30 Nov 2020
The year 2020 was full of events in Ahwaz that we need to pay attention to and highlight amid the media blackout imposed by the Iranian regime on what is geographically known as Iran, and especially in the southwest city Ahwaz.
The COVID-19 (Coronavirus) outbreak topped the list of events in Ahwaz, revealing how tremendously impaired the health system is, which also reflects the major failure of officials, especially in poor and fragile communities, that have become very vulnerable to the virus, particularly in Ahwaz.
Ahwaz is located in what is currently known as south and southwestern Iran, and it is populated by millions of Ahwazis, who are subjected to systematic discrimination. This discrimination has led to a deteriorating living and economic situation, and an unemployment rate that has been continuously on the rise.
Nevertheless, Ahwaz produces 80% of Iran’s crude oil and has the biggest number of Iran’s oil fields, which constitutes the majority of Iran’s revenue.
This marginalisation has reinforced the collapse of the service sector inside Ahwaz, as Ahwazis are denied access
to clean water, construction of new schools, hospitals, and are prohibited from practising religious rituals freely.
In this report, we will discuss each point in detail within the framework of the information collected by field observation by taking into account the iron grip imposed by the regime and the difficulties in reaching sources.
Ahwaz has been severely affected by the outbreak of the Coronavirus, with confirmed numbers reaching 4 thousand cases as of June 2020. Meanwhile, the Iranian regime authorities have held their hands back from offering any aid, or supply to Ahwazi hospitals which don’t even have the minimal capabilities to confront the deadly virus.
The lack and slow reaction of the Iranian regime in implementing the policies and measures advised by the World Health Organization (WHO) has led Ahwaz to become a hotspot of the spread of the virus.
These are not only rumours or fabrications but are the words of Iranian regime officials. In May, Ghulam Reza Shariati, the Governor of Ahwaz, announced a rise of 200% in the number of the people infected with COVID in Ahwaz within the month, stressing that the number of hospitalised cases has risen by 60%, without mentioning an accurate number for confirmed cases and deaths in the region.
In an interview with the Iranian TV, Shariati said that 9 cities in the province are closed to prevent the spread of the virus.
Meanwhile, Zinnedin Mousavi, the governer of Abadan, south of Ahwaz, announced that the city will enter a complete lockdown and quarantine, and close all entrances from the side of Ahwaz and Maashour.
In the same month, the manager of Razi Hospital in Ahwaz, Farhang Karbendi, warned about
The gravity of the situation in Ahwaz due to the rapid spread of the virus and the increased of cases in intensive care units.
Karbendi told the Iranian Student Agency “ISNA”, that 50% of the suspected cases have tested positive for Coronavirus (Covid 19), and that 60% of the infected people need to be connected to ventilators in the intensive care unit.
With this accelerated spread of the virus, questions have been raised about the possibility of the Iranian regime exploiting the Coronavirus as a biological weapon to eliminate the Ahwazi people and pass a demographic change project with ease.
The answer could be found by looking at how the Iranian regime has dealt with the COVID pandemic. At a time
where different countries have gone into lockdown and stopped all forms of travel, even to and from China, in addition to all foreign countries and Arab countries.
The Iranian regime deliberately facilitated the arrival of tourists and supported commercial activities and different trips between China and Ahwaz. Just to solicit financial gain from Chinese who was temporarily banned from entering most countries of the world.
Furthermore, The regime did not refrain from sending delegations from the so-called Hozat the city of Qom, the epicentre of the pandemic, as a part of their sectarian ethnic cleansing plan, creating the needed environment for the virus to spread.
Instead of putting a plan to contain the virus in Ahwaz through medical establishments, hospitals dedicated to containing the infected people, Ahwaz became a place for the virus to spread, as the trash coming from these hospitals is thrown into karon River, the main source of drinking water in Ahwaz. Also, the deterioration of the healthcare sector, the scarcity of medical personnel and the lack thereof in some Ahwazi cities reinforced the spreading of the pandemic.
