June 15, 2012
During the plenary session in Strasbourg on 14 June 2012, Members of the European Parliament discussed the situation of ethnic minorities in Iran. Below is a press release by UNPO.
Brussels, 14 June 2012 – During the plenary session in Strasbourg on 14 June 2012, Members of the European Parliament discussed the situation of ethnic minorities in Iran in the latest declaration condemning the persistent human rights violations of marginalized ethnic and religious groups in the Islamic Republic of Iran. Only ten days before the plenary, representatives from the Congress of Nationalities for a Federal Iran (CNFI) were engaged in meetings, organized by the Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization (UNPO), during which these issues were raised.
The European Parliament joins the UN Human Rights Council and HR/VP Baroness Ashton in raising concern at a human rights situation in Iran that is increasingly grave. The cultural, economic, linguistic and religious rights of non-Persian and religious minorities, mostly residing at the periphery of the country, are not being respected and are being consistently violated. Members of the Arab, Baloch, Kurdish, and Turkic communities are daily facing arbitrary arrest, false imprisonment, unfair trials and torture. Citizens practicing Sunni Islam, Bahá'í faith and Christianity are also amongst those facing similar threats to their freedom of expression and personal rights.
The joint motion for a resolution, supported by all the political groups of the European Parliament, called for a new discourse that urges the international community to openly support the democratic minded opposition, while deputies spoke out against the double discrimination that women from ethnic minorities face, the repeatedly rejected visits of the European Parliament’s Delegation for Relations with Iran to Tehran and the unequal access of minority groups to resources, in particular raising the situation of Lake Orumiyeh and the management and equitable distribution of Iran’s oil revenues.
Against the backdrop of this latest urgency resolution, the next meeting of the European Parliament’s Delegation for Relations with Iran will take place on Wednesday, 20 June 2012 with a second CNFI advocacy meeting planned for 9-10 July 2012, during which the impact of Tehran’s policy on the nationalities residing on the borders, specifically with Pakistan, will be assessed.
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For a pdf version of the press release, click here.