Feb 03, 2023

UNPO Presents Submission to the UN Special Rapporteur On Iran on the situation In Baluchistan, Iran Ahead of Key Report

UNPO, alongside the Baluchistan Human Rights Group (BHRG) have submitted a letter to the UN Special Rapporteur on Irian, on the human rights situation of Baloch minorities in Iran. This submission comes ahead of the Special Rapporteur's report on Iran’s human rights compliance at its 53rd session. Our report took a particular focus on the events relating to the situation of human rights in Iran’s southern province of Sistan and Baluchistan since August 2022.

Between 40 and 50% of the Iranian population belong to ethnolinguistic minorities including the Baluch which make up approximately 4% of the population that differs from the dominant Farsi (Persian)-speakers. Their rights have seldom been protected since the establishment of modern nation state of Iran in early 20th century. The Baluch among other ethnic minorities is subject to systematic political, cultural, and religious discrimination at the hands of the government, with activists arguing for more autonomy or self-determination regularly persecuted and imprisoned by the Iranian intelligence services. 

Our report to the Special Procedures also highlighted the various forms of discrimination that Baluch population in Iran face. Issues included the disproportionate amount of executions against Baluch citizens and the overall issue of the death penalty in Iran, the lack of freedom of opinion and expression, peaceful assembly or association; the right to basic necessities and employment; the right to safe clean, healthy and sustainable natural environment; the situation of Baluch children in Iran and the lack of identity documents as well as use of excessive and lethal force against the Baluch populace following the murder of Ms. Jina Mahsa Amini.  

We eagerly await the publication of the Special Rapporteur’s report based on the submissions of UNPO and numerous other human rights groups in and outside of Iran. UNPO believes that the peoples of Iran should not be subject to such a treatment and that the key for a democratic, diverse Iran rests on respect for these norms. The minorities in Iran deserve protection and the international community should set standards and oversight mechanisms to combat the stifling of the voices of unrepresented minorities.