It seems that the Iranian regime has developed an elaborate plan to spread the virus throughout Ahwaz,
and this can be confirmed through the timeline of facts monitored by activists inside Ahwaz:
– In February, during the early days of the virus’ spread, a member of the nursing team at Khomeini Hospital in Ahwaz, revealed that there were people infected with Coronavirus by publishing a video clip. Meanwhile the Iranian government was covering up the spread of the virus and saying that Ahwaz is free of Coronavirus.
– In March, The Iranian regime deliberately sent several people infected with the Coronavirus to Rady Hospital in Ahwaz, the capital, which caused the virus to spread in all Ahwazi neighbourhoods.
– The Revolutionary Guard took part in the ethnic cleansing project against Arabs in Ahwaz by spreading lies and rumours through promoting special alcohol used as a means of preventing the deadly virus on its various media outlets; however, it was a trap to cause the largest number of victims.
The number of victims of this heinous crime reached 218 people after being exposed to alcohol poisoning, while at least 28 people died.
– The liquidation of Ahwazi prisoners in the central prison of Sheban and Spidar prison, which is one of the most prominent prisons designated for Ahwazi activists, materializes as the most conclusive evidence of the regime’s plans to annihilate the Ahwazi people.
When the rise of the pandemic pressed the regime to temporarily announce the release of 85,000 prisoners to reduce the risk of the virus spreading in overcrowded prisons, the amnesty excluded tens of thousands of Ahwazi prisoners who face a terrifying mixture of inhumane prison conditions and the outbreak of the deadly COVID-19.
In light of the racial discrimination, the Ahwazi prisoners protested the fear of an outbreak and the Iranian regime’s negligence to take precautionary measures. The prison authorities took the initiative to fire live bullets, which caused dozens of deaths and injuries. The fate of the remaining prisoners and wounded ones who were transferred to unknown places is not known yet.
The revolt in Spidar and Sheiban prisons was followed by another rebellion in Abadan prison, as a result of which 100 prisoners were wounded and 20 martyred by the prison authorities on 4 April 2020.
The aforementioned facts confirm that the Iranian regime has turned the Corona pandemic (Covid-19) into a biological weapon that kills the defenceless Ahwazi people.
Random arrests in Ahwaz stand out as the most heavily discussed topic during any Ahwazi case study. One reason is that the Iranian regime continues to carry out security campaigns and raids during the most difficult circumstances.
Death, arrests and darkness is the triad that confronts everyone who stands against the actions or policies of the Iranian regime. The judiciary creates and fabricates accusations against Ahwazi prisoners that can lead to life in prison or the death sentence, such accusation is “fighting against God and his prophets”, ruining the land”, and “economic corruption”.
Furthermore, the judiciary confronts any popular movement that demands economic, social and political rights with new laws and random policies.
In many cases, executions are instant, outside the law’s supervision, under false pretences. To worsen it, some of these executions aren’t even reported to the responsible security forces.
The first half of 2020 witnessed many sad incidents, summarized as follows:
– April 18, 2020: Security forces arrested many Ahwazi citizens in a campaign of raids throughout Ahwaz. This campaign led to the arrest of Hussein Shamani Bin Ali, Ali Rida Bin Abdelaziz, Diaa Bin Faysal, Ali Rida Fadi Kroshat, Diaa Kroshat.
– April 22, 2020: The arrest Mohammed Bu Azar, a cultural activist, after his house was raided with no formal charges and was taken to an unknown destination.
– May 15, 2020: Iranian regime’s security forces arrest Aref Jassem Shmousi, Ahwazi citizen, raiding his house in the Ahwazi city of Abu Shahr. It is important to emphasize that the arrestee had already moved from the city of Mlashia to Abu Shahr as a result of continuous raids and repetitive harassment by security forces.
– May 27, 2020: The captain of the Iranian regime’s police forces in Ahwaz, Haydar Abbas Zade, announced the arrest of 14 Ahwazi citizens all with bizarre accusations such as carrying the Ahwazi flag in the streets.
