Freedom is extremely limited in Iran as Freedom House even ranks Iran a six out of a score of seven in 2012. The freedom scale gives a country a high score to indicate a status of not free. Human rights violations by authorities continue to be committed against political and social activists, women, ethnic and religious minorities, human rights defenders, and students in response to the extreme lack of freedom of expression. The limited freedom of the citizens and their restrained abilities within the country has lead to several arrests of activists. But the punishment doesn’t end at arresting opposition activists and groups that I mentioned, torture, and even execution has and does occur.
Within the last five weeks the Iran Human Rights Documentation Center (IHRDC) has received reports, which point to the arrests of an estimated 188 Ahwazi Arabs. Iranian authorities without justifiable reasoning of why they are being punished arrest these Ahwazi Arab activists. In fact, several of the Ahwazi Arabs that were arrested in recent weeks, in the Khuzestan province, were said to have never taken part in political activism. On the other hand, the other arrests are against cultural, political, and religious activists. Many of the detainees are early adulthood and the whereabouts of their detainment is largely unknown.
The escalation of arrests by Iranian authorities is thought to halt or alleviate the protests in April, which is the anniversary month for the protests that took over the city of Ahvaz in 2005. A second reason for this increase in harassment by Iranian authorities is because it is right before the presidential elections. The presidential elections could change Iranian society dramatically, in which authorities at this time are taking advantage of their power.
The arrest of these Ahwazi Arabs only slightly identifies the lack of freedom and justice citizens in Iran have. Baha’is, a religious minority group among others faces sever repression by Iranian authority. Torture of these individuals is common followed by execution.
We should care vary much about the repression that devastates many citizens in Iran. Arrest, torture, and even execution of minority groups, activists, women, and even students are a daunting issue and have struck the Middle East. The lack of freedom to the citizens has lead to a very corrupt government and a society that is unable to communicate. We should care about this issue also because an activist will eventually say enough and act.
With ongoing arrests put forth by unjustly officials, a protest by the repressed is likely to occur. The tolerance level of these groups will run out. If there is enough participation, a massive movement could occur. The key is to gather a large group in order to protest against their lack of freedom. With the upcoming elections it will be interesting to see what happens – will the oppressed finally retaliate to defend their right to freedom? Or will they wait for the presidential elections to dictate the future of where they stand?
Iran – Overview. Freedom House. Web. 17 April 2013.
“Ongoing Wave of Arrests in Khuzestan, Families Unaware of Whereabouts of Detainees.” Iran Human Rights Documentation Center 11 April 2013. Web. 17 April 2013.