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Amnesty International condemned the execution of 11 men this morning in Iran accused of links to the bomb attack in Chabahar that killed more than 39 people last week, many of them worshippers at a mosque, the organization reported.
"Last week's bombing was an atrocious act and we strongly condemn it, but so too do we condemn these executions, which have the hallmark of an act of retaliation, not justice," said Malcolm Smart, Amnesty International's director for the Middle East and North Africa.
The 11 men hanged at Zahedan Prison were connected with the People's Resistance Movement of Iran (PRMI), or Jondallah, which claimed responsibility for the 15 December attack in
Chabahar in the Baluchi minority area of south-east Iran.
Terrorist operations outside the Imam Hossein Mosque in the southeastern city of Chabahar in Iran's Sistan and Baluchestan province killed people mourning on the martyrdom anniversary of the third Imam of Shiites. The death toll has hit 38 people, 50 people have been wounded. Another person died in hospital. A Sunni group, Jundallah ("Army of God") took the responsibility for the crime.
Jundallah (Army of God) was created in 2003 and operates operates primarily in the Iranian province of Sistan-Baluchestan, which borders Pakistan. Jundallah uses a variety of terrorist tactics, including suicide bombings, ambushes, kidnappings and targeted assassinations. According to Tehran Jundallah connected with the U.S. and UK intelligence services.
The province of Sistan-Baluchestan is mostly populated by Sunnis (followers of the most numerous directions in Islam). The Sunnis are a minority in Shiite Iran.
No details of the charges, if any, have been released by the authorities for six of the convicted men or any details of the 11 men's trials - trials which are likely to have been conducted before Revolutionary Courts, which are notoriously unfair.
Four of the 11 men are reported to have been convicted of 'Moharebeh' (enmity against God) for taking up arms against the state, kidnapping and other offences.
One other is said to have been convicted in connection with the bombing of another mosque in Zahedan last July.
Two suicide bombers detonated an explosive device on the night of July 16 in Zahidan in front of the mosque "Jami". The attack killed 27 people, injured 270 people, 11 of them are in critical condition. According to Dubai TV channel Al-Arabiya, "Jundullah" group ("Warriors of Allah") took the responsibility for the attack in response to the execution of the leader of this group Abdolmalek Rigi.
The last major terrorist attack was an explosion in south-eastern Iran in October 2009 killed nearly 50 people. The organization took the responsibility for the terror act.
Abolmalek Rigi, the former leader of the PRMI, was executed by the Iranian
authorities in June 2010. He did not receive a fair trial. Other alleged members of PRMI have also been executed in previous years, also after unfair trials.
"The Iranian authorities have a responsibility to protect public safety and to bring to justice those who commit crimes, but when doing so they must respect human rights and uphold their obligations under international law," said Malcolm Smart.
"In this case, they appear to have meted out summary executions in a manner that completely ignores these requirements."
Amnesty International opposes the death penalty in all cases without exception as the ultimate denial of human rights, regardless of the nature of the crime, the characteristics of the offender, or the method used by the state to kill the prisoner.
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