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Ahwazis in appeal to Swedish Parliament

Ahwazi Arabs joined other non-Persian ethnic groups in an appeal to the Swedish Parliament for solidarity with non-violent resistance to the regime in Tehran.

In a seminar in the parliament building, supported by most of the country's political parties and non-governmental human rights organisations including Amnesty International, ethnic groups called for support for their demands for collective rights and federalism. Non-Persian groups were represented by the Democratic Party of Iranian Kurdistan, Komeleh, Azerbaijan Democratic Party, Balochistan National Party, National Movement for Balochistan and the Democratic Solidarity Party of Al-Ahwaz (DSPA).

Ahwazi Arabs were represented by Farid Morshedi, who won political asylum in Sweden following a campaign by the British Ahwazi Friendship Society and other advocacy groups. He said: "We believe that only through a federal Iran will ethnic groups secure their fundamental rights."

Brothers Imad and Mohsen Bawi, who were the subject of intensive campaigns by Amnesty International, also addressed the meeting, just weeks after they escaped from prison in Iran with the assistance of the members of the Ahwaz Human Rights Organisation and the DSPA. They spoke of the execution of their brother Zamel Bawi on trumped up charges of insurgency and "war against God" as well as their ordeal in as political prisoners.

All the representatives present stated that federalism, as opposed to separatism, would ensure security and stability for Iran and neighbouring countries. The chair of the meeting, a member of the Swedish Green Party, voiced his full support for the programme of the Congress of Nationalities for a Federal Iran, particularly its programme of non-violent resistance, and the realisation of ethno-national collective rights in a federal system of government.