State Oppression Of Baloch People In Iran Nasser Boladai
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Brief info: Balochistan is located in south-eastern Iran, bordering Pakistan and Afghanistan. It is strategically situated at the eastern flank of the Middle East, linking the Central Asian states with the Indian subcontinent and the Indian Ocean. It occupies the northern part of the Persian Gulf and the Arabian Sea from the Strait of Hormuz to Gwater, a small village divided between Iran and Pakistan. Some estimates put the Baloch population in Iran at over four million,
Balochistan is being deprived of basic socio-cultural and political rights of its people by Afghanistan, Iran and Pakistan. States that basically are governed not by civilized rule of political and cultural behavior but mostly in the name of religion, distorting facts of history and denying the national minorities their minimum political and cultural rights allowed by the various conventions of United Nations.
Article 12 of the constitution states: "the official religion of Iran is Islam and the Twelve Ja'fari School of Thought and this principle shall remain eternally immutable". This explicit endorsement of a school of Shia Islam alienates the Kurds, Turkmen, Baloch, and Ahwaz, who practice Sunni Islam. Tehran has a population of 1 million Sunni Muslims, but planning permission for a Sunni mosque has yet to be granted. Article 115 excludes non-Shias from holding the office of the Presidency of the Republic.
A widely used practice which discriminates against National Groups and religious minority is Gozinesh, meaning "selection". Gozinesh is an ideological test requiring candidates for some government jobs to demonstrate allegiance to Shia Islam and the Islamic Republic of Iran including the concept of Vilayat-e Faghih (Governance of Religious Jurist), a concept not adhered to by Sunnis. The adherence to this practice effectively excludes Ahwaz, Baloch, Turkmen and Kurds from employment in the government and, in some cases, within the private sector. Some applicants to universities are also subjected to Gozinesh.
Mohammad Ismail Mulazahi, a Baloch religious activist and Son in law of the Sunni Baloch Religious leader, Mr Abdul Hamid Shahbakhsh was convicted on the false charges of contact with foreign embassies and espionage for 10 years without due process of law and defense lawyers, most analyst believe his arrest and subsequent charges are political to put pressure on Mulavi Abdul Hamed, to accept the regimes control our religious seminars and for his activities for religious freedom , and Baloch peoples and Sunni peoples right in Iran.
Other Baloch and Sunni Activist who are imprisoned in Iran:
In Khurasan Razavi Province:
- Mulavi Habib Hakimzadeh, from Kariz tubar Jam,
- Mulavi sedigh Rashidi, from Turbat Jam
- Mulavi Abdulsatar Haidari, from Ghaderabad, Turbar Jam
- Mulavi Nour Ahmad laghai from, Nashitifan, Khaawf Distict
- Mulavi Abdulkarim Gul, from Mehrabad, Khaawf Distict
- Hamid Mulazadeh, Zahidan Prison
- Habib Mulazadeh, Zahidan prison
- Mulavi Said Kurdi
- Mualvi Abduljalil Mir Balochzahi
- Mulavi Jabir Yarmohamadzahi
- Mulah Jumhe Tayshahie, from Sarpul Zihab
From Western Azerbaijan
- Mulah Abdularahman Fatahi, from Mahabad
- Mulah Ahmad Sanandaji, from Mahabad
- Mulah Mohamad Brayie, from Bukan
Ali Ahmiri, from Ahwaz
Political Representation Of Minorities
Many ethnic groups boycotted the 2009 Presidential Elections once their preferred candidates were officially forced to withdraw their candidature. No Baloch has ever served as a minister of cabinet or as an ambassador. The number of the Baloch in the provincial administration of Balochistan is no more than five percent of the total civil servants .
After the election of President Ahmadinejad in 2005 many ethnic minority civil servants were reportedly forced from their jobs in a widespread purge.
ECONOMIC DISCRIMINATION AND EXPROPRIATION OF LAND
76 percent of the Baloch people live under the poverty line, although the national figure is 11% .
Despite signing the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination there is strong evidence that the Iranian authorities encourage land confiscation, forced migration of ethnic groups and the resettlement of Persians in the ethnic regions . In 2005 Baloch houses were destroyed after areas of the port city Chabahar were dismantled by Iranian Security forces with no alternative housing provided for those evicted.
In 2005 the UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Adequate housing expressed concern regarding "the continued discrimination faced by ethnic and religious minorities and nomadic groups, as reflected in [...] the considerable number of alleged cases of land confiscation and forced evictions".
Arbitrary Arrest Torture, Judicial Procedure and Execution
The death penalty continues to be applied in political cases, where individuals are commonly accused of "enmity against God". In August 2007, Amnesty International noted that a disproportionately large number of executions in Iran that year were of Baloch citizens (50 from 166).
According to Amnesty International "Even before last summer's unrest, there were signs that President Ahmadinejad's government was increasingly using the death penalty as a way of stemming unrest in areas with large ethnic minorities. Bomb attacks in the predominantly Arab province of Khuzestan and ethnic Baluch areas of Sistan-Baluchistan province in recent years were followed by a wave of often public executions. Some of the condemned men were shown on state television making "confessions" that are believed to have been extracted from them under torture or other duress."
Extra-judicial killings have been a characteristic of Iranian state policy in ethnic minority regions, especially in Balochistan. This was clearly stated by the head of Mersad, a paramilitary force, who said: "We have not been given orders to arrest and hand over those who carry weapons. On the basis of a directive we have received, we will execute any bandits, wherever we capture them (Ettela'at, 25 February 1998)".
Baloch weblog activists face the harshest kind of punishment, the first blogger that who was executed for his journalistic activities using weblog was Mr Yaghub Mehrnihad, he was arrest in May 2007, with five other members of a Baloch cultural association, he was tried in secret and executed in 4th August 2008.
Mr Sakhi Rigi Another Baloch blogger was arrested by plainclothes security forces on June 18, 2009, At the time as a member of Mr Musavi's election campaign team in Zahidan. Latter he was convicted because of his blogger activities; charges ranged from "acting against national security" and "propagating against the regime,".
With no press freedom in Balochistan and a ban on press on Balochi language weblog and websites have been only medium available to Baloch journalist, cultural and social activist, to publish their articles and news about their local community and profession however for their activities they are constantly harassed imprisoned tortured and executed, some of them have left country and have applied for refugee status from UNHCR in neighboring countries like Afghanistan Pakistan, United Arab Emirates, and Turkey without success for resettlement to the safety of a third country.
Mohammad Saber Malek Raisi, a Baluch youth aged 15 from Sarbaz, has been arrested in July by intelligence agency was held in their custody until recent month however he has been moved from Intelligence custody to Zahidan Central Jail. He is held to force his elder brother to surrender to security forces. From time to time he is made to call to his family and tell his mother that he will be imminently executed if his brother does not surrender.
Linguistic And cultural Discrimination in the Medai
Despite Article 15 of the Iranian constitution and Article 27 of the ICCPR, the Ahwaz, Baloch, Kurds and Azerbaijanis face difficulties in exercising their rights to use their own languages, in private and in public. For example, all state-schooling in these regions is conducted exclusively in Persian. As a result, drop-out rates are high.
Minority cultural activists have had journals and publications banned, often for reasons of state security, and even when publishers have adhered to conditions that Farsi must be the main language. Cultural organizations are closed down, and those involved subject to imprisonment and execution. Advocates for broader linguistic and cultural rights for minorities are detained arbitrarily.
Balochistan Peoples Party www.balochpeople.org
P. O. Box 13022 www.ostomaan.org
103 01 Stockholm