No.: 375/ 2006

Date: 5 September 2006



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)


CC       Mrs. Harrison, Amnesty International, London



Mr. Mehdi Babai

A prisoner of conscience

Dear sir/madam,


We are providing you the translation of a heartfelt appeal by the wife of a Southern Azerbaijani prisoner of conscience, Mr. Mehdi Babai Ejebshir, known as Okhtay. We raise this appeal under our own initiative as a complaint involving the following parties:

·        Southern Azerbaijani activists, consistently promoting our national identity in our indigenous motherland with legitimate and peaceful protests. Mass demonstration of over 2 million Azerbaijanis during May 2006 was a prime example during which time thousands of peaceful demonstrators were detained, with approximately 600 of them still detained arbitrarily. The authorities are forcing them for false confessions but this has met with a stiff resistance with the following prisoners of conscience together with Mr. Okhtay Babai emerging as symbols of our resistance:

-         Abbas Leysanli in Erdebil Prison

-         Hesen Azerbaycan (Herguli), Dr Heyderoghlu and Okhtay Babai in Tebriz Prison

-         Saleh Kamrani and Hesen Rashidi in the Evin Prison, Tehran

-         Rza Abbasi in Zenjan Prison

-         Elyaz Yekenli in Merend Prison

-         Elman Tebrizli in Sulduz Prison


§         The case of Mr. Mehdi Babai, as the focus of this Complaint, which is better described by Amnesty International’s urgent action, Ref:  MDE 13/093/2006 and attached for your information. According to this document, he is recognized as a prisoner of conscience.

  • The case of Mr. Mehdi Babai, as the focus of this Complaint, which is better described by Amnesty International’s Urgent Action, Ref: MDE 13/093/2006 and attached for your information. According to this document, he is recognized as a prisoner of conscience. (Note that Amnesty International gives the name as Mehdi Babaei Ajabshir but we tend to transcribe the names according to the Latin script of Turkic-Azerbaijani names).

§         The perpetrating Iranian government, which acts in its typical monolithic fashion by outrageously violating every human and national right of Southern Azerbaijanis. Our Committee is just one of Southern Azerbaijani organizations documenting such acts and our letters reveal the scornfulness of the authorities against our human rights.

  • Amnesty International, which has proven worthy of its reputation by issuing a host of urgent actions and general statements/reports exposing the violation of human rights against our people.
  • The UN office of High Commissioner on Human Rights (HCHR), which is created to protect individuals and nations (such as Southern Azerbaijanis), from atrocious governments (such as the Islamic Republic of Iran). We are fully aware that the HCHR has been entrusted with a host of mandates through special rapporteurs and working groups using such mechanisms as: press releases, annual reports and/or country visits for safeguarding human rights.

Under difficult circumstances, Mrs. Babai Ejebshir, wife of this prisoner of conscience, describes her sufferings by asking the following question:

“Is it a crime to campaign to educate our children in our mother tongue, Turkic Azerbaijani? If it is, why do the authorities avoid trying my husband? And to whom should I refer regarding my sufferings?”

Although the communications released by Amnesty International are invaluable toward securing the life of the victims but they are probably insufficient in safeguarding their human rights. You are (the HCHR) the authority with a mandate entrusted upon you by the world community to respond to such matters. We therefore relay Mrs. Babai Ejebshir’s letter to you and launch it in the form of a formal complaint. Please note that it is the initiative of our organization to raise this complaint but not of Mrs. Babai. On this matter, we have not consulted Mrs. Babai, her family or her husband. We therefore request you to take up the case and report back your findings to us as soon as conveniently possible.

Yours faithfully,

Boyuk Resuloglu

For and on behalf of

The Committee for the Defence of the Rights of World Azerbaijanis



The Translations













Disclaimer: This is the translation of a letter by Mrs. Babai, the wife of a prisoner of conscience probably to her M.P. and later it was published in various Azerbaijani Websites. Mrs. Babai, her family and her husband were not consulted in writing this letter.

