As the world commemorates International Refugee Day, the Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organisation (UNPO) has highlighted the cases of several nations and peoples suffering forced displacement, including the Ahwazi Arabs.
In a statement released today, UNPO says: "In Iran, as with many of the other minority nations in the Islamic republic, the circumstance of the Ahwazi Arabs has been precarious since 1925 when Ahwaz, until then an autonomous Arab territory, gradually lost its political, economic and cultural independence and became a part of Iran. Recently, individuals promoting rights of the Arab people in the Ahwaz region have been targeted and subject to capital punishment. Sustained repression, coupled with lack of free media and denial of basic human rights have led many to flee. Earlier this month the UNHCR voiced its concern about the fate of several Ahwazi recognized refugees, some being arrested in Syria. UNPO continues to work with its Members in the region to highlight and address these issues." (click here to download the statement in full)
The UNPO is composed of Member nations and groups, including indigenous peoples and minorities, of whom many continue to suffer from forced migration or face the risk of becoming refugees, due to their respective political as well as socio-economic contexts; some residing in conflict-ridden and/or resource-scarce environments and many being part of politically marginalized communities. The issue of refugees is therefore an important question to UNPO Members worldwide, and continues to be a problem related to the larger issues of democratization and human rights, development and human security; and the lack of such.