Ahwazi: Anger over Khatami's Honorary Degree
Below is an article issued by the British Ahwazi Friendship Society on their reaction on the awarding of former Iranian president Muhammed Khatami an honorary doctorate.
Ahwazi activists have joined the growing chorus of anger over a decision by
Khatami will today be handed the doctorate by the university, whose chancellor is Liberal Democrat leader Menzies Campbell. Khatami will also open the university's Institute for Iranian Studies, which is supported by regime officials. While the university has lauded Khatami as a 'reformer', opposition activists have testified to the state terrorism faced by students, ethnic and religious minorities, trade unionists, homosexuals and women under his presidency.
The National Union of Students (NUS) has demanded that the invitation to Khatami should be withdrawn unless Ahmad Batebi, a student jailed in 1999 during a pro-democracy protest, is freed. However, the university's student association which is not a member of the NUS has voiced its support for the human rights abuser. It claims Khatami has helped reconcile Islam with Christianity and Judaism - a claim that is belied by the fact that Khatami's administration waged a war of terror against minorities in
Khatami also ordered the ethnic cleansing of hundreds of thousands of Ahwazi Arabs in a programme of "demographic restructuring". Since an Ahwazi Arab uprising against Khatami's government in April 2005, 25,000 Ahwazi Arabs have been arrested and hundreds more have been executed, unlawfully killed or disappeared.
Nasser Bani Assad, spokesman for the British Ahwazi Friendship Society, said: "Despite the facts,
"The Iranian opposition may be ideologically divided, but it is united in its condemnation and revulsion of the decision by
"This appeasement of a regime guilty of terrorist acts against its own civilians as well as foreign country is approved by the leader of the Liberal Democrats. If he ever lived in