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London Demostration Against Iran's Persecution

On Sunday 21 January 2007, London's Ahwazi Arab and Balochi communities staged a demonstration in front of the Iranian Embassy.

Iranian Balochis, Kurds, Azeris and Turkmen also participated and supported the protest against the violent persecution of minorities and a recent spate of executions.

A spokesman from the Ahwazi community told a reporter from Ilaph - the a popular Arabic news website - that in recent weeks at least 30 Ahwazi Arabs have been executed, drowned in the Karoon River, died under torture or shot to death while being pursued by the security forces.

Ahwazi demands included the release of 250 people who were arrested on 11 January 2008 in a Mosque in Ahwaz during a funeral for Mr Haidari, a young Ahwazi political activist who was shot dead during a chase. Also the demonstrators requested the presence of international observers in Iranian courts where Ahwazi Arabs are being tried.

Adnan Salman, a member of the central committee of the Democratic Solidarity Party of Ahwaz, told Ilaph "the world should know that we are being massacred by the Islamic Republic just for trying to be who we are and preserve our identity; that we are here to demonstrate against the ethnic cleansing that is taking place in Iran." Mr. Salman also crticised Arab governments for their silence in the face of these attcrocities.

Hamza Bayazidi, a member of Kurdish Democratic Party of Iran (KDPI), which is also a member of the Congress of Nationalities for a Federal Iran (CNFI), highlighted the killing of two Kurdish students by the Iranian government.

Several Balochi leaders in London, including Dr Reza Husseinbor, Abdolah Siahoi and Rahim Bandoi, from various Baloch political aprties, drew attention to the killings in Balochistan over the past month, including five men whose hands and fingers were chopped off.