Urgent Action


21 Jun 2016

21th June, 2016


Ahwazi Arabs Face Imminent Execution

Three Ahwazi Arab activists, who were born in Hamideyeh in West Al-Ahwaz, are facing the risk of an execution, according to the reliable sources inside Al-Ahwaz.

Those men were arrested by the Iranian intelligence services in April 2015 in the charge of enmity of god, corruption on the earth, dangerous for national security, and having link with terrorism in Al-Ahwaz.

According to the reliable sources from Ahwazi Human Rights Activist, Mr Qeys Desher Saleh Obidawi and his brother Mr Ahmad Desher Saleh Obidawi along Mr Sajad Hamid Saleh Obidawi have sentenced to the death penalty. Therefore, their death sentences have upheld by the Supreme Court in Tehran on 16 June 2016.

Mr Mohsen Eje Eyi, First Deputy Head of the Judiciary in Iran during his interview with Moj Media on 17th June 2016 informed that three Ahwazi (their name has mentioned above) death sentences have upheld by the Supreme Court in Tehran. Mr Eje Eyi also informed that other 4 Ahwazi political activists were sentenced to the long life imprisonment and exile. Mr Mohammad Helfi 25 years of age has sentenced to 35 years life imprisonment and exile in Yazd, Mr Mehdi Abbas Al-Zayer Sayahi has also sentenced to 35 years and exile in Yazd, and Mr Mehdi Mearebi and Mr Ali Hassan Saleh Obidawi have both sentenced to 25 years life imprisonment. However, all these four men, who were sentenced to long life imprisonment, were sent to Yazd in May 2016.

Ahwazi Arab Human Rights Activists have also informed to the Ahwazi Organisation for the Defence of Human Rights that the Iranian security services have raided Bit Mohamid village in South of Susa city in North Al-Ahwaz on 15th June 2016 in the unknown reasons. Mr Naji Salman Kaabi 45 years of age and his son Mr Rasoul Kaabi 17 years of age have transferred to unknown location.

The Iranian authorities are continuing of violation of human rights towards Ahwazi Arab people. The reliable sources from Al-Ahwaz have confirmed to the Ahwazi Organisation for the Defence of Human Rights that 24 Ahwazi municipality workers jailed for protesting over six months of unpaid salaries. On 13th June 2016, seventy Ahwazi municipality workers have participating in a peaceful sit-in demonstration in front of the local municipality building to protest against non-payment of their salaries for six months. Hence, the Iranian security guard have arrested 24 of them and were transferred them to Qods (Sepidar) prison.

What is more, the Iranian security services have killed an Ahwazi Arab under torture. Mr Nader Sharifi, 23 years of age, from Abadan have injured through shooting by the Security forces in Abadan. The reliable sources have informed that Mr Alawi, the Iranian member of security forced has transferred Mr Nader Sharifi to the detention rather than to hospital. Hence, Mr Nader Sharifi died due to sever torture in the detention.

The Ahwazi Organisation for the Defence of Human Rights would like to add that none of these three Ahwazi men, who were sentenced to the death penalty, have faced a fair trial and lawyer. Therefore, the Ahwazi Organisation for the Defence of Human Rights is concerned of the imminent execution against these men. The organisation also would like to bring the International Organisations attention that the Iranian authorities have already executed a considerable number of Ahwazi cultural and political activists without giving them a chance of accessing their families, lawyers and facing standard court.

The Ahwazi Organisation for the Defence of Human Rights also would like to remind the international organisations that the UN Conventions offer treaty provision relating to the death penalty such as Article 6 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights to limit the death penalty and prohibited against activists. The organisation also has urged the International Organisations in general and Dr Ahmad Shaheed, the Special Rapporteur of Human Rights for Iran in particular to put Iran under pressure to stop the death sentence against these three Ahwazi men, and free Mr Naji Salman Kaabi and his son, and free other 24 Ahwazi workers from the detention.

The Ahwazi Organisation for the Defence of Human Rights has also demand Dr Shaheed and other international organisations to put Iran under pressure to investigate the case of Mr Nader Sharifi’s, who were killed under torture.


Ahwaz is an Arab land that located in the South- West and South Iran. The name of Al-Ahwaz has changed to Khuzestan, Bushehr and Hormozgan in 1935 after invading the land in 1925. The Iranian both regimes such as Pahlavi era and Islamic republic era used different ways to suppress Ahwazi voices.

A considerable number of Ahwazi have been arrested by the Iranian authorities due to their activities. Therefore, many of the activists were died under torture, and many were sent to the death penalty or long life imprisonment.

The strategy of the Iranian authorities toward Ahwazi Arab people has an impact on Ahwazi Arabs. For instance, the demographic of Al-Ahwaz has changed due to bringing settlers to Al-Ahwaz; the vast majority of Ahwazi are unemployed, poor and homelessness.

The Iranian authorities also deprived Ahwazi of reaching their right to life, although Article 6 of the ICCPR states that ”every human being has the irrefutable right to life. This right shall be protected by law. No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his life”.

Besides, Article 6 states that ”anyone sentenced to death shall have the right to seek pardon or commutation of the sentence”. ”Sentence of death shall not be imposed for crimes committed by persons below eighteen years of age and shall not be carried out on pregnant women”.

Article 6 of ICCPR also states that ‘’the Authorities should not taking confess under torture and should not torture the prisoners while they are in prisons’’.

In 1996, the Economic and Social Council encouraged all member states to offer a fair trial and independent judiciary to people who may have been facing capital punishment, as mentioned in Article 14 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (Roger Hood, 2008).

Safeguard 8 of the ”Safeguards Guaranteeing Protection of the Rights of Those Facing the Death Penalty”, adopted by the UN Economic and Social Council in 1984, states that ”the death penalty against a person who is waiting for its appeal or pardon cannot be carried out”. It means that Safeguard 8 of the Committee also have an idea to limit the capital punishment. This position was further enforced by the UN Commission on Human Rights in resolution 2005/59, adopted on 20 April 2005, which urged all states should not ”carry out the capital punishment against a person who does not access an international or national level of the trial”. Therefore, the UN HRC has made clear that in various cases, the execution of a prisoner, when the sentence has not approved by the Supreme Court, is a violation of Article 6 of that Covenant.

The rights to equal access to justice are one of the cornerstones of any legal system based on the rule of law, in which the UN protocols against the death penalty by obtaining a fair trial. It is enshrined in Article 14(1) CCPR and, on the regional level, in Article 6(1) ECHR, and Article 8(1) ACHR. For example, Article 11 of the Convention offer people to have a ”fair trial for both civil and criminal matters’’ enunciates a very important right, for the implementation of all other rights depends upon the proper administration of justice.

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