US House and Senate Representatives Urged To Speak Out Against Ethnic Repression In Iran And Pakistan
PRESS RELEASE for immediate release
US House and Senate Representatives Urged To Speak Out
Against Ethnic Repression In Iran And Pakistan
1-10 May 2013
Washington D.C., United States of America
Brussels, 21 May 2013 - In a series of meetings organised in Washington D.C. on 1-9 May 2013 by the Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization (UNPO), Nasser Boladai and Aziz Dorani, both member of the Balochistan Peoples Party (BPP) engaged in constructive dialogues with members of the US Congress and Senate, regarding the alarming human rights situation facing the ethnic Baloch people in Iran and Pakistan. Mr Boladai and Mr Dorani urged the US lawmakers to pressure Iran and Pakistan to stop the systematic repression exerted upon the secular Baloch people.
Following a brief historical background on the region of Balochistan, from its independence to its division and annexation into Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iran, the heart of the discussions lay in the severity of the human rights violations including arbitrary arrests, enforced disappearances, acts of torture and extra-judicial killings. The Baloch delegation highlighted the poor access to education and basic services, restrictions on the freedom of religion and the space for political organizations to campaign for the rights of the Baloch.
The growing presence of China in the resource-rich region was of much interest to the Congressmen, with Mr. Boladai stressing that the economic benefits did not reach the Baloch communities. Due to its geostrategic location, Balochistan is intensively used as a platform for drug trafficking and an important channel for religious extremists to convey their funds from neighbouring countries such as Afghanistan, Pakistan and the Gulf states. The geopolitical importance of the region is of “national interest for the United States”, as many Congressmen concorded.
Iran is a multinational state comprised of Ahwazi Arab, Azerbaijani Turk, Baloch Fars, Kurd and Turkmen, making of Iran a country of minorities instead of a pure Persian state as is mostly portrayed. Hence, BPP and the Congress of Nationalities for a Federal Iran (CNFI), of which Mr Boladai is also a member, struggle for an Iran as a federation where all nationalities would be recognised and free to practice their religion, culture and language.
The Baloch delegation called on US House and Senate representatives to:
1- Organize a Congressional Hearing on the situation of nationalities in Iran and on human rights violations in Pakistan and Iran in the Balochistan region;
2- Support the resolution introduced to the US House of Representatives in February 2012, which called for the self-determination of Baloch people;
3- Support the resolution introduced to the US House of Representatives in April 2013 supporting Voice of America to broadcast in the Baloch language;
4- Support the different nationalities in Iran under the CNFI, in order to become an effective and inclusive opposition to the Iranian regime.