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Relative Of Hanged Ahwazis Calls for International Prosecution Of Judges

A relative of two executed Ahwazi Arabs is calling on the international community to issue a warrant for the arrest of two Iranian judge...

Ahwazi Support for Iranian AIDS doctors

Ahwazi Support for Iranian AIDS doctors

The British Ahwazi Friendship Society (BAFS) has backed the international campaign to free Kamiar and Arash Alaei, two Iranian doctors who are world-famous for their work on HIV/AIDS.

Ahwazi Arabs are affected by above-average HIV infection rates due to a high level of intravenous drugs use. Drug addiction is a problem among Ahwazi Arab youths due to high levels of deprivation, which has meant many have sought relief in illicit substance abuse. An international heroin smuggling route passes through their traditional homeland, with drugs trafficked from Afghanistan to the West. As a consequence, shared needles have helped spread HIV/AIDS within this ethnic group

In June, the doctors, who are brothers, were detained without charge by Iranian security forces and are being held in Tehran’s Evin Prison. To date, no formal charges have been filed.

Doctor Arash Alaei and Doctor Kamiar Alaei have played a role in putting the issues of drug use and HIV/AIDS on Iran's national health care agenda. They have worked closely with government and religious leaders to ensure support for education campaigns on HIV transmission, including those targeting youth, and for HIV and harm reduction programmes in prisons.

Since completing their medical training, the brothers have worked in AIDS research in Iran, and along with other clinicians and advocates, helped make the country a leader in prevention and treatment of HIV and AIDS. They played a part in the creation of Iran's HIV/AIDS prison programme, one of the best in the region if not the world. The programme passes out condoms and syringes in the prisons, one of only a handful of countries globally doing so. The doctors have also shared their knowledge with neighboring countries by holding training workshops for Afghan and Tajik health professionals.

BAFS supports the efforts of these doctors in combatting the spread of HIV/AIDS and regards their programmes as essential to the welfare of Ahwazi Arabs and all Iranians.

Supporters are being asked to take a picture of video of themselves holding a sign saying "Treating AIDS is not a crime". The photos and videos should be uploaded to the internet or can be sent to contact(at)ahwaz.org.uk and published alongside other messages of support.

Supporters of the Alaei brothers should also submit protests to the Permanent Mission of the Islamic Republic of Iran to the United Nations:
622 Third Avenue, 34th Floor, New York, NY 10017
Telephone: (212) 687-2020 Telefax: (212) 867-7086
E-mail: iran@un.int

For more information:
Iran, Free Doctors Arash and Kamiar Alaei
Upload your photos to: http://drop.io/iranfreethedocs
Iran Health Minister Refuses Ahwazi Water

Iran Health Minister Refuses Ahwazi Water

Iran's Minister of Health refused a glass of Ahwazi water, claiming it to be unfit for human consumption.

Minister of Health Kamran Bagheri Lankarani was visiting Ahwaz City's Jondi Shapour (medical faculty) during the Student's Day commemorations when he refused an offer of tap water from the students. According to the Salamat News Agency, he said: "We accept that the water in Khuzestan is very dirty and impure and we have reported the issue to the Ministry of Energy."

The indigenous Ahwazi Arab population has complained of poor water quality for years, but nothing has been done to improve the situation. At times, the regime has cut drinking water to villages in the region to collectively punish the restive Arab population.

Ahwazi Arabs have complained that the region's rivers are being contaminated with industrial pollution and sewerage, which is undermining both their health and their livelihoods.

Iran Condemns Sweden for Supporting "Separatism"

Iran Condemns Sweden for Supporting "Separatism"

The Tabnak website, which is owned by the Secretary of Iran's powerful Expediency Council Mohsen Rezaee, has condemned the Swedish Green Party for recently hosting a conference on ethnic rights at the Swedish parliament.

The conference was addressed by Ahwazi Arab Farid Morshedi, a member of the Democratic Solidarity Party of Al-Ahwaz who won political asylum in Sweden following a campaign by the British Ahwazi Friendship Society and other advocacy groups. Other participants included the Democratic Party of Iranian Kurdistan, Komeleh, Azerbaijan Democratic Party, Balochistan National Party and the National Movement for Balochistan. The sons of an Ahwazi Arab tribal leader, 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. Conference participants from Iran's ethnic parties spoke of their support for federalism to resolve long-standing disputes while maintaining the country's territorial integrity.

The Tabnak website claimed that the participating parties had been declared illegal by the Islamic Republic and accused the Swedish Parliament of interfering in Iran's internal affairs. It claimed that the participants advocated the dismantling of Iran in the way the Soviet Union was dismantled. It accused the Swedish Green Party of supporting separatism and devoting large sums of money with a view to destroying Iran.

Participants told the British Ahwazi Friendship Society (BAFS) that all the representatives present had in fact 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.

Green parties in Europe have in the past condemned any military action in Iran and voted against European Parliamentary resolutions on Iran claiming that they could provide a pretext for war.

BAFS spokesman Nasser Bani Assad said: "The Green movement is highly unlikely to endorse any programme that would entail the destruction of Iran or the country's invasion.

"In contrast to the Islamic Republic, the Greens support the localisation of power, indigenous rights, self-determination and environmental sustainability. These are issues that are close to the heart of Ahwazi Arabs and many other groups in Iran.

"It is clear that Iranian officials are trying to twist the argument and generate distrust among the Greens towards Iran's ethnic rights movement. However, our past involvement with the Greens shows that they will not bow to pressure from Tehran and recognise that there is an overwhelming case to oppose the Iranian regime that does not entail endorsing Washington's agenda.

"Our strongest supporters include English Green Party leader Caroline Lucas MEP and the Green Party human rights spokesman Peter Tatchell. We are in no doubt that they will not be swayed by Tehran's baseless accusations."