The names of most of those arrested are: Jasem Keroushat, Jasem Towirat, Abbas Abyat, Ahmad Abyat, Seyed Naser Mousavi, Javar Savari, Seyed Mousa Mousavi, Seyed Abbas Mousavi, Seyed Reza Mousavi, Heydar Savari, Seyed Mehdi Mousavi, Basem Savari, and Emad Aboud.

Security agents arrested 20 Arab-Iranians on February 26 in Ahvaz, Khuzestan Province, for converting from Shia’ Islam to Sunni, human rights activist Karim Dahimi told the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran.

Those arrested are aged between 20- and 30-years-old and are being held at the Intelligence Ministry office in Ahvaz. Only one of those arrested has been allowed to contact his family.

“I have spoken to some of their families. They are all residents of Khashayar and Alavi neighborhoods of Ahvaz,” said Dahimi, who is based outside Iran.

“They had gathered in the home of one of the Arabs in the Alavi neighborhood to read the Quran and study Arabic. Security agents entered the house by force at 9 o’clock without a warrant, arrested everyone and took them to the Ahvaz detention center. The owner of the house was the only one who was not arrested. He had gone out to buy dinner and when he saw the police cars he ran away.”

The human rights activist pointed out that none of those arrested were involved in political activities but the security forces have been cracking down on converts in the region.

“In recent years many people in the south, especially in Shoush, Abadan, Shadegan, and Khorramshahr, have converted from the Shia’ faith to Sunni [Islam]. The Iranian government is worried about the growth of the Sunni population in the region and therefore it is being strict towards converts.”

The names of most of those arrested are: Jasem Keroushat, Jasem Towirat, Abbas Abyat, Ahmad Abyat, Seyed Naser Mousavi, Javar Savari, Seyed Mousa Mousavi, Seyed Abbas Mousavi, Seyed Reza Mousavi, Heydar Savari, Seyed Mehdi Mousavi, Basem Savari, and Emad Aboud.