|Daniel Brett, Chairman of the British Ahwazi Friendship Society,|
meets government minister Norman Lamb MP
In a House of Commons adjournment debate on human rights in Iran, Dr Matthew Offord, Conservative MP for Hendon, stated that the latest Ahwazi Arabs to face the death penalty are not criminals and have done nothing to offend the state, but are being killed because of their ethnicity. In the parliamentary debate, he announced the names of Jabber Alboshoka, Mokhtar Alboshoka, Hadi Rashedi, Hashem Shabani and Mohammad Ali Amoori whose death sentences were upheld by the Supreme Court.
The debate was moved by David Amess MP, a long-standing supporter of human rights in Iran. Opening the debate, Mr Amess said: "The record of the clerical regime’s 34-year rule includes the execution of 120,000 of its political opponents, yet the world remains silent. It also includes the catastrophic repression of women, oppressed nationalities, and followers of various religions; the destruction of the majority of the middle class; the obliteration of the private sector; the falling of at least 40 million people below the poverty line; unemployment standing at 35%—an absolute disgrace—and a 40% inflation rate; and the plunging of the nation’s official currency. At the same time, Iran’s regime is sowing the seeds of discord right across the middle east, not least in Syria, where the mullahs are lending huge assistance to the dictator Assad, who is a very wicked man indeed."
Members of the Coalition government have been actively campaigning for the Ahwazi Arabs, including Liberal Democrats such as Sir Bob Russell and the Conservative Human Rights Commission. Last June, 26 members of parliament signed an Early Day Motion condemning the "persecution and discrimination faced by the Ahwazi Arabs" and calling on Iran to allow UN Special Rapporteur Ahmad Shaheed to conduct his own impartial investigation into anti-Arab human rights abuses.
Last August, British Foreign Secretary William Hague drew global attention to "the torture and sentencing to death of Mohammad Ali Amouri, Sayed Jaber Alboshoka, Sayed Mokhtar Alboshoka, Hashem Sha'bani Amouri and Hadi Rashidi, from the Ahwazi Arab minority." He called on Iran to "immediately to commute these death sentences, to stop torturing its citizens and to end the systematic persecution of its ethnic minorities."