Problem of Southern Azerbaijan
The Office of High
Commissioner for Human Rights, Geneva
Please circulate this letter to:
The Working Group on Arbitrary Detention
Rapporteur on contemporary forms of racism, racial
discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance
The Independent Expert on Minority Issues
The Working Group on Arbitrary Detention (also for Fair
Rapporteur on the independence of judges and lawyers
CC Mrs. Harrison, and
Mr Dyke, Amnesty International, London
Mr. Sina Tariq
a recent victim of Iranian
COMMUNICATIONS: OVER 200 SOUTHERN AZERBAIJANIS
DETAINED BY IRANIAN AUTHORITIES ON THE ANNIVERSARY OF THE MAY 2006
Please find enclosed a Collective Communication on more than 200
Southern Azerbaijanis, whose national and human rights have been
violated by Iranian authorities on the occasion of the Anniversary
of the May 2006 Mass Protests. The compiled Communication
data on each individual is presented in Table 1. The ongoing wave of
repression should be distinguished from those in the past even
though they are linked. By way of background:
We have informed you on
the May 2006 Mass Protests through a series of communications and
reports. This event transformed the national movement of Southern
Azerbaijan into a nation-wide struggle against Iranian authorities
currently ruling in Southern Azerbaijan. Our submissions documented
some evidence that thousands of innocent Southern Azerbaijanis
suffered detentions, more than 100 suffered arbitrary sentences and
some 20 individuals perished through extra-judicial executions.
The most notable examples
are that i. since the extra-judicial execution of Mr. Jelil
Abidini, his parents have appealed to international justice
organisations for help against Iranian authorities exerting undue
pressures to silence them – see Table 2; ii. the cases
of Mr. Abbas Leysanli in Erdebil prison and Mr. Elyaz Yekanli in
Urmu prison have exemplified the resistance of the nation of
Southern Azerbaijan against Iranian racism.
The May 2006 Mass
Protests set the precedence for a rhythmic marking of national
events by our nation and the Iranian authorities resorting to
violence and suppression.
We wrote proactively to
you regarding the nation-wide preparation for marking the
Anniversary in 22 May 2007 (Our letter: on 12 May 07; Ref:
We also wrote to you at
the aftermath of the 22 May 2007 Anniversary repressions (Our
letter: Ref: 455, on 3 June 2007), appealing for your interventions
towards safeguarding the human rights of Southern
In order to help you with a clear understanding of the situation and
to reflect on the determination of the nation of Southern
Azerbaijan, we would like to remind you that our 30 million nation
is deprived of the very basic right of education in mother language;
our cities are rapidly deteriorating; the economic basis of Southern
Azerbaijan is forced to decline; many rural communities still lack
the basic amenities such as water supply, electricity and tarmac
roads. . Also mass migrations are taking place in search of work to
outside Southern Azerbaijan. Our nation makes over half of the
population in Iran but its very existence is now undermined.
Our nation has now broken its silence and risen against the ongoing
Iranian racist policies, showing a commendable maturity by strictly
adhering to the democratic struggle with the goal of securing the
right to self determination for the nation of Southern Azerbaijan.
However, Iranian authorities allure themselves with a supposed
racial supremacy and ruthlessly repress the democratic movement of
Southern Azerbaijan. We keep making the point that without
exercising your mandates, Iranian authorities will feel appeased.
This collective Communication is once again another testimony for
Iranian ruthlessness against Southern Azerbaijan; for mobilising
your urgent attention for the cause of Southern Azerbaijan; and for
your perusal that the problem of Southern Azerbaijan is not an
internal problem of Iran.
We would like to draw your attention to the Collective Communication
Data compiled in Table 1. We intended to submit individual
Communications for each victim but clearly this is beyond ours
resources and most probably beyond your resources as well. Whilst
this collective Communication is a solution to our relatively
limited resources, we hope you will act on all the individuals. We
would like to highlight some of the information in the table for
The data presented in Table 1
is by no means exhaustive. We believe there are more than 1000
individuals who were detained but with no official communiqué on
their arrest, detention or release. Any meagre information is
gathered by our activists and human right defenders at a great
risk to their safety and they only release information if
reliable. So our information is more than what is actually
reflected in Table 1 but those presented here are reliable.
