WHY WE ARE ASYLUM SEEKERSWritten by Jade in 30 January 04
Date: 30 January 2004
The Iranian Asylum Seekers’ Charter
“WHY WE ARE
The People in the Four Corners of the World Who are our Hosts
The United Nations
The European Union
The United States
To Canada, Australia …
In the last twenty five years, since the Islamic Revolution, over four million of Iranians have been dispersed around the world far from home and family.
The fact that:
- what proportion of are officially recognised as refugees, have submitted asylum applications, or are living without identity and where;
- many more of the seventy million Iranians dream of fleeing our country;
- in this unprecedented flight and exodus many of our young have been victims of people traffickers, have fallen in the jaws of death, misadventure and abuse; have suffered from the bitter experience of weeks and months of being hidden in the back of lorries and boats in search of a safe refuge, or ended up behind bars
- many suffer to acquire even the most basic of rights: shelter, sustenance and clothing,
- much of Iran’s wealth and human resources is wandering aimlessly with an uncertain future,
- our country and its future have ended up in such chaos, and where our future, that of the society and our country is going;
The fact that:
- based on the Constitution of the Islamic Republic discrimination against half of our population, the women, is legal and institutionalised;
- based on the Islamic Constitution discrimination against all ethnic and religious groups who could be identified as the real owners of Iran has been institutionalised;
- based on the last pre-revolution national census in 1976, so far 11.08% of Iranian Zoroastrians, 53.25% of Iranian Christians, 79.54% of Iranian Jews and almost all of Iranian Baha’is have been forced to flee Iran;
- due to the despotic nature of the Islamic Republic discrimination, torture and imprisonment of dissident Sunni and Shia clergies alike are widespread;
- in the last twenty five years many artists, journalists, thinkers and academics have been incarcerated and executed on charges of conscience, or kidnapped, disappeared or murdered with the regime blatantly accepting responsibility.
- the very foundation of our society is plagued with disorder and chaos
- drug addiction, prostitution, runaway children and social insecurity are every day experiences
- economic crisis, absolute poverty, widespread unemployment… have forced the society into a downward spiral;
- due to economic instability and insecurity Iran’s underground resources are auctioned off and the political instability prohibits any form of investment in Iran even by Iranians who invest their money anywhere but in Iran
- our historical and cultural heritage are sold off
- despite Islamic Republic earning around five hundred billion dollars in oil income through legitimate and illegitimate sales in the last twenty five years, its rulers will under no circumstances account for the fact that when this amount could have built a country from scratch, how is it that they have managed to drag our country into such poverty and hardship.
- the rulers of the Islamic Republic are only interested in personal financial gain and the next deal. Based on reports by NGOs from Iran even a catastrophic tragedy such as the Bam earthquake has turned into yet another money making tool,
all demonstrate that the Islamic regime in its entirety has no desire, answer or plan for the today and tomorrows of Iran.
What is chronicled above is a brief glimpse of the misery ruling the lives of Iranians including those you classify as asylum seeker.
We, those who are unjustly labelled as asylum seekers, ask you the responsible authorities of the world:
q are you, as the responsible authorities of the world, truly concerned for the oppressed nations of the world?
q Do you not really know that 89% of the world population lives in poverty and other hardships and only 11% live in the so called industrialised developed world who do not suffer with their people wandering the world as asylum seekers?
q Do you not really know that the countries of origin of asylum seekers are different from each other due to their various cultural, economic and political backgrounds?
q Do you not really know that in the classification of reasons for asylum seeking economic betterment plays the largest part?
q And do you not really know that at least we Iranians do not need to fall into that category since our country is rich in wealth and resources?
q Do you not really know that Iran is a country rich in its human resources and underground wealth? And that its young population will create a prosperous future for Iran only if it benefited from a democratic government.
q Do you not really know that this is the desire and the will of the Iranian people and our only rescue route ending our wanderings?
There should be no doubt that if the issues and problems of asylum seeking are not dealt with at root a satisfactory solution will not be achieved. The root cause of asylum seeking must be sought in the identity and behaviour of despotic regimes of asylum seekers’ home countries and international engagement for financial gain.
At the same time we are familiar with the realities and the problems facing your communities due to the large presence of asylum seekers. While we understand that financial deals with a weak regime provide the best return for your countries and satisfy your national interests but if in the UK, for example, asylum and immigration are major issues after education and health and support for unpopular despotic regimes continue the problem of asylum will soon become the number one priority. You have to recognise that even building iron walls, disregarding international standards for assessing asylum claims, removing rights of appeal and enforced deportations will not be a successful deterrent in the long term if the issue is not resolved at its root.
We at ACI believe and are sure that you are also fully aware that where Iranian asylum seekers are concerned we are only your guests as long as the Islamic Republic is in existence. Our life as asylum seekers in Iran’s long and proud history is nothing but a tragic yet passing chapter. Over seventy percent of Iranians are below the age of thirty. None of the Islamic Republic’s factions, reformist or hardline, have the answers to the needs of Iran’s young population. The Islamic Republic’s internal bickering and fighting will not produce the solutions to economic poverty, social problems or lack of national and international credibility. We have no doubt that their days are numbered.
Meanwhile we ask you, the governments and responsible ministries, to be understanding and lenient in your assessment of our asylum claims. We ask you to understand that our presence in your countries is a direct consequence of political tyranny and persecution. The numerous human rights reports are testimonies to this fact. Islamic Republic offers cultural differences as an acceptable defence for its violent and unacceptable behaviour. Cultural differences must not be accepted as an excuse for violation of rights. These cultural differences allude to the regime’s ideology and not the wishes and practices of the Iranian people. If the 1951 Geneva Convention and its amendments were interpreted in its true spirit there would not be a single refusal to our claims. As your honourable judges assess cases without political prejudice or expediency, with respect, we ask you to adopt the same unbiased approach. As has been proven time and time again we are positive contributors to host communities, science and economy once given the opportunity and permission to stay and work. This would be mutually beneficial in this transient period. We look forward to your compassionate response.
Prepared by Association des Chercheurs Iraniens (ACI)
on behalf of Iranian Asylum seekers everywhere