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UNPO Condemns Iran's Repression of Minorities

The Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organisation (UNPO) has released a statement condemning the recent violent repression of ethnic minorities and homosexuals in Iran following the election of right-wing hardliner Mahmoud Ahmadinejad as president.

Pointing to the recent execution of two teenagers for alleged homosexuality and clashes between security forces and Ahwazi Arabs and Kurds, Nicola Dell'Arciprete, UNPO Assistant General Secretary, said: "The UNPO condemns the Government's repressive policies against all the Iranian citizens. Iran is a multi-ethnic country in which half of the population belongs to ethnic minorities such as Azeri, Gilaki and Mazandarani, Kurds, Arabs, Lurs, Balochis, Turkmen. While Iranian minorities are committed to co-existing in peace in a secular, democratic and federal Iran, the government's policies of discrimination and persecution impede any peaceful change in the region."

UNPO has called on the European Union and all governments that maintain diplomatic relations with the Iranian Government to suspend all contact with the Iranian regime until the respect of the most basic human rights for all the Iranian citizens and ethnic minorities is restored.

UNPO represents a number of nations and peoples across the world that are not represented by the United Nations, including Al-Ahwaz, Kosova, Kurdistan, Somaliland, Taiwan, Tibet, West Papua and Zanzibar. All member organisations are commited to finding non-violent solutions to conflicts that affect them. The Ahwazi Arabs are represented at UNPO by the Democratic Solidarity Party of Al-Ahwaz (DSPA), with which the British Ahwazi Friendship Society works closely.

The DSPA is also a member of the Congreh Meliathai-e-Iran-e-Federal (Congress of Iranian Nationalities for a Federal Iran) (CINFI), which was founded in London in February 2005 and also includes parties representing Azeris, Balochis, Kurds and Turkmen. CINFI's manifesto is dedicated to the separate of religion and state and "a federal system of government, on the basis of national ethnicity and geography, in a united and an integral Iran."

The British Ahwazi Friendship Society (BAFS) urges members of the European Parliament to continue to listen to the voices of Iran's oppressed minorities and to prioritise human rights abuse in EU relations with Iran.

Manifesto of the Congress of Iranian Nationalities for a Federal Iran
Democratic Solidarity Party of Al-Ahwaz
Ahwaz Studies Centre
Oral statement to UNCHR's 61st session on the situation of Iraqi Turkmen and the Ahwazis