Update: Arrests and Detainments as of November 14, 2018

Posted on: November 14th, 2018

Human Rights Activist News Agency (HRANA) – Local sources have recently reported the violent arrests of two ethnic-minority cultural activists. Their stories are below.

Azerbaijani Activist Violently Arrested by Security Forces in Ardabil

Ardabil security forces assaulted and arrested Azerbaijani activist Habib Sassanian November 8th, releasing him one hour later on bail. His court hearing was scheduled to take place on November 10th.

According to a close source, security forces showed up at the home of one of Sassanian’s relatives, laying into him immediately and arresting him without a warrant. Photos of Sassanian’s wounded face were provided to HRANA, and a close source affirmed that his face, right eye, and scalp were left swollen.

Sassasian spent 16 months in Tabriz Central Prison after an August 2017 arrest before going free on a 3.5 billion IRR bail [approximately $83,000 USD]. He was also among a group of Azerbaijani activists arrested in Ardabil May 15, 2016, dubbed the “six-man Gamo spy gang” by the Chief Justice of East Azerbaijan Province in June 2017. They were charged with forming, participating in, and providing guidance to the Azerbaijani political group “Gamo,” as well as “spying for foreign countries” and “leaking confidential IRGC information to foreign countries.”

Ardabil is a city in northwest Iran, home to Iran’s Azerbaijani ethnic minority.

Authorities Assault the Parents of Ahwazi Arab Arrestee

Ahwazi Arab cultural activist Yousef Savari, of Dasht-e Azadegan County in Iran’s southwestern Khuzestan Province, was arrested by security forces and taken to an undisclosed location on November 8th. Security forces reportedly assaulted his parents at the time of his arrest.

A local source told HRANA that IRGC intelligence agents stormed the Savari family home in the morning of November 8th, beating 76-year-old Mehdi Savari and 65-year-old Nasimeh Savari before taking their son Yousef into custody.

Recording with their cell phones, the intelligence agents then coerced Savari’s parents to make incriminating statements about their son Isa Savari, who currently works for a television station in Holland.

No information is currently available on Yousef Savari’s whereabouts or the reasons behind his arrest.

Hundreds of Ahwazi Arab activists have been arrested and detained since the September 22nd armed attack on an Ahvaz military parade that killed and injured dozens of civilians.

Khuzestan Province, located on Iran’s southwest border with Iraq, is home to Iran’s Ahwazi Arab ethnic minority.

Khuzestan : Ten Detainees Identified, Four Released

Posted on: November 8th, 2018

Human Rights Activist News Agency (HRANA) – Pursuant to the September 22nd armed attack on a military parade in Ahvaz, hundreds of Khuzestani Arabs in Ahvaz, Susangerd, and Hamidiyeh were taken by security officers to undisclosed locations. After recently identifying 179 of these detainees, HRANA has learned the names of ten more, along with the identities of four who have been released pending court proceedings.

The ten recently-identified detainees, still in custody, are below:

1. Karim Saedi, 31, married with two children, Hamidiyeh resident, arrested on November 3, 2018
2. Adil Mashali, 30, married with two children, Hamidiyeh resident, arrested on November 3, 2018
3. Mohammad Hazbawi, son of Mahdi, married, Ahvaz resident
4. Sadegh Lazemi (Jalali), 32, married with two daughters, Susangerd resident
5. Morteza Sharhani, 28, resident of Alavi neighborhood of Ahvaz, arrested November 4, 2018
6. Amin Zaheri Sari, 22, resident of Alavi neighborhood of Ahvaz, arrested November 5, 2018
7. Hotab Zaheri Sari, 57, resident of Alavi neighborhood of Ahvaz, arrested November 5, 2018
8. Ameneh Zaheri Sari, 24, graduate of the accounting program at Azad University of Ahvaz, resident of Alavi neighborhood of Ahvaz, arrested November 6, 2018
9. Saleh Tamuli Torfi (Munabi), resident of Alavi neighborhood of Ahvaz, arrested November 6, 2018
10. Abdullah Childawi, resident of Alavi neighborhood of Ahvaz, arrested November 6, 2018

Hotab Zaheri Sari is reportedly in need of medical treatment for gastrointestinal and disc diseases. As of the date of this report, no further information is available on their whereabouts or well-being.

