On the evening of Thursday, 9 February, Iranian security forces opened fire at random on Ahwazi citizens going peaceably about their business in Falahiyeh city.
Reliable reports confirmed one dead and several others wounded. The dead man was identified as Hassan Alboghobesh and the injured included Syed Ali Moussawi and Syed Reza Moussawi, aged 31 and 18 years respectively.
The Ahwazi people erupted with anger at the unprovoked brutality of the Iranian regime thugs and, in retaliation for the martyrdom of Hassan Alboghobesh, attacked the security forces and the Revolutionary Guards centres in the city. According to information received by Ahwaz Monitor, this resulted in the death of two members of the regime’s forces, with four others injured. A video clip circulated on social networking, shows the martyr, Hassan Alboghobesh, as he lies on the ground covered with blood, breathing his last.
This is not the first time such an incident has happened. In recent months there have been a spate of random shootings without warning in various areas of Ahwaz, resulting in death and injury to many Ahwazi citizens including a 3-year-old girl, Raghad Abbas Sawari, shot dead, and her parents injured, while sitting in their family car. The question that needs answering is how much longer is the killing and injustice against the Ahwazi people going to continue unabated?
The scale of the oppression and injustice inflicted on Ahwazi Arabs by the Iranian consecutive regimes is almost incomparable with other colonial experiences, even the most brutal occupations.
In the 37 years’ history of the Iranian regime, Ahwazi Arabs have suffered from large- scale inequality and multifaceted discrimination. Under the Iranian clerical state’s systematic anti-Arab policies, Ahwazis then and today have almost no rights, including the right to live in peace and pursue prosperity in their own land. As the Ahwazi people were deemed to be second class, unwanted Arab citizens, and were immediately subjected to daily institutionalized and codified racism and persecution.However, growing awareness among Ahwazi youth about their legitimate rights, and the heritage of generation after generation’s constant struggle for national rights, has prevented Iran from keeping the lid on the systematic, sustained oppression of the Ahwazi Arabs.
To this day, the Iranian regime continues to conduct harsh discriminatory practices in Ahwaz. The goal is to weaken the popular will of the Ahwazi people by economic strangulation, by excluding them from employment, depriving them from benefiting from their local natural resources, spreading terror and applying a policy of collective punishment, including a campaign of executions, land confiscations, and arrest and imprisonment without cause, as well as the razing and destruction of homes with bulldozers, and the routine subjection of prisoners to rape and torture while in custody.
The apathy of international organisations with regards human rights violations by the Iranian state, has given Iran a free hand to exercise a power to decide life or death especially in Ahwaz region where repression and terrible suffering remain unaddressed by the international community.
In fact, as long as the Iranian regime can get away with such crimes against humanity, with the International media turning a blind eye and business deals continuing as usual, they will keep doing it. It is high time for the conscience of the world to awaken and serious steps to be taken to bring those responsible for such atrocities to justice. In spite of all attempts by the regime over so many years to strip the Ahwazi’s of their language, culture, national pride, and self-esteem, the spirit of Ahwaz still flows strongly through the young people of today. This does not please the regime, not at all.
Let’s displease the brutal regime even more, by ensuring that everybody in the world knows the oppression the youth of Ahwaz are suffering for taking this bold stance.