The Iranian authorities have been processing a mass wave of arrests among the religious activists of Sunni minority at Ahwaz region about three weeks ago. The security forces arrested dozens of activists, including the activist Bagher Gholami Al-na’ami son of Ishaq, 34 years old who has been arrested from his workplace at Jawaheri district in Ahwaz city three weeks ago, and was transferred to the Intelligence Service. Al-na’ami arrested several times in accusation of changing faith from Shiite to Sunni, and was in imprisonment for a year and half in Karoun Prison in Ahwaz then was released on bail few months ago.

* To:

* The UN Human Rights Council

* The UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights in Iran, Dr Ahmad Shaheed

* The Amnesty International

* Reporters without Borders

* The Arab Human Rights Organisations

* The Iranian Human Rights Organisation

* The International Organisations of Human Rights

The Iranian authorities have been processing a mass wave of arrests among the religious activists of Sunni minority at Ahwaz region about three weeks ago. The security forces arrested dozens of activists, including the activist Bagher Gholami Al-na’ami son of Ishaq, 34 years old who has been arrested from his workplace at Jawaheri district in Ahwaz city three weeks ago, and was transferred to the Intelligence Service. Al-na’ami arrested several times in accusation of changing faith from Shiite to Sunni, and was in imprisonment for a year and half in Karoun Prison in Ahwaz then was released on bail few months ago.

And in Fallahiya city in south of Ahwaz, the security forces arrested many youths due to their xhanging faith from Shiite to Sunni which is extremely opposed by the Islamic Republic. The Ahwazi Arab youths also were involved in cultural activities and poets for raising the awareness about the history of the region. The arrases among Ahwazi Arabs have started just days before the visit of the president Hassan Rouhani to the province. The following names have been confirmed so far:

1. Reza Kanamish Dawaraghi , 40

2. Hussain Mazhour Dawaraghi, 42

3. Adnan Chasib Dawaraghi, 29

4. Abdul-Nabi Kanamish Dawraghi, 42

5. Yousef Asakerah , 38

6. Khalil Tahir Almosawi, 30

7. Raoof Asakirah , 35

8. Ibrahim Alka’abi, 34

The Iranian regime is in fear of convert to Sunni sect expand to all regions in the Arab province of Ahwaz as the main religion in the country is Islamic Shiite. In February 2013 the Intelligence Service arrested many in Abadan city as the regime accused them of converting to Sunnism and were supported by the Gulf States. Arbitrary arrest among Ahwazi Arabs is continued followed by physical and mental torture. According to Article 18 of the Human Rights Declaration everyone has the right and free to choose and practice religion, worship and express their faith alone or within a community. Sunnis have been subjected to persecution and execution in other parts of the country like Kurdistan and Baluchistan.

The Ahwaz Human Rights Organization (AHRO) condemns these arbitrary arrests and discrimination of Ahwazi Arabs. AHRO also appeal the international society and the human rights organizations to apply more pressure on the Islamic Republic to adhere to the international commitments and to the declarations that signed it in the United Nations, including Freedom of religions and sects, and the right of individuals to admit their belief and freedom of expression, as demands urgent intervention to protect against these detainees may be subjected to ill-treatment or torture and release them unconditionally.

Ahwaz Human Rights Organisation (AHRO)

16/1/ 2014


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