No.: 472/2007

Date: 10.12.07

The Office of High Commissioner for Human Rights, Geneva,

Please circulate this letter to:

·         The Working Group on Arbitrary Detention

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

·         The Independent Expert on Minority Issues

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

 

Dear sir/madam,

A GENRAL COMMUNICATION ON IRANIAN VAIOLATIONS OF SOUTHERN AZERBAIJAN

Please find enclosed a General Communication reflecting the situation in Southern Azerbaijan and the scale of the Iranian violation of human and national rights of the nation of Southern Azerbaijan. The situation has been tense since May 2006 and is tense now. This is evident from a broad overview presented through the following documents:

Document 1:    Presents the Communiqué by the participants of the 93rd Anniversary of the death of Settar Khan, the national hero of Azerbaijan. This year it was commemorated on 15 November 2007. We provided you background information last year (please see Ref: 412/2006: Date: 17 November 2006).

Document 2:    Presents a reformatted version of reports by ASMEK reflecting the current situation; overviews the current tense situation in Southern Azerbaijan; and highlights some of the most important issues.

This week (on 12 December 2007), Southern Azerbaijan will commemorate the 62nd Anniversary of the national government, which lasted just for a year in 1945-46 but was brutally overthrown through the bloody invasion of Iran. Since then Iranian racist policies have intensified; the interests of the nation of Southern Azerbaijan have been undermined; and her territories have been fragmented. Notwithstanding this, Southern Azerbaijan is now faced with a new threat due to an unholy alliance between Iran-centric officials and groups and Kurdish terrorism to derail the peaceful national movement of Southern Azerbaijan. This is an unholy alliance because Iranian officials act brutally against Kurdish national interests in Iranian Kurdistan but harbour the most unashamed Kurdish territorial illusion at the expense of Azerbaijan. Strangely, racism also lies at the heart of this collusion, as the culprits are allured by their illusive “super Aryan race.” Although no one in sound mind will take seriously such an illusion, they pose risk to the integrity of Southern Azerbaijan and to the peace in the region. We would like to flag this as an issue before you and hold that it is of a concern to the UN charters on human rights.

We hope it is abundantly clear to you that the national movement of Southern Azerbaijan, as a whole, is committed to the non-violent struggle, reminiscent of those of Mahatma Gandhi but directed against Iranian domination. The other character of the Southern Azerbaijani national movement is its determined struggle reminiscent of that of Nelson Mandela but directed against the illusive “pure Aryan racism” of the Iranian racism. We are confident that you have such a full picture before you thanks to formal and informal communications submitted by the various Southern Azerbaijani organisations. The nation of Southern Azerbaijan is impatiently looking forward to your annual reports hoping that you will expose the ongoing Iranian onslaughts against the national movement of Southern Azerbaijan.

Yours sincerely,

Boyuk Resuloglu

The Committee for the Defence of the Rights of World Azerbaijanis
 

Document 1  The Communiqué Issued on the Occasion of the 93rd Anniversary of the death of Settar Khan, the national hero of Azerbaijan (the Communiqué was published widely including: http://www.azr.baybak.com/1492.azr). Those who suffered arbitrary arrested are listed in the report by ASMEK, see the table in the next Document 2.

The Translation of the Communiqué

We the participants of the 93rd Anniversary of the death of Settar-khan proclaim that we will carry on with our peaceful struggle and will never pause in our struggle until achieving our full goals.  We proclaim that our struggle is just; our reliance on the nation of Azerbaijan is our strength; and the blood of our fellow Azerbaijanis shed through extra-judiciary executions only add to our determination. Once again we submit our demands to our nations:

1.      We demand from the government of the Islamic Republic of Iran to stop at once the ongoing implementations of repressions against the activists of the national movement of Southern Azerbaijan. They must know that they cannot break the will of our nation through their futile acts.

2.      All the Southern Azerbaijani prisoners of conscience (deprived of their liberty by Iranian authorities) must be released at once and without any condition.

3.      Over the years, numerous student and libertarian publications, journals and newspapers have been stopped by the authorities. The obstacles in the resumption of their publications must be removed and their publication licences must be reinstated.

