Ahwaz: Youths Defy Iran Regime with Eid Protests
Ahwazi Arab youths defied the Iranian security forces and used Eid ul-Fitr - an Islamic festival marking the end of the holy month of Ramadan - to call for Arab minority rights in protests across
Peaceful demonstrations were reportedly larger than last year's Eid demonstrations, when two Ahwazi Arab youths died when 3,000 Arabs attempted to march peacefully to the centre of
A large police contingent was deployed to the district along with other members of the security services in plain clothes. Camcorders, mobile phones and cameras were confiscated and there were an unknown number of arrests. The protestors were banned from demonstrating in a bazaar area allocated to Eid celebrations as well as
The Ahwazi demonstrators had defied the regime's attempts to intimidate them. In the month prior to Ramadan over 1,400 Ahwazi Arabs had been arrested in a massive police crack-down on dissent. The mass arrests were ostensibly carried out to seize illegal satellite dishes and tackle organised crime, but their timing, the extent of the arrests and the people arrested in the operations indicated that the government intended to crush dissent and prevent broadcasts by exiled Ahwazi parties to the region.