Gulf European Centre for Human Rights
(Picture: National Liberation Movement of Al-Ahwaz)
GECHR calls for international investigation into Al-Muhammarah massacre
30th May 2019
The massacre of al-Muhammarah or the massacre of the ‘Black Wednesday’ took place in the city of al-Muhammarah, the capital city of al-Ahwaz before the occupation, on May 30, 1979. The massacre continued for three days by the Iranian forces and the militias of the new regime in Iran against the Arab population in the city of al-Muhammarah in Al-Ahwaz. Thus, the Ahwazi people are commemorating this day and demanding international investigations and the prosecution of the criminals who participated in the killing of the Ahwazi citizens in al-Muhammarah in the early days of the Iranian Islamic revolution, which Khomeini brought and overthrew the kingdom regime (Shah) of Iran.
After the people of Ahwaz claimed the fundamental rights of the new regime in Iran, the Iranian army and allied militias launched an attack on the city of Al-Muhammarah, the capital of Ahwaz at that time, and committed a massacre against the Arab citizens.
It is worth mentioning that Al-Muhammarah was the capital of al-Ahwaz under the reign of Sheikh Khazal bin Jaber before the Iranian-Persian occupation led by Reza Pahlavi on 20th April 1925.
The statistics indicate that the Arab victims were more than 600 men, women and children whose bodies were not received for fear that the random executions were taking place in the school of Baba Taher in the city of al-Muhammarah, but according to Ahwaz statistics more than 250 people were buried and the rest are still missing, and their bodies were not given to their families. Ahwazi statistics and eyewitnesses reported that more than 1,000 people were seriously wounded, and more than 10,000 people were arrested in al-Muhammarah. It is noteworthy that the Iranian authorities continued their arrests and executions against Ahwazi Arabs months after the massacre in 1979.
The Gulf European Centre for Human Rights announces that the killing of the Arab Ahwazi in the city of al-Muhammarah is a crime against humanity and violation of international humanitarian law, which is in fact a war crime. Therefore, the Centre calls for international investigations to hold criminals accountable in international courts.
International law and massacre
The massacre committed in the city of al-Mahmmarah in Ahwaz led by the Iranian forces is a violation of international law and considers as a war crime, where international law prohibits the perpetration of massacres against humanity and calls for the punishment of the perpetrators of crimes:
Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide (1948)
The Contracting Parties: Having considered the declaration made by the General Assembly of the United Nations in its resolution 96 (I) dated 11 December 1946 that genocide is a crime under international law, contrary to the spirit and aims of the United Nations and condemned by the civilized world, recognising that at all periods of history genocide has inflicted great losses on humanity, and being convinced that, in order to liberate mankind from such an odious scourge, international co-operation is required:
The Contracting Parties confirm that genocide, whether committed in time of peace or in time of war, is a crime under international law which they undertake to prevent and to punish.
In the present Convention, genocide means any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such:
- Killing members of the group;
- Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group;
- Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part;
- Imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group;
- Forcibly transferring children of the group to another group.
The following acts shall be punishable:
- Conspiracy to commit genocide;
- Direct and public incitement to commit genocide;
- Attempt to commit genocide;
- Complicity in genocide.
Persons committing genocide or any of the other acts enumerated in article III shall be punished, whether they are constitutionally responsible rulers, public officials or private individuals.
International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (1965)
Article 3 Universal Declaration of Human Rights: “Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person”.
Article 6(1) International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights: “Every human being has the inherent right to life. This right shall be protected by law. No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his life”.
Article 4 African Charter of Human and Peoples' Rights: “Human beings are inviolable. Every human being shall be entitled to respect for his life and the integrity of his person. No-one shall be arbitrarily deprived of this right”.
Article 4 American Convention on Human Rights: “Every person has the right to have his life respected. This right shall be protected by law and, in general from the moment of conception. No-one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his life”.
Article 2 European Convention on Human Rights:
- Everyone's right to life shall be protected by law. No one shall be deprived of his life intentionally save in the execution of a sentence of a court following his conviction of a crime for which this penalty is provided by law.
- Deprivation of life shall not be regarded as inflicted in contravention of this article when it results from the use of force which is no more than absolutely necessary:
a) in defence of any person from unlawful violence;
b) in order to effect a lawful arrest or to prevent the escape of a person lawfully detained;
c) in action lawfully taken for the purpose of quelling a riot or insurrection.
Gulf European Centre for Human Rights condemns the massacre committed by the Iranian forces and their militias against the Arab citizens in the city of al-Muhammarah in 1979. GECHR announces that this crime, which led to the deaths of more than 600 citizens, is part of a continuous series of violations and crimes against civilians in Ahwaz, specifically the city of Al-Muhammarah, which was committed by Iranian forces and militias and is considered a war crime.
The Centre calls on the United Nations, the High Commissioner for Human Rights, the Security Council and international organisations to immediately investigate and use pressure by all means to hold the Iranian authorities accountable for the massacre against civilians in the city of Al-Muhammarah in al-Ahwaz. GECHR affirms that this massacre is a war crime and a violation of international humanitarian law and international human rights law, noting that the case of the al-Muhammarah massacre will not be neglected and that its perpetrators will be punished in international courts.