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EU condemns death sentences in Iran for five Arabs

BRUSSELS (AFP) — EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton on Tuesday urged Iran to commute death sentences against five members of the Ahwazi Arab minority in Iran.

She said she had learned "with great concern" that an Iranian high court had upheld death sentences against the five Ahwazi Arab activists -- Mohammad Ali Amouri, Hashem Sha?bani Amouri, Hadi Rashidi, Sayed Jaber Alboshoka and his brother Sayed Mokhtar Alboshoka.

"Reports that the executions of these men are imminent are very worrying, and I urge the Iranian authorities to commute the sentences," she said in a statement.

"I am concerned by reports that these men did not receive fair trials, and were forced to confess," she added, also recalling Iran's "obligations under international law, in particular regarding the protection of the civil and political rights of members of ethnic minorities."