For students of Mugham



No.: 466/2007

Date: 13.09 .07

The Office of High Commissioner for Human Rights, Geneva

·                Please circulate this letter to Special Rapporteur on contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and intolerance. It is also relevant to Working Group on arbitrary detention

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







Dear sir/madam,


We would like to bring it to your attention the outcome of the trial of maestro Hesen Hergüli (also known as Demirchi or Azerbaijan), who was arbitrarily detained for nearly six month by Iranian authorities (from 25 May 2006 to 19 November 2006).

Through a series of letters (see Table 1) we reflected on the outrageous Iranian arbitrary treatment of this 65 years old Southern Azerbaijani musician – Table 2 also present a reverse chronology of his sufferings inflicted by the Iranian authorities. Some highlights of his sufferings from that period of arbitrary detention include:

·   During the May 2006 Mass Protests, while invisible hands of security agents were implanting disorder and violence, he was a leading figure who managed to maintain peaceful protests;

·   He invented the initiative of teaching music to prisoners but even this was disallowed after a week or so;

·   Despite heart problems, he was denied of periodical leave normally allowed to any prisoner;

·   He was denied of a short leave to be at the bedside of his dying age old friend musician, maestro Shatirian.

As if this was not enough, he was tried on 22 mai 2007 and the Iranian authorities bit the bullet and acquitted him. Without a shred of evidence against him, the desperate judge attributed the maestro’s protests as an outcome of provocations by GunAzTV (Southern Azerbaijani TV, broadcasting from Chicago). As the protests were a national reaction against Iranian racist policies, the maestro responded saying that “GunAzTV emerged only two years ago but it is more than 20 years that I have been nicknamed Hesen Azerbaijan for preserving our national music.”

Although the maestro was acquitted and suffered six months of detention for no reason whatsoever, at a later date security agents shut down his music school under seal on 16 August 2007 without producing any court order. Whilst this is a clear violation of his citizens and human rights, we fail to identify any logic in this episode but reflect to you the following:

·         This episode was a miscarriage of justice and typical of hundreds of other cases that the Iranian authorities are arbitrarily imposing on Southern Azerbaijanis and do not even apologise for it.

·         Arbitrariness in Iran means “anything goes if sanctioned by security agents and their colluding judges;

·         Racism is deep in Iran, killing off any chance of Iranian inclusiveness with Southern Azerbaijan in the future;

·         The nation of Southern Azerbaijan is defenceless and is completely exposed without the UN mandates.

We hope that these episodes will contribute to your understanding of the fate of the nation of Southern Azerbaijan and reflect our human and national rights in your various annual reports.

Yours faithfully,

Boyuk Resuloglu

For and on Behalf of

The Committee for the Defence of the Rights of World Azerbaijanis

Table 1  The Log of Our Correspondence Regarding the Case of Mr. Hesen Azerbaijan

Reference and Date

The Subject of the Communication

465/2007, Date: 10 October 2007

Communication on miscarriage of justice against Mr. Hesen Hergüli

395/2006, Date: 9 October 2006

Communication – Arbitrary sentence including 50 lashes to a 65 years old veteran of music

413/2006, Date: 19 Nov. 2006

Mr. Hesen Azerbaycan was released

402/2006 Date: 30 Oct 2006

Further update on maestro Hesen Azerbaijan

401/2006 Date: 20 Oct 2006

The first letter by Mr. Hesen Azerbaijan smuggled out of Tebriz prison

367/2006; Date: 22 August 2006

A new dimension to the impertinence of the Iranian vengeance against Southern Azerbaijani activists


350/2006; Date: 18 July 2006

Arbitrary detentions, deprivation of detainees from access to lawyers under Persian racist policies

327/2006; Date: 28 June 2006

Hesen Azerbaycanli was arrested while suffering from heart problems

333/2006; 19 June 2006

Overview of Southern Azerbaijani prisoners of conscience

 3xx/2006; Date: 11 June 2006

The composer Mr Hesen Azerbaijan transferred to Evin prison is in a life threatening heart condition

322/2006; Date: 7 June 2006

Fear for the health of Mr. Hesen Azerbaijan and makeshift detention centre in Erdebil

Table 2 The Reverse Chronology of Mr. Hesen Azerbaijan

Azerbaijani Mughams

Author: Hesen Demirchi



Mr Azerbaijan is singing


A book by Mr. Azerbaijani Mugham – (Mugham means a program of melodic music)

Mr Azerbaijan (ringed) is playing in his orchestra and as a solo



16 August 2007

The ordeal of Mr. Azerbaijan continues and his Music School is shutdown under seal without any court order

August 2007

Mr. Azerbaijan was cleared after a retrial

19 November 2006

Mr. Azerbaijan was released after nearly 6 months of arbitrary detention

November 2006

Widespread campaign for the release of Mr. Azerbaijan

20 Oct 2006

A defiant letter from prison

9 October 2006

Arbitrary sentence including 50 lashes to a 65 years old veteran of music

7 Sept 2006

A letter by Heyder Bayat recalling his memories of Mr. Azerbaijan and expressing his abhorrence of lashing. Calling Mr. Azerbaijan a living legend, he tries to understand the meaning of lashing of an innocent 65 years old musician. After contemplating for two days, he confesses to be even more confused and angry.

17 August 2006

The sentence was published in Azerbaijani websites, although a written verdict has never been issued.

2 August 2006

The prison authorities disallowed Mr. Azerbaijan to teach music to political prisoners in Tebriz Prison, apparently as a punishment.

20 July 2006

Apparently the court was convened.

8 July 2006

Worrying news was published on his heart conditions

4 July 2006

Dr Ekber E’lemi, a Southern Azerbaijani MP in the Iranian Majlis, visits political prisoners in Tebriz Prison and apparently had a chat with Mr. Azerbaijan too. However, the prison authorities were reportedly hampering the visit with the political prisoners.

29 June 2006

On the occasion of the Babek Assembly, Amnesty International referred to Mr. Azerbaijan’s detention, and together with other detainees, made a collective case for them as prisoners of conscience (MDE 13/074/2006 on 29 June 2006)

25 June

Worrying news on his heart conditions

22 June 2006

Despite heart problems, Mr Azerbaijan’s initiative of teaching Azerbaijani music to the 42 fellow political prisoners reflects his high morale. Nonetheless this initiative is being hampered by the authority.

15 June 2006

A heart felt letter from Güntay Javanshir

14 June

The 65 years old Mr. Azerbaijan resorts to hunger strike as a protest for shutting down his music school. He is refusing to take in solid food. At this point in time there were some 80 political prisoners in Tebriz.

25 May 2006

Security agents raided Mr. Azerbaijan’s house and arrested him together with his son Babek. They were taken to an undisclosed location and confiscated two lorry loads of books, CDs, computer and other personal belongings.

January 2006

Mr. Azerbaijan managed to stage his last opera in Tebriz, composed and produced by him

July 2004

Mr. Azerbaijan was imprisoned for his cultural activities

December 2003

Mr. Azerbaijan was detained for taking part in the anniversary of the National Government (1945-46) referred to as 21 Azer Anniversary (corresponding to 11 December )

Heart Problems

Mr. Azerbaijan’s heart problem is a residue of the arbitrary imprisonment three years ago, when arrested for visiting the mausoleum of Prof. Zehtabi on the occasion of the anniversary of 11 December (21 Azer).

Overview of his past detentions

He has been arrested in numerous occasions;

·      his passport has been confiscated;

·      he is under constant threat;

·      his workplace has been raided many times;

·      he carries on his shoulders a court sentence of one year term of imprisonment, currently postponed


Azərbaijani Turkic

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