Gulf European Centre for Human Rights
GECHR condemns arrest of Ahwazi political leaders, activists in Denmark, the Netherlands
08th February 2020
(Ref: Ahwazi Hazm Movement)
The Danish media sources announced that the Danish and Dutch security forces had raided the homes of four Ahwazi leaders and political activists on charges of trying to carry out military operations against Iranian targets in Iran and spying for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Three of the detainees have been living in Denmark since December 2006 and they are Habib Jabr, 48 years old – Nasser Jabr, 41 years old – Yaqoub Hor, 38 years old; and another political and media activist Issa Mehdi Fakher Sawari, 40 years old and has been living in the Netherlands since June 2014. These detainees belong to the Arab Struggle Movement for the Liberation of al-Ahwaz and own the Ahwazna TV channel.
According to Danish reports and sources, these three opponents were heavily guarded by the Danish police, and that one of them had been subjected to an assassination attempt by Iranian intelligence services in 2018, which had failed by the Danish intelligence and security services where the Danish authorities later announced that some groups linked to the Iranian authorities had tried to assassinate Habib Jabr on Danish soil.
The Gulf European Centre for Human Rights contains full details about the political activities of these men in Europe, where they have held several conferences in the Netherlands, Belgium, Denmark, Austria, Switzerland, France and the British Parliament on the issue of Ahwaz with the aim of drawing Europeans' attention to the massacres committed by the Iranian authorities in Al-Ahwaz. The last conference in the European Parliament was held on the massacres committed by the Iranian authorities in Al-Ahwaz, such as the massacre in Ma’shour on 19 November 2019, which more than 140 people, including children and women, were assassinated and killed by the Iranian security forces and the Revolutionary Guards.
These four men fled their country because of their political activities in Al-Ahwaz. Three of these men, Habib Jabr, Nasser Jabr and Yaqoub Hor, applied as asylum seekers in the High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). Consequently, they were admitted as refugees and transferred to Denmark by the United Nations. The other person, Issa al-Fakher, his asylum application was accepted by the Netherlands in 2014. Therefore, the arrest of these political activists due to false Iranian allegations contradicts human rights principles and European laws.
Therefore, the detention and closure of a television channel are contrary to freedom of opinion and international human rights law. Therefore, the GECHR urges the Danish and Dutch authorities to release these men without any conditions. The arrest of activists in free countries like Denmark and the Netherlands is a violation of freedom of expression and opinion, while international law provides activists the enjoyment of freedom of expression and opinion on political, religious and any other issues, including opening a television channel in countries that respect human rights. Thus, the Danish and Dutch authorities must protect activists and not arrest them due to a request from the Iranian authorities, as you know, the Iranian authorities commit daily crimes in Al-Ahwaz so these activists benefit from the free and democratic atmosphere in Europe to cooperate with the free world to expose crimes and human rights violations in Al-Ahwaz by the Iranian authorities.
The GECHR reiterates its request to the Danish and Dutch authorities to release Mr. Habib Jabr, Nasser Jabr, Yaqoub Hor, and Issa Fakher, and allow them to continue their activities against the Iranian authorities. The Centre also urges the authorities to review their decision to close the TV channel. The Centre would like to add that preventing activists from carrying out their activities violates international law and human rights. The GECHR also fears the arrest of Ahwazi activists in Europe, where most of the Ahwazi refugees migrated to Europe due to the repression by the Iranian authorities, where many of them were subjected to arbitrary detention and severe torture.