Iranian Regime's Brutal Persecution of Minorities Strongly Condemned by UNPO GA
Appalled by the systematic persecution of minorities by the Islamic Republic of Iran, the UNPO’s XV General Assembly adopted a strong resolution expressing its continued support for the struggle of the people of Iranian Kurdistan, West Balochistan, Southern Azerbaijan, and Al-Ahwaz for the right to self-determination, democracy, freedom and national rights. UNPO members from Iran reported during the General Assembly that the situation in the country has worsened recently, especially when it comes to the status of the different non-Persian nations and human rights violations. The extent of state violence - structural and direct - against minorities was once again evident during the nationwide uprising last year as well as today, in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. Beyond domest repression, Iran has also sponsored terrorism and reprisals targeting opponents from different nations and ethnic minorities, not only in Iran, but also those living overseas, such as those in the European Union.
Consistently violating the international law, Iran oppresses and disciminates against non-Persian nations, including Kurds, Baluchs, Ahwazi Arabs, Azerbaijani Turks, and Turkmen, curtailing their access to employment, political office, and their exercise of cultural, civil and political rights and mebers of these nationalities who speak out against violations of their rights face arbitrary arrest, torture and other ill-treatment, grossly unfair trials, imprisonment, and in some cases the death penalty.
In West Balochistan, the denial of public health information in their mother language and the continued destruction and forced confiscation of their land has exacerbated the Covid-19 pandemic by displacing people and denying them the information needed to respond effectively. The region also suffers from a shoot-to-kill policy by security forces, leading to more than 20 young Baloch killed in 2020 alone.
In Iranian Kurdistan, during the past three years the presence of Iran’s military forces and different paramilitary organizations has increased in urban areas, with militarization of Kurdistan and other non-Persian regions of the country persisting. The politicization of the judiciary is also a matter of concern, with at least 250 executions carried out in 2019 after unfair trials (though the numbers are likely much higher), which includes a disproportionate number of executions of Kurds.
Despite all these challenges, UNPO members from Iran remain committed to non-violence and equal respect for self-determination of all peoples. With the support of the UNPO General Assembly, the resolution adopted last 2 August 2020 strongly condemns the Iranian regime’s extrajudicial killings, execution of political prisoners, human right activists, journalists, and other prisoners of conscience and calls for the interntaional community, the EU in particular, to ensure better protection and respond to instances of Iranian state-sponsored terrorism and reprisals occurring within Europe.
Photo: Baloch children in Iran/Mostafameraji (CC BY-SA 4.0)