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Ahwaz hunger strike

The Kuwaiti press have reported that large numbers of Iranian Arab Ahwazis have staged a hunger strike in Karoon prison and other prisons in Ahwaz City, the provincial capital of Khuzestan.

Most of the detainees involved in the indefinite hunger strike were involved in the uprising that began in Ahwaz City on 15 April. Among them is Youssef Azizi Banitoruf, the well known Ahwazi Arab writer, journalist and researcher. Kuwait's Al-Siasieh and Al-Qabas newspapers quote the National Ahwazi Arab Democratic Human Rights movement on the widespread torture in Karoon prison.

The main reason for the hunger strike are a reaction against:

1. The use of torture during interrogation

2. The long detention without reason

3. Poor prison conditions, overcrowding, inadequate and bad food, etc.

Al-Siasieh quotes Mr Amir Khani of Iran's Justice Ministry as saying that the cases of 400 prisoners arrested during the 15 April protests were near completion and that their files will be forwarded to revolutionary and criminal courts. Previously, the government has claimed that 376 people were arrested and that all but 10 of them were released days after the 15 April uprising.

Al-Siasieh also states that Arab Iranian employees of the Ministry of Water and Electricity have been also begun an open ended hunger strike in the city of Khorramshahr (Mohammarah) since 14 May against unpaid salary and bad working conditions.