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European Parliament condemns Iran over Ahwazi executions

The European Parliament has condemned the imminent execution of 11 Ahwazi Arabs by the Iranian regime in a motion supported by all political groups.

The motion highlighted the Iranian regime's discrimination against ethnic minorities, particularly the Ahwazi Arabs who are "being displaced from their villages according to statements by Miloon Kothari, UN Special Rapporteur on Adequate Housing, while some of them remain in detention or have been sentenced to death."

It "condemns the current disrespect of minority rights and demands that minorities be allowed to exercise all rights granted by the Iranian Constitution and international law" and "calls upon the authorities to eliminate all forms of discrimination based on religious or ethnic grounds or against persons belonging to minorities, such as Kurds, Azeris, Arabs and Baluchis."

The motion also "calls on the Iranian authorities to immediately halt the imminent execution of the Arabs Abdullah Suleymani, Abdulreza Sanawati Zergani, Qasem Salamat, Mohammad Jaab Pour, Abdulamir Farjallah Jaab, Alireza Asakreh, Majed Alboghubaish, Khalaf Derhab Khudayrawi, Malek Banitamim, Sa'id Saki and Abdullah Al-Mansouri."

The vote of condemnation was supported by the Conservative, Socialist, Green, Liberal Democrat, Radical and Communist groups, representing the entire spectrum of political opinion in Europe. British Green MEPs Caroline Lucas and Jean Lambert have pushed the issue of Ahwazi Arab rights at the European Parliament and have strongly condemned the Iranian regime's violent persecution of minorities (click here for further details).

The European Parliament's unanimous censure of the Iranian regime's treatment of minorities will have a major impact on EU relations with Iran. The mass executions of Ahwazi Arabs have focused attention on the regime's violent racism, with the campaign for a halt in executions gathering pace. The Finnish government - which currently holds the EU presidency - is reportedly preparing to take up the matter of executions of Ahwazis with the Iranian government on behalf of the EU.

The lobbying effort in the UK has been intense. William Hague, the Shadow Foreign Secretary and former leader of the Conservative Party, met with Foreign Office officials yesterday to highlight concerns about the execution of Ahwazi Arabs. His office told the British Ahwazi Friendship Society that the officials "assured him that they are taking the case extremely seriously, and that the FCO regularly raises the issue of individual death sentences with the Iranian government. Mr Hague believes it is important that international condemnation of this case is heard in Tehran, and he will continue to follow the matter closely."

Labour MP Chris Bryant, a long-standing critic of Iran's atrocious human rights record, is preparing to table an Early Day Motion in the British parliament which will condemn Iran's mass execution of Ahwazis.

DEMONSTRATION AGAINST EXECUTIONS AND ETHNIC CLEANSING OF AHWAZI ARABS:
DATE: SATURDAY 18 NOVEMBER
TIME: 1PM-3PM
PLACE:
IRANIAN EMBASSY
PRINCE'S GATE
LONDON
NEAREST TUBE: SOUTH KENSINGTON
CLICK HERE FOR DIRECTIONS

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