Thousands of Ahwazi people have gathered on 14th of February in front of Ahwaz Governorate office in Ahwaz’s capital demanding swift actions to cope with the dust storm that has currently crippled lives of the Ahwazi people.
Ahwazi protesters by putting on masks on their faces angrily shouted criticizing slogans against lack of appropriate actions that expected to be taken by local authorities to alleviate the sufferings of the Ahwazi people as a result of the persistence of the dust storms.
The Iranian occupation security forces by taking tight precautionary measures scattered and arrested key protesters in yesterday demonstration.
The occupying security forces for quelling the public anger of Ahwazi Arab protesters have tactically and brutally beaten up and handcuffed group of Arab protesters who have played important roles in organizing the peaceful protest.
The aggressive operations of police security forces in dealing with the protest have resulted in detaining dozens of key activists and organizers who were kicked and punched savagely and taken to an unknown place by the occupying forces.
The security forces by putting massive barricades have prevented protesters from advancing to other locations.
The mass arrests have been carried out immediately after half hour of the start of the protest while protesters raised banners and have begun chanting slogans condemning the criminal policies of occupation government.
The occupying authorities to clamp the protest have deployed significant anti-riot squad forces to battle the Ahwazi Arab activists who have called people through social Medias to take part in this protest.
Since earlier of February, the Ahwazi people’s lives have gravely disrupted due to the lingering intensive dust storms as breathing disorders, and asthmatic attacks have become very problematic and prevalent among people.
The protesters by holding up numerous placards placed the whole responsibility of the environmental disaster in Al-Ahwaz on the occupying Iranian central government’s policies in constructing excessive dams on Ahwazi Rivers following that water conveyance of the Rivers to central plateau of Iran.
Despite the severe degradation of Ahwaz’s climate Iranian government has done nothing to effectively counter the spreading desertification that is gulping the most Ahwazi fertile agricultural lands that turned into arid and barren lands as a consequence of lack of water where the water of Ahwazi Rivers are transferred to Persian regions.
Several of participants in the rally expressed their resentment of what they described as shameful disregard and deliberate neglect by the Occupation state of Iran toward the lives of Ahwazi citizens as the occupying authorities only visit Ahwaz without providing any tangible solutions to combat these environmental and health disaster that ravaged the lives of millions of Ahwazi citizens.
Ahwazi officials continuously stated that the level of dust particles in the Ahwaz’s atmosphere has seen no signs of improvement and remains at 66 times exceeding the acceptable level.
The Ahwazi protesters placed the responsibility on the Iranian occupying government of the devastating consequences of air pollution that pummel embattled Ahwazi citizens and blamed the Occupation’s pernicious policies at all levels in A-Ahwaz.
The protesters by chanting fiery slogans have slammed the government authorities of being irresponsible, indifferent as nothing can justify the inactions of the authorities.
The protesters reiterated to continue their protest until the authorities take the necessary and essential procedures to tackle this adverse problem that crippled the lives of Ahwazis as the dense dust storm has reduced the visibility to lessen than 150 meters during the day.
The protests continued and escalated in recent days as residents gathered for several times in front of the governor department in capital Ahwaz as an expression of objection and discontentment on their neglected fundamental rights.
The residents have shown their anger and intolerance of the continued racial oppression and the systematic discrimination practiced against them for decades at the hands of occupying officials and demanded comprehensive and rapid solutions to address the catastrophe of the dust storms that swept through the entire Ahwazi cities since two weeks ago.
There is no report has been released on the number of Ahwazis who were admitted to hospitals or clinics after being affected by the dust storm. However, many reports with pictures by Ahwazi activists have been circulated via social Medias showing the massive Ahwazi Arab people who were hospitalized in the medical centers in several Ahwazis cities due to the dust storm.
The prime factors behind the emergence of such dust storm in Al-Ahwaz are the dryness of Ahwaz’s marshes and the rivers at the hands of the Iranian occupying government.
Need to mention that the United Nations Environmental program (UNEP) said the dust storm in Al-Ahwaz is mainly originating from the dried wetland of Hur-Al-Azim in the west of Ahwaz. As UNEP has already warned Iran about the catastrophic consequences of the dryness of the Hur-Al-Azim wetland.
During Iran-Iraq war (1980-1988) a large part of Al-Azim wetland destroyed and the remaining part of it also destroyed completely with prospecting and drilling of Azadegan oilfield project as well as construction of Karkheh Dam causing the dryness of the wetland which is regarded as the only economic source of the Ahwazi local people forcing the majority of them to migrate to surrounding cities
In recent years, dust storms jeopardized the Ahwazi people’s health as the level of dust particles ultimately had reached 2,335 micrograms per cubic meter in the February of 2015.
The dust storm phenomenon in Al-Ahwaz led to numerous respiratory problems, asthmatic attacks, and even surge various cancerous and chronic diseases.