Over the past few days, local sources reported the bail release of jailed Ahvaz residents Saeed Mohammad Saidawi, Sajjad Saylawi, Zawdiyya Afrawi, and Qaysiyya Afrawi. The four await further notification from Ahvaz Revolutionary Court.

Wave of Arrests Continues in Khuzestan Province

Posted on: October 31st, 2018

Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA)- Over the past few days, more Ahwazi Arab citizens in the cities of Ahvaz, Hamidiyeh, and Shush were arrested by security forces and transferred to undisclosed locations.

They are presumed to have been swept up in an ongoing arrest campaign initiated by authorities after the September 22nd shooting on a military parade in Ahvaz.

In its ongoing coverage of the arrest sweep through Khuzestan province, HRANA previously published reports listing the identities of 130 detainees.

The most recent arrestees have been identified as follows:

1. Yusef Marvaneh, age 18, resident of Molashiyeh, Ahvaz
2. Abdullah Hayati, resident of Seyed Khalaf, Ahvaz, arrested October 27th
3. Nader Hayati, resident of Seyed Khalaf, Ahvaz, arrested October 27th
4. Mustafa Basiri, resident of Kian Abad, Ahvaz, arrested October 27th
5. Kazim Sayahi, resident of Hamidiyeh County, arrested October 27th
6. Mansour Askari, resident of Koye Alawi, Ahvaz city, arrested October 27th
7. Yahya Abidawi, age 28, resident of Hamidiyeh County
8. Qasim Abidawi, age 26, resident of Hamidiyeh County
9. Adel Zabi, resident of Koye Alawi, Ahvaz
10. Aref Abiat, resident of Koye Alavi, Ahvaz
11. Nader Sharifi, age 50, resident of Mollashieh, Ahvaz, arrested October 29th
12. Najm Haydari, age 30, resident of Koye Alawi of Ahvaz city, arrested October 28th
13. Rassoul Chaldawi, age 27, resident of Koye Alawi, Ahvaz, arrested October 28th
14. Seyed Fahd Alawi, age 24, resident of Shush County
16. Abdul Hamid Kanani, age 25, resident of Shush County
16. Amin Soleymani, age 27, resident of Shush County
17. Mohammad Abidawi, age 26, resident of Shush County
18. Valid Hayavi, age 28, resident of Shush County
19. Hassan Barsim (Kanani), age 24, resident of Shush County

As of the date of this report, no further information is available on these arrestees’ locations or the charges against them.

Arrest Surge Continues in Khuzestan Province

Posted on: October 27th, 2018

Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA)- In the past few days, a number of Ahwazi Arab citizens in the cities of Ahvaz, Susangerd, Shushtar, and Shadegan were arrested by security forces and transferred to undisclosed locations.

They are presumed to have been swept up in an ongoing arrest campaign initiated by authorities after the September 22nd shooting on a military parade in Ahvaz. HRANA previously published a list of 133 detainees in its recent update on this arrest sweep through Khuzestan province.

The most recent arrestees were identified as follows:

1. Anvar Ashouri, age 26, resident of Beyt-e Ashur village in Shadegan County.
2. Hussein Hamoudi (Sobhani), age 25, arrested by the intelligence office of Ahvaz on October 22nd.
3. Yahya Baravieh, arrested in Ahvaz on October 23rd.
4. Naji Salimi (Ka’abi), resident of Beyt-e Mahmood village of Shush County.
5. Yahya Salimi (Ka’abi), resident of Beyt-e Mahmood village in Shush Province.
6. Azim Shaverdi, resident of Shadegan County.
7. Ibrahim Shaverdi, age 31, resident of Shadegan County.
8. Khaled Albou Khanfar, resident of Shadegan County.
9. Ahmad Shaverdi , age 24, resident of Shadegan County.
10. Mahdi Shaverdi, age 17, resident of Shadegan County.
11. Adnan Khanafere, resident of Shadegan County.
12. Moslem Farajollah, resident of Shushtar city, married father of one, arrested on October 24th.
13. Mohammad Reza Jalali, age 26, resident of Kuye Abouzar in Susangerd County.
14. Rahim Aminpour (Heydari), resident of Goldasht in Ahvaz, arrested on October 24th.
15. Muhammad Saydavi, age 26, resident of Susangerd County, arrested on October 25th.
16. Mostafa Jalali, age 29, resident of Susangerd County, mechanic and married father of one, arrested on October 25th.
17. Mahdi Abidavi, age 25, resident of Susangerd County, arrested on October 25th.

