Date: 19 July 2006
CC Amnesty International, London
The Office of High Commissioner for Human Rights
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)
Re ARBITRARY DETENTIONS, DEPRIVATION OF DETAINEES FROM ACCESS TO LAWYERS UNDER PERSAIN RACIST POLICIES
Further to our letter Ref:350/2006 on 18/07/2006, we have just received a further supporting evidence adding substance to our own letter. This new letter is from a Southern Azerbaijani political prisoner, who articulates the ordeal which he has been subjected to and the background for it. This letter reveals the voice of human consciousness from the abyss of human ills. Is it not that the UN mandates on human rights are designed to protect human consciousness against human ills? We are confident that you will treat the message contained in this letter with utmost urgency.
May we also bring to your kind attention that the name of this political prisoner writing the attached letter is not even in our list, signifying that hundreds are there in the prison, which we simply have no details yet.
For and on behalf of
The Committee for the Defence of the Rights of the World Azerbaijanis
THE TRANSLATION OF A LETTER BY A SOUTHERN AZERBAIJANI POLITICAL PRISONER
A shocking letter by Elyaz Yekenli from the Merend Prison
(Southern) Azerbaijani Activists are subjected for forced confessions and for falsified interviews
UrmuNews (Tuesday 18 July 2006): It is now 35 days since Sahibeli Khudabekhesh (Elyaz Yekenli), a political activist of (Southern) Azerbaijan, has been detained in a secret dungeon in Tebriz set up b security agents. He has written a letter, presumably smuggled out of the prison, describing his grave conditions and has requested that this letter to be published for the attention of international organisations and of organisations within the country. Here he describes the ordeal that he has been subjected to and requests that the international organisations investigate the matter. The full text is as follows:
Re To the Nation of Azerbaijan and to the Organisations Addressing Human Rights
I, Sahibeli Khudabekhsh (Elyaz Yekenli), am striving to be heard by you, while I am simply deep in pain in a secret dungeon facilitated by the Security Office in Tebriz. The reason for my being here is that I am defending my mother tongue, my culture and my identity, as a Turkic Azerbaijani. As you may have been informed by now, mass protests swept through (Southern) Azerbaijan by the 30 million (Southern) Azerbaijanis in response to premeditated abuse embracing Persian chauvinism, which was sanctioned by the official newspaper of the Iranian state called Iran. These mass protests were orchestrated towards demanding our rights. This national movement of (Southern) Azerbaijanis was the alarm to despotic Persian rulers and their local agents betraying their own motherlands, so that they have a second thought about their devilish acts against natural rights of the nation of Azerbaijan.
It is relevant to mention that, I am a cultural and political activist of (Southern) Azerbaijan but I was detained by Iranian security agents solely for the sake of defending my national culture and my national identity. Having endured with 30 days of solitary confinement I was deprived of all the rights conferred to political prisoners. Notwithstanding all these sufferings, I was subjected to both severe physical and psychological torture. Having sustained tens of different methods of psychological and physical tortures in this period and due to being poorly in the past, I have now lost my balance and my composure with their systemic impacts on my heart conditions, kidney and passing water, digestion systems and on my impaired hearing and vision. I was then transferred to Qirkhlar Prison of Merend (A note of translation: Merend is a city in Southern Azerbaijan and near the capital, Tebriz) directly because of these illnesses and following the medical report of the security office of the Province of Western Azerbaijan. According to the statements of the doctor and as recorded in the medical report, the continuation of these conditions and failing to seek proper medical treatments, can lead to life threatening conditions, including heart attack or death.
O, the Nation of Azerbaijan and the Organisations Addressing Human Rights
I hold that this is a fact that defending the identity and culture of a nation is not a crime, nowhere in the world, not even within the framework of internal laws of Iran, and there are no declarations of the United Nations against this fact. It is therefore clear that the intention of the State Security Office in Western Azerbaijan is to stop my cultural and political activities (added by the translator: contravening my human rights) by instigating such charges such as pan-Turkism, spying for foreigners and publicity against the order of Islam. When I object to these belligerent tortures inflicted upon me, the excuse of these agents is that they are under their orders from Tehran. These exchanges take place whilst I am not the only one but hundreds of (Southern) Azerbaijani activists are tortured by a range of techniques. These security agents demand that we, the Southern Azerbaijani victims, to sign a document undertaking false confessions and then go in front of cameras to collude with the authorities in these false confessions. These agents have the illusion of declaring to the world that we, the victims, were apparently receiving payments from foreign sources and they dare to force us to say that we apparently were working for the interests of foreigners. Do these interrogators not know that confessions under duress are rejected outright by the world community?
I am writing this letter under extreme mental and physical hardships, for the purpose of requesting an appropriate response from organisations safeguarding human rights. I live with the hope of rapidly eradicating any system of injustice and tyranny.
The Qirkhlar Prison, Merend
Note that the word “Southern” was added by the translator not to incriminate the Republic of Azerbaijan with this the subject of this letter, as the Republic of Azerbaijan is not a party for this subject matter.
THE SOURCE DOCUMENT BY SOUTHERN AZERBAIJANI POLITICAL PRISONER