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Arab-Iranians in Iran to make April 15 ‘Day of Fury’

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Arab-Iranian activists announced online that they would start agitating under the name “Ahwazi Day of Fury” to protest the discriminatory practices they suffer at the hand of Iranian authorities.

Friday, April 15 was marked as the day of the Ahwazi revolution, according to the campaign launched on the social networking Website Facebook. Among other things, the campaign’s a-media efforts aim at allowing Arab-Iranians to follow Arab countries that call for democracy and political reforms.

The protests will start with all Ahwazis in Iran going up to the roofs of houses and chanting “Allah Akbar” (God is Great), said Amjad Taha Yassin, administrator of the Ahwazi Revolution news page on Facebook.

“We already set up operations rooms to support the protests in several European and Arab countries, on top of which is Egypt,” he told Al Arabiya in a phone interview.

Mr. Yassin added that developments of the situation will be posted minute-by-minute on the Facebook page and that communication will be established with the leadership of the revolution in Iran.

In a preemptive move, Iranian authorities cut Internet services in the Shalang Abad neighborhood, known for being the center of protests in the predominantly-Arab Khuzestan province, previously known as Arabstan, in western Iran.

Iranian authorities have also issued several warnings to residents of Ahwaz, the capital of Khuzestan, against taking part in the April 15 protests, and called Ahwazis on landlines to tell them that a snipers team was ready to deal with them.

Meanwhile, Ahwazi revolution operations room said that authorities had arrested activist Jamal al-Sari from the village of Fellahiya outside the city of Ahwaz. The 43-year Sari was last time seen bleeding in the company of security staff in civilian clothes. Iranian authorities deny that Mr. Sari is in their custody.

The revolution is meant to commemorate Bloody Friday, when more than 20 Arab-Iranians were killed, 500 injured, and 250 arrested on April 15, 2005 during protests in the city of Ahwaz.

(Sonia Farid of Al Arabiya translated this article from Arabic. She can be reached at: sonia.farid@mbc.net)