Saturday, 14 April 2012

Commemoration of Ahwazi Uprising Against Iran's Arab Ethnic Cleansing

Ahwazis protested today in front of UK Parliament in Westminster to commemorate 15 April 2005 Ahwazi Uprising (Intifada), protest against Iran's repression and to "urge the British government to highlight these unlawful, unjust killings as well as the persecution of Ahwazis in its bilateral relations with Iran and in multi-national forums such as the EU and the UN..
[and] to ensure the enforcement of the recommendations made by the Working Group on the Universal Periodic Review on Iran of 2010 that remain unimplemented, including the following:

102. Guarantee the protection of the civil and political rights of all, particularly dissidents and members of minority groups (Chile);
103. Guarantee, in compliance with its obligations under ICCPR, the effective independence of the procedures and administration of justice, restricted emergency legislation, adequate protection for human rights defenders and political opposition members, and the effective guarantee of  freedom of expression and opinion and freedom of religion and belief (Chile);
104. Investigate and prosecute all those, including Government officials and paramilitary members, suspected of having mistreated, tortured or killed anyone, including demonstrators, political activists, human rights defenders and journalists (Canada);
105. Ensure that competent bodies investigate allegations of torture, enforced disappearance and secret detention, that those responsible are punished and that programmes providing reparation for victims are established (Chile);
106. Establish effective complaint mechanisms for victims of torture (Czech Republic);
107. Take measures to ensure an effective and impartial judicial system, in conformity with ICCPR is guaranteed (Netherlands);

[also] to encourage the relevant Special Procedures of the Human Rights Council to seek invitations to visit Iran"

"Arabs In April 2005... [Alahwaz] widespread protests, this time centring on a leaked secret letter allegedly written by former Vice President Mohammad Abtahi. 
The letter briefly outlined a policy to radically alter the province’s demographic make up by moving Arabs (especially those with higher education) to other parts of the country, whilst moving non-Arabs into the region, the end in mind being are reduction of the province’s Arab population to a third of what it was in 2005...The letter led Arabs to mobilize and give voice to long-held grievances against the state, in much the same way Azeris would a year later. When the UN Special Rapporteur on Adequate Housing visited Iran in 2005, he reported that in Ahwaz thousands of people [were]living with open sewers, no sanitation, no regular access to water, electricity and no gas connections’, despite the fact that the province has been the cornerstone of Iran’s massive oil wealth for more than a century...That [Alahwaz] furnishes much of Iran’s wealth but receives very little of it for local development has been the single greatest source of grievance amongst Iranian Arabs. This antagonism is only further enflamed by large government development projects (like the Dehkhoda sugar cane plantation) that have uprooted and displaced upwards of 200,000 to250,000 Arabs, with compensation for confiscated land being as little as one-fortieth of market value. Perhaps more troubling is that the government does not offer jobs in these projects to local Arabs. Instead, it prefers to plan and build new cities like Shirinshahr for non-Arabs brought to the province from places including Yazd in central Iran, an initiative with obvious implications forAbtahi’s above mentioned denial. In February 2006, Amnesty International reported that government-directed migration of non-Arabs into [Alahwaz] is linked to economic policies that offer zero per cent interest loans to migrants, but not to Arabs. The province is also beset by other problems resulting from a century of deliberate neglect and underdevelopment: higher illiteracy, lower life expectancy and higher unemployment rates than the rest of country are just three examples..In regard to economic inequality [Alahwaz] is only outdone by Sistan-Baluchistan, another province where ethnic minorities constitute the bulk of the population, where unverifiable reports put 76 per cent of the population below the poverty line, in stark contrast to the national rate of 18 per cent."
The letter's following translation was published on (British Ahwazi Friendship Society):

Emblem of the Islamic Republic ISLAMIC REPUBLIC OF IRAN
Office of the PresidentHead of the Executive Office
Attachment 5/316/20675 (hand written)
In the Name of Allah

Head of the respectful Department of planning and budget- Mr. Dr. Najafi

With greetings:

Pursuant to the policies set forth, and the legislation approved by the National SecurityCouncil, with regards to changing the population demography of Arabs of Khuzestan andtheir appropriate resettlement to other parts of the country, it is necessary that theattached approved instructions be directed to all relevant subsidiary organizations forexecution.

1. The Arab population of Khuzestan must be reduced to a third of the total population ofKhuzestan within 10 years, with the rest of the population to be composed of Farsi-speaking residents and migrants.
2. On the resettlement of other ethnic groups, especially the Azeri (Turks) to Khuzestan province, in addition to the facilities approved under legislations # 16-32/971/5-7, dated14/4/1376 (1998) - other arrangements have been made to facilitate this (forced resettlement) which will be announced in the future.
3. It is necessary to increase the resettlement of their (Arab) educated class to other provinces, especially to Isfahan, Tehran and Tabriz.
4. Proof of the existence of this ethnic group (Arabs) should be eradicated, including the changing of remaining (Arabic) names of cities, villages, regions and streets to Farsi names.
5. Arabic-speaking people should be used for the execution of this legislation, although the secrecy of this programme must be respected.
6. Newly approved legislation regarding the (forced) migration of (university) students,civil servants, teachers, military and security forces and farmers to other provinces, are attached.

Sayed Mohammad-Ali Abtahi

TOP SECRET 27686/62 2/5/1377

Carbon Copy:

1. Ministry of Information (Security)
2. Ministry of Interior
3. Ministry of Housing and Urban Development
4. Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance

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