Apr 12, 2008

Ahwaz: Call for Protest

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Ahwazi Arabs will gather in London for a day of demonstrations and meetings in a bid for British attention and for British Muslim solidarity.

Below is an article published by Ahwaz Human Rights News:

Ahwazi Arabs are staging a demonstration and a day of meetings in the East End of London on 20 April [2008].

The day of activism will start at 11am outside the East London Mosque, where Ahwazi Arabs will call for the solidarity of Tower Hamlets' Muslim population, which represents one of the largest Muslim communities in Europe. Ahwazi Arabs will then march along Whitechapel and up Brick Lane, which is the heart of London's Bangladeshi community. The march will end at Oxford House in Derbyshire Street, where there will be a series of meetings in honour of Mansour Silawi al-Ahwazi, an Ahwazi Arab leader and founding member of the British Ahwazi Friendship Society (BAFS) who died recently in London. Guest speakers will include representatives of the Ahwazi, Kurdish, Azeri and Balochi communities of Iran as well as representatives of Arab Media Watch, Henry Jackson Society and the Green party.

BAFS spokesman Nasser Bani Assad said: "We want to raise awareness of the plight of Ahwazi Arabs in Iran and generate solidarity from the Bangladeshi community. Bangladeshis fought against the rule of the Pakistani Islamic republic for over 20 years and as a cultural and linguistic minority suffered greatly to win their freedom and to live in a secular, democratic society that respected their cultural rights. Ahwazis also want to be rid of the oppressive mullahs and to live in a democratic Iran with their culture and their rights respected. We also want to show the British Muslim community that those living under religious tyranny yearn to be free and that democracy and secularism is always preferable for ethnic and religious minorities and women."