Monday, 11 February 2008

IMHRO: Baluchi activist is sentenced to death in secret trial

Iranian Minorities’ Human Right Organisation (IMHRO)


Urgent action


Mr. Yaghub Mehrnahad, a Baluchi cultural and civil rights activist, has been sentenced to death after spending 9 months in a detention centre.

His family have told IMHRO that Mehrnahad had been imprisoned 5 months before they were allowed to visit him. They discovered that during this time Mehrnahad had been subjected to torture and had lost about 15kg in weight.

“About one month ago they put him on a secret trial. After 10 days, instead of sentencing him, they moved him to Iranian Intelligent Custody for further investigation. They have now sentenced him to death”.

Mr. Yaghub Mehrnahad is the 28 year old founder of Anjoman Sedayeh edalat (Voice of Justice Association), which was recognised and registered by the Iranian Government, in May 2007. Anjoman Sedayeh edalat was a non-governmental organisation, organising events such music concerts and educational courses for the young in Baluchistan, in the South East of Iran. Mehrnahad was arrested along with five other members of Anjoman Sedayeh edalat. The rest of the members were released, but Yaghub Mehrnahad remained in prison.

Mr. Yaghub Mehrnahad is a pacifist and always protested with non-violent methods. Regardless, he was sentenced to death in a secret trial. He was charged with carrying out acts against national security as he had been condemning the actions of the Iranian government on the internet.

His family have told IMHRO:

“They reduced the time of appeal against his sentence from the usual 20 days to 6 days, which will end on Sunday 17/02/2008. Therefore, he is now at risk of imminent execution. It has been 45 days since we visited him in prison. We are afraid that he may have been killed under torture”. Mehrnahad also missed the birth of his daughter due to his imprisonment.

An arrest in Iran usually takes place in a public place such as from the street or from a person’s place of work. The authorities do not inform friends or relatives about where a detainee is, and they hardly allow suspects to contact their family. Often family members do not know anything about their missing relative for months.


The Baluch minority make up around 5 million of Iran’s population and they mainly live in south east of Iran. These people suffer from various forms of discrimination. The lack of state investment is highly noticeable. One consequence of this is the high unemployment rate in this area.

It has been suggested that in Baluchistan the Iranian government has executed political and human rights activists under the pretence of drug smuggling charges. It is alleged that this is a cover used by the government, enabling them to attempt to inhibit the work of human rights activists. These acts against human rights are thus hidden from the world and media which allows the government to continue their oppression of minorities.

Armed groups, whose purpose is to fight against the government, have been set up by Baluchi. Some say this is a direct result of the non-investment, discrimination and oppression.

Baluchi alongside other minorities in Iran are prevented from speaking in their mother tongue and are not entitled to social, economic and political rights. As Baluchi people are mainly Sunni, they also suffer from religious discrimination. This affects them in many areas of their lives such as in the job market and with education opportunities. Official ideology of theocracy of the government of Iran indicates that non Shia means infidel. Last month the Iranian government amputated the right hands and left feet of five men who they claimed to be infidels in Zahedan, the capital of the Baluchistan province.


We ask human right organisations and activists in the world to call upon
Iranian government and ask them for following:

Stop the death sentence of Yaghub Mehrnahad and demand the immediate release of him and other Baluchi activists.

Demand the government stops the practice of the inhuman penalty of amputation in Baluchistan.

Supreme leader of Iran
Sayyed Ali Khamenei
E-mail via web site

Iranian president
Mahmud Ahmadinejad
E-mail via web site

Head of the Judiciary
Ayatollah Mahmud Hashemi Shahroudi
Howzeh Riyasat-e Qoveh Qazaiyeh / Office of the Head of the Judiciary
Pasteur St., Vali Asr Ave., south of Serah-e Jomhouri, Tehran
1316814737, Islamic Republic of Iran

United Nations High Commissioner Human Rights
Louise Arbour
Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights
Palais des Nations
CH-1211 Geneva 10, Switzerland

Chairwoman of European parliament Human Rights committee
Mrs Hélène FLAUTRE
Bureau d'Hélène Flautre au Parlement européen
8G130, rue Wierz
B-1049, Bruxelles, Belgique

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