– June 12, 2020: The assassination of the Ahwazi citizen Majed Bughbeish, 25 years old who was living in Maashour port. He was assassinated on the security checkpoint near Khor Mosa while driving his car. The Iranian regime authorities have not given out any details about the accident. different sources confirmed that the assassination was a part of the “unlawful killings” policy carried out by the Iranian regime in Ahwaz.
– June 22, 2020: The Revolutionary Court in Ahwaz sentenced the teacher, Adel Asakreh, to 9 years in prison. The reason behind the arrest was publishing video clips in which he criticized the Iranian regime’s looting of the lands of the farmers of Falahiyah. His conviction was carried out without obtaining convincing and sufficient evidence, and with the absence of any party representing Adel Asakreh defence due to his financial inability to appoint a lawyer.
– June 25, 2020: Iranian regime forces showered an Ahwazi citizen Muhammad Kazem Lazem Sari from Rafi city with bullets, making him a martyr immediately after those three bullets pierced his chest. It became clear later that the martyr did not commit a crime and his only guilt was that of trying to provide food for him and his family, as extreme poverty pushed him to sell livestock on the Iraqi side.
The previous crimes are nothing but a part of a myriad of other crimes committed daily in Ahwaz. Moreover, any legal activism in Ahwaz is considered a punishable crime by law, and field observers have very limited free movement to document every crime committed by the security forces.
Ahwazi women are the tough part of the Ahwazi equation. Through the past 9 decades, they have been consumed by the struggle to maintain the Ahwazi Arab identity, language, and belonging. They are the wives of prisoners and martyrs, the mother of the prisoner and the martyr, who buried the heartburn of loss in the depth of their hearts, between them are also the fighters who spent their youth in the darkness of the prisons, while at the same time, they pay the price for cultural Ignorance policies deliberated by the Iranian regime.
Misery does not end at the arrest of their husbands, sons, brothers, or fathers, but it continues as the Ahwazi woman have to work to provide for her household and also cover for the visiting costs when she goes to visit her loved ones.
It is not a hidden fact that since the fascist Iranian regime came to power, it has been trying to degrade a woman’s status, pride, and rights. As Khomeini arrived at power, he cancelled laws and policies that support woman and
family, ending all the rights and privileges that women had.
As a matter of fact, the Ahwazi woman is targeted by the Iranian regime through destroying the social structure in Ahwaz, to ensure that Ahwazi women cultivate generations skinned of their national identity and swarming in ignorance and illiteracy.
It is not surprising that the Ahwazi women in jails are also subjected to torture similar to the ones men face, as the regime does not differentiate between genders, in many cases, women are faced with harsher torture than men. The Iranian regime did not take in account the existence of an educated and active female society in Ahwaz, as they tried to scare Ahwazi women from being active in social, political, or cultural events that support the Ahwazi community.
As Ahwazi women sacrifice and pay a heavy price, the following lines tell a few stories of the Iranian regime’s attacks on Ahwazi women:
-January 16, 2020:The Lebanese security forces arrest the two Ahwazi sisters, Maryam Afrawi and Nihaya Afrawi, after a raid on their house in Beirut, just before their planned trip to the United States of America. The sisters had obtained asylum through the United Nations
High Commissioner for Refugees, the Lebanese authorities released them after ten days.
– April 28, 2020: The Iranian occupation authorities released the Ahwazi prisoner, Sahba Hammadi, in exchange for a bond worth forty billion Iranian riyals stipulated by the occupation court, which prompted her family to appeal to the people to assist with guaranteeing her release.
During her arrest, Sahba Hamadi has suffered from physical and psychological torture.
– June 19, 2020: Al-Ahwaz citizen Fatima Baraihi was killed by her relatives for refusing to have an arranged marriage.
