By: Faisal Fulad
29th March 2018
Protests and demonstrations have continued in several cities in Ahwaz since Tuesday 27th March 2018 and it is reported that the Iranian authorities arrested some demonstrators in Ahwaz capital city. The protest in Ahwaz has turned into the biggest wave of protests since unrest on the 2nd December 2017 and then the unrest in whole Iran which ended on 6th January 2018.
According to the local sources in Ahwaz, the protestors have gathered in the centre of the city of Ahwaz today 29th March at 12 noon local time to protest against the Iranian broadcast TV in which denied Arabs in their historical land Al-Ahwaz, so the sources confirmed that few protestors have been arrested by the Iranian security guard and police officers. Social media footage also showed a heavy police and security guard presence in the centre of Ahwaz city and some other cities in Al-Ahwaz such as Falhiya and Mashor.
The local sources also added that dozens of Iranian police forces raided the area of Zawiya, one of the abandoned areas in the city of Ahwaz and clashed with the demonstrators in the area, which led to the escape of police forces from the outside of Zawiya.
The reliable sources confirmed that on 23rd March 2018, the Iranian Broadcast TV showed a TV program on Iranian human geography which denied Ahwazi Arabs as a native on their lands and given the Lor people as owners of the land. Hence, this policy has caused Ahwazi to protest front of TV broadcast in Ahwaz to spread their angry of this policy. However, the Iranian authorities through its security guards and police guards attacked the peaceful protesters in Ahwaz instead of apologising for what they did against Ahwazi.
Iranian forces have used tear gas to disperse people, so human rights activists in Ahwaz condemn the policy of violence to disperse people instead of giving people their demands and condemn the report of Iran’s official channel to deny the identity of the Arab people of Ahwaz.
In the past unrest in all Iranian cities, including Ahwaz, some 3,000 protesters were arrested in Ahwaz and 10 were killed by the security forces, and the numbers of detainees are still held in detention. Iranian forces also arrested 60 people in the village of Jalizi in Ahwaz before the protests began in Iran.
The death of Ahwazi under torture
On Wednesday 28th March 2018, the body of a citizen of Ahwazi Arab man who died due to torture was found in Ahwaz. The body of Ali Sawari, 50 years of age, returned to his family in the city of Ahwaz on Monday, March 26. A close source said Ali Sawari had died in Shiban prison, which located in the East of the capital city of Ahwaz due to torture. Ali Sawari was arrested in 2014 for unspecified reasons.
Killing Ahwazi prisoners under torture is part of the Iranian government’s methods of countering popular anger against the policies of the Iranian authorities in Ahwaz, such as drying marshlands and rivers, demographic change, damage the environment, confiscating lands, demolishing houses, increasing poverty and unemployment among Ahwaz and building settlements for settlers, in which this police caused Ahwazi to confront the Iranian policies, which led to the death of many and arrested a large number, so all detainees faced sever torture in the detention which some of them died under torture.
- The Iranian authorities must free all detainees
- The Iranian authorities must respect freedom of expression and peaceful demonstrations
- The Iranian authorities must end all ill-treatments policies in Ahwaz.
- The Iranian authorities must stop denying and ignoring people’s identity through its official broadcasting
- The authorities are responsible for the death of Mr Ali Sawari in the detention and must investigate the case
- The authorities must offer a fair trial in Ahwaz and stop searching prisoners in Ahwaz, including searching their families
- Iran must stop the policy of deprivation and marginalization in Ahwaz in order to give better opportunities to the settlers