This footage shows thousands of Arab citizens demonstrated in the streets of Ahwaz, the center of the Ahwaz region, in protest against the confiscation of their lands by the Iranian army and in solidarity with the people of the village of Jalizi in the north of the province. The protesters were violently attacked by Iranian internal security forces in retaliation for holding the peaceful demonstration.
The protesters took to the streets on Friday afternoon chanting slogans against the Iranian regime and condemning the security forces’ repression of the residents of Jalizi village, who were beaten and insulted for the ‘crime’ of objecting to the regime’s confiscation of their farmland without any prior notification and with no compensation for those robbed of the land that was both their food source and livelihoods.
A number of Ahwazi Arab activists have published reports and photos on social media networks showing the vicious attacks by Iranian internal security forces firing tear gas at the protesting farmers and their families, including women and children, and using clubs and truncheons to beat them. Many of the protesters were also arbitrarily arrested and imprisoned. Many of victims who sustained horrendous injuries in the regime forces’ assaults were women.
The Iranian regime’s latest confiscation of land, over 3,000 hectares in this case (with only 1000 hectares left to the owners), is part of a pattern going back to the 1980s, when President Rafsanjani introduced the policy of land theft under the pretext of requiring it for regime use following the 1980-88 war; much of the stolen land was then given to military veterans as a ‘reward’ for their service, with the victimised farmers and other landowners receiving no notice or compensation and having no recourse to legal action then as now.
The regime’s grotesque policy has left many of the people from the Musian district of the Ilam province in Ahwaz, where Jalizi village is situated, destitute, homeless and unemployed, with their land “redistributed” to non-Arab settlers.
Any effort to protest against this policy of unofficial ethnic cleansing as a means of enforcing demographic change is met with savage retaliation by the regime’s security forces, with protesters at last week’s demonstration, including old people, women and children, being brutally beaten for the ‘crime’ of protesting against the theft of their land. Some of the female protesters were deliberately hit in their chests and mouths with gun-butts and batons by the regime thugs.