4.      The accusation against our libertarian students must be annulled and the arbitrary sentences passed against them must be repealed.

5.      The viability of Southern Azerbaijan is now under threat by unemployment, the abundance of narcotic drugs and emigration. Irresponsible authorities are behaving arbitrarily and they have to be punished.

6.      The law specifying Farsi as the exclusive language of universities and higher education must be repealed.

7.      The Azerbaijani Turkic language must be reinstated as an official language in Iran and ample resources must be allocated to this language to create radio and television channels.

8.      The Iranian government must stop the Balkanisation of Southern Azerbaijan and restore the Turkic names throughout to their original words.

9.      The ongoing destruction and plundering of historic monuments and memorials of Southern Azerbaijan must be stopped and be protected.

10.  The authorities must stop implementation of racist policies under the authority of Islam. In the event of continuing with these policies, we demand that the attribute of “Islamic” be removed from official name of the country and be replaced as “the Iran-Fars Republic”.

11.  We condemn the relations of Iran with the expansionist Armenia and we demand restraining relations of all Muslim countries with expansionist Armenia as long as they continue with the occupation of Qarabagh (Karabakh) and other occupied territories.

12.  PKK and PJAK terrorists are posing threat to the safety and properties of the western bands of Southern Azerbaijan through their drug smuggling and terrorist activities. We demand an uncompromising fight against any such drug smugglers and terrorist groups. We also demand an immediate stop against the ongoing alteration of the ethnic compositions of such regions.

13.  The Settar-khan mausoleum must be moved to Tebriz, as the express wish of Settar-khan.

 

The Tuti Courtyard (where the mausoleum of Settar-khan is located in Tehran); 15 November 2007

http://www.azr.baybak.com/1492.azr

Biz, Ulu Səttarxan-ın şəhadətinin 93-ci il dönümü törəni iştirakçiları, tutduğumuz yolun doğru olmasına olan inamımızla, və öz millətimizə arxalanaraq, və illər boyu Azərbaycan üçün öz qanların fəda edən şəhidlərimizin qanınan and içərək, və bir daha mədəni savaşımızın davamli olmasın bildirərək, öz istəklərimizi millətimizin önündə bir daha duyururuq:

1-       İran İslam hakimiyətindən istəiyrik Azərbaycan milli fəallarına uyquladığı basqılari dayandırsın. Bunu bilməlilər ki bu basqılar, böyük millətin iradəsin zədələyə bilməz.

2-       Azərbaycanın Milli və siyasi məhbuslari bir an əvvəl, əgərsiz əmmasız buraxılmalıdılar.

3-       İllər boyu çoxlu öyrəncisəl və özgürlük axdaran dərgi və qəzetın yaiyni durdurulub. Bu dərgilərin yaiynında olan durdurulmalar ibtal olmali və onlar yenidən yaiyna başlamalıdılar.

4-       Özgürluk istəyən öyrəncilərə verilən yersiz cəzalar silınməlidir.

5-       İşsizlik, uyuşdurucu bolluğu və köçmək Azərbaycani təhdid edir. Sorumluluq daşımayan yetkililərin davranışı çəkinilməz halə gəlib. Bu yetkililərin cəzalanmasi istənilir.

6-       Biliyurdlarda və yüksək öyrətim mərkəzlərində Fars dilinin tək və gərəkli dil olma yasasi qaldırılsın.

7-       Türkcə dili İranda rəsmi olsun və bu dildə umumi radio və telekanallar yaransın.

8-       Azərbaycani dağıtmağ üçün yeni rayonların yaratılması işləmləri durdurulsun və Türk bölgələrin dəiyşilən adlari öz əski adlarına qaiytsın.

9-       Azərbaycanın tarixi abidələri və varlıqlari qorunsun və bilərək yapılan söküntü və oğurluqlar dayandırılsın.

10-   İslam adi altında ırqçılıq (rasisti) işlərin yapılmasına son verilsın. Əgər bu işlər davam edəcəksə, İslam adi ülkənin adından silinməlidir. Onun yerinə “İran Pars Cumhuriyəti” termini qullanılmalıdır.

