No.: 463/ 2007

Date: 7 Sept 2006

The Office of High Commissioner for Human Rights, Geneva

                Please circulate this letter to the Working Group on arbitrary detention. Also this Communication is relevant to the following:

·         Special Rapporteur on the independence of judges;

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

·          Special Rapporteur on violence against women, its causes and consequences 

CC      Mr. Dyke and Mrs. Harrison, Amnesty International, London

Mrs. Leyla Seferi and Mr. Behruz Sefəri

Dear sir/madam,

Re     COMMUNICATION No. 1 ON MR AND MRS. SEFERI

Please find enclosed Communication No. 1 submitted for the attention of the Working Group on arbitrary detention to safeguard human rights of Mr. and Mrs. Seferi, who are deprived of their liberty by Iranian authorities. The particulars of the case of Mr. Seferi are presented in Table 1 and of Mrs. Seferi in Table 2.

Nearly three months ago Mr. Seferi was arrested by Iranian authorities in the Southern Azerbaijani city of Zengan and at the same time had succeeded to silence the victim’s brother and wife through threats and intimidation. The suspicion of friends and Southern Azerbaijani activists on the missing victim was verified when Mrs. Seferi was abducted in government premises approximately 10 days ago after being allured to visit her arbitrarily detained husband. Even now there is no official communiqué on their whereabouts.

We hold that the abduction of Mrs. Seferi was ungentlemanly and unworthy of any entity to be called as the authority but we hope you agree with us that this futile act is only a fitting attribute of racists of today fearful of their grip on power. We trust that you will act swiftly against this outrageous act.

We would like to stress that the compilation and submission of these Communications are our initiative and we have not consulted with the victims, their family members or anyone representing their interests. We state this to manage reprisal risks against the victims by the Iranian authorities.

Once again we appeal to your kind attention to this case and hope you will act swiftly in mobilising your campaign for the release of Mr. and Mrs. Seferi. Thank you in advance for your care.

Yours faithfully,

Boyuk Resuloglu

For and on behalf of

The Committee for the Defence of the Rights of World Azerbaijanis

 

Table 1           The COMMUNICATION CASE OF MR BEHRUZ SEFERI

Human Rights

 

United Nations

Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights

OHCHR

 

 

 

Working Group on Arbitrary Detention

"No one shall be subjected to arbitrary arrest, detention or exile."
(Article 9, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights)
VII. Model questionnaire to be completed by persons alleging arbitrary arrest or detention

I. Identity of the person arrested or detained

1.     Family name:               Mr. Seferi (the transcription of the name from Farsi could be Safari)

2.     First name:                   Behruz (the transcription of the name from Farsi could be Behrouz or Behrooz)

3.     Sex:                            Male          ......................................................................

4.     Birth date or age (at the time of detention):

                                         No information is available

5.     Nationality/Nationalities: Southern Azerbaijani national; a citizen of the Islamic Republic of Iran       

6.       (a) Identity document (if any): not available            ..................................................

(b) Issued by:            He is a resident of Zengan (or Zenjan or Zanjan) but originally from the Southern Azerbaijani city of Beyjar in the Hemedan province

(c) On (date):              The data not available           ................................................

(d) No.:                     The data not available          ..................................................

7.     Profession and/or activity (if believed to be relevant to the arrest/detention): the victim’s profession is not relevant to the arbitrary treatment suffered by him.

8.    Address of usual residence: His city of normal residence is the Southern Azerbaijani city of Zengan

II. Arrest

1.    Date of arrest:              This is understood to be on 20 June 2007 or thereabouts (see the reference: http://haqqimiz.blogfa.com/post-474.aspx but his absence was noticed by friends and the activists of the national movement of Southern Azerbaijan).

2.    Place of arrest:                    The available information is yet to be consolidated but apparently he was arrested in his workplace.

3.    Forces who carried out the arrest or are believed to have carried it out:

                                                   Normally security agents carry out the act of arresting in every obnoxious way and we believe this case was no exception. ........

