Jul 29, 2014

Ahwazi: Representatives Meet US Officials

A group of representatives speaking for the Ahwazi and other non-Persian ethnicities and religious minorities in Iran met with several United States politicians and officials to discuss the ongoing human rights violations. Including the high number of executions of ethnic minorities in Iran, as well as, the lack of dialogue on human rights issues during nuclear negotiations. Many ethnic minorities in Iran have been barred from engaging in their traditional cultural practices and using their ethnic languages.

Below is a story published by The Ahwaz Human Rights Organization.

The representatives of non-Persian ethnicities and religious minorities in Iran met with the United States officials to discuss their causes in Washington last week [Monday 21 July 2014].

The delegation included representatives of political parties and human rights organizations of minorities in Iran, including the Ahwazi Arabs, Baluchis, Kurds and Azeris.

The members of this board: Dr. Mohamad Hasan Husseinbar from Baluch community and a prominent human rights advocate, Dr.Karim Banisaeed Abdian the chief executive of Ahwaz Human Rights Organization (AHRO),Habib Azarsina representatives of Azeri community and Kamran Belnor from Kurdistan Democratic Party.

The members discussed with the US officials the recent human rights issues and abuses subjected on the non-Persian minorities and to include this cause in the ongoing negotiations between the West and Tehran over Iran's nuclear program.

The representatives discussed aspects of the sufferings experienced by non-Persian ethnities and religious minorities such as discrimination and persecution. They emphasized that the US officials’ attitudes towards these minorities issues did not reflect what have been experienced by non-Persian minorities which constitute more than half of Iran’s population.

The members also criticised the negligence of human rights violations during the negations of Iran’s nuclear programs with the West.

Dr Abdian, demanded the US officials to represent the human rights violations in Iran in general and the non-Persian ethnicities and religious minorities in particular, while the negotiations of nuclear program which has been extended for another four months. This is what urged by Ms. Navi Pillay, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights on the 3rd of July [2014].

Ms. Pillay, had expressed her concerns over increasing number of executions in Iran. And she urged the international community to include the issue of human rights in the nuclear negotiations between Iran and 5+1 in Vienna.

At the same time the representatives demanded the US officials to condemn high number of executions especially among Kurds, Arabs, Baluchis and Azaris, in Iran which reached unprecedented numbers as reported by the local and international human rights organizations.

The representatives believe that the condemnation of human rights violation will promote the human rights activists and their campaigns and will contribute to ensure the achievement of their legitimate demands.

The members were also highlighted that the US puts pressure on Maleki’s government to participate more of the Sunnis, Kurds, Turkmen and Christians and give them more chance in Iraq, while the US does not stand up on the same attitude towards the Iranian government and their discriminating policies.

The US Ministry of Foreign Affairs has justified that since there is no US embassy present in Tehran so it is difficult to provide more details on the situations of ethnic and religious minorities in Iran.

The members demanded that the officials of department of state use real figures and statistics about the demography and population of Non-Persian minorities when presenting their report over human rights violations ,rather than using spurious figures and numbers used by Iranian government or from sources that are dependent on them.

Each member represented a thorough report over Arab, Kurd, Turk, and Baluch and other minority populated areas, and added a list of violations committed against religious minorities, such as Sunni, Christian, Bahaais and Ahl-e-Hagh and matters such as the systematic torture of political prisoners and women rights were also discussed.

The representatives demanded the following aspects of human rights: The ban of education in native language for non –Persians, such as Arab, Kurd Turk, Baluch, which is the main problem experienced by these nations in Iran.

These non-Persian nations also Turkmen and Lur are subjected to discrimination and ban of practice of cultural and religious activities and restricted their chance of participation in political, economic and official domains locally and nationally.