The Lebanese Ya Libnan news agency has called on the intervention of the Arab League to support the Ahwazi Arabs and "chastise" Syria for detaining and deporting Ahwazis to Iran.
Eight Ahwazis, mostly refugees and asylum seekers but also including a Dutch national, have been detained by the Syrian authorities over the past week. One is known to have been deported to Iran and his life is in grave danger.
Criticism by Ya Liban comes amid growing awareness in the Arab world of the injustices faced by the Ahwazi Arabs under Iranian rule. The news service was founded to support democracy and independence for Lebanon following the assassination of former prime minister Rafik Hariri, which UN investigators believe had Syrian backing. It was supportive of the "Cedar Revolution" which forced Syrian troops to leave Lebanon after 30 years of military occupation.
Ya Libnan criticised the problem of illiteracy among Arabs, who are denied the right to learn their own language. In the article, the writer gave a personal account of a visit to Ahwaz: "I met by accident one prominent Arab Ahwazi and found out later that he is a poet. Unfortunately I discovered later that none of his poetry was ever documented, because he could not write or read Arabic. He was so happy when I was able to write down one of his poems as he recited it. The poem was about Gamal Abd el Nasser and only a true Arab could have ever written such an emotional poem about an Arab leader."
The writer Ali Hussein added: "It is about time for the Arab League to step in and support the Arabs of Iran. Arab League Secretary General should immediately call for a summit to. The question is: Will he?"
Nasser Bani Assad, spokesman for the British Ahwazi Friendship Society (BAFS), said: "Many democrats and progressives across the Arab world are beginning to recognise the abuses suffered by the Ahwazis and are supporting their struggle for human rights, self-determination and freedom. Lebanese, Egyptians, Syrians and Iraqis are among the various nationalities who have expressed their support for the Ahwazis in recent weeks.
"The Cedar Revolution in Lebanon has inspired many Ahwazis to take up non-violent resistance against state terrorism and occupation. It shows that people power can work."
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