Feb 13, 2006

Ahwazi: Appeal to Support Al-Ahwaz TV

British Ahwazi Friendship Society asks support for Al-Ahwaz TV, the main form of communication between the Ahwazi Arabs and the outside world
Al-Ahwaz TV is the main form of communication between the Ahwazi Arabs and the outside world. Since it was set up two years ago, Al-Ahwaz TV has gone from strength to strength and become a vanguard for resistance to the mullahs.

With its motto "fight without violence, resist without hate", Al-Ahwaz TV is instrumental in supporting Ahwazi Arab opposition to the Iranian regime. The TV station is broadcast directly to Al-Ahwaz via satellite on the Assyrian TV channel.

Since Al-Ahwaz TV went on air in 2004, Ahwazis have led anti-government protests in Iran. The protests have been wedded to the principle of non-violent resistance, with the only casualties being unarmed protestors from the slums and villages who bravely face one of the world's most heavily armed and tyrannical states. Although many Ahwazi Arabs have been thrown out of their homes and had their lands stolen, they refuse to be humiliated or display allegiance to their oppressors and will continue to resist.

Ahwazi resistance has come in the form of simply wearing the keffiyeh, staging traditional Arabic plays, praying in public and blocking traffic. All these actions have been punished with lethal violence by the Iranian regime.

The mass mobilisation in Al-Ahwaz has strengthened in recent weeks, but sadly has had a heavy toll on the Ahwazi people. Elderly women have been filmed pleading for justice for their sons who are languishing in prison, only to be fired upon by armed policemen. Brave young men armed with nothing more than words and rocks have been shot dead in the streets and children as young as 11 have been rounded up and imprisoned, while Ahwazi tribal leaders, imams, intellectuals, teachers and journalists fear for their lives.

However, witnessing civil resistance on television has helped unite the Ahwazi Arabs and strengthen their resolve. Al-Ahwaz TV is central to this resistance. It is thanks to the team of dedicated and tireless volunteers who staff Al-Ahwaz TV that the resistance is kept alive in the hope of eventual freedom, democracy and justice for the Ahwazi people and the whole of Iran.

Two weeks ago, Al-Ahwaz TV went on-line with the assistance of the British Ahwazi Friendship Society (BAFS). Since then, we have had thousands of video downloads, many of them from inside Iran. Ahwazis are evading the censors and listening to the message of non-violent resistance to the racist theocracy that oppresses them. They are also responding with positive feedback in emails and phone calls to Al-Ahwaz TV and are sending undercover film footage to be broadcast to the rest of the Ahwazi population.

Al-Ahwaz TV and BAFS receive no grants and we do not seek sponsorship from governments or corporations. We are proud of our political independence and the fact that we are part of a grass-roots movement that is being led by those brave men and women of all ages and backgrounds who hunger for freedom and thirst for justice.


Extract from: British Ahwazi Friendship Society