Sunday, 20 June 2010

Iran hangs insurgent Sunni leader Abdolmalek Rigi

Abdolmalek Rigi, leader of a Sunni militant group, Jundullah (Soldiers of God) , has been executed by hanging in front of his victims' families reported Iran's official news agency IRNA. The reports came after several months of interrogations following Rigi's arrest in February while on a flight to Kyrgyzstan.

Rigi, who had waged a deadly war in Iran's southeastern province of Sistan-Baluchestan, was hanged in Evin prison, after the decision by Tehran revolutionary tribunal. The militant leader had been accused of conspiring against Iran and working as an agent for Britain, Pakistan and the US. He is said to have pleaded guilty to charges including armed attacks on civilians and military officials and a disinformation campaign against Iran.

IRNA quoted an official court statement as saying that Rigi was the leader of an “armed counter-revolutionary group in the east of the country ... responsible for armed robbery, assassination attempts, armed attacks on the army and police and on ordinary people and murder." The report went on to say that Rigi's group was "responsible for the killing of 154 members of security forces and other innocent people and the wounding of 320 people since 2003."

Rigi was also charged with forming a “terrorist group which was fighting the Islamic republic." The statement said that the group was “linked to members of foreign intelligence services, including members from US and Zionist regime's intelligence services under the cover of NATO," and to intelligence services of some Arabic countries and counter-revolutionary group People's Mujahedeen.

The statement concluded that Rigi had “collaborated and ordered 15 armed abductions, confessed to three murders, ordered the murders of tens of citizens, police and military personnel through bombings and armed actions," however Rigi maintained that he was fighting against Tehran's Sh'ia leadership to secure the rights of minority Sunnis in the south-eastern Iran.

Source: BBC News

For more news and expert analysis about Iran please see Iran Strategic Focus.

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