Sunday, 29 January 2012

British Foreign Office Minister condemns Iran human rights abuses, But Fell Far Short of Mentioning Ordeal of Ahwazi Political and Human Rights Prisoners.

Minister Alistair Burt called on Iran to urgently review all new cases involving death sentences, and arrests contrary to human rights obligations Foreign Office's website reports. 
Mr. Burt said he was deeply concerned by a new wave of executions and arrests in Iran. However, despite Foreign Office's previous concerns he did not include the plight of Ahwazi political prisoners awaiting executions in his new statement.

It is understood that FCO official in 2011 raised concerns about the fact that "In April, up to 30 people were killed by security forces during protests by ... [Ahwazis] ... (commemorating the 2005 protests that left five Ahwazis dead). In addition, large numbers of protestors were injured and hundreds detained. Since the protests ended, several people have reportedly been executed on vague charges of acting against national security in taking part in the demonstrations. FCO officials have raised this violent and disproportionate response with the Iranian authorities".

Also in his statement to the Ahwazi Arab Solidarity Network in August 2011 Mr. Burt said that he was "deeply disturbed by the reports of violence against protesters in Ahwaz on 15 April, including reports of deaths of 20-30 protesters at the hands of security forces and 700 arrests. This is grossly hypocritical when Iran claims to support protests elsewhere in the region. Government officials raised our concern about the protests in Ahwaz with the Iranian ChargĂ© d'Affaires in London on 28 April. I further condemn the nine reported executions in Ahwaz mentioned in your letter of 27 May. I am deeply concerned about reports that they were executed for political offences..."

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