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AI: Iran must halt hanging of two Arab prisoners

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The planned execution, on 22 May, of two prisoners who were forced to “confess” on TV must be stopped immediately, Amnesty International said.

Ali Chebieshat and Sayed Khaled Mousawi were sentenced to death on 9 September 2013 by a Revolutionary Court in Ahvaz on the charge of “enmity against God” (moharebeh).

They were forced to “confess” on TV in relation to the explosion of a natural gas pipeline close to their native village, AI report said.

“The harrowing stories of Ali Chebieshat and Sayed Khaled Mousawi show how justice in Iran is seriously flawed. People are routinely forced to ‘confess’ to crimes they didn’t commit and face deeply unfair trials before being marched to the gallows,” said Hassiba Hadj-Sahraoui, Deputy Director for the Middle East and North Africa Programme at Amnesty International.

“The Iranian authorities are violating every rule in the book, including failing to give defendants a fair trial, presume their innocence or even share with them the verdict sentencing them to death. These executions must be halted.”

Ali Chebieshat and Sayed Khaled Mousawi are cultural rights activists who advocated for cultural and linguistic rights of Iran' Arab minority.