The Ahwaz Human Rights Organization "AHRO" received pictures of the demonstrations that broke out in Alawi neighborhood in the city of Ahwaz on Friday 15 December 2017 against the new water transfer projects, the continued confiscation of lands, arbitrary practices, oppression and marginalization against the Ahwazi Arabs. The pictures showed banners calling for the intervention of the United Nations, and asking help from UNPO to be voice of voiceless people and condemned what is happening against the Ahwazi Arabs by the Iranian authorities. Ahwazi Arab citizens also protested against the new project of transferring water from Karun River the central Iranian provinces. Representative of the region in the Iranian parliament earlier leaked a secret letter from the head of Iran's Environment Organization that authorized transferring the amount of one billion meter cubed of water in addition 3 billion meter cubed of water. These are official numbers, but activists claim that there are secret projects and the numbers are higher and that the government never gave the collective number of the amount of water that has been transferred every year. Diverting the river lead to destruction of the agricultural lands and sand storms and it is worth mentioning that according to "WHO" Ahwaz city in 2015 was the most polluted city in the world. In protest, the Ahwazis condemned these projects, which destroy the environment and chanted slogans against the racist policies of the Iranian government especially the policies pushing for demographic change within the region. They chanted "Land of Arabs for Arabs" denouncing the occupancy policy of agricultural land in the jelazi in Elam city by the military.These demonstrations are part of a campaign organized by activists on social media to protest racist policies and practices towards Ahwazi Arabs in the region. Ahwaz Human Rights Organization "AHRO" 19 Dec 2017
· Mr. Ahmed Shaheed, Special Rapporteur of the United Nations for human rights in Iran
· Mr. John Knox, the independent expert in the United Nations on human rights and the environment
· Mr. Dainius Pūras: Special Rapporteur on the right of everyone to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of health
· The Amnesty International
· The Human Rights Watch
· Organizations defending human rights
An Iranian Environmental experts warned that the Ahwaz province (Khuzestan) in southwestern Iran, is about to be evacuated due to severe environmental pollution crisis, which is part of the government’s policies for demographic changes by encouraging the indigenous Ahwazi Arabs to leave their lands.
Mr.Mohammed Darvish, the environment expert and a member of the Scientific Committee for the research center of forest and grassland in Iran, said that the Ahwaz province is prone to be evacuated from its population and complete migration in the next few years due to severe pollution disasters.
(Beirut) – The Iranian authorities’ arrest of a former BBC reporter on February 3, 2016, shows the risk dual nationals face if they choose to live in Iran. The family of Bahman Daroshafaei, who has been working as a translator, has not been able to find out about why he has been arrested, or by whom, or what charges he might be facing. Bahman Daroshafahi, translator and former journalist, who has been arrested in Iran. Expand
Daroshafaei, a dual British-Iranian national who has worked as a journalist for the BBC Persian television channel and website, returned to Iran in January 2014, after living in the United Kingdom for several years. When he arrived at the airport, the authorities seized his passport. Over the next two months, Intelligence Ministry officials periodically interrogated Daroshafahi about his activities as a journalist, but at the time did not file any charges against him.
“Iran’s unaccountable security agencies run roughshod over President Hassan Rouhani’s promises of a more inclusive Iran,” said Sarah Leah Whitson, Middle East director. “This pattern of arresting Iranians who were simply excercising their freedoms of expression and association while living abroad seriously undermines the notion that Iran actually welcomes having its own citizens return home.”
Plainclothes officers from an unidentified security agency arrested Daroshafaei at a friend’s house on the morning of February 3, 2015. The officers took Daroshafaei to his parents’ house, showed him an arrest warrant, and proceeded to confiscate his digital devices. When his parents asked the officers for an explanation and to identify themselves, they refused to respond.
Iran’s unaccountable security agencies run roughshod over President Hassan Rouhani’s promises of a more inclusive Iran. This pattern of arresting Iranians who were simply excercising their freedoms of expression and association while living abroad seriously undermines the notion that Iran actually welcomes having its own citizens return home.
Sarah Leah Whitson, Middle East Director, Daroshafaei’s friends reported that his Telegram messaging application account was active for several hours after his arrest and, in at least one instance, authorities used the account to engage in conversations with a contact.
Daroshafaei’s family went to Evin Prison in Tehran on February 6, where they managed to speak with an official on the telephone who confirmed that their son was being held there. The official told them that he would not be able to contact his family for another week. Two days later, Daroshafaei called his parents and told them he was detained in a “cell” and was being interrogated, but provided no further details about his charges or the identities and affiliations of his interrogator(s).
Iranians who have acquired dual citizenship or have lived outside the country appear to be particular targets for security forces, Human Rights Watch said. Despite repeated calls by President Rouhani encouraging Iranians in the diaspora to return, authorities have arrested and prosecuted several Iranian citizens who have done so.
On October 15, 2015, Iranian authorities arrested Siamak Namazi, a dual Iranian-American citizen and the head of strategic planning at the Dubai-based Crescent Petroleum who was visiting his family in Tehran. He remains in detention, but the charges against him are unclear.
Jason Rezaian, the Washington Post journalist who was recently released in a swap of prisoners between Iran and the United States, spent 18 months in a section of Evin Prison controlled by Iran’s Revolutionary Guards and was convicted and sentenced to a term unknown even to him.
Mostafa Azizi, a documentary filmmaker and Canadian permanent resident, was arrested on February 25, 2015, while visiting his family in Iran. Branch 15 of Tehran’s revolutionary court sentenced Azizi, who remains in prison, to eight years for “acting against national security,” “insulting the Supreme Leader,” and “propaganda against the state.” On May 10, 2014, Iran’s Revolutionary Guards Intelligence Organization arrested Seraj Mirdamadi, who had worked as a journalist for the Radio Zamaneh website when he lived in France. He had returned to Iran in 2013, and had been subjected to several rounds of interrogation before his arrest.
On July 27, 2014, Branch 15 of Tehran’s revolutionary court sentenced Mirdamadi to six years in prison for “assembly and collusion against national security” and “propaganda against the state” for his journalistic activities. He is in of Evin Prison. Mirdamadi’s father told Roozonline website that Judge Abolghasem Salavati at Branch 15 of Tehran’s revolutionary court said during the trial that he was going to make an example of Mirdamadi so that others would not think about returning.
In April 2014, Iran’s Revolutionary Guards Intelligence Organization’s officers arrested Hossein Nouraninejad, a journalist and member of the Participation Front political party, two months after he returned from Australia, where he had been in graduate school. In June 2014, a revolutionary court sentenced Nournajinejad, who had been released on bail after two months of solitary confinement, to six years in prison on charges of “propaganda against the state” and “assembly and collusion against national security.” A court of appeal reduced Nournainejad’s sentence to one year. Nouraninejad is in Evin Prison.
Amensty International has reported Fatemeh Salbehi, a 23-year-old woman, was hanged yesterday for a crime she allegedly committed when she was 17, only a few days after another juvenile offender, Samad Zahabi, was hanged for a crime he also allegedly committed at 17.