|KHRP Welcomes International PEN Campaign in Support of Writers on Minority Rights in Iran|
KHRP welcomes a campaign launched by International PEN today to raise awareness of the plight of writers in Iran who speak out on the issue of minority rights.
Since President Ahmadinejad came to power in Iran in 2005, there has been a marked crackdown on those who criticise the political status quo. Members of minority communities have been particularly vulnerable, with Kurdish, Azeri and Arab writers targeted for calling for greater protection of their cultural and political rights. In the weeks leading up to presidential elections in June, International PEN’s Writers in Prison Committee is campaigning to focus attention on such cases.
‘Freedom of expression is a cornerstone of an open, democratic society,’ said KHRP Executive Director Kerim Yıldız. ‘We wholeheartedly support this campaign and call upon the government of Iran to abide by its obligations under international human rights law and respect the basic right of individuals from all sectors of society to freely voice peaceful opinions.’
KHRP has long sought to raise awareness of human rights violations committed against Kurdish and other writers in Iran, including arbitrary detention, torture and application of the death penalty. KHRP also liaises with UN human rights mechanisms to share information and to urge action in relation to individual cases of writers who face such abuses because of their work.