On Tuesday the National Council of the Resistance of Iran (NCRI) reported about the Iranian regime’s ‘systematic marginalization of ethnic minorities’ and also are concerned for ‘the fate of those arrested for being active on social networks such as Facebook and WhatsApp.
Ethnic Iranian Kurds, of which the population makes up ten percent of the Iranian ethnicity, are being particularly targeted. Fearing national protests ‘the clerical regime has resorted to widespread arrests in Ahwaz and Shush in south-west Iran. But also in Bukan in north-west Iran.
A second report writes that most of the detained ‘12,000 ethnic Iranian Kurds imprisoned in Iran in the last Iranian calendar year, ending March 19 2016, are “heads of their families”;’ according to the Director of Prisons Assadollah Gorjizadeh “nearly 60%”.’
The reports add that on April 13 ‘the notorious Ministry of Intelligence and Security (MOIS) has also ‘arrested several young people because of their political activities and activity on social media networks.’
Putting faces to those arrested are Ali Dabat 18, Ali Kaabi 27, Milad Dabat 22 (married with one child), Faisal Dabat 17 and Mostafa Daat 17. Mentioning the West Azerbaijan Province the reports adds that ‘intelligence officers [of the MOIS] arrested three young men after inspecting their homes and their private belongings.’
An influx of Kurdish inmates has been reported by the state-run news agency ISNA. This demonstrates the control the regime has to attempt to ‘create an atmosphere of fear and prevent anti-regime protests.’
To combat systematic marginalization the National Council of the Resistance of Iran (NCRI), headed by Maryam Rajavi, President-elect of the main opposition group, ‘has adopted a plan for the autonomy of Iranian Kurdistan, specifying that “the administration of all affairs of the autonomous region of Kurdistan fall within the authority of the autonomous institutions.”
But with a caveat on ‘foreign policy, national defense, national security, foreign trade, and customs’ which would remain integrated at a national governmental level.
At a political level the main opposition group cannot achieve their egalitarian goals while the mullahs’ regime remains. Neither can this be extended to delivering on the issue of human rights.
The UN Special Rapporteur on the Situation of Human Rights in Iran, Ahmed Shaheed, writes in the report that he has ‘observed Iran extensively and brought to light his concerns about the regime’s restrictions to freedom of expression, freedom of association, and treatment of religious and ethnic minorities.’
‘This repression [of ethnic minorities] has continued during Hassan Rouhani’s Presidency. In fact, under his administration there has been a notable increase in the rate of executions of ethnic minorities.’