Six Ahwazi Arabs face unfair trial, risk death on charges of ‘enmity against God

The six men, all from Khalafabad in Khuzestan province, south-west Iran, were arrested at their houses in February and March 2011. (Al Arabiya)

Six members of Iran’s Ahwazi Arab minority are due to go on trial in Iran on May 20, amid fears that they will not receive a fair trial and may be at risk of torture or death sentence, an international rights groups warned on Friday.

The men were detained without charge for almost a year and all were arrested in connection with their activities on behalf of Iran’s Ahwazi Arab minority, Amnesty International said in a released report.

The six men, all from Khalafabad in Khuzestan province, south-west Iran, were arrested at their houses in February and March 2011 before marking the 6th anniversary of the popular protests by Ahwazi Arabs in April 2005.

The men are now held in Karoun prison in the city of Ahwaz, Khuzestan province, Amnesty reported. At least four of them were denied access to a lawyer for at least eight months after arrest.

Earlier this year, they were all charged in separate “five-minute court sessions with the vaguely-worded offences of ‘enmity against God and corruption on earth’, ‘gathering and colluding against state security’ and ‘spreading propaganda against the system’,” according to Amnesty report.

The charge of “enmity against God and corruption on earth” carries a possible death sentence. They are due to be put on trial on May 20.

According to Amnesty report, the six detainees are Mohammad Ali Amouri, blogger; Rahman Asakereh, teacher; Hashem Sha’bani Amouri, teacher; Hadi Rashidi, teacher; Sayed Jaber Alboshoka and his younger brother Sayed Mokhtar Alboshoka.

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