Date: 16 July 2006
The Office of High Commission for Human Rights, Geneva,
Please also circulate to the following Working Groups:
Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion or Belief
Special Rapporteur on Minority Issues
Re: CASES OF MISCARRIAGE OF JUSTICE BY IRAN AGAINST SOUTHERN AZERBAIJANI RELIGIOUS MINORITIES
We are confident that you are well in the picture that there is no abatement for iron-fist policies of the Iranian government against Southern Azerbaijanis democratically struggling for securing their national rights, including education in our mother tongues. Whilst our nation is under incredible repression, our activists are now confronted with undue accusations. It is simply beyond our means to keep account of our youths falling into the captivity of the authorities, as simply there is no single day without any illegal detention.
The authorities are employing a host of ploys to deter Southern Azerbaijanis from their just demands and the reinstatement of their national rights. One new ploy is that the authorities are acting in their full repressive capacities against the religious diversity enjoyed by Southern Azerbaijanis. Our compatriots include members of the Alevi sect all over Azerbaijan. We are referring to you five cases who have just been condemned to death sentences, as described by the English translation of the recent ASMEK statement. However, we wish to provide you additional background information albeit briefly.
Alevi’s are a sect of Shia and are known as “Goran”s (Goranlar in Azerbaijani). They have a particularly affectionate respect for the founding Imam of the Shia sect, Imam Ali. They are Azerbaijanis by language, culture and history and have no cultural difference with the rest of Azerbaijanis. The members of this sect and the mainstream Shia are well integrated to the extent that the central mosque complex of Tebriz had one mosque allocated to Sheykhi’s (the Goran sect in Tebriz is referred to as Sheykhi-s). This mosque and another one in Tebriz were confiscated soon after the takeover of the Khomeini’s regime and their sect members were persecuted. There is no known incident until the arrival of the Islamic Republic and hence the unrest in 2004.
One of the Gorans’ few distinguishing features is their moustache, reminiscent of the beard as a symbol of Sikhism. In autumn 2004, a member of Sepah-i-Pasdar (The Revolutionary Guard) reportedly arrested one Goran in Qoshachay, a city in Southern Azerbaijan, and shaved off his moustache in their detention centre, apparently for the fun of it and in spite of the objections of the victim. This incident grew in impact and became a seed for protests. The authorities, keen in inciting tension, arrested the protestors; provoked unrests; massacred many; and hence the cases of miscarriage of justice as reported here.
We hope that you will recognise the ongoing miscarriage of justice and use your mandates to prevent the capital punishment charged on the victims of the cases reported here.
The Committee for Defending the Rights of the World Azerbaijanis
CC Amnesty International, London
Translation of the recent ASMEK Statement
Capital Punishment against 5 Turks, as members of the Alevi sects of Western Azerbaijan of Southern Azerbaijan – 12 July 2006
The sentence of long-term imprisonment and capital punishment were passed five Turks who are members of Southern Azerbaijani Alevi sects from the city of Qoshachay (Miandoab). The cases are detailed as follows:
Hoping for the release of political and ideological prisoners
The Committee for the Defence of Political Prisoners of (Southern) Azerbaijan
THE SOURCE DOCUMENT ISSUED BY ASMEK
براي پنج تن از متهمان شورش تركان علوي مذهب قزلباش (در ايران به خطا اهل حق ناميده ميشوند) قوشاچاي (مياندوآب) حبسهاي طويل المدت و اعدام٬ به شرح زير صادر شده است:
پنج تن از متهمان شورش تركان علوي مذهب قزلباش (در ايران به خطا اهل حق
محمدِی (بِیگ محمد اوغلو)، متولد
قوشاچاي (مِیاندوآب)، وابسته به مذهب علوي- قزلباشي (در ايران به
اشتباه مشهور به اهل حق) ، به اتهام درگِیرِی با نِیروِی انتظامِی در
دستگِیر و به ۵
سال حبس و سپس اعدام، محکوم شده است.
چهار شنبه ۲۱ تیر ۱۳۸۵
با آرزوی آزادی همه زندانیان سیاسی و عقیدتی
کمیته دفاع از زندانیان سیاسی آذربایجان