What we want from Iran’s rulers and international community is: our voice to be heard; we want the regional state’s TV stations and Radio in North Khorasan to be broadcasted in Kurmanji language (at least for a couple of hours per day) , we want Kurmanji language courses (Bachelor and Master degrees) with Farsi Script Alphabet to be established in the universities of North Khorasan.
(10th Session of the United Nations Forum on Minority Issues, November 2017)
Geneva – Switzerland
Kurmanj people in the region of North Khorasan
A huge language discrimination and a severe language apartheid
Our native mother language is completely banned in regional Schools
completely forbidden in the regional Universities, in North Khorasan
Iran is an ethno-linguistically and religiously diverse country
Ethno-linguistic minorities make about %65 of Iran’s population. Minorities of Iran face oppression and marginalization due to cultural & linguistics, politic affairs, poverty, gender and religious factors. Islamic government has also implemented a systematic and organized policy of integration of all minorities, and assimilation of their cultures and languages with cruelty and cruelly.
Ethnic minorities in Iran are the poorest people in the society. They lack access to political power, no ethnics political parties allowed, no ethnics cultural forums allowed, we face discrimination and severe human rights abuses. What we want is: our very basic rights to be protected and promoted by international community. It is crystal clear that recognition of minorities and indigenous peoples’ rights is crucial to establishing and maintaining just, stability and peaceful societies.
There are 11 main ethno-linguistic minorities in Iran, which are roughly as following:
1 – Persian [Fars / Pars, (34.6%)]
2 – Azeri Turks (25.4%)
3 – Kurds (15.5%)
4 – Lor & Bakhtiyari (6.2%)
5 – Arab (2.8%)
6 – Mazendarani (4.4%)
7 – Gilaks (3.5%)
8 – Baloch (3.2%)
9 – Turkmen (1.1%)
10 – Talyshi (1%)
11 – Ghashghayi [(Qashqayi), (0.8%)]
12 – Others (1.5%)
The demands of indigenous people and the ethnic minority/nationality groups in the region of North of Khorasan from the government of Iran is overlooked entirely and deliberately. Education and teaching in Kurdish – Kurmanji language is one of our cultural demands in the region of North Khorasan from the state administration of President Rouhani, although it was one of his promises in the presidential election campaign to the Iranian ethnic minority/nationality groups, But later on it found out that it was an electoral trick to cheat people to get peoples votes, which is a shame.
Kurmanj youth in North Khorasan are under severe deprivation, discrimination and marginalisation which is not fair from one hand, and from the other hand this needs to be changed for peace and stability. For instance, as distinguish representative of Iran said himself in the morning during item 4 (item 4. Minority youth and the media in the digital age: acceptance and opportunity; 10:15 am to 13:00 pm, Friday 1st December 2017): Education in minorities languages in Iran is completely legal based on article 15 and 19 of Iran’s constitution law, and also the international conventions which has signed by state of Iran, But our legal demand remain unfulfilled on the ground practically, and is not attained in the universities, schools and institutions of North Khorasan region yet (Minister of Higher Education and Council of Higher Education are direct responsible for this discrimination, injustice and human inequality). The article 15 needs to be respected and implemented in our region, North Khorasan.
There is no any plan about Kurdish – Kurmanji language in the universities of North Khorasan neither to get student to begin study for academic degrees (Bachelor and Master degrees in Kurmanji language) in this field and nor to train academic staff and teachers for Kurdish – Kurmanji language in the region. This situation and unhealthy mentality must be changed and education in our native mother language to be started in our region as soon as possible.
There was a demanding to the local authority for opening Kurmanji courses in the University of Mashhad and the University of Bojnurd, but they have been arrested on June 2017 and were under intensifying security measures, threatening, oppressing and harassing them physically and psychologically. The activists of Kurdish-Kurmanji language and culture in our region, North Khorasan, are under huge pressures just because they want their basic right according to the article 15 of Iran’s constitution. This legal article needs to be respected and implemented in our region, North Khorasan.
What we want from Iran’s rulers and international community is: our voice to be heard; we want the regional state’s TV stations and Radio in North Khorasan to be broadcasted in Kurmanji language (at least for a couple of hours per day) , we want Kurmanji language courses (Bachelor and Master degrees) with Farsi Script Alphabet to be established in the universities in North Khorasan, we want education in Kurmanji language in schools and institutions of higher education in our region, North of Khorasan.
What we want from UN and international community is: basically, the UN related body to do some thing about this huge Kurmanji language discrimination in our region, North Khorasan, and urge the rulers (especially The Ministry of Education, and The council of Higher Education) to implement Article 15 of Constitution in North Khorasan.
I thank you all very much.
The oral Statement of Kurmanj people Organisation- Minority Forum – 30/12/2017
Dr. Afrasiab Shekofteh
دکتر افراسیاب شکفته
آذر 1396 خورشیدی 10م
Side event of the 10th session of UN forum on minority – 01/12/2017
(Kurdish Minority Situation In Iran – of the Panel)