The Problem of Southern Azerbaijan


No.: 503/2008

Date: 10 August 2008

The Office of High Commissioner for Human Rights, Geneva,

 Please circulate this Communication to the Special Representative of the Secretary-General on human rights defenders, also this is of interest to:

·   Special Rapporteur on the independence of judges and lawyers

·   The Working Group on Arbitrary Detention

·   Special Rapporteur on the Promotion and Protection of the Right to Freedom of Opinion and Expression

·   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

Also:        Human Rights Watch and Human Rights Server


Mr. Saleh Kamrani

Dear sir/madam


Further to our Update 4 (Ref: 419/2006; Date: 4 December 2006), please find enclosed Update 5 to safeguard human rights of Mr. Saleh Kamrani, a prominent Southern Azerbaijani human rights lawyers, whose human rights were violated by the Iranian authorities. The following documents are presented:

Table 1: presents a chronology of arbitrary treatments suffered by Mr. Kamrani by Iranian authorities

Table 2: presents a log of our past campaigns for him.

As outlined in Table 1, the Iranian authorities have conspired with two arbitrary cases against Mr. Kamrani but we have no knowledge if both cases are one and the same or their vendetta dictates these two cases. Table 2 shows our campaign for Court Case 1 (arrested on 14 June 2006 and released on 18 September 2008) and then to our knowledge Iranian authorities never responded to his appeal.

Regarding Court Case 2, the particulars of this arbitrary case against Mr. Kamrani include:

  • Detained on 18 August 2007, and released on 22 December 2007 on bail for a surety of approximately 150 million Tumen, approximately $150,000;
  • Tried in a closed court on 11 May 2008 in Branch 115 of the Revolutionary Court, Tehran, and the sentence was passed on 10 June 2008 (;
  • The arbitrary sentence determined one year of punitive sentence for “publicity against the Islamic Republic.” The sentence was suspended for five years, effectively gagging Mr. Kamrani.

We would like to stress that the compilation and submission of this Update is due to our initiative and we have not consulted with him, his 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, requesting your campaign against the gagging order of Iranian authorities against Southern Azerbaijani activists and Mr. Kamrani. We hope you will make a strong representation to the Iranian authorities against their futile attempt to undermine national and human rights of the nation of Azerbaijan in Southern Azerbaijan. Thank you in advance for your care.

Yours faithfully, 

Eli Tashkent

The Committee for the Defence of the Rights of World Azerbaijanis

Table 1 The Chronology of the Arbitrary Violation of Human Rights of Mr Kamrani

Arbitrary Court Case 1 Brought against Mr. Kamrani by Iranian authorities

18 Aug 2007

Arrested at a family wedding in the city of Karaj, near Tehran, and was held in Section 209 of Evin Prison in Tehran.

21 Aug 2007

His family was informed of his whereabouts for the first time.

22 Dec 2007


11 May 2008

Tried in a closed court in Branch 115 of the Revolutionary Court, Tehran

10 June 2008

Sentenced comprising an arbitrary determination of one year of punitive sentence for “publicity against the Islamic Republic.” The sentence was suspended for five years, effectively gagging him.

Arbitrary Court Case 2 Brought against Mr. Kamrani by Iranian authorities

14 June 2006

Arrested when leaving his office in Tehran but his family did not know his whereabouts for a few days.

16 June 2006

Urgent Action MDE13/067/2006 by Amnesty International   

5 July 2006

Mrs. Mina Salehi, his wife gave an interview in GünAzTV articulating how the Iranian authorities shift the goal post in releasing her husband on bail

20 July 2006

After persistent enquiries of his family, it became clear that Mr. Kamrani was in detention in the Ministry of Intelligence. He was still denied of access to his lawyer.

13 Sept 2006

The first session of the trial was held at 11.30 in Branch 13 of the Penal Court of the Revolutionary Court, in Tehran. The only accusation against him was “propaganda against the system”

18 Sep 2006

Was released after enduring three month of arbitrary detention in Evin prison but the authorities retained his lawyer’s card, without which he could not return to work as a lawyer.

31 Oct 2006

The sentence was issued and consisted of one year of imprisonment suspended for 5 years.

22 Nov 2006

An appeal was launched.



Table 2  The Log of our Correspondences on Mr. Kamrani

Initial informative letters by DunAzHAK

  • The letter: Ref. 338/2006 on 19 June 2006 introducing more 30 individuals arbitrarily detained
  • The letter: Ref. 340/2006 on 24 June 2006 mentions Mr. Kamrani in our Appeal to Mr. Kofi Annan
  • The letter: Ref. 344/2006 on 28 June 2006 mentions Mr. Kamrani as the 200th person in the name list of the detained Southern Azerbaijanis
  • The letter: Ref. 382/2006 on 17 September 2006 mentions Mr. Kamrani as the 60th person for sentencing
  • The letter: Ref. 346/2006 on 4 July 2006 informing you of the shifting goals for the release of Kamrani
  • The letter: Ref. 348/2006 on 7 July 2006 responding to a number of questions
  • The letter: Ref. 362/2006 on 22 July 2006, a news concerning the health of Mr. Kamrani
  • The letter: Ref. 351/2006 on 23 July 2006 informing you of an extension of Mr. Kamrani’s detention
  • The letter: Ref. 360/2006 on 9 August 2006 that a court proceedings will be brought against Mr. Kamrani
  • The letter: Ref. 365/2006 on 9 August 2006, a general update on Southern Azerbaijani prisoners of conscience
  • The letter: Ref. 360/2006 on 9 August 2006 informing you of the irregularities for compiling a file against Mr. Kamrani


General Communication submitted (this was inappropriately referred to as a complaint):

 The Communication – Ref: 379/2006 lodged on 15 September 2006 on the blatant court irregularities



  • Update 1: Ref. 384/2006 on 20 September 2006 – the release of mr. Kamrani under bail
  • Update 2: Ref. 405/2006 on 31 October 2006 with the information to attention the court for the delivery of the sentence
  • Update 3: Ref. 414/2006 on 21 November 2006 providing the court sentence
  • Update 4: Ref: 419/2006; Date: 4 December 2006 - Translating Mr. Kamrani’s appeal


Azərbaijani Turkic

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