Ahwazi human rights groups are campaigning for the release of the world's youngest political prisoner, Salma, who was born in an Iranian prison on 25 March 2006.
Fahima Ismail Badawi (26), pictured, gave birth to Salma after she was taken into custody by the Iranian authorities. Fahima is a teacher from the Kot Abdoudalla district and is the wife of Ali Madouri-Zadeh, an Ahwazi opposition activist and founding member of Hizb al-Wifaq (National Party) who is in prison at an unknown location. She graduated in mathematics from Dezful University in 2001. She was arrested on 28 February has not been charged with any crime.
The regime has reportedly demanded Fahima pay three billion rials (US$330,000), divorce her husband and change the baby's name, which is deemed too Arabic by the authorities. In an attempt to psychologically torture Fahima, her captors have also told her that her husband has disowned her and the baby, does not care if they are killed and claims she is suffering from mental illness.
Fahima and Salma are just two Ahwazi hostages taken by the Iranian regime. Others include Masouma Kaabi and her four year old son Aimad, Hoda Hawashem and her two sons Ahmad (4) and Osameh (2), Soghra Khudayrawi and her son Zeidan (4), and Sakina Naisi who was pregnant when she was arrested but has since had an abortion due to complications caused by her treatment in prison. Click here for more information.
These are the wives and sons of Ahwazis who have opposed the political activists who oppose the regime. The men have fled the country, fearing for their lives following a series of executions and killings by the regime. They have been pursued by regime agents who have threatened them and the lives of the families.
Nasser Bani Assad, spokesman for the British Ahwazi Friendship Society, said: "Salma is the world's youngest political prisoner, held in custody since birth. She is a symbol of the Ahwazi people and their suffering under this cruel and racist regime.
"At little more than a month old, Salma has done nothing to deserve this punishment and neither has her mother. Fahima's family cannot afford the ransom demanded for the release of mother and child and Fahima has no legal obligation to divorce her husband or change Salma's name. This is an act of hostage taking, an act of terrorism.
"The international community must intervene to release the baby political prisoners taken hostage by the regime."