The Ahwaz Monitor reports that Iranian security officers have detained three Ahwaz intellectuals without an arrest warrant: Mojahed Zergani (age 36), Issa Domni (age 43), and Naji Heidari (age 38).
According to credible sources, the three Ahwazi civil rights activists were arrested at 3am today 16/01/2017, by Iranian security officers (locally known as Etelaat), and taken from their homes in Alahwaz.
Issa Domni, aged 43, married with two children, is a journalist and an Arabic teacher who used to live in the Golestan neighbourhood. Issa has been frequently participating and presenting social and academic seminars nationwide in Iran. He has also established free Arabic classes for Ahwazi children to teach them their mother language, Arabic. Such classes are not allowed in primary and secondary schools under Iran’s sectarian and racist regime.
Mojahed Zergani, aged 36, married with one child, is an Ahwazi poet, and also a university student. He is also a founder of a charity organisation. Mojahed owns his business, a small supermarket in his neighbourhood, Zergan, in Ahwaz city.
Naji Heidari, aged 38, married with two children, is a prominent and well-known Arabic teacher who lives in the Mashali neighbourhood. He is also involved in several socio-cultural activities related to Ahwazi-Arab identity and heritage.
The families of three detained activists were not informed where their loved ones would be taken. However,the families are convinced that their sons are being held in one of the Etelaat’s underground detention centres in occupied Alahwaz. Their families are extremely concerned that their family members will be exposed to torture or ill-treatment.
These series of arrest are not the first or last of their kind against Ahwazis, as the regime has already escalated it’s brutal crackdown against Ahwazi activists, targeting civil rights and non-violent political activists, academics, and workers in an effort to terrorize and distress the already oppressed Ahwazi people.
This arrest shows that the regime of Iran, notwithstanding the so-called reformist government of Rouhani, has no intention of respecting freedom of expression, intellectual liberty and diversity in Iran. The regime continues to breach and mock the international conventions that it has signed and agreed to.
For years the Iranian regime has been using security services and militias with the goal of suppressing every dissident voice and intimidating the general public. The most pertinent example of this is a law that is being used as an instrument against the regime’s opponents and dissenters, as well as cover for its allies’ flaws.
The situation of human rights throughout the country remains very fragile – many ordinary people, including women, children and members of ethnic and religious groups, continue to face varying degrees of discrimination in terms of their basic rights. The dream of reaching these basic rights has now completely fizzled out under the current regime, which combines vicious sectarianism with Persian ethnic supremacy.
Ahwazi Arabs are the glaring example of the racist discrimination and repression practiced by the Iranian regime. For such a long time, Ahwazis have to suffer from severely limited access to basic rights, most notable of which is the right of education in Arabic, the mother tongue of the Ahwazi people, and lack of access to essential services, such as health care and employment opportunities.