Activists believe that Fatima Baraihi is a victim and a natural product of the Iranian regime’s repressive measures towards human rights institutions and organizations defending women, their social and political oppression, which Ahwazi women stood as an impregnable barrier to obtain their stolen rights.
The Iranian regime’s crackdowns against the intellectuals and activists who carried the task of spreading awareness among the Ahwazi people on their shoulders had a great impact on the spread of negative customs and traditions stemming from fanaticism and ignorance within the Ahwazi community.
Others considered Fatima Baraihi an icon of the revolution against the poverty and ignorance that the Iranian regime cultivated for decades, the result of which was the consolidation of unfair customs and traditions towards Ahwazi women, and the absence of strict laws that guarantee their protection.
The sporadic incidents that we mentioned represent only a small part of the reality of Ahwazi women, the tragedies that they have to live with after the Iranian regime robbed them of all their social, economic and political rights, and a decent and stable life.
Ahwazi children do not even live in semi-normal conditions. After all, how can they when the Iranian regime has put all its energy into destroying the emerging Ahwazi generations after it has besieged them in deprived areas and isolated from life?
These children had to coexist in substandard environmental, social and economic conditions. Only to
find themselves forced to stop studying, before reaching secondary school, and often before they learn to read or write.
The difficult living conditions forced Ahwaz children to work in landfills or as street vendors who sell whatever they can, near traffic lights, in local cemeteries or to wash cars’ windshields.
They work full-time through the whole day in dangerous conditions to support their families, and this has become a natural scene that no one cares about, as it has become the basis.
Statistics indicate that more than 7 million children are present in the labour market in Iran, most of them inside Ahwaz and among non-Persian populations such as the Baluchis or the Kurds, among other minorities. Meanwhile, the Iranian authorities are silent about these numbers.
However, it is noticed that this phenomenon is spreading in Ahwaz cities due to poverty, which has led to an increase in school dropouts.
The matter does not stop at here; Minors in Ahwaz are subjected to repressive campaigns that do not distinguish between them from adults, as the Iranian authorities do
not give children any differential treatment while dealing with them, and they are subjected to the same methods of investigation and torture that are carried out with adult prisoners, starting with severe beatings, insults and ending with threats and intimidation.
In addition to that, these minors are prevented from visiting their families under flimsy pretexts, and treatment for the sick among them is prohibited, and the Ahwazi Organization for the Defence of Human Rights has been able to report several incidents, including:
– April 6, 2020: The Iranian regime forces raided separate neighbourhoods of the city of schush, and subsequently arrested 19-year-old Sajid Dabat, and 17-year-old Qusay Khazraji and took them to an unknown destination.
The storming forces exercised excessive brute force, aiming to bring terror into their cores during the arrest process.
– April 25, 2020: The Iranian intelligence service arrested Hussein Jaldawi – 16 years old who lives in Thawra neighbourhood – they took him to an unknown destination without any previous charges and prior permission from the concerned authorities.
– June 18, 2020: Iranian security services arrested the 18-year-old citizen Karim Abiyat without clear charges, as
part of a new campaign of arrests against minors in Ahwaz, this so-called campaign went for a week and targeted the Thawra neighbourhood.
Despite the violations that children are subjected to in Ahwaz; They have a will that is comparable with that of Ahwazi adults in trying to preserve their Arab identity and resist the systematic or ‘Iranian Persianisation’ project by the Iranian regime.
From time to time, volunteer initiatives appear to enhance and protect the Arab identity, one of the latest initiatives was the “Reading Children” campaign. This campaign included many activities, such as the publication and distribution of a book entitled “Risan and the Wounded Bird” directed to children, called after the martyr Ahwazi author Risan Sari, the martyr that kissed the rope before being executed in 2007.
During the campaign, Short videos, infographics, and caricatures were produced and distributed, all of which include short stories that encourage children to read in Arabic.
Freedoms and the persecution of clerics, intellectuals and poets
The Iranian regime has focused on clerics, writers, poets and intellectuals as a preemptive step to eradicate any religious and cultural surge against, the plans of the Iranian regime being those of ignorance that seeks to destroy the social structure in Ahwaz.
