Meps call on Josep Borrel to take action to protect the rights of minorities in Iran

STRASBOURG, FRANCE, December 14, 2023 / — Sakharov prize and Mahsa Amini’s family

The Iranian oppressive regime banned Mahsa Amini’s family from traveling to France to receive her prestigious Sakharov Prize, awarded posthumously.

EU’s inquiry into Iran’s treatment of women and minorities
Following this, Fulvio Martusciello, head of the Forza Italia delegation and MEP for the EPP group, posed questions before the European Union High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Josep Borrell, concerning the plight of women and minorities in Iran and called on him to take a stand on this pressing issue.

The plight of Non-Persian minorities in Iran
Mahsa Amini, who was killed by the Iranian regime, was of Kurdish descent, and there are many other non-Persian minorities in the country such as Azerbaijanis, Arabs, Baluchis, and Turks. Martusciello emphasized that the Azerbaijani population, which is the largest minority in the country, is brutally oppressed by the Iranian regime.

The struggle of Southern Azerbaijanis in Iran
The so-called southern Azerbaijanis, who number approximately 30 million in Iran, are deprived of basic rights. Even the exact number of Azerbaijanis living in Iran is unknown, as the authorities consider this information too sensitive.

Cultural erasure of Azerbaijani identity
The Persian-controlled Iranian administration seeks to eradicate the culture and sense of self-determination of the Azerbaijani people, turning them into “Persians”. Simply put, the regime does not recognize their children as citizens of Azerbaijani origin.

Denial of Azerbaijani language and culture
The very essence of the national identity and culture of the Azerbaijani people is not allowed to exist. Their language has never been recognized as an official language, it is not used in official correspondence, and the government forbids its use, study, and teaching.

Economic and social discrimination against Azerbaijanis
The poverty rate among Azerbaijanis in Iran is one of the highest. They are underrepresented in key positions. They are not allowed to form their own ideological groups and associations.

Reporting human rights violations in Iran
EU institutions have been informed about the human rights situation thanks to several significant associations of southern Azerbaijanis, whose dissent is promoted by the well-known Telegram channel AZfront. They continually send reports about human rights violations by the IRGC against Azerbaijani activists demanding equal rights.

EU Parliament’s call for action against Tehran
Members of the EU Parliament called on Mr. Borrell personally, as well as the EU Parliament as a whole to take a tougher stance against Tehran’s violations. They demanded an immediate end to social, ethnic, economic, and environmental discrimination against Azerbaijanis and other minorities.

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