URGENT ACTION

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18 Apr 2016

URGENT ACTION

Continuing of violation of Human Rights during the anniversary of Intifada

Introduction

Keywords: geography, anniversary of Ahwazi Intifada, current violation of human rights in Ahwaz, most recent case of violation of human rights.

Geography

Al-Ahwaz is located in the South and south-west of Iran, and is bounded on the west by the Iraqi territory and on the south by Arabian Gulf and from the north by the Zagros Mountains. The name of Al-Ahwaz was changed by the Iranian regime during Reza Pahlavi era to Khuzestan, Bushehr and Hormozgan in 1935. The natural resources of Ahwaz are petrol, Gas and its soil has a great potential for agriculture and Ahwaz has

three rivers such as KAROON, JARAHI and KARKHE that play a vital role in irrigating of arable lands.

Anniversary of Ahwazi Intifada

Violence clash between Ahwazi Arab protestors and the Iranian security forces on 15 April 2005 that had taken several days. A large number were killed and injured; sources mentioned that over 16,000 Arabs were arrested. The reason behind the Intifada was the violation of human rights since the occupation of Al-Ahwaz in 1925 and the leaking letter from the previous president Khatami.

According to the letter that was signed by Mohammad Abtahi, Arabs in Alwaz must be minority not majority of the region within ten years from now (the letter was signed in 1999 but was leaked in 2005). Therefore, Ahwazi Arabs were demonstrated against the Iranian policy which began in Ahwaz the capital city and Hamideyeh, however, the Iranian security forces and revolutionary guard were killed a large number of Arabs since the first day of the Intifada. Some sources believe that around 160 Arabs were killed in the Intifada.

In addition, Ahwazi human rights activists pointed out that violations of human rights against Ahwazi Arabs have increased after 2005 and become doubled or more compared with the past. The death sentence against activists, long life imprisonment, confiscating agricultural land, unemployment, poverty, homelessness, political repression, poor housing, economy instability, disease, poor environment, dams to dry Ahwazi rivers and other violations of human rights in Ahwaz have largely increased compared with the past.

The Ahwazi Arab people, such as Arabs inside the country, and Ahwazi outside the country celebrate the anniversary every year on 15 April alongside of 20th April, of which Iran were invaded Al-Ahwaz in 1925, and overthrew the monarchy (Sheikhdom) in Al-Ahwaz. Therefore, Ahwazi activists stated that people in Al-Ahwaz on 15 April 2005 were demonstrated against the Iranian occupation in Al-Ahwaz, so, the Intifada was continued until 20th April and perhaps more.

Violation of human rights

The Iranian policies in Al-Ahwaz always have an impact on human rights and political rights in Ahwaz. It means the Iranian regime usually confiscate the Ahwazi land without offering any benefit or compensation to local Arabs. Hence, poverty and homelessness have led the internal displacement and forced migration to be increased.

As already has mentioned, the Iranian regime practices dreadful policy against the Arab people of Ahwaz through the revolutionary courts. The Iranian regime has another ideology against Ahwazi Arabs like ethnic cleansing through forced displacement, starvation, cut water and drying rivers and also the denial of the resources inside Ahwaz. Denial of the resources have affected Ahwazi and made many of them live in segregation, ghetto and poverty.

Furthermore, since 2005 after the Intifada, the Iranian authorities has been using different political and economic policies to suppress the voices of Ahwazi, such as not giving right of free speech, assembly or movement to Ahwazi; arresting activists and imprisonment increased in which the vast majority of activists could not face a fair trial in the courts; genocide of intellectual has grown; torture and solitary confinement has become double or even more; still there is not right for Ahwazi Arabs to study on their language; disease has increased due to changing the ways of the rivers to Persian cities, in which has an impact on environment in Al-Ahwaz; the suppression of religious such as Sunni Muslim, political, cultural and human rights activists increased.

The death penalty against three Ahwazi activists

Three Ahwazi Arab political activists, who were born in Hamidiyeh in West Al-Ahwaz have sentenced to the death penalty by the Iranian revolutionary court in Ahwaz city around 20th March 2016, according to the reliable sources inside Al-Ahwaz.

Those men were forcibly arrested by the Iranian intelligence services in April 2015 in Hamidiyeh city on the charge of enmity of god, corruption on the earth, dangerous for national security, and having connection with terrorism.

