Yaghoub Mehrnahad, a journalist and NGO activist in Iran's Sistan and Baluchestan province, has been executed. After the province's Appeal Commission turned down his appeal he was executed on Monday 4 August in the Central Prison of Zahedan city.
Yaghoub Mehrnahad was the secretary of Javanan Sedaye Edalat (Youth, the Voice of Justice) NGO in Sistan and Baluchestan. In April 2007, after holding a conference called "Youths question, Officials reply" in Zahedan, the capital of Baluchestan, the young journalist, who is also a student, was arrested at the end of a debate. Other members of the NGO were also arrested and later condemned to death.
According to Meghdad Barimani, the former secretary of the Islamic Society of Sistan and Baluchestan University, the Javanan Sedaye Edalat society is one of the most active NGOs in the whole province and has been active regarding various issues, including the fight against diseases like AIDS, hepatitis and disease prevention for the children and women of the area.
No precise information or documented reasons have been presented on Yaghoub Mehrnahad's "crimes" - but it has been rumoured that he had been co-operating with "obstinate" groups.
During Yaghoub Mehrnahad's trial neither he, nor his family, nor his lawyer, nor a jury were present! His family last saw him in Zahedan prison last December saying he showed obvious signs of torture.
Sistan and Baluchestan has experienced a great deal of unrest during the past two years, including terrorist attacks. Mehrnahad is accused of having had contact with the armed Jondollah group, which operates in Iranian Baluchestan.
Iranian Workers' Solidarity Network condemns the execution of this journalist, NGO activist and student. Mehrnahad is not the first journalist condemned to death in recent years. Adnan Hassanpour, a Kurdish journalist, was condemned to death last July and is awaiting execution.
Iranian Workers' Solidarity Network
9 August 2008