Jun 15, 2022

UNPO Presents Submission To UN Special Rapporteur On Iran Ahead of Key Report

UNPO, alongside the Association of Human Rights in Kurdistan – Geneva (KMMK-G), the Ahwaz Human Rights Organization (AHRO), the Balochistan Human Rights Group (BHRG) and Xaxuran (collective focused on the right of Gilak people in Iran) have submitted a letter to the UN OHCHR Special Rapporteur on Iran, Mr. Javaid Rehman, on the human rights situation of minorities in Iran. This submission ahead of the Special Rapporteur’s report on Iranian human rights compliance due to be released on June 16th 2022. Our report took a particular focus on the issue of reprisals conducted by the Iranian government against its own people abroad, in a growing phenomenon for the unrepresented diplomats of the UNPO community looking for safe haven.

Between 40 and 50% of the Iranian population belong to ethnolinguistic minorities that differs from the dominant Farsi (Persian)-speakers. This makes Iran a mosaic of languages, cultures and political traditions. Their rights have seldom been protected since the establishment of modern nation state of Iran in early 20th century. The Ahwazi Arabs, Kurds, Azerbaijani Turks, Turkmens, and Baluchi among other ethnic minorities are all subject to a level of repression, with activists arguing for more autonomy or self-determination regularly persecuted and imprisoned by the Iranian intelligence services.

Our report to the Special Rapporteur on Iran also highlighted the various forms of discrimination that minorities in Iran face. Issues included the disproportionate amount of executions against minorities and the overall issue of the death penalty in Iran, the lack of freedom of assembly or association; the right to employment; the right to safe clean, healthy and sustainable natural environment; the situation of children in minority regions in Iran.

Our recommendations revolved around requesting the Special Rapporteur to fully investigate the Iranian government’s reprisals against refugee activists across the globe, as we believe it is one of the most under-addressed issues at international human rights level. We also recommend further investigations into the violations of collective and individual human rights that Iran has committed in recent years.

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. Whether at home or as refugees abroad these groups deserve protection and the international community should set standards and oversight mechanisms to combat the stifling of the voices of unrepresented minorities.

You can read our submission here.