Sunni Convicts Facing Hostile Discrimination in Iranian Prisons

Mar 27
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United Nations Human Rights Council session in Geneva
United Nations Human Rights Council session in Geneva

Asharq Al-Awsat
Thuesday, 24 March 2016

London- An Iran-based humanitarian rights agency published a report on Iranian authorities detaining over 70 Sunni activists for allegations on political crimes and compromising homeland security.

The report reveals that activists are being held in Gohardasht Prison, located west of Tehran.

According to the agency, 30 Sunni political activists have been sentenced to death, meanwhile, the rest have verdicts varying between five years to life. The report exposes discriminative violent treatment and inhumane torcher inflicted on Sunni prisoners for their religious affiliations.

Sunni activists in Iran are facing capital punishment for claims on incitement against government, corrupting land, Hirabah (a crime in Islamic law: war against God and the state) and belonging to Salafist groups.

Iranian human rights organizations condemn the ambiguity covering details on trials held against convicts, and the verdicts passed on Sunni people.

Ahmed Shaheed United Nations Special Rapporteur on the human rights situation in the Islamic Republic had expressed his deep concerns regarding the standing of Sunnis and ethnic minorities in Iran in his latest report two weeks ago.

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon had also spoken of his fears for the Sunni people and prisoners in Iranian prisons.

On the other hand, Iranian officials including Iranian Minister of Foreign Affairs Mohammad Javad Zarif ; Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Hussein Jaber; and Mohammad Javad Larijani, secretary of Iran’s High Council for Human Rights and advisor to the chief of the judiciary on international affairs, all have directed harsh criticism against United Nations Special Rapporteur Shaheed and requested to end his mission in Iran.

Controversially, Human Rights Watch and other 34 international non-governmental organizations have demanded OHCHR(Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights) member countries to renew Shadeed’s mission in Iran an extra year.

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