No.: 398/ 2006
Date: 16 October 2006
The Office of High Commissioner for Human Rights, Geneva,
Please circulate this letter to the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention (also for Fair Trials)
CC Mrs. Harrison, Amnesty International, London
Re COMPLAINT – IRANIAN AUTHORITIES KEEP VICTIMISE SOUTHERN AZERBAIJANI ACTIVITTS BY ARBITRARY VERDICTS
Please find enclosed a new case of complaint for safeguarding human rights of two Southern Azerbaijani activists who have just been jailed by the relevant authorities of the Islamic Republic of Iran for taking part in June 2004 in a cultural mountain trekking activity, popularly known as the Babek Assembly. Others are awaiting the outcome of their appeals, who were collectively tried on 6 August 2006, and therefore the number of victims concerning this Complaint may increase in the near future.
The Babek Assembly is an annual event in Southern Azerbaijan and Amnesty International, concerned with the arbitrary actions of the Iranian authorities, issued a General Statement on 29 June 2006 (MDE 13/074/2006) calling on them for restraint. The statement introduced this annual event in the following terms:
“Each year, thousands of Azeri Turks gather in Kalayber and walk up to the castle to celebrate the birthday of Babek Khorramdin, who lived in the ninth century and is regarded as a hero by Iranian Azeri Turks. These gatherings have frequently met with repression on the part of the Iranian authorities. In 2005, for example, scores of people were reportedly arrested and at least 21 were sentenced to prison terms of up to one year, though some of these were suspended.”
The history behind this Case goes back to 2004 and is triggered by the verdict issued on two Southern Azerbaijani activists, who are already jailed in Eher Prison (Eher is approximately 150 Km east of Tebriz). The individuals concerned are (i) Mr. Yürüsh MEHRELIBEYLI (officially known as Ayetollah MEHRALI BEGLU) and (ii) Elchin (officially known Dariyush) HATEMI. The particulars of the individuals are tabulated below. As far as we know, the verdict has not been published, as the authorities failed to issue it in writing. Our own sources have confirmed that the individuals concerned are in jail and we believe that the onus is on the authorities to publish their verdict rather than shamefully cover up their tracks.
Once again, we have not consulted with the individuals concerned or their representatives in compiling this Complaint. It is necessary to mention this, as the authorities are intimidating activists. It is interesting to note that the Iranian authorities put significant effort into covering up their actions in the hope that their actions remain hidden from the attention of the wider global arena. Your confidential approach can encourage these perpetrators of human rights while your press releases are far more likely to be effective in discouraging and stopping their arbitrary acts.
We lodge our Complaint against violations of human rights of Mr Mehrelibeyli and Mr Hatemi by Iranian judges. We trust that you will decide on the best approach to ensure their immediate and unconditional release and act towards restoring their human rights. We thank you in advance for your efforts.
The Committee for the Defence of the Rights of World Azerbaijanis