7 November 2011,

The Office of High Commissioner for Human Rights, Geneva
Please circulate this Briefing Note to the following:
• Working Group on arbitrary detention (also for Fair Trials);
• Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression
• Special Rapporteur on contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and intolerance
• The Independent Expert on Minority Issues
• Special Rapporteur on the independence of judges;
CC To Mr. Ban Ki-moon, the UN General Secretary
Also to: Mr. Boehner, Mr. Cantor and Mrs. Pelosi ofthe US House of Representatives
Mr Dyke and Mrs. Harrison, Amnesty International, London
Human Rights Watch and Human Rights Server, UN HAbitat
Mehsa Mehdili

Mehsa Mehdili
an intended victim of personality assassination

The court of justice sentenced football fans of the national football team of Southern Azerbaijan accusing them of: confrontation with the police, disturbing public order, destroying police apparatus, and the list goes on with similar falsified charges. The court sentenced the football fans by a range of penalties including: barring them from taking part in future matches of their national team, a total of 186 months of suspended imprisonment, a total of 26 years of imprisonment, lashing and a total of 160 million Rials fine in cash. Even children were rounded up by security agents but the court was disappointed by not being able to sentence them on the grounds of their age, though they were referred to a children court.

Table 1 substantiates the arbitrary nature of the judgment on the following grounds:

• Summary Trial: The document issued by the Iranian authorities has the hallmark of a summary justice. It gives the impression that the Iranian authorities acted as a vigilante and were more concerned with their version of the events than upholding the rule of law.
• Justice “production Line”: The sentence by the Iranian authority is reminiscent of a factory production line, in which the football fans were treated as raw materials only to be transformed to sentenced victims at the end of the judiciary production line, thanks to their summary court.
• No access to a lawyer: As far as we know, only a few of the sentenced individuals had a layer and the rest were deprived of the right of access to a lawyer.
• Falsification: The charges against the victims were typical and extracted from the portfolio of the Iranian authorities rather than through serious questioning and judgment.
• Slogan chanting: One of the charges against the victims is chanting slogans not related to sport but the Iranian authorities fail to mention that these chants are to remind them that still in this day and age the basic right of education in Mother Language is violated in Iran for more than 80 years.
• All the charges are ridiculous and fabricated by the Iranian authority, who regards lying as a virtue.

We would like to turn the table round and ask questions:
1. Background: As attached in Table 2, football thugs, Persian by their ethnic origin, shouted denigrating racist foul language and this was broadcasted by the national radio and television at a prime time and no one was charged for these slanderous acts. Question: Why no one was brought to justice?
2. Background: Southern Azerbaijanis stage their protests at every opportunity against deliberate Iranian policy of desertification of Lake Urmu, the heartland of Southern Azerbaijan. We have kept you informed of the ongoing waves of Azerbaijani protests demanding to revive Lake Urmu (Ref: 546/ 2011 on Sept 2011). Driven by the absence of democratic rights, Southern Azerbaijanis orchestrate their protests at every opportunity for the last three years including football matches and we hold that this nation deserves a credit for such initiatives. Question: Is it a crime to protest against such deliberate racist policies of the Iranian authorities?

What we are putting before you is evidence for arbitrary acts of the Iranian authorities in Southern Azerbaijan driven by the Iranian racist policies. We hold that the Iranian authorities are failing to fulfill their duties as authorities and as such, they violate the UN conventions on “responsibilities to protect” Southern Azerbaijanis. We therefore put the question to Dr. Ahmed Shaheed, the UN Special Rapporteur to Iran, why did he fail to fully describe the case Southern Azerbaijan in his draft report? We have informed of him the cases of Mrs. Ipek (Feranek) Ferid, Seid Neimi, Seid Metinpur, Abbas Leysanli, and more than hundreds of other prisoners of conscience. We fail to see why there is no mention in his preliminary report even though we provided the full details of a range of individuals for your attention. The same question is posed to all the other human right organization. Thanks to the international campaign, including your report mentioning Mrs Ferid’s name, she was released recently but what about our other prisoners of conscience? Let us be clear that the number of Southern Azerbaijani prisoners of conscience in Iran at any time is at least twice that of the total of other ethnic nations in Iran including those of the Persians. Yet, the international campaign for Southern Azerbaijani causes is not proportional to the strength of the movement in Southern Azerbaijan. We expect this from racist-minded Iranian organization but why International organizations are proportional to them?

