Leadership Council for Human Rights

~ Feet in the mud, head in the sky ~

Friday, October 26, 2007

Baluchi minority suffers in Iran and Pakistan

According to political observers and human rights groups, Baluchis in southeastern Iran and southwestern Pakistan continue to suffer from discrimination and lack of access to the benefits of citizenship, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty reported Thursday.

Baluchis comprise about two percent of Iran’s population with two million people concentrated in Sistan-Baluchistan Province.

Drewery Dyke, Middle East researcher for Amnesty International in London, said Sistan-Baluchistan is “certainly one of the poorest and most deprived provinces in the country. And it has suffered droughts and extreme weather conditions. And certainly – with respect to the situation of women and schooling for girls – there are shortcomings that the state really needs to address.”

Amnesty International reports that suspected Baluchi militants may have been subjected to torture in order to produce forced confessions. Furthermore, Iranian authorities have put special judicial procedures into affect, and there has been an increase in the number of Baluchis targeted. Amnesty International is concerned, however, that enhanced attention to Iran’s nuclear program will push human rights issues off the agenda.

For the full article, click here.

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