Ahwazi: Appeal To High Commissioner
Below is an excerpt of an appeal published by British Ahwazi Friendship Society:
Dear Madam Commissioner:
After this year's Muslim Eid ul-Fitr prayer on Friday 12 October 2007, residents of the city of
Families who have recovered the dead bodies of those detained by the Iranian government have been ordered not to have a public burial or any other burial ceremony. Instead, they were ordered to bury the bodies in unmarked burial grounds specified by the government in a remote area called Lanat-Abad […], where animals are also buried.
Madam Commissioner: As you know, in addition to the above, in the past 12 months, at least 19 Ahwazi-Arab activists have been publicly hanged (three were executed just days after your visit to
The killing and the executions are in the context of a brutal clamp-down on Ahwazi Arabs protesting against ethnic discrimination and persecution - designed to intimidate them into submission.
Most charges against most Arab activists include requesting autonomy for Khuzestan (al-Ahwaz), converting from Shi'ism to Sunnism and being "Mohareb" or enemies of God, which carries a death sentence. Other unsubstantiated charges allege "destabilizing the country", "attempting to overthrow the government", "possession of improvised explosives", "sabotage of oil installations" and being a "threat to national security."
Although the homeland of the Ahwazi Arabs, who number five million, is one of the most oil-rich regions in the world and represents up to 90 per cent of
We appeal to you to condemn the latest torture and wave of execution and call upon Iranian authorities to halt the imminent execution of the others. We also request that you call upon Iran to ensure due legal process in accordance with internationally recognized standards and to uphold its obligations with regard to civil and political rights, including the provision of equal rights to ethnic, religious and minority groups in Iran as such as the indigenous Ahwazi Arabs and as outlined in the Iranian constitution and various international conventions to which Iran is a signatory.