At Least 13 Arab Civilians Arrested in Ahwaz

HRANA News Agency – At least 13 Arab citizens have been arrested or summoned on the anniversary of protests of Arabs in Ahwaz in April 2005. The fate of some of the detainees is not known.
According to the report of Human Rights Activists News Agency in Iran (HRANA), security agencies in the Khuzestan province have arrested or summoned a large number of Arab citizens in different cities of the province to prevent any gathering and the possibility of holding the anniversary of protests of April 2005.
According to reports eight of Arab citizens in the areas of “Veys” and “Moilrheh” located in the northern city of Ahwaz were summoned to the intelligence headquarters on April 10, 2016 and were released on Monday.
In the past week, “Thamer Jamei”, “Sadegh Shahabi” 33 years old and “Vessey Pour” 32 years old were arrested. Their whereabouts and potential charges are still not known.
On Tuesday, April 12, 2016, a Sunni Arab citizen from Ahwaz named “Sheikh Qassem Bavi” resident of Cyrus of Ahwaz was arrested in front of his house and moved to an unknown location. Mr. Bavi has the history of arrests and imprisonment because of his religious activities. In another development, On Tuesday, April 13, 2016, Sajjad Halali, 27 and Abdullah Hazbavy, 24 from Koyeh Arya area of Kot Abdullah and Sajjad Haider from Ahan Afshar of Ahwaz were arrested. The IRGC intelligence of Shosh city arrested a number of Arab citizens of the city, all from Ahmad Abad. Ali Debat, 18, Ali Kaabi, 27, Millad Debat, 22, Faisal Debat, 17 and Mustafa Debat, 17 are the names of some of detainees.
According to the reports received by HRANA, this week also several Arab citizens and former political prisoner in Kot Abdullah and other regions were summoned to the intelligence headquarters, including Seyyed Majid Nazari, a resident of Kot Abdullah, who was released after some hours.
It should be noted that the event in 2005 occurred after a letter attributed to Mohammad Ali Abtahi (Head of the Presidential Office of Mohammad Khatami), which emphasized the decision of the Supreme National Security Council of the Islamic Republic to change the composition of the Arab population of Khuzestan, was published widely in Khuzestan. It is worth noting the president’s office at the time, denied this letter and announced it as a fake one, but the Arabs of Khuzestan in different cities of the province, launched protests which were brutally suppressed.

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