Monday, April 03, 2006

The unrepresented presented

When I was perusing for something interesting to write, I stumbled upon this site. It is the Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization. It made me think of the time when the U.S. demanded that they'd have a bigger say in the UN as they were the biggest contributors. That did not sit well with a lot of people who were not too happy with the one superpower unbalanced act.

Then, my mother from the Netherlands complained to me once about the European Union and how 'they decide' for other countries in Europe while the Dutch are the biggest contributor per capita and did not have a say at all.

The Dutch are outspoken and want to know they have a voice politically and otherwise. On the World Democracy Audit, they rank a respectable 7, some countries aren't so lucky. Back to the unrepresented peoples and nations. Compare that with for example Iran; an unhealthy number 132 (out of 150). The Ahwazi, an Arab indigenous people who used to be autonomous until 1925, when the former Shah Reza Khan subjugated them. Currently, they fare no better;

On 15 April 2005 in the provincial city of Ahwaz, security forces reportedly opened fire on thousands of peaceful demonstrators killing at least 61 men, women and children, injuring over 800 and arresting thousands, according to Amnesty International (AI), Human Rights Watch (HRW) and BBC.9 There have been reports of incidents of torture according to AI, HRW and other human rights organizations and several appeals for urgent action have been issues based on reports of fear of torture, ill-treatment, and incommunicado detention and incidents of arbitrary arrest and detention. 10

Most recently a report (AI Index: MDE 13/006/2006) issued on 1 February 2006, concerns the whereabouts and safety of Reza Haidari, aged 11, Kazem Sayahi, aged 14, Hashem Jassem Sawari, aged 18 Hadi Washahi, aged 17, Said Manabi, aged 20, Saleh ‘Abidawi, imam Sheikh Saleh al-Haydari, imam of Da’ira mosque and several others. These persons, all members of Iran’s Ahwazi Arab minority were reportedly arrested in the city of Ahvaz in Khuzestan province on 11 and 12 January 2006. It is feared that they are held incommunicado and at risk of torture or ill-treatment. 11

The arrests took place after clashes in Ahvaz between Iranian security forces and members of the Arab Ahwazi community, in the context of an initially peaceful demonstration on occasion of the Muslim festival of ‘Id al-Adha on 11 January, led by Sheikh Saleh al-Haydari, imam (prayer leader) of Da’ira mosque in Ahvaz. According to reports, demonstrators were demanding an end to the persecution of Arabs, poverty and unemployment among Arabs, and the release of political prisoners arrested since April 2005 following unrest in Khuzestan province.

IFPRERLOM notes with concern the tension that has mounted among the Arab population since April 2005, after it was alleged that the government planned to disperse the country's Arab population or to force them to relinquish their Arab identity. As the cycle of violence in the Khuzestan province threatens to intensify, IFPRERLOM appeals to the Commission on Human Rights

So many people, not only unrepresented, but unnoticed. Learn more about the Ahwazi's plight, and the peoples with no voices.


Anonymous dude said...

So a photo blog? I'd love to see that. I took so many pictures when I lived in Saudi Arabia.

no, not really a photoblog, i tried that, it got tedious, and the quality and fun went down, as i felt i haddd to post. this is more a art/writing blog, i have flickr for the photos.

651am, wow, i've gone to sleep at that time...cant imahgine waking up then.. i hear u about the time factor, thats why i have cut my blog reading down to by 75%.

11:33 AM  

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