UNPO Participates in EP Conference : Women, Life, Freedom : What Future For Women & Minorities in Iran?
On 26 April, UNPO participated in a conference titled “What Future for Women and Minorities in Iran?’’ The event was hosted by the Vice-President of the European Parliament, MEP Pina Picerno and by the invitation of KMMK-The Association for Human Rights in Kurdistan – Geneva. The conference focused on the plight and the situation of women, ethnic and religious minorities and what future awaits them in Iran.
The panel gathered leading voices and experts on women and minority issues in Iran. The speakers included, Mr. Taimoor Aliassi, the president of (KMMK-G), Shima Silavi, Project Manager at UNPO, Mrs. Koestan Gadan from East Kurdistan, Mrs. Fariba Baloch from West Balochistan, Mrs. Fakhteh Luna Zamani from Southern Azerbaijan, Mrs. Simin Fahandej from the Baha’i community.
The event was moderated by Mr. Raphael Chenuil – Hazan, executive director of Ensemble Contre Peine De Mort (ECPM).
Each panelist discussed the issue related to the violations of the rights of their community in Iran with focus on the women rights. Taimoor Aliassi from (KMMK-G) referred to the fact that 50% of all political prisoners and 60% of executions in the country are targeted at the Kurds in Iran.
Adding to that he referred to the UN especial rapporteurs report who stated that out of 560 protesters who were killed in recent uprising in Iran, 50% belong to the Kurdish and Baluch minorities.
Fariba Baloch highlighted the sever conditions of Blauch people in Iran and discussed the dire situation of the protesters in Baluchistan who have been killed and arrested during the bloody Friday of Zahedan.
Shima Silavi from UNPO, an Ahwazi Arab herself, focused about Ahwazi Arabs and discussed three main axes in her speech: deprivation from education in mother tongue, high rate of unemployment and environmental degradation.
Several panelists concluded their speech with providing recommendations to the European Parliament among them, the designation of Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) as a terrorist organization and requested EU liaising and better cooperation with the UN to pressure the government of Iran to accept especial rapporteurs' visits to Iran.
UNPO will continue its efforts at raising awareness and advocating for the right of women, ethnic and religious minorities in Iran, at EU level through empowering marginalized groups.