Jul 20, 2010

West Balochistan: Terrorism Undermines Legitimate Concerns

Sample ImageThe International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran calls for an end to indiscriminate violence in West Balochistan. Legitimate issues of concern in the region, such as human rights abuses, cannot be solved by terrorism and should be addressed in a peaceful manner.

Below is an article published by the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran:

The International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran strongly condemned the twin suicide bombings in southeastern city of Zahedan, which resulted in death of at least 26 and over 300 injuries.


“We abhor terrorist acts and indiscriminate attacks on civilians. Such violence only obscures and discredits legitimate concerns about ethnic discrimination in the region,” said Aaron Rhodes, a spokesperson for the Campaign.


Zahedan is the capital of Sistan and Baluchistan province, one of the least developed and most impoverished regions of Iran. Bordering Pakistan and Afghanistan, the province has been the scene of armed conflict between Jundallah, a Sunni armed group, and government forces. In addition, drug smuggling and instability in Pakistan and Afghanistan have affected the border region.


The leader of Jundallah, Abdolmalek Rigi, was executed last month. There are serious concerns of ethnic discrimination in the region, but indiscriminant violence, such as the recent terrorist acts, has only diverted attention from fundamental human rights, social and economic issues.


As the number of terrorist attacks in the region has grown over the past few years, so has the number of executions carried out by the government. The recent terrorist attacks raise grave concerns about human security in Sistan and Baluchestan, in which over the last years many ordinary people have been targeted by such inhumane and barbaric methods.


The Campaign calls on the Iranian government to use all means to ensure that political disputes and struggles between the government and those who employ such brutal methods does not escalate, leading either to further political executions or terrorist acts.