According to the news sources of Ahwaz Human Rights Organization(AHRO) ,Mr.Shawardi who was a simple worker at the service department in Fallahieh municipality ,along with his colleagues who had not received their salaries for more than 7 months carried out a strike a week before ,but their requests were ignored by the authorities .
Mayor of Fallahieh claims that the municipality faces lack of funds ,while each of the nine members of the city council are receiving a monthly sum of 30 million Iranian rials equivalent to 1,000 USD. The mayor personally receives the sum of 60 million rials (2,000 USD)and each of his deputies receive 50 million rials ( 1,600 USD) a month.
It should be noted that corruption has engulfed financial institutions of municipality in the province. The majority of municipal funding comes from illegal channels and flows into the pockets of executives, employees, contractors and their family members and relatives.
This is not the first time that an Ahwazi worker carried out self -immolation to protest unemployment, low wages and hard living condition .
Prior to this incident , Younes Asakereh , a young man of 34 set himself on fire in front of Muhamarah (Khoramshahr) municipality on march 24th in protest against the confiscation of his fruit stand which was the only source of income for his family .After doctor's failure in improving his condition in both Ahwaz and Muhammarah ,he was transferred to a hospital in Tehran while suffering 3rd degree burns .His funeral was turned into a massive protest march against Iranian government's discriminatory policies and participant shout slogans of protest ,hundreds of which were arrested on the same day.
In a similar case , Mehdi Mojaddam ,a 32 year-old man carried out a self immolation on 15th of April 2013 in front of Ahwaz governor's office and passed away a few days later.
As Mr. Ban Ki-moon, the UN secretary general noted in paragraph 58 of his report during the seventieth sessions of the UN General Assembly in New York ,nearly 1,000 people were arrested on 17th of March 2015 for protesting the case of an Arab male from Muhamarrah (Khoramshahr) by the name of Younes Asakereh who committed suicide as a sign of protest to local authorities confiscation of his fruit stand due to absence of official permission in despite of his numerous attempts to obtain one .
Ahwaz Human Rights Organization (AHRO) expresses sympathy for the family of the workers who have lost their lives as the result of self-immolation and condemns racial discrimination ,oppression and deprivation that Iranian officials are exercising on the Arab population who are living in an area which is rich with natural resources such as gas and petrol , agricultural lands and is a vital factor in the Iranian economy .
AHRO calls on all the human rights organizations and institutions affiliated with United Nations to pressure Iran to commit to the international treaties concerned with labors rights and the rights of marginalized groups in the society and also calls for development of Ahwaz region which produces 80 percent of Iran's oil ,while its population is suffering the worst conditions of poverty and deprivation .
Ahwaz Human Rights Organization (AHRO)