Iranian Minorities’ Human Rights Organisation (IMHRO)
Arab Workers of Pipe factory in Ahwaz arrested after they set up peaceful process in one of main streets in Ahwaz called Naderi. They protested after many months they did not get any pay and benefits, but factory continued in same time to pay non Arab workers on time.
Witness told IMHRO minutes after protest started anti riot police started to surround attack and arrest them. Some of them severely injured during arrest.
A local Islamic clergy preacher like always accused protesters of being tools of Zionists and west.
At least 64 Arab men arrested, their where abut still not clear. Sources in factory told IMHRO many others who were present at the protest sacked and told by factory manager they could not come back to work from next week. Some workers told IMHRO this order came from Iranian security service directly.
One of the workers called Abdul Nabi, 42 years old, told IMHRO about his life “I have 7 children; this is 2 years that they did not pay me any money, but they pay the non Arab workers on time, 2 of my children are sick and we live on mercy of people, when I complain they tell me you Arabs don’t have any rights. They also threaten me to arrest all of my family if I talk about it. Few years ago I complained to the court about discrimination against the Arab workers once and they sentenced me to 2 years in prison about it. In the sentence they said you waged a war against God, they disqualified my lawyer from practising law who was an Arab too.”
IMHRO is very concern regard of treatment of Arab workers in Ahwaz. We demand their immediate release. This discrimination by Persian workers and managers which authorised through Islamic government of Iran, is inhuman and unjust, this should stop immediately.
Iranian government systematically suppressing Ahwazi Arabs, they are banned from education and speak in their mother tongue.
In recent month many protested in regard of long delay in paying salaries to Arab workers in Ahwaz and demanding equality at work place.
Ahwazi Arabs are banned from working in oil and Gas industry, only they can get job in low level factories. Still in those factories treated with discrimination, long delays in payment and some times after years working they don’t get any payment. They often get the hardest part of Job.
If they protest they mark as tools in hand of foreigners and charged with connection with illegal political parties.
There are no worker unions who could defend workers right and any attempt for gathering is suppressed harshly by government. After arrest they would add them to black list and then they never find any other jobs. Some end up in long term prison. Government also add their family members to black list to be banned from university and higher education.