As of the date of this report, no further information is available on these arrestees’ locations or the charges against them.

Khuzestan Arrest Campaign: 133 Victims Identified, Public Demands Transparency

Posted on: October 26th, 2018

Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA) – HRANA has confirmed the names of 133 Ahwazi Arabs swept up in an arrest campaign, a purported search for accomplices of an armed attack on a September 22nd military parade that left 24 dead and 57 wounded.

Held in the southwestern border city of Ahvaz in observance of the Iran-Iraq war, the parade was tragically interrupted by the gunfire of four assailants who were promptly killed by authorities. Having since attributed the tragedy to ISIS, the Iranian authorities recently launched a retaliatory missile attack on an ISIS base in Iraq. Security forces, seemingly in a continued state of urgency, have continued to sequester citizens across the Khuzestan province on grounds they have yet to disclose.

With no available information on how these would-be suspects could be linked to the armed attack or to ISIS, locals wonder if arrestees are being targeted for other reasons entirely. That detained hail mostly from the cities of Ahvaz, Khorramshahr, Susangerd, and Abadan; many have had prior run-ins with authorities, several on account of their civic activism; and almost all are Ahwazi Arabs, one of Iran’s ethnic minorities.

In response to allegations that they may be using the parade attack as a pretext for purging the region of civic activism, Iranian authorities seemed to hedge.

“There are no civil or children’s rights activists among those arrested,” said Khuzestan provincial governor Gholamreza Shariati on October 22nd, without making mention of arrest numbers. “We are making concerted efforts to avoid trouble for civil and political activists, and they have not been a subject of discussion. One woman is among those detained, but we have not detained any children.”

Local activists, meanwhile, feel that their comrades have inexplicably come under a scrutiny bordering on persecution. Human rights activist Karim Dahimi cited his colleague, Susangerd civil rights activist Lamiya Hamadi, as an example: “She is not, in fact, a religious activist,” Dahimi said. “Gholamreza Shariati admitting her arrest only corroborates the fact that civil rights activists are among those detained.”

Dahimi also scoffed at the governor’s claim that only one woman had thus far been detained, countering with examples of women who were carted off shortly after their family members: Faez Afrawi, who was detained shortly after her son, is now being held in an undisclosed location, and the wife, sister, and mother of detainee Adnan Mazraia, who are also being held incommunicado.

Regarding Shariati’s claims that no children had been arrested, Dahimi said, “it ought to be noted that the entire families of the four attackers were detained on the day of the attack, including their children.”

Save for a few insinuations that some detainees have been transferred to Tehran, arrestees’ inquiring family members have been suffering in radio silence from authorities. “No one has been released since the attacks began in Khuzestan,” said Dahimi. “What’s more, we don’t know where they’re being kept, or what kind of condition they’re being kept in.”

Not long after the attack, Iran’s Ministry of Intelligence announced it had taken 22 suspects into custody, broadcasting footage of blindfolded, unidentified detainees facing a wall. Now local sources estimate the number of those arrested has climbed well into the hundreds.

While arrest numbers rise and authorities play tactics close to the vest, public fears return to the possibility that security forces will coerce past offenders to “confess” to a role in the attack. In response to mounting public concern over scapegoating and discrimination, the Defenders of Human Rights Center, headed by Nobel Peace Prize laureate Shirin Ebadi, issued the following statement on October 21st:

“[…]Although state organizations have yet to give a report on the number of detainees or the process of detention, according to the families of detainees, over 500 were arrested between September 23 and October 22 and are held in undisclosed locations. The detainees are deprived of the most basic legal rights, including the right to legal representation or the right to family visitation.

The Defenders of Human Rights Center condemns the recent arrests and any illegal action taken by the security officials and the IRGC. The Center announces that such blind arrests and security measures only result in further unrest and certainly cannot shut down the voice of the protestors. The only path to achieving peace inside Iran is through being responsive to citizens and delivering on delayed promises, as well as through combating administrative corruption, existing “red lines,” and releasing all prisoners of conscience and political prisoners.”

