20 Apr 2020
On the anniversary of the Nakba Day … the conditions of the Ahwaz detainees are getting worse
April 20, 1925, marks the day of the Nakba, the day the Iranian regime forces invaded Ahwaz lands and imposed their control after they neglected the Ahwazi people and robbed their rights and plundered their lands.
This remembrance comes in exceptional circumstances in which the health and humane conditions of prisoners worsen in the prisons of the Iranian regime, with the outbreak of the new Corona epidemic (COVID 19).
Fears increase for the Ahwazi prisoners in light of the Iranian regime dealing with the threat of Corona in a spirit of recklessness and indifference in notorious prisons, where the weapon of medical negligence is known as a form of punishment against the prisoners.
The authorities of the Iranian regime did not take any measures that could limit the spread of the virus in prisons or even guarantee the safety of the prisoners, most of whom suffer from chronic diseases.
Recently, Sibdar and Shaiban prisons were brutally stormed by the Iranian authorities, during which unlawful lethal force was used after the prisoners organized protests on the deteriorating health situation for fear of infection with the Coronavirus.
The attack resulted in killing about 36 prisoners and wounding others, some of whom are in serious condition, including the Ahwazi prisoner Musa Mousawi, who was wounded with live ammunition and was transferred to an unknown location with dozens of prisoners.
Since the beginning of the outbreak of the new Coronavirus, the Iranian regime has not stopped arrests against the Ahwazi people; But, it has launched random and wide arrests and raids against most of the cities and villages of Ahwaz, striking at the warnings launched by human rights activists at home and abroad from the danger of accumulation in already overcrowded prisons.
It is difficult to know the numbers of prisoners of the Iranian regime because of the severe restrictions imposed on human rights organizations that amount to criminalization, but estimates indicate that the numbers of prisoners exceed twenty-three thousand, divided as follows: (13 thousand in Khuzestan, and about 3 thousand in Abu Shahr, and 6 thousand in
Ahwazi detainees held in Iranian prisons and detention facilities face tragic conditions in which their rights and human dignity are violated, which start from the investigation station, fabricating the charges and the absence of lawyers and human rights defenders to defend them to the use of brutal methods in physical and psychological torture.
Other torture methods include the policies of repression, oppression, and abuse by the Iranian regime on prisoners (solitary confinement, severe assault, and beatings, especially during incursions and repeated searches, and depriving hundreds of them of visiting their relatives).
The Iranian regime is not satisfied with this, as it allowed criminal prisoners to kill detainees or torture them, at the very least, after directing violent criminals to deal with political prisoners.
Ahwazi prisoners also suffer from the lack of access to water services for drinking and washing and are forced to stand hours in front of toilets to fulfill their needs.
The policies of terrorism and torture of prisoners do not stop there, as they are subjected to the policy of starvation by forcing them to buy poor types of prison food at exorbitant prices. This is in addition to extorting the families of the detainees and prisoners of the Ahwaz
by requesting exorbitant documents that sometimes reach billions of tumans in return for their temporary release.
The Ahwazi Organization for the Defense of Human Rights, the United Nations, the European Union and all signatories of the Fourth Geneva Convention, warns against the danger of the collapse of health conditions in Iranian prisons.
It calls on the international human rights bodies and bodies to find appropriate mechanisms to compel the Iranian regime to improve the living conditions of the prisoners and to reduce
the violations they are exposed to.
The organization condemns the racial and ethnic discrimination practiced by the Iranian regime against the Ahwazi prisoners, while at the time that the Iranian newspapers announced the release of thousands of prisoners due to the Corona pandemic, the authorities did not release one Ahwazi prisoner from the Shiban Central Prison in the Ahwaz, in which about 5,000 prisoners are waiting for the support and protection of international institutions.
According to the Iranian news agency “Tasnim”, the Iranian authorities granted the temporary release of 100,000 prisoners, while there are 500 political detainees in the Ahwaz in Sections 5 and 8 inside the central prison (Shaiban in Ahwaz). The Iranian authorities have not considered releasing one of them.
The Ahwazi Organization for the Defense of Human Rights addresses the human conscience in the world towards the urgent move to release the prisoners immediately and without conditions, holding the international community legal and moral responsibility for the life of the Ahwazi prisoners.
It also calls for the need to pressure the Iranian regime to allow international human rights organizations to visit prisons and see the conditions of prisoners’ health who have been sentenced to long prison terms through unfair trials, in addition to reviewing the readiness of Iranian prisons and taking precautionary measures to confront the new Corona epidemic.
The organization commends the legendary steadfastness that the prisoners’ control and the solid will of their relatives in the face of a regime that only knows the language of killing and hatred and speaks only with force and violence.
Ahwazi Organization for the Defense of Human Rights