The International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran has called upon the Iranian authorities to release the names of the Sunni Kurds executed in Iran on 2 Aug 2016.

Sunni prisoners pray in Rajai Shahr prison, many of them have been executed now

Sunni prisoners pray in Rajai Shahr prison, many of them have been executed now

Iran is withholding the names of Sunni prisoners who were hanged in Iran. Iran’s prosecutor general and the Intelligence Ministry have both made statements confirming that at least 20 people have been executed.

The Islamic republic authorities are saying that the group that were executed were members of Salafi group called “Tawhid va Jihad”; an allegation that many of the Sunni prisoners have denied prior to their execution.

Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, the United Nation commissioner for human rights has condemned the executions saying that the charges laid against the Sunni religious activists were “overly broad and vague”.

He also says that the accused did not have the right to a fair trial and were forced to confess possibly under torture.

Mowlavi Abdulhamid, the Baluchi Sunni Imam in Iran has also raised concerns about increasing sectarian tensions following the executions.

Those executed were all religious activists or affiliates to Shafi’i Sunnis from the Kurdish community.

The International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran has confirmed the names of ten of the victims who were hung: Bahman Rahimi, Mokhtar Rahimi, Yavar Rahimi, Arash Sharifi, Kaveh Oveisi, Kaveh Sharifi, Ahmad Nasiri, Behrouz Shahnazari, Taleb Maleki and Shahram Ahmadi.

Campaign sources have also verified the names of Omid Mahmoudi, Mohammad Gharibi, Kayvan Momenifard, Varia Ghaderi, Hekmat Araghi, Hamzeh Araghi and Ali Araghi to be among those executed but the Islamic Republic authorities have not yet confirmed this.

Among those executed is also Shahram Ahmadi, a prisoner whose death penalty case was subject of a social media campaign with hashtag #FreeShahram.

Ahmadi was allegedly arrested after distributing leaflets demanding rights for the Sunni minority population in Iran during a 2009 visit of Ali Khamenei to Kurdistan.

The 2009 visit of Islamic Republic leader to Kurdistan was highly publicised and after this visit a number of Sunni religious activists were arrested by local security forces.

Ahmadi in an interview with Zamaneh said that he was forced to confess under tortured. The Islamic Republic has in the past coerced many political prisoners to make false confessions.

Ahmadi was denied the right to see his family prior to his execution. His relatives were initially asked to go to Rajai Shahr prison to visit him but then later on were directed to the cemetery where he was due to be buried near Tehran.