Friday, 3 May 2013

Five Ahwazi Activists Sentenced to Death

Shortly after the Iranian Revolutionary Guard issued a death sentence for 5 Ahwazi activists; Muhammad Ali Amuri, Hadial Rachedi, Hashim Elshabani, Jaber Albushokh, and Mukhtar Albushokh, the Iranian Supreme Judicial Council approved it. The Iranian revolutionary Court issued a death sentence against them in July 2012 on charges of anti-God and the Prophet, propaganda against the regime, and acting against Iran's national security. Some were arrested in the "background" east of Ahwaz whereas others were handed to Iran by the Iraqi authorities, after fleeing to Iraq, despite international appeals not to extradite them to Iran.

The sentence was then appealed by numerous human rights groups and organisations and the Supreme Judicial Council decided to drop the death sentence. However it has reconsidered its decision and preparations are being made for their death sentence.

The European Union has warned last June of high frequency executions against Ahwazi political activists in the region, which is located on the northern bank of the bay and enjoys enormous oil wealth.

The Iranian authorities last June executed four Ahwazi Arab activists, three of them brothers in the same indictment.

Among those sentenced to death is Mohammed Ali Amuri, a leader of the student movement and the organizers of the first festival cultural and political Ahwazi Arabs in the Industrial University of Isfahan during the relative openness with the country under the rule of former President Mohammad Khatami.

Amuri was also director of the newspaper "heritage". He has contributed to the launch of training courses for Ahwazi students who wish to pursue their higher studies as well as organizing poetry evenings and cultural background area east of Ahwaz.

Muhammad Ali Amuri has spent five years in the prisons of Iraq on charges of illegal crossing of the border during his escape from the oppression of the Iranian authorities, but Baghdad handed him over to Iran after the expiration of the penalty, despite international appeals not to hand him to Iran.

Amongst those sentenced is poet Hashem Elshabani, who is a teacher of Arabic literature material in Ahwazi schools and is a student in political science and poetry. He had also participated in the cultural and literary festivals multiple times prior to his arrest.

The Iranian state television broadcasted the confessions of Hashem ElShabani, who said he was planning to launch an armed organization with his comrades and has ties with political activists abroad, he denied the charges during the trial, which was held in June last year. He stressed that the security men forced a false confessions under torture and said that before the recording of confessions he was put in a tub of hot water.

Hadi Rashidi’s confession was also broadcasted on Iranian state television were he said that he has ties to activists abroad and had contributed to some of the operations carried out by local militants against the security forces. But Rashidi also confirmed during the trial that he had been subjected to torture.

Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, the European Parliament, the British Parliament, the German Foreign State, and a number of Iranian human rights organizations have demanded to stop the death sentence being given to the five activists again.

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