Iranian intelligence security forces last week carried out more brutal raids on homes in several parts of Ahwaz city, arresting a large number of Ahwazi human rights activists.
According to local sources, the Iranian regime’s intelligence and security divisions are carrying out massive crackdowns across the region in an effort to thwart any protests demanding freedom, more particularly around the time of Ahwazi commemorations of the April 15 anniversary of a previous mass killing of Arab Ahwazi people, and in the run-up to the upcoming Iranian elections.
April 15 commemorates the regime’s mass killing and arrests of hundreds of protesters in 2005 in response to massive protests that took place across Ahwaz that year. The demonstrations followed the publication of a leaked letter attributed to Mohammad-Ali Abtahi, Iran’s then-Vice-President of Iran, which ordered the population transfer of the Arab Ahwazi people, essentially giving an official green light to the regime’s unofficial ethnic cleansing policy towards the Arab population.
Last Friday, April 14, Iranian intelligence and security forces stormed the family homes of five Ahwazi activists, the youngest aged 19, in the Hay al-Thora neighbourhood of Ahwaz, seizing the five men and taking them to an undisclosed location. Regime authorities refuse to tell their desperately worried families where their loved ones are being held or on what charges or to allow them any contact. The five activists have been identified as: Hamza Cheldawi, aged 24; Abdul-Nasser Abiat, aged 38; Hashem Heidari, aged 35; Sadegh Heidari, aged 34; and Jafar Heidari , aged 19. Another Ahwazi activist seized in the area the same day by forces of the regime’s ‘Army of the Guardians of the Islamic Revolution’ (“Sepāh-e Pāsdārān-e Enqelāb-e Eslāmi”) has been identified as 25-year-old Khaled Chaeean, also known as Sharifi. As with the other detainees, the regime has refused to tell his family of his whereabouts or of the charges against him, or to allow them any contact with him.
Two more of the Ahwazi activists dragged from their families’ homes in the regional capital last Thursday, April 13, by armed officers from the regime’s Ministry of Intelligence of the Islamic Republic of Iran (‘Vezarat-e Ettela’at Jomhuri-ye Eslami-ye Iran’ in Farsi) have been identified as 37-year-old Khalil Ghafely and 38-year-old Mustafa Sawari. The regime officers, who ransacked the activists’ homes, seizing books, computers, and mobile phones, refused to tell the men or their families where they were being taken or on what charges they were being detained. Neither of the men’s desperately worried families have heard anything from them since the arrest, with the regime refusing to give any information on their whereabouts.
Other activists arrested in last week’s raids on homes by the regime’s thugs have been named as Kazim Sorkhi, aged 45 and Amir Sorkhi, aged 25, who were seized from their families’ homes in the Mallashiyeh neighbourhood of the capital. As usual, the regime refuses to tell the men or their families where they were being taken or to reveal the supposed charges against them.