Gulf European Centre for Human Rights
GECHR condemns the arrest of dozens of Ahwazi in recent protests after the death of the poet
15th November 2019
Iranian security forces launched a brutal crackdown and mass arrests of Ahwazi activists and prominent cultural figures, following massive protests after the death of 29-year-old Ahwazi poet Hassan al-Haidari on Sunday (November 10th). Ahwazi sources confirmed that dozens of writers, intellectuals and civil rights activists were arrested in different areas of al-Ahwaz in southwestern Iran. The sources pointed out that more than 24 people were arrested, including the poet's brother, father and uncle, who were reportedly detained for refusing to give a false interview to the state media claiming that Hassan's death was not suspicious.
Ahwazi poet Hassan Al-Haidari, 29 years of age, died less than 24 hours in the hospital in Ahwaz capital city, after an unexpected heart attack on Sunday, November 10, 2019. It is worth mentioning that the Ahwazi poet has recently been released from the detention by Iranian intelligence services because of his cultural activity. Ahwazi sources confirmed that protests broke out throughout Ahwaz in southwestern Iran on Sunday following the sudden and suspicious death of Hassan al- Haidari. The sources informed the GECHR that protesters accused Iranian authorities of the assassination of poet Hassan al-Haidari.
According to Dur Untash centre, news of Al-Haidari’s suspicious death spread quickly through social media throughout al-Ahwaz and even neighbuoring countries such as Iraq, where crowds of citizens participated outside the home of the al-Haidari family. The protests spread quickly across Al-Ahwaz in the next two days, with thousands of Ahwazi taking to the streets of cities and villages such as al-Thawra, Kut Abdullah, al-Falahiyah and al-Koura in Ma'shour. The protesters expressed their anger at the Iranian authorities by raising the flags of Ahwaz and pulling down of the Iranian flags in the Ahwazi areas. Hence, GECHR considers this a freedom of expression by citizens, and the authorities have no right to make arrests against activists because it is violating international law and human rights.
The Ahwazi sources informed that the Iranian authorities reacted quickly to the ongoing protests, with the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), which was expected to use live ammunition and tear gas in an attempt to intimidate the protesters, as well as launching a campaign of arrests of activists and cultural figures in Ahwaz. Therefore, the detainees were transferred to secret detention centres of the security forces.
The list of detainees:
Mr Ebrahim Khanjar Al-Haidari, 30 years of age- Yousef Khanjar Al-Haidari, 25 years of age- Ghassem Al-Haidari (the death uncle), 54 years of age- Hassan Al-Sari, 39 years of age- the poet Reza Rahim Amiri and his father Rahim Amiri including his brother Mohammad Rahim Amiri- Mansour Amiri- Karim Nasseri with his three sons such as Mohammad, Khalil and Ali Nasseri- Naser Sari- Reza Baledi- Sayed Abdullah Al-Ghorabi- Ali Moghadam- Abbas Chaldawi- Aghil Sawari- Ghassem Batrani- Tofiq Sawaedi- Khazal Al-Haidari- Sheltagh Al-Haidari- Joma Sawari- Tareq Nasseri- Khairallah Sawari and several others people.
The European-Gulf Centre for Human Rights calls for international investigations into the death of Ahwazi poet Hassan al-Haidari. The centre rejects any negligence by international organisations on this issue because the Ahwazi people and activists suffer from marginalisation, programmed killing and arbitrary arrests by Iranian authorities which this is a violation of international human rights law. The GECHR also believes that the safety of citizens lies with the government and the international community, so international organisations should follow up on the al-Haidari case and provide full details of the causes of death. Thus, neglecting the case will repeat the same scenario against other activists in Ahwaz and elsewhere in Iran.
The Centre calls on the international community and the Human Rights Council to condemn the policy of the Iranian authorities to arrest a large number of Ahwazi in an attempt to suppress any opponent. The GECHR is also demanding an investigation into the suspicious causes of death and the Iranian authorities may have used poisoning to assassinate the poet Ahwazi, who was detained by the Iranian authorities.
The GECHR also calls for the release of all Ahwazi detainees. The Iranian authorities must stop all policy of brutality, repression, neglect and persecution against the Ahwazi people. The Iranian authorities should agree to an immediate investigation into the causes of death and provide all documents on how the authorities were dealt with Hassan al-Haidari while he was in detention. Hence, not allowing any investigation means that the Iranian authorities have a hand in the assassination of the Ahwazi poet and therefore the responsibility of the International Court, human rights organisations and the Human Rights Council to act immediately to hold accountable those who participated in this crime.