Saturday, 25 October 2008

IMHRO welcomes the decision of UK Government not to hand over the last hostage-taker at Iranian London embassy siege to Iran

Iranian Minorities’ Human Rights Organisation (IMHRO)



IMHRO welcomes the UK Government’s decision to allow Fowzi Badavi Nejad to stay in the UK. This man from the Arab minority in Iran took part in the terrorist attack on the Iranian embassy in London in 1980. If he were to be returned to Iran he would be likely to face torture and the death penalty.

At the same time we condemn such terrorist acts and any kind of campaign of violence which would just nullify the peaceful rights movement of minorities in Iran.

Iran Embassy siege in London, 1980

The attack on the Iranian embassy in London was staged by the Iraqi intelligence service and took place in the aftermath of the Mohammareh Massacre by General Madani in early 1979. The Iraqi government used the emotional atmosphere to recruit Ahwazi Arabs for its own political objectives.

The raid by the SOS started after the hostage-takers killed a man and announced they would kill a hostage every half-hour. Five gunmen were killed and only one hostage-taker survived by hiding among the hostages.

Mohammareh Massacre 1979

In early 1979 the Iranian General Ahmad Madani ordered navy commandos to conduct the ethnic cleansing of Arabs and to kill any Arabs they found in the city of Mohammareh near to the Iraqi border. He also used Argentinean style dumping of live Arabs in bags in the river to drown them.

General Ahmad Madani at the time nominated himself for the presidential election; he was counting on his ethnic cleansing of Arabs in Mohammareh as part of his election publicity to bring him votes!! The result of the election showed how much support there was for the ethnic cleansing of Arabs when he came second.

Militia forces started wearing Arab dress and shooting non-Arab people on the roads, leaving one witness behind to incite hatred and further clashes.

As a result of his campaign thousands were killed and thousands went missing. The world simply chose to turn a blind eye to this massacre.

Lies circulated by Iranian Government

The Iranian government used the Iranian embassy siege as effective propaganda. They linked the London siege to the US embassy hostages in Tehran, saying that the US and UK staged the hostage-taking in London as retaliation for the US hostages in Tehran.

The hostages were later guided by the Iranian intelligence service to say that "They then took the two
terrorists, pushed them against the wall and shot them. They wanted to finish their story. That was their job.”... [They might have] "Had something in their pockets but certainly had no weapons in their hands at the time.”[i]

This sort of lies about what happened in London siege still continues till today.

Violence is not a solution

Any campaign of violence will just give dictatorial governments such as Iran, a green light to suppress any opposition. Minorities in Iran should avoid using violence by all means.

From the other side many years of suppression by the Iranian government and their obvious policy of “inciting violence” by cracking down on all the minorities’ political parties has been the main source of violence.

A Kurdish group of PJAK (part of PKK in Iran), the Baluchi group of Jund Allah (Soldiers of Allah) and other similar groups are exacerbating the plight of minorities in Iran and are just providing further propaganda for the Iranian government.

However most of the minorities’ activities are peaceful and we urge those who are still using violence to change their policy to peaceful campaigning. We ask the entire minority movement, including political parties, to avoid any violence in their campaigning.

[i] Six days that shook Britain by Peter Taylor, The Guardian, July 24, 2002

No comments: