22 November 2008 ; Balochistan National Movement-Iran
On Wednesday 19th Nov 2008, five innocent Baloch, Hafiz Salah-uddin Saeidi, Molavi Khalil-ullah Zarahi, Molavi Abdulmajeed Salahzai, Sofi Obid-ullah Machkowri and Haji Aabid Gwahramzai were put on trial by the Iranian authorities in Zahidan and charged with serious but unfounded allegations such as collaboration with Rigi group, anti-state activities, being at war with God, possession of fire arms, planting road-side bombs, creating terror and so on. The trial was held after 5 months of degrading imprisonment with torture. They were arrested in Mohammad-Abad of Iranshar in Khordad(3rd month of Iranian calendar).
The Iranian authorities claimed that the trial was openly conducted, but we obtained credible reports which reveals that the trial was far from any international norms. Only few members of families of the accused were allowed to observe some part of the trial on the conditions that they refrain themselves from reporting any part of the trial. It is noteworthy to state that none of the family members have any knowledge or familiarities with law and legal matters and procedures.
It is reported that Father of Sofi Obid-ullah Machkowri, Haji Karimbax was refused access to observe his son’s trial and forced out of the building by the security.
The prosecution demanded that the five accused Baloch should receive maximum sentence. In Iran unfortunately it means death by execution.
Since the five accused Baloch pleaded not guilty, and stated to the court that there is no evidence to link them to those allegations. They refused to accept possession of fire-arms, links with Rigi group, planting bombs and creating terror among the population. They stressed that since they are religious scholars, in no way they can be deemed to be at war with God. As Sunni religious scholars, they are very popular with the public; and it is a fact that they posed no threat to anyone.
They accepted that in their daily life they may have done such civil activities to support their religious and civic rights, but always were within the law of the land.
The five innocent Baloch when arrested, they did not want anyone to highlight their arrest and ordeal in the hope that it will end with less collateral damages. But now it is feared that the authorities are sentencing them without any reliable or concrete evidence with capital punishment of death by execution.
We appeal to all people of the world and humanitarian organisations, democratic institutions and states to help these innocent Baloch from imminent executions, as life is sacred and beautiful.
Please, Please write to Mr Sharodi, the head of Iranian Judiciary, and also directly to Mr Mahguli, the presiding judge in Zahidan, and ask for reconsideration of the trial and ultimate release of them as the charges are purely circumstantial and bear no evidence.
Please write to:
· Professor Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu Secretary General of the Organization of the Islamic Conference
· The Islamic Human Rights Commission
· United Nations Human Rights Council
· Amnesty International
· Human Rights Watch