No.: 464/ 2007

Date: 9 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. Shahnaz Qulami

Mrs. Qulami in the Annual Babek Assembly (2004)

Hesna, Mrs. Qulami’s daughter, Babek Assembly (2004)

     

Dear sir/madam,

Re       COMMUNICATION No. 1 ON MRS. QULAMI

Please find enclosed Communication No. 1 submitted for the attention of the Working Group on arbitrary detention to safeguard human rights of Mrs Shahnaz Qulami, who is deprived of her liberty by Iranian authorities. The particulars of this case are presented in Table 1.

Our latest information is that after twenty of disappearance, believed to be abducted by Iranian security agents, still there is no official information on Mrs. Qulami. Our reliable source has informed us that it was her wish to be defended both by Southern Azerbaijanis and by a named lawyer in the office of a centralist Iranian human rights office. Whilst Azerbaijanis are taking up her defence, after contacting the lawyer in complying with her wish, the lawyer’s response was to dismiss the case stating that “as long as this event has happened in Tebriz, let the lawyers in Tebriz to deal with the case.” It is common knowledge that the Iranian authorities do now even allow the prominent individuals, such Mr. Saleh Kamrani to appoint a lawyer.

We would like to stress that this Communication is our own initiative and we have not consulted with the victim, her family members or anyone representing her interests. We state this to manage reprisal risks against the victim by the Iranian authorities.

Once again we appeal to your kind attention to this case and hope you will act in her best interests. 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 MRS SHAHNAZ QULAMI

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. Qulami (the transcription of the name from Farsi could be Gholami)

2.     First name:                   Shahnaz

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

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

                                         30-40 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 a resident in Tebriz, the capital of Southern Azerbaijan and originally from Eher (or Ahar), a city in Southern Azerbaijan

(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 was apparently expelled from university for not conforming with the Iranian authority and has lost a series of employment for the same reason.

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


 

II. Arrest

1.    Date of arrest:              It took a long time to confirm her arrest. Apparently, on 29 August 2007 agents in plainclothes had knocked nher to arrest her but without a warrant. She had refused to open the door and whilst three agents were waiting in front of her door, another one had gone to collect a warrant. In the mean time, she had received SMS messages. It is understood that she was not arrested on this day but she was summoned to the office the Ministry of Information in Tebriz and since the August 30th has gone missing.

2.    Place of arrest:                    The actual place is rather obscure.

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

                                                   It is understood that security agents arrested her. ........

 

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

As explained above, initially there was no warrant and it is not known for certain if the security agents ever produced any warrant but she is gone missing anyway.

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):

This case also bears the hallmark of abduction or an arbitrary arrest.

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):

                                         She is gone missing and there is no official communiqué on her and according to UrmuNews (http://urmiye.blogfa.com/) still there is no news on her.

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) are manipulated directly by the Ministry of Information.

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

               Due to absence of an official communiqué, there is conflicting information and one such (http://dustaq.blogsky.com/?PostID=105) holds that she is held in room 37 in Tebriz prison.

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. According to various information sources, sometimes ago she was politically active in the centralist Iranian politics but over the years she has been gradually active in the national movement of Southern Azerbaijan. According to our reliable source, a credible Office on Iranian human rights has refused to take up her case.

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

In the absence of any official communiqué, this arrest bears a great deal of similarity with other arrests and a hallmark of arbitrary detention. Although she has been a target when she was active in the centralist Iranian politics and was expelled from her university course, racist policies of the centralist Iranian politics has gradually disillusioned her. According to reports, she has been increasingly sympathising with her native Southern Azerbaijan and reportedly this is a new dimension in her worldview. The national movement of Southern Azerbaijan is fully committed to peaceful means and naturally she would be acquiring this mindset too. Security agents of the Ministry of Information are known to fear peaceful approaches most and seemingly her activities, if any, have not been tolerated. According to some reports, she was also due to launch her website.

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

She had requested her friends to help her through SMS message just before being arrested and also had requested a named lawyer in a human rights office representing the centralist Iranian cases to take her case and defend her. Her Azerbaijani friends have publicized this case widely, but the referred lawyer has not taken up the case; and she has a 9 years old daughter and an old mother who are unable to take up her case. Besides, we have consistently argued that the Iranian authorities hamper Southern Azerbaijani prisoners of conscience to have access to a lawyer.

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: 9 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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