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Ahwazi opposition leader shot dead in The Hague.

The head of an Arab opposition movement in Iran, Ahmad Mawla, was assassinated last Wednesday in the Netherlands. He was 54.

The director of the London-based Ahwaz Center for Media and Strategic Studies, Hassan Radhi, disclosed news of the murder, as he accused Iran of killing Mawla.

The Dutch police said they had arrested a man fleeing the scene, but they have not identified him by either name or nationality.

Mawla headed the "Movement for Arab Struggle to Liberate Ahwaz from Iranian Occupation." He was killed by three bullets--one to his head and two to his heart--as he stood outside the door of his home in the usually placid Dutch city of The Hague.

The assassination is reminiscent of earlier Iranian-sponsored assassinations in Europe of leaders of the country's ethnic minorities, including Kurdish leaders. In 1989, Dr. Abdel Rahman Qassemlu, head of the Kurdistan Democratic Party of Iran, was murdered in Vienna.

Three years later, Qassemlu's successor, Dr. Sadegh Sharaf Kandi, was murdered in Berlin, along with three other men. In 1997, a German court issued an arrest warrant for Iran's intelligence minister, saying he had ordered the murders with the knowledge of Iran's political leadership.

Ahwazis are Arabs, one of numerous non-Persian ethnic groups in Iran that also include Kurds and Baluchis.

In 2015, Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch both protested an Iranian crackdown against Ahwazi Arabs, as the regime undertook a largescale campaign of arbitrary arrests in the southwestern province of Khuzestan, where Ahwazis are concentrated and where most of Iran's oil and gas reserves are located.

The arrests were triggered by mass protests that coincided roughly with the anniversary of Ahwazi demonstrations a decade earlier.

Iran had demanded that Interpol arrest Mawla, but Interpol has declined to issue any warrant for him.

Mawla fled Iran in 2005. He is survived by his wife and five children.

Caption: MAWLA ... shot three times

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Title Annotation:The Hague, Netherlands and Ahmad Mawla
Publication:Iran Times International (Washington, DC)
Article Type:Brief article
Geographic Code:7IRAN
Date:Nov 17, 2017
Words:315
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