Kowsar Karimi is accused of “propaganda against the state”
Kowsar Karimi, the female journalist who first reported on the destruction of Abolfazl village in Khuzestan was arrested. The International Federation of Journalists reported this on August 29, 2020.
Living in Khuzestan Province, female journalist Kowsar Karimi reported for the state-run Mehr news agency. She was the first journalist to report on the destruction of the houses of the residents of Abolfazl village in the media. She was arrested on August 28, 2020.
Kowsar Karimi was taken to the Prosecutor’s Office. After being interrogated, she was arraigned with the charge of “propaganda against the state” and was eventually released temporarily and on bail until her trial proceeding are completed.
The public opinion in Iran was widely appalled and outraged by the attack on the deprived residents of Abolfazl village, near Ahvaz, by agents of the Judiciary and the Mostazafan Foundation. The scandal was such that the mullahs’ supreme leader, Ali Khamenei, was forced to send the Supreme National Security Council’s secretary, Ali Shamkhani, to Abolfazl village to apologize from the residents.
Hazrat-e Abolfazl village is located between Zardasht town and Kianshahr of Ahvaz, capital of the oil-rich Province of Khuzestan in southwestern Iran. The state media have reported that some 300 families have been residing in this village since four decades ago.
Thirty years ago, following the end of the Iran-Iraq War, the real estate of Abolfazl village lacked any value and considered inadequate for farming. But gradually with the expansion of the capital, the real estate value of Abolfazl village also began to rise.
For about a year now, the Mostazafan Foundation which operates under direct supervision of Ali Khamenei, has been claiming ownership of the lands in this village and seeking to force out its inhabitants. The foundation has prevented the village from receiving rural services.
Khuzestan province officials have only promised to follow up in response to villagers’ complaints but have taken no action.
Some 130 of the residents of Abolfazl village have been arrested for confronting the Mostazafan Foundation’s attempt to destroy their houses.
On August 26, 2020, security forces attempted to raze the houses of the deprived people of this village. They clashed with the residents of the village, using pellet guns and tear gas. At least ten people including several children were wounded and dozens were arrested.
In some cases, the women of this village stood up to the security forces and prevented the bulldozers from razing their homes.