No: 350 / 2006

Date: 18 July 2006

CC       Amnesty International, London

The Office of High Commissioner for Human Rights

Geneva, 

Please circulate this letter among the following working groups:

            Special Rapporteur on Contemporary Forms of Racism

            Special Rapporteur on Independence of Judges and Lawyers

            Special Rapporteur for Arbitrary Detention (also for Fair Trials)

 Dear Sir/madam,

Re       ARBITRARY DETENTIONS, DEPRIVATION OF DETAINEES FROM ACCESS TO LAWYERS UNDER PERSAIN RACIST POLICIES

We hope that you are well informed about the May 2006 mass protests, which swept through Southern Azerbaijan using only democratic means to express the national demands, as outlined below. Our previous letters to you have detailed that the response of the authorities to these democratic protests was literally arresting illegally thousands of peaceful protestors.

It is regrettable that these arbitrary arrests are still ongoing. We keep receiving authentic information that a great majority of the detainees are still deprived of being represented by a lawyer (let alone of their own choice). As if their illegal detention and deprivation from their right for a lawyer are not enough, these detainees have been belligerently tortured and are faced with incredible accusations, see below. The depth of this ongoing tragedy can be understood by the impertinence of the authorities by kidnapping the human rights lawyer, Mr. Saleh Kamrani, who usually undertakes the defences of such detainees – the defender of victims is now a victim himself.

Thanks to the pressures exerted by international organizations and the extraordinary expression of solidarity of our people, access to a lawyer has recently been allowed to some of these detainees but a few of these lawyers are of suspect affiliations.

The demands of Southern Azerbaijanis are founded on international norms and conventions and include the demand for the reinstatement of our national and human rights. Clearest examples of our main demands are the right for education in our mother tongue as conferred in the United Nation declaration for human rights and for free press in our mother tongue, as well as for the establishment of the rights for children and for women.

In spite of the strict adherence to democratic methods and the purely democratic nature of the mass protestors, the accusations against the detainees are absurd and ridiculous. In particular, Iran, as an under-signatory of the UN conventions, is aiming to deviously bypass its obligations and therefore is instigating the charge of spying against the arbitrarily detained Southern Azerbaijanis. Such a charge is designed either to assassinate the characters of the detainees or we cannot rule out the threat of execution.

What else is available to beleaguered non-Persian nations in Iran other than protesting in response to the Iranian racist policies? Whilst as basic as the right for mother tongue is plundered by exclusionist policies spearheading the Persian nationhood, how could anyone in their sound mind remain silent? But intransigent Iranian authorities are determined to crush even this democratic voice; assassinate the protestors in the streets, arrange kangaroo trail courts; imprison cultural activists in dungeons or even beleaguer them in lengthy trail courts.

Now a substantial proportion of the arbitrarily arrested Southern Azerbaijanis have been released, albeit at the expense of almost buying their freedom by meeting hefty bails. The remaining detainees are still substantial in their numbers as hundreds continue their captivity in dungeons as political prisoners. We wish to expressly state that untold tragedies are only a few steps away from us, if the fates of these political prisoners are not defended by practical measures in a timely manner.

We are providing you a list of only some of the political prisoners, who were arbitrarily arrested in the last two months. The list includes their photos and a short profile of the individual detainees but it is not exhaustive. The names and profiles correspond to those few, which we have been able to authenticate and obtain some of their details.

We are insistently requesting you to urgently intervene on the fate of these detainees to prevent imminent tragedies. Having perused the list and the photo of the innocent detainees, once again we are kindly requesting you to dispatch a fact-finding mission to Iran under the UN mandates to report on their ongoing cases.

Yours Sincerely

Boyuk Resuloglu

For and on behalf of

The Committee for the Defence of the Rights of the World Azerbaijanis

The Profile of Some of the Activists Suffering Arbitrary Detentions

The Profile of  Mr. Abbas Leysanli (Lisani)

·  Arrested: 3 June 2006 at his home by 30 plain-cloth agents

·  Health: Ongoing hunger strikes, in a life threatening condition

·  Prison: the Erdebil Prison; File No.: Unknown

·  The City of Residence: Erdebil

·  Age: 39

·  Marital Status: Married with two children

·  Occupation: self-employed

A visionary activist, who promotes only democratic means to secure national rights of Southern Azerbaijan. On the occasion of the Babek Assembly upon gaining his consciousness he had a defiant message for the nation of Southern Azerbaijan: “Freedom or Death, as I know of no other way”

 

The Profile of  Mr. Hesen Azerbaijan

·  Arrested: 26 May 2006 (he has also suffered imprisonment 3 years ago)

·  Health: Hunger strikes in captivity, suffers from known heart problems

·  Prison: the Tebriz Prison; File No.: Unknown

·  The City of Residence: Tebriz

·  Age: 65

·  Marital Status: Married, with 3 children

·  Occupation: A successful businessman; singer, musician and composer

With a lifelong devotion to the Azerbaijani music, Mr. Azerbaijan is its bastion. He has composed songs and operas (the last one called Settar Khan, which was staged in Tebriz last winter). He now even manages to find time in captivity and teaches music to his fellow activists while not under torture or not in hunger strike. Does this not reveal his formidable character and devotion?

