“The Iranian authorities marginalise anyone who is not Persian”
Violence broke out last week between protestors and the police. Many activists, having heard about the Heidarian brothers, had gathered to offer their condolences to the family. Fuelled by anger, they burnt tyres and threw stones at the police to prevent them from entering the neighbourhood. Tribal leaders from the region were arrested and warned that, unless they calmed the young people down, they would suffer the consequences. According to the information I have been given, many soldiers are still patrolling the streets of Malashiya, but the situation has calmed down.I know the person who filmed the Haiderian brothers’ video. It is someone with ties to local authorities. He was able to enter the prison only a few hours before the three brothers and their friend were executed. I cannot release his name, but I will say that this person is preparing to leave the country.Activists on the ground have confirmed that the bodies of the four victims have still not been returned to their families. The families have gone from cemetery to cemetery and now believe that their children have been buried in a Laa’nat Abad [a space called the “cemetery of the cursed”, a plot of land where those sentenced to death are buried]The Iranian authorities marginalise anyone who is not Persian. Arabs are persecuted in particular due to their geographical position and the diplomatic situation [the Khuzestan region is located on the eastern shores of the Persian Gulf, not far from Kuwait and Saudi Arabia, whose relations with Iran have been tense for several years]The Khuzestan province contains over 80% of Iran’s gas and petrol reserves. So why are its citizens the country’s poorest? A family of four from Ahwaz survives on 20 dollars a month, whereas the average salary for an Iranian is between 80 and 90 dollars per month.