FREE TIBET! FREE AL-AHWAZ!
The British Ahwazi Friendship Society (BAFS) is supporting the Free Tibet demonstration in London on 6 April when the Olympic Flame is carried through the British capital.
Both Tibet and the Ahwazi Arab homeland are the victims of aggressive Chinese capitalism, which is trampling on the rights of indigenous groups the world over. In Khuzestan - known as Al-Ahwaz to its indigenous Arab inhabitants - China's Sinopec has signed a US$2bn agreement with the Iranian regime for the development of the Yadavaran oilfield.
The oilfield lies under traditional Ahwazi Arab lands and its development will mean yet more forced displacement for this persecuted and impoverished ethnic group. The regime has repeatedly turned down appeals by local parliamentary representatives for a meagre 1.5% redistribution of oil profits back to the indigenous people of this oil-rich region. Under the agreement, China will pay Iran as much as US$100bn over 25 years for liquefied natural gas and oil and a 51% stake in Yadavaran, but the local population will not see one rial of this money. Ethnic discrimination and poor educational standards also ensure that Ahwazi Arabs will not benefit from any job opportunities created by the development.
BAFS spokesman Nasser Bani Assad said: "China is raping Tibet and raping Al-Ahwaz for its profits, but the indigenous peoples of these nations are only rewarded with more social inequality, more state terrorism and more cultural repression.
"Ahwazi Arabs share the same political aspirations as the Tibetans. We demand cultural freedom, representation through democratic elections and political autonomy from the central government. This is the right of all free peoples. The oppressed should work in mutual solidarity to realise these demands.
"We say: Free Tibet! Free Al-Ahwaz! No to Chinese imperialism!"
Protest on the official Olympic Torch Relay route
Gather at Queensway at 11am,
Bedford Place at 11.45am
or Whitehall at 12.30pm
Click here for full details
Also, come along to the Tibetan Freedom Torch Rally
2.30pm at Argyle Square
Click for full details