Shirin Ebadi

Shirin Ebadi issued a joint statement today with 29 Iranian and international human rights organizations, calling for a halt to the execution of five Iranian-Arab political prisoners on death row in Ahwaz.

The statement calls on all activists and international bodies to make every effort to save the lives of the five prisoners who are in imminent danger of execution.

The Iranian judiciary has approved the death sentence for Jaber Alboshokeh, 28, Mokhtar Alboshokeh, 26, Hadi Rashed, 39, Hashem Shaabaninejad, 32 and MohammadAli Amourinejad. The five Iranian-Arab prisoners were transferred from Karoon Prison in Ahwaz on Friday January 18 to an unknown location.

The families, who were formally served notices of the execution orders of their kin on January 9, fear that the transfer may be a preparatory step toward carrying out the death sentences.

The five prisoners are all members of the Alhavar cultural group and were arrested in February of 2010.

The statement claims that the five prisoners were tortured for months in the Intelligence Ministry’s detention centre and were charged with “enmity against God and terrorist activities.”

All have claimed in court that the confessions extracted from them in custody were given under torture and are not the truth.

The report adds that there are more than 40 other prisoners of conscience on death row in Iran and it urges Iranian authorities to commute their sentences.