The groups Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International called on the Iranian judiciary on Thursday January 24 to quash the death sentence against five Iranian-Arab activists, whom the rights groups claim were tortured and denied a fair trial.

In their joint statement, HRW and Amnesty International say that Jaber Alboshokeh, Mokhtar Alboshokeh, Hadi Rashed, Hashem Shaabaninejad, and MohammadAli Amourinejad were charged and sentenced for terrorism because they all belong to a banned cultural group named Alhavar.

The five prisoners were transferred last week from Karoon Prison to an unknown location, which is feared to be a preliminary step in their execution, Ann Harrison of Amnesty International reports.

Families of the five men claim their kin were severely tortured in order to acquiesce to false confessions.

Iranian Nobel Peace laureate Shirin Ebadi and Iranian human rights groups have also spoken out against the imminent execution threat, urging Iran to halt the death sentences.