Violent clashes broke out last Wednesday (July 6) between Ahwazi protesters and Iranian regime security forces in the town of Nuamiyeh in south Al-Ahwaz region, following the fatal shooting of an Ahwazi man in the port town, with gunfire from Iranian forces injuring eight protesters, two of them critically.
According to the Arab Struggle Movement for the Liberation of Ahwaz (ASMLA) media office, demonstrations broke out after Iranian security forces opened fire indiscriminately on the Ahwazi man who was riding a motorcycle. He died instantly as a result, with the Iranian forces justifying their actions by claiming that the victim had not complied with security officers’ orders to stop and show them his ID documents. Local people, outraged at the cold-blooded killing, took to the streets in a spontaneous demonstration to denounce this crime, surrounding the security forces’ headquarters building in the town and burning a military vehicle.
In response to the protests, the security forces summoned support from the regime’s infamous rapid reaction force, which sent a large number of heavily armed officers from its regional office in the town of Asaluyeh to the east of Nuamiyeh. The protests over the killing continued into the late evening, with the demonstrators joined by others, including a contingent from Asaluyeh who came to declare their solidarity with the protesters. As the demonstration grew, regime security personnel opened fire indiscriminately at the crowd wounding eight Ahwazi citizens, with two critically injured.
The regime then announced a state of emergency in the area, mobilising all its military, police and security forces, as well as the notorious Basiji, the militiamen affiliated to the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps, who travelled from Asaluyeh.
In addition to these forces, regime officials also summoned Special Forces personnel from Fars province, which borders the Bushehr region where Al -Nuamiyeh is located. Regime officials and local media subsequently gave conflicting accounts of the reasons for the shooting that precipitated the protests. Brigadier Haider Abbas Zadeh, the commander of the regime security forces for Bushehr region, claimed that the man was a smuggler who failed to comply with the security officials’ orders to stop, although a credible local news site reported that the dead man was a captain of one of the boats docked in the town’s port who was on his way to inspect his vessel.
Feelings are still running high locally at the killing and at the regime’s brutal reaction to the subsequent protests, with many residents stating that the incident is typical of the contempt shown by the regime to Ahwazi Arab people’s lives.
The people of Nuamiyeh have called on regime authorities to bring the officer who fired the fatal shots to justice in a public trial, warning that ignoring their demands or attempting to brush aside the crime will simply lead to further resentment. The killing is only the latest in a long line of crimes against Ahwazi peoples by Iranian regime security personnel, with the regime intensifying its already severe oppression and brutality against Ahwazi Arabs in recent years in an attempt to crush increasing protests at the injustices to which they are subject by the regime, in violation of all international laws.