An Iranian activist who advocated for the independence of the country’s Arab minority was shot to death in the Netherlands on Wednesday.
Ahmad Mola Nissi, 52, was a founder of the Arab Struggle Movement for the Liberation of Ahwaz, or ASMLA, which advocates for an independent state in Iran’s oil-rich Khuzestan Province.
Dutch police said an investigation had been opened into the shooting and a suspect had been detained at the crime scene in The Hague.
“His involvement in the incident is being investigated,” police said about the suspect, according to Reuters. “Emergency services were at the scene quickly and reanimated the victim, but he died shortly later.”
The Ahvazi, who are ethnically Arab, are one of a number of minorities in Iran that says it is persecuted by the country’s Persian majority. Members of the ethnic group say they face discrimination in employment and housing and are often denied political and civil rights, according to Amnesty International.
In July, Mola Nissi told Reuters the ASMLA wants to “liberate Ahwaz lands and people from the Iranian occupation.”
The ASMLA has an armed wing called the Mohiuddin al Nasser Martyrs Brigade that has claimed attacks on Iranian troops.
Iran has accused its rival Saudi Arabia of backing separatist groups in the country, which Saudi Arabia denies.