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Ahwazi human rights leader speaks on television

Dr Karim Abdian, director of the Ahwaz Human Rights Organisation (AHRO), highlighted Iran's ethnic cleansing campaign in an interview with leading British human rights and gay rights activist Peter Tatchell. The interview covered the human rights abuse against Ahwazi intellectuals, notably the journalist Mohammad Hassan Fallahiya and the psychologist Dr Awdeh Afrawi. Dr Abdian spoke of the hundreds of other Ahwazis, including young children, who are imprisoned who campaigned lawfully for Arab rights and autonomy. He also drew attention to the Iranian regime's refusal to allow UN Human Rights Special Rapporteur Dr Philip Alston to visit Iran and investigate human rights abuses.

Any Ahwazi who stands up against starvation and ethnic cleansing of Ahwazis is denounced as a Wahabbi radical, a separatist or a Western imperialist, said Dr Abdian. He ended the interview by outlining the Ahwazi demand for self-government within Iran, which was the basis of the Ahwazi Arabs' Mohammerah Declaration of 1979. But he said that international solidarity, not military intervention by foreign governments, was the best means to achieve Ahwazi aspirations.

Dr Abdian is an advisor to the British Ahwazi Friendship Society (BAFS) and has represented the Ahwazi Arabs at an international level.

Below is an excerpt from the interview. Click here to watch the full interview.