An Iranian court has sentenced 17 Iranian Sunnis, including religious scholars, to death because of their religious beliefs, leading a rights group to launch a campaign to save them.
The condemned have been awaiting execution in Tehran’s Gohardasht Prison, also known as Rajai Shahr, west of Tehran since early June. The Sunni prisoners have been convicted of “acting against national security,” and “moharebeh” (enmity against God), which is punishable by death in Iran. The prisoners are said to have confessed to these crimes under torture, according to information from the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran.The human rights organization says that Iranian Sunnis face grave religious discrimination in the country.
Among the Sunni prisoners sentenced to death by Branch 28 of the Tehran Revolutionary Court are Ahmad Naseri, Talib Malaki, Hamed Ahmadi, Adrees Neimati, Jahangir Dehghani, Jamshid Dehghani, Sadiq Mohammadi, Shahram Ahmadi, Varia Ghaderifard, Behrooz Shanzari, Farzad Shanzari, Mokhtar Rahemi, Pooria Mohammmadi, Bahman Rahemi, Kamal Malaie, Mohammad Gharebi and Mohammad Yavar Rahemi.A Sunni news outlet in Iran is circulating a petition to stop the executions that can be found here.
Arrests of members of Iran’s Sunni minority have intensified since 2009, and are focused on towns home to Sunnis like Javanrood, Javansar, Saghez, Baneh, Bukan, Sardasht, Mahabad and Piranshahr, according to information from the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran.