Ahwazi: Human Rights Groups Voice Concern over Ahwaz
Following riots over the government's programme of "ethnic restructuring" in the oil-rich province, the ACHR says it has received reports of "heavy casualties" from hospitals and called on the government to desist from using deadly force against unarmed protestors. The commission has also urged the release of all political prisoners and respect for minority groups' right to free speech.
Amnesty also criticised the regime in Tehran, saying: "The cycle of violence in Khuzestan must end to avoid further loss of life, injury, arbitrary arrest and damage to private and state property." It also called on the government to resume water supplies to Arab areas, which had been cut off to punish the Arab population.
Amnesty added: "There have also been reports of excessive use of force, unlawful killing and possibly of extra-judicial executions of protesters following circulation of reports that up to seven police or security officials had been killed by demonstrators and that the security forces are now operating a 'shoot-to-kill' policy."
The organisation echoed many of the sentiments expressed by Ahwaz constituency MP Hamid Zangeneh, who suggested that the government needed to address the root political and economic causes of the unrest, instead of the immediate circumstances around the weekend's events. On Monday, Zangeneh told the Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA): "Those who have failed in performing their duties within the Islamic Republic of Iran's admistrative provincial system should be identified and duly punished, but more important than that is clarifying the reason why the officials do not heed their responsibilites properly here and there in the Islamic country."