No.: 443/2007

Date: 15 Feb  2007 

Mrs. Harrison, Amnesty International, London

CC      The Office of High Commissioner for Human Rights, Geneva,

            Please circulate this letter to The Working Group on Arbitrary Detention, also this would be of interest to:

·         The Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression

·         Special Rapporteur on contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance

·         The Independent Expert on Minority Issues

Also this letter will be CC-ed to

·         The General Secretary of the European Council

·         International and Azerbaijani Mass Media

 

 

Hesen Esedi

Dear Mrs. Harrison,

Re    Arbitrarily Detained Southern Azerbaijanis at the Wake of the International Day of Mother Tongue

We are writing to you in relation to the Southern Azerbaijanis celebrating the International Day of Mother Tongue on the 21st of February.

One of the running themes in our campaigns before you is the status of the mother tongue of the 30 million Southern Azerbaijanis who are currently governed by Iran. You are well familiar with the plain fact that there is even no single classroom in our mother tongue. We welcome your past campaigns but fail to understand how some International organisations can remain indifferent to such Iranian racist policies, a disgraceful to humanity in the 21st century.

Your own valuable urgent actions and our campaigns and correspondences to your organisation and the OHCHR include a sufficient documentation to verify that Iranian authorities are trigger happy to suppress Southern Azerbaijanis by depriving them of a whole range of human rights including the right to education in mother tongue.

The May 2006 Mass Protests are a clear example but the subsequent detainees, including those in relation to the campaign to save mother tongue at the commencement of the academic year 2006, are still deprived of their liberty. These include:

1.Mr. Abbas Leysanli (Erdebil), Mr. Rza Abbasi (Zenjan), Mr. Elyaz Yekenli (Urmu) and

2.Mr. Behruz Elizade (Erdebil), Mr. Qurban Zarei and Mr. Ferhad Mohseni (both from Tebriz).

Whilst they are currently imprisoned by arbitrary charges, their human rights are also blatantly violated.

Now we are at the wake of a new campaign for mother tongue organised by Southern Azerbaijani activists with calls to demonstrations and protests in various cities, e.g. Urmu and Erdebil, both provincial capitals of Southern Azerbaijan and Tebriz, the historic capital of Azerbaijan. Yet the Iranian authorities are in full gear towards suppression. For instance, student throughout Southern Azerbaijan are engaged to organise seminars and meetings in relation to the 21st of February Commemoration. The activists detailed below are already confirmed by reliable sources to have been detained:

No.

Name

Surname

Date Arrested

Place Arrested

Occupation

1

Hesen             

Esedi                  

8 February

Erdebil             

Student

2

Huseyn           

Mehemmedi       

8 February

Erdebil             

Student     

3

Peyman          

Bəhrami              

8 February

Erdebil             

Student     

4

Davud            

Mehemmedi

8 February

Erdebil         

Student     

5

Behzad           

Xorshidzade          

4 February

Shebuster

Student     

6

Perviz             

Sultani                 

4 February

Shebuster

Student

7

Qehreman       

Sultani

4 February

Shebuster

Student     

Iranian authorities are not releasing any information about the above named activists and their families have no information on the whereabouts of their loved ones.

Clearly these arbitrary acts are to deter the nation of Southern Azerbaijan from demanding their legitimate rights. We therefore appreciate if you intervene for safeguarding human rights of Southern Azerbaijanis as well as those of the above detainees.                                       

Yours sincerely,

Boyuk Resuloglu

For and on behalf of

The Committee for the Defence of the Rights of World Azerbaijanis

  Azərbaijani Turkic

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