According to the article 3 of the universal declaration of Human Rights, ”Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person” (The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, 10th December 1948).
The right to life can be explained ‘as a system that secure everyone’s life, and give several opportunities to everyone to receive a beneficial life like social welfare such as jobs, accommodation, health care, and education’. A government for each nation has a responsibility to secure everyone’s life, and stop the situation that wants to end people’s life. It means protection is a most important responsibility for each government (British Institute of Human Rights). The right to life in another hand can be explained ‘as a free speech and freedom, free opinion and safety, and having bright future through strong economy and education’.
Indeed, Ahwazi Arab people have been suffering from poor accessing a social life since the occupation of Ahwaz in 1925. The discrimination, inequality, changing the Ahwazi land from Arab to Persian, not accessing social welfare, death penalty, and other ill-treatments have been seriously increased although article 3 of the universal declaration of Human Rights pointed out that all people are entitled to have the right to life, and live in freedom and safety. There are also several actions of International Human Rights organisations like Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, UN, and European Human Rights, Western governments actions against Iran to stop its ill treatments against Ahwazi Arab people, and give Arabs chance of accessing better social life.
The policies of the Iranian regime against the social life of Ahwazi caused Ahwaz’s to make several protests against the regime. For instance, the Ahwazi revolution in 1979 in Al-Mohammerah, and the Ahwazi protest in 2005 in the majority of cities and Towns and also villages, which made the regime to use, live shooting against innocents’ people. Massive Arabs have killed, thousands injured, and hundreds have arrested which several of them faced the death penalty afterwards.
Poor accessing of social welfare in Ahwaz have been forcing a massive number of Ahwazi to migrate and flee from their lands to western or the Arabian gulf countries to have a chance to access better life facilities than their homeland. During the movement many Ahwazi even children and female died on the ways to reach their paradise in the western countries like Australia or the United Kingdom. Poor accessing of social welfare has another negative impact on Ahwazi people that make many of them to migrate from rural areas to urban areas.
Moreover, poor accessing of social welfare such as jobs, accommodation, health care, and education have a negative impact on everyone’s lifestyle in Ahwaz. However, this critical situation has been massively increased since Ahmadi Nejad took the power in 2005 because Iran faced sanctions from the United Nations, which have a negative impact on Ahwazi social life. It means, poverty, unemployment, crime and unsafe between households increased. Electricity bills, gas, petrol, price of food, price of renting accommodation, accessing jobs, and other services raised up due to the sanctions. Therefore, it is clearly to stated that the Iranian regime put Ahwazi in a critical situation although their land is a one of the wealthiest land in the world by gas, oil and other natural resources.
Not only Ahwazi faced accessing poor social welfare, but they also faced unsafe policy and non-freedom which made several Ahwazi lose their lives because of death under torture or execution. The Iranian authorities begun to confiscate Ahwazi agricultural lands since the Islamic republic took the power in 1979. However, the confiscation has massively increased after the war between Iran and Iraq under the pretext of Planting sugarcane and making settlements for Persian who want to move to Ahwaz. The Iranian regime policy of confiscation Ahwazi land to put Arab under pressure by social welfare and life forced Arabs to protest against the regime, which many Arabs killed or tortured after arrested by the security services.
To conclude, the Iranian authorities policies in Ahwaz made Arabs to face critical situation to receive social welfare such as jobs, accommodation, health care and education. Many Ahwazi are suffering from poverty, and unsafe income and even accommodation, many Ahwazi lost their agricultural lands because their lands were confiscated by the regime. Therefore, they became forced to migrate to urban areas or to foreign countries, which cause the poverty to be increased.
Unemployment between Ahwazi is highest number of unemployment in whole Iran although Ahwaz is usually make over 80% of the Iranian national income through oil and gas and other natural resources. The pollution in Ahwaz has been increased compared with few years ago, this caused Ahwazi to face incredible disease like asthma, skin disease, poison and cancer. Poverty also made many Ahwazi to leave their study during high school or even secondary school.
Arabs are also suffering from accessing other rights like freedom of speech and freedom of opinion. Massive number has been executed due to their opinions or speech. 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 decrease their policy against Ahwazi’s social life through the media, NGOs groups, protests, governmental reports and actions, United Nations pressure through having contact with some organisations like ‘International Convent on economic, social, and cultural Rights (1966)’ in the base of right to life, work, social security, and family protection for Ahwazi people.a
By: Kamil Alboshoke
Ahwazi Centre for Human Rights