The fact that Iran topped the list of countries with the least religious freedom did not come from no reasons; The Iranian constitution contains discriminatory and racist texts. Article 107 prohibits individuals who identify as a Sunni, from running for the position of supreme leader or be a member in the Assembly Leadership Experts., Article 61 prohibits individuals who identify as Sunni from assuming judicial positions, in addition to that, Article 115 stipulates that the President of the Republic be a follower of the Shiite sect.
Sunnis are also prohibited from assuming some other political and administrative positions, especially the institutions affiliated with the Revolutionary Command, such as the Guardian Council, the Expediency Council, the Presidency of Ministers, ministers and their deputies, intelligence services, the army, the Revolutionary Guard, radio and television, localities and ambassadors.
Inside Ahwaz, Sunnis are prohibited from building mosques, holding prayers, and demonstrating collective rituals such as performing Taraweeh in Ramadan and performing the Eid Al-Fitr and Adha prayers. To reinforce these prohibitions, there has been many arrests and executions of the most prominent Sunni scholars.
The cultural freedom has been suffering too, the Iranian regime has hunted writers, poets, and cultural activists it has locked them in prison, has executed them and hanged them. Furthermore, the Iranian regime has prevented cultural activities and obliterated Arab identity by prohibiting the establishment of Qur’an schools, teaching Arabic, criminalizing the wearing of traditional Arab clothes, and raising the Ahwazi flag. The following are incidents we reported and listed chronologically:
-January 23, 2020: Cultural activist Said Dulaimi was arrested in the city of Toster and taken to an unknown destination due to his cultural activities and relief activities, during the floods.
– January 28, 2020: The Iranian intelligence service stormed the home of the Ahwazi poet and activist Shihab
Jawad Sayahi in the city of Hamidiyah and took him to an unknown destination after he recited national poems.
– February 9, 2020: The release of the poet Hassan Saadi, a resident of Ahwaz, the capital, was due to an exchange of an exorbitant financial bond. This exchange was made under duress as he was forced to present it under torture and when his family was pressured as well.
– February 14, 2020: Cultural activist Naji Haydari Taame was arrested for the second time by the Iranian regime’s intelligence services.
– May 10, 2020: The Iranian regime launches a brutal campaign of arrests during the month of Ramadan in separate areas of Ahwaz, which resulted in the arrest of: “Mr Jaafar Sayahi, Mr Qassem Nissi, Mr Majid Hashemi, Mr Khalil Mousawi, and Mr Ali Shabib Mousawi” from the Ayn neighbourhood. Mr Ishaq Kazem Kaabi from the city of Suhush was arrested, and everyone was taken to an unknown destination.
– May 15, 2020: The Imam Hussein Centre intensifies its sectarian and security activities in Ahwaz, the capital. Some of the Centre’s most prominent works are: “Holding religious ceremonies, establishing the Imam Hussein scholarly seminary to spread deviant sectarian ideas, opening a branch of Mustafa University, which is
Iran’s arm in spreading the deviant Safavid thought around the world, the establishment of a security centre to receive security and intelligence reports on Ahwazi national activities, and the establishment of workshops to educate ideological, political and security forces under the supervision of elements of the intelligence of the terrorist Revolutionary Guard militia.”
– May 17, 2020: The Iranian regime’s abuse of Sunnis in Ahwaz continues in the context of deliberate restrictions during the holy month of Ramadan, as the security services arrested: “Mr Jaafar Silai, Mr Faisal Silawi, Mr Riad Zahiri, Mr Sajjad Hai’i, Mr Abdul Karim Khazraji and Mr Hussein Baldi.”
– May 22, 2020: The Iranian regime authorities carried out a large-scale arrests campaign right before Eid al-Fitr targeting the Malashya neighbourhood and resulted in the arrest of: “Ibrahim Silawi, Khalil Silawi, Qasim Silawi, Khaled Nabi Silawi, Ibrahim Karushat, Muhammad Karushawi, Ayoub Badawi, Muhammad Sharifi, and Kazem Abbas Darjal.”
