Iran’s Ahwazi Arabs subjected to mass arrests as protests sweep across the province

Ahwazi Arabs

Security forces have rounded up and detained at least 400 Iran’s Ahwazi Arabs since early April, including several youth and women, in crackdown on peaceful protests over insults by state TV against Iran’s Arab community. A good number of those arrested are under 20 years of age.

Reports indicate plainclothes and intelligence agents went door to door to homes and stores, arresting people on a daily basis. In a recently received footage the anti-riot units are seen, resorting to violence in arresting the protesters.

Iranian authorities have not given a reason for the arrests or revealed the status and whereabouts of many detainees, placing them at increased risk of torture and other ill-treatment.

  • No reports of Ali Khasraji, 23, who was arrested on March 30.
  • Seyed Fallah Mousavi, 23, from the neighbourhood of Ein Do in the west of Ahvaz, was arrested on April 4.
  • Meysam Alvani, 19, was arrested in Ein Do district bazaar (Seyed Karim) on April 4.
  • Security forces arrested Mousa Khaledi, a teacher from the town of Ramshir, on April 5.
  • Mohammad Bayanat Bani, 17 from the neighbourhood of Kuy-e Alavi in Ahvaz was arrested on April 5 at 5.30 a.m. There is no news available on his status.
  • Nader Al-Bughabish was arrested on April 6 and was transferred to an unknown location.
  • Hossein Neisi, from the neighbourhood of Sousangerd in Khuzestan Province was arrested on April 7 and was transferred to an unknown location.

Khuzestan province, where much of Iran’s oil and gas reserves are located, has a large Arab population, estimated at between 2.5 and 5 million. Despite Khuzestan’s natural resource wealth, the province is plagued with severe socioeconomic deprivation and high levels of air and water pollution. Concentrated in poor urban outskirts lacking in basic facilities, many Iranian Arabs have alleged that the government systematically discriminates against them, particularly in employment, housing, access to political office, and the exercise of cultural, civil, and political rights. The inability to use their mother language as a medium of instruction for primary education is also a source of deep resentment and frustration.

Here are the names of some people reported arrested in Khuzestan Province since the beginning of protests over the insults by state TV against Iran’s Arab community.

  1. Khadijeh Neisi
  2. Ayesheh Neisi
  3. Mahmoud Bayat Sayah
  4. Khaled Mahavi
  5. Mansour Amini
  6. Vasam Savari
  7. Shahab Na’ami
  8. Hassan Kanani
  9. Ali Khasraji
  10. Jom’ah Savari
  11. Suri Sa’alabi
  12. Kazem Tarafi
  13. Salman Abiat
  14. Salah Baghlani
  15. Ali Janadaleh
  16. Sa’ad Navasari
  17. Sajjad Jamei
  18. Mohammad Jalil Konun
  19. Assad Navasari
  20. Mohammad Fatlavi
  21. Foad Hardani
  22. Fazel Avadi
  23. Fazel Al-busabih
  24. Ebrahim Al-buali
  25. Sattar Al-busabih
  26. Pirouz Al-busabih
  27. Mohammad Al-bughabish
  28. Hamid Al-bughabish
  29. Reza Al-bughabish
  30. Mehdi Al-bughabish
  31. Mohammad Hezbian
  32. Najem Savari
  33. Naeim Hamidi



  1. […] The number of arbitrary detentions of activists has risen in recent months as the regime attempts to crush a wave of public anger over worsening persecution and deteriorating conditions in the already desperately poor province.  Human rights activists in the region are worried that those detained are likely to be subjected to torture in detention, with reports that regime personnel randomly select a number of detainees in the infamous Sheyban Prison every day to take to a nearby intelligence agency detention center for torture.  Karim Dohimi, an Ahwazi rights activist based in London reports, since the latest large protest on April 30, regime security forces have transferred around 250 of those detained to Sheyban Prison where they’re being held in a unit separate from the other prisoners and prevented from contacting their relatives or hiring any defense lawyers.  One of the prisoners, AbdulDuraqi, a prominent poet, and cultural activist was arrested and has been hospitalized after torture sessions at the hands of interrogators of the Intelligence service.  One of his family members who wished to remain anonymous told the Great Middle East that Duraqi was admitted to Ahwaz’s Sepidar hospital on April 7 due to the severe deterioration in his physical condition after relentless torture in the Ahwaz intelligence center. […]

Comments are closed.