AHRO Condemn the Arrestation and the Excessive Violence against the Ahwazi Fans After the Football Match

The Iranian police and security forces have launched a mass arrest against Ahwazi Arab fans on Tuesday 17th of March ,after the end of a football match between "Foolade Ahwaz " and "Saudi Hilal" in "Kadeer" stadium in Ahwaz .Arab fans held banners written in Arabic and chant slogans calling for their right and demanding the end of oppression and marginalization .


Authorities used excessive violence and opened fire with live ammunition into the crowd, which left some wounded and other seriously injured .Activists published numerous pictures and videos on social media showing how security forces deliberately arresting anyone wearing Arabic clothing, both the people who were sitting on the bleachers and the people leaving the stadium and they also beat the fans with batons and sticks .

The videos clearly shows the massive circulation of security forces both inside and outside of the stadium and their excessive use of force against unarmed civilians .Number of fans clashes with the police in protest against the arrestations of dozens of Ahwazis in Arabic clothing who were driven to undisclosed destinations.

News from Ahwaz indicated that the majority of detainees were released ,but a number of them still remained in the custody under arbitrary arrest and with no charges against them.

As a sign of condemnation against the actions of security forces and protest against insulting the Arabic clothing ,on Friday 20th of March a group of Ahwazi Arabs marched the streets in their traditional clothing as an act of defiance against the Iranian authorities suppressive policies which aims at eliminating their Arabic ethnic identity, and they also demanded the immediate release of detainees and the freedom to wear Arabic clothing in stadiums and public places.

Ahwaz Human Right Organization condemns the excessive use of violence against civilians by the Iranian's police and security forces ,and demands the immediate and unconditional release of detainees .AHRO also calls for permitting the Ahwazi Arabs to wear their traditional clothing in stadium and public arenas and chanting slogans in Arabic for the team they chose without harassment and without being attacked by security forces armed with weapons.

Ahwaz Human Rights Organization (AHRO)

20 March 2015