– June 1, 2020: The Iranian regime expands the detention circle amongst writers, poets and activists in Ahwaz during Eid al-Fitr, fearing their role in organizing activities and events that aim to raise awareness between the Ahwazi youth and confront the policies of obliterating
Arab identity, and attracting the world’s attention to their cause, and among the detainees: “Poet Hossam Kargouli, Mr Jamal Nisi, and Khair Allah Haidari.”
The Iranian regime deliberately plunged the Ahwazi people into a cycle of poverty and besieged the Ahwazi youth with unemployment in order for them to drown in their worries and have no will, guaranteeing that no popular movement would remove the regime from power.
Many Iranian officials admit the worsening unemployment crisis. At the end of January 2020, Ali Reza Kazemi, head of the Planning and Administration Corporation in occupied Ahwaz, admitted the high unemployment indicators in the villages of Ahwaz, compared to the rest of Iran’s territories, which leaves a situation of poverty and destitution that leads to the growth of the behaviours of picking up food from waste and begging.
In mid-February 2020, the head of the Ahwazi capital Chamber of Commerce, Shahla Amouri, acknowledged an unprecedented rise in unemployment rates throughout Ahwaz regions.
The state of poverty, unemployment and neglect of the needs of the youth, accompanied by the youth’s sense of losing their future led to an increase in suicide incidents, which we list some in the following lines:
– April 12, 2020: An eighteen-year-old Ahwazi man commits suicide by hanging himself from the ceiling of his room in his home in Abadan.
– June 1, 2020: An Ahwazi teacher, in his fifties, committed suicide in the city of Abu Shahr, south of Ahwaz, after being besieged by the pressures of life and the accumulation of debts. Days before that, another young man from the city of Durantash, north of Ahwaz, committed suicide.
– June 2, 2020: Ahwazi citizen Imran Roshani commits suicide after the Iranian regime’s authorities refused to pay his salary for three months.
Thirst policies and dams
The condition in Ahwaz carries a set of strange contradictions, while Ahwaz is considered the most important water reservoir for the Iranian state, as it contains the most important rivers such as the Karun River, the Karkh River, the Diz River, and the Jarahi River, its people cannot get a cup of clean water.
The Iranian regime’s policy of building dams has prompted desertification and the erosion of agricultural lands, as well as the adoption of failed water policies aimed primarily at the marginalization of Ahwazi citizens in the villages.
The Iranian authorities did not consult water experts at home or with neighbouring countries such as Iraq, which were affected by the construction of dams on the springs of the Ahwaz rivers, and they have been taking unilateral decisions in this regard.
According to a study conducted by the Ahwazi National Current Research Centre, more than 40 dams and tunnels have been constructed on the water sources and basins of the Ahwazi rivers such as Karun, Karkh and Jarahi, to transfer their waters to the Iranian depth.
Studies have shown that the Revolutionary Guards have established 25 dams on the major springs of Karun River, 7 on the Karkh River, and 8 dams on the Jarahi River, and there are also 19 dams under construction by companies affiliated with the Revolutionary Guard on the Karun River, 12 dams under construction on the Karkh River and 5 dams On the Jarahi River, 140 dams were recorded, all of which are still under study.
According to Iranian official documents, 25 dams and tunnels have been constructed on the basin of the Karun River are as follows:
According to Iranian official documents, the seven dams and tunnels that were built in the Karkh’s basins are:
Besides, 8 dams and tunnels were constructed on the side basins of the Jarahi River, which are as follows:
These projects violated the rights of the Ahwazi citizen to water and deprived the Ahwazi people of their natural, social and collective right to water.
