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Five more Ahwazi Arabs sentenced to death by the Islamic Republic of Iran

(10 July 2012) -- According to local sources, five Ahwazi Arab activists, Hashem Shabani, Mohammadali Omouri, Hadi Rashedi, Seyyed Jaber Alboshoka and Seyyed Mokhtar Alboshoka have been sentenced to death by the Iranian judiciary, and a sixth man, Rahman Asakera, has been sentenced to 20 years in prison. The men were arrested in their homes in February and March 2011 in Khalafieh (Ramshir) town in Khuzestan province of Iran. In two short trials on May 14, 2011 and May 23, 2011 in branch 2 of the revolutionary court in Ahwaz by Judge Seyyed Mohammad Bagher Mousavi, they were accused of muharibih (waging war against God), mufsid-i fil arz (sowing corruption on Earth), acting against national security and for alleged ties to foreign elements. Despite their denial of all the accusations, the six men were officially convicted and sentenced on Monday, July 9, 2012. 

According to reports received by the Iran Human Rights Documentation Center (IHRDC), Hashem Shabani, Mohammadali Omouri, Hadi Rashedi and Rahman Asakera were detained for seven months in the security office in Ahwaz following their arrest and subjected to torture. Similarly, Jaber Alboshoka and Mokhtar Alboshoka were detained for four months in the security office in Ahwaz following their arrest and subjected to torture. Subsequently, all six men were transferred from the security office in Ahwaz to Karoun prison in Ahwaz. They are still held there.

In a video broadcast on December 13, 2011 on Press TV, the official English News Agency of the Islamic Republic of Iran, forced confessions from two of the six men—Hashem Shabani and Hadi Rashedi—are featured. The video also broadcast a forced confession from a third man, Taha Heidarian, an Ahwazi Arab activist who was eventually executed. Heidarian’s family was informed of his execution on June 18, 2012. 

Brief profiles of the six men follow: 

Hashem Shabani is 31 years old, married and has one daughter. He has a master’s degree in political science and works as a teacher. He was arrested in February 16, 2011 at his home in Khalafieh (Ramshir). While detained at the security office in Ahwaz, he was reportedly tortured with boiling water. Due to financial troubles, he is still not able to hire a lawyer. 

Mohammadali Omouri is 34 years old, single, and has a master’s degree in fishery from Isfahan University. He was arrested at his house in Khalafieh (Ramshir) in February 16, 2011.

Hadi Rashedi is 38 years old, single, has a master’s degree in chemistry and worked as a high school teacher prior to his arrest and detention. He was arrested in February 28, 2011 at his home in Khalafieh (Ramshir). His pelvis was reportedly broken under torture and was not properly treated. His lawyer is Seyyed Jafar Mousavi.

Seyyed Jaber Alboshoka is 27 years old, married and has one daughter. Prior to his arrest, Alboshoka worked in his father’s rock grinding company. He was arrested along with his brother Mokhtar in March 13, 2012 at their home in Khalafieh (Ramshir). Due to the severe torture he was reportedly subjected to while detained at the security office in Ahwaz, he lost 22 lbs. His lawyer is Mr. Fartousi.  

Seyyed Mokhtar Alboshoka is 25 years old and single. He was on furlough from military duty when he was arrested along with his brother Jaber at home in Khalafieh (Ramshir) on March 13, 2011. He has reportedly lost consciousness several times under the severe torture he was subjected to at the security office in Ahwaz. His lawyer is Mr. Fartousi.  

Rahman Asakera is 37 years old, married and has 5 children. He has a master’s degree in sociology and worked as a high school teacher prior to his arrest and imprisonment. He was arrested at his home in Khalafieh (Ramshir) on February 15, 2011.