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.

Ahwazi Arab Protestors Arrested in Oil-Rich Khuzestan Province

Posted on: September 24th, 2018

Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA)- Several Ahwazi Arab residents of Susangerd, Dasht-e Azadegan (in the province of Khuzestan, southwestern Iran) were detained by security forces and transferred to an unknown location on September 19, 2018 after reportedly chanting protests during a Shiite religious ceremony.

An informed source told HRANA that security forces responded to a number of protesters who were chanting slogans against the regime’s policies and economic failures during local mourning ceremonies in observance of Muharram. Two of the arrested individuals have been identified as Ahma Sovidi and Fayez Afravi. The identities of their comrades have yet to be confirmed.

According to HRANA’s annual report, between March 2017 and March 2018, 6883 people were arrested in Iran for political reasons or for expressing their beliefs. 1281 of these were individual arrests (i.e. independent of coordinated raids or the crackdown of unified protests).

These include 66 media users, 14 environmental activists, 222 adherents to religious minorities (in addition to the Dervishes arrested during the Tehran Golestan Haftom incident in February 2017), 114 women’s rights activists, and 60 workers and labour activists.