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Ahwazi Arab journalists arrested

The Iranian regime has arrested a number of Ahwazi Arab journalists this week as part of its campaign of repression against Ahwazi Arabs.

According to Iran's ISNA news agency, "several journalists" have been arrested and "some have confessed to promoting ethnic division." ISNA quotes from the Iranian Ministry of Information.

The British Ahwazi Friendship Society (BAFS) has been told by an Iranian human rights organisation that one of the arrested is Ahwazi journalist Mohammad-Hussein Falahieh. He is reportedly being subjected to serious physical and psychological torture in the notorious Section 209 of Evin Prison, which is run by the Intelligence Ministry.

Falahieh is 29 years old and is married with one child. He has served as chief editor of Aghlam-ol-Talaba newspaper and has also worked as a radio and television journalist, including work as a news presenter on the Iranian government's Al-Alam TV. He also worked for Dubai-based radio and television stations and had a regular newspaper column in leading Arabic newspapers in the Middle East. His last job was a Arabic/Farsi translator at the Algerian Embassy in Tehran.

BAFS believes that the Iranian regime is attempting to prevent reporting of crimes against humanity against the Ahwazi Arabs and is arresting all Ahwazi Arabs with any connection to the media as a precaution. There is no proof that any Ahwazi journalist is involved in stirring up ethnic unrest in Iran, apart from "confessions" extracted under torture. BAFS calls for the immediate release of all Ahwazi journalists.