Condemning: Iran must stop the repression of freedom of opinion and expression

Gulf European Centre for Human Rights


Condemning: Iran must stop the repression of freedom of opinion and expression


26th September 2018


Iranian authorities have launched widespread attacks against Ahwazi activists, including political, civilian and cultural activists; and arrested more than 900 people without any charge after four young Ahwazi carried out an armed attack against the Iranian Revolutionary Guard in Ahwaz on Saturday 22 September 2018.

Human rights organisations also reported that the Iranian authorities launched a campaign of arbitrary arrests to suppress freedom of opinion and expression against Ahwazi citizens who oppose Iranian policies in Ahwaz, while Iranian authorities threaten to arrest more activists in Ahwaz and threaten to target Ahwazi political and human rights activists abroad.

Eleven human rights organisations have published numerous reports, articles, and human rights actions on Iran's policy of impoverishment of the people, which have resulted in Ahwaz living in extreme poverty, homelessness, unemployment, discrimination and other ill-treatment. Human rights organisations have warned that the Iranian authorities have suppressed the freedom of opinion and expression and arrested anyone who believes in freedom of expression in Ahwaz. The Iranian authorities have threatened and insulted UAE citizens who condemned the Iranian authorities' policy against the Arab people of Ahwaz, which caused four Ahwazi men, targeted the Iranian forces on Saturday, September 22 in the city of Ahwaz.

The UAE's academic and political analyst, Dr Abdul Khaliq Abdullah, said that his country is aware of the Iranian threat and dealt with it with all success. This is the first statement by the Emirati academic; after receiving a number of Iranian threats, after a tweet on the attack that targeted a military parade in the city of Ahwaz. Dr Abdullah in an interview with Erem News Agency, on the sidelines of a seminar organised by the Emirates Council for Policies in Abu Dhabi, said that "we live 100 kilometers from the Iranian border, and we have lived with this regime that has emerged in Iran since 1979 for more than thirty years”. The challenge, we dealt with each success and we knew how to deal with this challenge".

Dr Abdullah continued to add that "whatever the Iranian threats, today and tomorrow, the UAE with Saudi Arabia and the Gulf States will be able to deal with this Iranian threat, which is increasing day by day”.

According to reliable sources from Ahwaz, the Iranian security forces raided Ahwazi homes in many parts of Ahwaz, because some of these citizens have made statements about the regime's policy authorities to impoverish the people of Ahwaz and destroy the environment that caused the citizen to face disease, poverty and homelessness. 

Human rights organisations fear that the Iranian authorities after the incident against the armed forces in the city of Ahwaz, began to arrest all activists who believe in freedom of opinion and expression in Ahwaz and the policy of targeting individuals and academics who given statements after the military attack against the policies of the Iranian regime to support extremism and terrorism in the region. Therefore, human rights organisations warn the Iranian authorities of any misbehaviour against the writer and the UAE academic Dr Abdul Khaliq Abdullah. 

In addition, the Iranian authorities want to use the pretext to arrest more Arab Ahwazi and torturing them in secret detention centers to prepare a scenario for further executions against Ahwazi, imprisonment and torture against anyone who declares Iranian policies in Ahwaz. The Iranian authorities have launched a campaign of random arrests against human rights, political, historical, and cultural activists.

Thus, human rights organisations strongly condemn Iranian policies in Ahwaz, such as arbitrary arrests, torture and enforced disappearances, and urge the international community to intervene immediately to end Iranian ill-treatment in Ahwaz. Human rights organisations also urge international bodies and institutions to exert more pressure on the Iranian authorities to stop and end their policies in Ahwaz, which have made Ahwazi citizens living in an embarrassing situation because of poverty, homelessness, unemployment and the environmental damage.

Human rights organisations condemn the Iranian authorities' policy of threatening to suppress the freedom of opinion and expression in Ahwaz and outside Ahwaz and raise a complaint against the Iranian authorities in the Human Rights Council because of the Iranian regime's threat to the UAE writer Dr Abdulkhaliq Abdullah.

Human rights organisations would like to draw the attention of international human rights organisations to the fact that arbitrary arrests and threats to target and suppress freedom of opinion and expression violate international law and human rights. Human rights organisations would like to add that the Iranian authorities have a bad record of suppressing freedom of opinion and expression and targeting researchers and academics of different nationalities. Therefore, international human rights organisations and the Special Rapporteur should increase their pressure on Iran to stop its arbitrary policies in Ahwaz and stop its threats against UAE citizen Dr Abdul Khaliq Abdullah.


  1. The Gulf European Centre for Human Rights
  2. Bahrain Human Rights Watch Society
  3. Lebanese Foundation for Democracy and Human Rights
  4. Organisation of the Global Message for Human Rights
  5. Syrian Observatory for Documentation of War Crimes
  6. Karama Human Rights Association in Bahrain
  7. Yemeni Coalition for Human Rights
  8. Ahwazi Centre for Human Rights
  9. Baluch Observatory for Human Rights
  10.  Arab Gate for Cultural Rights and Freedoms
  11.  Arab Observatory for Trade Union Rights and Freedom 

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