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Ahwazi refugees remain in Syrian custody - AHRO

The Ahwaz Human Rights Organization (AHRO) has received unconfirmed reports that only one of four Ahwazi refugees were extradited to Iran, contrary to media reports.

Following consultation with United Nation High Commissioner for Refugees, in Geneva and in Damascus, and with the Syrian authorities, AHRO is led to believe that the Syrian authorities have backed down from their decision to extradite three of the four UNHCR mandated Ahwazi refugees - Rasoul Mazra, Jamal Obidawi and Taher Mazra - in their custody. They remain in detention in Damascus.

However, AHRO has received confirmation that Dutch citizen Abdullah Faleh al-Mansouri, a political refugee and leader of the Ahwaz Liberation Organisation, has been extradited to Iran.

AHRO requested that its representatives and a UNHCR delegation be allowed to meet the detainees. As yet, the Syrian government has not granted access.

AHRO also contacted the Dutch authorities and requested Dutch foreign ministry pursue the whereabouts and conditions of Mr. Al-Mansouri through its Embassy in Tehran. While Mr. Al-Mansouri was admitted as a political refugee, as a Dutch citizen, his wellbeing is the responsibility of the Dutch government.

AHRO representatives in Damascus are maintaining contact with the UNHCR's office in Damascus.

UNPO: "Iran Must End Repression against Minority Groups" - 15 August
"Syria has violated international law" - Amnesty International - 11 August
Ahwazi Arabs unite against Syrian "treachery" - 11 August
Netherlands abandons Dutch Ahwazi activist - 11 August
Syria deports Ahwazis to Iran, including Dutch national - 9 August
Statement by Amnesty Maastricht on the detention of Faleh Abdullah Al-Mansouri (in Dutch)
U.N. tells Syria not to extradite Ahwazi refugees - 7 June 2006, Ya Libnan
Amnesty International report on fear of forcible return and torture of Ahwazi refugees - 2 June 2006, Amnesty International
Syria releases three Ahwazis, but four remain in custody - 19 May 2006, BAFS
Syrian human rights activists arrested amid Ahwazi deportation scandal - 17 May 2006, BAFS
Syria's deportation scandal - 16 May 2006, BAFS
Syria arresting Ahwazi Arabs to please Iran - 16 May 2006, Ya Libnan