Thursday, 6 September 2012

Advocacy Project: Despite the fact that their traditional lands represent 90% of Iranian oil revenues, Ahwazi Arabs' situation is among the worst


... Ahwazi Arabs live in Southwest Iran in a region that was once known as Arabistan but is now Khuzestan (changing the name of cities and regions is part of a strategy to destroy the minorities’ cultures and identity). Despite the fact that their traditional lands represent 90% of Iranian oil revenues, two thirds of Ahwazi Arabs live in poverty.
To prevent any threat, the Iranian government subjects them to a mixture of Persianisation, forced migration, violent political repression and economic exclusion. Ahwazi Arabs are demanding collective rights, including the redistribution of oil revenues, an end to forced displacement, equal labor rights, environmental protection and cultural freedom.  Their situation is among the worst in Iran. On June 17, 2012, the Iranian authorities executed four prisoners—three of them brothers— who were arrested following civil unrest and protests in April 2011 in Ahwaz (capital of Khuzestan) based on the charges of “Acting against national security” and “Moharebeh”.

Now, five more political and civil activists have been sentenced to death and are waiting to be executed. The idea is simple: it’s about power and oppression, making sure that the oil resources are under total Iranian control by suppressing all forms of dissent. Which is why these men will be hanged if nothing can be done.

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