Iranian regime launches arrest campaign against Sunni Ahwazi rights activists


Iranian regime security personnel have reportedly been carrying out mass arrests of Sunni and human rights activists in the town of Mohammareh, southwest of the regional capital of Ahwaz during Ramadan.

According to eyewitnesses, the regime forces stormed the homes of dozens of Sunni Arab activists in the town following the Taraweeh night-time prayers held during Ramadan.

Seven of the arrested Sunni activists, who were taken to an unknown location, have been identified as: Mohammed Almzhadji, Ahmed Moramazi, Hadi Marwani, Malek Mashali, Ahmad Tamimi, Ali Soleimani and Kazem Khalafi.

According to eyewitnesses, masked officers from the Ministry of Intelligence forcefully entered the homes of these residents and violently searched their belongings.  The detainees as mentioned above were then blindfolded and handcuffed, before being subjected to a brutal beating by the masked officers in front of their family.  They were all taken to unknown locations.

The regime’s persecution and arrests of the Ahwazi activists, particularly the Sunnis, have intensified in the past few days, with reports from the area stating that the Ahwazi Sunnis are being prevented from holding the Taraweeh prayers during Ramadan.

This is the Iranian regime’s latest effort to deny the rights of the Ahwazi Arab people, preventing the Ahwazi Sunnis from even practicing their faith freely.

Like all Sunni Muslims, during Ramadan the Ahwazi Sunnis hold special evening prayers, known as Taraweeh, featuring the recitation of portions of the Quran.

 Although the majority of the Ahwazi Arab population is Shiite, a large number have converted to Sunnism in recent years, causing alarm among the hardline Shiite occupying theocratic regime, which has instituted another brutal crackdown in response.

Like all Ahwazi dissidents and human rights activists, the Ahwazi Sunnis face charges of ‘enmity to God’, a vague and all-encompassing charge frequently levelled by the regime against the Ahwazi Arab activists and anyone else demanding freedom and human rights.

All the arrests carried out by the Iranian authorities against the Ahwazi political activists and the Ahwazi Sunni preachers in Al-Ahwaz are entirely illegal and unfair. Also, these prisoners were reportedly subjected to long-terms in Solitary confinement without access to lawyers. They are often subjected to biased trails that allegedly failed to meet international standards.

In recent months, the security elements whom have conducted these arrests of the Ahwazi Sunnis have savagely entered into the houses, breaking the entrance -door and glass of windows and severely damaged the private properties through their arbitrary search where they allegedly intimidated the Ahwazi women and children who reside there.

The Arrests that are invariably launched against the Ahwazis do not comply with the Declaration of Human Rights in Geneva. The Ahwazi detainees were stripped of their rights including having contact with their family or access to a lawyer to defend them in the Iranian courts. Most of the arrests took place during midnight raids without any warrant by the security forces and the Intelligence agents. As they repeatedly violated the sanctity of the privacy of people and brutally broke into houses of people without any prior notice.

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