Iran high court upholds death sentence for five Arab Ahwazi men

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An Iranian high court has upheld the decision to execute five members of Iran’s Ahwazi Arab minority who were reportedly tortured, according to media reports.

Amnesty International reported that a sixth Ahwazi Arab man was sentenced to 20 years in prison and that all were arrested in connection with their activities on behalf of Iran’s Ahwazi Arab minority and are believed to have been tried unfairly.

The UK's Foreign Office said it is deeply concerned by the news that Mohammad Ali Amouri, Hashem Sha’bani Amouri, Hadi Rashidi, Sayed Jaber Alboshoka and his brother Sayed Mokhtar Alboshoka, were sentenced to death.

“These men have reportedly suffered severe mistreatment, including torture, and two were forced to confess on live television. Whilst the charges are as yet unclear, they appear to be politically motivated,” according to a statement at the UK Foreign Office’s website.

“The UK is firmly opposed to the use of the death penalty under any circumstances. We call on Iran to overturn these death sentences urgently and to ensure these five men are not mistreated,” the statement added.

The statement also pointed out to reports of an attack by Iranian security forces on a place of worship for the Dervish religious community near Isfahan.

“The harassment of any religious minority is unacceptable. Iran must live up to its responsibilities under international law to respect and protect the rights of all its citizens,” the office statement said.

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