At the beginning of this month, July 2012, racist mobs conducted a mass assault against Afghan worker refugees (described here). UNHCR has chosen to remain condemnably silent on these attacks. We urge everyone to use the below sample letter and write to UNHCR demanding:
1) condemnation of the attacks on Afghan refugees, and
2) UNHCR’s direct support for those 200 or more Afghan refugees whose homes were burned down during the course of the attacks.
در آغاز ماه جولای امسال، اراذل و اوباش نژاد پرست دست به ایلغاری وحشیانه بر علیه کارگران مهاجر و پناهجویان افغانی زدند. کمیساریای عالی امور پناهندگان سازمان ملل در قبال این جنایات سکوتی مطلق پیش کرده. ما از همگان میخواهیم که با استفاده از متن زیر از این نهاد مطالبه کنند:
۱- حمله وحشیانه اراذل و اوباش به پناهندگان و کارگران مهاجر افغان را قاطعانه محکوم کند.
۲-کمیساریا باید فورا مسئولیت مستقیم حمایت از آن ۲۰۰ خانوار و سایر پناجویان افغان که در این ایلغار نژاد پرستانه آسیب و خسارت دیده اند به عهده بگیرد.
Please write to the following UN, EU & US representatives:
نامه را به آدرسهای زیر بفرستید.
UNHCR must condemn attacks on Afghan refugees in Iran
Text of sample letter:
To the UN High Commissioner on Refugees:
I am writing to you with regard to this month’s brutal, racist attacks on Afghan workers and working families in Iran, particularly in the city of Yazd, where at least 200 homes of Afghan refugees have been burnt down in a convulsion of racist violence.
At least one Afghan refugee has been killed in the attacks, and there are unconfirmed reports of heinous brutalities being perpetrated against women, men and children of Afghan descent.
As the attacks in Yazd were ongoing, in Fars Province, the director general of immigration made vigilantism state policy, declaring that any citizen has the right to stop an “Afghan-looking” person in the street and demand to see identification and residence papers (http://www.jonge-khabar.com/news/articled.php?id=2635). He has also ordered the closure of food shops that sell to “illegal Afghans,” and directed hospitals to refuse care to Afghan people. In the same racist spirit, medical facilities in Yazd have shamelessly refused to treat Afghan victims of the racist rampage in that city. This fascist policy and practice has been grounded in the rhetoric of genocidaires: Illegal Afghans, they say, are “health hazards” against which citizens must be protected; citizens must be warned, they say, against the danger of “contamination” in buses and other public places if exposed to “illegal immigrants”!
UNHCR, the United Nations Refugee Agency, bears a key responsibility towards Afghan people in Iran, the vast majority of whom are refugees, or have been born into statelessness due to the refugee status of their parents and the racist policies of the Iranian state. Yet UNHCR has not condemned the recent attacks against Afghan refugees in Iran. There is no mention whatsoever of the attacks on UNHCR’s website nor condemnation of the attacks attributed to UNHCR in the media.
I demand that the UNHCR unequivocally condemn these racist attacks against Afghan refugees, lest the agency appear to implicitly condone the attacks by its silence.
I further demand that the UNHCR provide immediate shelter, food, and other needed assistance to those 200 or more Afghan families whose homes were burned down in the recent convulsion of state-supported racist violence in Iran.