Thursday, June 20, 2019 09:45

Groups decry death sentences for ethnic prisoners

Printer-friendly versionPrinter-friendly version

Three human rights organizations have issued statements calling for the immediate withdrawal of death sentences for prisoners of conscience in Iran and specifically protested against the imminent execution of five detained Iranian-Arab activists and two Iranian-Kurdish prisoners.

The International Federation of Human Rights (FIDH) and the Iranian League for the Defence of Human Rights (LDDHI) issued a joint statement on Monday January 14, expressing concern about a “new wave of executions” that threatens Iranian ethnic groups, specifically Kurds and Arabs.

The statement also says that five Iranian-Arab prisoners of conscience who were arrested in February of 2011 for “vague charges such as enmity against God and corruption on Earth” are now in imminent danger of execution.

The prisoners are identified as Mohammad Ali Amourinejad, Hadi Rashedi, Hashem Shaabaninejad, Jaber Alboshokeh and Mokhtar Alboshokeh.

Another human rights organization, Justice for Iran, adds that the five prisoners are founders or members of the Alhavar institute, a scientific and cultural organization registered under the supervision of the National Youth Organization. Justice for Iran adds that Alhavar, meaning “Dialogue”, was inspired by former president Mohammad Khatami’s policy of promoting dialogue between civilizations, and as an officially registered group it held Arabic poetry nights and art workshops and educational training programs for young people in Ramshir, in Khuzestan Province.

In June, four Iranian Arabs who had been arrested last year were hanged in Ahvaz for the charge of “enmity against God.”

Abdolkarim Lahiji, the deputy head of FIDH and director of LDDHI, announced that 40 prisoners of conscience in Iran are currently on death row from various Iranian ethnic groups, including Arabs, Kurds and Baluchis.

Lahiji emphasizes that the real number may be higher than what they have managed to determine because Iranian authorities refrain from releasing news regarding death sentences issued by the judiciary, especially in the case of prisoners of conscience.

Lahiji also referred to to Iranian-Kurdish prisoners Zanyar Moradi and Loghman Moradi, whom he claims were sentenced to death on the basis of confessions drawn from them under duress.

The two Kurdish detainees have since withdrawn those confessions and maintain that they are innocent of the alleged murder of the son of a clergyman in Sanandaj.