 

The Profile of  Mr. Saleh Kamrani

·  Arrested: was kidnapped on 14 June 2006 at approx. 3.00 p.m.

·  Health: known to suffer from heart conditions

·  Prison: a detention centre in Tehran; File No.: Unknown

·  The City of Residence: Tehran

·  Age: 34 years old

·  Marital Status: married

·  Occupation: human rights lawyer

A human rights defender from Southern Azerbaijan, who sees no boundaries for applying his skill in defending human rights; who selects his clients not for a material return but for safeguarding human rights. He is now subject to the arbitrary treatments.

 

The Profile of  Mr. Qulam Rza Emani

·  Arrested: 29 May 2006, at 1.30 p.m. in Tebriz; (he was also jailed in 1999-2003)

·  Health: in a life threatening conditions after repeated hunger strikes

·  Prison: the Evin Prison; File No.: Unknown

·  The City of Residence: Tebriz

·  Age: 32

·  Marital Status: Married

·  Occupation: Agricultural Engineer

A distinguished cultural activist who, in his wedding ceremony, proudly attended with his bride the Baghir Khan Memorial in Tebriz, as a gesture of their valour and gallantry.

 

The Profile of  Mr. Eli Hamid Iman

·  Arrested: after 22 May 2006, (he was also jailed in the past for 2 years)

·  Health:

·  Prison: the Evin Prison; File No.: Unknown

·  The City of Residence: Tebriz

·  Age: 38

·  Marital Status: married

·  Occupation: Journalist and an editor of Shams-Tabriz news and website

He is an arduous journalist and his very last writing in freedom was: “Farewell until the next greetings.” Undoubtedly, when he was typing these last words, he was hearing the fate knocking the door, as skirmishes of the storming troops of the Iranian apartheid agents were forcing their way  in.

 

The Profile of  Mr. Hesen Erk (Hesen Eli Ebullu)

·  Arrested: 24 May 2006

·  Health: poor conditions

·  Prison: the Evin Prison; File No.: Unknown

·  The City of Residence: Tebriz

·  Age: 47 or 48 or possibly 53

·  Marital Status: married

·  Occupation: self employed in the business of handicrafts of bags

He is a thinker and an arduous writer and his fellow cultural activists owe a great deal to his stimulating contributions. He lost his father when he was just detained.

 

The Profile of  Mr. Chingiz Bekhatver

·  Arrested: 24 May 2006; he was imprisoned in the past

·  Health: in a poor condition due to repeated hunger strikes

·  Prison: the Tebriz Prison, Wing 5 (or possibly the Evin Prison)

·  The City of Residence: Tebriz

·  Age: 50

·  Marital Status: married with 1 daughter and 2 sons, one in captivity

·  Occupation: Civil servant in the National Powers, Tebriz

A cultural activist who has suffered a previous 5 years of imprisonment and two years ago while all his family members were scaling up to Babek Castle on the occasion of the Babek Assembly, security agents looted their musical instrument saz. Mrs. Bekhtaver had shouted “take me or my son but never my sacred saz.”

 

The Profile of  Mr. Jahanbekht Bekhtaver

·  Arrested: 27 June 2006 by plain-cloth agents raiding his home

·  Health: he has been savagely tortured and because of being in a life threatening condition; kept in secure unit with no access to visit him.

·  Prison: the Tebriz Prison, Wing 5; File No.: Unknown

·  The City of Residence: Tebriz

·  Age: 35

·  Marital Status:

·  Occupation: a civil servant in the Bank of “keshaverzi”

This cultural activist is a victim of someone else’s confession under duress. He has been tortured to reveal his fellows taking part in the Babek Assembly and he is known to be in a life threatening condition.

 

The Profile of  Mr. Javad Abbasi

·  Arrested: 24 May 2006, tortured, in a life threatening condition; was also arrested two years ago for taking part in the Babek Assembly

·  Health: developed throat problems while in captivity

·  Prison: the Urmu (apparently now in Salmas) Prison; No access to lawyer

·  The City of Residence: Urmu

·  Age: approx 37

·  Marital Status: married, 2 sons – Atabek 8 yrs and Babek 5 yrs

·  Occupation: a teacher in Arabic in Salmas, Kung-fu trainer, musicologist

Now we know that the reason for not releasing this honourable teacher and an expert of music even after meeting the bail of 10 million Tumen, was that he is in a secure unit for being severely tortured.


