Sunday, 29 January 2012

Amnesty International's 2011 Annual Report : Ahwazis Suffer ongoing systamtic discrmintion in Law and Practice.

In its annual report for 2011 Amnesty International reports that Ahwazis and along with Azerbaijanis, Baluch, Kurds and Turkmen, "suffered ongoing systematic discrimination in law and practice. The use of minority languages in schools and government offices continued to be prohibited. Those who campaigned for greater political participation or recognition of  rights faced systematic threats, arrest and imprisonment".
The report also stated that "In September [2011], four Ahwazi Arabs held since June 2009 were reported to have been sentenced to death on charges including “enmity against God and corruption on earth”.

On 19 April 2011Amnesty International called for an independent and impartial investigation into the killings of  [Ahwazis] urging  Iran to recognize and address the grievances of the Ahwazis also to investigate clashes between security forces and protesters from the Ahwazi in 2011, stating that " The crackdown came around a “Day of Rage” protest held on 15 April to mark the anniversary of demonstrations that took place in the regional capital Ahvaz in 2005, when local Ahwazi Arabs held rallies in protest at a letter they believed was written by an official which outlined a policy of “Persianization” of the area.

“We are deeply concerned by reports that well over 200 people were arrested in the run-up to the demonstration. Anyone detained solely for exercising their rights to peaceful assembly, or for peacefully expressing their views, must be released immediately and unconditionally.
Around 30 of the arrested people are said to be women, five of whom are reportedly pregnant.
Amnesty International has called for all those detained to be protected from torture or other ill-treatment and to be granted access to their families, lawyers and adequate medical treatment.
Confirming details of events in the ... area is exceedingly difficult, as security forces have maintained increasingly tight control over the flow of information in and out of the region since 2005.

According to local media reports, the dead protesters are Mohamed Murabi, 30, killed in Ahwaz on 16 April and Abd al-Rahman Ibn Qasem al-Badawi, 37, killed in the town of Hamidieh on 14 April. Another man, Basem Abiat, was said to have been killed in Hamidieh on 15 April. Amnesty International has not been able to confirm these independently.
Demonstrations took place over the Ahwazi ... long-held grievances over institutionalized discrimination and denial of economic and cultural rights.

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