Date: 2 Sept 2007
The Office of High
Commissioner for Human Rights, Geneva
Please circulate this letter to the
Special Rapporteur on the promotion
and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression.
Also this Communication is relevant to the following Special
Group on arbitrary detention;
Rapporteur on the independence of judges;
Rapporteur on contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination,
xenophobia and intolerance.
CC Mrs. Harrison, Amnesty International, London
No. 1 ON MRS. ETIYYE METINPUR (Tahiri)
Please find enclosed
Communication No. 1 submitted for the attention of the Special
Raporteur on the promotion
and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression of
She is a tireless campaigner for her husband, Mr.
Seid Metinpur, a distinguished human rights defender of Southern
Azerbaijani national movement and a journalist.
The Communication is
presented in Table 1, presenting our assessment of risks to Mrs.
Metinpur by intimidations of Iranian security agents. As such, there
is no opportunity for such individuals to exercise their right to
freedom of opinion and expression.
We would like to stress that the
compilation and submission of this Communication is our initiative
and we have not consulted with Mrs. Metinpur, her family members or
anyone representing her interests. We state this to manage the risk
of reprisal against her by the Iranian authorities.
Once again we appeal to
your kind attention to act on this case for safeguarding the human
rights and safety of Mr. Metinpur and his family members.
For and on behalf of
The Committee for the Defence of the Rights of World Azerbaijanis
Table 1: Communication to Safeguard
the Rights of Mrs. Etiyye Metinpur
Allegation regarding the person:
Description of the violation of the right to freedom of
opinion and expression, including date, location and
circumstances of the event;
This Communication presents the case of Mrs. Etiyye
METINPUR, the wife of a prisoner of conscience, Mr. Seid
METINPUR. She is constantly intimidated by Iranian
authorities in a variety of ways. We have written to you in
the past and informed you of the techniques employed by the
Iranian authorities to harass the family members of the
prisoners of conscience (see our Communication Ref.:
416/2006 on 29 November 2006) and the case of Mrs. Metinpur
is similar and no exception.
Mrs. Etiyye Metinpur (her first name may also be transcribed
as Atiyyeh and her surname as Metinpour). Her maiden name is
Tahiri (which may be transcribed as Taheri)
We do not know her age.
She is a Southern Azerbaijani national, a citizen of the
Islamic Republic of Iran – her ethnic/national affiliation
is one of the central issues, as she campaigns for the
official recognition of mother tongue of Azerbaijani Turkic.
She is a high school teacher in mathematics.
Mrs. Metinpur campaigns for the release of her husband who
has been imprisoned arbitrarily by Iranian authorities for
defending human rights of the activists of national movement
of Southern Azerbaijan (for more background see Urgent
Actions by Amnesty International e.g.: MDE 13/070/2007
issued on 7 June 2007 (http://web.amnesty.org/library/index/engmde131062007).
Her husband’s ordeals should also be seen in the background
of the May 2006 Mass Protests, which swept throughout
Southern Azerbaijan in response to a State-sponsored abuse
of the national integrity of Southern Azerbaijanis. An
estimated 2 million people took part in these protests.
Since then, her husband has been outspoken about the
arbitrary treatment of Southern Azerbaijani prisoners of
In Iran, non-conformist organizations are persecuted by the
Ministry of Intelligence and therefore, as far as we know,
Mr. and Mrs. Metinpur do not belong to any organization but
Mr. Metinpur is a prominent human rights defender with a
total respect to local and international laws. They are
fully committed to peaceful and democratic means. In fact
Mr. Metinpur is a philosopher and has a good grasp of the
context of human rights and democratic approaches.
Past or present
participation in political, social, ethnic or labour
To our knowledge, Mrs.
Metinpur does not participate in any political, social or
labour activity. However, we believe she was a founding
member of Zengan Song Group and she is an arduous campaigner
for her husband.
Information on other
specific activities relating to the alleged violation.
Mrs. Metinpur has been subjected to
numerous intimidations. In general, we have written to you
in the past that the wife of a prisoner of conscience in
Southern Azerbaijan is forced to social exclusion by the
Iranian security agents. The wife of a prisoner of
conscience cannot go outside for the fear of being arrested.
Allegation regarding a medium of communication:
description of the alleged infringement on the right:
Mrs. Metinpur has
exercised her right to freedom of opinion and expression and
campaigned for the release of her husband, Mr. Metinpur.
However her right is infringed by the Iranian authorities.
The nature of the medium
affected (e.g. newspapers, independent radio); including
circulation and frequency of publication or broadcasting,
public performances, etc
not have any specific information on this.
Political orientation of
the medium (if relevant).
not aware of any political orientation, other than the solid
commitment of the family to purely democratic means and the
exercise of human right principles. They are renown for not
compromising human rights.
Information regarding the alleged perpetrators:
Name, State affiliation
(e.g. military, police) and reasons why they are considered
The intimidating agents are often
harboured by the Ministry of Intelligence through security
agents. These are often nebulous overtly organized
militia groups that are heard of but not seen. It is
impossible to be more specific than this.
The ordeal goes on in the Southern
Azerbaijani city of Zengan and in the Iranian administration
terms, in the city of Zengan (Zanjan) the provincial capital
of the Province of Zanjan.
actors, description of how they relate to the State (e.g.
cooperation with or support by State security forces);
applicable, State encouragement or tolerance of activities
of non-State actors, whether groups or individuals,
including threats or use of violence and harassment against
individuals exercising their right to freedom of opinion and
expression, including the right to seek, receive and impart
No one knows who these security
agents are but they are certainly harboured by the Ministry
of Intelligence officials. They often can get away with
anything they do.
Information related to State actions:
If the incident involves
restrictions on a medium (e.g. censorship, closure of a news
organ, banning of a book, etc.); the identity of the
authority involved (individual and/or ministry and/or
department), the legal statute invoked, and steps taken to
seek domestic remedy; N/A
If the incident involves
arrest of an individual or individuals, the identity of the
authority involved (individual and/or ministry and/or
department), the legal statute invoked, location of
detention if known, information on provision of access to
legal counsel and family members, steps taken to seek
domestic remedy or clarification of person's situation and
It is impossible to provide the details of the agents who
inflict intimidation acts, as the Iranian authorities are
extremely careful to cover their tracks.
applicable, information on whether or not an investigation
has taken place and, if so, by what ministry or department
of the Government and the status of the investigation at the
time of submission of the allegation, including whether or
not the investigation has resulted in indictments.
The government, Ministry of
Intelligence, their overt agents, and Ministry of Justice
officials often collude together.
Information on the source of the communications:
and full address:
Ayna, Sherifzade 1,
The Republic of Azerbaijan
Telephone and fax numbers and e-mail address (if possible):
Name, address, phone/fax
numbers and e-mail address (if applicable) of person or
organization submitting the allegation.
Note that DunAzHAK is an NGO
devoted to the defence of human rights.