According to the article 5 of the universal declaration of Human Rights, ”No one shall be
subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment” (The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, 10th December 1948).
The United Nations defined torture ” as a ill-treatment to include torture and other methods of abuse prohibited by international law, including inhuman, cruel and degrading treatment, outrages upon human dignity and physical or moral coercion” (The United Nations, article 1 of the definition of torture, 1984).
Indeed, Ahwazi Arab activists have been suffering from torture, cruel and other ill-treatments since a first day of their arrest. Many Ahwazi were killed under torture, many became disable after their freed, many fled from the country because of torture although article 5 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights pointed out that ”nobody has any right to hurt us or to torture us”. There are also several actions of International Human Rights organisations like Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, UN, several NGOs like Justice for Iran, and European Human Rights, Western governments actions made against Iran to stop its torture and other ill-treatments for confessing Ahwazi Arab activists in the detentions that belong to the Iranian authorities like intelligence services. However, Iranian authorities always denied that no-one was tortured by the authorities.
The Iranian authorities, specifically the intelligence services, police guards, and revolutionary guard have been arrested a massive number of Ahwazi Arab activists in charge of enmity of Gad and dangerous for the security, particularly after the Intifada in April 2005. In fact, all the activists were tortured in the detention, in the prison, and even in the courts such as ordinary and revolutionary courts without accessing to their lawyers. For instance, the death of Ali Batrani in 2005, Mohammad Kaabi in March 2012, and Nasser Dorfeshan Alboshoka in January 2012 that all were killed under torture by the intelligence services.
Frightened of torturing, and other ill-treatments have forced majority of Ahwazi activists to fled from Iran, and have applied as a asylum seeker in the Western Countries, and UNHCR. However, some of activists were killed by Iranian services in Iraq, and some were deported to Iran like Saied Saki, Faleh Abdullah Al.Mansouri (Ahwazi-Dutch national, who has been recently freed from Iranian prison), Abo Tofigh Mazraa, and Taher Mazraa were deported from Syria to Iran in 2006, which all were spent several months under torture. And also some Ahwazi cultural activists were deported from Iraq to Iran in January 2011, which all were tortured by the services, and finally one of them Mr. Mohammad Ali Amouri alongside with his colleagues were sent to the death penalty (Amnesty International, 2012, 2013 and 2014).
Torture always has a negative impact on the people’s health after their freed from the prison. Many Ahwazi were died a months or years after they freed from the prisons, and many have been suffering from poor heath because of torture. For instance, some Ahwazi activists got a disease in their stomach and Intestinal, and many got mental disease due to torture that faced in the detention. Moreover, the health of many Ahwazi activists have not improved although they have been getting treatment in the western countries for several years.
What is more, torture has other negative impact on everyone’s health like increasing segregation, isolation, and lack integration between the sick people and other people in the society. Increasing clash back between sick people, not enabling sick people to work or study; make sick people to suffer from insomnia, nightmares, and pains.
The Iranian authorities always use torture to frighten Ahwazi people to not attending any activity. All activists like social, cultural, human rights, and political activists were targeted by the Iranian authorities. For instance, all NGOs have been closed, and the founders were arrested. A mass number of activists were tortured by the services, and some of them were faced the death penalty afterwards like Hashem Shabani, Hadi Rashedi, Ali Chabishat, Yassin Mosavi and other activists.
To conclude, the Iranian authorities have been creating an atmosphere of fear inside Ahwaz because of torture against Ahwazi Arab activists, particularly when several Arabs have been killed by the Iranian authorities in the detention.
Many Ahwazi are suffering from poverty, homelessness, and many were lost their agricultural lands because their lands were confiscated by the regime. Therefore, this situation caused many Arab activists show their objection against the Iranian authorities policies, so many of them were arrested and faced tortured, and some faced the death penalty or long life imprisonment.
Arabs are also suffering from accessing other rights like freedom of speech and freedom of opinion alongside other activity. Massive number of the activists have been executed and in the beginning of their arrest were faced torture due to their opinions or speech and any other activity. Many Arabs have spent several years of their life in the prison because of their opinion. Therefore, it is clear to stated that Ahwazi are deprived from any rights.
In fact, there are several ways to put the Iranian authorities under pressure to abolish torture against Ahwazi activists and other detainees through the interview with media, pressure by NGOs groups, governmental reports and actions, United Nations pressure through having contact with some organisations like ‘International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination’ (1965), ‘International Covenant on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights (1966)’ in the base of right to life, work, social security, and family protection for Ahwazi people, and right to non-discrimination.
Having contact with ‘International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (1966)’ and more importantly having contact with ‘Convention against Torture, and other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishments (1984)’, focusing on UPR that review the case of Iran every 41/2 years, giving reports to the United Nations Special Rapporteur for Human Rights in Iran can play massive role in decreasing or abolishing torture in Ahwaz.
By: Kamil Alboshoka
Ahwazi Centre for Human Rights
United Nations, General Assembly (10 December 1984) ”Convention against Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment”. United Nations, Geneva (http://www.un.org/documents/ga/res/39/a39r046.htm)