TODAY.AZ / Politics

Balochis and Azeris rally in London against Iran's executions

16 November 2006 [13:47] - TODAY.AZ
Balochi and Azeri groups have united behind the campaign for a halt in Iran's campaign of executions and ethnic cleansing against Ahwazis.

The Balochistan Peoples Party will participate in the demonstration outside the Iranian Embassy in London on Saturday from 1pm. Like the Ahwazis, the Balochis - a mostly Sunni nation located on either side of the Iran-Pakistan border - are facing mass executions as the Iranian regime attempts to quash a growing rebellion in Balochistan. During the last two years the Iranian intelligence agencies, particularly the Mersad group, appear to have followed a policy of "shoot and kill" instead of arresting young Baloch accused of being members of the Baloch resistance movement. The Iranian regime has launched a series of military operations and "war games" in Balochistan, using both helicopter gun-ships and air strikes. According to government's own media sources, the regime has shot, executed or hanged, more than 200 Baloch individuals over the past few months, relying heavily on accusations of drug smuggling, anti revolutionary activities, and cooperation with the United States and Great Britain.

Balochis have been preyed upon by the Iranian regime. On 23 August 2006, the Marsad Group attacked a village near Zahidan, the provincial capital of Balochistan, and killed two young men in front of women and children. They were forced out of their homes, to search for the members of resistance movement and weapons. The two young men had protested against the ill treatment of the women. On the 24th of August Amir Hamzeh Eidouzehi, a young man, was hanged in public in Baloch town of Khash, and another young men, Ali Jan Moradi, was hanged in IranShahr on 27 August 2006, both were accused of instigating public trouble and drug trafficking, a sentenced without trail. On the 24th of September three men identified as Ali Karimi, Gholam Koohkan, and Khodamorad Lashkarzadeh, were hanged in prison in provincial capital Zahedan. These dissidents were also executed on charges of drug smuggling and convicted without trial.

Azeri Turks, comprising around a third of the Iranian population and also subject to racism in Iran, have also backed the campaign to halt the execution of Ahwazis. The Azerbaijani Youth Association is lobbying the European Parliament and European governments to take action. A representative wrote to the British Ahwazi Friendship Society (BAFS), saying: "It is with great concern that I have heard about Ahwazis in Iran facing execution. When it comes to life we make no difference on if they are Arabs or Turks. We must show solidarity with each other and together fight against these fascists."



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