The Problem of Southern Azerbaijan


No.: 522/2010

Date: 8 Feb 2010

The Office of High Commissioner for Human Rights, Geneva,

   Please circulate to the Special Representative of the Secretary-General on human rights defenders, and to the Special Rapporteur for the Right to Health. It is relevant to:

·   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

Mr. Seid Metinpur

A Southern Azerbaijani prisoner of conscience

Dear sir/madam


Mrs. Metinpur: “The truth is that, we do not get anywhere throughout our efforts towards securing Seid’s health”

Further to Communication 3 (Ref: 520/2009, on 29 December 2009), please find Update 1 on severe health problems inflicted on Mr. Seid Metinpur, a distinguished human rights defender of Southern Azerbaijan, who is now a prisoner of conscience arbitrarily deprived of his right to health and liberty by Iranian authorities. He is in an urgent need of medical attention. The document provided for your attention is in Table 1, which is the translation of a radio interview given by Mrs. Etiyye Metinpur, wife of Mr. Seid Metinpur to Radio Zamane.

We would like to stress once again that in compiling this Communication, we have not consulted with Mr. Metinpur’s family or anyone else for that matter. It is necessary to mention this to manage the risk of reprisals by the Iranian authorities against him and his family.

Mrs. Metinpur has been commendably brave to break her silence after so many threats by the Iranian authorities.  She tells of a harrowing experience that the Iranian authorities are subjecting her husband to.  This is a heartfelt interview and informs us of the pathetic behaviour of the indifference of the Iranian authorities to the right to health of her husband.  She tells that she does not know if there is any place she could refer to in order to secure her husband’s health.

Once again, we remind you that her husband is a distinguished human rights defender, a prisoner of conscience and imprisoned arbitrarily deprived of his health and liberty. We would like to remind you that you are the authority with an international mandate responsible to secure Mr. Metinpur’s health. May be Mrs. Metinpur has exhausted all the means in Southern Azerbaijan ruled by Iranian authorities but we know that you are the remaining authority endeavouring to prove the difference between an authority acting responsibly such as yours and an authority acting arbitrarily such as that of the Islamic Republic of Iran. The justice for Mr. Metinpur and securing his health now rests in your hands.

We thank you in advance for your care.

Yours sincerely,

Boyuk Resuloglu

Chairperson of the Committee for the Defence of the Rights of World Azerbaijanis


Table 1: Translation of the Interview by Mrs. Etiyye Metinpur given to Radio Zamane  

Note: Mrs. Tahiri is the maiden surname of Mr Seid Metinpur’s wife. In Iran the maiden surname often remains with women after their marriage. In our letter, we refer to her as Mrs. Metinpur to prevent confusion.

The Translation:

Mrs. Tahiri, your husband, Seid Metinpur is imprisoned and we hear that his physical conditions are not good. Please explain his latest conditions.

Seid developed severe physical problems on his back and stomach after suffering his first detention in 2000x when he was kept there for seven months in solitary confinement both in Wing 209 of Evin prison and also in Zengan. Until the last moments before which he suffered the 8 years prison term, he was under medical treatments.

After the transfer to prison in 20 Tir 88, heart problems were a new peril on top of his existing problems. This was so severe that he suffered a heart attack while he was putting up with his prison term. Without any attention from the authorities, fellow prisoners had taken him to the doctor-in-charge of the prison, but the doctor without any question, any medical examination had diagnosed the symptom from 8m away to be “nervous shock” and had told that, this explains the symptoms.

At that time, we contacted a number of doctors outside the prison and made an enquiry on the symptoms from which Seid was suffering from. We were told by the doctor that should this attack repeat again, Seid’s health would be in a serious danger.  Regrettably, this condition occurred about 10 days ago and Seid has suffered yet another heart attack to a degree that he was transferred to hospital and an E.C.G. was performed.

The problem is that according to the doctor, the E.C.G. is only effective when the heart attack takes place and this is not feasible in prison. He had explained that: it takes time from the moment of heart attack to take the prisoner to the doctor for a diagnosis; he has to write a letter to an specialist and ask for a recommendation for the transfer of the patience to out-of-prison for a medical treatment; and then the specialist doctor has to decide if the patient can be discharged for an external treatment. You see, these all take time. But then, the prison lacks medical facilities for an internal treatment and therefore this is not just feasible there.

Now I am utterly concerned, after all Seid’s health is severely in danger.

Normally there are short-term release facilities for prisoners suffering similar conditions for medical treatments outside the prison. Have you requested prison authorities for day releases for the provision of medical treatment by yourselves?

We have referred to the Revolutionary Court repeatedly to request day releases but we have never obtained any positive response and even our latest endeavours have been in vain.

The authorities have issued an eight year prison term and when you look at the file compiled by the authority against Seid, it just does not make sense. As if the authorities have not satisfied with the imprisonment of Seid, they have even broadcasted interviews in Zengan television and threaten to shame us. God can do anything but I believe the authority must not be so arbitrary.

Now that Seid is imprisoned, he is deprived of his very basic rights for a prisoner. It is the right of every prisoner to make use of day releases even if healthy. According to the regulations in the Islamic Republic of Iran, the right to day releases has been conferred by law.  Regrettably, even though Seid is under severe conditions, he has been persistently deprived of this right. All of our efforts are in vain and all of our efforts simply reach to a dead end.

Considering the lapse of a number of years since his imprisonment, what about the possibly of pardon and can he be included in such an act and is there any such provision in his dossier or does he have to serve the full term?

The truth is that, we do not get anywhere throughout our efforts towards securing Seid’s health. None of our questions have been responded by the authorities. We try judges and we try executive authorities but all the same and no response.

Let me elaborate. We have been to the Revolutionary Court, we have been to visit Judge Mr. Salavati and other executives. Their persistent response is that they have no information; they even express a lack of information on the files; even on the requests to day releases. We submit letters and at least expect them to be archived and when ask about our letters, whether they have been considered, agreed, rejected, archived or what are the reasons, then the response is all the same; there is no response.

We refer to all the rooms in the Revolutionary court. The people in-charge there all express a lack of information and say the relevant files are not in their possession and not archived in their offices. We even contemplate the hypothetical case of the existence of another place, other than the Revolutionary Court to refer to, hypothesizing that perhaps we need to refer to them, where these files are archived there where they truly attend the complaints. Perhaps the files are there, they have considered our requests and possibly filed them but they avoid informing us!

According to our news sources, the authorities are exerting pressure on you, your family and your brother who is an Azerbaijani activist even after imprisonment of Seid Metinpur. Are these pressures still continuing?

After Seid was recalled to suffer serving his prison term, we organized a gathering in my father’s house to perform a religious ceremony to console our minds and to protest to Seid’s imprisonment. This was the last resort open to us. So we went along with organizing this ceremony but even for this initiative we were severely reprimanded by security authorities in Zengan.

My brother together with two other fellows were summoned to the office of the Ministry of Information and they were ordered to cancel this religious ceremony. The authorities were given a staunch response by my brother that the invitation has been issued and it was not possible to stop.  They were detained approximately for two weeks until set free. We went along with the religious ceremony in spite of the presence a crowd of plainclothes agents and policemen together with their cars and motorbikes filling up and roaring in our street from one end to the other. We were satisfied with our initiative and my brother was set free after two weeks and the other two fellows after three weeks.


Azərbaijani Turkic

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