Nov 01, 2006

Balochistan: Balochistan People’s Party Address VIII UNPO General Assembly

Below is a statement delivered by Abdullah S. Baloch, representative of the Balochistan People's Party, to the VIII UNPO General Assembly, held in Taipei, Taiwan, from 27-29 October 2006.

Ladies and gentlemen and distinguished members of the UNPO,

On behalf of the Balochistan People’s Party, I would like to express our heartfelt thanks and profound gratitude to Taiwan people, the UNPO General Secretary Mr. Busdachin, UNPO staff and the President of Taiwan Foundation for Democracy Mr. Wen-Cheng Lin who facilitated and made this UNPO VIII General Assembly possible.

As I mentioned above I'm speaking here as the representative of Balochistan People's Party (BPP), which is a Republican and Democratic Party struggling to achieve sovereignty for the Baloch people within a secular federal and democratic Republic in Iran. More than four million Baloch living in Iran are being treated as third-class citizens because of ethnic and religious differences with dominant ruling Persian and the Shi’a sect of Islam. Under the current dictatorial regime of Iranian Ayatollahs, the Baloch people have been deprived of cultural, social, economic, and other fundamental human rights.

Let me be specific about the Islamic regime’s policies in Balochistan:

- Bloch children are barred from receiving education in their mother tongue, and do not receive proper education facilities, hence not equipped with the competent knowledge to enter in the Iranian Universities. Those who succeed after passing many hurdles are excluded in other processes where religion affiliations are tested.

- In the employment market Baloch young men and women face a combination of obstructions; language, culture and religion differences. They are excluded, simply, because of being Sunni and Baloch. Most of young men and women are forced to leave Balochistan to the neighbouring countries in search for Job.

- Successive Iranian governments have been engaged in demographic manipulations to systematically reduce the Baloch people population to a minority in their own homeland.

- In addition, among the many repressive policies is the destruction of the homes of poor Baloch people and their displacement. This is done in order to provide the best located land to the non-Baloch, specifically to the Security Forces, which are brought in from other parts of Iran to carry out the regime’s chauvinistic policies.

- The regime's policy has been based on easy access of non-Baloch people to purchase best agricultural, business and residential land at a cheap price and set up governmental sourced and facilitated businesses.

I would like to give some examples;

In recent years the Iranian regime has established a free tread zone in port city of Chahbhar in Balochistan where most of the business facilities belong to non-Baloch and more then 80 percent of the employed in area are non local.

to justify the Baloch killings the Iranian regime uses various accusations, one of them which is widely used is the bogus charge of drug smuggling.

The regime has been trying to describe the Baloch as smuggler and drug traders to justify the executions or hangings of Baloch but also to get funds from foreign governments for fighting the so called drug smugglers.

Unfortunately this regime is quite successful in spreading above propaganda and labelling Baloch as drug smuggler.

The authorities’ argument is that Balochistan is in transit route for smugglers from Afghanistan. It's obvious that a part of Balochistan is a transition route for smugglers but this transition route is less then one third (1/3) of the long routes from Afghanistan which go through non-Baloch areas bordering Afghanistan to central Iran, but Iranian regime never labels the people of these areas as drug trafficker or smugglers.

Human Rights violations in Balochistan

Although theocratic regime’s human rights record is obvious and clear for most of us, however, I would like to bring to your attention some recent cases of Human Rights violation in Balochistan.

- In the first week of January 2006 in the city of Raask in Balochistan two young students driving a car failed to obey an order to stop by so-called security forces. The security forces chased them while shooting at them in a crowded area. During this shooting the two young men in the car and another passer-by were killed and another person was injured. After witnessing this crime Baloch people attacked the main police station where the situation got out of hand. The city Mayor and elders of the city intervened and returned the situation to normal. However, up till now, none of the perpetrators has been prosecuted.

- On 22 of January 2006 in the Provincial Capital Dozaap (Zahedan) three teenagers (Abdullah Nutizhai aged 15 years, Ruhala Nutizhi aged 16 years and Masoud Shabaksh aged 18 years) were riding on a motorbike to visit their cousin in hospital. The regime’s security forces approached them from behind and deliberately hit the motorbike. When these youngsters fell to the ground the security forces shot them while grabbing their half dead bodies and beating them with the stock of their guns. Two of them were killed at the scene and Ruhala Nutizhi sustained severe injuries and was taken to hospital by witnesses where he was admitted for treatment. Again no one has been prosecuted.

