Iran: MEFD strongly condemns execution of Six Sunni prisoners


10469745_10203649368016947_3763586105795985896_nLondon, MEFD – Six Sunni prisoners from Iran’s Kurdish minority were executed in Rajai Shahr Prison in the city of Karaj this morning. Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA) reports that Hamed Ahmadi, Kamal Molai, Jamshid Dehghani, Jahangir Dehghani, Sedgh Mohammadi and Seyed Hadi Hosseini were executed at 4am this morning. One of the relatives of Hamed Ahmadi told HRANA, “An ambulance left the prison at 5am and all the families rushed towards it. We couldn’t see the bodies but we were told that all 6 prisoners have been hanged and that we can collect the bodies at Bibi Sakine cemetery”. The six men, who were sentenced to death by Branch 28 of the Revolutionary Court of Tehran for “enmity against god” (moharebeh) following grossly unfair trials, were not spared by the Iranian authorities despite calls from international human rights groups to halt the execution. The men denied any involvement in armed or violent activities. Hamed Ahmadi, Jahangir Dehghani, Jamshid Dehghani and Kamal Molai were accused of killing a Sunni cleric with ties to the regime in 2009. The four prisoners disputed the accusation by claiming that they were arrested several months before the killing. The execution of these six Sunni men who belong to Iran’s Kurdish minority and who claimed to be targeted for merely practising and promoting their faith comes a day after the United Nations issued its damning annual report on Tehran’s human rights record. The UN defined the number of executions in 2014 as “deeply troubling” and blamed authorities for not keeping their promise in protecting ethnic and religious minorities. According to the UN, 500 people were executed between January and November 2014, but reliable sources state it to be over 700. In the majority of cases the victims did not received a fair trial. “These grim numbers of executions dash any hopes for improvement under President Hassan Rouhani of the human rights situation in Iran, particularly that of ethnic and religious minorities” said Mosa Zahed, Executive Director at Middle East Forum for Development. Iran remains the second largest executioner in the world, after China. Middle East Forum for Development strongly condemns the execution of the six Sunni prisoners from Iran’s Kurdish minority and calls for an immediate suspension of the death penalty, with a view to abolishing this brutal and inhuman practice.

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