Amnesty International has also
issued a number of statements e.g.
MDE 13/067/2007 on 7 June 2007; 13/068/2007 on 7 June 2007; and
13/070/2007 on 7 June 2007. We would like to draw your attention
to the ordeal suffered by
the distinguished human right defender and journalist Mr. Seid
Metinpur in the notorious Evin prison, as well to that of Mr.
Jelil Qenilu in Evin prison, Ekber Pashai kept in a solitary
confinement in Urmu, and Elman (Mehdi) Babai in Sulduz prison;
all of whom are believed to suffer torture.
Mr. Chengiz Bekhtaver and his
brother Jahanbekhsh Bekhtaver, veterans of the national movement
of Southern Azerbaijan, have been arbitrarily deprived of their
liberty and detained until the current tide of protests reaches
an ebb. Their families are also under undue repression. Table
3 presents you with the letter by Mr. Chengiz Bekhtaver’s
wife to her Member of Parliament, the right honourable Dr Ekber
Among the detainees, you will
find the name of Mehmmed Riza Evezpur, a 16 years old teenager
who is at the brunt edge of Iranian authorities. We have already
written to you about him e.g. (Our letters: Ref.
393/2006 on 2 October 2006, and Ref 402 on 27
October 2006) and
Amnesty International has campaigned for his human rights, e.g.
(MDE 13/118/2006 on 11 October 2006
and MDE 13/047/2006 on 5 May 2006).
Iranian authorities also
deploy a variety of deterrents and Table 4 provides you
one example of intimidation campaign deployed in Khoy by the
notorious Ministry of Information machinery by dispatching some
300 letters summoning Southern Azerbaijani activists to
You may notice from Table 1
that 90% of the victims are awaiting an arbitrary court trial.
It is true that Iranian authorities are deterred relatively
about the pressure exerted by the international human right
organisations, but they deploy closed court trials and by the
looming of possible trials to gag our activists. Gagging of
freedom loving individuals is a severe punishment and our
activists are at the brunt edge of this crafty punishment.
The facts are laid before and we believe your organisation is the
only one with a mandate to represent the victims named in Table 1.
We request that you organise a country visit to Southern Azerbaijan
and are confident that as soon as your team arrive in Tebriz, a huge
number of victims will refer to you to provide you details of their
ordeals suffered over the years in the hands of Iranian authorities.
Considering the persistence of the onslaught of Iranian authorities
against the nation of Southern Azerbaijan, our request for a country
visit of Southern Azerbaijan is undoubtedly a basic right that we
feel to be entitled to put before you. We would like to thank you in
advance for your care.
For and on behalf of
The Committee for the
Defence of the Rights of World Azerbaijanis
Translated Information on the Ordeal
experience by the parents of an extra-judicially executed
Request of late
Jelil Abidi`s relatives from the international organisations
Relatives of Late Jelil Abidi have
appealed to the international organisations and the
Azerbaijani activists to assist them in getting justice
since Mr. Abidi suffered extra-judicial execution by agents
of the Ministry of Information at Mishkin Shahar on 26 May
Indescribable psychological pressures are
being exerted by Erdebil Judiciary and Security Offices on
relatives of this innocent victim, particularly in relation
to forging consent for the murderer of Mr. Abidi. The
relatives have been warned of grave consequences if they
fail to oblige for issuing such consent. These relative
undergoing an excruciatingly difficult experience, have
appealed international organisations and Azerbaijani
activists for help towards securing justice for the late Mr.
In the contents of
the above mentioned appeal, it has been clarified that, in
the last hearing of an specified court trial, as well as
visits made by local security agents of Mishgin Sheher and
the Erdebil Judiciary authorities, the relatives have been
demanded to give their consent irrespective of any
reservations and drop their judicial proceedings.
Jail’s family, in particular his traumatised mother, have
not given in to all those threats and as a result, close
family members have been subjected to untold maltreatments
Full contents of the
appeal will be made available for the benefit of all those
who are seeking justice.
