Association for the human rights of the Azerbaijani people in Iran (AHRAZ) concentrates on minorities’ human rights situation, especially Azerbaijani Turks in Iran. Considering the fact that AHRAZ has a precise knowledge about Azerbaijani Turks in Iran, this group is missioned to monitor and improve the human rights situation considering the rights based on identity, religion, labor, gender and children rights.
Azerbaijani Turk people are the biggest minority in Iran. They speak Azerbaijani Turkish and mostly live in north-west of Iran. Regarding the difference between Azerbaijanis and official-state culture which is Farsi (Persian), the government’s policies almost always have been discriminational and intended to assimilate Azerbaijani culture. This in turn has doubled pressure on Azerbaijani women and labors more than those who belong to the major culture.
As a result of this discrimination the new Azerbaijani generation focused their activities on demanding education in mother language, women and workers’ rights, establishing party and peaceful demonstration, and environmental activities. However, Iranian government have always responded to this activities with violence, detention, torture, long term imprisonment, and even murdering.
AHRAZ founders themselves who are victims of the suppression applied by Islamic Republic have witnessed the effect of the international human rights organizations support. Therefore, they established this non-political association intending to reflect the human rights situation in the region in order to attain the support of international human rights organizations and institutes all over the world. AHRAZ believes that despite this group’s local approach to deal with human rights issues, its success requires support of global organizations as well as their collaboration. To this end, in addition to its local human right activities, AHRAZ also is intending to reinforce the communication between the international supporters and local activists.
It worth mentioning that in addition to systematic violation of minorities and individuals rights by government and semi-government groups, ordinary people belong to dominant ethnic group also violate those rights as well. For this reason, we as AHRAZ believe that informing people about their rights and responsibilities is the most effective tool to improve the situation of human rights. By establishing a network between like-minded activists, AHRAZ follows this goal. This network fulfils the duty of monitoring and reporting the violations of human rights as well.
AHRAZ is an independent and non-governmental foundation established in 2014. The official registration of the foundation is under process. AHRAZ members are present in Europe and North America and collaborating with varied human rights organizations and foundations.
AHRAZ Board, 2014