No.: 353/2006

  Date: 24 July 2006

CC                Mrs. Harrison, Amnesty Iternational, London

                      Ms. Milano, OHCHR, Geneva

The Office of High Commissioner for Human Rights, Geneva

Please circulate this letter among the following working groups:

                      Working Group on Arbitrary Detention (also for Fair Trials)

                      Special Rapporteur on Contemporary Forms of Racism

                      Independent Expert on Minority Issues Issues Issues Issues Issues Issues Issues




The purpose behind my hunger strike including my refusal for the intake of water is to convey the message of the nation of (Southern) Azerbaijan to the world – freedom. Should I die, then let me join the rank of those who pay the ultimate price of life for the nation of Azerbaijan .

Dear Sir/madam,


We have represented the case of Mr. Abbas Leysanli (also written as: Lisani or Lesani), a prisoner of conscience, and his case has been verified by the various urgent actions and statements of Amnesty International, e.g. AI Indices: MDE 13/063/2006 on 8 June 2006 and MDE 13/074/2006 on 29 June 2006.

His resistance continues to date, as confirmed by our own sources and described by the news item in his webblog. The English translation of this news item attached below for your information. We would like to bring to your attention that any law and human right provision that are applicable for the protection of any individual, have been floated or excessively broken in the case of Mr. Leysanli. To list but few are:

  • In the course of the last 3-4 years, Mr. Leysanli has been arrested several times in an arbitrary fashion, without bringing any charge against him. As you will be informed below, there are five files open against him, none of which is a recognizable political or criminal but an arbitrary charge. One example of his cause of struggle is his mother tongue and his exchange with the persecutor is reflected in our letter to His Excellency Mr. Kofi Annan Ref: 278/2005 on 12 May 2005.
  • As of the very recent case: security agents made a forced entry into Mr. Leysanli’s house without following any legal procedures or observing any civil liberties; after violently breaking into his house midnight, he was beaten up and tortured in front of his young children and wife; his personal belongings including his writings and computer were confiscated. Now the telephone line to his house has been cut off.
  • Mr. Leysanli has been denied the status of a political prisoner and he has immediately entered into hunger strike as a protest for illegal detention of his Southern Azerbaijani compatriots.
  • The authorities have tortured him even under hunger strikes.
  • The right of access to the members of family has been continually denied to Mr. Leysanli, to the extent that his wife and his immediate family members have not been able to visit. The obstinacy of the authorities has been so excessive that his brothers have been detained when insisting to visit Mr. Leysanli. His wife has been threatened in numerous occasions to keep quiet and ordered not to talk to any Azerbaijani media.
  • Mr. Leysanli has not been given access to a lawyer until very recently.
  • He was apparently taken to court but the judge did not turn up. It appears that in this kangaroo court befitted the disorderly fashion of the Iranian authorities.

Mr. Leysanli is now the heart-and-mind of Azerbaijanis and the nation is anxiously waiting for your timely intervention under the UN authority. You are kindly requested to take up the case of Mr. Leysanli with utmost urgency and provide him any legal assistance or support as you can. In the first place, we would urge you to initiate the dispatch of a MSF (Medecins Sans Frontieres) for examining his wellbeing as a humanitarian gesture. In particular, we are very concerned that there is an epidemic influenza in the Erdebil Prison and the secure hospital unit attached to the prison and therefore the health of Mr. Leysanli is under extra risk.

Yours faithfully

Boyuk Resuloglu

For and on behalf of The Committee for the Defence of the Rights of the World Azerbaijanis

Letter in Turkish


Leysanli subsists on Intravenous (IV) Drips

Mr. Leysanli’s family has finally managed to visit him lately in the Erdebil Prison, who has created a new front in the resistance in demanding for the Azerbaijani identity. According to the statements given by his deeply worried wife and mother, Abbas’s conditions are very worrying and he is even unable to stand up or sit on a chair. He has been transferred to the hospital in Erdebil and being injected continually with IV drips after being on hunger strike for 35 days with a further 11 days he has even refused the intake of water/liquid. His weight is now 85 kg, reduced by 30 kg within 46 days of hunger strike.

Mr. Leysanli’s physical conditions are extremely concerning. He is extremely pale; his vision is impaired; and due to his continuous hunger strikes, his digestion and kidney systems are extremely upset. He is determined to carry on with his hunger strike through his vow on campaigning for the reinstatement of the rights of political prisoners of (Southern) Azerbaijan struggling against the Iranian apartheid regime; and on this, the plea of his sincerest friends and members of his family has not even softened his resolve.

Abbas Leysanli, a fighter, writer and a poet, is a distinguished figure of the national movement of (Southern) Azerbaijan . A glimpse of his daring activities includes:

  • Publishing a Turkic Azerbaijani Calendar (2000),
  • Delivering speech and performing in the national theatre as part of the Babek Assembly (June 2002),
  • Leading the sit-in protest in the Sarchesheme Mosque in Erdebil (20 July 2003) as a symbol of anti-Dashnak (the sentiment of Southern Azerbaijanis),
  • Taking part again in the Babek Assembly (June 2005),
  • Taking part in the Anniversary of Baghir Khan, the national hero of Southern Azerbaijan . This was in Tebriz in August 2005.

For each of the above activities, he has endured untold sufferings following the detention by the authorities. Currently, there are five files actively open against Mr. Leysanli, persecuted by the Revolutionary Court . Various sentences have been passed against him including being fined, lashed, imprisoned and exiled to Masjid-Suleyman.

Abbas Leysanli was threatened with his life by security agents of Iran, two days in advance of the 200,000 (two hundred thousands) taking part in the mass protests of Erdebil on 27 May 2006. He was warned that if he would become visible on the streets, he would be killed by two bullets. In spite of these illegal threats and the staged-managed meagre pro-government march before the noon in Erdebil, Leysanli joined the rank-and-file of and led the mass protesters spearheading the campaign of pro-Azerbaijani identity on that day. He gave a daring speech in defence of the rights of the nation of (Southern) Azerbbaijan and the necessity of replicating this movement throughout Erdebil. After the successful all-city mass protest of Erdebil, he took a low profile in his home but on 3 June 2006, thirty armed security agents besieged his home, broke the door and forced their way in, and in front of his family members; took him into captivity; confiscating his writings, as well as his computers and personal belongings. In parallel with this the business of Mr. Leysanli has been padlocked where he earns his subsistence for his family including his wife and three children. Since then they have withdrawn his licence for his business. In this connection, security agents have also arrested Mr. Mehdi Mehemmed pur (his nephew) and Mr. Jefer Subhani (his colleague). Mr. Arif Lisani (his brother) has also been detained for a variety of reasons. His wife (Mrs. Ruqeyye Leysanli) has also been repeated threatened to be detained for giving interviews to the various media.

Mr. Leysanli is being transformed into the symbol of resistance of the nation of Azerbaijan . We request all the foundations safeguarding human rights to defend Mr Abbas Leysanli in any way they can.

Azərbaijani Turkic


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