The Iranian regime has also implemented many projects aimed at reducing the area of land owned by the Ahwazis, including expanding the area of the sugar cane project from the east of the city of Ahwaz to the west of the city. This project was the reason for the displacement of hundreds of villages in all parts of Ahwaz, especially in the Gazania region.
The water issue in Gazania – which includes more than 50,000 people and 90 villages – worsened during the first half of the year 2020. On May 25, the anger of the people of the Gazania region escalated due to the scarcity of drinking water, prompting them to block the main road in protest of the continuous water cuts. The Iranian regime ignored their demands.
The Iranian regime pushed its security services to disperse the protest by force, as the repressive forces severely beat the people with bullets and batons, which led to the injury of many citizens including a child and the arrest of others, and this issue has not been resolved until the writing of this report.
On the first of June 2020, popular anger moved from Gazania to the Juffair area, near the city of Hawiza, where people blocked the main road in protest against the continuous water cuts and the lack of drinking water.
The Ahwazi farmers are one of the groups most affected by the water crisis and the Iranian regime’s failed water policies. On June 13, 2020, hundreds of Arab farmers protested in front of the military governor’s building in Ahwaz, against the government’s decision to prevent rice cultivation which was issued by the Ministry of Energy and the Ministry of Agriculture.
This is a categorical rejection of their request is an affirmation of the Iranian regime’s unjust decision. By prohibiting the cultivation of rice in Ahwaz during the summer due to the scarcity of water inflicts heavy losses on 20 thousand Arab families.
Rice cultivation is one of the most important sources of income for Ahwazi families. If not the only source considering the deterioration of the living, economic and social conditions as a result of the destructive policies imposed by the Iranian regime.
To further punish the Ahwazis, the Iranian regime started opening the dams, a decision repeated annually. On March 25, 2020, the floods swept through the city of Arm, south of Ahwaz, by the deliberate opening of dam gates by the Iranian regime and helped by the heavy rains.
On April 2, 2020, 7 villages were inundated due to flash floods between Hawizeh and Rifa`, due to the Iranian regime’s opening of dam ports as well.
Videos posted on the Internet at the time showed that the lands of the villages of Bani Naama, Beit Kawar, Hanzlah, Nahirat, Zain Abidin, Daghaghleh, and Qabban were flooded.
The first half of the year 2020 witnessed an increase in the rate of home demolitions by the Iranian regime, and these demolitions are closely related to the issue of demographic change; The Iranian regime seeks to forcibly displace the Ahwazi people in exchange for the expansion of Persian settlements.
The monitoring unit of the Ahwazi Organization for the Defence of Human Rights was able to record the following facts:
– May 20, 2020: The assistant governor for urban affairs of the occupation in Abu Shahr, Mehrdad Sotoudeh, vowed to usurp more lands around Abu Shahr, revealing a new scheme to confiscate lands in areas of Canaan district and some villages in the districts north of Abu Shahr.
– May 27, 2020: The Iranian regime begins demolishing the homes of Ahwazis in Arjan (Behbahan).
– May 28, 2020: Municipal personnel demolish the home of an Ahwazi woman in Wahda camp in Arjan, a camp located on the outskirts of the city of Arjan, which was established during the Iranian aggression against Iraq in the eighties to receive the displaced people from the
areas of Busaiteen, Jazaba, Rafi’ and villages adjacent to Hor Azim. More than 200 families currently reside in the camp, which lacks the necessities of life.
– June 3, 2020: The Iranian regime’s authorities demolished a one-room house of an Ahwazi citizen in the Koura neighbourhood, north of Maashour, under the pretext that the owner did not have a building permit.
– June 7, 2020: The Iranian regime’s bulldozers demolished the home of an Ahwazi citizen, in the Zawiya Amiri neighbourhood, east of Ahwaz, the capital, under the pretence that the owner built it without a permit from the municipality.
– June 17, 2020: Villages of Ghazhania names were changed to Qassem Soleimani, the former commander of the Quds Force of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard, as a provocative move for the Ahwazi Arabs.
