The continuous suffering of Ahwazi prisoners after nearly two decades
Seven young Ahwazi men were arrested in 2005 during the April uprising and the explosions that followed that uprising, and due to the tight security situation at the time( 2005), six of them were sentenced to death and the seventh was life imprisonment in a trickle and mock court of Iranian regime, while four of them were under the age of twenty!
The seven Ahwazi prisoners’ name are as follows:
- Mohammad Ali Sawari son of Lafteh
- Hamzeh Sawari (Mohammad Ali’s brother),
- Abdulemam Zaeiri son of Mahmud
- Nathem (Nazem) Boreihi son of Sakban,
- Abulzahra Helichi son of Khazaal,
- Yahya Nawaseri
- Ali Helfi son of Abdulnabi.
The seven young were subjected to the worst and barbaric torture and the most severe psychological stress and after seven months of solitary confinement and torture, they entered prison while they do not know each other from before.
A one-day formal trial was held behind closed doors in Branch 3 of the Ahwaz Revolutionary Court on Tuesday the 23rd of May 2006. The court gave the attorneys g only 24 hours to read the 800-page case and did not even allow the attorneys to meet with their clients, so the lawyers asked their clients to prove their identities in court. The court did not summon all the defendants and judge them individually and without their lawyers.
The lawyers left the courtroom in protest of the defendants’ lack of rights and the lack of fair defence, but the Iranian court upheld the sentences and sentenced six of defendants to death, and Ali Helfi was sentenced to 30 years in exile in Gonabad city.
A court file has been opened against their lawyers on charges of disturbing national security and they were summoned to Branch 7 of the Ahwaz Prosecutor’s Office under the pretext of disclosing confidential information and protesting against the court.
Following the insistence and pursuit of the prisoners’ families and lawyers on the innocence of the prisoners, the sentences of “Hamzeh Sawari, Yahya Nawaseri, Nazem Berihi, Abdul Imam Zaeiri and Abdul Zahra Helichi” were commuted from death sentence to life imprisonment. Ali Helfi was deported to Gonabad city. However, the execution of Mohammad Ali Savari was carried out secretly on September 11, 2007, and his body was not handed over to his family, and the family was prevented from performing the mourning ceremony.
The Iranian occupation Intelligence Service fabricated some of the detainees with the accusation of establishing a “group” under name of the old Ahwazi martyrs that is Jassim Alwan Al-Nasiri, “Aoun”, without any evidence to prove the existence of this group, that is, the “martyr Aoun’s group”, and there is no single evidence that they could carry out any movement in Al-Ahwaz.
One of the Ahwazi prisoners who has been released and seek asylum in Europe explains how the intelligence service tortured Mohammad Ali Sawari in a brutal way in order to get his confession and sign what he did not know about, and he was resisting the intelligence service forces for hours, days and weeks, until they took him to his younger brother Hamza who was at the age of his son and was stained with blood and screaming from the severity of torture, and they told him if he did not confess and sign what they dictate to him, they will kill Mohammad Ali’s brother under torture. Thus, the martyr Mohammad Ali Sawari signed what dictators dictated to him in exchange for stopping the torture of his younger brothers, Jaafar and Hamza, in front of his eyes.
Now, 15 years after the juveniles were imprisoned, except of Yahya Nawaseri who had been sent for treatment leave recently, the rest of prisoners has not been sent on prison’s leave or pardoned. After years of exile in Gonabad, Ali Helfi was transferred to Masjed Soleiman Prison to be closer to Ahwaz capital due to family’s financial difficulties, and Hamzeh Sawari was transferred to Gohardasht Prison in Karaj.
The Ahwazi Centre for Human Rights condemns the Iranian Ministry of Intelligence fabricating case for the Ahwazi Arab youth and long-term imprisonment and death sentences for the conscience and political prisoners. The centre also calls upon Mr. Javaid Rehman the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the human rights situation in the Islamic Republic of Iran to put pressure on the Iranian government to work for the immediate release of these prisoners as they have been deprived of a fair trial.
Ahwazi Centre for Human Rights