JUNE 8TH, 2009.
On the eve of the so-called Presidential election in the Islamic Republic of Iran on June 12, the country is plagued by ethnic, political and religious unrest as well as massive human rights abuses in Iranian Baluchistan, the homeland of the Sunni-dominated Baluch ethnic group in the southeastern corner bordering Pakistan and Afghanistan. This turmoil has taken the shape of armed clashes between the Baluch and security forces, massive arrests of Baluch protesters, and summary executions of detainees without trial.
The Clerical Regimeís unprecedented campaign of oppression and repression against the Baluch and Sunnis is designed to suppress the Baluch quest for self-rule, human rights, and democracy as well as to prevent the spread of Baluchistan unrest to other non-Persian ethnic groups in Azerbaijan, Kurdistan, Turkman Sahra, †Al-Ahwazi Arab(Khuzestan), and Luristan.
We draw the world attention to the atrocities committed against innocent Baluch civilians and ask the UN and Human Rights organizations to investigate the crimes committed by the Islamic Republic against the Baluch civiliansí population.
†Iranís Presidential election is just a masquerade to cover its undemocratic and totalitarian nature as shown by the clerically selected and sanctioned candidates, systematic discrimination ageist women and non-Persian national/ethnic groups, blatant violations of human rights of Iranian citizens, and total disregard of internationally recognized standards of fair trail and due process of law.
†If there were free election whereby the Baluch and other opposition groups could voice their views through ballots, then there would have been no need for the clerical regime to employ more than 100,000 Revolutionary Guardsin addition to security forces to use bullets against unarmed and innocent civilian population in Baluchistan.
Tensions have been mounting for the past two months in Baluchistan, as offensive anti-Sunni demonstrations, supported by Iranian security forces and Revolutionary Guards (IRG), have surrounded Baluchi Sunni mosques in the region. These protests paraded hateful slogans like ďDeath to Wahabis, Death to Sag Sunni (Dog Sunni), Damn to Omar (2nd Khalifa)Ē and went so far as to even burn and raze some Baluchi shops and businesses in the area. The discrimination and humiliation which the Baluch endured crystallized in the devastating events of May 28th, 2009, when Baluchi militants bombed a Shiia †mosque occupied by IRGs, hostile militia and Shiia protestors while were chanting slogans against Sunnis.
So far 17 young Baluch have been reported killed in street clashes with the security forces and more than 500 Baluchis were arrested† after a demonstration took place in the streets of Zahidan† the Capital City of Balochistan against the mistreat and humiliation of their religious leader by the security and intelligence forces.
The detainees are currently held without being charged or any substantial evidence while the Iranian government has warned that these prisoners will face the maximum penalty for their crimes, despite the lack of incriminating data.
Further exacerbating these religious and ethnic tensions, the regime publicly hanged 3 Baluch civil activists (who have been in jail months prior to the current events) accusing them of the bombing, only 36 hours after the violence.
†Iranian officials have also pointed fingers at the United States, saying that the ďterrorists were equipped by AmericaĒ, charges that officially denied by the US. These accusations are consistent with past allegations by Iranian governments to attribute any opposition or resistance by Iranian people to foreign powers and to mask the Islamic Republicís oppressive and repressive policies and practices against Iranian Baluch and Sunnis.
The events of the last two weeks have displayed tragic violence as well as blatant ethnic and religious discrimination against the Baluch and Sunnis. Unfortunately, more of the same can be expected in the future in other oppressed ethnic regions of Khuzestan (Arabistan), Kurdistan, Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan and Lurestan. The Baluchi people along with Ahwazi-Arabs, Kurds, Azeri Turks, Turkmen and Lurs have been deprived of basic freedoms and have witnessed the enforcement of discriminatory laws since the revolution of 1979. The Iranian government has left Baluchistan as one of the poorest provinces in the country, going so far as to halt economic development in the area by building a wall between Iranian Baluchistan and Pakistani Balochistan, cutting off trade in the region. The Baluchi along with other Non-Persian ethnic groups have been excluded from participating in positions of political power despite their making up well over 50% of the countryís population and have suffered constantly under the current Iranian regime.†
The Congress of Nationalities for a Federal Iran (CNFI) requests that the international community and all democratic forces to pressure Iran to halt its campaign of terror and oppression against the Baluch people in Iran to prevent further violence. We will keep you updated should this story develop further. For more information please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Tel: U S (703)266-0330
Congress of Nationalities for a Federal Iran