23 Jan 2016
AHWAZI ARABS FACE SANDSTSORM BECAUSE OF ENVIRONMENTAL PROBLEMS
According to the sources in Ahwaz and the Ahwazi environmental activists, thousands of Ahwazi Arab people took part in a massive protest in the Ahwazi capital city since 10th February 2015 outside the governor’s building in the capital city.
The protests were an attempt to express the deep discontentment of the Ahwazi people with Iran’s authorities policies that intentionally target the environment and the water resources in Al-Ahwaz. The Iranian authorities policies against the water of the rivers and dehydrating the wetlands have resulted in severe damage and destruction of Ahwaz’s climate and the emergence of toxic dust storms.
The environmental problems in Ahwaz have been disturbing the lives of Ahwazi Arab citizens through facing diseases; many Ahwazi also face poverty, homelessness and unemployment because their agricultural lands versed dried in throughout Ahwaz.
Therefore, the Ahwazi Organisation for the Defence of Human Rights strongly condemned the Iranian policies against the environment in Ahwaz, in which caused many Arabs face disease, poverty, homelessness, unemployment, climate change, drying the rivers, and destroying the wetlands. The Ahwazi organisation for the Defence of Human Rights also argue the international Human Rights Organisations and the organisations that work for the environment to put Iran under pressure to stop its policies against the environment in Ahwaz by opening the barriers, stopping destroying the wetlands, giving people a right to make peaceful protest, and allowing Dr. Shaheed and other human rights and environmental special activists to visit Iran and Ahwaz.
Ahwaz is Arab land that located in the South- West and South Iran. The name of Al-Ahwaz has changed to Khuzestan, Bushehr and Hormozgan in 1935 after invading the land in 1925. The Iranian both regimes such as Pahlavi era and Islamic republic era used different ways to suppress Ahwazi voices.
The reason for the Ahwazi protest in Ahwaz is because of the Iranian authorities pollicises to change the way of Ahwazi rivers from Arab cities to Persian cities like Isfahan, Qom, and Kerman. The pollicises have been starting for several years, in which having a negative impact on the lifestyle of Ahwazi through increasing diseases like cancer and asthma that made many Arabs to lose their lives. This policies made many Ahwazi MPs in the Iranian parliament to write a letter against Rohani’s government policies to continue with the building new barriers to change the rivers to Persian cities inside Iran. The MPs also mentioned that this policies will force Arabs to leave their lands, so Ahwaz will face demographic change if the Iranian government does not stop the policy of changing the way of the rivers.
These policies also made the Hor Al-Azim or Howaiza, the biggest Wetland in whole the Middle East to face dry, in which forced many Arabs to leave their lands and move to the cities that made the vast majority of them to face homelessness or living in Ghettos.
In addition, Ahwazi Arab people have been recently faces sandstorm since the beginning of February 2015. The Ahwazi began to send their voices to the authorities, but they faced ignorance. Therefore, the Arab have decided to make a massive protest apposite the Governor’s building in Ahwazi capital city to put the authorities under pressure and in the same time making Ahwazi an able to send their voices to the world.
Additionally, the Ahwazi defence for Human Rights Organisation alongside with Ahwazi human rights, political and environmental activists have decided to make a protest in Brussels, Belgium on 6th March 2015 to share its solidarity with Ahwazi Arab people, and with Ahwazi women who faced prisons and torture due to their activists (The international women day will be on 8th March 2015 just 2 days after the protest day in Brussels).