We feel that you need further explanation on the racism and on the onslaught of the Iranian authorities against Southern Azerbaijan, as you appeased the racism in Iran by using the expression: “racial policies” but not “racist policies” in your report concerning Iran. There are countless cases we can submit for your attention to verify the heinous mindset of the racism in Iran but let us take the case of Mrs. Mehsa Mehdili, who was the target of a smear campaign by the Iranian authorities. After she was expelled from university for promoting her Azerbaijani identity, she continued her study in a university in Ankara. However, during her summer holiday visiting her parents in Urmu, a provincial capital city of Southern Azerbaijan, she was arbitrarily detained by security agents. After 15 days of interrogation, she was released by providing hefty bail and the Iranian authorities were insisting that she had to cooperate with the security agent by spying against fellow Azerbaijanis. She was threatened that, failing to meet the demands of the security agents, she would suffer a personality assassination particularly, against her personal integrity and personal honor. This is the tip of the iceberg and it is one example exposing the dreadful faces of the racism that to maintain the hegemony of Persian race in the country, the Iranian authorities will do anything against individuals promoting their Azerbaijani identity. Southern Azerbaijan needs the enforcement of your mandates against the racist elements in Iran and their iron fist forces, who are using the signals of your appeasement to create a tragedy in Southern Azerbaijan. We therefore appeal to you to safeguard the human rights of these football fans. We hope you will take all the necessary steps as per your mandates to make representations against the Iranian authorities to safeguard national and human rights of Southern Azerbaijanis in Iran and expose the racism in Iran, as the only tangible sign that you are not appeasing racism in Iran.

Thank you in advance for your campaigns

Yours faithfully,
Boyuk Resuloglu

The Committee for the Defence of the Rights of World Azerbaijanis


Table 1 Translation of the Verdict passed by the Iranian Authorities against 28 Southern Azerbaijani Football Fans

Justice Department of Islamic Republic of Iran:

Verdict # 9009974112700604
Dossier # 9009984116000177
Branch Archive # 900150
Arranging Date 1390/06/29

Justice Department of City of Tabriz, Branch 104 of Common (Penal)

CourtReport: Indictment issued by public and revolution prosecutor’s office, Tebriz:

  1. Milad Mehemmedian (Mohammadian); Address: Elgolu High Road, Sehend Road, Sheqayiq 8m, House Number 5
  2. Sejjad Qeybi (Ghaibi); Address: Merend, 7 Tir Street (west), Khelefi Road, House Number 135
  3. Seid (Saeed) Qeybi (Ghaibi); Address: Merend, 7 Tir Street (west), Khelefi Road, House Number 135
  4. Behmen (Bahman) Meherremi (Moharrami); Address: Meshgin sheher, of village Nesir Abad
  5. Semed Muradi (Samad Moradi); Address: Tebriz Rahahen Street, District Khetib, 8Meter Gulustan Road, House Number 23
  6. Behzad Behremend (Bahrehmand); Address: Tebriz, Jelaliyye, Qemer Beni Hashim Road, House Number 20
  7. (Qurban Qurbanzade (Ghorban Ghorbanzadeh); Address: Merend Keshksaray, Qaraja Memmed Village
  8. Ehsan Imamverdi; Address: Khoy, 20Meter Janbazan, Gulriz Road, House Number 3
  9. Hesen Pinevar; Address: Tebriz, Basminj, Imam Street, next to Qaim Passage, House Haj Abbas Eli
  10. Mehdi Sasani Basminj; Address: Tebriz, Basminj, Imam Street, Next to Bank Milli
  11. Mehemmed Bafende; Address: Tebriz; Akhuni District, Tobhid Road, House Number 17
  12. Mehdi Fethi Azer; Address: Tebriz, Pasdaran Street, Atlaz Twonship, Next to Gulustan Spa, No: 108
  13. Afshar Zare; Address: Tebriz, Pasadaran Street, Near Melekuti Storehouse, Next to No:2+11
  14. Milad Ebdelzade; Address: Tebriz, Hifdeh Shehriver Junction, Barun Avak Road, No: 12
  15. Husein Rehimi; Address: Tebriz, Serbaz-e-Shehid Street, behind Beni Hashim Mosque, No: 86
  16. Sejjad Mahmudi; Address: Tebriz, Akhmaqaya, Ebuzer Street, Shehid Bakiri Road, 4m Sefa Cul de Sac, No: 7
  17. Eli Yari Sarajlu; Address: Tebriz, East Kovser, Khelil Abad, Shehid Ayvaz Khudadadi Road, No: 5/412
  18. Mehemmed Nur; address: Tebriz, Irem township, Shehid Ekberi second Road, No: 18
  19. Vehid Babazade; Address: Meshkin Shehr, Danish Street, Vehdet Road minor 2, babazade House
  20. Mehemmed Mehemmedpur; address: Tebriz, Mefteh Street, Leylayi Street, Shehid Ismayilzade Road, No: 74
  21. Eli Emanet; layer: Mr. Abbaseli Pashai; Address: Tebriz, Menzeriyye, 10 Meter 24, No: 21
  22. Hemze Resuli; Address: Usku, Bayram Village, Shehid Turabi Road
  23. Mehdi Babayi; Address: East Bahar, Yekhjel Road, Shehid Islamzade Alley
  24. Atabek Jabbari, Address: Tebriz, Baghmeshe, 1 Shebnem 13, No: 3
  25. Payman Shojaii, son of Kamran
  26. Faramarz Puladpour, son of Rahim
  27. Majid Mohammad Akbari, son of Mohammad
  28. Amir Kooh Buluri,


According to indictment issued by Public and Revolution Prosecutor’s Office, city of Tabriz:

  1. Milad Mehemmedian, son of Beytullah
  2. 2. Sejjad Qayibi, son of Esed
  3. 3. Seid Qaiyibi, son of Esed
  4. 4. Behmen Meherremi, son of Saleh
  5. 5. Semed Muradi, son of Husein
  6. 6. Behzad Behremend, son of Quli
  7. 7. Qurban Qurbazade, son of Esger
  8. 8. Ehsan Imamverdi, son of Behram
  9. 9. Hesen Pinevar, son of Mehemmedrza
  10. 10. Mehdi Sasani Basminj, son of Ehmed
  11. 11. Mehemmed Bafende, son of Qurabeli
  12. 12. Mehdi Fethi Azer, son of Isfendiyar
  13. 13. Afshar Zare, son of Jemshid
  14. 14. Milad Ebdulzade, son of Qadir
  15. 15. Husein Rehimi, son of Yusif
  16. 16. Sejjad Mahmudi, son of Hebib
  17. 17. Eli Yari Sarajlu, son of Hebib
  18. 18. Mehemmed Nuri, son of Khelil
  19. 19. Vahid Babazade, son of Mehemmed
  20. 20. Mehemmed Mehemmedpur, son of Firuz
  21. 21. Eli Emanet, son of Ekber
  22. 22. Hemzeh Rasuli, son of Hesen
  23. 23. Mehdi Babaii, son of Ali
  24. 24. Atabek Jabbari, son of Rehim
  25. 25. Payman Shojaii, son of Kamran
  26. 26. Feramerz Poladpur, son of Rehim
  27. 27. Mejid Mehemmed Ekberi, son of Mehemmed
  28. 28. Emir Kuh Buluri,

Are arranged of:

Defendant of row 1 for disturbance of public order,
Defendants of rows 1, 2, 5 for disobedience of police order, destruction of public wealth,
Defendants of rows 3, 4, 6 for disobedience and destruction of public wealth, keeping (saving) of obscene pictures and movies in cell phone,
Defendant of row 7 for destruction of public wealth, disobedience of police order,
Defendant of row 8 for keeping of obscene pictures and movies in cell phone,
Defendants of rows 16-19, 24-28 for disobedience court initially, waiving accuracy and inaccuracy, of above mentioned related charges to accused.
In the case of rows 9, 12, 13, 20, 24, 25, 27, 28 due to the fact that defendants are minor (less than 18 years old), and per requirements mentioned and stipulated at note of article 220 of "Legal Procedure of Common Court" to probable crime they should be investigated in minor's court according to common requirements, anyway this court, based on article 14 of mentioned law, releasing its refusal of investigating of this issue.

In relation with charges to defendants of rows of 1-7 participated in destruction of government properties, disturbance of public order. It is necessary to clarify that defendants participated at the start (of the match) a psychological war and initiated slogans unrelated to sport; they then made excuse of the defeat of the Tirakhtur team (Tractor-sazi) Team against Saba-e-Qom Team. They also protested (against) the judgment of referee by inciting the supporters from stadium to a street-rally, and embarked upon disturbance of public order, which took advantage of excitement of wise and civilized football spectators, and mobilized ethnic frictions, denigrating national unity, and breaking out with the police by throwing stone, setting fire and knowingly destroyed properties creating confusion and chaos, disturbance in public affairs. These resulted in the damage of 10 police motorcycles, referenced on page 563 dossier, 4 Special Peykan cars, 2 Samand pick-ups, 4 Tunqa trees, 10 pieces of shields, 3 pairs of anti-shock uniform, 13 pieces of police helmets with talc.

Court with consideration of circumstances, with rejection of their baseless defenders, relying on complete investigations, reviewing of related tapes, other useful documents, and evidences and certain about consequence of content of article 677 of Islamic Penal Law with rectification of referenced article of prosecutor's office (683), each of above mentioned defendants for accusation of destruction for one year punishment, for disturbance of public order in refer to article 618 for six months punishment with fifty whipped lashes, for accusation of insubordination and clashes with police which resulted in sustained injury to some of them for ninety one days punishment, in relation to related accusation to defendants keeping of obscene pictures and tapes based on “Procedure of Punishment of individuals Who Unlawfully Involved in Audio Visual Activity Law” declares incompetence of oneself inherent with merit and competence on investigating by Revolutionary Islamic Courts of Tabriz City, in relation with related accusation of defendants of rows of 8, 10, 11, 14, 15-19, 21-23, 26 denoting disturbance of public order with reasoning of triple certainty elements related offence in conjunction with considerations of correspondence and obtaining pillar of concrete to obstruct, I consider certain with moral satisfactory and certainty of judgment for all related offence accusation of defendants, referenced in context of articles 25, 27-29, 32,33 of above mentioned law, ruling suspension of punishments for two years and clarify that they are bounded to respect the rules and regulations of the country, if they become guilty of crimes of specified in article 28, or arrested in any of unlawful gathering and assemblies in addition to committing recent offences, the suspended offences will be enforced as well, otherwise the case will be eliminated from their penal background, in relation to related disobedience offence to defendants of rows 16-19, 21-24 regard to their age and lack of penal background with authority invested on me and context of paragraph 5 of article 22 of Islamic Punishment Law each of defendants must pay two million Rials cash penalty to substitute from imprisonment to government account as good gesture of Islamic kindness, this judgment can be appealed against by defendants of absentee rows 15, 16 within ten days from the date of notification at this court, and for the rest of them in their presence and it can be appealed within twenty days in the Appeal Court of East Azerbaijan province.

Director of Branch 104 of Public Penal Courts of Tabriz Kianush Shekveh Tazeh

Translator’s Notes: Note

  1. 1: The person’s names are transcribed according to their Azerbaijani style and when necessary the Farsi style is given in brackets.
  2. Note 2: The written style of the original text is highly complex and it runs for pages without punctuation. We tried to straighten the text without interfering with the meaning but we guess we were not entirely successful. The outcome is a compromise.

Azerbaijani Turkic


Prisoners of conscience