Listed below are the identities of the 133 arrestees thus far confirmed by HRANA:

  1. Khaled Abidawi, of the Shekareh Kut-e Abdollah neighborhood
  2. Abu Shalan Saki, of Hoveyzeh
  3. Ahmad Bawi, of the Zahiriyeh neighborhood of Ahvaz
  4. Ahmad Timas, of the Shekareh neighborhood of Ahvaz
  5. Ahmad Hazbawi, of the Kut-e Abdollah neighborhood
  6. Ahmad Hamari, 29, holder of a bachelor’s degree, married, of the Mandali neighborhood of Ahvaz
  7. Ahmad Haidari, of the Mollashieh neighborhood of Ahvaz
  8. Ahmad Sawidi, of the Hujjiyeh village of Susangerd
  9. Ahmad Krushat, son of Kazim, of Ahvaz
  10. Osama TImas, 26, of the Shekareh neighborhood of Ahvaz
  11. Omid Bachari, of the Muwilhah neighborhood of Ahvaz
  12. Amir Afrawi, son of Fazel, of Albuafri village of Susangerd
  13. Jader Afrawi, of the Mollashieh neighborhood of Ahvaz
  14. Jasim Krushat, 45, of the Alawi neighborhood of Ahvaz
  15. Jafar Hazbawi, of the Kut Abdullah neighborhood of Ahvaz
  16. Jafar Abidawi, of the Goldasht neighborhood of Ahvaz
  17. Jamil Ahmadpour (al-Ha’i), of the Aziziyah neighborhood of Ahvaz
  18. Jamil Haydari, 33, of the Northern Kamplou neighborhood of the Lashkar district of Ahvaz
  19. Jamil Sylawi, of the Mollashieh neighborhood of Ahvaz
  20. Jawad Badawi, 26, of the Mollashieh neighborhood of Ahvaz
  21. Jawad Hashemi, of the Mollashieh neighborhood of Ahvaz
  22. Hatam Sawari, of the Alawi neighborhood of Ahvaz
  23. Hassan Harbawi, of Susangerd
  24. Hussein Haidari, of the Alawi neighborhood of Ahvaz
  25. Hamdan Afrawi, son of Abbas, of the Albuafri village of Susangerd
  26. Khazal Abbas al-Tamimi (Fazeli), 30, of the Shayban village of Ahvaz
  27. Khalil Saylawi, of the Mollashieh neighborhood of Ahvaz
  28. Daniyal Adel Amjad, 43, married, of the Mash’ali neighborhood of Ahvaz
  29. Ramin Bechari, of the Muwilhah neighborhood of Ahvaz
  30. Riyaz Zahiri, of the Mollashieh neighborhood of Ahvaz
  31. Riyaz Shamusi, of the Mollashieh neighborhood of Ahvaz
  32. Zamil Haydari, of the Alawi neighborhood of Ahvaz
  33. Sattar Kuti, of Hamidieh
  34. Samir Silawi, of the Mollashieh neighborhood of Ahvaz
  35. Sohrab Moqadam, of the Darvishiyya Kut Abdullah neighborhood of Ahvaz
  36. Seyed Jasim Rahmani (Musawi), 33, married with three children, of the Alawi neighborhood of Ahvaz
  37. Seyed Jalil Musawi, of the Mollashieh neighborhood of Ahvaz
  38. Seyed Hamud Rahmani (Musawi), of the Alawi neighborhood of Ahvaz
  39. Seyed Sadeq Musawi, of the Mollashieh neighborhood of Ahvaz
  40. Seyed Qasim Musawi, of Ahvaz
  41. Shaker Sawari, of Ahvaz
  42. Shani Shamusi, of the Mollashieh neighborhood of Ahvaz
  43. Sadeq Silawai, of the Mollashieh neighborhood of Ahvaz
  44. Adil Zahiri, of the Mollashieh neighborhood of Ahvaz
  45. Adil Afrawi, of Hamidiyeh
  46. Aref Ghazlawi, son of Hanun, of Ahvaz
  47. Aref Mughaynemi, 27, of the Hujjiyah village of Susangerd
  48. Aref Naseri, 30, son of Aydan, of Kut Abdullah, Majd Kuy, neighborhood of Ahvaz
  49. Abbas Badawi, of the Mollashieh neighborhood of Ahvaz
  50. Abbas Haydari, of the Shekareh district of Kut Abdullah
  51. Abbas Saki, son of Abdali Sharhan, of Howeyzeh
  52. Abbas Mughaynemi, 26, married, of the Hujjiyah village of Susangerd
  53. Abdulrahman Khasarji, 32, married, of the Kut Seyed Na’im neighborhood of Ahvaz
  54. Abdullah Siylawi, of the Mollashieh neighborhood of Ahvaz
  55. Adnan Sawari, of the Alawi neighborhood of Ahvaz
  56. Abdulrahman Haidari, 19, son of Qasim, of the Mollashieh neighborhood of Ahvaz
  57. Aziz Hamidawi, of the Muwailha neighborhood of Ahvaz
  58. Aqil Shamusi, of the Mollashieh neighborhood of Ahvaz
  59. Alireza Daris, of the Mollashieh neighborhood of Ahvaz
  60. Ali Saki, son of Amruh, of Howeyzeh
  61. Ali Sawiydi, of the Hujjiyah village of Susangerd
  62. Ali Shajirat (Abu Faruq), of the Muwailha neighborhood of Ahvaz
  63. Ali Afrawi, son of Hamd, of the Albuafri village of Susangerd
  64. Ali Mansouri, of the Hamidiyah
  65. Ali Abaji, of the Mollashieh neighborhood of Ahvaz