11-   İranın Ermənistanla olan bağların qınaiyb və Ermənistanın Qarabağ müslümanlarına yapdıği soyqırıma və Azərbaycan ərazısını işğal etməyə etiraf etmədigi sörəcə, bütün müslüman ülkələrdən Erməni işğalçi rejimilə olan ilişkilərinin kəsilməsini tələb edirik.

12-   PKK və PJAK terrorçulari və onların qorumasi altında olan qaçaqçılar Azərbaycanın bati bölgəsində millətimizin canın və malın bilərək təhlukəyə salıblar. Biz, Azərbaycanın bati bölgəsində olan terrorçular və qaçaqçılarla kəsin savaş aparılmasıni istəiyrik. Həmdə bölgədə gedən etnik dəiyşmə siyasətlərin qınaiyb və durdurulmasın tələb edirik.

13-   Milli öndərin məzari, o ulu qəhrəmanın istədigi kimin, Təbrizə daşınmalıdır.

 

Tuti alanı (Səhne Tuti)


15/11/2007 (24/08/1386)

DOCUMENT 2 – The Report by ASMEK

The recent reports by ASMEK summarise what is known at this time, but by no means exhaustive one. This account serves sufficiently as a description of the ongoing situation. We therefore dissected the report and presented in a tabular form to easily capture the inherent information. 

Source reports:

         http://asmek-yeni.blogspot.com/2007/11/gney-azerbaycan-siyasi-mahpuslarini.html  and http://asmek-yeni.blogspot.com/2007/12/blog-post.html#links

 

1.      The Issue of Instigating Instabilities by Bandits Related To Kurdish Smugglers and Terrorists In Southern Azerbaijan


ASMEK (the Committee for the Defence of Prisoners of Conscience of Southern Azerbaijan) expresses concern on the violation of human rights and citizen rights of the population of some areas in the west of (Southern) Azerbaijan by armed groups from outside Iran with incursions to these areas. ASMEK flags this as an issue to human right defending groups everywhere. According to authenticated news received by ASMEK, these non-Iranian terrorist groups are resorting to collecting tolls from defenceless villagers near the border to Turkey and Iraq attached to the Southern Azerbaijani cities of Maki, Khoy, Salmas, Urmu, Sulduz (Neqede), Ushneviyye, Khana (Piranshehr), Soyuq Bulaq (Mahabad) and Serdesht. They are setting up makeshift custom offices. According to authentic news from Azerbaijani Turkic villages populated by Sunnite religious sects (e.g. from villages of Isti-Su of Salmas and Hamamlar of Urmu) bandit groups make incursions and harass the youth. These groups also distribute an imaginary map to incite Kurdish youth. Definitely these acts encourage differences and amplify them. As a result, the population of Southern Azerbaijanis in these areas will start being suspicious of fellow Kurds. ASMEK raises this as an issue and brings it to the attention of human right activists and political parties seeking the condemnation of such armed incursions. ASMEK holds that more effort is needed to discourage these distrustful acts. The condemnation will contribute towards regional peace and stability. It is definite that terrorist activities and armed incursions are harmful to the harmonious relationship between Azerbaijanis and Kurds and the maintenance of peaceful neighbourhood. 

2.      Repression of Activists and an Update on Prisoners of Conscience

Below is the tabular account of the report given by ASMEK.

 

No

Full Name

A Description of the Ordeal or Sentences

 

Eher

1

Cavad Hesen-pur

·   Was arrested on 3 December 2006 and released on22 Ekim 2007 from Eher prison. 

·   Was released on 22 October 2007 from Eher prison on bail

 

Erdebil

2

Abbas Leysanli

·   One of many arbitrary charges by security forces brought to Mr. Leysanli was at last rejected by the judiciary court. The security forces were claiming costs of damages to properties etc.

