From Gwadar to Zahedan: A Common Story of Discrimination for the Baloch People
Representatives of Baloch Communities in Iran and Pakistan urge European Union to speak out against the continued violation of human rights
Brussels, 10 July 2012 - Mr. Nasser Boladai and Mr. Noordin Mengal, representatives of Baloch communities in Iran and Pakistan respectively, visited Brussels on 9-10 July 2012 to raise awareness of the continued human rights violations against Baloch people in both countries, and to urge the European Union to speak out against the systematic suppression exerted upon them by the Iranian and Pakistani regimes.
In a series of meetings organised by the Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization (UNPO) the Baloch representatives engaged in constructive dialogues with Members of the European Parliament, European officials, political advisers and human rights organisations. Mr. Boladai and Mr. Mengal explained in detail the severity of the human rights violations that include, among others, arbitrary arrests, continuing disappearances, torture, and killings. Everyday life for Baloch continued to be characterised by severely limited access to education and basic services such as electricity, restrictions on their freedom of religious expression and little, if no, space for political organization campaigning for the rights of Baloch, particularly in Iran.
Discussions focused on the significance of the European Parliament’s Delegations for Relations with the South Asia and Iran, as well as of the Subcommittee for Human Rights, to promote Baloch peoples’ rights in their discussions and engagement, however limited, with Iranian and Pakistani governments. Pledges of support from many of the deputies with whom meetings were held will ensure that future actions and initiatives can be undertaken in the coming months with the intention of better informing European Union policy actors and raising constructive proposals for change and reform.
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