Sources estimate that non-Persian ethnic groups make up roughly 35-40% of the population of the Islamic Republic of Iran. Many high-ranking officials in the Islamic Republic are from Iran's many ethnic minorities--including Ali Khamenei, the Supreme Leader, who is from the Turkic-speaking Azeri population. The grievances of Iran's ethnic minorities often go unaddressed, however, not unlike those of its majority Persians.
Iranian citizens of Kurdish, Azeri, Arab and Balouch populations, among others, often face institutionalized discrimination. Meanwhile, peaceful calls for the expansion of their cultural and linguistic rights are often faced with harsh repression. While the criminalization of dissent is pervasive throughout the Islamic Republic, the documents below present examples of how it disproportionately affects Iran's ethnic minority populations.
- Joint Letter from 27 NGOs to UN Human Rights Council
- Witness Statement of Zaynab Bayazidi
- Witness Statement of Rebin Rahmani: A Kurdish Activist
- Witness Statement of Eghbal Moradi
- Dr. Ahmed Shaheed presents report on situation of human rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran to Third Committee of General Assembly member states react
- Arrest of Saeed Shirzad, a children’s rights activist, while aiding earthquake victims in East Azerbaijan
- In Their Own Words: Human Rights Violations against Iran’s Kurdish Minority
- Witness Statement of Kajal Sheikhmohammadi
- Witness Statement of Amir Ahmadi
- Witness Statement of Mala’ekeh Alamhooli