Following the wave of arrests of Ahwazi Arab women activists, which began last Wednesday with the arrest of Fatema Tamimi, four other women were arrested, bringing the total number of detainees to seven, including five women. In the latest case, Fatema Savari was arrested in the city of Howeyzeh.

According to local sources of Ahwaz Human Rights Organization (AHRO), on Friday evening, December 11th, the Iranian security forces arrested Fatemeh Savari, a cultural activist from Howeyzeh. Fatemeh Savari is the aunt of Zeinab Savari, who was arrested a day earlier in Roffayeh city in Ahwaz region.

Zeinab Savari is a social sciences student and Fatemeh Savari is a teacher. During the Corona crisis, they volunteered to go to deprived areas and villages around Haweyzeh and Roffayeh to teach students who did not have access to online education.

During the past few days, Fatema Tamimi, 39 years old and mother of two, was arrested in the city of Jarahi in Ma’ashour (Mahshahr) and her colleague Maryam Ameri was arrested in Ahwaz, both transferred to an undisclosed location.

Ameri and Tamimi had collected stories, lullabies and Arabic folk songs to record the Ahwazi oral literature. Tamimi's Instagram account is followed by more than 25,000 people. The result of their work was a 20 part documentary. So far, Mrs Tamimi has produced several short documentaries on poverty, addiction, unemployment and the social problems of the Arab people of Ahwaz.

Earlier, Azhar Alboghobeish, along with her two brothers, Abbas and Reza, were arrested in Fallahieh (Shadegan) for their social media activities. They are all under the age of 20.

The ongoing floods in Ahwaz and surrounding cities are among the most important issues that Tamimi had addressed and reported on. In her reports, in addition to the causes of floods and its related issues, she discussed the effects and consequences of floods on social structures in Arab regions.

So far, no information has been released by the Iranian government about the reasons for these widespread arrests, and no charges have been filed against the detainees. Efforts by the families of these individuals to find out their whereabouts have not yet been successful.

Ahwaz Human Rights Organization strongly condemns this new wave of arrest against Ahwazi Arab cultural activists who carried out all their activities peacefully and in accordance with the Iranian government’s laws.

AHRO sees these measures as an attempt by the Iranian government to divert peaceful activism and is aiming at creating an excuse to suppress these activists. We call for the immediate and unconditional release of all the detainees.

Ahwaz Human Rights Organization