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Iranian regime increases persecution, arrest campaigns against Ahwazis, imprisons people for being Sunni

Ahwazna

Iranian regime authorities have stepped up their campaigns of arrests and imprisonment of young Ahwazi activists in recent months in an effort to further terrorise the already oppressed Arab minority.

In  one case, four young men in the city of Al Khafaji detained by regime intelligence agents on July 5 for the ‘crime’ of being Sunni Muslim have not been seen since, with family members calling on international human rights organisations to intervene in order to allow the families to know the whereabouts and conditions of their sons.

The information office of  the Arab Struggle Movement for the Liberation of Ahwaz  (ASMLA) reports that the families have appealed to regional and international human rights bodies to meet their legal and moral obligations to put pressure on the Iranian regime in order the reveal the fate of their missing relatives.

Agents of the regime’s notorious intelligence services arrested the four Ahwazi Arab citizens in the city of Al Khafaji  on July 5, reportedly charging them with the ‘crime’ of being Sunni Muslims.  The four have been identified as:

  1. Abbas Ghassab Al-Haidari,  aged 23, from the Abu Zahr neighbourhood of Al Khafaji
  2. Hussein Ali Al-Jadawi, aged 26,  from the Abu Zahr neighbourhood of Al Khafaji
  3. Jaafar Al-Tai,  aged 24, from  the Al Khozali neighbourhood of Al Khafaji
  4. Adnan Mazarah, aged 29, from the Jihad neighbourhood of Al Khafaji

In related  news, our sources report that regime intelligence agents arrested a citizen identified as Nasser Saeed Al Jaldawi from the Thawra neighbourhood in western Ahwaz city on the same day, also taking him to an unknown location. 

Regime intelligence services also reportedly carried out raids on homes in the town of Hamidiya in Ahwaz on July 20, arresting a young Ahwazi man identified as Saadi Farhoud, who was also taken to an unknown location.

More raids and arrests followed earlier this month,  with eight young Ahwazi men arrested apparently randomly in different parts of the regional capital, Ahwaz, between August 2 and August 12.   Once again, the ASMLA and regional activists are calling on international human rights organisations to put pressure on the Iranian state to cease these criminal and wholly unjustified acts.

Regime intelligence forces working the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps have carried out a number of raids on homes in the Thawra neighbourhood of the capital in recent days, arresting  young men on unspecified charges and taking them to unknown locations.  The detainees have been identified as:

  1.  Majid Karim Zuhairi, aged 22, arrested on August 2
  2. Mohammed Rustom Al Saraie (Abu Zalzal),  arrested on August 8
  3. Bassem Thamer Al-Haidari, arrested on August 8
  4. Riad Jassem Al Abtrani, aged 22, arrested on August 12
  5. Walid Haliji Al Abidawi,  aged 20,  arrested on August 12

In a separate incident,  a large number of regime police and security forces raided  a wedding taking place in the neighbourhood of Al Majid (Arya) in the town of Kut Abdullah to the east of Ahwaz city on August 10,  arresting three citizens and initially taking them to the local police station

The three detainees have been identified as:

  1. Yousef Haddad Zargani aged 24
  2. Ali Haddad Zargani, aged 28
  3. Shakir Salim Al Hazbawi, aged 27

According to local sources, the regime forces transferred the three detainees  to Spedar prison in the regional capital on Saturday August 13,  demanding massive payments for the release of the three men despite failing to stipulate the charges against them.

The sources reported that the regime’s ‘revolutionary court’ is demanding 300 million Iranian Riyals (around US$8,500) as bail for the release of Ali Haddad Zargani and his brother Yousef,  and one billion Iranian Riyals (around US$28,000) for the release of Shakir Salim Al Hazbawi. 

Ahwazi student activists are appealing through Ahwazna, the media organ of the ASMLA, to Dr Ahmad Shaheed, the UN’s Special Rapporteur for Human Rights in Iran and to regional and global human rights organisations to put pressure on the Iranian state to stop its crimes against Ahwazi citizens.

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