- On Monday 10th of April 2006, three Baloch clerics, Molavi Nea'matulla Mirbalochzahi, Molavi Abdul Hakim Gamshadzahi, Molavi Abdullah Narooi and their two associates were killed in a mysterious car accident. The so-called accident happened in a way that the target car traveling from Zahedan (the provincial capital) was hit by an empty unmarked bus which was occupied only by its driver and his assistant traveling from Kerman ( 500 kilometers from Zahedan). Having experienced this way of killing opponents by the Iranian regime many times over the last decade the Baloch people are questioning this so-called accident and holding the Iranian intelligence services responsible for this suspicious killing.

- Two young Baloch men that were working as gasoline sellers on the road between Zahedan and Bam were involved in a car accident. Mersad, a paramilitary group that works under the direct order of the Iranian supreme leader Mr Khamenei, were the first to arrive at the scene. An identity check of the injured revealed they were ethnically Baloch and Sunni, so instead of receiving assistance, they were shot on the spot.

- June 20, 2006; a man (Gholam Qaljaee) has been hanged in a prison in the city of Zabol.

- July 12, 2006; four men (Mehdi Zehri, Houshang Kiani, Jamaloddin Jamali, Abdol-Rahman, Safarzhai) were hanged in public in the city of Zabol and one (Majeed Rigi) in Zahedan, the provincial capital of Balochistan. The five were accused of “instigating trouble” without a trail.

- Between 15 and 17 August, in different random attacks in villages in IranShahr district 5 people were killed by Mersad Group.

- During July - August 2006 while the Iranian regime was planning its latest war game which is started in Balochistan on 19 August 2006 and then expanded to most parts of the country populated by non dominant nationalities. The regime’s security forces stepped up their campaign of shootings and killings, executions and public hangings of young Baloch men.

a) A young Baloch man was killed while driving his car in the road between Zabul and Zahedan.
b) In Nikshar, the members of Mersad group shot and killed a young Baloch man.

- On the 7th August a young man named Najib Karzi was hanged accused of being a member of Baloch Resistance group “Jondollah” which later on appeared to be an Afghan building worker without any connection to the armed resistance groups.

- On 23 August 2006, the Marsad group attacked a village near Zahidan the provincial capital of Balochistan and killed two young men in front of women and children, where they were forced out of their homes, to search for the members of resistance movement and weapons. The two young men had protested to the treatment of the women.

- On 24 of August Amir Hamzeh Eidouzehi a young man was hanged in public in Baloch town of Khash and Another young men Ali Jan Moradi was hanged in IranShahr on 27 August 2006 all accused of instigating public trouble and drug trafficking with out any trail.

- In early September Gholam-Reza Rigi was hanged without any trail in public in Saravan, charged for instigating public unrest.

- On 21 September Mr Abdolali Baloch and Mr Mohammad Shibak got hanged in the prison of Zahedan.

- On 23 September four men identified as Shah Mohammad Barakzahi, Abdol Ali Baloch, Mohammad Shakib and Nader Rigi hanged in the prison of Zahedan. These were also member of local resistance group.
- On 24 of September three men identified as Ali karimi, Gholam Koohkan and Khodamorad Lashkarzadeh were hanged in prison in provincial capital Zahedan. These dissidents were also executed charged for drug smuggling with out a trial.

- Three Baloch young men - two brothers and a cousin - belonging to the same family Balochzahi, were arrested without any charge by the Mersad Group. They were beaten, tortured, and towed behind a car. Later they were shot death. They were between 19 to 25 years old.

Finally; Iran is a multinational and multi cultural country consisting of six major nationalities, Ahwazi Arab, Azerbaijani Turk, Baloch, Kurd, Persian and Turkmen, a country that not only the basic human rights denied by the fanatic and chauvinistic rulers of the dominant nation, but also in addition to that, the national and cultural rights of the none dominant nationalities is violently denied and suppressed as well.

Unlike past years, now, there is a united opposition against the Iranian government. The Congress of Nationalities for a Federal Iran that consisting of almost all political parties and organizations which are struggling to establish a federal, secular and a democratic government, based on parity of the constituent parts in Iran, along with some other opposition groups e.g. the Front of Oppressed Nations. We think these groups can serve as a catalyst and organizing factor for a united opposition to change the extremist government of Iran.

Thank you all for patiently listening to my speech.