  66. Ali Alhay (Hiyawi), of Ahvaz
  67. Ali Haydari, son of Shayi’, of the Mollashieh neighborhood of Ahvaz
  68. Ali Sawari, 23, son of Chasib, of the Aziziyah neighborhood of Ahvaz
  69. Ali Sawari, son of Ghazi, of the Alawi neighborhood of Ahvaz
  70. Ali Kuti, of Hamidiyeh
  71. Ali Mazbani, Nasr (Sawari), of the Alawi neighborhood of Ahvaz
  72. Ali Mazraie, of the Mollashieh neighborhood of Ahvaz
  73. Issa Badawi, of the Mollashieh neighborhood of Ahvaz
  74. Fars Shamusi, of the Mollashieh neighborhood of Ahvaz
  75. Fazel, Shamusi, of Ahvaz
  76. Sadiq Haydari, son of Jasim, 28, of the Mollashieh neighborhood of Ahvaz
  77. Farhan Shamusi, of the Mollashieh neighborhood of Ahvaz
  78. Fahd Niysi, resident of Ahvaz
  79. Qasim Ka’bawi (Ka’abi), 24, of Hamidiyeh
  80. Karim Majdam Abu Mu’taz, of the Kut Abdullah neighborhood of Ahvaz
  81. Kazim Ghazlawi, son of Hanun, of Ahvaz
  82. Lami Shamusi, of Hamidiyeh
  83. Lamiya Hamadi, of Susangerd
  84. Majed Childawi, son of Sa’dun, of the Alawi neighborhood of Ahvaz
  85. Majed Haydari, 25, of the Northern Kamplou neighborhood of the Lashkar district of Ahvaz
  86. Majed Sawari, of the Alawi neighborhood of Ahvaz
  87. Maher Mas’udi, of the Mollashieh neighborhood of Ahvaz
  88. Mohsen Badawi, of the Mollashieh neighborhood of Ahvaz
  89. Mahdi Sa’edi, of the Hamidiyeh neighborhood of Ahvaz
  90. Mohammad Sawari, son of Sabah, of the Alawi neighborhood of Ahvaz
  91. Mohammad Amuri, 26, of Ahvaz
  92. Mohammad Mohammadi (Ahyat), 22, of Hamidiyeh
  93. Mohammad Mas’udi, of the Mollashieh neighborhood of Ahvaz
  94. Mohammad Mo’men Timas, 55, of the Shekareh neighborhood of Ahvaz
  95. Mahmud Duraqi, of the Muwailha neighborhood of Ahvaz
  96. Mukhtar Mas’udi, of the Mollashieh neighborhood of Ahvaz
  97. Murteza Bayt Shaykh Mohammad, son of Naser, 24, of the Hujjiyah village of Susangerd
  98. Murteza Mughaynemi, 22, of the Hujjiyah village of Susangerd
  99. Murteza Yassin, of Darvishiyya Kut Abdullah
  100. Mostafa Sawari, son of Sahi, of Shekareh Kut Abdullah
  101. Mahdi Kuti, of Hamidiyeh
  102. Mahdi Mazraie, of the Abu Hamiza neighborhood of Susangerd
  103. Musa Mazraie, of the Abu Hamiza neighborhood of Susangerd
  104. Milad Afrawi, of the Mollashieh neighborhood of Ahvaz
  105. Naiem Haydari, 24, of Ahvaz
  106. Nur Naysi, resident of Alawi neighborhood of Ahvaz
  107. Hadi Abidawi, of the Mollashieh neighborhood of Ahvaz
  108. Wali Amiri, of Kut Abdullah
  109. Yusef Khosraji, of the Mollashieh neighborhood of Ahvaz
  110. Ahmad Amin (Qays) Ghazi, writer, researcher and cultural activist, of the Mellat neighborhood of Ahvaz
  111. Khalid Siylawi, of the Mollashieh neighborhood of Ahvaz
  112. Sajjad Siylawi, of Ahvaz
  113. Seyed Sadiq Nazari (Abu Nabil), of the Al-i Safi neighborhood of Ahvaz]
  114. Ali Sawari, son of Sahi, of Kut Abdullah
  115. Fa’iz Afrawi, 30, married with one child, of the Albuafri village of Susangerd
  116. Zudiya Afrawi, 55, mother of Fa’iz Afrawi, of the Albuafri village of Susangerd
  117. Mohammad Ami Afrawi, married, of the Albuafri village of Susangerd
  118. Qaysiyya Afrawi, mother of Mohammad Amin Afrawi, 60, of the Albuafri village of Susangerd
  119. Adnan Mazraie, of Susangerd
  120. Wife of Adnan Mazra’i, of Susangerd
  121. Sister of Adnan Mazra’i, of Susangerd
  122. Mother of Adnan Mazra’i, of Susangerd
  123. Jalal Nabhani, of the Ameri neighborhood of Ahvaz
  124. Khalid Hazbawi, 40, of the Kut Abdullah, Majd Kuy, neighborhood of Ahvaz
  125. Mohammad Hazbawi, son of Abdulkarim, 30, of the Kut Abdullah, Majd Kuy, neighborhood of Ahvaz
  126. Reza Bitrani, 34, of the Kut Abdullah, Majd Kuy, neighborhood of Ahvaz
  127. Tariq Amiri, 24, of Kut Abdullah
  128. Jamal Mujdam, 35, of Kut Abdullah
  129. Hussein Subhani, 28 of the Khashayar neighborhood of Ahvaz
  130. Rashid Krushat, son of Haj Musa, of Ahvaz
  131. Hakim Krushat, son of Mannan, of Ahvaz
  132. Ali Mughaynimi, son of Saddam, of Susangerd
  133. Jawad Mahnapour (Afrawi), of the Albuafri village of Susangerd

