SOCIETY FOR THREATENED PEOPLES
Â PRESS RELEASE GÃ¶ttingen/Frankfurt a. M., 22.06.2009
IRAN: Representatives of non-Persian ethnic groups speak of electoral
Â fraud and warn of massacres
While the Iranian security forces proceed with relentless callousness
against the peaceful protests in the country, representatives of the
Â Iranian nationalities spoke last Saturday at the conference â€œQuestions of
Â Nationality and Democracyâ€ in Frankfurt am Main on the subject of
Â electoral fraud. The conference was organised by the Society for
Â Threatened Peoples (GfbV), the Friedrich Naumann Foundation FÃœR DIE
Â FREIHEIT (For Freedom) and the Karl Hermann Flach Foundation. Taking part
Â were representatives of the non-Persian nationalities of Iran, the
Â approximately 20 million Azerbaijanis, the approximately 15 million Kurds,
Â the 4.5 million Gulf Arabs, the 2.4 million Baluchi, the zwo million
Â Turkmens and other smaller ethnic groups and religious communities.
Â Particularly moving was the contribution of a representative of the
Â Iranian womenâ€™s movement.
Those present at the conference saw the background for the â€œmassive
Â electoral fraudâ€ and the following cruel repression in the promise of the
Â two presidential candidates and reformers, Mehdi Karroubi and Mir Hussein
Â Mussawi, to respect in future the language and minority rights of the
Â non-Persian peoples. In the run-up to the election the Islamic leaders had
Â warned the two reformers against â€œplaying with fireâ€.
Since free reporting by international media on protests against electoral
Â fraud is forbidden, the spokespersons for the nationalities warned of the
Â danger that the Iranian security forces would take advantage of the
Â situation and once again carry out massacres against non-Persian ethnic
Â groups, who make up 60% of the total population of Iran. Since 13th June
Â there have been at least 24 persons killed, hundreds injured and at least
Â 458 arrested.
According to reports received by the GfbV the non-violent democratic
Â movement has long since spread to the smaller towns and rural regions of
The following Resolution was passed unanimously:
Â Nationalities and Democracy in Iran
Â 20th June 2009, Frankfurt am Main, Germany
The human rights situation of non-Persian ethnicities and religious
Â minorities in Iran remains deplorable.
Azerbaijanis, Kurds, Arabs, Belochs, Turkmen and other smaller ethnic
Â groups as well as religious denominations, in particular, the Bahaâ€™i,
Â Christian converts, Zoroastrians, Assyrians, Armenians, Ahl-e Haqqs,
Â Mandaeans and Jews living in Iran continue to be oppressed.
In the last few days after election results were announced, the Iranian
Â regimeâ€™s security forces bludgeoned and shot at demonstrators protesting a
Â possible election fraud. At least seven people have died during the
The everyday lives of non-Persian ethnic groups and non-Shiite religious
Â communities, whose members make up around 60 percent of the population,
Â are fraught almost constantly by violent attacks, persecution,
Â discrimination and murder. Systematic discrimination against women and
Â violent oppression are unacceptable. These conditions in the multinational
Â state of Iran must finally be brought to an end. A solution must be found
Â that allow all in Iran to live a peaceful life and to be guaranteed the
Â protection of their human rights and an equal share of political power in
Â the state. For this reason, we plead for a fundamental change in the
We demand the establishment of a democratic, federal, secular system in
Â Iran wherein national unity remains protected while the national,
Â political and cultural rights of all peoples and religious groups living
Â in Iran are recognized and substantiated as well.
The creation of federal states or autonomous regions with self-government
Â for these peoples will form the groundwork for stability and unity in a
Â new federal Iran.
Furthermore, we demand the recognition of the languages of these mentioned
peoples on equal terms with Persian as well as corresponding education and
We demand the establishment of equal rights for women according to Iranâ€™s
Â public international law obligations.
We appeal to the Federal Republic of Germany to include the issues of
Â nationalities and human rights more staunchly in its policies toward Iran
Â and to defend the rights of non-Persian ethnic groups and religious
We thank the Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom, the Karl-Hermann
Â Flach Foundation as well as the Society for Threatened Peoples for
Â organizing this conference on Nationalities and Democracy in Iran. We
Â would like to urge the organizations to establish a platform for the
Â discussion of federalism in order to continue the work done today.
The resolution was read aloud and unanimously adopted.