Inequality in Al.Ahwaz

Inequality in Al.Ahwaz

Kamil Alboshoka

According to the article 1 of the universal declaration of Human Rights, all human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood (The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, 10th December 1948).

Polly in 2007 defined equality ” as a justice and the rule of equal value given to people or things that set that universe free of bias”. The equality can be based on the grounds of gender, ethnicity, disability, age, sexual orientation, transgender status, religion, and belief.

However, Ahwazi Arab people do not receive an equality in Iran, and majority of people usually born with not receiving free facilities although article 1 of the universal declaration of Human Rights pointed out that all people born free, all people have own thoughts and ideas, and all people should be treated in the same way. For instance, the inequalities between men and women in Ahwaz and other parts of Iran, the inequalities to not given a chance of having cultural NGOs, however there are several cultural NGOs work inside Iran to improve Persian culture between genders and improve the inequality. The inequality between ethnicity in Iran is clear for majority of Human Rights organisations, particularly between Arabs and Persian. The inequality between disabled people and other people which majority of disabled people in Ahwaz cannot access facilities like equip hospitals, fast transport, and schools. The inequality between children in Ahwaz and children inside Iran to receive equal chance to study in their languages. There is another inequality between Muslim and non-Muslim, and between Sunni and non-Sunni Muslim. In fact, all Ahwazi Sunni do not have a chance of  accessing a mosque, and do not have freedom to clarify their religion either Sunni or non-Muslim like Mandaean.

Violations of human rights in Ahwaz has reached a serious stage between Persian and Arabs, and between Ahwazi Arab and Persian settlers. For instance, all governmental intuitions, organisations and offices in Al.Ahwaz like education, banks, managers, clubs, services and other governmental agencies run by Persian settlers. The Iranian authorities use different ways like intelligence services, security forces and other forces just to suppress any voices of Ahwazi who want to come out against this policy.

The policies of the Iranian authorities against Ahwazi Arab to isolate them from the world is increasingly rise up. For instance, there is inequality between Persian and Arabs to reach media in their languages, or media that work to improve cultures. Poverty spread in rural and urban areas, people have difficulty to reach clean water to drink although there are 3 rivers in Al-Ahwaz like Karun, Jarahi, and Karkheh. The name of cities, rural areas, and rivers have changed from Arabic to Persian. Persian settlements have increasingly rise up in comparison with past years although this policy is not compatible with Human Rights. The Iranian authorities also began to destroy natural of Al-Ahwaz like rivers, marshes, and forests through changing the way of the rivers that has an impact on natural of the lands like agriculture, and has also an impact on changing the weather in Al-Ahwaz.

Anti-Arabic policies, lack of a  plan to help Ahwazi people to reach better opportunities, following policies that keep Arab people of Ahwaz to live in poverty and also helping to increase injustice against the Arabs by the Iranian authorities have also increased. Therefore, several Ahwazi activists began to work through social and cultural organisations to send Ahwazi voices to the world. However, many of them were arrested and finally executed. For instance, Al-Hewar cultural organisation that was working from 2002 to 2005 to improve social life of Ahwazi, but all the members were arrested, and finally two of the member were executed in the secret detention by the Iranian intelligence services with inequality of having chance to find solicitors or seen their families before the death. The inequalities against Al-Shabab cultural group from Susa city which all of them were arrested, and finally two of the organisation finder were executed. The inequalities to keep Ahwazi to live poorly have also increased. For instance, the Iranian security forces attacked the native residents in Qeshm Island in July 2014 which over 6 people were killed and dozens injured.

To conclude, there are several ways to put the Iranian authorities under pressure to decrease or stop the inequalities against Ahwazi through media, NGOs groups, governments condemnation reports and government affairs like formal diplomat, United Nations pressure, and through protest outside the country. Having contact with UPR working group that review the state case every 41/2 years will be positive because new reports to this group will increase the pressure against the Iranian authorities to decrease their inequalities against Ahwazi people. For example, six UN Special Rapporteur have recently expressed deep concern of the repressive crackdown and inequalities in Iran.


Burchardt, Tania and Vizard, Polly (2007) Definition of equality and framework for measurement: final recommendations of the equalities review steering group on measurement. CASEpapers, CASE/120. Centre for Analysis of Social Exclusion, London School of Economics and Political Science, London, UK.

The Struggle for Equality in Iran

Reza Arasteh

Middle East Journal
Vol. 18, No. 2 (Spring, 1964), pp. 189-205

Published by: Middle East Institute
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