It is now two weeks since two Sunni political prisoners were taken from Rajai Shahr prison to an unknown location. Fears are growing for the men, who are both facing execution. There has been no news about their condition.
Mamousta (sheikh) Kaveh Vaisi and Mokhtar Rahimi were removed from Hall 10, ward four, of Rajai Shahr prison on Sunday 29th September 2013.
“We are seriously concerned about them because they are sentenced to death and the authorities may want to execute them,” a relative of one of the prisoners told the Human Rights News Agency (HRANA), “We ask all human rights organizations and activists not to keep silent.”
The whereabouts of the two men remains unknown since armed riot police were deployed to the prison to remove the two men from their cells. Prisoners had stood preventing prison guards from transferring the men to Ghezel Hesar prison, near Karaj, fearing they would be executed upon transfer.
Five more Sunni political prisoners, who are facing execution, were removed from Rajai Shahr prison on Wednesday 9th October, 2013. Four of the prisoners were taken to an unknown location, and there is no news on their condition. We received reports that one prisoner, Arash Sharifi, was transferred to Kashan Central prison. However, since then, there has been no news about his welfare.
There are unconfirmed reports that the Iranian authorities are planning to transfer all Sunni prisoners on death row in Rajai Shahr prison to different locations. Many fear this move will make it easier for authorities to carry out secret executions.
There are at least 30 Sunni political prisoners facing execution in Iran for charges such as 'Moharebeh' (enmity against God) or 'membership of a Salafi group'. The men have all been tortured, with many of them forced to 'confess' to crimes they have not committed.
The men were all active in spreading Sunni Islam and speaking our against government oppression. In a country where Sunnis face discrimination, being outspoken in propagating Sunni Islam and criticizing the government is dangerous. Many prominent Sunni figures and teachers have already been executed by the Iranian regime.