No.: 485/2008

Date: 28 January  2008

The Problem of Southern Azerbaijan

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,

GENERAL COMMUNICATION 1:  IRANIAN SUSPECT GOVERNANCE IN SOUTHERN AZERBAIJAN

Please find enclosed a General Communication for an overview of the Iranian suspect governance against Southern Azerbaijan including their onslaught against national and human rights. We have submitting general communications for a long time (e.g. Ref: 472/2007 Date: 10 December 2007) but will now number them.

Now we are living in the age of human rights where the quality of the governance is judged by the integrity of human rights and arresting the environmental degradation and improving it through decision making by participation. The evidence provided below is a glimpse of the Iranian governance over Southern Azerbaijan hardly reflecting any norm of decision-making by participation or fermenting the culture of human rights but full of ill-intentions beyond mismanagement. The evidence is as follows:

Table 1:    The Statement of Southern Azerbaijani Intellectuals to the Iranian Majlis warning them against the Iranian continued incursions against the Mother Language of Southern Azerbaijan

Table 2:    Revoking the re-election of Dr E’lemi and others from Southern Azerbaijan to the Iranian Majlis

Table 3:    Underlining the Iranian appetite for land-grabbing from the internal nations, as opposing to protecting their territorial integrity

Table 4:    Evidences for the various forms of suppression by the Iranian authorities in Southern Azerbaijan

Table 5:    Hardships imposed by the ongoing extreme winter temperature and systemic Iranian negligence

Table 6:    Recent Floggings –a Communication is being complied on the Iranian way of releasing on bail

Table 7:    Recent Sentences Passed by the Iranian Authorities Against Southern Azerbaijanis

Table 8:    A list of prisoners of conscience – we have no precise idea at this moment.

 The evidence presented in this General Communication typifies the status quo in Southern Azerbaijan and are indicative of the suspect governance of the Islamic Republic of Iran in Southern Azerbaijan. We have not presented any evidence yet on how the Iranian authorities are diverting natural resources from Southern Azerbaijan to Farsi-speaker provinces and dump waist in our territories. We appeal for your attention that the intriguing Iranian approach to the governance in Southern Azerbaijan cannot be seen as incompetence or mismanagement but as ill-intentions and an abuse of authority to be engaged in colonial land grabbing acts.

As you know the Islamic Republic of Iran is an under-signatory to human rights conventions and those on the right to self-determination. We are therefore rallying for your campaign for the realisation of these rights to Southern Azerbaijan by seeking accountability from the Iranian authorities. The national movement of Southern Azerbaijan has shown a high degree of maturity and your campaign will be a tremendous incentive for the further establishment of human rights in Southern Azerbaijan. We thank you in advance for your care.

Yours sincerely,

Boyuk Resuloglu

The Committee for the Defence of the Rights of World Azerbaijanis

Table 1         A Letter by Southern Azerbaijani Intellectuals to the Members of the Iranian Parliament (Majlis), titled Tomorrow May Be Too Late

Source:            http://haqqimiz.blogfa.com/post-667.aspx

The Translation of the Letter

Dear Members of Islamic Majlis,

Tomorrow may be too late!

As you know, the societies in this country suffer from a chronic problem, the problem of nationalities or the absence of their rights. Whilst the popular movements insist on the reinstatement of their rights, naturally those who show exceptional determinations also have a matching aim. We hold that the time has come for us to take the charge of solving our own problems.

So far, the academics, teachers, journalists, artists, writers and businessmen in Southern Azerbaijan have written to you hundreds of open letters and resolutions, demanding among other things, the reinstatement of the official status of our mother language in all spheres including education, mass media, and any other social spheres. Since the May 2006 Mass Protests, the demand on the reinstatement of official status of our mother language has been resonated in the slogans of millions of Southern Azerbaijani participants, through university sit-in protests and public demonstrations in the streets with even loaders voice. The demands stemming from natural human rights not only do not contradict with internal and international laws and conventions but conform fully to them.

Undoubtedly, the realisation of these rights will contribute towards strengthening the fabric of the society and their absence will deepen the rift and intensify the existing differences.

Dear Members of the Majlis,

The undersignatories of this letter represent a section of intellectuals of Southern Azerbaijan and in these sensitive moments are acting according to their conscience and to their love of motherland. We declare ready to collaborate in our expert capacity with an empowered commission set up by the Majlis. We demand that before the others order you to take the necessary steps for the reinstatement of our rightful rights, let us be proactive and prepare the appropriate Bill of Rights for the Reinstatement of Language Rights and its Urgent Enactment. Tomorrow may be too late.  

Undersigned by:

1.  Eqil Aderdukht (Erdebil);                      2. Qulam Azeri-fer (Sulduz)                                  3. Ekber Azad Elibabali (Tehran)

4.  Huseyn Asyabi (Tebriz)                        3.  Eli Asyabi (Tehran)                                         6. Firidun Aghazade (Urmu)

7.  Mehemmed Aghazade (Erdebil)            8.  Mehemmed Agha-Mehemmedi  (Erdebil)

 9.  Mukhtar Ibrahimzade (Tebriz)              10. Ismail Ibrahimzade (Tebriz)                            11.Elirza Ibrahimzade (Tebriz)

12. Seid Ibrahimi (Tebriz)                          13. Fershid Ejri (Erdebil)                                       14. Hemid Ehmedzade Girami (Kerej)

15. Yaqub Ehmedvend (Ayrilmaz) (Kerej)       16. Vehid Ehmedi (Kerej)                                     17. Azad Ehmedi (Kerej)

18. Ehed Ershed (Qaradagh)                     19. Behram Ishaqi (Tebriz)                                    20. Hesen Esedzade (Kerej)

21. Vedud Esedi (Resht)                           22. Yashar Esedi (Erdebil)                                     23. Seide Islami (Kerej)

24. Muluk Islami (Tebriz)                          25. Rustem Ismaili (Tehran)                                  26. Murtuza Esgeri (Kerej)

27. Yaqub Usuli (Urmu)                            28. Huseyn Iqbali kovij (Tebriz)                              29. Yasir Ekberi (Urmu)

30. Emin Imami (Tehran)                          31. Nasir Imami (Tehran)                                     32. Esedulla Emiri (Sava)

33. Rehim Emirian (Kerej)                         34. Abbas Anquti (Miyana)                                  35. Mahmud Ojaqlu (Kerej)

36. Vehid (Araz) Oruj-pur (Tehran)           37. Mehemmed Babai (Kerej)                               38. Eli Babai (Erdebil)

39. Qudret Nasminji                                  40. Eynulla Baghirzade (Mughan)                             41. Sureyya Bakhshi (Zengan)

42. Huseyn Bedrnejad (Tehran)                 43. Heseneli Bedeli (Erdebil)                                 44. Basir Beraderan (Tebriz)

45. Novruz Berbeste (Tehran)                   46. Hashim Berzgeri (Kerej)                                 47. Isa Bergi (Tehran)  

48. Mehemmedrza Bezzazi (Tebriz)           49. Emirrza Bezzazi (Tebriz)                                 50. Emir Biluri (Tebriz)

51. Rehim Benna-Kazim (Tebriz)               52. Erirabbas Benna-Kazim (Tebriz)                           53. Ilham Behreng (Urmu)

 54. Seyid Heyder Bayat (Qum)                 55. Ayvaz Bayat (Tehran)                                    56. Yusuf Bidardil (Urmu)

57. Behmen Birami (Kerej)                        58. Rza Beyzade (Tehran)                                   59. Qulamrza Binende (Tebriz)

60. Mehemmedrza Perende-Nobar (Teb.)         61. Sabir Pur-Saadetqulu (Urmu)                             62. Hesna Pur-serbaz (Tebriz)

63. Ismail Pur-Musa (Yorghun) (Tehran)         64. Bayrameli Tari (Urmu)                                   65. Temenna Tariverdian (Tebriz)

66. Hebib Tariverdian (Tebriz)                   67. Ebdulhojjet Tariverdian Baghmeshe (Tebriz)

68. Behnam Turkanpur (Tebriz)                 69. Hummet Teqevikhah (Tehran)

70 Eli Tehemteni (Tebriz)                          71. Fetulla Jabbari (Hemedan)                               72. Qulameli Judeyri (Tebriz)

73. Huseyn Judeyri (Tebriz)                      74. Jefer Jeferquluzade (Kerej)                             75. Javad Jeferpur (Tehran)

76. Teyyib Jeferzade (Tebriz)                    77. Husheng Jeferi (Zengan)                                 78. Sherife Jeferi (Zengan)

79. Mehdi Jeferi (Kerej)                            80. Salar Jeferi Eliabadi (Urmu)                            81. Sina Jahanbekhsh (Sarab)

82. Khisro Jahanshahi (Tehran)                 83. Ramin Jahangirzade (Erdebil)

The list goes on but we resume it from

266. Murtaza Ne’meti (Kerej)                    267. Kerem Ne’meti (Kerej)                                268. Elnaz Ne’meti (Zengan)

270 Abbas Neimi (Tehran)                         271. Kamal Neimi (Erdebil)                                  272. Mehdi Neimi (Erdebil)

273. Elirza Neqdi (Tebriz)                          274. Sudabe Neqdi (Tebriz)                                  275. Sefer Neqipur Atderesi (Kerej)

276. Fetuhha Novjavan Zendabadi (Tehran)                                                                          277. Mutuza Nurmehemmedi (Tebriz)

278. Teqi Nurzade (Erdebil)                       279. Eli Novruzi (Kerej)                                       280. Yusuf Novruzi (Sulduz)

281. Nasir Nuri (Tehran)                           282. Yusuf Hushyar (Tehran)                               283. Ehmed Valai (Tebriz)

284. Chingiz Velizade Dineveri (Tehran)     285. Elyaz Yekenli (Tebriz)                                  286. Feraz Yekita (Tebriz)

287. Shehram Yuzbashi (Urmu)         

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Table 2         Revoking the Right to Re-election of Southern Azerbaijani Members of Parliament, Dr Eelemi       

Source:            (http://armanazer.blogfa.com/post-243.aspx)

Mr. Abdulla Abbasi Javan to represent Sulduz

Dr Ekber E’lemi, representative of Tebriz

Mr. Hekim-pur Aghayari, representative from Zengan

Mrs Muruvveti, the representative from Khalkhal

 

Three of the existing Members of Parliament from Southern Azerbaijan in the Iranian Majlis (Parliament) aimed to be re-elected in the eighth round of the election for the Iranian Majlis but they have been rejected by the Iranian authorities. They are:

1.      Dr Ekber E’lemi the representative from Tebriz, Usku and Azersheher,

2.      Mr. Hekimi-pur Aghayari, the representative of Zengan, and

3.      Mrs. Muruvveti, the representative of Khalkhal.

They would believe to be Iranian in the first place and then Azerbaijani, so we do not defend their national rights but we would defend their human rights, and as such we would like to make a representation for them without consulting them by providing you the basic background, as provided by the Southern Azerbaijani Student Union of Arman. The rejected list of the candidates includes another academic from Southern Azerbaijan, who was recently a prisoner of conscience, but he was hopeful that his membership would be ratified as he would be complying with the Constitution. Now excerpt from the article by Arman:

Dr E’lemi: My suitability has been rejected by the Executive Board and objection was not fruitful.

Arman adds: Dr E’lemi was the most popular representative of the Islamic Majlis. Based on adhering to Article 15 in the Majlis, he protested against the deliberate destruction of the historic castle of Erk, valiantly defended the May 2006 Mass Protests. Southern Azerbaijani academics have objected to the revoking of the candidacy of Dr. E’lemi (http://www.azadtabriz.com/news/?p=9620).

Hekimi-pur: The membership to the Majlis is designated in advance.

Arman adds: Hekimi-pur Aghayari is the most popular politician from Zengan. He was a commander in in the Iran-Iraq war. He published the Umid-eZengan for sometime and was seen as the pioneer in the defence of the Azerbaaijani identity in the post-war days. When he was a member of the Islamic Council in Tehran, he advocated the relocation of Settar Khan’s mausoleum from Tehran to Tebriz.

Muruvveti: I shall resort to silence

Arman adds: Mrs. Muruvveti is the representative of Khalkhal and objected to the authorities violence against the people and said “it is not possible to delete the record and claim that the problem is solved.” She has defended Azerbaijan and Khalkhal from time to time but in less colourful fashion.

And Finally:

Abdulla Abbasi Javan: If I would not comply with the Constitution, I would not opted for the candidacy.

Arman Add: political activists of Southern Azerbaijan recognise well Abulla Abbasi Javan, who is flamboyant, well-mannered and well-educated. Undoubtedly, he is from the first generation of the youth wing of the national movement of Southern Azerbaijan and a role model and now a university lecturer in a university in Tehran. He declared his candidacy for Sulduz but the Executive Board deemed him unsuitable. In an interview with Arman he stated that “I am a civil servant and if I do not undertake to comply with the Constitution, I cannot be employed at all. Well, if we did not undertake to comply with the Constitution, I would have not bothered to declare my candidacy to the Majlis. Rather than interfering with our candidacy, I advise the Board to resign their post, as they do not act according to the Constitution. I shall protest against the determination against me, since I am a taxpayer and the son of someone who lost his life for this country.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Table 3         The Iranian Appetite for Land-grabbing from the International Nations

 

A recent hot issue in the Islamic Republic of Iran is to change the name Caspian in Caspian Sea from Khezer (a Turkic name) to a Farsi name (see: http://www.aftab.ir/news/2008/jan/24/c1c1201176423_politics_iran_khazar.php. The Caspian Sea poses many environmental problems but its status of the environment is hardly of any consideration in Iran.

Another issue that the Iranian government is extremely touchy to and indulged with is the term Persian Gulf. For instance it was reported on 23 January 2008 (http://www.tabnak.ir/pages/?cid=5367; or http://www.azadtabriz.com/news/?p=9573 both in Farsi) that a letter from the US State Department to a certain authority in the Islamic Republic of Iran was returned back for using the term “the Gulf” as opposed to the Iranian expected term of “the Persian Gulf.”

Let us contrast this against the Iranian government policy of violating the territorial integrity of Southern Azerbaijan, which has Balkanised it into seven provinces and removed the name of Azerbaijan from the four of them curtailed regions from Azerbaijan annexing them to other provinces. These are:

  • The central province,
  • The provinces of Qezvin,
  • The province of Hemedan,
  • The province of Zengan,
  • The province of Erdebil and
  • Removing Astara, Sunqur, Qurve and a number of townships from Southern Azerbaijan and joining them into other non-Azerbaijani provinces.

In these seven provinces of Southern Azerbaijan, the environmental degradation is matched by imposed economical hardship of our nation, which is many folds greater than those in the Farsi-speaker provinces.

 

Table 4         Various Forms of Suppression by the Iranian Authorities in Southern Azerbaijan

 

We read in (http://www2.irna.ir/fa/news/view/line-7/8611057758144036.htm) reported by IRan News Agency (IRNA) on 25 January 2008 that the school children in Urmu, the capital of a Southern Azerbaijani province, have marched with the Imam in Urmu for the Friday praying, Shiite or Sunnites, and have condemned Israel for their action in Qazah. Here we see that the Iranain authorities are providing evidence for politicising innocent children, who are deprived of the basic human right of education in their mother language. Our problems are not what are happening in other countries as Southern Azerbaijan is suffocated with the problems imposed by Iran? We have reported you with various informative news items providing you with examples of suspect Iranian governance in Southern Azerbaijan and below we provide you with two more evidence:

1.   Iranian authorities are Preventing Southern Azerbaijanis Visiting the Grave of their Loved Ones

As reported widely by Southern Azerbaijani Diaspora media, the Iranian authorities are preventing the families of the victims of extra-judiciary executions by the Iranian security agents to visit the grave of their loved one in the city of Sulduz. This year on the religious “Ashura” day, the authorities also resorted to preventing the families of the victim to attend the graves of their loved ones but they were overwhelmed by the sheer number of the attendants who wanted to pay their respect.

http://www.11007.baybak.com/4166.azr and http://www.azadtabriz.com/news/?p=9502

2.   Our mother language is forbidden by the Iranian authorities. Below is the translation of another evidence, which is a resolution issued to the Business Syndicate in the Southern Azerbaijani town of Binab.

Dear president of the Trade Syndicate of the Binab Township,

Greetings

With respect to the letter 3190/M/111-21/5/84 by the president of the Office of Commerce of the province, we request that you order through your syndicates (unions) to declare to the trade unions within their domain not to use Turkic words, expressions or sentences on the display of the shops or in any of their commodity stickers.

The success is from Allah

Najafian

Undersigned by

The supervisor of the Office of Commerce in the township of Binab

There seems to be a date but not legible

 

Table 5         Hardships brought about by the ongoing extreme winter temperature and systemic Iranian negligence

Source:            (1) http://www.11007.baybak.com/4058.azr

                           (2) http://www.11007.baybak.com/4187.azr

Southern Azerbaijan endured an exceptionally cold winter this year with the temperature reaching -25oC or -30oC at certain locations. The nation of Southern Azerbaijan also experienced the most exposed face of Iranian discrimination, as the authorities dealt with problems facing with the continuity of gas supplies to Farsi-speaker provinces as well as to the Republic of Armenia with the pipelines through Southern Azerbaijan but cut off the supplies to most of Azerbaijani provinces and Turkey even cut the supply off to the Arabs in the Al-Ahwaz province (the nation endowed with this natural wealth of gas and petrol).

It is estimated that some two hundred individuals in Southern Azerbaijan lost their lives directly related to the cut-off of the gas supply. We understand that the Republic of Azerbaijan continued supplying Iran with the gas in the hope of alleviating the problems in Southern Azerbaijan, but the Iranian authorities diverted it to elsewhere. Also the Iranian authorities apparently blamed the Republic of Turkmenistan for the disruption of the gas supply to Southern Azerbaijan, as Turkmenistan temporarily interrupted its supply. A host of contradictions here, which was self-evident, but this brings us to the nature of the Iranian governance in Southern Azerbaijan. When the jigsaw pieces are put together, it is clear that the Iranian authorities are regarding Southern Azerbaijan as their colonial backyard, doing there whatever they wish. And now some of the damages done to Southern Azerbaijan in the recent cold spell.

According to Source (1) in Erdebil, the temperature reached --30oC and the people suffered from chronic cut off of the gas supply. The prices of bottled gas supplies soared in the black market. The news items in (http://www.11007.baybak.com/4180.azr) presents more details of the losses endured by Azerbaijanis. A host of news items showed that the cut-off of gas supplies in Urmu, Sulduz, Maki, Salmas, Khalkhal, Erdebil, Khiyov, Germi, Mughan, Tebriz created tremendous hardship all over in Southern Azerbaijan. 

As reported in (2), the economical losses due to the extreme weather in the Hemedan province are detailed. Although some of these are inevitable but they can be minimised with management which is often not introduced to Southern Azerbaijani provinces and certainly there will be no compensation to the farmers. The damages in the Hemedan province include:

  • One million chicks died in the chick farms, as well as one million eggs prepared for hatching, 150 ton of ordinary eggs and a host of similar products
  • 16000 beehives were lost due to the cold and more than 400 live stocks and a host of other similar damages
  • Agricultural products from 378 hectare suffer frostbites as well as 17000 hectare of fruit farms

 

Table 6         Inflicting the Infamous Act of Flogging on Helpless Prisoners of Conscience

Source:

Abbas Leysanli

The authorities dared to inflict the callous act on the figurehead of the national movement of Southern Azerbaijan but he successfully rebuffed them.

Eli Haj Mehemmedi

Sulduz prison, has already suffered the callous act while captive in the prison

Ibrahim Muini

Sulduz prison: suffered the act, which was reported on 12 January 2007

Zeynal Oruci

Sulduz, his sentence was published on 21 December 2007 to include flogging

Ramin Behram-nejad

Tebriz prison, suffered flogging – reported on 6 November 2007

Siyamek Tevessuli

Tebriz prison, suffered flogging – reported on 6 November 2007

Ramin Sadiqi-Esl

Erdebil prison – reported on 6 November 2007

 

Table 7         Recent Sentences Passed by the Iranian Authorities Against Southern Azerbaijanis

Khoy

Hemid Arghish (Rustemi)

·     A writer and literary Blogger (http://www.arghish.com/) and journalist from Southern Azerbaijan

·     Sentenced by the Revolutionary Court of Khoy to one year of punitive imprisonment, two years of exile to Beyjar and three years of ban on writing.

