November 2018. Reports from Iran indicate that at least 22 people were executed collectively and secretly in a non-transparent process in Ahvaz. This occurred sometime before mid-November. In addition, in recent months approximately 800 Arab citizens of Khuzestan Province were arrested. There is no reliable information about their fate.
Concern was initially raised upon hearing of the mass arrests of hundreds Arab-Iranians in and around Khuzestan, fearing that they would disappear into the security apparatus. The news of the mass execution justifies the worst fears. There are reports out of Iran that their families have been pressured to keep quiet about the fate of their relatives.
The situation of religious, ethnic and gender minorities in Iran has been worsening in recent months. It appears that the regime intends to severely punish dissenting voices. This comes as the Islamic Republic weakens inside the country and external pressure increases.
There are fears of a repetition of the mass executions of the 1980s, culminating in 1988. During that time thousands of people affiliated with opposition parties were executed, including minors and people who had completed their prison sentences.
Arseh Sevom condemns the mass arrests and summary executions of the minority Arab population. We call on international human rights institutions, civil society organizations, media, and Iranian citizens to demand an investigation and punishment for those involved.
Arseh Sevom also calls on the international community to exert pressures on the Islamic Republic of Iran to halt mass arrests and to put an end to these summary executions.