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Wednesday, 02 December, 2020

A report on the situation of 3 Sunni prisoners of conscience in Ghayen Prison

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Human Rights in Iran – Thursday, September 3, 2020 / Adnan Achrash, Adel Marei and Hossein Ameri, 3 Sunni citizens residing in the district of Pastorizeh in Ahvaz and imprisoned in the Central Prison of Ghayen, are serving their prison sentences in exile.

According to the report of Human Rights in Iran, Adnan Achrash, born in 1976, Adel Marei, born in 1977, and Hossein Ameri, born in 1980, are 3 citizens of Ahvaz and religious dissidents, each of whom has been sentenced to 10 years in prison on charges of converting from Shia branch (in Islam) to Sunni, and are currently serving this period in exile since 2015 in Ghayen Prison.

As the families of these 3 prisoners of conscience have stated: “We have no contact with them unless they call, and considering the point that the city of Ghayen is more than 1400 kms away from Ahvaz and the cost of going and returning is very expensive for the families, consequently, we can not afford meeting with our loved ones in person or even in cabinet visits.”

“All these three were arrested by Ahvaz intelligence agents on September 26, 2015, on charges of converting from Shia to Sunni branch (of Islam), while working on cultural aspects related to Arab citizens, and after being interrogated and charged during the trial, each of these individuals was sentenced by the Ahvaz Revolutionary Court to 10 years in prison with banishment to Ghayen Prison,” speaking to the reporter of Human Rights in Iran, Karim Dahimi, a human rights advocate, said about the situation of these 3 prisoners of conscience.

Explaining the situation of these prisoners, Dahimi added: “The verdict was handed down against these individuals while Adel Marei was working as a history teacher and Adnan Achrash was working as a teacher of Arabic literature in Ahvaz Department of Education and had no criminal activities, and these individuals are currently being held in Ghayen Prison without observing the principle of separation of crimes between drug-related and non-political defendants.”

The suppression of Sunni citizens and the imposition of restrictions on their civil rights are among the most flagrant human rights violations of freedom of expression illustrated in Article 10 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR).

The imposition of constraints on Sunni citizens to perform and attend their religious ceremonies is an instance of abuse of international instrument, Article 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and also Article 18 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, adopted on December 16th 1966.

Enjoying the right to a fair trial by an impartial tribunal in the presence of a jury and preserving the right of the accused to appoint his or her lawyer in a trial, is one of the issues accentuated in international instrument of human rights, including Article 10 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) and Article 14 the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), adopted on December 16, 1966.

Extracting forced confessions through beatings and threats against individuals are obvious instances of violations of international instruments and International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. Article 5 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and Article 7 of International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights explicitly emphasize on the prohibition of torturing the individuals.

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