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Sweden prepares to send Ahwazi writer to his death

The Swedish government is preparing to deport Ahwazi novelist and playwright Farid Morshidi back to Iran, where he faces arrest, torture and possible execution.
Mr Morshidi has been living in Sweden for the past eight years as an asylum seeker.

On 30 May 2007, the Swedish police arrested him after his asylum claim was refused, allegedly due to lack of evidence. The Swedish lawyer who was appointed by Pen International Organisation to represent Mr Morshidi told the Ahwaz Human Rights Organisation (AHRO) that the Swedish government is serious about deporting him and he could be returned to Iran within days.

Mr Morshidi has published two books in Farsi, which were printed in the UK, Netherlands and Denmark. His first book, Promise, was published in 2001 and contains three plays and a number of short stories about the ethnic persecution of the Ahwazi Arab people by the Iranian regime. The second book published in Europe in 2006, entitled The Night of Star and Dark, comprises of three stories. One of the stories revolves around the Black Wednesday massacres of 1979, which were carried out in the city of Mohammerah (Khorramshahr), an Arab city which was besieged by the Khomeinist revolutionaries led by General Ahmed Madani.

Mr. Morshidi is a member of the Democratic Solidarity Party of Al-Ahwaz, which is a banned Ahwazi Arab political party in Iran. He is also an activist within the Congress of Nationalities for a Federal Iran (CNFI). He is regularly interviewed on dissident radio and television networks. Three months ago he was interviewed on Kurdish television, attacking the Iranian government's ethnic cleansing of Ahwazi Arabs and other non-Persian nationalities in Iran. His prominent role in the Ahwazi movement means he is certain to be arrested and possibly executed on his return to Iran.

Mr Morshidi is likely to face the same treatment meted out to Faleh Abdullah al-Mansouri, a Dutch national and UNHCR-registered refugee was deported to Iran by the Syrian authorities in May 2006. Al-Mansouri is currently being tortured in Section 209, a notorious prison run by the Ministry of Intelligence. He was sentenced to death while in exile and is likely to be executed in the near future.

AHRO, the British Ahwazi Friendship Society (BAFS), the DSPA and CNFI are appealing to the European Commission and the Swedish government to delay Mr Morshidi's deportation and reconsider his application for asylum or give him leave to remain in Sweden.