UNPO General Secretary Marino Busdachin provided the members of the Delegation for Relations with Iran on 9 October 2012 with an overview of the human rights situation of minorities, in preparation of the Delegation’s upcoming visit to the country.
Also present in the human rights briefing were representatives of Amnesty International, the Human Rights Democracy Network, the Christian Solidarity Network, the International Rehabilitation Council for Torture Victims, the International Federation for Human Rights and the Baha’i International Community. Their contributions regarded the deteriorating human rights situation in Iran, focusing on the increase of arrests, torture and death penalties.
The briefing was headed by the Chair of the Delegation, Ms. Tarja Cronberg and by the vice-Chairs Ms. Cornelia Ernst and Mr. Potito Salatto. Other members of the delegation present were Mr. Weidenholzer, Ms. Van Brempt and Mr. Zalewski, members of the European Parliament, as well as officials from the European External Action Service.
Mr. Busdachin raised awareness of the marginalization, socio-economic deprivation and physical violence that minorities in Iran are subjected to on a daily basis. He furthermore stated that the assimilation policy from Tehran endangers the continuing existence of language and customs of ethnic and religious minority groups. The arbitrary arrests, imprisonments and death sentences that persistently target these vulnerable groups only add to the deprivation of their basic human rights. Mr. Busdachin presented the audience with some case studies from UNPO members to underline this point.
The outcome of the different contributions regarding human rights in Iran, that touched upon issues such as torture, capital punishment, LGBT rights and religious freedom, made clear that human rights in Iran are not just being severely abused, but ignored altogether. The delegation members present showed their commitment to raising the human rights issue during their visit to Iran and in other delegation activities, in an attempt to keep the human rights dialogue with the country a priority.
For the official UNPO press release in pdf, click here
For the official speech of the UNPO General Secretary, click here
Briefing notes on UNPO members in Iran:
Ahwazi – click here
West Balochistan – click here
Southern Azerbaijan – click here
Iranian Kurdistan – click here
Other recent UNPO initiatives regarding minority rights in Iran:
Minority Rights in Iran (Geneva): UNPO organised a parallel event focussing on the situation of ethnic, religious and linguistic minorities in Iran, in conjunction with a planned report of the Special Rapporteur on Human Rights in Iran. Representatives of the Baloch, Ahwazi and Azeri Turks were joined in a panel discussion at the UN Human Rights Council by Amnesty International and Minority Rights Group. The speakers explored possibilities for initatives to guarantee rights for these marginalised groups.
Religious and National Minorities in Iran (Geneva): On the 25th of September, UNPO hosted an event on the human rights stiuation in Iran and Iraq, in cooperation with the Nonviolent Radical Party. Speakers and those who participated in panel discussions called upon states, NGOs and the internatonal media not to overlook the story of minorities.