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GENERAL COMMUNÄ°CATÄ°ON 4: RACIAL INCITEMENTS IN IRAN AGAINST SOUTH AZERBAIJANIS
BayBak, Azerbaijan | 1448 days ago | Thursday, 4th June , 2009 , 12:09 [pm] | Azerbaijan
|.||Please find enclosed Communication 4 on a new wave of violation of human rights of Southern Azerbaijanis by Iranian authorities, triggered by a racially motivated joke uttered by Hojjat-ul-Islam Seyyed Mohammad Khatami, a former president of the Islamic Republic of Iran. Southern Azerbaijanis have now been orchestrating well measured protests but the Iranian authorities are resorting to the appeasement of Mr. Khatami, suppressing|
Date: 3 June 2009
The Office of High Commissioner for Human Rights, Geneva,
Please circulate this letter to:
â€¢ Special Rapporteur on contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance
â€¢ The Independent Expert on Minority Issues
â€¢ The Working Group on Arbitrary Detention
CC Mr. Drewery Dyke and Mrs. Ann Harrison, Amnesty International, London
Also: Human Rights Watch and Human Rights Server
GENERAL COMMUNÄ°CATÄ°ON 4: RACIAL INCITEMENTS IN IRAN AGAINST SOUTH AZERBAIJANIS
Please find enclosed Communication 4 on a new wave of violation of human rights of Southern Azerbaijanis by Iranian authorities, triggered by a racially motivated joke uttered by Hojjat-ul-Islam Seyyed Mohammad Khatami, a former president of the Islamic Republic of Iran. Southern Azerbaijanis have now been orchestrating well measured protests but the Iranian authorities are resorting to the appeasement of Mr. Khatami, suppressing the protesters by preventing their protests, beating them up or arbitrarily detaining them.
The overview of this episode is that Hojjat-ul-Islam Khatami tells a joke at a private party. The characters mentioned in the storyline of the joke comprise no lesser individuals than, the prophet Mohammad, his wife Khadija, his daughter Fatima and Fatimaâ€™s two sons: Hasan and Huseyn. According to the storyline, when the prophet Mohammad was walking his daughter off to her husbandâ€™s house on her wedding night, Khadija was preoccupied with the worries that this marriage, apparently blessed in heavens, was destined to the tragic death of her grandchildren. Apparently she utters the words saying that, o you little poor thing, only if you knew what our offspring will suffer (some rephrasing has been allowed to adapt to English)!
This Communication provides you with background information as follow:
Table 1: Provides the link to the joke, its accurate and rather verbatim translation into English
Table 2: Presents an example of the reactions by Southern Azerbaijanis and this one was issued by ADAPP, a Canadian-based Association for Defence of Azerbaijani Political Prisoners in Iran, which captures the mood of Southern Azerbaijan
Table 3: Translates an official coverage of this racially-motivated joke by deploying soft techniques for a gentle landing of the offensive jokes
Table 4: Provides an overview of the subsequent waves of reaction by Southern Azerbaijanis
Table 5: Lists the name of the published detainees, some of whom have now been released on bail
Table 6: Presents the letters from the wives of the two of the subsequent prisoners of conscience
We understand that it would be difficult for you to grasp the point of contention and easily miss the punch line of the joke. So we offer the following explanation. The subject of the joke is peculiar to the Shiite sect of Islam and has nothing to do with a race or nationality, let alone with Azerbaijan. The punch line is that at the wedding day, it would have been impossible for any of the offspring to accompany the bride, as this is particularly serious accusation in Islam for forbidding sex before marriage. Also Khadija, Prophet Mohammadâ€™s wife, could have not known the tragic end of her grandchildren. So the storyteller must have been confused and hence the reason for the joke. So far there is nothing offensive. However, the former president implicates this storyline with the people of a historic city of Azerbaijan and another individual in the party remarks that they are Turks, arenâ€™t they? This is a build-up for associating a nation with diminished intelligence. This trick is normally deployed by racists. Thus when such words are uttered by ordinary individuals, their acts are referred to as the incitement of racism but here they are delivered by a diplomat, and therefore the words are deemed as an outright evidence for institutional racism in Iran.
We are proclaiming that the storyline is peculiar to the Shiite sect of Islam. For instance, you may refer to the following link ( www.youtube.com/watch?v=bjH1S-s2AfA&feature=related â€“ Note, on request, we can transcribe the words), where a Farsi-speaking individual delivers a different version of the same storyline in a very hysteric manner to his matching hysteric audience. By viewing this link, one could see the breeding ground of the Iranian state-run terrorism. However, it would be wrong to attribute the subject in this link to the intelligence of the honourable Farsi-speaking people or nation.
We have provided evidence in this Communication and the past ones that the institutionalised racism in Iran is colourful and crafty. In this Communication, we have exposed a glimpse of soft touch and gentle landing but they deploy other ingenious techniques as well, such the technique of diffusion. For instance, on 2 June 2009, IRNA (the official Islamic Republic News Agency) website published a statement ( www.irna.ir/View/FullStory/?NewsId=522267) that 31 have been arrested in relation to the â€œturmoilâ€ in Zahedan and Tebriz. It is simply rich to regard the protests in Tebriz as turmoil and outrageous to diffuse the democratic protests orchestrated in Azerbaijan with the armed struggle in Zahedan, Baluchistan. Indeed, the Iranian authorities are well capable of meeting force with force but completely exposed to confront with democratic movement of the nation of Azerbaijan in Southern Azerbaijan. We hold that they think they can get away by their contrived techniques and therefore we appeal to you to be particularly careful on the subtlety of their responses.
We hope you agree with us that this episode is evidence for the rotten state-run racism in Iran. The immediate impact of this episode is that already we have more than 20 prisoners of conscience, as named in Table 5, the wives of two of them have appealed for help and we provide their translation in Table 6 for your attention. The current consequence of this episode is that there is a tremendous anxiety invoked in Southern Azerbaijan. Already, the Iranian authorities are wedging in Kurdish migrants to Azerbaijani territories who regard Kurds belonging to the so-called pure race of â€œAryanâ€ and incite racial tension by sponsoring provocative acts of renaming Azerbaijani territories. The long-term impact is that our mother language is coerced out of everyday life and out of our education to say the least whilst sparing you with massive impacts of the Iranian governance on the economy and the environment of Southern Azerbaijan. The overall outcome is that Southern Azerbaijan is deprived of effective governance.
The published joke looks very genuine and some of the participants have confessed to it. However reportedly, Hojjat-ul-Islam Khatami denied his role in the published film on 27 May 2009, incredibly claiming that the film was assembled together ( www.salaamnews.com/ShowNews.php?7541). It is incredible that such genuine looking evidence can be dismissed without even setting up an enquiry. It seems it is alright in Iran to incite racial hatred, get upset with protests, detain non-Farsi protesters, and get away by a simple denial without any official enquiry. Already some twenty individuals have been detained for their peaceful protests and Mr. Khatami has not taken responsibly for ensuring their release and not taken steps to condemn the institutionalised racism in Iran. He likes the credit for steering the dialogue of civilisations but yet he is so much as odds with Azerbaijan.
We have now provided a great deal of details for your perusal and our message is that the Iranian authorities are at a slippery slope but they have no sense to feel it. It is only your mandate that stand some chance of reminding them the entitlement of the nations of Azerbaijan in Southern Azerbaijan for the full enjoyment of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. We rally for your protest against the Iranian institutionalised racism. We thank you in advance for your care.
The Committee for the Defence of the Rights of World Azerbaijanis
* For details please  click here, Voice of a Nation
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