Date: 02 October 2006
The Office of High Commissioner for Human Rights, Geneva,
Please circulate this letter to Independent Expert on Minority Issues; the Working Group on Arbitrary Detentions; and Special Rapporteur on the right to education of Children
CC Mrs. Harrison, Amnesty International, London
Re COMPLAINT – FOUR SOUTHERN AZERBAIJANI TEENAGERS DETAINED BY IRANIAN AUTHORITIES
With much regret, we have to inform you that relevant authorities of the Islamic Republic of Iran has detained four Southern Azerbaijani teenage boys (age: 14 to 16). The detentions have taken place since 21 September 2006 and were evidently related to the nationwide campaign on 23 September 2006, protesting against education in the alien Farsi language instead of mother tongue of Southern Azerbaijanis. Our committee has just issued a report on the campaign, providing a background for the case of these teenagers (Ref.: 391/2006; date: 29 September 2006). We have now collated the relevant information on
these teenagers, compiled them in this letter towards the substantiation of a complaint. The collective particulars of this case are presented in the table below. As per compiled information attached herein, we hereby lodge a complaint against their detention.
Details of Detained Teenagers
Note: The Farsi style of transcription of Mutuza and Mehemmedrza Evezpur’s names are: Morteza, and Mohammad Reza Evezpoor.
The basic data are now before you. Amnesty International verified the case of Mehemmedrza and Murtuza, as prisoners of conscience, please refer to Amnesty International, General Statement, MDE 13/108/ on 25 September 2006. Although Sina and Aresh were arrested at the time of issuing the above statement, the news was not yet detected by the activists and therefore not available to Amnesty International, who would have almost certainly campaigned for all four of them.
On a personal note, it makes us deeply offended to even refer to a boy of 14 as a prisoner of conscience. What has come of the world and human rights in the world not to act against perpetrators of these detentions? We are confident that these four boys are just like any other boys in any part of the world: inquisitive, curious, engaged and interested. They would ask many questions and quickly change their mind every now and then but would enjoy their football or computer games more. Their place is in their home with their loving parents but not in custody of agents who regard it a virtue to amputate hands, lash prisoners of conscience and torture innocent individuals. We apologise for this outburst of emotion in this formal letter.
We therefore would like to lodge this formal complaint as a single case against the collective violation of human rights of the four teenagers named above. We fear that the risk of pressure exerted on or possibly torture inflicted into these teenagers are real and can inflict a permanent damage on their developing personality. Therefore, due to enormous gravity of the case, we would urge you to dispatch your fact-finding envoy to ensure the immediate and unconditional release of the boys and assess if they have suffered lasting damage.
We are positive that the gravity of the situation is clear to you; our complaint will trigger your effective action; and should the authority release the boys in the near future, you would still protest against such violations of human rights. We thank you in advance for your anticipated actions.
For and on behalf of
The Committee for the Defence of the Rights of World Azerbaijanis