Death row prisoners Ali Chebieshat and Sayed Khaled Mousawi, both members of Iran’s Ahwazi Arab minority,may be nearing execution, as the Supreme Court is understood to have upheld their death
Family members of Ali Chebieshat and Sayed Khaled Mousawi were informed informally by an official in the Revolutionary Court of Ahwaz on 1 May that their sentences have been upheld by the Supreme Court. Yet, the authorities have so far refused to issue the verdict in writing or provide the families and their lawyer with information about the men’s whereabouts: they were transferred from Fajr Prison to an unknown location in March 2014.
Both men were arrested in November 2012 and taken to a Ministry of Intelligence detention centre in Ahvaz. They were held in solitary confinement without access to a lawyer or relatives for over seven months, during which they are understood to have been tortured or otherwise ill-treated. State-sponsored TV channels showed them, in June and then November 2013, “confessing” to their role in the explosion of a natural gas pipeline close to their native village, in violation of international standards for fair trial, including the presumption of innocence. They were sentenced to death on 9 September 2013 by a Revolutionary Court in Ahvaz on the charge of “enmity against God” (moharebeh). The court sentenced a third Ahwazi Arab man, Salman Chayani, to 25 years’ imprisonment to be served in internal exile in Yazd, central Iran.
Ali Chebieshat and Sayed Khaled Mousawi were transferred from Fajr Prison in Dezful, Khuzestan, to an unknown location on 18 March by Ministry of Intelligence officials. Two other Ahwazi Arab men were secretly executed in January 2014 after they were transferred to an undisclosed location.
Further information on UA: 72/14 Index: MDE 13/024/2014 Iran Date: 9 May 2014
SRC: Amnesty International