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Ahwaz Arabia, whose geography extends from the Shatt al-Arab to the Jagin River in Jask, East of Jamberon (Bandar Abbas), but, since the occupation of Ahwaz on April 20, 1925, the Iranian regime changed the official name of Al-Ahwaz to several provinces such as Khuzestan, Bushehr, Elam, and Hermozgan. The inhabitants of Ahwaz are all Arabs, not the Persians, as the Iranian authorities claim. The natural resources of Ahwaz are oil and gas, and its soil has a high potential for agriculture and Al-Ahwaz has three major rivers, such as Karoon, Jarahi, and Karkheh, which play a vital role in irrigating the arable land.

Al-Ahwaz in a 93-year history of the occupation is suffering from the worst crimes against humanity, which are against the international humanitarian law and the international human rights law – and the most important violations committed by the Iranian authorities in Ahwaz, which include “death penalty, displacement, enforced disappearances and arbitrary arrests, and building excessive dams to change the Ahwazi rivers towards Persian cities, as well as change the demographic of Ahwazi Arabs.

Ahwazi and International Human rights organisations said that despite the passage of 93 years of occupation of Iran to Al-Ahwaz. Iran controls all aspects of life in Ahwaz through oppression, discrimination and systematic violations of the rights of the population.

Iran was distinguished in at least six categories of serious violations of international human rights law and international humanitarian law in Ahwaz, such as indiscriminate executions without fair trials; forced displacement; arbitrary detention; severe torture and construction of dams to contaminate the land; settlements; as well as discriminatory policies that harm the Ahwazi Arab people.

Iranian forces and security forces killed more than 500 Ahwazi civilians in the previous and recent protests and uprisings (2005, 2011, 2017, and 2018) through shootings, executions, and killings under torture. Many of these crimes violate the international humanitarian law and international human rights law because they do not take all possible precautions to avoid violence. Some of which constitute war crimes, including the targeting of peaceful demonstrators and the killing of innocent people under torture on the charge of having dangerous for Iran national security.

Since 1989, the Iranian authorities have facilitated the transfer of settlers from Iranian areas to the Ahwazi cities with the aim of changing demographics, including the creating of the Ramin settlement, which has more than 250,000 settlers. Iran has built about 50 settlements for more than 1 million settlers in different parts of Ahwaz since 1979, so that some 200,000 settlers were moved to the city of Jamberon in less than 40 years. Iran applies Iranian civil law to settlers, but does not provide any rights to Ahwazi citizens despite the Ahwazi have an Iranian citizenship. Iran provides the settlers with the infrastructure, services, and support that deprive the Ahwazi of it, creating and strengthening a separate and unfair system of laws, rules, and services.

Iranian authorities have imprisoned 36,000 Ahwazi since 2005, most of them after trials in revolutionary courts, with a conviction rate of nearly 85 percent. In addition, hundreds of people are subject to administrative detention each year on the basis of secret evidence without charge or trial. Some were detained or imprisoned for their involvement in cultural and civic activities. Iran also jails children under the age of 18, creating a violation of international law. Many detainees, including children, face harsh conditions and ill-treatment.

Therefore, the international community, the League of Arab States and the Gulf Cooperation Council have been called upon to act immediately to end the occupation and to end the arbitrary policy against Ahwazi citizens who have suffered persecution since 1925, especially since the coming of the current regime in 1979. For example, the regime killed more than 500 Ahwazi at the beginning of the revolution in 1979 and this is the beginning to suppress peaceful demonstrators in Ahwaz.

Faisal Fulad, Human rights activist based in London

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