Torturing Ahwazi Arab female political prisoners in Iranian prisons in order to extract forced confessions from them is yet to stop, local sources informed the Ahwaz Human Rights Organisation (AHRO).


The imprisoned Ahwazi women were arrested arbitrarily and without any legal authorisation following an armed attack on an Iranian military parade in Ahwaz in September 2018.


Iran used the attack as an excuse to cleanse the Arab region of Ahwaz from peaceful political and cultural activists by arresting them. 


Although Iranian authorities said at the time that they had arrested 22 people in connection with the attack, they did not stop there, and they continued making arrests a month after the attack in order to instil fear and suppress the peaceful Ahwazi movement. 


Labour activist and newly-released political prisoner Sepideh Gholian revealed recently that hundreds of Arab women have been put in Ahwaz’s prisons purely for being women first, and for being Arab second. 


“Zahra is one of hundreds of Arab women who is enduring oppression and torture in prison in Ahwaz for two reasons: one that she is a woman, and two that she is Arab,” Gholian tweeted. 


Gholian named several Ahwazi women she had met in prison, such as: 28-year-old and mother of a three-year-old Maryam Hamadi; 20-year-old Kholoud Sobhani; 48-year-old Masoumeh Saeedawi; 45-year-old Susan Saeedawi; 34-year-old and mother of a one-year-old Sakina Sgour; 37-year-old and mother of three children Zahra Shajarat; 19-year-old and mother of a seven-month-old Elaheh Darwishi; 24-year-old and mother of two children Zahra Hosseini; mother of three children Makkiya Neisi.


Gholian revealed in another tweet that Maryam Hamadi’s mother, Fatemeh Tounitzadeh, has also been held under temporary detention since September 2018. 


In another tweet, Gholian gave details of what the interrogators who tortured Ahwazi women in prison wanted from them.


“The interrogators wanted her to confess that she is affiliated with ISIS,” Gholian tweeted. 


Iranian lawyer, human rights activist, and Executive Director of rights group Justice for Iran Shadi Sadr shared Gholian’s tweets, calling the labour activist “the voice of the voiceless.” 


In a statement in October 2018, AHRO reported that more than 600 Ahwazis, including women, were arrested by Iranian authorities. 


AHRO added in the same statement that many of the arrestees, including women, were being tortured in secret detention facilities belonging to Iran’s intelligence services in order to extract forced confessions from them.