Iran: Steep rise in summary arrests in Khuzestan, southern Iran

Iranian security forces have begun a fresh wave of arbitrary arrests of activists in the regime’s southern province of Khuzestan.

Armed Intelligence Ministry agents swooped on professor and cultural activist Mehrdad Jamshidpour in the city of Izeh on December 30.

Plainclothes agents also arrested cultural activist Abdulhossein Baladi at his home in the city of Ahvaz on January 15 while he was teaching his students, insulting his family and seizing books.

Both men have been moved to unknown locations and their families have been given no information about their loved ones.

Summary arrests and sentencing of civil, political and Internet activists and journalists have increased greatly in recent weeks.

The security forces also arrested at least 45 Arabs attending a commemoration ceremony of a poet from Ahvaz on January 19.

Agents stopped three minibuses returning from the ceremony and arrested everyone on board. Most were under the age of 25 and known for their political and cultural activities.

Recently Ahvaz has been the scene of unrest due to unpopular policies of the Rouhani’s government in the Province.

Residents of Ahvaz and workers at Ahvaz Sugar Cane Factory held protests on Tuesday as Hassan Rouhani arrived in this southern city.

A group of residents of Ahvaz also gathered outside where Hassan Rouhani was giving a speech.

The repressive State Security Forces attacked the protesters destroying their signs and banners, and as a result people clashed with the State Security Forces.

Although the audience entering the auditorium were thoroughly searched some residents succeeded to take in large signs to protest against the diversion of water of Karoun river in the city.
In the past few months, thousands of residents of Ahvaz have formed human chains to protest against the regime’s plans to divert water from the Karoun river to central Iran.

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