Iran has executed an Arab-Iranian poet and rights activist for “waging war on God" and "acting against national security," according to Iranian rights groups.
Hashem Shaabani was executed at the end of January along with a man called Hadi Rashedi in a yet unidentified location, Al Jazeera reported.
Shaabani, an activist for the rights of ethnic Arabs in the Iranian province of Khuzestan, was imprisoned in February or March 2011, according to Al Jazeera. He was arrested for being an "enemy of God," or "Mohareb."
Last July, an Islamic Revolutionary Tribunal sentenced Shaabani and 13 other activists to death for "waging war on God," “spreading corruption on earth” and “questioning the principle of the "guardianship of the jurist." According to a report last week in Asharq Al-Awsat, Shaabani and Rashedi were the first two to be executed.
Shaabani, 32, founded the Dialogue Institute, and Arab cultural organization, and wrote poetry in Arabic and Persian. He was a member of the Arabic-speaking Ahvazis minority. In 2012, he was forced to confess to "separatist terrorism" on Iran's state Press TV, Al Jazeera said.
According to local rights activists, intelligence officials called the homes of Shaabani and Rashedi on January 29 and told their families that they had been executed. Officials from the Ministry of Intelligence and National Security later confirmed the executions, and said the men were put to death "three or four days" earlier.
Iran executed 40 people over a two week period in January, according to Amnesty International. The Iran Human Rights Documentation Center estimates that between August last year, when President Hassan Rohani was inaugurated, to the end of 2013, more than 300 people were put to death.
Most of executions in Iran are of people convicted of alleged drug-related charges, according to Amnesty International.
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