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Maat Criticizes Iran’s Political Use of Water Against the People of Ahwaz at The UNHRC

Maat Criticizes Iran’s Political Use of Water Against the People of Ahwaz at The UNHRC

Okeil: Iran uses the right to safe drinking water as a weapon to fight the Ahwazi people

Nourhan Moustafa: Minorities in  Iran face substandard living conditions

In an intervention before the United Nations Human Rights Council, Maat for Peace, Development and Human Rights criticized the continued serious violations against the indigenous peoples in Iran which suffer from the restrictions that impede them from enjoying their fundamental rights, including the right to have access to safe and clean drinking water. The intervention was made on the sidelines of the 42nd session of the Council currently held in Geneva.

The intervention pointed out that minority regions suffer from the Iranian authorities’ marginalization and failure to develop these regions. They are dealing with their inhabitants in violence and arrogance manners, especially after the authorities assigned the security of the border areas to the Revolutionary Guards forces, which commit several violations against the inhabitants of these regions.

Ayman Okeil, President of Maat, stated that the Iranian authorities have used the right to safe drinking water as a weapon to fight the Ahwazi people, who has five fresh rivers. Iran uses water as one of the systematic projects and policies to displace the Ahwazi people, to change the demographics and to build projects that have been or being planned, aiming at eliminating the Ahwazi people and the source of its livelihood of agriculture, destroying its crops and lands and displacing it.

Nourhan Moustafa, Researcher at Maat, said that indigenous peoples in Iran’s Ahwaz region face substandard living conditions or the threat of forced eviction from their ancestral lands without a free and prior consent, undermining their enjoyment of other rights such as the right to health, safe drinking water and sanitation. She called upon the international community to take immediate steps to hold all those responsible accountable for what is happening to the people of Ahwaz; and press the Iranian authorities to investigate the drying of Ahwaz’s rivers and the construction of dams and to stop the construction of dams, which affect the proportion of drinking water for the Ahwazis.

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