Slain poet Hashem Shaabani
"Last month, Hassan Rouhani, the new President of the Islamic Republic made a whirlwind visit to Ahvaz, capital of the southwestern province of Khuzestan. According to official media, Rouhani spent much of his time there dealing with "a number of sensitive files" left undecided by outgoing President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
One such file concerns 14 human rights activists who had been in prison for up to two years. When Rouhani took over as president he had them moved from the Karoun Prison in Ahvaz to an unknown destination. There, last July an Islamic Revolutionary Tribunal with a single judge Ayatollah Muhammad-Baqer Mussavi, sentenced the 14 to death on charges of "waging war on God" and "spreading corruption on earth" and "questioning the principle of walayat al-faqih" (i.e., the Rule of the Jurisprudent) . Before he left Ahvaz, Rouhani gave his green light for the executions. The first two executions were carried out last Monday when Hashem Shaabani and Hadi Rashedi were hanged in an unidentified prison.
..To those who knew him, Hashem Shaabani was a man of peace and understanding struggling to extend spaces of individual freedom within the despotic Khomeinist system...In one of his letters from prison, made available to use through his family, Shaabani says he could not have remained silent against 'hideous crimes against Ahvazis perpetrated by the Iranian authorities, particularly arbitrary and unjust executions.' He adds "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.'"