Human Rights Watch has called on Iran to stop the execution of Arab activists within its borders, announcing that five activists are currently in danger of imminent execution.
HRW reports that another four Iranian-Arab activists were recently executed in Iran and charged with “terrorist activities.”
The rights group indicates that the court has already informed the families of the five condemned Arab activists that their relatives have been handed the death sentence, but it is not clear if the sentences have been approved by the Supreme Court.
The five activists have charged with “enmity against God” and “corruption on earth”, both of which carry the death penalty.
Sarah Leah Whitson, the Middle East director of New York-based Human Rights Watch, says: “What we are witnessing today in Iran’s Khuzestan province is state-sanctioned killing that, by many accounts, is aimed at silencing voices that are critical of the government’s policies in the region.”
She added: “Death penalty verdicts produced at breakneck speed without a modicum of due-process protections for the accused invite nothing but skepticism about the merits of the government’s case.”
The HRW report indicates that Hadi Rashedi, 38, Hashem Shaabani, 32, Moahmmad-Ali Amouri, 34, and brothers Seyed Mokhtar, 25, and Seyed Jaber Alboshokeh, 27, were arrested this February and convicted behind closed doors for alleged membership in an armed Arab separatist group.
Khuzestan Province in southwest Iran has a large community of Iranian Arabs and since 2005 has witnessed protests against the government.
According to HRW, 12 members of the province’s Arab community have been executed since May of 2011 and six others have died under torture.