 

4.    Did they show a warrant or other decision by a public authority?

Almost certainly No. In fact, security agents pressurized the victim’s wife and brother to keep quiet about the victim’s ordeal. The whole issue became certain, when the victim’s wife was abducted, see the companion communication in Table 2.

5.    Authority who issued the warrant or decision: Security agents are normally above law and they arrest as and when they wish. ..................................

6.    Relevant legislation applied (if known):

Almost certainly this is arbitrary arrest aimed at creating an atmosphere of tension and fear among other activists and also to beat out forced confession from the victims. ..............................................

III. Detention

1.    Date of detention:   It is difficult to know when and at what stage the victim was detained, as in Iran these are highly nebulous concepts due to arbitrary acts of the authorities.

2.    Duration of detention (if not known, probable duration):

                                         It is nearly three months that the ordeal against the victim is going on.

3.   Forces holding the detainee under custody:

                                    During the detention, they would be held by the prison authority but the Ministry of Information, the Internal Ministry or the Ministry of Justice would all collude with each other. Therefore, it is highly likely that the prison authorities (if he is in prison) are manipulated directly by the Ministry of Information.

4.    Places of detention (indicate any transfer and present place of detention):

               As per (http://haqqimiz.blogfa.com/post-581.aspx) still there is no information on victim’s whereabouts.

 

5.    Authorities that ordered the detention: As in III.3 .....................................................

6.    Reasons for the detention imputed by the authorities:

       There is no official indictment or communiqué.

 Our opinion is that, Iranian authorities are desperate to force out false confessions from Southern Azerbaijan prisoners of conscience. The urgent action by Amnesty International (http://web.amnesty.org/library/index/engmde131062007) also holds a similar statement in relation to the case of Mr. Metinpur, a Southern Azerbaijani human right defender who is a prisoner of conscience now. For a long time Iranian authorities were hoping to have a “fruitful torture,” as a result of which at least some of Southern Azerbaijani prisoners of conscience would yield and agree for confession under torture.  However, the resolve of our prisoners of conscience has defeated the Iranian authorities.

As the companion Communication on the fate of the victim’s wife, the Iranian authorities have now abducted the wife of the victim, and who know what will happen next.. We do not have any information on the fate of both victims and therefore can only make deductions. The fact is that the Iranian authorities have violated their own laws by illegally arresting the victim and abducting his wife; as well violating human rights of the victims. The Iranian authorities have also violated international law by not issuing any official information on the victims. We are now very concerned about the fate of both victims.

7.    Relevant legislation applied (if known):

         As there are no imputed charges, relevant legislation underpinning the victim’s ordeal are not known.

IV. Describe the circumstances of the arrest and/or the detention and indicate precise reasons why you consider the arrest or detention to be arbitrary

Building on our various reports, Communications and letters to yourselves and Amnesty International as well as on a host of Urgent Actions and General Statements issued by Amnesty International provide a wealth of information that Iranian authorities are acting in anger towards spearheading their racist policies and uprooting the Turkic culture of Southern Azerbaijanis. 

V.   Indicate internal steps, including domestic remedies, taken especially with the legal and administrative authorities, particularly for the purpose of establishing the detention and, as appropriate, their results or the reasons why such steps or remedies were ineffective or why they were not taken

We have consistently argued that any victim affiliated to the national movement of Southern Azerbaijan is treated arbitrarily by Iranian authorities. In this case, the authorities had succeeded in silencing the victim’s family members and therefore the campaign for safeguarding his human rights has been undermined.

VI.  Full name and address of the person(s) submitting the information (telephone and fax number, if possible) (d)

Mr. Boyuk Resuloglu

On behalf of:

The Committee for the Defence of the Rights of World Azerbaijanis

Address:

Ayna, Sherifzade 1, Baki, Azerbaijan; Tel/Fax +47-99399225; Email: Boyuk_Resuloglu@hotmail.com or  bo-diza@online.no

 

Date: 6 September 2007 ................................                      Signature:
 
This questionnaire should be addressed to the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention, OHCHR-UNOG, 1211 Geneva 10, Switzerland, fax No. (41-22) 917.90.06.
 

