Amnesty International today, 10 February 2012, released a Public Statement on Iran. In regards to Iran's recent crackdowns on Ahwazis in the cities of Ahwaz and Shush (Susa) Amnesty International said:
"Reports have emerged that around 49 members of the Ahwazi Arab minority have been arrested since 10 January 2012, in at least three cities in the south-western province of [Arabistan].
A family member of Nasser Derafshan Alboshokeh, aged 19, told Amnesty International how his relative and Mohammad al-Ka’bi, aged 34, both members of the Ahwazi Arab minority, died in
Ministry of Intelligence detention facilities in Ahwaz and Shush.
Both men – arrested on 26 February and 21 January respectively – were reported to have been tortured before they died.
The family of Nasser Derafshan Alboshokeh has not yet been permitted to bury him. They have reportedly been told by the local Iranian authorities to keep the memorial service private as a 1condition of the funeral taking place. Nasser Derafshan Alboshokeh’s family learned of his death on 30 January 2012. He is said not to have had access to legal representation nor been permitted any contact with his family during his four day detention.
Amnesty's statement follows the Human Rights Watch report, "Iran: Arrest Sweeps Target Arab Minority", on 7 February 2012 which called on Iranian Government to immediately release or charge 65 detained Ahwazi in the city of Ahwaz, Susa and Hamidia.
In its annual report for 2011 Amnesty International said 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 , 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.