With much respect,

I am the wife of Mr. Mehdi Babai EJEBSHIR (Okhtay). I regret to mention that by writing this letter I am running a certain risk, as security agents of the Ministry of Intelligence of Islamic Republic of Iran have ordered us to remain silent in my husband’s case. Recently Amnesty International published an urgent action regarding my husband, which I forwarded it for your kind attention hoping that you would act on it with urgency. However, in this case, I presume the Urgent Action did not result in a noticeable impact on the behavior of the security agents, as it is, now more than 50 days that my husband still remains under indefinite detention without any trial. The accusations against my husband are: publicity against the regime, being an element of the unrest, undermining the peace and security in the country, and communicating with foreign separatists outside the country. Together with all these, the authorities have deprived my husband from appointing a lawyer except in one occasion when he was to be acknowledged of the accusations. My question is this: Is it a crime to campaign to educate our children in our mother tongue, Turkic Azerbaijani? If it is, why do the authorities avoid trying my husband? And to whom should I refer regarding my sufferings? I keep receiving threatening calls from security agents now and then ordering me not to talk to anyone. Else, I would be arrested.

My husband was tortured for 10 days in the detention unit attached to the Ministry of Intelligence, in the Baghshumal Roundabout, Tebriz. He has now been transferred to Wing 5 allocated for political prisoners and is not under direct tortures. It is only a few days ago that both my mother-in-low and I were allowed to visit him. Here we found out that still he is pressurized to take part in a forced television interview but so far he has managed to resist vehemently their demand.

The problem is that the dignity of our family can be undermined if I am also arrested, as certain elements of the regime will spread dirty rumors. It is not improbable that certain security agents would dare dishonor of our family. Due to such threats my husband is under extreme pressure. In my turn, I fear to be kidnapped. I do not leave our house except in very rare occasions and only when I am accompanied with my in-laws. My request from you is to please take up the case in breaking the mole in the case of my husband and other political prisoners of (Southern) Azerbaijan.




The Source Document













The Source For Document No 2:

با سلام

من همسر مهدي بابايي عجب شير (اوختاي) هستم. متاسفانه نمي­توانم اسمم را بدهم چون مرا و خانوادۀ همسر مرا وزارت اطلاعات جمهوري اسلامي به شدت، تحت فشار قرار داده است. اخيراً عفو بين­الملل بيانيه­اي در مورد همسر بنده انتشار داده است كه خدمتتان ارسال مي­نمايم و اميدوارم منعكس نماييد. البته انتشار اين بيانيه هيچ تغييري در رفتار ماموران رژیم به وجود نياورده است و همسر من پس از گذشت پنجاه (50) روز همچنان بدون محاكمه و بلاتكليف مي­باشد. اتهامات همسر من، "تبليغ عليه نظام"،‌ "يكي از عوامل اغتشاشات تبريز"، "اخلال در نظم و امنيت كشور" و "ارتباط با گروههاي خارجي تخزيه طلب" مي­باشد. با اينحال رژ‍يم همسرم را از داشتن وكيل محروم كرده و به جزء يكبار تفهيم اتهام، از محاكمه وي خودداري مي­نمايند. سوال من اين است كه آيا درخواست تدريس زبان توركي آذربايجاني در مدارس جرم است؟ و اگر جرم است پس چرا از محاكمۀ همسر من استنكاف مي­كنند؟ من دردم را به چه كسي بگويم؟ هر از چند گاهي اطلاعات رژيم مرا تلفني تهديدمي­كنند كه با كسي در اين مورد صحبت نكنم، در غير اينصورت مرا نيز دستگير خواهند كرد. شوهر مرا به مدت ده (10) روز در بازداشتگاه وزارت اطلاعات واقع در فلکه باغشمال تبريز تخت شكنجه قرار داده­اند ولي اكنون به بند پنج سياسي زندان تبريز منتقل شده است و از شكنجه­هاي مستقيم رهايي يافته است و تنها چند روز پيش من و مادرش توانسته­ايم او را ملاقات نماييم. ضمناً از او مي­خواهند در مصاحبه تلوزيوني شركت كند كه او تاكنون از انجام اينكار سرباز زده است. با دستگيري من، آبروي خانوادگي ما تهديد خواهد شد و بعضي از عوامل رژيم شايعاتي در اين مورد پخش خواهند كرد و حتي شايد بعيد نيست عوامل اطلاعاتی رژيم به شرافت خانوادگي ما نيز رحم نكنند از اينرو همسرم به شدت از اين تهديدات در فشار روحي است و من از ترس ربوده شدن از خانه بيرون نمي­آيم (ما در خانه پدر شوهرم زندگي مي­كنيم و تنها، استثناً به همراه آنها از خانه بيرون مي­روم). درخواست من از شما اين است كه لطفاً شما به نحو مقتضي اين مساله را مطرح نماييد بلكه فرجي در كار اوختای و سایر زندانيان سياسي آذربايجان به وجود آيد.

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