Amnesty International: Iran must disclose the fates of Ahwazi Arab detainees

14 November 2018- A recent report by Amnesty International (AI) demands that Iranian authorities immediately disclose the fates and whereabouts of detained Ahwazi Arabs. An estimated 600 members of the ethnic minority group are being held incommunicado, without access to their families or lawyers, since mass arrests were made following the military parade attack in Ahvaz on 22 September 2018. Activists outside Iran have told AI that 22 detainees were secretly executed.

AI’s Research and Advocacy Director for the Middle East and North Africa, Philip Luther said, “If confirmed, the secret executions of these men would be not only a crime under international law but also an abhorrent violation of their right to life and a complete mockery of justice, even by the shocking standards of Iran’s judicial system.”

In the report, Philip Luther stated that the disclosure by Iran’s authorities is necessary amid serious concerns that detained Ahwazi Arabs face ill-treatment and death sentences, noting that there is hardly a possibility that the detainees received fair trials or opportunities to appeal their sentences, given the fact that mere weeks have passed since their arrests. He added, “While the Iranian authorities have a duty to bring to justice anyone suspected of criminal responsibility for the attack in Ahvaz in fair trials, they must not use this as an excuse to carry out a purge against members of Iran’s persecuted Ahwazi Arab ethnic minority.”

The report names civil society activist Mohammad Momeni (Timas) and shopkeeper Ahmad Heydari as among the 22 men who were reported to have been secretly executed. According to AI’s sources, Ahmad Heydari’s family could not reach him during his detainment, and had no news of his fate or whereabouts until 11 November, when they were contacted by telephone. The caller summoned them to the Ministry of Intelligence’s office in Ahvaz, where they were given his death certificate and told he had been executed on 8 November. The family was reportedly told by officials that they would not receive his body for burial and that they were prohibited from holding a memorial service in his honor.

Click here to read the full report.

 

 

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