November 29, 2016
On 24 and 25 November 2016, the 9th Session of the United Nations Forum on Minority Issues took place at the UN in Geneva. NGOs representing minority groups from around the world were invited to take the floor in front and share insights on their situation. Sheyma Silavi, Brussels representative of the Ahwaz Human Rights Organisation (AHRO), highlighted the plight of the Ahwazi Arabs in Iran. When describing the region of Ahwazi Arabs in southwest Iran, also mentioning its indigenous name Arabistan, the Iranian delegation interrupted the speaker to point out that this claim was threatening the territorial integrity and sovereignty of the Islamic Republic of Iran, urging the Chairman do remind the speaker to “not use fabricated names regarding Iranian territories”. Despite this interruption, Ms Silavi continued to explain the persecution of Ahwazi Arabs at the hands of the Islamic Republic of Iran. Moreover, also Shahin Helali Khyavi of the Association for the Human Rights of Azerbaijani People in Iran (AHRAZ) took the floor to shed a light on the situation of his community through a speech entitled: "Drying up of Urmia Lake, a Natural Catastrophe as a Case Study”.
The videos of both interventions can be found below: