Hana's representative speech at the United Nations 16th Forum on Minority Issues and Iranian representatives' attempts to prevent it

07:03 - 3/12/2023

Hana's representative speech at the United Nations 16th Forum on Minority Issues and Iranian representatives' attempts to prevent it

The 16th session of the Forum on Minority Issues held on November 30 and December 1 at the United Nations headquarters in Geneva.

The opening of the first session started with statements by the officials of the human rights institutions in the United Nations, in order: Statement by the President of the Human Rights Council, H.E. Václav Bálek, 
 Statement by the Assistant Secretary-General for Human Rights, Ms. Ilze Brands Kehris, 
Statement by the OSCE High Commissioner on National Minorities, Mr. Kairat Abdrakhmanov 
Statement by the Special Rapporteur on Minority Issues, Mr. Nicolas Levrat
Statements by the Co-Chairs of the Forum, Ms. Elena Lazar and Ms. Petra Roter, were the first part of the session. Then the panelists had their speech discussions on the topics that had been announced earlier and then the representatives of national, religious and gender minorities who had taken their turn in advance were allowed to speak.
Speakers and reporters were representatives of human rights organizations, ethnic and religious groups from different countries around the world, as well as delegations from most of the UN member states.
Each of the speakers had 2 minutes to express their issues and topics. On behalf of Hana Human Rights Organization, Mrs. Ghazal Mohtadi and Mr. Fazel Valian were present in this meeting. Mrs. Ghazal Mohtadi read the statement of Hana Human Rights Organization in English. In this statement, a discussion was presented about the issues and problems and systematic discrimination that Kurds are dealing with in Iran. Hana's representative said in a part of her speech: 
Firstly, we express our gratitude for the opportunity to address you and shed light on the deteriorating human rights situation in Iran and in Kurdistan, encompassing all regions with a majority of Kurdish residents, not just the Kurdistan province.
First of all, we must point out this very important point that if public opinion, governments and human rights organizations recognize the regime of the Islamic Republic of Iran as a regime that relies on the pillars of open discrimination against religious, ethnic or national groups, women and etc. is stable, in Kurdistan, which is the subject of our discussion, all these distinctions are applied twice or more. For example, Kurdish women who, like the rest of Iranian women, face discriminatory laws in many fields and areas of life in the family, at work, in public and private areas, at the same time, they also suffer from double discrimination as Kurdish women.
Ghazal Mohtadi further mentioned the movement of the last  year in Iran and said:
In the past year, during the protests and the movement of women, life, freedom, 7,000 people were arbitrarily arrested by the security forces in Kurdistan without any rights, and the identity of 2,790 people, including 291 women, were registered among the detainees.
During the past year, at least 540 people have been killed by the security forces during popular protests, of which 158 were Kurds. Many of the dead were killed by direct fire from the security forces, and some were killed by lethal baton blows or other means of repression, and some were killed in custody and under torture.
Unfortunately, Hana's representative did not have enough time to read all the materials she had prepared, especially because she faced the frequent interference and disruption of the Iranian delegation present in the meeting. The Iranian delegation present in the meeting objected three times to Hana's speech and asked the Chair of the meeting not to allow Hana's speech to continue. The protest of the representatives of Iran met with the reaction of the representative of the United States of America. In response to the protest of the Iranian delegation, the American representative said: In response to the disruption of the delegation of the Islamic Republic of Iran, the United States of America repeats the voice of the member states, and the unjustified interruptions and orders weaken this goal. We therefore strongly encourage the Chair to ensure that representatives of NGOs are allowed to present their messages fully and without interruption. These words met with applause from the audience.
It should be mentioned that the representatives of Hana Human Rights Organization had meetings with representatives of other Iranian nationalities and minorities as well as representatives of the United Nations during these two days and on the sidelines of the meetings.

Hana Human Rights Organization
December 2, 2023

07:05 - 3/12/2023 Updated.