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Activists Call for More Respect for Minorities in Iran

Minorities in Iran

Iranian Police announced on Monday that racism cases have increased in Iran compared to last year. Although certain groups of minorities are allowed to appoint their representatives to Majlis (Iran’s Parliament), racism cases are growing on daily basis.

“Ethnic and religious minorities are increasingly being abused by other people in different places. Fortunately the Iranian government has tried to decrease the number of racism cases by taking firm measures in this regard, but it seems the efforts didn’t pay off.” Ali Ramezani, an activist, said in an interview with local media on Wednesday.

Kamran Javanmardi, an Iranian journalist, refers to the most recent happening in Iran. “Football fans are still chanting racism verses and slogans in stadiums. Last week, the fans of Malavan discriminated and belittled Damash fans at their home. These kinds of movements are no longer acceptable in the world.”

The Disciplinary Committee of Iran’s Football Federation instantly penalized Malavan football club by deducting one point from the team. It is worth mentioning that both clubs are from Gilan province.

Mohsen Tabatabei, an Iranian criminologist, says the Judiciary service of Iran is not serious about penalizing racists according to the Constitution. “Over the past few years, only a limited number of offenders have been arrested by police forces. On the other side, the Judiciary service has failed to penalize them based on common laws.”

Tabatabei believes that Iran should approach this issue same as the Western countries. “The other countries such as the United States, Germany and France have great experiences with regard to discriminations and racism cases. It could be a good idea to replicate their laws in Iran, and penalize violators according to Western states’ civil laws.”

Iran is home to approximately 70.5 million people who are ethnically, religiously, and linguistically diverse. Treatment of ethnic and religious minorities grew worse since the 1979 Islamic Revolution.

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