Date: 14 December 2005
Amnesty international / London
Dear Mrs. Harrison
As you know, a national and democratic government was established in Southern Azerbaijan in 1945 under the leadership of Jefer Pisheveri. However, on December 12th of 1946 the army dispatched from Tehran waged a military aggression and invaded Southern Azerbaijan and overthrew our national government in Tebriz. This was followed by a wave of repressive acts including massacring approximately 30,000 Southern Azerbaijanis and exiling some 10,000 more. The UN has been well informed of these events over the years since then.
This day has been the symbol of commemorating the official status of our mother tongue in Southern Azerbaijan ever since. However, Iranian authorities have been suppressing our commemoration assemblies using diversity of means.
This year too our people and activists suffered the brunt of repression inflicted by Iranian agents, as outlined by ASMEK, the Committee for the Defence of Political Prisoners of Southern Azerbaijan.
We are enclosing the translation of the information published by ASMEK and hereby requesting your intervention on the matter.
I should also add that Mr. Abbas Nikrevan, from Salmas (a city in Souhern Azerbaijan) still suffers imprisonment. We have written to you in this connection on 04 November 2005, Reference 299/2005. He was arrested in Salmas and would certainly benefit from your campaign.
For and on behalf of
The Committee for the Defence of the Rights of the World Azerbaijanis
Increased pressures against Southern Azerbaijani activists at the verge of the Commemoration of 12th of December 1945 events
Behmen Elizade was arrested in Tebriz when distributing leaflets. According to the information received from Tebriz, Mr Elizade was arrested by security agents on Monday 5th December 2005 while engaged in distributing leaflets related to the celebration of the 12th of December 2005. He was then transferred to the custody of security forces.
As in the past, this year too the Committee for the Defence of Political Prisoners of (Southern) Azerbaijan has received a great deal of news related to the repressions against political activists in the various cities of Southern Azerbaijan. Southern Azerbaijan celebrates the 12th of December in connection with the gaining of the official status of our mother tongue, Turkic Azerbaijani. Following the distribution of news to call up for this commemoration, the activists were the subject of persecution by security agents of the Islamic Republic of Iran.
In 2002, political activists of Southern Azerbaijan staged their commemorations of the 12th of December for the first time in Shebister (a Southern Azerbaijani city) since the overthrow of the national government (by the illegal occupation of Southern Azerbaijan). More than 150 participants were then arrested before reaching the Mausoleum of Prof. Memmed Taghi Zehtabi.
The Committee for the Defence of Political Prisoners of Southern Azerbaijan (ASMEK) is kindly requesting all the supporters of human rights to follow up the movement rolling out in Southern Azerbaijan.
8 December 2005
The Committee for the Defence of Political Prisoners of Southern Azerbaijan (ASMEK)