Two Sunni Baloch prisoners executed in Iran
HRANA News Agency – Two Sunni prisoners of conscience from Iran’s Baloch minority were executed on Thursday morning in Zahedan Central prison, Sistan-Baluchestan province of Iran.
According to the report of Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA), 22-year old Vahid Shah Bakhsh and 23-year old Mahmoud Shah Bakhsh were taken to the gallows and hanged on 13 November 2014 on charges of ‘Moharabeh [enmity against God] and acting against national security’.
Both men had been subjected to severe torture whilst being held at the Ministry of Intelligence Detention Center in Zahedan, and the details surrounding their cases are still unclear at this stage.
Vahid Shah Bakhsh (also known as Abdol Rahman, the son of Ghous Uddin) and Mahmoud Shah Bakhsh (also known as Junaid, the son of Dur Mohammad) were arrested in Zahedan in April 2012.
Vahid Shah Bakhsh had been active in criticizing the Iranian government and speaking out against the oppression faced by the Sunni Baloch minority in Iran.
He had been on school study-leave and was at home when the security forces raided his house without warning and opened fire. He was shot and severely wounded, but was taken to the Ministry of Intelligence Detention Center without receiving adequate medical treatment.
Both he and Mahmoud Shah Bakhsh were subjected to severe torture whilst in the detention of the Ministry of Intelligence.
On 8 January 2014, the men were sentenced to death by Branch 1 of the Revolutionary Court in Zahedan for ‘Moharabeh (enmity against God) and acting against national security’.
Mahmoud Shah Bakhsh was again transferred to the Ministry of Intelligence detention center in Zahedan in early January 2014, where he was held for three days and physically and psychologically tortured by interrogators who tried to force him to make a filmed false ‘confession’.
He refused to make a filmed ‘confession’ and was transferred back to Ward 1 of Zahedan prison (also known as ‘the Youth Ward’).
On 12 February 2014, Mahmoud Shah Bakhsh was once again transferred to the Ministry of Intelligence detention center. This time, after extensive torture, he was forced to make a filmed ‘confession’.
Iranian state-run media often broadcasts ‘confessions’ of prisoners, which are usually obtained through torture, in an attempt to sway public opinion and justify the executions.