·   Still the usual right of day releases have been arbitrarily denied to Mr. Leysanli

3

Eli Abbasi

·   Suufered 34 days of being kept in isolation cells

·   Transferred to Wing 7 of Erdebil prison since mid November

·   Charged with publicity against state security

·   Banned to receive visitors

4

Mensur Jiddi

·   Called in on 1 December 2007 to serve the arbitrary prison sentence passed against him for demanding education in mother language in September 2006

·   The Public Court Branch 105 in Erdebil passed a sentence of 4 month punitive prison sentence.

·   He is a retired civil servant, a participant of Iran-Iraq wars, and was a captive prisoner in Iraq for 9 years.

5

Sirus Ezizi (28)

·   A civil servant from Khiyov but resident of Erdebil

·   Was dismissed from his work for being accused of Pan-Turkism

·   He believes microphone bugs were implanted in office.

 

Germi

6

Mesud Sultani

·   Was released in September on bail – no more information is available

 

Khiyov

7

Ibrahim Reshidi

·   A poet and political activist of Southern Azerbaijan, a graduate of electronic engineering and a resident of Urmu, the capital of West Azerbaijan

·   Was sentenced to 5 months of punitive sentence and fine in his absence

·   The Appeal Court confirmed the sentence on 14 November 2007 but changed it to 20 flogs and 50,000 Tumen of fine in cash

·   The founder of the NGO AzerTopraq, the director of the Shehriyar Centre in Urmu University, an editor of the student publication Ulduz, chief editor of Bulut, a member of the writers’ board of Bakhish and Oyanish, lecturer of the Turkic languages in the Urmu university and the University of Medical Sciences in Urmu

·   Has suffered a number of arrests and detentions in the past

8

Shahin Ismail-pur

·   ASMEK relies on the Internet report stating that this victim was arrested in mid November but still there is no information on him

9

Also see Sirus Ezizi, above

 

Julfa

10

Mir Qasim Seyyidin-zade

·   Special correspondent of the daily newspaper, Hemshehri

·   Arrested on 1 November 2007

·   No access to a lawyer and no indictment against him

 

Khoy

11

Hesen Shirzad Hajilu

·   The director of a cultural NGO called Evrin

·   Arbitrarily sentenced to 3 month and one day of punitive prison sentences by the Appeal Court of West Azerbaijan province for celebrating the International Mother Language Day on 21 February 2006

·   Was arrested by security agents and detained for 15 days but was released on bail.

·   The first trial led to an arbitrary sentence of one year punitive prison sentence

·   The appeal court reduced the sentence but was convened in the absence of the defender

·   His father was also arrested at the same event and suffered 200,000 Tumen fine.

12

Ibrahim Jeferzade

·   An ex-director of a cultural NGO called Evrin

·   Arbitrarily sentenced to 1 year of punitive prison sentences by the Appeal Court of West Azerbaijan province for celebrating the International Mother Language Day on 21 February 2006

·   The first trial led to an arbitrary sentence of one year punitive prison, 2 years of exile to Berazjan (not in Southern Azerbaijan) and 3 years of ban from cultural activities and barred of representing in the  “Majles” for one period

·   Mr. Jeferzade has a recognised profile and has been detained at least 6 times in the last 10 years.

 

Huseyn Ferhude (Khetibi)

·   According to his father, his son was arbitrarily sentenced to death but after the persistence of his family the sentence was commuted to a 7 year imprisonment.

·   The charge is spying, collaborating with Turkey, disturbing peace in May 2006.

13

Eyrej Naji

·   There is no news on the whereabouts of Mr. Naji, other than the statement by the father of Huseyn Ferhude, above, stating that Mr. Naji was arrested together with his son.

 

Maki

14

Mohsun Huseyn-zade (Demirch)

·   Serving an arbitrary 6 month punitive prison sentence passed against him by the Revolutionary court in Maki for demanding education in mother language in Sept. 2006

·   Detained for a few days but released on bail

·   The prison term started late November 2007.

15

Teyyib Ibrahim-zade

·   Serving an arbitrary 6 month punitive prison sentence passed against him by the Revolutionary court in Maki for demanding education in mother language in Sept. 2006

·   Detained for a few days but released on bail

·   The prison term started late November 2007.

