Iranian security forces have arrested 50 people over the past two weeks in the Arab neighbourhoods of the southwestern province of Khuseztan.
Two of the detainees were killed while in custody, writer and human rights activist Yousef Azizi Banitaraf told Zamaneh.
“The security forces are telling elders of the tribes in the region to bring people to the voting booths,” Banitaraf reports; “and the young people are opposed to this.”
The arrests, which have taken place in Shoosh, Ahvaz and Hamidieh, were apparently triggered by a number of youth writing slogans on public walls calling for a boycott of the coming parliamentary elections. The reports indicate that Nasser Alboshokeh Derafshan and Mohammad Kaabi were killed while in custody.
Last March another detainee, Reza Moghamessi also reportedly died in Dezfool Prison under torture.
Yousef Azizi Banitaraf added that the families of the victims have been told to refrain from holding any commemoration services for their kin.
The people who have been detained in the past weeks have not been officially charged yet according to Banitaraf and their location has not been announced to their families.
Human rights groups report that following two weeks of unrest, some local authorities have called on people to avoid leaving the house in the evening.
Human rights groups are concerned that the arrests have not received much coverage because of the lack of independent media in these areas, and without public awareness of their situation, the detainees could be more vulnerable and easy targets for mistreatment.