– June 21, 2020: The regime authorities demolished 17 homes in the Riq port of Janaba, south of Ahwaz, under the excuse that the homeowners did not possess building permits.
– June 21, 2020: The security services confiscated about 100 hectares of land from Ahwazi citizens in the village of Hassanan in Khor Mousa district, south of Ahwaz.
The Iranian regime authorities always invoked the lack of building permits among the homeowners, and at the same time refuse to grant them any official permits, and let them rebuild their homes. But, they do bring in bulldozers with demolition orders to displace the Ahwazi residents of these houses.
The Iranian regime declares the environment as a weapon to sabotage the Ahwazi people, as it adopted policies to pollute the remaining waters of the Ahwazi rivers with the sewage of cities and hospitals through the spilling the remnants of petrochemical companies, the number of which exceeded 100 companies in Ahwaz.
The Foundation for the Preservation of the Environment in Ahwaz indicates that more than 85% of the pollution levels in Ahwaz are from the activities of the oil companies, confirming that the thick clouds of smoke emitted from oil flares in the companies, affiliated with the Iranian regime, are responsible for spreading pollution and infecting citizens with serious respiratory diseases.
The following are the most prominent stories that confirm the Iranian regime’s policies goal to artificially destroy the environment in Ahwaz:
-January 27, 2020: An official of the environmental branch in the health department in Ahwaz, admits that the percentage of bacterial pollution in the drinking water network in the districts of Falahiyah and Maashour is terrifying and that the percentage of pollution in the water network in the districts of Ahwaz, Maysan, Hamidiyah, Muhammara, Abadan and Kut Abdullah, Malathani, and Khalfia is higher than the normal rates.
– March 12, 2020: The death of a small whale came as a result of marine pollution on the beaches of Ahwaz after the regime authorities allowed Chinese companies to use unfair fishing methods on the beaches of Ahwaz overlooking the Arabian Gulf.
– April 11, 2020: A state of severe panic affects the people of several villages in the city of Jaizan, affiliated to the city of Amidiya, after the arrival of contaminated water through the water taps.
– April 13, 2020: Residents of Hawizeh complain that the Iranian regime has set up oil projects that pollute Hor Azim water.
– 14 April 2020: Residents of Karun city complain of contamination of tap drinking water, as the water had a dark colour and a weird odour.
– April 15, 2020: The official Iranian news agency “IRNA” highlights in a report the crisis of the accumulation of hundreds of tons of garbage near the homes of the residents of Qalaat Kanaan village, located in the Karun district of Ahwaz, which has a population of more than 23,000.
– April 24, 2020: General dissatisfaction among the people of Ahwaz, the capital, due to the large pollution in drinking water, which turned black due to the increase in pollutants and microbes in it.
– May 4, 2020: Residents of neighbourhoods in Ahwaz, the capital, complain about the contamination of drinking water loaded with dirt and impurities.
– May 8, 2020: The Air Quality Assessment Centre in North Ahwaz indicates record levels of pollution with the dust storms that hit the region during that period.
– May 19, 2020: The President of the University of Medical Sciences in Abadan, Dr Shukrallah Salman Zadeh, warns that contamination of drinking water in Ahwaz will cause many people to suffer from kidney and intestinal
diseases, as the water contains impurities and pathogens, and it forms a vital environment for epidemics.
– June 4, 2020: Intestinal diseases spread in the northern occupied Ahwaz, as a result of high temperatures and water pollution.
– June 6, 2020: Ahwazi environmental activists warn of pollution caused by the burning of the gas flame in the Arjan gas refinery, which started its production work recently.
Activists confirmed that those in charge of managing the refinery have dug wells to be used in gas refining operations, regardless of the potential toxins of groundwater wells in the region, stressing that there are basins for collecting industrial waste in the facility. The problem is that the water of these basins often seeps into the city of Arjan and its neighbouring villages when it rains, which threatens a health disaster in the district of Arjan on the short term.
The Ahwazi Organization for the Defence of Human Rights