Ahwazi: Authorities Detain Memorial Crowds
Iranian security forces have attacked a mosque in a crackdown on Ahwazis commemorating the death of Mehdi Heydari.
Below is an article published by Voice of
Iranian security forces reportedly attacked the Hamzeh mosque in
Fakhteh Zamani is Director of the Association for the Defense of Azerbaijani Political Prisoners in
“Those arrested and injured have been taken to an unknown location and their family members have, as yet, received no information as to their whereabouts or well-being. We fear that they could be tortured and otherwise ill-treated in detention. Also the injured have not been taken to any hospital.”
At the time of the Hamzeh mosque attack, Ahvazi Arabs were conducting a memorial service for Mehdi Heydari. Mr. Heydari was shot dead while attempting to evade arrest, reportedly for his political activities.
An estimated two-million to four-million Ahvazi Arabs live in
Fakhteh Zamani says lawyers, such as Azeri-Iranian human rights defender Saleh Kamrani, who try to help Ahvazi Arab activists also risk detention:
“Usually they don’t have access to [a] lawyer and when any lawyers contact [Iranian authorities] to represent them, the lawyers are threatened or imprisoned. For example, Saleh Kamrani was trying to represent a couple of writers and Ahvazi intellectuals and was imprisoned and questioned about his clients.”