17 May 2020 :
Amnesty calls on Iran to ‘reveal fate' of four death row prisoners. Human rights monitor Amnesty International on Tuesday called on Iranian authorities to “immediately” reveal the truth about the fate and location of 4 death row prisoners from various minority groups. Hossein Silawi, Ali Khasraji, Naser Khafajian, and Hedayat Abdollahpour have all been transferred to “unknown locations,” according to the organization. Abdollahpour is a Kurdish Iranian prisoner, while the other 3 are from Iran’s Ahwazi Arab minority. “The authorities’ refusal to provide the families of the men with information has sparked fears that they are at risk of being tortured or executed in secret,” an Amnesty report read. Silawi, Khasraji, and Khafajian disappeared on March 31, while Abdollahpour is said to have disappeared on Saturday. All 4 prisoners were sentenced to death following an “unfair trial” on charges “taking up arms against the state,” Amnesty added. Abdollahpour was arrested on August 3, 2016 after he was accused of having ties with the Kurdish Democratic Party of Iran (KDPI), and attacking Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) on June 14, 2016. The other 3 were accused of attacking a police station in Ahvaz on 14 May 2017, which resulted in the death of 2 police officers. According to information received by Amnesty International, Iran has executed more than 92 people since January. “A disproportionate number of those executed since January were members of Iran’s Kurdish minority,” the Amnesty report added. Tens of thousands of political prisoners are jailed in Iran over various charges including advocating for democracy and promoting women’s or workers’ rights. Amid growing fears of the outbreak of the coronavirus, the UN has already urged Iran to include political prisoners in its temporary release of inmates. Ethnic minority groups including Kurds and Azeris are disproportionally detained and more harshly sentenced for acts of political dissidence, according to a July 2019 report from the United Nations Special Rapporteur on human rights in Iran. Since the re-imposition of US sanctions and the heightening of tensions, authorities in Iran have started tightening the noose on labor activists, journalists, satirists, environmentalists, anti-death penalty campaigners, and researchers.