Execution of five dissident prisoners in Iran ‘likely’ in next few days

Defence attorney Mostafa Nili asks Iranian authorities to halt killings so the accused can appeal

Justice Scales and books and wooden gavel. Getty Images

An Iranian lawyer has warned the execution is imminent of five prisoners accused of being members of “armed opposition” to the regime as he called for time to appeal.

All the prisoners are based in Zahedan, a city in south-eastern Iran that is home to armed opposition groups seeking local autonomy. Defence attorney Mostafa Nili tweeted on Friday that Iranian authorities have informed the family of one prisoner that his execution is arranged for Monday, according to broadcaster Iran International.

Mr Nili said he had asked senior judicial officials to halt planned executions to give the accused time to appeal. He also told the Emtedad website that the phones in Zahedan prison are out of order and because it is Friday. As a result of the weekend he has been unable to speak to officials.

He said that at least ten people in the jail are subject to a death sentence, over charges relating to opposing the regime. Four of the 10 are his clients.

Two of the prisoners, Amin Baluch-Zai and Abdolrahim Kuhi, are clerics.

Another, Javid Dehghan, has been transferred to the quarantine ward of the prison, Mr Nili said.