Monday, 4 May 2015

Iran Punishes An Ahwazi Family for Their Father's Poetry

Ahwazi Poet Ali Badawi:
Punished for his poetry
May 2015: Iranian authorities sacked an Ahwazi Arab, Ali Ayed Al Bedwi (Ali Badawi), the sole breadwinner of a large family, merely for his poetry and cultural activities. Te was working at Ahwaz city municipality office before being arrested for the second time in 20 April 2015 and detained for three days for speaking out against the arrest of his fellow Ahwazi poet Ahmad Sabhan Al Hazbwi by the Iranian authorities.

Ali Al Bedwadi was previously detained on 6 April 2007 for the same cultural activities.

Iran's war on Ahwazi poets:

Iranian Intelligence services in April 2015  prevented the first women's peotry seminar in Al-ahwaz despite obtaining prior permission from Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance at least two months ago. The first seminar of its kind  “In the Footstep of Al Khansa” was due take place on Thursdays 30 April 2015 by the organiser Al-Hilal Cultural Society.

Iran on 15 April 2015 arrested Mohammed Nassar, a poet from Abbadan city, for participating in Younes Asakara funeral. Sources said he was arrested at his home by security services agents.  He was hooded and handcuffed and were taken to unknown location. His belongings were also seized by agents.

On 23 March 2015, following the self-immolation and death of Younes Asakrah, Arab street vendor and father of two, security forces arrested scores of Arab mourners who had came from different cities to pay their respect and show solidarity with his family. The day before the authorities had detained Younes’s father, brother and a tribal leader and forced them to sign a document pledging to mourn their son privately outside the city. But hundreds of angry mourners, including Mohammad Nassar, defiantly participated in the procession and the funeral turned to an angry protest against the racist and oppressive regime of Iran.

Iran recently arrested  another Ahwazi poet, Ahmad Sabhan Al Hazbawi, for saying a poem supporting the Operation Decisive Storm, a coalition of ten countries participating in the war against the Houthi movement in Yemen. He was arrested at his perfume shop in Kut Abdullah town near Ahwaz. Sources and eyewitnesses have confirmed seeing masked officers, believed to be from the Intelligence service, beating and dragging him to the ground from his shop to a vehicle.  The arrest took place after the poet and jubilant crowd, mainly youth, appeared in a video on 27 March 2015 expressing support for the operation.

On 15 April 2015, Ahwazi poet, Reyad Hamed Al Nasseri (Reyad Nasseri) was executed in Ahwaz Karoun notorious prison. He left behind his wife, two daughter and eighteen year old son named Mohammed. He was executed on 10 annivarsay of Ahwazi uprising in 2005. Some of his poems were sung by the popular Ahwazi signer Abbas Sahaqi.

In February 2014 Iran caused an international outcry when it executed the Ahwazi poet Hasem Shaabani and his fellow Al-Hiwar member and teacher Hadi Rashedi.

In November 2014 Iran detained and poisoned the Arab poet Sattar Sayahi (Abu Soror) to prevent him from involvement in a variety of Arab cultural activities.

Ahwazis have always used poetry gatherings to express their Arabic identity and resist Iran’s apartheid policies towards them.

Ahwazi Arabs have long suffered from extreme oppression and apartheid policies at the hand of the dominant Persian minority in Tehran. Despite their rich and lucrative homeland, the region has been kept underdevelopment with Ahwazi Arabs do not even have access to the utmost basic human needs such as healthy drinking water and air. Unemployment, illiteracy, health issues such as cancer and respiratory, child malnutrition and poverty remain the highest among Ahwazi Arabs.

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