Friday, 18 May 2012

Amnesty International’s Urgent Action: Ahwazi Arabs Facing Unfair Trial, Risk Torture:

Rahman Asakere, Chemistry teacher
Mohammad Ali Amouri, Blogger
Hadi Rashidi (Rashedi), Teacher
Sayed Mokhtar Alboshoka
Hashem Sha’bani Amouri, Teacher
Sayed Jaber Alboshoka

Amnesty International today issued a call for URGENT ACTION from international community to urge Iran to:

Try Six Ahwazi Arabs rights activists according to international fair trial standards and without recourse to the death penalty;

Protect  all six from torture and other ill-treatment, and that they are allowed regular access to lawyers of their choosing;

Ensure that six Ahwazi Arabs get immediate access to adequate medical treatment.

Amnest Iternation launched to following Urgent Appeal:

“Six members of Iran’s Ahwazi Arab minority are due to go on trial in Iran on 20 May. The men were detained without charge for almost a year and all were arrested in connection with their activities on behalf of Iran’s Ahwazi Arab minority. It is feared they will not receive a fair trial and may be at risk of torture or other ill-treatment.

The six men, all from Khalafabad in Khuzestan province, south-west Iran, were arrested at their homes in February and March 2011 in advance of the sixth anniversary of widespread protests by Ahwazi Arabs in April 2005. Blogger Mohammad Ali Amouri, chemistry teacher Rahman Asakerehand teacher Hashem Sha’bani Amouri were arrested on 16 February. Teacher Hadi Rashidi (or Rashedi) was arrested on 28 February, and Sayed Jaber Alboshoka and his younger brother Sayed Mokhtar Alboshoka were arrested in March.

The men are now held in Karoun prison in the city of Ahwaz, Khuzestan province. At least four of them were denied access to a lawyer for at least eight months after arrest. In or around February 2012, they were all charged in separate five-minute court sessions with the vaguely-worded offences of “enmity against God and corruption on earth" (moharebeh va ifsad fil-arz), “gathering and colluding against state security” and “spreading propaganda against the system”. The charge of “enmity against God and corruption on earth” carries a possible death sentence. They are due to be tried before Branch 2 of the Dezful Revolutionary Court on 20 May 2012.

Mohammad Ali Amouri, who fled to Iraq in December 2007and was forcibly returned in January 2011, was reportedly tortured and otherwise ill-treated during his first seven months in detention. Hadi Rashidi was hospitalized after his arrest, apparently as a result of torture or other ill-treatment, and is said to be in poor health. According to their family, Sayed Jaber Alboshoka lost 10 kg and Sayed Mokhtar Alboshoka experienced depression and memory loss as a result of torture or other ill-treatment".

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