Iran: Mayor Fires 400 Ahwazi Workers

The Ahwazi Organization for the Defense of Human Rights would like to express its grave concern about the recent crime in Ahwaz city, southeast Iran.

Ktanbaf Mansoor, mayor of Ahwaz and Iranian revolutionary guard official fired 400 Ahwazi workers apparently for participating in or supporting pro-democracy demonstrations in April and May. Mr Ktanbaf, who is newly elected was appointed on 7 May 2011. Many of the sacked employees have not been paid their salaries and their appeal has reached deadlock. The average monthly payment of these sacked workers is 3,500, 00 IR or $390.

‘These dismissals are nothing less than a ‘political purification’ of the workplace and it’s another ethnic cleansing crime’ said Zaydan Sayahi, ex-employee in Ahwaz council.

Large-scale dismissals of Ahwazi workers would signify that Iran is breaching its own labour law. Iran is breaching Articles 6, 21, 24 and 25 of its labour law.

‘Article 6: By virtue of Clause 4 of Article 43, Clause 6 of Article 2, and Articles 19, 20 and 28 of the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iran, The people of Iran, of any tribe and ethnic group, shall enjoy equal rights. Colour, race, language and their likes shall not be treated as a privilege, as all people, whether male or female shall be equally protected by law. Every person has the right to choose his desired occupation provided that it is not contrary to Islam and public interests, and does not infringe upon others’ rights.’

As a result hundreds of Ahwazi workers who are Arab have been fired by private employers and public agencies. Hundreds more are facing the same fate as employers begin a wave of punishment aimed at discouraging further Arab people from working.

Although 90% of Iranian oil is from Ahwaz according to international national and national Ngo's 89% of population lives under poverty line. In February 2011 a report published by Minority Rights Group International rated Ahwaz the second poorest and deprived region in Iran.

‘In regard to economic inequality, Khuzestan is only outdone by Sistan-Baluchistan, another province where ethnic minorities constitute the bulk of the population, where unverifiable reports put 76 per cent of the population below the poverty line, in stark contrast to the national rate of 18 per cent.’ Minority Rights Group International, February 2011

80% of Ahwazi children suffer from malnutrition. The AODHR urges you to act and seek the Ahwaz municipality to revert its decision.

 In recent report Amnesty International reported that  ‘Iranian government-directed migration of non-Arabs into Khuzestan(Ahwaz) is linked to economic policies that offer zero per cent interest loans to Migrants, but not to Arabs

British Arab Media Watch condemns and asked the Iranian authority to investigate the crimes of ethnic cleansing in Ahwaz. The Ahwazi organization for the defense of Human Right said Iran had laid off more than 400 Ahwazi workers due to their Ethnicity.

In view of the above, The AODHR urge you to in compliance with international human rights obligations, to assist the innocent workers who lost their job. We solicit you to look further into this humanitarian case as it engages you and every human. These Ahwazi employees have suffered a lot and it’s time for justice. We ask you to consider their difficult humanitarian case.

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Date: 02/08/2011




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