Violent clashes Between Iranian forces And Ahwazi Civilians: One Fan Shot Dead
By Rahim Hamid
22 March, 2015
On Tuesday 17th March, Violent clashes erupted between Iranian security forces and Ahwazi Arab civilians after the end of the football match between Foulad Al-Ahwaz FC and Al-Hilal Saudi FC. One young fan has allegedly been shot dead by the Iranian anti-riot forces who used live ammunition targeting Ahwazi fans.
The Arab fans attacked the security vehicles when the forces arrested hundreds of their friends and tried to stop taking them for interrogation.
Some witnesses said the demonstrators unfurled the Ahwazi flag in the Ghadir stadium and sloganed "Welcome to the Arab land ", sparking the ire of Iranian security forces.
The Iranian regime calls the football team "Foolad Khuzestan" while native Arabs call it “Foolad Ahwaz” and became as national symbol for the Ahwazi Arabs.
Tens of security forces and vehicles surrounded the stadium hours before the match started and many CCTV’s were operating to capture fans who wear traditional Arab dress or slogan in Arabic.
Meanwhile the Iranian Intelligence Services arrested two Ahwazi Arab bloggers, Shahab Mosawi and Majid Kaabi and were taken to unknown places. The Iranian regime fears that the bloggers would make news coverage of the clashes.
The clashes occurred few days after an Ahwazi Arab young man, Younes Asakereh, 34, from Mohammarah, set himself alight when the security forces confiscated his kiosk on Saturday 14th March
The mass arbitrary detention of Ahwazi Arab fans occurred immediately in and outside Ahwaz's stadium after few minutes of end of the match when the security forces began to assault Ahwazi fans by arresting and beating them with batons and cables and stripping off their Arabic clothes and forcibly trying to throw them into police cars and, taken them to unknown locations.
The brutal attack of the occupying security forces against Ahwazi Arab fans ended in severe injuries especially broken bones and bruising among large numbers of Ahwazi fans.
The abusing, humiliating and cracking down on Ahwazi fans provoked widespread outrage amongst Ahwazis fans who fiercely confronted with the occupying security forces as they set fire to a police car.
Reliable sources received from Ahwazi human rights activists confirmed thousands have been arrested solely for chanting national Arabic slogans and wearing Arabic clothes as an attempt to defend their oppressed Arabic identity.
The Ahwazi protesters raised Ahwaz national flag and pictures of Younes Asakere and written placards which read We are all Younes, who immolated himself after confiscation of his small' grocery store at the hands of municipal officials. The angry Ahwazi protesters chanted fiery slogans such as “freedom of Al-Ahwaz”, “with soul and blood we sacrifice our self for Al-Ahwaz” and “no place for Iranian occupation” defying Iranian occupying forces.
In addition, the Ahwazi Arab youth defied the repressive regime forces by chanting sharp slogans like this“land full of lions, no one comes nearby”.
It is said that the clashes stretched to other parts of Ahwaz city as people took to streets protesting against the non-ending oppression carried out by the Iranian occupation regime against Ahwazis.
It was also reported that as a state of alert and curfew have been declared in Ahwaz. The occupying security forces have been deployed in entire districts of Ahwaz city to mobilize and scatter Ahwazi protesters.
On 20 March, Ahwazi Arab people in response to the repressive attack of the occupying security forces have defied the lingering Persian incurable racism by wearing Arabic clothes and took into the streets. The Persian occupiers outlawed the Ahwazi Arab traditional clothes and arrested everyone who dresses Arabic cloth considering him as a sinner.
It should be noted that these days Ahwazi cities are very restive as people are determining to commemorate the ninth memory of April 15 Uprising in different Ahwaz cities.
After the spread of national awareness in all parts of Al- Ahwaz, the occupying security forces and Intelligence agents through embarking joint operations raids and random arrests attempt to spread fear and terror among Ahwazi citizens.
The aim of launching such brutal and arbitrary mass arrest is to limit the spread of the Ahwazi Arab national struggle which has become a threat to the security of the Persian State and its colonial existence in Al-Ahwaz.
On the occasion of 21 March of the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, Saeed Hamidan, the Executive Director of Ahwazi organization for the Defense of Human rights said: “In the wake of the brutal attack by Iranian security forces against every Ahwazi football fans who worn traditional Arabic clothes, thousands have been arrested, and one youth shot dead”.
“Despite all these heinous crimes against Ahwazis we saw the indifference and the inaction of Iranian human rights activists toward such cruel crackdown, this illustrates the consequences of prejudice, racism and stereotyping injected into the whole Persian society against Non- Persian people like Ahwazis, Turks, Kurds and Baluchs.” “Ahwazis have not received any solidarity from those prominent Persian individuals who claim are advocating human rights. The Persian society kept silenced, and silence clearly means approval for Iranian regime to kill, arrest and imprison Ahwazis just because they are striving to preserve their Arabic identity”.
He added that the questions that need answers are how much longer are the killing and injustice against Ahwazi Arab people going to continue?
Rahim Hamid is an Ahwazi human rights activist
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