Another Ahwazi Arab Citizen Arrested

Posted on: October 21st, 2018

Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA) –On Friday, October 19th, local Intelligence agents arrested Ahwazi Arab citizen Qais Ghazi, 33, transferring him to an undisclosed location.

Describing Ghazi as an advocate for peaceful methods of protest, an informed source speculated to HRANA that he was being arrested under a flimsy guise of counterterrorism that authorities have used liberally since the September 22nd attack on an Ahvaz military parade.

“It seems that after arresting hundreds of Ahwazi Arab activists, the security apparatus is now targeting independent civil rights activists,” the source said. “This is despite the government’s announcement that Daesh [ISIS] claimed responsibility for the [parade attack]. They are using it as an excuse to crack down on Ahwazi Arab civil and cultural activists and intellectuals.”

At the time of this report, no further information was available on Ghazi’s whereabouts or the reasons behind his arrest.

On October 17, 2018, for reasons unknown, Ahwazi Arab citizens Sajjad Silavi and Seyed Sadegh Nazari were also arrested by intelligence agents before being transferred to an undisclosed location.

Since the Ahvaz parade tragedy, dozens of Ahwazi Arab citizens across Khuzestan province have been arrested and transferred to unknown locations. In recent reports, HRANA has covered the steady stream of arrests being reported by locals in the region.

