Lives of Ahwazi activists are at stake as regime seeks revenge after parade attack

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26 Sep 2018

After the attack on an Iranian military parade in Ahwaz on 22 September 2018, which killed and injured dozens of military personnel, [1] the Intelligence service has launched a massive crackdown on civil society organizations and activists in Ahwaz.

The Iranian Intelligence Ministry reported in a statement published on 24 September 2018 that 22 people have been arrested in connection with the Ahwaz attack. It has claimed that the detainees are the perpetrators of the attack. [2] In addition, Fars News Agency posted video images, showing at least 10 detainees were blindfolded and handcuffed over their ties to Ahwaz attack. They were wearing prisoners’ uniform and facing walls in a yard which is believed to be an Intelligence detention centre in Ahwaz. [3]

It is worth mentioning that all the five individuals responsible for the attack were killed during the exchange of fire with the security forces at the scene according to the Iranian Intelligence Ministry announcement. [4]

According to the strict order issued on 24 September by Ayatollah Amoli Larijani, head of the judicial system in Iran, the security forces are permitted to use excessive force and to punish all suspects, pursuing a zero-tolerance attitude. [5] The reports from inside Ahwaz region indicate that the Ministry of Intelligence, the intelligence of the Revolutionary Guard, the intelligence of the army and the intelligence of the security forces have started a large-scale operation since the armed attack on the parade. The security guards have detained at least 300 Arab activists including political, cultural, religious and environmental campaigners, giving no clear reasons for the detentions. The Iranian regime is trying to misuse the state of emergency to suppress any voices condemning the government’s violations of human rights against Ahwazi people.

The video footages circulated on social media show the brutality of the way the security forces arrest people on the streets and inside houses. The concerned security operation is intended to spread panic and intimidation among civilians. In addition, it is violating fundamental rights and freedoms of Ahwazi people including the right to liberty, the right to due process of law, freedom of thought, freedom of religion, freedom of expression, the right to peaceful assembly and the freedom of association guaranteed under the Universal Declaration of Human Rights [6] and International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. [7]

The Ahwazi Organization for the Defence of Human Rights calls on the following United Nations Special Rapporteurs and Working Groups to monitor the current violations of Ahwazi rights and to prevent Iranian state from its vicious attack on human rights activists and civil society organizations in Ahwaz.

  1. 1- Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran,
    Javaid Rahman, Sr-iran@ohchr.org

  1. 2- Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression,
    Mr. David Kaye, 
    freedex@ohchr.org

  1. 3- Special Rapporteur on the rights to freedom of peacefulassembly and of association,
    Mr. Clément NyaletsossiVoulé, 
    freeassembly@ohchr.org

  1. 4- Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders,
    Mr. Michel Forst, 
    defenders@ohchr.org

  1. 5- Chair of United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention,
    Mr. Seong-Phil Hong, 
    wgad@ohchr.org

  1. 6- Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms while countering terrorism,
    Ms. Fionnuala Ni Aolain, 
    srct@ohchr.org

  1. 7- Head of Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances,
    Mr. Bernard Duhaime, 
    wgeid@ohchr.org

(Ahwazi Organization for the Defence of Human Rights)

References

[1] BBC, ‘Iran military parade attacked by gunmen in Ahvaz’ (22 September 2018) <https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-45611411> accessed 26 September 2018.

[2] Iranian Student’ News Agency, ‘Identifying a team house and the arrest of 22 terrorists associated with Ahwaz incident’ (24 September 2018) <https://www.isna.ir/news/97070201416/شناساییخانهتیمیودستگیری۲۲تروریستمرتبطباحادثهاهواز> accessed 26 September 2018.

[3] Khabar Online, ‘Individuals associated with terrorist incident arrested by the security forces in Ahwaz’ (25 September 2018) <https://khabarone.ir/news/19200238/بازداشتعواملمرتبطباحادثهتروریستیاهوازتوسطنیروهایامنیتی> accessed 26 September 2018.

[4] Alef News Agency, ‘All Five responsible individuals for the terrorist attack in Ahwaz were killed’ (25 September 2018) <https://www.alef.ir/news/3970703099.html> accessed 26 September 2018.

[5] Mashregh News, ‘Video/The reaction of the head of the judiciary system to the terrorist incident in Ahwaz’ (24 September 2018) <https://www.mashreghnews.ir/news/896259/فیلمواکنشرئیسدستگاهقضابهحادثهتروریستیاهواز> accessed 26 September 2018.

[6] Universal Declaration of Human Rights, GA Res 217 A (III), 10 December 1948.

[7] International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, GA Res 2200A (XXI), 16 December 1966, Articles 1, 9, 12, 18, 19, 21 and 22.

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