A civilian court in Iran has sentenced four Baloch prisoners to death, sparking alarm over the rising number of cases targeting ethnic and religious minorities in the country.
According to reports, the four inmates sentenced to death were identified as Khalid Raisi, Amarullah Basij, Abdul Nasir Shah and Hoshang Shahnawazi. The detainees were moved to the quarantine centre of the central jail in Iran’s Zahedan where they would be executed.
Iran has sentenced at least 22 Baloch prisoners to death since August, sparking alarm about the treatment of religious and ethnic minorities.
Norway-based rights group IHR expressed concern over the rising number of death sentences being issued in Iran. The NGO claimed that 12 people were executed in June this year which also included a woman. The organization claimed that the inmates were sentenced to death on charges of drug trafficking or homicide.
Human rights groups have expressed alarm that executions in Iran disproportionally target the ethnic and religious minorities of the country. They claim that the Iranian authorities sentence people to death on flimsy charges that do not merit an execution. The four Baloch prisoners mentioned earlier are adherents of the Sunni sect of Islam whereas the Shia sect dominates in Iran.