Tuesday, 3 April 2007

Further Action Needed for Four Men at Risk of Imminent Execution in Iran (fourth update to UA 301/06)

03 April 2007

Further Information on UA 301/06 (13 November 2006) and
follow-up (7 December 2006, 22 December 2006, 25 January
2007) - Fear of imminent execution

Abdulreza Sanawati Zergani (m)
Abdul Husain Haribi (m)
Husain Maramazi (m)
Husain Asakreh (m)

Qasem Salamat (m) aged 43
Majed Alboghubaish (m)

Qasem Salamat and Majed Alboghubaish were reportedly
executed on 14 February in a prison in Khuzestan province.
The two men were reportedly convicted, together with eight
others, of being mohareb (at enmity with God) on account of
their alleged involvement in bomb attacks in 2005 in Ahvaz
city, Khuzestan province.

On 13 November 2006, Qasem Salamat, Majed Alboghubaish and
the eight others were reportedly shown on Khuzestan
Provincial TV ''confessing'' to their involvement in the
bomb explosions. In the program, they were said to be
members of a group named Al-e Naser, (a little-known Iranian
Arab militant group that is not known to have been active
since the time of the Iran-Iraq war in the 1980s).

Early reports stated that Abdulreza Sanawati Zergani had
also been executed on 14 February, along with Qasem Salamat
and Majed Alboghubaish. However, further reports suggest
that his execution was temporarily postponed and that a
teacher, Risan Sawari was executed instead of him (see
latest update to UA 57/06, MDE 13/041/2007, 2 April 2007).

On 10 January 2007, three UN Special Rapporteurs -- on
extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions; on the
independence of judges and lawyers; and on torture --
jointly called on the government of Iran to ''stop the
imminent execution of seven men belonging to the Ahwazi Arab
minority and grant them a fair and public hearing.'' The UN
experts stated: ''We are fully aware that these men are
accused of serious crimes… However, this cannot justify
their conviction and execution after trials that made a
mockery of due process requirements.''

Six of the seven individuals to whom the UN experts
referred, including Qasem Salamat and Majed Alboghubaish,
have now been executed.

In an interview with the Netherlands-based Radio Zamaneh in
January 2006, Iranian human rights defender, Emaddedin
Baghi, stated that the seven ''did not have access to
lawyers and were kept in solitary confinement for months.
They did not receive a fair trial.''

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 population does not feel it has benefited as much
from the oil revenue as the Persian population.
Historically, the Arab community has been marginalize 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 12 men have been executed as a result of
their alleged involvement in the bombings.

RECOMMENDED ACTION: Please send appeals to arrive as quickly
as possible:
- expressing grave concern at the execution of Qasem Salamat
and Majed Alboghubaish and that the four remaining men
(naming them) may be in imminent danger of execution;
- urging the Iranian authorities to commute their death
sentences immediately;
- expressing concern that their trials appear to be have
been unfair, and asking for details of their trial
proceedings, including whether they were granted access to
independent lawyers of their choice, and, if indeed
convicted and sentenced to death, whether they have been
allowed to appeal against their convictions and sentences,
as required by Article 14 (5) of the International Covenant
on Civil and Political Rights;
- expressing concern that the men may have been compelled to
testify against themselves or to confess guilt during
interrogations which did not respect the necessary human
rights safeguards, such as the right of access to legal
- acknowledging that governments have a responsibility to

bring to justice those suspected of criminal offences, but
stating your unconditional opposition to the death penalty,
as the ultimate cruel, inhuman and degrading punishment and
violation of the right to life.

Leader of the Islamic Republic:
His Excellency Ayatollah Sayed 'Ali Khamenei
The Office of the Supreme Leader
Shoahada Street, Qom, Islamic Republic of Iran
Email: info@leader.ir OR istiftaa@wilayah.org
Fax: 011 98 251 774 2228 (mark ''FAO the Office of His
Excellency, Ayatollah al Udhma Khamenei'')
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: 011 98 21 3390 4986 (please keep trying; send appeals
by post or email if you cannot get through)
Email: info@dadgostary-tehran.ir (In the subject line write:
For the attention of Ayatollah Shahroudi)
Salutation: Your Excellency

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: 011 98 21 6 646 1746
Salutation: Your Excellency

Iran does not presently have an embassy in this country.
Instead, please send copies to:
Iranian Interests Section
2209 Wisconsin Ave NW
Washington DC 20007
Fax: 202 965 1073
Email: requests@daftar.org

Action Office if sending appeals after 15 May 2007.

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Action office. The UA office tracks all replies to Urgent
Action cases and forwards the information to Amnesty
International's research teams

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This Urgent Action may be reposted if kept intact, including
contact information and stop action date (if applicable).
Thank you for your help with this appeal.

Urgent Action Network
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Washington DC 20003
Email: uan@aiusa.org
Phone: 202.544.0200
Fax: 202.675.8566


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