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 Full text 
Thursday, 14 June 2012 - Strasbourg OJ edition

Situation of ethnic minorities in Iran (debate)

  Rui Tavares, author.(PT) Mr President, the subject of this debate, namely the situation of ethnic minorities in Iran, is indeed worrying and serious. Still worse, it is deteriorating, along with an already very complicated political situation within the country, which is affecting even the majority – let us call them Persian Iranians – who are seeing their rights violated and despoiled, as in the case of the elections, where was tampering with the results.

Unfortunately the situation is much worse for ethnic minorities. Uprisings involving ethnic minorities have resulted in large-scale arrests, and prisoners from ethnic minorities are treated worse than those from the majority group within the Iranian population. The justice system is completely distorted to the disadvantage of ethnic minorities. Women from ethnic minorities are treated even worse than women in general in Iran, and schools in ethnic-minority areas are of much lower quality than Iranian schools in general.

This situation is therefore extremely worrying. In addition to this, there is of course the continued, and indeed increased, use of the death penalty in Iran. People may be persecuted and executed for crimes of sexual orientation, including young people.

We therefore call on the Iranian Government to put a clear stop to these practices and change the treatment meted out to ethnic minorities. However, to be honest, I would say that we do so with little hope that the Iranian Government will listen to us. It is also important that the Iranian Government think about what it is doing, and consider the bitter seeds that it is sowing with these practices. It is rending apart the ethnic, social and cultural fabric of Iran and sowing the seeds of its own future disaster, as the people of Iran will rise up. We can only hope that, at that time, the various ethnic minorities and the Iranian majority population will be able to unite and succeed in one day bringing down this government.

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