Ahwazi representatives met with UN officials on 22 March to bring international attention to the violence, poverty and illiteracy of indigenous Ahwazi women in Iran.
A delegation, including Mansour Silawi-Ahwazi of the Democratic Solidarity Party of Al-Ahwaz and Sanjukta Ghosh representing the Ahwaz Human Rights Organisation, met at the Office of the High Commissioner of Human Rights (OHCHR) with Associate Human Rights officer Federica Donati and assistant to the Rapporteur Lucinda O'Hanlon.
In the meeting, organised by the Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organisation (UNPO) and supported by the British Ahwazi Friendship Society, delegates discussed a broad range issues focussing on the psychological and physical torture inflicted on indigenous women of Al Ahwaz, their exposure to the dangers of landmines, extreme poverty, lack of education and unemployment. The delegates also talked about the need of empowering women in post-conflict situations and in the current context of Iran's militarisation of the province. The discussion has boosted Ahwazi lobbying process at the UN level and is certain to have an impact on the treatment of Ahwazi women by the regime in Tehran.
Following the meeting, the British Ahwazi Friendship Society will submit statistics and case studies requiring urgent action to Yakin Erturk, the Special Rapporteur on Violence Against Women, prior to her submission of her report on Iran. The delegates are also looking into the possibility of using the urgent appeal mechanism for specific cases within the UN system.
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