16

Hesen Eziz-zade

·   A lieutenant in security forces accused of pan-Turkism by security agents in May 2007

·   Was tortured to agree for a prescribed charge and was then dismissed from his employment

·   He has appealed against the proceeding and objecting for the accusation of pan-Turkism.

 

Merend

17

Dr Mehemmed Eli Heyderi

·   A lecturer on political sciences in Tebriz University

·   Arrested on 27 October 2007 in Tehran in his office

·   Detained for 29 days in Evin prison

·   Released on bail by proving a hefty surety of 50 million Tumen on 24 November

·   Responsible for the publication Düzgün in Tehran University and is the director of the Centre for Southern Azerbaijani Publications

·   He is 40 years old and a prolific writer

 

Qoshachay (Miyandoab)

18

Ebullah Qasim-zade

·   He is a Southern Azerbaijani and affiliated to a religious minority in Southern Azerbaijan referred to Goran and as such their sects under persecution by the Iranian authorities

·   He is already serving his long term prison term for arbitrary charges

19

Mehdi Qasim-zade

·   He is a Southern Azerbaijani and affiliated to a religious minority in Southern Azerbaijan referred to Goran and as such their sects under persecution by the Iranian authorities

·   He is already serving his long term prison term for arbitrary charges

 

Sulduz (Neqede)

20

Behzad Qochagi?

·   A Southern Azerbaijani activist

·   Was arrested in relation to May 2006 Mass Protest

·   He has been cleared now

21

Ebdullah Abbasi Javan

·   A veteran Southern Azerbaijani student activist and a university lecturer

·   No indictment yet against him

·   Was arrested on 18 August 2007 by security agents in Tehran

·   Is kept in Evin prison in Tehran

22

Eli Haj Mehemmedi

·   Just started his prison sentence in Sulduz prison

·   Was arrested in celebrating the International Mother Language Day on 21 February 2007 by security agents

·   Punitive Court Branches 101 and 102 of Sulduz  arbitrarily sentenced him to 4 months of punitive prison, 30 flogs and 2 million Tumen fine

·   Charges included: illegal assembly and possessing separatist leaflets

·   The infamous act of flogging has already been inflicted on this victim.

23

Emir Ferahani

·   A political activist of Southern Azerbaijan

·   Was arrested in relation to May 2006 Mass Protests

·   Was detained for 3 months

·   Was sentenced to 1 year of punitive imprisonment

·   Married with two children

24

Ibrahim Muini

·   He is serving a prison sentence in Urmu prison for his activities in relation to Southern Azerbaijan

·   No more details are available

25

Mir Eli Rzai

·   Journalist, teacher of Azerbaijani Turkic and the representative of the Bilim Yolu an NGO organisation (which has been sealed several time by the government).

·   Still awaiting the outcome of the trial for taking part in May 2006 Mass Protests after attending several courts

·   Was detained for 30 days earlier

·    

26

Qehreman Qenber-pur

·   Was arrested on 21 February 2007 when celebrating the International Mother Language Day in Sulduz

·   Was detained for a few weeks but released on bail

·   Sentence: 50 flogs already inflicted; and 1 million Rial fine and apparently now is serving a prison sentence

27

Rza Pashai

·   He is serving a prison sentence in Sulduz prison for his activities in relation to Southern Azerbaijan

·   No more details are available

28

Sirus Siyami

·   A Southern Azerbaijani cultural activist and composer

·   Took part in May 2006 Mass Protest

·   After 31 days of detention, was released on bail

·   Sentence: 3 months + 1 day imprisonment and fine

·   Continually harassed for composing Azerbaijani songs

29

Eli Azeriyyun

·   These Southern Azerbaijani individuals are relatives of those who suffered extra-judicial executions by covert security agents. Their family members are frequently harassed by security agents and the named individuals were detained recently for a few days.

