40-year-old Ahwazi Arab poet Ali Matroudi, who is married with three children has been sentenced to one-year imprisonment on May 18, 2016, by the Shadegan (Falahiyeh in Arabic) revolutionary court on questionable charges associated with his poem, which is viewed by the Iranian regime as an attempt to revive Arabic awareness among Alahwazi Arabs. Ali, along with other Ahwazi poets, was arrested by the regime’s intelligence forces for their participation in a commemoration of the death of Mollah Fadhil Sakrani; a well-respected poet in the region in December 2013. Due to the importance of the event and Sakrani's excellent reputation, some government officials were in the audience to pay their respects.
However, Ali’s epics poems triggered their anti-Arabs feelings. Shortly after the end of the event, Ali was detained and confined in an intelligence office for about 20 days. Ali was released on bail on condition that he would not participate in a similar event again. He still faces one-year imprisonment. After his release from detention, Ali decided to get away from his province Alahwaz and to move to another province, Yazd, to escape the pressure exerted by the security forces against his life and his family.
Last week Ali Matroudi were summoned again to stand before the revolutionary court in Shadegan (Falahiyeh) to serve a year in prison in the Sheyban prison (5 km north Ahwaz city). The revolutionary court of Shadegan (Falahiyeh) has threatened him to seize his property if he refuses to accept the court decision.
AHRO denounces the outrageous and unfair verdict issued against Ali Matroudi and calls on PEN International and all human right organizations to condemn Iranian regime’s oppressive measures taken against Ahwazis. It also calls for Matroudi’s release from prison and allowing him freedom of expression. This arrest is part of a series of arrests of Ahwazi intellectuals, as well as social, political and human rights activists. These increasingly-intense crackdown against Ahwazis is part of the so-called “Security Project;” the regime’s secret policy to change the demographic of the Ahwazi Arab homeland in favour on non-Arabs newcomers.
Ahwaz Human Rights Organization (AHRO)
24- 5- 2016