Two Iranian teachers, Hadi Rashedi and Hasham Sha'bani Amouri are in danger of imminent execution, according to a report by the human rights organisation Amnesty International. The teachers, who are part of the Ahwazi Arab minority in the country, were sentenced to death in July 2012 for 'emnity against God' and 'corruption on earth', as well as 'colluding against state security' and 'spreading propaganda against the system.' This was apparently as a result of their cultural work on behalf of their minority community. Both men are believed to have been tortured in prison in an attempt to make them 'confess.'

The teachers were also refused access to lawyers for the first nine months of their detention and their family members were harrassed according to reports. The teachers were arrested in 2011 along with three other campaigners for the Ahwazi Arab minority. The five prisoners are founders or members of the Alhavar institute, a scientific and cultural organization registered under the supervision of the National Youth Organization. Alhavar, meaning “Dialogue”, was inspired by former president Mohammad Khatami’s policy of promoting dialogue between civilizations, and  held Arabic poetry nights and art workshops and educational training programs for young people in Ramshir, in Khuzestan Province.

 Teachers are often in the front line of struggle in Iran against oppression of minorities. Young teacher Farzad Kamangar was executed in 2010 for campaigning for the Kurdish minority in the country and many have been arrested since. (Go to the Iran page of this website for more background.)

Send letters of protest by going to the Amnesty International website.