 


© The Office of the High Commissioner
for Human Rights
Geneva, Switzerland Send e-mail with comments and suggestions to:
webadmin.hchr@unog.ch
 


OHCHR-UNOG
8-14 Avenue de la Paix
1211 Geneva 10, Switzerland
Telephone Number (41-22) 917-9000

 

                                                                                                                                                                         

 

Table 2           The COMMUNICATION CASE OF MRS LEYLA SEFERI

Human Rights

 

United Nations

Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights

OHCHR

 

 

 

Working Group on Arbitrary Detention

"No one shall be subjected to arbitrary arrest, detention or exile."
(Article 9, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights)
VII. Model questionnaire to be completed by persons alleging arbitrary arrest or detention

I. Identity of the person arrested or detained

1.     Family name:               Mrs. Seferi (the Farsi transcription of the name could be Safari) and her maiden name is “Heyderi (which could be transcribed as Heydari or Heidary) ..

2.     First name:                   Leyla.................

3.     Sex:                            Female       ......................................................................

4.     Birth date or age (at the time of detention):

                                         No information is available but can be less than 30 years old

5.     Nationality/Nationalities: Southern Azerbaijani national; a citizen of the Islamic Republic of Iran       

6.       (a) Identity document (if any): not available            ..................................................

(b) Issued by:            She is from Zengan (or Zenjan or Zanjan) but as her husband is from the Southern Azerbaijani city of Beyjar in the Hemedan province, she could be from that city too

(c) On (date):              The data not available           ................................................

(d) No.:                     The data not available          ..................................................

7.     Profession and/or activity (if believed to be relevant to the arrest/detention): She is a publisher and bookseller and was repeatedly a target by the authority to rename the name of her bookshop from Chickek, an Azerbaijani Turkic word until the shop was shut down under seal last year.

8.    Address of usual residence: Her city of normal residence is the Southern Azerbaijani city of Zengan


 

II. Arrest

1.    Date of arrest:              28 August 2007

2.    Place of arrest:                    It has now been fully established that the Office of the Ministry of Information had made a telephone call to the father of Mrs. Seferi (or possibly to her father-in-law) informing that Mrs. Leyla Heyderi (Her marriage name Seferi) can visit her husband on 28 August 2007 at a set time. However, Mrs Seferi was abducted by security forces at the set time and within the office of the Ministry of Information in Zengan. (http://haqqimiz.blogfa.com/post-586.aspx) ......

3.    Forces who carried out the arrest or are believed to have carried it out:

                                                   She was arrested or rather abducted by security agents of the Ministry of Information in Zengan. ........

 

4.    Did they show a warrant or other decision by a public authority?

(No) The victim was allured to the office of the Ministry of Information in Zengan and was abducted there.

5.    Authority who issued the warrant or decision: N/A. ..................................

6.    Relevant legislation applied (if known):

Demonstrably, this is the case of abduction and the abductors do not apply any legislation but their own arbitrary acts. ..............................................

III. Detention

1.    Date of detention:   It is difficult to know when and at what stage the victim was detained, as in Iran these are highly nebulous concepts due to arbitrary acts of the authorities.

2.    Duration of detention (if not known, probable duration):

                                         The ordeal on the victim is Ongoing.

3.   Forces holding the detainee under custody:

                                    During the detention, they would be held by the prison authority but the Ministry of Information, the Internal Ministry or the Ministry of Justice would all collude with each other. Therefore, it is highly likely that the prison authorities (if she is in prison) were manipulated directly by the Ministry of Information.

4.    Places of detention (indicate any transfer and present place of detention):

               There is no official communiqué and the Southern Azerbaijani human right defenders has not yet established her whereabouts. 

