Tuesday, 3 July 2012

British MEP Urges High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security to Address Iran's Discrimination Policies Against Ahwazis

One day before their execution Dr. Charles member of European Conservatives and Reformists Group tabled a parliamentary question to Baroness Ashton urging  her to urgently to press Iran to review and commute death sentences of four Ahwazis.

Below are excerpts from his 18 June 2012 letter to Baroness Ashton on plight of Ahwazis:

"The High Representative may be aware of the Ahwazi Arabs ... who mostly inhabit Iran's southern province of Khuzestan [Arabistan]. The Ahwazi population are allegedly frequently discriminated against by the Iranian authorities and made to suffer a plethora of disadvantages in education and employment spheres for examples, as well as cultural discrimination and other hardships...the recent case of five Ahwazi men who have been convicted on "enmity against God" by allegedly killing a police officer and consequently may sentenced to death. Amnesty international and Ahwazi  activists allege the men are entirely innocent of such charges and were made under extreme duress to sign false confessions. The convicted men Abd al-Rahman Heidari, Taha Heidari, Jamshid Heidari, and Mansour Heidari, three of them brothers- face possible imminent execution. 

Can the High Representative comment on the human rights situation on the Ahwazi Arab...does she agree that the Ahwazis, in common with other ethnic and religious minorities in Iran including homosexual, Baha'is , Jews and Christians are subjected to systematic persecution and discrimination?

Will she therefore press Tehran to institute better respect for basic human rights standards, including the fundamental rights of freedom of religion and to peacefully protest against government policies as allowed under the Iran constitution and under its international legal obligations. Will she also urgently press for these allegedly innocent men have death sentences reviewed commuted?".


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