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Balochis Appeal to Kofi Annan

Below is the text of a letter from the Balochistan Peoples Party (BPP) sent to the UN Secretary General Kofi Annan on Monday regarding the Situation of the Baloch people in Western Balochistan, Iran.

You're Excellency
On behalf of the Balochistan Peoples Party (BPP) I present my compliments to Your Excellency, and would hereby like to bring the following matter to your urgent attention.

BPP is a Liberal Democratic Party, struggling to achieve sovereignty for the Baloch people within a Federal Democratic Republic in Iran. More than three million Baloch living in current Iran are being treated as third class citizens, for the reason of not being from the ruling ethnically Persian and Shiiat sect of Islam. Under the previous monarchist and the current Islamic regimes of Iran, the Baloch people are deprived of cultural, social, economic, and other fundamental rights.

The BPP would like, in particular, to draw your kind attention to some of the repressive policies of the current Iranian government. The use of the Balochi language is forbidden in public places and Baloch children are deprived of using their mother tongue as the medium of instruction at schools; Baloch children are forced to being educated in the Farsi language; consequently risking the extinction of their native Balochi mother tongue. There are also indications that Baloch ethnicity and Sunni religion are informally and practically used as barriers for Baloch students to enter into higher education systems.

The Iranian government does not allow any kind of press freedom in Balochistan and successive Iranian governments have been engaged in demographic manipulations to systematically reduce the Baloch people to a minority in their own homeland. Government policy has been based on facilitating easy access to non-Baloch to purchase land at a cheap price and set up businesses. The policy of keeping the Baloch backward has resulted in the lack of job opportunities and the impoverishment of the entire population.

Furthermore, among the many repressive policies is the destruction of poor Baloch people's homes in Balochistan and their displacement into rural area. This is done in order to provide the best located land to the non-Baloch, specifically Security Forces which are brought in from other parts of Iran, to fulfil their chauvinistic policies. Not only the high-ranking authorities in Balochistan are non-Baloch, but also the high majority of ordinary governmental officers and clerks are employed from the other parts of Iran and brought into Balochistan.

Recent examples of the Iranian government's brutal and discriminatory policies towards the Baloch nation include the following events; In July 2005 the Islamic regime destroyed thousand of Baloch people's homes in a large area in Chahbhar, a port city in Balochistan, to make place for a new military base and residence area for its security forces. No compensation or alternative accommodation to the affected families was provided; In July 2005 Iranian Para-military agents attacked the township of Nosraat Abaad to arrest a man identified as Dorra Shabaksh near Dozaap (Zahidan), the provincial capital of Sistan and Balochistan. When the Para-military force failed to arrest the man they began random shooting, which resulted in the killing of innocent civilian Baloch women and children.

In August 2005 the village Yakoob Bazaar near Bahoo Klaat area of Balochistan was attacked by helicopters, killing and wounding many innocent civilians, following accusations by the regime that the villagers were helping the Baloch resistance forces fighting Iranian security forces in that area; In September 2005 a Baloch man identified as Houshang Baameri was hanged at a Saturday morning in the city of Pahrah (Iranshahr), accused of killing two Para-military security agents in the area, and later that same month the new government of Mr. Ahmadinejad appointed the Shi'a extremist, Mr. Habibulah Dahmarde, who was widely known for his anti-Baloch and extremist religious views, during his time as principal of the Balochistan University.

The Iranian regime has increased its military and security presence in all regions that are populated by oppressed nations, Ahwazi Arab, Azerbaijani Turks, Baloch, Kurds and Turkmen. In April this year in Alahwaz region, populated by Alahwazi Arabs, security forces fired indiscriminately amongst demonstrators that were protesting against regimes repressive policies; in June several Kurdish people were killed, arrested and injured as they took to the streets in many Kurdish cities after the killing of a Kurdish activist in the streets of Mahabad City. In Balochistan the regime has carried out attacks on certain villages, where security forces have fired aimlessly and killed and injured several civilians as a result. In Turkmen Sahara and Azerbaijan, Turkmen and Turkish regions, regimes security forces have also arrested many cultural activists.

Based on the above, and on behalf of the Baloch people in Iran, BPP kindly urges;

- to raise with the Tehran authorities the issue of the current critical situation of the Baloch people and other minorities in Iran who continue to see their basic human rights violated;

- to call upon the Tehran authorities to immediately investigate the extrajudicial killings of civilian Baloch and other minorities living in Iran;

- and to take immediate measures to ensure that the enforced displacement of the Baloch people is halted.

I hope Your Excellency will give due consideration to the appeal and request contained in this communication.

Yours Sincerely,

Nasser Boladai
Spokesperson, Balochistan Peoples Party