5.    Authorities that ordered the detention: As in III.3 .....................................................

6.    Reasons for the detention imputed by the authorities:

       There is no official indictment or communiqué.

Our opinion is that, Iranian authorities are desperate to force out false confessions from Southern Azerbaijan prisoners of conscience. The urgent action by Amnesty International (http://web.amnesty.org/library/index/engmde131062007) also holds a similar statement in relation to the case of Mr. Metinpur, a Southern Azerbaijani human right defender who is a prisoner of conscience now. For a long time Iranian authorities were hoping to have a “fruitful torture,” as a result of which at least some of Southern Azerbaijani prisoners of conscience would yield and agree for confession under torture.  However, the resolve of our prisoners of conscience has defeated the Iranian authorities.

Together with this Communication, we also submit another companion Communication regarding the ordeal of her husband. Her husband was also abducted sometimes around 20 June 2007 but activists and friends suspected it after a week. Apparently Mrs. Seferi and the brother of Mrs. Seferi denied the situation, informing the friends that Behruz Seferi has traveled to Beyjar, his hometown, and will be coming back. The curious friends and activists were not satisfied with this and after a great deal of investigation, the conclusion was that Behruz Seferi was detained by the Iranian authorities but his brother and his wife, Mrs. Seferi yielded to the intimations by security agents and did not confirm the situation.

Curously, this family is one of the first one who had directly yielded to the intimidations and they are the first one who has been victimized, i.e. abducting the wife of this prisoner of conscience.

As regards the character of Mrs. Leyla Seferi, she is renowned for her steadfast resolve to safeguard her Turkic Azerbaijani identity and nationality. Our Report, Ref: 372/2006 on 28 August 2006 describes the instance that Mrs. Leyla Heyderi (marriage name Seferi) was the constant point of harassment by Iranian authorities to shut down her bookshop, named Chichek, which means flower in Azerbaijani Turkic. She was transformed into a bastion of resistance then and it is highly uncharacteristic of Mrs. Seferi to yield in this instance. One therefore uses this instance to extrapolate the level of intimidation that she was subjected to. By the same token, we fear for her safety.

7.    Relevant legislation applied (if known):

         As there are no imputed charges, relevant legislation underpinning the abduction are not known.

 

IV. Describe the circumstances of the arrest and/or the detention and indicate precise reasons why you consider the arrest or detention to be arbitrary

Building on our various reports, Communications and letters to yourselves and Amnesty International as well as on a host of Urgent Actions and General Statements issued by Amnesty International provide a wealth of information that Iranian authorities are acting in anger towards spearheading their racist policies.

V. Indicate internal steps, including domestic remedies, taken especially with the legal and administrative authorities, particularly for the purpose of establishing the detention and, as appropriate, their results or the reasons why such steps or remedies were ineffective or why they were not taken

We have consistently argued that any victim affiliated to the national movement of Southern Azerbaijan is treated arbitrarily by Iranian authorities. In this case, the victim was probably hopeful to be helpful to her husband by meeting her without realizing that she is being allured towards abduction.
 

VI. Full name and address of the person(s) submitting the information (telephone and fax number, if possible) (d)

Mr. Boyuk Resuloglu

On behalf of:

The Committee for the Defence of the Rights of World Azerbaijanis

Address:

Ayna, Sherifzade 1, Baki, Azerbaijan; Tel/Fax +47-99399225; Email: Boyuk_Resuloglu@hotmail.com or  bo-diza@online.no

Date: 6 September 2007 ................................                      Signature:
 
This questionnaire should be addressed to the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention, OHCHR-UNOG, 1211 Geneva 10, Switzerland, fax No. (41-22) 917.90.06.
 

 


© The Office of the High Commissioner
for Human Rights
Geneva, Switzerland Send e-mail with comments and suggestions to:
webadmin.hchr@unog.ch
 


OHCHR-UNOG
8-14 Avenue de la Paix
1211 Geneva 10, Switzerland
Telephone Number (41-22) 917-9000

 

                                                                                                                                                                        

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