Protesters rally for human rights

Protesters rally for human rights

Samir Yassin was arrested by the Iranian government when he was 21 years old and sentenced to death for his political beliefs. During his 11-year incarceration, he had his arm and leg broken by his captors and was sent from prison to prison.

His was just one of many similar stories from about 50 Ahwazi Arab refugees seeking an end of human rights violations in Iran who protested outside the Iranian embassy in O'Malley yesterday.

A peaceful protest of around 40-50 people  out the front of the Iranian Embassy in O'Malley today.

A peaceful protest of around 40-50 people out the front of the Iranian Embassy in O'Malley today.

Photo: Colleen Petch

Mr Yassin said ''hundreds'' of Ahwazi Arabs in southern Iran were being held as political prisoners.

''The [conditions] are very bad. No health, no place to live … maybe 1000 people in a very, very small area,'' he said.

He said the Iranian government had repeatedly breached human rights and that outside media were unable to gain access to areas where human rights were violated.


''I think that the people in Iran don't have any rights,'' he said.

Protesters held signs reading ''no to occupation, no to execution'' and held Ahwazi and Australian flags.

The Arabic language, spoken by the Ahwazi, is banned in schools and no newspapers in Iran are written in Arabic.

Human rights activist and lawyer Ahmad Hamid said the Ahwazi protesters' main demand was the right to self-determination. ''We want that right and until [then] we will continue fighting,'' he said.

In June, Amnesty International issued data indicating that at least four men, all of them Ahwazi minority, were executed after a non-transparent and unfair trial. According to Amnesty, detainees in Iran are subject to ''torture and ill-treatment''.


The peaceful protest, watched on by a small force of Australian Federal Police officers, dispersed after two hours and moved to Parliament House to protest against off-shore processing.

''There are many Ahwazi Arabs in immigration detention who are threatened to be sent to Nauru. We want Australia to help them,'' Mr Hamid said.

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