Despite the urgency to hold the assailants accountable for wounding and killing civilians, including women and children, Iran’s security establishment is marred by a history of questionable investigative methods, raising public concern that innocent scapegoats may be subject to torturous interrogations and impugned for the attacks.

Ahvaz is the capital of Khuzestan province, located in Iran’s southwest.

Ahwazi Arab Arrests Continue in Environs of Ahvaz Parade Attack

Posted on: October 20th, 2018

Human Rights Activist News Agency (HRANA) – Eight more Ahwazi Arab citizens, including two women, join the ranks of 55 locals already scooped up by authorities in a haphazard arrest campaign, purportedly an element of investigation into an armed attack on an Ahvaz military parade that claimed the lives of several civilians on September 22nd.

On October 15th, in the villages surrounding Susangerd, forces from the IRGC Intelligence Department arrested eight Ahwazi Arab Sunni citizens identified by HRANA as follows: Fayez Afravi, 30, married with one child; Afravi’s 45-year-old mother; Mohammad Amin Afravi, married, together with his 37-year-old mother; Abbas Moghinami, 26, married; Morteza Beyt Sheikh Ahmad, 24; Aref Moghinami, 27; and Morteza Moghinami, 22.

Fayez and Mohammad Amin Afravi are residents of Albu Afri village in Susangerd, a source told HRANA. Abbas Moghinami owns a tailor shop in the nearby village of Hojjie that specializes in Arabic garments known as thawbs or dishdashas, and where Morteza Beyt Sheikh Ahmad and Morteza Moghinami are currently employed. All three were arrested while leaving the shop with Aref Moghinami.

Susangerd is located in Dasht-e Azadegan County, Khuzestan Province.

HRANA identified 55 prior arrestees in its recent reports.

Twenty-four civilians, including a four-year-old child, were killed in the September 22nd gun attack on Ahvaz; fifty-seven more sustained injuries. The four assailants were apprehended and killed.

Following the attack, Iran’s Ministry of Intelligence announced that it had 22 suspects in custody, backing their announcement with a video recording of blindfolded, unidentified detainees facing a wall. Local sources estimate that detainees number closer to 300, and hail mostly from the cities of Ahvaz, Khorramshahr, Susangerd, and Abadan. Most of the arrestees have a previous track record with police.

As authorities work to confirm which body or group may have masterminded the attack, public urgency to find closure is tinged with the concern that innocent arrestees will be subject to inhumane interrogation methods.

Iran: Parade Attack Continues to Drive Ahwazi Arab Arrests

Posted on: October 19th, 2018

Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA) – Authorities continue to arrest Ahwazi Arab citizens in connection to the attack on an Ahvaz military parade that shook the country on September 22nd.

Two more Ahwazi Arab arrestees — identified by HRANA as Mohammad Mohammadi (Abyat), 22, and Ghassem Kabavi (Kabi), 24 — join the 53 who had already been detained as of October 15th.

Ministry of Intelligence agents in Hamidiyeh County transferred Mohammadi and Kabavi to an undisclosed location after arresting them on October 16th.

The day of the attack, a military parade in Ahvaz commemorating the Iran-Iraq war was interrupted by a sudden spray of gunfire on soldiers and spectators. That day, more than 20 civilians were killed, including a four-year-old child, and 57 more were wounded. All four of the gunmen have reportedly been killed.

While Iranian news media is abuzz with speculation over which group might have ordered the attack, authorities’ investigations have thus far been inconclusive. Four days after the attack, the Ministry of Intelligence announced that it had 22 suspects in custody, backing its announcement with a video recording of blindfolded, unidentified detainees facing a wall. Unofficial sources have countered this report, estimating the tally of those detaineth far to be closer to 300. The majority of the arrests have taken place in the cities of Ahvaz, Khorramshahr, Hamidiyeh, Susangerd, and Abadan, all located in the Khuzestan province.

Many of the recent arrestees have a previous track record with police, and the continued arrest campaign — led by a security establishment known for its questionable investigative methods — has done little to assuage public concern that authorities will force confessions from innocent prior offenders.

Hamidiyeh is a city and capital of Hamidiyeh District, in Ahvaz, Khuzestan Province.

