No.: 461/ 2007

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 Raporteurs:

·         Working Group on arbitrary detention;

·         Special Rapporteur on the independence of judges;

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

CC          Mrs. Harrison, Amnesty International, London

Dear sir/madam,

Re     COMMUNICATION 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 Mrs. Metinpur. 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.

Yours faithfully,

Boyuk Resuloglu

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

1. 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;

 

Outline: 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.

Name:                        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)

Age,                            We do not know her age.

Gender,                      Female

 

Ethnic background  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.

Profession;                She is a high school teacher in mathematics.

Views                         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 conscience.

 

Affiliations                 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 group/activity:

                                    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.

 

2. Allegation regarding a medium of communication:

A 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

 

                                    We do not have any specific information on this.

Political orientation of the medium (if relevant).

                                 We are 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.

3. Information regarding the alleged perpetrators:

Name, State affiliation (e.g. military, police) and reasons why they are considered responsible:

 

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.

 

For non-State actors, description of how they relate to the State (e.g. cooperation with or support by State security forces); N/A

If 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 information.

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.

4. 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 status;

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.

 

If 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.

5. Information on the source of the communications:

Name and full address:

Mr. Boyuk Resuloglu,

Ayna, Sherifzade 1,

Baki,

The Republic of Azerbaijan

Telephone and fax numbers and e-mail address (if possible):

Tel/Fax: +47-99399225

Email: bo-diza@online.no or boyuk_resuloglu@hotmail.com

Name, address, phone/fax numbers and e-mail address (if applicable) of person or organization submitting the allegation.

As above

Note that DunAzHAK is an NGO devoted to the defence of human rights.

Azərbaijani Turkic

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