30

Veli Azeriyyun

31

Kerim Fethi-pur

 

Tebriz

32

Artum Dinc (Huseyn Ehmedian) (35)

·   The first sentence was 3 years of imprisonment

·   The appeal court increased this to four years of imprisonment but suspended it

·   He is single of a research student in the Hacet Tepe University, Turkey

·   Was arrested in relation to the May 2006 Mass Protest but was released on bail

·   The Sentence regarded him as a central figure among pro-ethnic elements in Tebriz. The charges against him include playing an effective role in the mass protests and inciting the participants; leading the Centre for Azerbaijani Culture, the Baghir-khan Committee and the Qurtulush group; contacts with groups in Turkey

·   His lawyer is Mr. Naghi Mahmudi

33

Eli Shadi

·   He was detained but no more information is available

34

Elman (Mehdi) Nuri

·   It is 2 month, which he has been transferred from Urmu prison to Tebriz prison to the wing for bankrupts

·   Deprived of visit by family members

·   A university student, who has now been deprived of continuing the completion of his degree course.

·   Was arrested in relation to May 2006 Mass Protest in Sulduz and was detained for 80 days and was tortured but released on bail.

·   Charges against him included the membership of GAMOH, pan-Turkism and acting against state security

·   The sentence is 7 years of punitive prison but 3 years of it is suspended for 4 years; as well as 4 years of banishment from Southern Azerbaijani provinces

·   The Appeal Court reduced the sentence to 2 years of imprisonment and was arrested in Sulduz on 8 May 2007 to serve the sentence; was transferred to Urmu prison and now to Tebriz prison.

35

Emir Abbas Bennai Kazimi

·   Has been just released after 6 months of arbitrary detention

·   Prior to the ongoing case, he was sentenced to 2 years of imprisonment but the appeal court reduced it to 1 year.

·   He has been released on condition

·   He was arrested on 14 May 2007 by security agents in his house and suffered torture and isolation

36

Hebib Mehri

·   Was arrested in16 October 2007 but was released on bail after a few day

·   Are-arrested on 17 November 2007 and there is no information on his whereabouts

37

Mehemmed Rza Mehemmed-khani

·   The first sentence was 2 years of imprisonment

·   The appeal court increased this to 3 years of imprisonment but suspended it

·   Charged with taking part in May 2006 bMass Protest

·   His lawyer is Mr. Naghi Mahmudi

 

Tehran

38

Ilqar Merendli (34)

·   Detained on 31 October 2007 and yet there is no indictment against him

·   Mr. Merendli is a high profile human right defender and a co-founder of ASMEK

·   Has no access to a lawyer and was kept in an isolation cell at least for 20 days

·   He is a prolific writer, journalist, married and from the Southern Azerbaijani city of Merend

39

Mehemmed Nusreti

·   A cultural activist of Southern Azerbaijan and an MSc student in Ankara University

·   Was arrested on 25 September 2007 at the border gate with Turkey

·   Kept in Evin prison in Tehran

·   Still he has not been indicted

40

Saleh Kamrani

·   Human rights lawyer and a human right defender of Southern Azerbaijan

·   Was rearrested on 18 August 2007 by security agents

·   Is kept in Evin prison

·   Has no access to a lawyer

 

Urmu

41

Araz (Perviz) Sultani

·   A university student reading agricultural engineering

·   Arrested by security agents in 22 May 2007 commemorating the Anniversary of the May 2006 Mass Protests and was detained for 2 weeks

·   Sentence: 5 months of punitive prison but suspended for 2 years

42

Bakhsh-eli Mehemmedi

·   Already serving his long term prison term for arbitrary charges

43

Elyaz Yekenli (Eli Khudabekhshi)

·   A distinguished journalist and writer

·   Arrested on 12 December 2006 and was sentenced to 1 year of prison term by the Islamic Revolutionary Court.

·   His has served his sentence but not released.

