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Arab-Iranian Poet Hanged as an 'Enemy of God'

Iranian culture is known for its rich poetic tradition featuring internationally renowned writers such as Persian poet Hafez, whose tomb located in Shiraz, Iran, is pictured above. txikita69 (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)


Human rights activist and bard Hashem Shaabani, who was a vocal critic of “the treatment of ethnic Arabs in the province of Khuzestan,” was executed in Iran in late January after almost three years in prison, where he was reportedly tortured. The 32-year-old writer and father of one was known as “man of peace and understanding” by those he came into contact with.

In a letter sent from prison, he wrote, “I have tried to defend the legitimate right that every people in this world should have which is the right to live freely with full civil rights. With all these miseries and tragedies, I have never used a weapon to fight these atrocious crimes except the pen.”

Al-Jazeera America:

Shaabani and a man named Hadi Rashedi were hanged in unidentified prison on January 27, rights groups have said….

Last July, the Islamic Revolutionary Tribunal found Shaabani and 13 other people guilty of “waging war on God” and spreading “corruption on earth”.

The 32-year-old was the founder of Dialogue Institute and was popular for his Arabic and Persian poems. In 2012, he appeared on Iran’s state-owned Press TV, where human rights groups say he was forced to confess to “separatist terrorism”…

Iran executed 40 people over two weeks of that month, according to Amnesty International. According to the Iran Human Rights Documentation Centre (IHRDC) more than 300 people have been executed since Hasan Rouhani became president in August.

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—Posted by Natasha Hakimi

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