Security forces in Iran’s Khuzestan Province have arrested nineteen Iranians from the Sunni Arab minority, a human rights source reported on Tuesday.
According to the Human Rights Activists news agency, at least nineteen Iranians of Sunni Arab origin have been detained in various cities in the country’s Khuzestan Province.
The group said that it was common practice for the security forces to round up citizens with Sunni Arab backgrounds ahead of Eid al-Fitr, a Muslim holiday that marks the end of the holy month of Ramadan.
In February, Ardeshir Amir-Arjomand, a top advisor to opposition leader Mir Hossein Mousavi, condemned the violent clampdowns in the province.
“The security, territorial integrity, independence and sustainable development of the country can only be realised with the participation of all Iranian citizens irrespective of their gender, language, ethnicity, religion or political leaning, and in accordance with accepted international human rights conventions,” said Amir-Arjomand, who is also the spokesperson for the Coordination Council of the Green Path of Hope, the opposition Green Movement’s leading decision-making body.
“The use of unjustifiable violence in dealing with the legitimate demands of ethnic and religious minorities is in violation of national interests and the [Islamic] Revolution’s fundamental ideals,” he added. “The Coordination Council of the Green Path of Hope condemns the repression, arrest and the illegitimate use of violence against Khuzestani citizens who pursue their demands through peaceful means.”
Rights groups have repeatedly documented the discriminations against ethnic Arabs and the lack of socioeconomic development in the region.