Hashem Shaabani (31), arrested in February 2011, is originally from Ahwaz City and a resident of Khalafabad. He is married with one child. He has a Bachelor degree in Arabic language literature and education and holds a Masters degree in Political Sciences from Ahwaz University. He has written poetry in Arabic and Farsi and teaches Arabic language and Arabic literature in high schools. He is a cultural, civil and student activist and also a blogger. He takes care of his elderly parents. His father Khalaf Shaabani was disabled while fighting Iraqi forces during the Iran-Iraq War. Due to their son being arrested, his parents are suffering both physically and mentally. In December 2011, he was featured on Iran’s international television station Press TV in which he was forced to confess to being involved in separatist terrorism and supporting Ba’athism in Iraq. He was also made to claim that he had assistance from Hosni Mubarak and Muammer al-Qadafi, the former rulers of Egypt and Libya. Those who know him state that he has never supported armed insurgency against the Iranian state, let alone had contact with foreign governments.
The Ahwazi Arab activist appeals humanity from his detention centre and reveals trumped up accusations by the Iranian Intelligent services (Ettelaat) which have been used to arrest many other Ahwazi activists and described by Shaabani as "arbitrary" and "unfair".
To those who concern the humanity
Dear brothers and sisters
I would like to sincerely thank you and those who concerns on my activities and others who stay in the regime prisons. I started writing and highlighting deprivations and suppression on my people in order to show the truth and opposing the tyranny. I have been trying to focus on one important thing: "AWARENES".
I have been trying all my best to reveal "unknown" for myself and others. I have had several contributions on Farsi poems within newspapers like "Nour" and "Fajr" and "Asr-e-Karoun". After I entered Ahwaz University of Chamran in 2000 I managed to edit and publish a student newsletter" Nedaey-Basirat" (appeal for awareness) in Farsi and tried to reveal miserable situation and deprivations and suffers by the society in general and Ahwazi community in particular. I was also editor on other student newsletter "Al-basira" (awareness) and political manager of the reformist student Forum in the faculty of Literature and Sharia. The suffers of Iran's nations and particularly the Ahwazi Arabs suffers concerned me so much that time. Therefore I managed to encourage other friends to express our opinions and managed to establish a NGO named "Al-Hewar" (dialogue) which we tried to prepare cultural and peaceful festivals which opposed and banned by the regime. We aspired that we can use and through the channels facilitated by the regime can achieve the rights of all nations in Iran and particularly study in mother tongue as stated in Articles 15 and 19 of the Islamic Republic constitution and civil rights. However we realised that was a mirage. After 2005 I realised it was impasse to go through the official and local media and to campaign and you are aware about this. Therefore I used to campaign via social media to publish my poems and literatures to reflect the Ahwazi Arab suffers using nickname "Abu Aala Al-ofoghi". I edited and published two collections of poems: "Al-eterafat Bel-ofoghieh" (even confessions) and "Ighaa Mazarib-aldam" and I have also made a report on "Black Wednesday" massacre in Mohammarah in 1979 which could not publish. I have also edited a research study on Ahwaz Arabic dialect" the revolution anomalous concept" which left unfinished due to my imprisonment. Though this research study I discussed the ways in which the Iranian regime carried out to weaken the thought and intellectuals within the Ahwazi community:
Via bad implication of freezing, framing and misleading the thought which opposed the freedom of thought.
On 11th of February 2011 when I was staying at home and after I came back from the Shaihk Ansari High school, where I used to teach in Khalafyeh I was arrested by the Iranian intelligent service and was accused of being a member of the popular resistance. I suffered physical and mental tortures and forced to make confessions which never committed and they mentioned names, not real, that was my friends and worked together in the same organisation. I stayed five months in the detention centre of the intelligent services and following two months I was transferred to Karoun prison. I was first appeared in court on 21st May 2012. I tried to say the truth in front the judge and honestly stated that there was no existence of the people resistance and the organisation, and it was only " Hashem Shabani". And I was forced under physical and mental tortures by the Intelligent service (Etelaat) to confess things I never committed. I made my statement in front of the judge within three different times and I was surprised and became mad when heard the final verdict by the judge. They charged me with other four friends death sentence and other friends, Rahman Asakereh, 20 years imprisonment in exile.
I would like to confirm that never participated in any armed activity whatever the motives. I totally disagree with arms if there are other channels via peaceful demands we whish. I will highly appeal you to do all your best to inquiry this demand.
Hashem Shabani (Abu Aala Al-ofoghi)
Ahwaz Human Rights Organisation (Ahro)