The British Ahwazi Friendship Society (BAFS) has received reports that throughout Friday demonstrators clashed with police in Hay Althwra (Shilangabad), Hay Zerghan, Zowyeh, Malasheyah and Koot Abdoula. There are reports of three deaths, including two women, at the hands of security forces. Four children are also reported to have been injured.
The protests came a day after two Ahwazi Arab men were hung in Ahwaz City. Khadija Afrawi, known as Foziya, the sister of Ali Afrawi, one of the men who was executed, was killed by the Iranian intelligence services. Her crime was to complain about her brother's execution. The hangings were followed hours later with a percussion bomb attack in the Kianpars area of Ahwaz City.
BAFS had warned that the execution of Ahwazi Arab political prisoners would result in an upsurge in anti-government protests. It also believes that the government will use any violence in Ahwaz as a pretext of vigilantism by Basiji forces, an intensification of its ethnic cleansing programme and a real danger of genocide against Ahwazi Arabs.
Ahwazi activists have called on the international community to seek ways of preventing further state violence and human rights abuses. However, they stress that the Ahwazi cause should not be used to justify military intervention in Iran. Ahwazis say they need a voice at an international level and do not want a return to the dark days of the Iran-Iraq War when their homeland attacked with chemical and biological weapons by the warring Iraqi and Iranian forces.