23 Jan 2016
The Ahwazi Organization for the Defence of Human Rights report which was presented by Mr Kamil Alboshoka the coordinator at the organisation in the British House of Commons on 24 November 2015
Dear ladies and gentlemen,
The Ahwazi Organisation for the Defence of Human Rights would like to thank you for your attendance at the Ahwazi human rights meeting at the House of Commons to send our voices to the free world, and bring their attention to our dreadful case that has been suffering from the Iranian ill-treatments since the occupation of Al-Ahwaz in 1925, particularly since the Islamic Republic took power in 1979.
Ladies and gentleman, before I start speaking about the plight of Ahwazi Arab people let me to reveal some basic information on Ahwaz and its people:
Ahwaz is an Arabic land which located in the south and south west of Iran on the eastern coast of the Arabian Gulf from the Strait of Bab-Alsalam (Hormouz) to the Shatt al-Arab. Ahwaz is rich with oil, gas and water. However Under the Iranian regime, millions of Ahwazi Arabs have been left to live in deplorable poor conditions which worse than the apartheid system that was adopted against South African people. For changing the demography of Ahwaz, Iran has been waging silent war against Ahwazi Arab people by constructing exclusive settlements aim as systematic policy of ethnic cleansing within clandestine frame-time.
More than ten million Ahwazi Arab are denied equal rights by the state of Iranian regime under the system of apartheid, a deliberate policy of racial or ethnic segregation. For years and until today, the lack of reaction of the international community concerning the state of human rights in Ahwaz in the integrity that is called the prison of occupied nations which was built on fire, blood, international conspiracy since 1925, has given Iranian regime and his clique a right of life and death over entire communities. Ahwazi Arabs as the same of other non-Persian nations are victimized, stolen and looted because of their ethnicity.
As you are aware that the Iranian authorities practices dreadful policy like executions against the Arab people of Al-Ahwaz through the revolutionary courts. The Iranian authorities were also killed many Ahwazi Arab activists under torture, while they are in the secret detention, which mainly belong to the Iranian intelligence services, although article 5 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights pointed out that, ”No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment”.
As you are also aware that the United Nations defined torture ” as a ill-treatment to include torture and other methods of abuse prohibited by international law, including inhuman, cruel and degrading treatment, outrages upon human dignity and physical or moral coercion” (The United Nations, Article 1 of the definition of torture, 1984).
The Iranian authorities have another ideology against Ahwazi Arabs like ethnic cleansing through forced displacement, starvation, cut water and drying rivers and wetlands, and also the denial of the resources inside Ahwaz, which caused the environment speedy change in Ahwaz. The environmental problems in Ahwaz caused many Ahwazi to leave their lands and faced poverty, segregation and ghettos in the major cities, although between 80 to 90% of the Iranian economy came from oil, gas, and agriculture in Ahwaz.
Furthermore, since the Islamic Republic Regime’s rise to power, the theocratic regime has enforced ethnocide policies against Ahwazi Arab nation. From the beginning of Islamic revolution in 1979, the Ahwazi Arab people were greeted by assassination, execution and banishment and mass forced displacement and finally following repressive policies have been adopted against them.
No right of free speech, assembly or movement
Arrest and imprisonment without charge or trial
Systematic liquidation of Ahwazi Arab intellectuals (genocide of intellectual)
Torture, forced confession, solitary confinement
No rights for education in mother language
Land confiscation to build settlements for Persian settlers
Taken lives through closing the ways and stolen the once mighty waters of Ahwazi rivers like Karun, Karkha and Jarahi, and drying out the marshlands of Al- Ahwaz
Poverty and homelessness have increased becase of Iranian regime policy to steal the oil wealth while improvershing the indigenous Arabs
Environmental change in which have increased cancer and other disease in Ahwaz. For instance, cancer has increased around 500% in Ahwaz.
Pollution has increased in Ahwaz. For instance, our capital city, Ahwaz city became the polluted city in the world according to the united Nations from 2010 to the current time.
The suppression of religious, political, cultural and human rights activists increased.
The Arab name of our cities, rural areas and our country have changed to Persian Like Al-Ahwaz to Khuzestan, Mohamerah to khoramshar and so on.
The death penalty in Ahwaz
The death penalty in Iran, particularly in Al-Ahwaz has reached a catastrophic situation. It means that the death penalty in Iran, mainly in Al-Ahwaz has been increased compared with the previous years, although International law work to limit or decrease the death penalty. For instance, the death penalty during the AhmadiNejad period was 314 people in 2012 which does not include the number of people who were executed in the secret detention or killed under torture. However, HARANA, the human rights organisation and Amnesty International stated that the number of people who were executed in 2012 was around 529 people not 314.
Furthermore, Amnesty International claims that the number of people who were executed in 2013 was reached 369, but HARANA stated that the fact number is 587. Moreover, the Special Rapporteur on Human Rights for Iran case, Dr. Ahmed Shaheed pointed out that the number of death penalty in Iran during new presidents has increased widely, in which 700 people were recorded as died because of the death penalty issue. However, his new report in October 2015 showed that the number of the death penalty from Summer 2014 to now reached over 1000 executions, in which many of the victims were from Al-Ahwaz.
According to the International Human Rights Law such as Article 6 of the International Convention on Civil and Political Rights, Iran must limit the death penalty for serious cases and demolish it against activists. Article 6 of the ICCPR states that ”every human being has the irrefutable right to life. This right shall be protected by law. No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his life”.
It is clear from this article that there are a number of strict limitation on the imposition of the death penalty, including ”Right to a fair trial before the imposition of the death penalty; limitation of the death penalty to only the most serious crimes; prohibition against imposing the death penalty when other ICCPR rights have been violated; prohibition against retroactive imposition of the death penalty; right to seek pardon or commutation of a death penalty sentence; prohibition against the execution of persons who were under the age of eighteen at the time the offence was committed; and prohibition against the execution of pregnant women”.
Furthermore, Article 10 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights states that ”all people have the right to access human treatment for their dignity”. It means that all people have an opportunity to access facilities through the article to not be tortured and executed without accessing to a fair trial.
Safeguard 8 of the ”Safeguards Guaranteeing Protection of the Rights of Those Facing the Death Penalty”, adopted by the UN Economic and Social Council in 1984, states that ”the death penalty against a person who is waiting for its appeal or pardon cannot be carried out”. It means that Safeguard 8 of the Committee also have an idea to limit the capital punishment. This position was further enforced by the UN Commission on Human Rights in resolution 2005/59, adopted on 20 April 2005, which urged all states should not ”carry out the capital punishment against a person who does not access an international or national level of the trial”. Therefore, the UN HRC has made clear that in various cases, the execution of a prisoner, when the sentence has not approved by the Supreme Court, is a violation of Article 6 of that Covenant.
So our Recommendation in this conference:
Need the International community, particularly the United Kingdom to put Iran under pressure to Stop the execution, torture, and detainment against Ahwazi Arab people.
Free all political, human rights and cultural prisoners.
Stop changing the way of Ahwazi rivers, such as Karun, Jarahi, Karkha, and stop the damaging environment in Ahwaz.
Stop forced displacement against Ahwazi Arab people.
Stop the demographic change in Ahwaz
We recommend International community and organizations to call us as a Ahwazi Arab nation rather than Arab community or Arab minority in Iran.
To conclude, we demand the free world, specifically the major nations, such as the UK to assume its responsibilities humanity and to stand by the side of Ahwazi people in its legitimate struggle for their freedom and maintain their dignity.