Increasing Concern About the Two Death Row Ahwazi Arab Prisoners

May 4, 2014, 11:36 p.m.

Unofficial reports indicate that teh death sentences of two Ahwazi Arab prisoners have been approved by the Iranian Supreme Court. The death row prisoners Ali Chebeishat (49) and Seyed Khaled Mousavi (36) were transferred from the Dezful prison to an unknown location in March. There has not been any news about their whereabouts since then. Iran Human Rights once again expresses strong concern and urges the international community to react.    Iran Human Rights, May 4, 2014: More than 40 days after  the two Ahwazi Arab death row prisoners Ali Chebeishat, Sayed Khaled Mousavi were transferred from the Dezful prison to an unknown location,  the families of the prisoners have been informed that the death sentences have been approved by the Iranian Supreme Court.

According to Ahwazi human rights defenders that IHR has been in contact with, the families were informed unofficially through sources within the Iranian Judiciary. The prisoners' lawyer has not received any information about the prisoners' current situation.photo1   Several human rights groups have expressed concern about the situation of Ali Chebeishat and Seyed Khaled Mousavi. IHR's Spokesperson, Mahmood Amiry-Moghaddam says: " We are strongly concerned about the situation of the two Ahwazi Arab prisoners and the news of the approval of their death sentences by the Supreme Court might mean that they are at imminent danger of execution"--"We ask for the urgent reaction of the international community". Six other Ahwazi Arab prisoners have been executed in December 2013 and January 2014, without the families or the lawyers being noticed about the executions in advance. Background: Ali Chebeishat, Sayed Khaled Mousavi, and Salman Chayani were arrested on 10 November 2012 in the village of Khalaf Kaab Imsallam near the city of Shush in Khuzestan Province. They were held incommunicado for seven months while denied access to lawyer and family members at the Ministry of Intelligence Detention Centre in Ahwaz in South West of Iran. Intelligence officials illegally held the three incommunicado while subjecting each to severe torture with a view to extract confession in order to implicate them in the October 2012 explosion of the Chogha Zanbil natural gas pipeline near the village of Khalaf Kaab Imsallam. On November 16, 2013, they appeared on the Press TV, “confessing” participation in the Chogha Zanbil pipeline bombing.Apart from these forced “confessions”, there is no evidence in relation to the explosion of the Chogha Zanbil natural gas pipeline. Indeed, the authorities initially declared that the explosion was an accident. Nonetheless, on 9 September 2013, Judge Sayed Mohammed Baqir Mousavi of the Second Branch of the Ahwaz Revolutionary Court convicted the three men of moharebeh and sentenced Mr. Chebeishat and Mr. Mousavi to execution and Mr. Chayani to 25 years of imprisonment in exile in Yazd in central Iran, a violation of Iran’s national code.