Urgent Action Update: Tortured Ahwazi Arabs At Risk of Execution (Iran: UA 69.20)

February 16, 2021

Three death row prisoners from Iran’s Ahwazi Arab minority, Ali Khasraji, Hossein Silawi and Jasem Heidary, have sewn their lips together and been on hunger strike since 23 January 2021 in Sheiban prison in Ahvaz, Khuzestan province, in protest of their prison conditions, denial of family visits, and the ongoing threat of execution. A fourth Ahwazi Arab prisoner, Naser Khafajian, has been forcibly disappeared since April 2020, putting him at risk of torture and secret execution.

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TAKE ACTION:

  1. Write a letter in your own words or using the sample below as a guide to the government official listed below. You can also email, fax, call or Tweet them.
  2. Click here to let us know the actions you took on Urgent Action 69.20. It’s important to report because we share the total number with the officials we are trying to persuade and the people we are trying to help.                                                                

CONTACT INFORMATION

Head of Judiciary, Ebrahim Raisi
c/o H.E. Majid Takht Ravanchi
Permanent Mission of the Islamic Republic of Iran
622 Third Avenue, 34th Floor
New York, NY 10017
Phone: 212 687-2020 I Fax: 212 867 7086
Email: [email protected]
Twitter: @Iran_UN

SAMPLE LETTER

Dear Mr. Raisi,

Three prisoners from Iran’s Ahwazi Arab minority, Ali Khasraji, Hossein Silawi and Jasem Heidary, have sewn their lips together and been on hunger strike since 23 January in Sheiban prison in Ahvaz, Khuzestan province, in protest of their prison conditions, denial of family visits, and the ongoing threat of execution. They are crammed in a cell intended for solitary confinement. A fourth Ahwazi Arab prisoner on death row, Naser Khafajian, has been forcibly disappeared since April 2020, putting him at risk of torture and secret execution. The men were violently transferred, along with dozens of others, including prisoners of conscience Mohammad Ali Amouri, Jaber Alboshokeh and Mokhtar Alboshokeh, from Sheiban prison to an unknown location on 31 March 2020 after protests over COVID-19 spreading in the prison.

On 14 January 2020, the Judiciary spokesperson announced that three men had been sentenced to death in relation to an armed attack on a police station in Ahvaz on 14 May 2017 that led to the death of two officials. The case details indicated that he was referring to Hossein Silawi, Ali Khasraji and Naser Khafajian. That same month, prison officials told the three men that they had been sentenced to death for the May 2017 attack. On 8 October 2020, the Iranian government wrote to the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights that “the case [against these three men] is still pending” and that “since the legal proceedings have not hitherto been completed, it is inadmissible to raise the issue of…capital punishment.” This contradicts the threats made against the men that their death sentences have been upheld by the Supreme Court.

I ask you to immediately reveal the fate and whereabouts of Naser Khafajian and stop any plans to execute him and Ali Khasraji, Hossein Silawi and Jasem Heidary. Their convictions and death sentences must be quashed, and they must be granted fair retrials, without recourse to the death penalty and excluding torture-tainted “confessions”. I further urge you to release Mohammad Ali Amouri, Jaber Alboshokeh and Mokhtar Alboshokeh immediately and unconditionally, and ensure that prisoners in Sheiban prison are held in adequate conditions and receive adequate medical care.

Yours sincerely,

[YOUR NAME]

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES