No.: 482/2008

Date: 24 January 2008

The Office of High Commissioner for Human Rights, Geneva,

    Please circulate this Communication to: 

·    Special Rapporteur for the Right to Health

·    Special Rapporteur on the independence of judges and lawyers

·    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. Dyke and Mrs. Harrison, Amnesty International, London

        UNESCO and various news media

Jelil Qenilu

A Southern Azerbaijani prisoner of conscience

Dear sir/madam


Further to our General Communication (Ref: 457/2007; Date: 4 July 2007), we informed you that Mr. Jelil Qenilu, a Southern Azerbaijani freelance journalist, was arrested by the Iranian authorities and deprived of his liberty. Owing to the disinformation created by Iranian authorities in Southern Azerbaijan, after seven months of detention, we are still unable to compile a person-specific Communication for Mr. Jelil Qenilu. We would like to submit Update 1, stressing that Mr. Qenilu is evidently detained indefinitely.

Table 1 compiles the available information on Mr. Qenilu, even though this is not comprehensive. He was detained twice in 2007 and was definitely tortured both during the first and second periods of detention but the information on his ongoing ordeal is still scarce.

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 the case of Mr. Qenilu and trust that you will campaign for his release. 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 Mr. JELIL QENILU

Basic Information

Detained:        27 June 2007

Home city:       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



Jelil Qenilu (30 years old), a political activist from Zengan, was shuttled between Evin prion and Zengan prison for a number of times. His last transfer to Wing 209 of Evin prison took place on 4 December 2007. He has recently been transferred to a cell, sharing it with a few others.

Ever since his detention, he has been without indictment, has been consistently denied of access to a lawyer, let alone a lawyer of their choice; has not been tried; and is seemingly detained indefinitely. According to a statement by his brother, Tevekkul Qenilu, his brother was apparently arrested for writing an article on the Iranian violation of human and civil rights of Southern Azerbaijanis. The trauma of his family is mounting faced with the emerging news on the four other prisoners of conscience from Zengan tortured by the Iranian security agents.

He took part in the celebration of the International Mother Language Day in Zengan on 21 February 2007 and participated in the Zengan protest orchestrated by journalist and educationalists of Southern Azerbaijan. He was then arrested by security agents. The protest was concerned with the restrictions imposed by the Iranian authorities forbidding Southern Azerbaijani to be educated in their mother language. He was released on bail after providing a surety of $30,000 but enduring 26 days of solitary confinement in Zengan prison and Evin prison. According to his brother, Jelil was even subjected to physical and mental torture during his first detention.

Azərbaijani Turkic

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