 

The Profile of  Mr. Hesen Rashidi

·  Arrested: 2 July 2006, based on a confession under duress;

·  Health: he suffers from stomach problems

·  Prison: the Evin Prison, kept in Wing 209 and now transferred to Wing 77; File No.: 1/ DT / 7918

·  The City of Residence: Karaj

·  Age: approx 47

·  Marital Status: Married,

·  Occupation: Engineer

A distinguished writer and journalist. His arrest is strongly attributed to a chain of persecutions, apparently some have given his name based on reading his articles.

 

The Profile of  Dr. Ehmed Heyderoghlu (Ehmed Qulu pur Rzai)

·  Arrested: 24 May 2006

·  Health:

·  Prison: the xx xxx; File No.: Unknown

·  The City of Residence: Tebriz

·  Age: 47 or 48

·  Marital Status: married with two (?) children

·  Occupation: lawyer

 

A Southern Azerbaijani activist who is moderate in his school of thinking and rejects extremism and prefers reforms

 

The Profile of  Mr. Huseyn Ehmediyan

·  Arrested:

·  Health: Suffered torture with unknown conditions

·  Prison: the Tebriz Prison – Wing 5; File No.: Unknown

·  The City of Residence: Tebriz

·  Age: 32

·  Marital Status: single

·  Occupation: sociologist, a Ph.D. student in Ankara

·  Journalist, publishes Dilmac

 

The words are a communiqué issued by Mr. Ehmediyan and they speak for themselves:

Any confession to be issued or be broadcasted on my behalf, in writing, pictorial or in audio, video format is invalid and must be dismissed, since if any, it was obtained under duress. Any confessions out of me, if any, were obtained under psychological and physical torture. Therefore, I declare that the only statement on my behalf will bear truth if it is issued in the presence of the lawyer of my choice.

 


 

The Profile of  Mr. Davud Esedi

·  Arrested: after 22 May 2006

·  Health:

·  Prison: the Tebriz Prison; File No.:

·  The City of Residence:

·  Age:

·  Marital Status:

·  Occupation:

 

 

 

The Profile of  Mr. Seyid Mehdi Seyid zade

·  Arrested: after 27 June 2006

·  Health:

·  Prison: an undisclosed location; File No.:

·  The City of Residence:

·  Age: 61

·  Marital Status: married with three children

·  Occupation: A wealthy business and an agricultural engineer, has his own consultancy called Baladash. After the revolution, he was a candidate for the parliamentary elections and scored a handsome proportion of the votes

 

A veteran on being jailed for his believes: he was jailed by Shah’s regime and now by the Iranian theocrats, who are a faithful copycat of Shah’s policies on repressing the Azerbaijani identity. The strange thing is that this veteran is not active anymore but the repressors bully the veterans anyway.

 

The Profile of  Mr. Ferzad Eziz Khani

·  Arrested: 28 June 2006 in Eher on his way to Babek Castle

·  Health:

·  Prison:; File No.:

·  The City of Residence: Urmu

·  Age:

·  Marital Status: married with three children

Occupation:

 

 

Many others are still in the prison and we endeavour to list their names.

Two Veteran activists who have been imprisoned since December 2005

The Profile of  Mr. Hidayet Zakir

·  Arrested: 25 December 2005

·  Health:

·  Prison: the Tebriz Prison

·  The City of Residence: Tebriz

·  Age: 42?

·  Marital Status: Married with one son and possibly another child

·  Occupation: Teacher

A teacher who is true to his profession and understands the ills inflicted against his people. This prisoner of conscience is kept among criminals in the Tebriz Prison and has produced a number of thought provoking writings while in the prison. In his furlough, he visited the young Mehran Rehimi, where this little boy was beaten up by his Persian teacher for refusing to study in Persian.

 

The Profile of  Mr. Ezimi Qedim

·  Arrested: 26 March 2006 (he was interned few times in the past)

·  Health:

·  Prison: the Tebriz Prison; File No.: unknown

·  The City of Residence: Erdebil

·  Age: 33

·  Marital Status: Married with two children  6yrs and 4 yrs

·  Occupation: clergyman

When he was released from the detention for commemorating the anniversary of the Constitution through democratic means, he read the following poems in front of the Prison, where he is now jailed:

I asked: where is your motherland, the response was: the chain;

                What is your nationality, the response was: the chain;

                What is you mother tongue; the response was: the chain;

So I conclude that a nation in captivity is a chain, a chain and a chain.

 

 Azərbaijani Turkic

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