·   Charges include: the membership of GAIP (Southern Azerbaijani Independence Party); writing and presenting speeches with the context of pan-Turkism; carrying with himself a briefcase full of the photos of, Jefer Pisheveri, the national leader of Southern Azerbaijan and the head of the national government in 1945-46

44

Hadi Hemidi Shefeq

·   Already serving his long term prison term for arbitrary charges

45

Sehend Eli Mehemmedi

·   Already serving his long term prison term for arbitrary charges

 

Zengan

46

Behruz Seferi

·   Still detained for six month without an indictment

·   The arbitrary detention was in relation to celebrating the International Mother Language Day on 21 February 2006

·   Still no access to a lawyer

47

Elirza Metinpur

·   Still detained for six month without an indictment

·   The arbitrary detention was in relation to celebrating the International Mother Language Day on 21 February 2006

·   Still no access to a lawyer

·   He is the brother of the distinguished human right defender, Mr. Seid Metinpur

48

Jelil Qenilu

·   Still detained for six month without an indictment

·   The arbitrary detention was in relation to celebrating the International Mother Language Day on 21 February 2006

·   Still no access to a lawyer

·   He has been transferred to Evin prison again

49

Mrs. Leyla Seferi

·   She is the wife of the prisoner of conscience, Behruz Seferi and allured by security agent to the detention centre to visit her husband, where she was arrested and is still in detention.

50

Seid Metinpur

·   Still detained for six month without an indictment

·   The arbitrary detention was in relation to celebrating the International Mother Language Day on 21 February 2006

·   Still no access to a lawyer

·   He has been transferred to Evin prison again

 

Individuals Suffered Arrest at the Anniversary of Settar-khan

51

Ayvaz Khani (from Sayin Qala)

·   The reports indicated that more 30 individuals were arrested by the police to prevent the participants for the commemoration of the 93rd Anniversary of the death of Settar-khan on 15 November. The activists had managed to make a note of these 10 individuals but they were released on the same day or the following.

52

Bilal Veli-zade

53

Jefer Pejman

54

Dariyush Ibad-pur

55

Hemid Rza Shefii (from Tebriz)

56

Huseyn Sitare

57

Israfil Refii (from Zengan)

58

Resul Rzai from (Sayin Qala)

59

Vehid Rastgu

3.      Iranian Repression of Religious Minorities in Southern Azerbaijan

         Translator’s Note: Southern Azerbaijan is enriched by various religious minorities including the followers of the Goran sect, who are Turkic Azerbaijani people but are faithful to their sect. There has hardly been any friction between the followers of different sects or religion in Azerbaijan. For instance, in Tebriz Sheykhi-s another variation of Gorans had their mosque next to the central mosque but now through the state intervention the Sheykhi’s mosque has been confiscated. The followers of any variations of these sects have a hard time and are often forced to go underground. The following examples are those who suffer religious persecution and are in Urmu prison (some these individuals are cited in the above table):

1.      Sehend Eli Mehemmedi

2.      Bakhsheli Mehemmedi

3.      Ebdullah Qasimzade

4.      Mehdi Qasimzade

4.      Persecution of Students

As the above table shows, Southern Azerbaijani students are having a hard time, as a result of persecution by the Iranian authorities on the ground of their libertarian creed and proclaiming their Azerbaijani identity. As a result, the universities in Southern Azerbaijan normally have a very tense atmosphere.

5.      Suppression of Southern Azerbaijani Media

1.      Dilmac is a successful trilingual journal (Farsi, Azerbaijani Turkic, and English) and has already distributed 10 issues. The authorities revoked the licence on 25 September 2007 by the Watchdog Board on Media, at which time the decision was dropped abruptly to Engineer Elirza Serraf. In this relation, Mehemmed Eli Dadkhah, the lawyer acting for the journal, told ISNA that “according to Article 168 of the Constitution, the authority for such acts is invested in the judiciary system and decisions are made in Court through open sessions. This abrupt act has no legal basis and the licence can only be revoked through a judiciary system alone.”

2.      The Student publication Sehend published by student of Tebriz University was stopped after the release of the first issue and their licence holders were summoned to the security unit of the university.

3.      The Student publication Telenger published by students of Urmu University in the West Azerbaijan province of Southern Azerbaijan was stopped after the release of the first issue and their licence holders were summoned to the security unit of the university.

4.       Addim, a student publication in Peyam-i-Nur University in Germi was closed down by the authority

5.      Not entirely relevant, but it has also been reported that a Photoshop in Maragha named as Ulduz (in Azerbaijani Turkic, which means star) but the authorities did not tolerate it and ordered it to be changed into a Farsi word to remove any technical misunderstanding!

Azərbaijani Turkic

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