No.: 479/ 2008

Date: 20 January 2008

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 for the Right to Health

·         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,


Please find enclosed Update 1 to Communication No. 1 (Ref.: 463/2007; Date: 6 September 2007) to safeguard human rights of Mr. and Mrs. Seferi, who are deprived of their liberty by Iranian authorities. The following documents are presented for your attention:

Table 1:  A report on the ordeal suffered by Mrs. Seferi

Table 2:  A report on the ordeal suffered by Mr. Seferi

We have received reliable accounts on the ordeals suffered by both of them while in detention including a possible heart attach of Mrs. Seferi. The reports draw on from a number of sources and are consistent, indicating that the Iranian authorities have tortured them in each other’s presence to force a confession for the terms dictated by the security officials. We have been underlining the issue of torturing for a forced confession as a serious issue and hope that you are using your mandates to make appropriate representations against the Iranian authorities.

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

Once again we appeal to your kind attention to this case as both Mr. and Mrs. Seferi need urgent medical attention and in particular you are very likely to play an important role in saving Mrs. Seferi’s life. We 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 Recent Information Emerged on Mrs. Leyla Seferi

Basic Information

Detained:        28 August 2007

Home city:       Zengan (a city in Southern Azerbaijan ruled by the Islamic Republic of Iran)

Place kept:       She is now kept in Wing 209 of Evin Prison



Mrs Leyla Seferi (her maiden surname is Mrs. Heyderi), wife of Mr Behruz Seferi, was threatened by security officials not to follow up the detention of her husband’s case and not to publicise his case in international media, else the authority will deal harshly with them. Mrs. Leyla Seferi, did not publicise her husband’s detention and not even disclose it to close friends, bowing to the strict blackmailing threats of the authorities. Not withstanding this, she was allured by the authority to visit her husband in a detention facility in Zengan by a previous arrangement, where she was arrested on 28 August 2007.


Although five months have passed from her arrest, no information has been given on charges against her; it is not known on what legal basis she has been put under arrest; she has been interrogated without the presence of a lawyer, let alone a lawyer of her choice; the judiciary systems has issued no communiqué on her case.

She was transferred to Evin Prison on 4 December 2007. Mrs Leyla Seferi’s family managed to visit her in Evin Prison on 31 December 2007, who were informed of torture ordeals that she was subjected to as the authorities were forcing her to confess to the terms dictated by them.

According to Leyla Seferi`s family on early January 2008, she was kept in solitary confinement and that she was repeatedly tortured together with her husband. One female activist, who was released recently from Evin prison, expressed concern on Mrs. Seferi for suffering from severe migraine headache and that she was in bad physical and mental state. Security officials had threatened her family afterward saying that should they pursue this case and publicise her in international media, she would suffer unforeseen consequences.

Some reports also indicate that she has suffered a heart attack and taken to the medical unit of Wing 209 of Evin prison for treatment. Apparently medical personnel there have warned the prison authority of her poor conditions and demanded her freedom for a medical treatment. 



















Table 2 The Recent Information Emerged on Mr Behruz Seferi

Basic Information

Detained:        end of May 2007

Resident of:     Zengan (a city in Southern Azerbaijan ruled by the Islamic Republic of Iran)

Place kept:       He is now kept in Wing 209 of Evin Prison in a cell sharing it with a few others



Behruz Seferi, a political activist of Zengan, was kept in detention facilities in Zengan from the end of May until 3 November 2007 at which time he was transferred to Sefer-abad prison in Zengan; and then transferred to Wing 209 of Evin Prison on 4 December 2007. Currently, he has been transferred to a cell in Evin prison, sharing it with a few others.

The authorities have not still indicted him, they have still denied him the right of access to a lawyer, let alone a lawyer of his choice; and he has not been tried. It is many months that he and his wife have been detained indefinitely.

His relatives have been threatened by the security officials that if they follow up Mr. Seferi’s case and publicise him in international media they will deal harshly with him but as detailed in Table 1, his wife was arrested even though she bowed to the official threats.

Mr Seferi`s family managed to visit him in Evin prison on 31 December 2007 when they came to realise of the torture that he had endured in the last months. Also, he was tortured in the presence of his wife.

Azərbaijani Turkic

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