The name of these men, who have sentenced to the death penalty by the revolutionary court; Mr. Qis Dasher Saleh Obidawi and his brother Mr. Ahmad Dasher Saleh Obidawi, and their cousin Mr. Sajad Hamid Saleh Obidawi. In addition, Mr. Mohammad Helfi 25 years of age and Mr. Mehdi Abbas Alzayer Sayahi, both have sentenced to 35 years life imprisonment in Yazd, also Mr. Mehdi Moarebi and Mr. Ali Hassan Saleh Obidawi, both have sentenced to 25 years life imprisonment.

Killing an Arab activist by security forces

Ahwazi man was shot dead by Iranian security forces in Sariah village around Khafajia on 12 April 2016. Two other Ahwazi Arabs were severely injured after the Iranian security forces opened fire on their vehicle.

The names of the three Ahwazi Arab victims are Mr. Faisal Obeidawi 27 years of age (who was killed), Khalil Obeidawi and Saied Sari, who were injured by the Iranian security forces despite all the three men being unarmed and defenceless.

River flooding and the risk of Dez dam break

The Iranian authorities claimed that due to heavy rain in some parts of Iran, mainly Lorestan province that has affected the level of water in Dez dam, in which floods hit nine provinces in Iran and the collapse of the dam threatens the Arab areas in Al-Ahwaz. According to Adil Al-Salmi the Ahwazi Arab journalist, residents of 13 villages in Susa city have left their home and migrated to other places to protect themselves. However, Quanitra (Dezful), the fourth largest city in Al-Ahwaz after Ahwaz the capital city, Abadan and Jamberon (Bandar Abbas) is facing flood inside the city and rural areas around the city.

However, according to Ahwazi Arab environment activists and interviewing with Ahwazi inside Ahwaz, Iranian authorities are behind the flood that will hit the vast majority of Ahwazi cities and rural areas. For example, the Iranian Energy Minister stated that for around 12 years Dez dam has not opened. Ahwazi human rights and environment activists believe that the Iranian authorities through flood and collapsing the dam want to force Arabs to migrate from their lands, or whether destroying Arabs agricultural land. However, collapsing the dam could turn into a humanitarian disaster.

USA article over human rights in Iran

US State Department report on 14 April 2016, Iran has practiced ethnic persecution against Ahwazi Arabs. Sharq Al-awsat the Arab newspaper on 15 April 2016 has published the US report over human rights situation. The Arab newspaper published that the US issued a report on human rights in the world, the United States has warned governments around the world, from continuing to suppress basic freedoms’’, for instance, where convicted prisoners are facing extrajudicial killings.

The US human rights report focused on the political, cultural, economic and social violation of human rights against non-Persian ethnic nations like Ahwazi Arabs people. The report focused on Dr Ahmad Shaheed report over Ahwazi situation in Iran (The Special Rapporteur of Human Rights). Dr Ahmad Shaheed report emphasized the suffering of Arabs from the oppression, repression and discrimination.

The US report said that the Iranian authorities have arrested about 1,000 Ahwazi during August 2015 after the death of Younis Asakereh, who committed suicide after being

harassed by the Iranian security forces. The US report also said that the Iranian authorities had arrested 100 Ahwazi in the tenth anniversary of the peaceful uprising in 2005 in Ahwaz.

Recommendation

The Ahwazi Organisation for the Defence of Human Rights strongly condemned the Iranian ill-treatments against the three Ahwazi, who have recently sentenced to the death penalty. The Ahwazi Organisation also condemned the death of Ahwazi Arab man by the Iranian security forces by shooting him until the death.

The Ahwazi Organisation for the Defence of Human Rights demand the International Human Rights Organisations and International Community in general and Dr. Ahmad Shaheed, the Special Rapporteur on Human Rights for Iran in particular, to pay attention for the case of those men, and more importantly the case of Dez dam that is threatening the lives of millions Ahwazi. If the dam entirely breaks down, we will face human tragedy and humanitarian disaster. For example, the dam will be caused the death of the large number of Ahwazi through drowning, and displacing of millions of Arabs in Al-Ahwaz.

The Ahwazi Organisation for the Defence of Human Rights would like to add that Mr Faisal Obeidawi was shot to the death by the Iranian security forces because of unclear reason without getting permission from the court. The Iranian security forces via killing people would increase violation of human rights hence, the political and human rights situation of Ahwazi will be facing critical level.

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