According to Ahwazi human rights activists, at one o’clock in the afternoon on Wednesday, May 19, 2021, Iranian security forces raided the home of Falah Heydari, a prominent Ahwazi teacher, and arrested him.
According to Ahwazi human rights activists, security forces entered Mr. Heydari’s (58-year-old) home unexpectedly and without a court order, harassing and insulting the occupants of the house, one of Mr. Heydari’s children protesting the security forces’ misconduct so they dragged him to the ground and beat him.
According to reports received from human rights activists, security forces after searching the house, confiscated books and cell phones belonging to the family and took Mr. Heidari and his son Safa (29 years old) to an unknown location.
In the afternoon of the same day, Safa Heydari was released after being tortured and interrogated, but Falah Heydari is still being held in an unknown location until this news is prepared.
In the days following Mr. Heydari’s arrest, his son Safa and his teenage daughter Fiha (14 years old) were repeatedly summoned to the IRGC intelligence headquarters in the Chaharshir neighborhood of Ahwaz and interrogated. Safa has been summoned to the IRGC’s intelligence headquarters several times, and on Sunday, May 30, the family’s teenage daughter, Fiha, was summoned and released at the end of the day after undergoing psychological torture.
According to human rights activists, the arrest is in connection with the activities of Mr. Heydari’s brother and son, who are based abroad. Abdul Rahman, the brother of the arrested person, is an Ahwazi activist living in the UK, and Alaa, son of Falah, is another Ahwazi activist living in Australia.
In a call with his brother, Abdul Rahman Heydari, he stated that Falah has no political activity and that he is one of the famous teachers in the Ahwaz who, after retiring, established a non-profit school in the deprived area of Siyahi, outskirts of Ahwaz. His activities are limited to cultural and social activities such as helping to resolve local disputes and contributing to social stability, helping the poor people, and forming local sports teams to help young people and prevent them from turning to drugs.
Mr. Abdul Rahman added: “From the very beginning of my brother’s arrest, it was clear that this was to influence my activities in the UK, as well as the peaceful activities of his son, Alaa, in Australia. And this is not the first time Alaa and I have been threatened, and we have already received threatening messages in other ways. Especially after my attendance at the UN General Assembly on Minority Issues, which is held annually in Geneva.”
Regarding the manner of arrest and whereabouts of their father, Mr. Alaa Heydari added that on Wednesday, May 19, while all the family were resting, the Iranian security agents illegally arrested my father and my brother Safa. The remarkable thing about this is that the security forces, in addition to books and mobile phones, took away all the CCTV cameras of the house.
According to Alaa, his father suffers from high blood sugar and high blood pressure, and this arrest and physical and psychological torture will pose serious risks to him.
It should be noted that Mr. Falah Heidari graduated in educational psychology from Allameh Tabatabaei University in Tehran, and since 1985 he has been working as a teacher and secretary in schools in villages of Khafajieh and Hamidiyeh, as well as in high schools in District 3 of Ahwaz. After retiring, he established a non-profit high school in the deprived area of Sayyahi and is currently the director of this high school.
Intrusive entry into homes without a court order is one of the tactics of the Iranian security forces, which varies depending on the timing of the attack. In summer, the best time in cities like Ahwaz is in the early hours of the afternoon when people are resting in their homes in temperatures above 50 degrees.
After Eid al-Fitr this year, several Ahwazi Arab activists were arrested in different parts of Ahwaz. In addition to Falah Heydari, other people were arrested in the Sayahi area, including human rights activists Amir Gharbawi, Wahid Heydari, and Yousef Tarfi.