Relative Of Hanged Ahwazis Calls for International Prosecution Of Judges

A relative of two executed Ahwazi Arabs is calling on the international community to issue a warrant for the arrest of two Iranian judge...

Petition: too little, too late

A petition signed by 180 members of parliament was handed to President Khatamei calling for compensation for damage to civilian buildings. They also condemned the behaviour of "executive officials", who they claim have failed in their duties to Iran's Arab population and have done little to address the root socio-economic causes that led to the uprising. They point out that the Arab community was continuing to suffer as a result of the 1980-88 Iran-Iraq War.

Nasser Ban-Assad, spokesman for the British Ahwazi Friendship Society, said: "The petition is too little, too late. The War ended 17 years ago. What has the Islamic Republic been doing since then?

"Iran's Arab population made great sacrifices in the War. But they have been paid back for their efforts with a policy of Persianisation, intended to eradicate their identity and marginalise them.

"Since the War ended, the regime has confiscated 90,000 hectares of Ahwazi land for the profits of the mullahs and their business friends. Eighty per cent of Ahwazi Arabs live in absolute poverty and 50 per cent are illiterate in a province that produces 90 per cent of the country's oil.

"Khuzestan remains heavily militarised, but nothing is done to clear the land-mines planted two decades ago. Rural Ahwazis continue to be killed and maimed in their fields due to the land-mine problem.

"Sadly, the only time the Majlis listens is when the Ahwazis take direct action against this tyranny. Only the redistribution of land and wealth to the indigenous Arabs, democratisation and self-determination will satisfy the Ahwazi Arabs now."