·     He is well-known for writing story books including: “Snowy Erk”, “A Collection of Stories”

·      On 21 February 2007, he was detained for celebrating the International Mother Language Day

·     His books, computer and personal belongings were confiscated by security agents when searching his house

·     He is also an active contributor to many Southern Azerbaijani journals.

 

Maki

Ekber Lekistani

He is a human right defender and was summoned to a court in Maki on 12 January 2008 but there is no further news reported

http://dustaq.blogsky.com/?PostID=499

Tebriz

Mehemmedrza Evezpur

We are preparing a communication on the sentences passed to this Southern Azerbaijani teenager. The Iranian authorities passed 5 months of punitive jail sentence on 12 December 2007. He has appealed but the court has not convened yet.

Hesen Esedi

 

These individuals are summoned to court for the charge of being a member of GAIP (Southern Azerbaijan Independence Party). The Court was convened on 13 January 2008 but there is no outcome yet.

Javad Ken’ani

Khisro Direkhshi

Mehdi Efseri

Mehemmedeli Javadi

Tahir Mehdevi Chiziq

Yusuf Lutfi Heqq

 

Table 8:        List of Southern Azerbaijani Prisoners of Conscience, who are definitely known by ASMEK to be imprisoned

Source:            ASMEK – private correspondence

                      ASMEK believes that there are other in jail but not confirmed yet

Zengan

1. Behruz Seferi

·   See our Update 1: Ref 479/2008 on 19 January 2008

2. Elirza Metinpur

·   See our Update 1: Ref 481/2008 on 22 January 2008

3. Jelil Qenilu

·   See our Update 1: Ref 482/2008 on 24 January 2008

4. Leyla Seferi (Heyderi)

·   See our Update 1: Ref 479/2008 on 19 January 2008

5. Seid Metinpur

·   See our Update 4: Ref 480/2008 on 21 January 2008

Urmu

6. Hadi Hemidi Shefiq

·   A 23 years old university student reading Architect in Urmu

·   Was arrested on 11 December 2006, detained immediately for one month and was tortured while in the detention

·   After being tried, he was sentenced arbitrarily for 10 months of imprisonment for taking part in the May 2006 Mass Protests and the so called “illegal activities against the State.”

·   Subsequent to the prosecution in May 2007 by the Deputy General Prosecutor in Urmu and the Revolutionary Court in Urmu, he was sentenced for an additional 7 months of jail for the supply of CDs insulting “the founding leadership of the Islamic Republic of Iran.”

·   According to the prisoners of conscience already released from Urmu prison, this victim has lost two fingers during the tortures and still his wounds have not heeled for the lack of medical care.

Tebriz

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.

Sarab

Eli Shadi Keremjavan

·   Imprisoned in Sarab prison but he is from Tebriz and well respected among the activists

·   His prison term will be completed on 20 February 2008 but may not be released. The reason is that he has appealed against his to his sentence passed by the Revolutionary Court in Tebriz but the Appeal Court has not made a determination yet.

·   This sentence consists of three months and one day of jail plus 50 floggings for taking part in the first Anniversary of the May 2006 Mass protests in May 2007.

·   His prolific activities include taking part in the May 2006 Mass Protests and taking part in the Annual Babek Assembly

Sulduz

Eli Haj Mehemmedi

·   Started his prison sentence in Sulduz prison since the early December 2008

·   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.

Maki

Mohsun Huseynzade (Demirchi

·   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.

Teyyib Ibrahimzade

·   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.

Khoy

Shirzad Hajilu

·   Imprisoned in Khoy prison since 11 December 2007

·   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 to three month and 1 day of punitive imprisonment but was convened in the absence of the defender

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

Erdebil

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.

Eher

Abbas Leysanli

See Communications and Update 10: Ref 478/2008 on 13 January 2008

The Southern Azerbaijani Goran Religious Sect Members Prosecuted by the Iranian Authorities

1.      Sehend Eli Mehemmedi

 

 

These prisoners of conscience are Southern Azerbaijanis adhering to the Goran sect but are being prosecuted by the Iranian authorities for their religious believes.

2.      Bakhsheli Mehemmedi

 

3.      Ebdullah Qasimzade

 

4.      Mehdi Qasimzade

Azərbaijani Turkic

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