.
In recent days, the UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office and the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights have, respectively, called for a halt to the executions, and expressed concern over the fairness of the trials of the five men and allegations that they were subjected to torture.
The five men were sentenced to death last June. On Wednesday, January 9, 2013 their families were notified that the death sentences for the five men were upheld by Iran’s Supreme Court. Family members maintain they have no current information about the whereabouts of the five men since they were transferred by security forces from Karoun prison in Ahwaz to an undisclosed location last Friday, January 18.
“Ahwazi Arabs constitute one of the most socially, politically and economically marginalized minority groups in Iran today,” said Gissou Nia, Executive Director of the Iran Human Rights Documentation Center. “The lack of due process and fair trial guarantees afforded these five men is in part a reflection of the larger bias the central government in Iran demonstrates towards this minority group. The Iranian government must do its utmost to address the patent irregularities in the judicial process for these five men and halt their executions immediately.”
With no official indication of the location and status of the five prisoners, they can be executed at any time. The international community should take immediate action to prevent the execution of these five men.