بیانیه دادخواهی خانواده شهید جلیل عابدی از مجامع بین المللی
خانواده شهید جلیل عابدی که در 5 خرداد ماه 1385 در مشکین شهر
به دست ماموران اطلاعات و به ضرب گلوله از ناحیهپشت سر شهید
شده بود . طی اعلامیه از مجامع وفعالین حقوق آذربایجانیان جهت
احقاق حقوق از دست رفته خود در خواست یاری وکمک نمود.
در پی تشدید فشارهای روانی اطلاعات و سازمانهای قضایی استان
اردبیل نسبت به خانواده این شهید مظلوم ، درخصوص صدور
رضایتنامه اجباری برای قاتل نام برده و تهدیدهای بیشمار نسبت
به خانواده واطرافیان در خصوص
عواقب عدم رضایت که به گفته آنان متوجه کلیه اعضا و خانواده
شهید خواهد بود .بستگان این شهید مظلوم ضمن اطلاعیه از از کلیه
فعالین واگاهان عرصه مبارزات حق طلبانه آذربایجان درخواست کمک
این بیانیه اعلام شده است . که در اخرین جلسه دادگاه نامبرده ،
ونیز طی ملاقات هایی از طرف اداره اطلاعات مشکین شهر و
دادگستری استان اردبیل با خانواده از آنان خواسته اند تا به هر
قیمتی شده با درخواست رضایت دادگاه موافقت نموده و از ادامه
روند دادخواهی و از درخواست قصاص قاتل نامبرده چشم پوشی نمایند.
که طبعا با مخالفت اعضای خانواده وبخصوص مادر داغعدیده وی
همراه بوده است که متعاقبا کلیه اعضای خانواده و نیز کلیه
بستگانی که با خانواده در ارتباط هستند تهدید به اعمال زور
وفشار های مختلف اجتماعی و… شده اند
کامل بیانیه بزودی در اختیار عموم دادخواهان قرار خواهد گرفت.
The Appeal of Mrs. Bekhtaver’s Family to their MP
In the name of God
Date: 13 June 2007
Honourable, Dr. Ekber E’lemi (Akbar Aalami), Member of the
Islamic Iramian `Majlis` (Assembly) for the city of Tebriz
and the suburbs.
Dear Dr. Aalami,
I would like
to express my deepest gratitude for writing to Ayatollah
Shahrudi, Chief of the Ministry of Justice in relation to
the release of the detainees of Azerbaijani provinces, which
took place on 22 May 2007 of the current year.
However, I would like to bring to your
attention that in spite of the written Order of Release
(based on providing financial security) issued by Mr. Ba-Hush,
the official of Court 19 of City of Tebriz, none of the
detainees including my husband, Chingiz Bekhtaver, have been
Following the written order of Mr. Ba-Hush,
many family members of the detainees including myself
approached Mr. Khaneshi, the Assistant Public Prosecutor of
the province offering the required financial securities who
in response, confronted us with insults and abusive
behaviour and as a result my husband and all others are
still in detention.
I have to point out that even before May
the 22nd, the security agents, in the most
ruthless and violent manner, have been arresting many women,
men, students and any one who has demanded the application
of the law of the country and thus causing immense public
resentment towards the central government of Iran.
Signature of Leyla
The authenticity of above mentioned
securities is hereby approved.
Signed by Mr Manuchehr Ezizi
Summoning Order Issued by Agents of the Ministry of
Information in Iran
20 May 2007
(Order for attendance)
Headquarters of Security Office
Mr. Ibrahim Jeferzade Bilvari. Fathers
Residence: Bilvar Village, Khoy ( South
In order to provide some information
and explanations you are hereby instructed to attend the
Information Department located at First Floor, Police
Station 11, Kooche Shahid Mohammad-Nejad, Khiyabane Emam On
21 May 2007 at 09.00.
Clearly, should you fail to attend the
above mentioned meeting, you will be dealt with in
accordance with the relevant rules and regulations.
Signature of Colonel Khoshdel
Chief of the Headquarters of Security
Office of Khoy