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UNPO's General Secretary Marino Busdachin speaks out in the following statement against new arrests of up to sixty Baloch people in the Islamic Republic of Iran.
Below is a copy of UNPO's official Statement:
In the past week reports indicate that the Iranian regime has arrested up to sixty Baloch people in the latest restrictions to be placed on the rights of the Baloch people to expression, free speech, and peaceful demonstration in the Islamic Republic of Iran.
Following the arrest of Mr. Abdula Fatah on 14 May 2012, people gathered in front of the Sarbaz District governor's office in the Sistan and Balochistan Provinces of south east Iran, demanding for his release. Upon not receiving any response, the group of people went and protested in front of the police station. Police responded violently to the protest with the result that at least one person is believed to have died.
The concern of the international community must now be focused on the health and access to legal representation of the protesters understood to have been arrested by the Iranian authorities. Past protests against Tehran and its policies have shown that once arrested, detainees run a high risk of being subjected to torture and the death penalty if convicted of crimes that are often either fabricated or against which the accused have little legal support with which to defend themselves.
It is therefore in the strongest possible terms that I condemn this latest arrest of up to sixty Baloch people over the past month in Iran. The ongoing targeted policies against the Baloch people, which has resulted in mass displacement, killings, disappearances and mass imprisonment in Balochistan must cease.
Furthermore, the discrimination against the Baloch population and the denial of their linguistic rights and access to education in their mother tongue must end if the root causes of such discontent are to be addressed in any meaningful way. I urge the Iranian authorities to account for the detained protesters, uphold Iran's international obligations, and for the international community to arise their concerns with the Iranian authorities around the world.
In the absence of adequate state data, the Baloch population in Iran is estimated to be approximately four million people. Over the course of several decades they have been systematically deprived of their cultural, social and economic rights. Within Iran they face discrimination, particularly with regards to political participation, education and employment prospects. The dissemination of Baloch culture and language is a declared act of treason against the state and therefore a crime.
List of recently arrested people whose identity could be traced:
Molawi Abdolahe Molazadeh, 48 years old.
Hamed Molazadeh, 23 years old, city of Zahedan.
Habib alrahman Molazadeh, 29 years old, city of Zahedan.
Nezamodin Molazadeh, 18 years old, city of Zahedan.
Jaber Molazadeh, 22 years old.
Malek Mohamad Abadian, 50 years old.
Abdolhadi Abadian, 20 years old.
Javad Abadian, 18 years old.
Foad Abadian, 17 years old.
Mohamad Naghshbandi, 55 years old.
Pesare molawi Fateh.
PDF file of the statement
Member profile West Balochistan UNPO
Amnesty International 2007 Report: ‘Iran: Human Rights Abuses Against The Baluchi Minority'
Amnesty International 2009 Report on Iran