AFP: The German presidency of the EU on Thursday condemned the hanging of four men in Iran for deadly bombings in oil-rich Khuzestan province last year which the Islamic republic blamed on Britain.
BERLIN, Feb 1, 2007 (AFP) – The German presidency of the EU on Thursday condemned the hanging of four men in Iran for deadly bombings in oil-rich Khuzestan province last year which the Islamic republic blamed on Britain.
“The European Union deplores the execution of four Ahvazi Arab men on January 24 sentenced to death in Iran for alleged involvement in terrorist activities in the Ahvaz region,” it said in a statement.
“The EU has raised with the Iranian authorities its concerns about the conduct of the trial that led to these sentences and the defendants’ lack of access to lawyers.”
The 27-nation bloc called on Iran not to execute three other men accused in the case and to grant them a fair and public hearing with full transparency in all court proceedings.
“The EU reiterates its longstanding opposition to the death penalty in all circumstances,” it added.
Iran’s ISNA news agency reported that the executions of the four were carried out at the jail of the provincial capital of Ahvaz, in front of the victims’ families.
Reports in November said a total of 10 men had been sentenced to death for the bombings in Ahvaz, which is home to a large community of ethnic minority Arabs and has been plagued by unrest since 2005.
Iranian officials had put the blame for unrest in Khuzestan on Britain and its troops based just across the border in southern Iraq, a charge denied by London.