Skip to comments.UN human rights : Iran to execute 7 Arabs (Islamic Iran's persecution of minorities)
Posted on 01/10/2007 9:28:06 PM PST by PRePublic
UN human rights : Iran set to execute 7 Arabs
Thursday, January 11, 2007 - ©2005 IranMania.com
LONDON, January 11 (IranMania) - Three UN human rights investigators accused Iran of planning the imminent execution of seven Arabs sentenced to death after a trial held in secret, The Associated Press reported.
In a joint statement released in Geneva, the investigators said family members of the seven Ahvazi Arabs were informed earlier this week that the executions would happen "in the next few days."
The UN-appointed experts said the prisoners were part of a larger group of Arabs arrested in June 2006 in the oil-rich Khuzestan province, which borders Iraq, on charges including intent to destabilize Iran and overthrow its government.
According to the report, the suspects were accused of having been trained in Iraq by US, British and Israeli officials, said Philip Alston, the UN Human Rights Council's expert on summary executions, and fellow investigators Leandro Despouy and Manfred Nowak.
Iran executed three of the larger group of Arabs last month, they said.
An official at Iran's mission to the UN in Geneva said he could not immediately comment.
It was unclear whether the seven awaiting execution were arrested on charges in connection with two bombings that killed at least nine people in the city of Ahvaz last year. President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad blamed "the occupiers of Iraq" - inferring the US and Britain - for supporting the bombers, the report added
An umbrella group that includes several Arab movements seeking independence for the Ahvaz region claimed responsibility.
Arabs make up less than 3% of Iran's population, and most live in Khuzestan.
The investigators conceded that those awaiting execution were accused of serious crimes, but said such suspicions "cannot justify their conviction and execution after trials that made a mockery of due process requirements."
According to the human rights experts, lawyers were not allowed to see the defendants before the trail and faced charges of "threatening national security" when attempting to defend their clients.
They said the convictions were reportedly based on confessions extorted under torture.
"The only element of the cases of these men not shrouded in secrecy was the broadcast on public television of their so-called confessions," said Nowak, an Austrian law professor who has previously clashed with the US over torture allegations at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
Iran's constitution outlaws torture, but human rights groups say the country's security forces routinely use it to extract confessions. In 2003, a special UN envoy visited Iran, where he said he received complaints of torture from dissidents, writers and rights activists.
In 2005, a UN committee passed a resolution expressing concern about human rights violations in Iran, deploring its use of amputation, torture and flogging.
Why is this UN Human Rights group spreading lies? We all know Iran is a peaceful state with a great human rights record. The UN itself will tell you that.