Seven Reasons Why I Should Die
By Hashem Shaabani
For seven days they shouted at me:
You are waging war on Allah!
Saturday, because you are an Arab!
Sunday, well, you are from Ahvaz
Monday, remember you are Iranian
Tuesday: You mock the sacred Revolution
Wednesday, didn’t you raise your voice for others?
Thursday, you are a poet and a bard
Friday: You’re a man, isn’t that enough to die?
An Arab-Iranian poet and human rights activist, Hashem Shaabani, has been executed for being an “enemy of God” and threatening national security, according to local human rights groups. Shaabani and a man named Hadi Rashedi were hanged in unidentified prison on January 27, rights groups have said.
Shaabani, who spoke out against the treatment of ethnic Arabs in the province of Khuzestan, had been in prison since February or March 2011 after being arrested for being a Mohareb, or “enemy of God”.
Last July, the Islamic Revolutionary Tribunal found Shaabani and 13 other people guilty of “waging war on God” and spreading “corruption on earth”.
The 32-year-old was the founder of Dialogue Institute and was popular for his Arabic and Persian poems. In 2012, he appeared on Iran’s state-owned Press TV, where human rights groups say he was forced to confess to “separatist terrorism”. According to BBC Persian, officials from the Ministry of Information informed the condemned men’s families that they had been hanged, and they would be subsequently informed on the location of the men’s burial site. Shaabani was moved from the area to an unspecified prison before his death, it was reported.
Iran executed 40 people over two weeks of that month, according to Amnesty International. According to the Iran Human Rights Documentation Centre (IHRDC) more than 300 people have been executed since Hasan Rouhani became president in August.
In the past, Tehran has said the death penalty was essential to maintain law and order, and that it was applied only after exhaustive judicial proceedings. Most of the executions in January were for drug related offences, according to Amnesty.
Source: Al Jazeera
In February 2011, Shabani was arrested along with four others Iranian Arabs – Hadi Rashedi, Mohammad-Ali Amouri, and brothers Mokhtar Alboshokeh and Jaber Alboshokeh. Their arrests were considered part of a broader government crackdown at the time against Iran’s Arab minority. According to Amnesty International, these individuals were detained “apparently in connection with their cultural activities, such as organizing events in the Arabic language, conferences, educational courses, art classes, and poetry recital gatherings.”
On December 13, 2011, Press TV, the English-language network of the government-run Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting, broadcast a “documentary” featuring Shabani, Rashedi, and another Arab man, Taha Heidarian. In the program, Shabani and Rashedi confessed “to being part of an armed Arab terrorist group called the Al-Moqawama al-Shaabiya (‘People’s Movement’), which was responsible for shooting at four government employees.” Press TV said that the United States and the United Kingdom support this terrorist group.
Human rights groups maintain that the confessions “were coerced under duress and torture during their detention at a local Intelligence Ministry facility, and that they denied the charges against them in court.” Reported examples of torture are a broken pelvic bone suffered by Rashedi, and that Shabani’s feet were placed in boiling water to make him confess.
On 7 July 2012, a Revolutionary Court sentenced Shabani and the four other Arabs arrested in February 2011 to death on charges of Moharebeh (“waging war on God”), as well as “sowing corruption on earth, propaganda against the Islamic Republic and acting against national security.” Amnesty International said that the confessions of Shabani and Rashedi that aired on Press TV were “in violation of international standards for fair trial.” In January 2013, the Iranian Supreme Court upheld their death sentences.
On 29 January 2014, reports emerged that Shabani and Rashed had been executed. In violation of Iran’s own legal regulations, authorities had executed the two men without first notifying their families or attorneys. The hangings reportedly took place on January 27 in an undisclosed prison after Iranian President Hassan Rouhani approved the sentences.
Was this one of the alleged CIA Cultural programs and poet journalists?