UNITED NATIONS (Dispatches) – Iran’s deputy ambassador to the United Nations has lashed out at Canada and the United States for human rights violations, attempted cultural genocide of indigenous people, and structural racism in their law enforcement and judiciary system.
“Indigenous peoples around the world continue to gravely suffer from the consequences of the historical legacies of colonization in their territories. They face discrimination due to their distinct cultures, identities as well as ways of life and are disproportionately affected by poverty and marginalization,” Zahra Ershadi told a session of the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues on Thursday.
“The biggest threat to human rights comes from hypocrisy, politicization and double standards. It is very ironic that those whose human rights records are in shambles, are yet to lose face and are covering up each other’s crimes. Canada and the United States are the usual suspects whenever there is news circulating in the media about human rights violations, especially the rights of indigenous and people of African descent,” she said.
Iran, she said, expresses its concern regarding the history of discrimination by Canadian authorities against the indigenous peoples in Canada wherein they were killed and buried secretly, robbed of their land and eradicated of their culture.
“The international community as a whole expressed utter shock regarding the revealing discovery of hundreds of indigenous peoples’ bodies, including children, at the sites of several former residential schools in Canada which clearly and explicitly reflects Canada’s past role in the attempted cultural genocide of its indigenous people. Furthermore, most recently, according to the report of the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues on violence against indigenous children, poverty among indigenous children in Canada stands at
69 percent compared with 13 percent for children in general,” Ershadi said.
“It is unfortunate that the world we are living in today is disrupted by rogue actors who exert maximum pressure not only on sovereign governments through implying unilateral coercive measures, but also on their OWN Native-American and African-American citizens by depriving them of their inalienable rights.”
Ershadi said structural racism in law enforcement and the judiciary system in the United States has left the global community concerned for the fate of indigenous communities.
“In this Country, indigenous children were forced to move to residential schools far from their families where they were made to feel that their way of life was ‘primitive’ or ‘sinful’,” she added.