Amid Parade Attack Investigations, Ahvaz Authorities Arrest More Citizens

Posted on: October 15th, 2018

Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA)- Dozens of citizens were rounded up October 13th and 15th in the Malashieh and Kouy-e Alavi neighborhoods of Ahvaz, the capital of southwestern border province of Khuzestan now known as the site of a violent shooting on a military parade on September 22nd of this year.

HRANA has identified nine more Ahwazi Arab arrestees, who join the 44 already arrested as of September 27th: Mohammad Omuri, 26, Naim Heydari, 24, Aref Ghazalavi, Kazem Ghazalavi, Ali al-Hay (Hayyai), Shakir Savari, Shakir Savari, and Fadhil Shemousi, arrested Saturday, and Jassim Croshat, 45, a mechanic from Kouye Alavi in Ahvaz, who was arrested Monday, October 15th.

Forty-four Ahwazi Detainees Identified in Wake of Parade Attack

Posted on: October 13th, 2018

Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA) – Since last month’s attack on an Ahvaz military parade, dozens of Ahwazi Arab citizens of Iran have been rounded up, arrested, and transferred to unknown locations in the Khuzestan province.

Public urgency to find those responsible for the attack — which claimed the lives of several civilians, including women and children — is matched only by mounting concern that Iran’s security establishment, with its history of questionable investigation methods, might be searching too aggressively for a scapegoat.

HRANA has identified 44 of the arrestees detained near Ahvaz in recent weeks: 1. Jamil Heidari, 33, 2. Majed Heidari, 25, 3. Ahmad Hamari, 29, 4. Seyed Jasem Rahmani (Mousavi), 33, 5. Majed Chaldavi, 6. Seyed Hamood Rahmani (Mousavi), 7. Ali Savari, 23, 8. Hatam Savari, 9. Adnan Savari, 10. Hossein Heidari, 11. Ahmad Bavi, 12. Abdolrahman Khosraji, 32, 13. Mahdi Saedi, 27, 14. Javad Badvi, 26, 15. Riaz Zahiri, 16. Zamel Heidari, 17. Mahdi Kooti, 18. Ali Kooti, 19. Sattar Kooti, 20. Ali Mansouri, 21. Mohammad Momen Timas, 55, 22. Ahmad Timas, 28, 26. Osama Timas, 26, 24. Adel Afravi, 25. Mohammad Savari, 26. Mokhtar Masoudi, 27. Abdollah Silavi, 28. Khaled Silavi, 29. Ali Albaji, 30. Maher Masoudi, 31. Javad Hashemi, 32. Yousef Khosraji, 33. Abbas Badvi, 34. Mohsen Badvi, 35. Hassan Ben Ali, 36. Jador Afravi, 37. Milad Afravi, 38. Ali Albaji, 39. Mohammad Masoudi, 40. Alireza Deris, 41. Adel Zahiri, 42. Adel Afravi, 43. Ahmad Heidari, 44. Fahad Neisi

The attack in question was a violent interruption to a military parade in Ahvaz on September 22nd, commemorating the Iran-Iraq war. Mid-ceremony, gunmen suddenly opened fire on soldiers and spectators alike.

Mojtaba Zolnour, member of the Iranian parliamentary committee for national security and foreign affairs, announced 29 deaths and 57 wounded. Several civilians, including a 4-year-old child, figured on the list of victims released by state-run news agencies.

It has yet to be determined which group is responsible for the attack, and on Iranian airwaves, theories abound. Not long after the attack took place, Iran’s Ministry of Intelligence released a video recording of blindfolded, unidentified detainees facing a wall, accompanied with the announcement that the Ministry had 22 suspects in custody.

Local sources have countered the Ministry’s report, estimating the tally of those detained so far to be closer to 300. The majority of these arrests have taken place in the cities of Ahvaz, Khorramshahr, Susangerd, and Abadan, all located in Khuzestan province.

Security measures now loom large over the Arab-majority neighborhoods south of Khuzestan, local sources say, while the families of those detained have been unable to obtain any indication from authorities on the status or location of their loved ones.

Previously, Iranian Minister of Intelligence Mahmoud Alavi made the public claim that “the terrorists who opened fire on the crowd have been killed,” adding, “Every single person behind the attack […] will be identified, and the majority of them have already been apprehended.”

Many of the arrestees have a previous track record with police, reinforcing public speculation that security forces are applying the timeworn approach of haranguing past offenders into culpability, current or relevant evidence be damned.