Jul 29, 2016

Ahwazi: Leading Activist’s Daughter Makes Television Appearance on Behalf of “Disappeared” Father


In an appearance on news network Al-Arabiya TV, the politically-active daughter of Ahwazi Arab citizen Yousef Silavi spoke about the ongoing case of her father’s 2009 disappearance. Mona Silavi, now a spokeswoman for the Democratic Solidarity Party of Al-Ahwaz (DSPA), spoke about her father’s disappearance in relation to the Iranian regime’s response to the April 2005 Ahwazi uprising and why his case remains relevant today. 


The article below is published by Ahwaz News:

Silavi's daughter Mona discussed the case of her father's disappearance in 2009 in the political show hosted by journalist Hasan Mo'avez. Mona Silavi, the spokeswoman for Democratic Solidarity Party of Al-Ahwaz (DSPA), spoke of her activities as an Ahwazi living in Damascus since 2005.

She stated that her father was not politically active or an opponent of the Iranian government, but was being victimised for the political activities of his family outside Iran. The Silavi family is one of the most prominent Arab families involved in establishing Ahwazi Arab cultural centres and played a significant role in preserving and supporting Ahwazi Arab culture, especially during the early years of revolution in 1980's.

Mona Silavi's late uncle Mansour Silawi Ahwazi was one of the founders of DSPA, an Ahwazi federalist opposition party, and this fact was enough for the whole family to be persecuted and placed under surveillance. Silavi told Mo'avez that her father's disappearance was related to her opposition activities following the April 2005 Ahwazi uprising and her subsequent activism while abroad in Syria, which hosted a significant exiled Ahwazi Arab community. She said: "I was even asked to cooperate with the Iranian government against the Ahwazis in Damascus but I refused as I was a human right activist and was helping Ahwazi refugees who fled Ahwaz due to persecution and injustice."

She said the authorities deny all knowledge of his disappearance, but the evidence suggests he is in custody. On 8 November 2009, a complaint was filed in the Branch 6 of Ahwaz police. The police claimed to have listed Yousef Silavi as a missing person, but after six months had conducted no investigation. Inquiries were also made at hospitals and morgues and letters were sent to a spiritual leader in Tehran and to the Ahwaz representative in Parliament, but to no avail.

In March 2014, the younger daughter of Yousef Silavi met with Dr. Ahmad Shaheed, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Iran, and his team in Rome who referred the matter to the UN Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearance.

By November 2014 his case was reported to a UN working group. One of the Working Group's primary tasks is to assist families in determining the fate or whereabouts of their family members who are reportedly disappeared. Yousef Silavi's case was considered and forwarded to the Iranian government on 16 October 2014. In transmitting this case, the Chair-Rapporteur of the Working Group expressed his hope that appropriate investigations would be carried out in order to clarify his fate and whereabouts and to protect his rights.

On 28 April 2016, Amnesty International and Justice for Iran action concerning his whereabouts. However, the Iranian government has ignored all appeals and has refused to comment.


Photo courtesy of Ahwaz News