In an urgent letter addressed to all human rights organizations and the international community the Ahwazi cultural activist, Hashem Shabani, claims his and the convictions on his fellow sufferers were based on “false accusations” by the Iranian intelligence service, who threatens the future of highly educated young people by bringing them to the gallows.
The teacher Hashem Shabani was originally sentenced to death in 2012 together with Mohammad Ali Amouri, Sayed Jaber Alboshoka and his brother Sayed Mokhtar Alboshoka and Hadi Rashidi (or Rashedi). They were convicted of charges including “enmity against God and corruption on earth”, “gathering and colluding against state security” and “spreading propaganda against the system".
In his handwritten letter, Shabani describes how he struggled peacefully against the tyranny over the mind of his people in Iran and how he engaged in a wide range of activities that contribute to Persian poetry in newspapers such as Al -Noor, Al-Fajer and Assr Karoon which translates to “light the dawn”, and to “the evening of Karoon “. A single word has been highlighted in his texts, which as he puts it in words “provokes the rage and hatred in those heart of men who continue to survive through spreading the darkness” - the name of this highlighted word is “awareness”.
He also gives a brief description of his engagement as a student of Arabic language and literature at the state Chamran university at different student newspapers and at the forum of the reformer students to care about the sufferings and the miseries that inflicted the Iranian people and most particularly the Ahwazi Arab people.
The letter provides details about his work as co-founders of the cultural institute of Al-Hiwar, an organization registered under the administration of former President Khatami, which organized events in the Arabic language including conferences, educational and art classes, and poetry recital gatherings. The institute was banned in 2005.
Shabani also reveals that after 2005 the access to internet was his last resort to share poems and texts that were reflecting the misery and the suffering of the Ahwazian people socially, culturally and economically.
In his letter, the activist stressed that despite of all the sufferings and miseries he never raised a weapon to fight against the oppression or spilled the blood of any human being. He only spilled the inks of his pen to fight against the injustice and the oppression.
He also describes how in 2011, on February 11, he was arrested by the Iranian intelligence services at his home for founding the popular Resistance movement for liberation of Ahwaz. A nick name he just used on the internet to express his feeling toward the misery of the Ahwazian people. The ongoing physical and psychological unbearable tortures let him loose his control and real conscious and made him confess and accept the imposed charges. After a long term in the solitary confinement the intelligence service transferred him to the Karoon prison. After passing three sessions of trials in court and fake scenarios by the intelligence service, he had to read the verified death penalty sentences that issued against him and four of his friends along with 20 years in exile for his friend Rahman Assakre.
In the letter, he assures that neither he nor his friends were involved in any military activity. They only tried to support peacefully through cultural activities the interest of oppressed people.
He urges all human rights organization to carry out urgent actions and to call on the Iranian authorities to grant re-trials in proceedings which comply with fair trial Standards, so that they get a chance to defend themselves and speak freely and without restriction. He closes the letter by asking all do everything in their power to support them.
Full letter translated by Rahim Hamid the ex-student of Hashem shabani
Urgent action by amnesty International