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The Iranian Regime is Exercising Arbitrary Arrests Against Ahwazi Activists

Iran's Barbaric Executions of Innocent Civilians

Human rights sources in Ahwaz revealed that the Iranian regime is carrying out arbitrary arrests against Ahwazi activists, including five women. The sources added that the Iranian regime recently detained Amna Hattab al-Sari, 24 years-of-age, after her house was attacked by the Iranian Revolutionary Guards on November 7, 2018. The father of Miss. Amna, Mr. Hattab Shanan al-Sari, 57 years old, with his son Amin al-Sari, 22 years-of-age, were also arrested by the Iranian authorities after being summoned to the Revolutionary Guard headquarters in the city of Ahwaz on  November 6th, 2018. [[i]]

A large number of Ahwazi, including 5 women, arrested by the Iranian regime (Al-Arabiya News)

According to Ahwazi reliable sources, the campaign of arbitrary arrests in Ahwaz included more than 800 activists, including the elderly people and women. The sources added that “one of the detainees, Mrs. Sahba al-Hammadi was pregnant in the seventh month and suffering from health problems.”

The increasing number of detainees in Ahwaz has led to the condemnation of the Iranian regime for its arbitrary detention of activists in Ahwaz. Amnesty International said in its latest report (2nd November 2018) that the Iranian authorities launched a campaign of total repression against Ahwazi Arab people, where hundreds of people have been arrested in recent weeks.

“The Iranian regime has arrested a large number of Ahwazi activists without any clear charge,” said Kamil Alboshoka, an expert on international law and Iranian affairs. The main reason for the regime’s arrest of Ahwazi citizens is a threatening message to the Arab people of Ahwaz after the operation that targeted the Revolutionary Guards in September 2018″.

Kamil Alboshoka continued to add that the vast majority of the detainees are civil activists, including women, so they were arrested by the regime because of their peaceful call to exercise their rights for freedom of expression, association or peaceful assembly, or solely because of their Arab identity. Hence, the international community must intervene to end the disastrous crisis in Ahwaz.

The human rights activist said that among the hundreds of detainees, there are a number of Ahwazi women, including civil society activist Sahba (Lima) al- Hammadi, 21 years-of-age, who was pregnant when she was detained by Iranian intelligence services for her social and cultural activities. “Many Ahwazi Arabs, including women, have been arbitrary detained and therefore subjected to enforced disappearance in accordance with international law”.

Earlier, Amnesty International accused the Iranian authorities of carrying out a campaign of total repression against Arab citizens in Ahwaz and called on the Iranian authorities to release immediately and unconditionally 600 Arab citizens and activists in Ahwaz, southwest Iran.

“The scale of arrests in recent weeks is worrying,” said Philippe Luther, director of international research and advocacy for the Middle East and North Africa at Amnesty International. He also added that “the timing indicates that the Iranian authorities are arresting a large number of Ahwazi under the pretext of the recent attack against Iranian forces in Ahwaz”. Luther said the Iranian authorities have arrested a large number of civilian and political activists in Ahwaz, in order to intimidate and crush dissent in Ahwaz. [[ii]]

The Ahwazi human rights organizations said in a statement: The campaign of unprecedented raids resulted in the arrest of 800 people, including female and men and elderly people, as well as young people and civil society activists. Ahwazi organizations said they have obtained the name of more than 194 detainees in Ahwaz. It also pointed out that the campaign of arbitrary arrests in Ahwaz threatens Ahwazi civil society activists and international human rights organizations. [iii]

Human rights activist and director of Ahwaz Monitor, Rahim Hamid, said that the Iranian regime has a horrific record in the persecution and discrimination of Ahwazi Arab people. Therefore, the recent arrests raise doubts that these arrests are arbitrary and politically motivated to suppress the movement of Ahwazi activists”.

Rahim Hamid said the arbitrary arrests in Ahwaz since September 2018 violated international law and human rights. The Iranian authorities have arrested about 1,000 people since the Ahwazi incident on 22nd September 2018, which has been released 200 people, but 800 people are still in detention, and there is no contact between the detainees and their families, including the five women who have been arrested recently.

According to Al-Arabiya, the health condition of the female detainees are poorly recorded, including Sabha (Lamia) al-Hammadi, 21 years of age, a civil society activist who was arrested on 6 October at her home in Al-Khafajiyah, and Zudea Afrawi, 55 years of age, and Qaisiya Afrawi, 60 years of age, both from Al-Khafajiyah and were arrested on 22nd October 2018. Al-Arabiya reported that Miss Amna al-Sari is also arrested on 7th November 2018 along with her father and younger brother in Ahwaz capital city. [iv]

Ahwazi Arabs in Iran face discrimination and arbitrary restrictions on their access to education, employment, adequate housing, and enjoyment of their cultural and linguistic rights. They have repeatedly expressed concerns about their inability to learn, promote and use their own language, in private and in public, freely and without interference or discrimination. [v]

Earlier in the meeting of human rights in Geneva, the Secretary-General of the Arab Organisation for Human Rights Alaa Shalabi drew attention to the levels of repression practiced by the Iranian regime against peaceful protesters in Iran in general and in Ahwaz in particular, stressing the need to move and activate ways to document violations of this system in the field of human rights, and to communicate the voice of those affected by these violations to the relevant international institutions and forums. [vi]

[[i]] Al-Arabiya, 9th November 2018:  https://goo.gl/VurBMf

[[ii]] Amnesty International, 2 November 2018:   https://goo.gl/ugCWf5

[iii] Nedaa Syria, 10th November 2018: https://www.nedaa-sy.com/news/9640

[iv] Al-Arabiya, 9th November 2018:  https://goo.gl/38F59T

[v] Youm7, 21st September 2018:   https://goo.gl/Et32pS

[vi] Ibid

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