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Questions of Nationality and Democracy in Iran

Conference of the Society for Threatened Peoples and the Friedrich Naumann Foundation

The present situation of the non-Persian ethnic groups and non-Shiite religious communities in Iran and their perspectives for the future after the presidential election are the subject of a conference of the Society for Threatened Peoples (GfbV) and the Friedrich Naumann Foundation on 20th June 2009 in Frankfurt am Main. The ethnic group of the Azeri, Kurds, Arabs, Baluchi, Turkmens and the religious minorities of the Bah'ai or Christian Assyrians and other smaller peoples and religious communities have been suffering for years from suppression.

Violent attacks, arbitrary arrests, harassment and discrimination mark the everyday life of these people. Especially politically or socially active members of this ethnic group are constantly faced with being picked on arbitrarily by the Iranian security forces. They are abducted, tortured and murdered. Shortly before the presidential election the number of executions rose sharply. In May 2009 alone 52 death sentences were carried out.

With their conference "Questions of Nationality and Democracy in Iran" this Saturday in Frankfurt am Main the GfbV and the Friedrich Naumann Foundation want to give representatives of the discriminated ethnic groups the opportunity to present their position. At the same time approaches for a peaceful future for all in Iran will be discussed. In the forefront the question will be: How can the persecution of the suppressed communities be ended? An expert on the right of women and two experts who will speak on the subject of federalism in Iran have also been invited to the conference.