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Amnesty International

Iran: Further information on death penalty / fear of imminent execution

Amnesty International
September 13, 2007
Appeal/Urgent Action

AI Index: MDE 13/111/2007

Further Information on UA 57/06 (MDE 13/023/2006, 10 March 2006) and follow-ups (MDE 13/073/2006, 29 June 2006; MDE 13/085/2006, 1 August 2006; MDE 13/041/2007, 2 April 2007)Death Penalty/Fear of imminent execution

IRAN Nazem Buraihi (m)

Aliredha Salman Delfi (m)

Ali Helfi (m)

Moslem al-Ha’i (m)

Yahia Nasseri (m)

Abdulzahra Halichi (m)

Abdul-Imam Za’eri (m)

Abdulredha Nawaseri (m), aged 32

Jaafar Sawari (m)

Mohammad Ali Sawari (m), aged 37, teacher, his brother

Abdulredha Nawaseri was reportedly executed on 11 September, together with brothers Mohammad Ali and Jaafar Sawari, in Karoun Prison, Khuzestan province.

Mohammad Ali Sawari’s family were reportedly told on 27 August that he would be executed within the next few days. Following the executions, the men's families were also reportedly told that the bodies would not be handed back to them but would be buried by the authorities.

Abdulredha Nawaseri had reportedly been arrested in 2000, but was eventually charged in connection with bombings that took place in Ahwaz in October 2005. His brother Mehdi Nawaseri was executed on 2 March 2006, along with Ali Awdeh Afrawi, after they were convicted of involvement in these bombings. They were shown along with seven other men, including Jaafar Sawari, "confessing" on Khuzestan Provincial TV the day before they were hanged. Jaafar Sawari had reportedly been arrested in September 2005 and Mohammad Ali Sawari on or around 4 November 2005.

Abdulredha Nawaseri and Jaafar Sawari, along with nine other men, reportedly had their death sentences confirmed on 10 June 2006 by Branch 3 of the Revolutionary Court in Ahvaz. The 11 men, all members of Iran's Arab minority, were reportedly accused of involvement in the October 2005 bombings. They were reportedly charged withbeing mohareb (at enmity with God), as well as with "destabilising the country", "attempting to overthrow the government", "possession of home made bombs", "sabotage of oil installations" and carrying out bombings in Ahvaz, which took place between June and October 2005. By the end of July 2006, the Supreme Court had reportedly upheld Mohammad Ali Sawari's death sentence.

BACKGROUND INFORMATION

Much of Iran's Arab community lives in the province of Khuzestan, which borders Iraq. It is strategically important because it is the site of much of Iran’s oil reserves, but the Arab populatnion does not feel it has benefited as much from theoil revenue as the Persian population. Historically, the Arab community has been marginalised and discriminated against. Tension has mounted among the Arab population since April 2005, after it was alleged that the government planned to disperse the country's Arab population or to force them to relinquish their Arab identity. Hundreds have been arrested and there have been reports of torture. Following bomb explosions in Ahvaz City in June and October 2005, which killed at least 14 people, and explosions at oil installations in September and October 2005, the cycle of violence has intensified, with hundreds of people reportedly arrested. Further bombings on 24 January 2006, in which at least six people were killed,were followed by further mass arrests. A total of 16 men have now been executed as a result of their alleged involvement in the bombings.

RECOMMENDED ACTION: Please send appeals to arrive as quickly as possible, in English, Arabic, Persian or your own language:

- stating that Amnesty International recognizes the right and responsibility of governments to bring to justice those suspected of criminal offences, but strongly opposes the death penalty as the ultimate cruel, inhuman and degrading punishment and violation of the right to life;

- expressing concern that Abdulredha Nawaseri, Mohammad Ali Sawari and Jaafar Sawari have been executed;

- calling on the authorities to commute the death sentences of Nazem Buraihi, Aliredha Salman Delfi, Ali Helfi, Moslem al-Ha’I, Yahia Nasseri, Abdulzahra Halichi and Abdul-Imam Za’eri, and to ensure that they are not tortured or ill-treated;

- expressing concern at reports that they had no access to lawyers during some or all sessions of the proceedings against them, which reportedly did not meet international standards for fair trial, as laid down in Article 14 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, to which Iran is a state party.

- calling on the authorities to give the seven Iranian Arab men access to lawyers of their choice, their families, interpreters and any medical treatment they may require.

APPEALS TO:

Leader of the Islamic Republic

His Excellency Ayatollah Sayed ‘Ali Khamenei, The Office of the Supreme Leader

Islamic Republic Street - Shahid Keshvar Doust Street, Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran

Email: info@leader.ir

Salutation: Your Excellency

Minister of Intelligence

Gholam Hossein Mohseni Ejeie

Ministry of Intelligence, Second Negarestan Street, Pasdaran Avenue, Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran

Salutation: Your Excellency

Head of the Judiciary

Ayatollah Mahmoud Hashemi Shahroudi

Ministry of Justice, Ministry of Justice Building, Panzdah-Khordad Square, Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran

Fax: +98 21 3390 4986 (please keep trying)

Email: info@dadgostary-tehran.ir (In the subject line write: FAO Ayatollah Shahroudi)

Salutation: Your Excellency

COPIES TO:

President

His Excellency Mahmoud Ahmadinejad

The Presidency, Palestine Avenue, Azerbaijan Intersection, Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran

Email: dr-ahmadinejad@president.ir

via website: www.president.ir/email

Speaker of Parliament

His Excellency Gholamali Haddad Adel

Majles-e Shoura-ye Eslami, Imam Khomeini Avenue, Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran

Fax: +98 21 6 646 1746

and to diplomatic representatives of Iran accredited to your country.

PLEASE SEND APPEALS IMMEDIATELY.Check with the International Secretariat, or your section office, if sending appeals after 25 October 2007.