The Problem of Southern Azerbaijan

Say (No.): 540/2011
Tarix (Date): 7 June 2011
 

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 of interest 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 Mrs. Harrison, Amnesty International, London
UNESCO and various news media/ UN- Tehran
 

Seid Neimi, prisoner of conscience0

Dear sir/madam

Re COMMUNICATION 1: MR. SEID NEIMI

Please find enclosed Communication 1 on Mr. Seid Neimi for safeguarding human rights of this distinguished human rights defender of Southern Azerbaijan, who is being persecuted arbitrarily by Iranian authorities. The document provided for your attention is the form for the Special Representative of the Secretary-General on human rights defenders.

Mr. Neimi is one of is one of the many individuals, who was arrested arbitrarily on 9 May 2011, possibly in relation to the May 2006 Mass Protests (see our Briefing Note, Ref.: 539/2011 on 19 May 2011). Since his arrest on 9 May 2011, the only information is that he was transferred from detention facilities of the Ministry of Information in Tehran, to Tebriz prison on 15 May 2011.

We would like to stress that in compiling this Communication, we have not consulted with Mr. Metinpur or his family. This is necessary to mention to manage the risk of reprisal by the Iranian authorities against him.

The concern about the wellbeing of Mr. Neimi is escalating, as the complete blackout is a sign of torture. His case is now before you based on all the information available to us. In the Islamic republic of Iran, as a country of arbitrary acts and deeds, Mr. Neimi has no defence other than your mandates. We appeal to you to campaign for Mr. Neimi’s human and national rights by stressing the facts the Iranian authorities bear responsibility for his safety and wellbeing. We are confident that your campaign is the most effective way to secure his liberty and restore his human rights.

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           Communication on Mr. Seid Neimi

The Special Representative of the Secretary-General on human rights defenders

Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights

United Nations

1211 Geneva 10, Switzerland

FAX:  (41 22) 917 90 06

1.       Information regarding the alleged victim

1.1       Full name

          Seid Neimi (His name was also transcribed from the Arabic script سعید نعیمی)

1.2       Age

          20 September 1975

1.3       Sex

          Male

1.4       Profession or occupation

          Civil engineer (B.Sc., M.Sc. a graduate of Zengan univerisity), Journalist, human rights defender

1.5       Place of residence (or origin, if relevant to the violation suffered)

          Kerej (or Karaj as it may be transcribed by Persians) near Tehran,

1.6       The victim’s affiliation, if any, with an organization, association or group engaged in human rights work:

          The victim is a renown human rights defender, a cofounder of the first human rights defence (ASMEK:  Association for the Defence of Azerbaijanipolitical prisoners); a political member of the students Alumni Organisation ( دفتر تحکیم وحدت) and here he is the chair of the Committee for the Nations within the Islamic Republic of Iran.

1.6.1    Name of the organization, association or group

As in 1.6

1.6.2    Name of the person heading the organization, association or group

            The victim is a human right defender. He is independent.

1.6.3    Nature of human rights work the individual performs

He is active on a diverse range of national rights of Southern Azerbaijanis and other ethnic nations in Iran.

 

1.7       If the alleged violation is against an organization:

           -

1.7.1    Name of the organization

          As in 1.6

1.7.2    Nature of the human rights work/activities it is engaged in

          An important theme in victim’s activities is the defence of the national rights of the ethnic nations


 

1.7.3    Territorial scope of its work (national, regional, international)

           His activities cover the whole of Southern Azerbaijan and Iran

1.7.4    Affiliations with other human rights organizations, if any

Not Applicable

1.7.5    Name of person(s) heading the organization

          Not Applicable

1.7.6    Additional information on the history of the work the individual or organization has performed, if submitted, may be helpful in assessing the complaint/allegation.

 

2.       Nature of the alleged violation

            All relevant information regarding the violation allegedly committed against the human rights defender, or organization, association or group, including:

            There was a determination to mark the 5th Anniversary of the May 2006 Mass Protests in Southern Azerbaijan but the Iranian authority resorted to their usual brutal repression. See our Briefing Note (Ref.: 539/2011 on 19 May 2011). There is no communiqué by the Iranian authorities but it is beyond doubt that his arrest was related to this anniversary.

 

2.1       Date

          9 May 2011

2.2       Place

In Kerej, near his house of residence, he was attacked by security agents and was taken to an undisclosed location.

2.3       Description of the events/incident

The exact details of the arrest are not available. It is known that after his arrest, his house was raided by security agents and they confiscated his books, CDs and other personal belongings and documents.

 

2.4       Nature of violation suffered or threatened (The information must indicate the connection of the alleged violation to human rights activities performed.)

          Reports indicate that generally, the police attacked the arrested victims and subjected them to physical violence.

2.5       If the violation involves or includes the arrest and/or imprisonment of an individual or group of human rights defenders, information is required on:

          Since the victim has suffered this arbitrary arrest, there is no information available, other than he was transferred to Tebriz prison on 15 May 2011.

 

2.6       Identity of the authority involved (individual and/or ministry and/or department)

          It is invariably the Ministry of Intelligence involved with these types of illegal acts. The names of the individual agents/police committing the act of arrest are not known.

2.7       Date and place of arrest

9 May 2011; Kerej

 

2.8       Any circumstances under which the arrest was made that are relevant to the violation

          We believe that the arrest was in relation to the 5th Anniversary of the May 2006 Mass Protests in Southern Azerbaijan against the Iranian racist policies. The Iranian authorities arrested indiscriminately to prevent the Anniversary, and evidently, Mr. Neimi is an arbitrary victim of this wave of repression. See our Communication:  Ref.: 539/2011 on 19 May 2011.

 

2.9       Nature of charges, if any, and the legal statute invoked

          Definitely, there are no imputed charges yet.

           

2.10     Potential penalties the individual or group faces

          The precedence is that the colluding authorities have a free hand and they impose harsh jail terms from a few months to a few years and as a reflection of their racist policies, their sentences include flogging to humiliate the Southern Azerbaijani advocates of the national movement. We fear that the Iranian authorities are subjecting the victim to torture in order to force him to confess false allegations.

 

2.11     Place of detention, if known

          Not known.

2.12     Term of detention

            -

2.13     Information on the provision of access to legal counsel and family members

          As far as we know, the victim has no access to a lawyer.

2.14     Steps taken to seek administrative or judicial remedy, nature of the remedy sought, legal entity before which proceedings have been taken, and stage or result of such proceedings

          We are confident that the victims family members will all the steps necessary, at least to find out about the victim’s whereabouts and take any other measure to secure his liberty and conversely, the Iranian authorities will typically break their own laws and act in their usual brutish manner against the victim’s family members.

 

2.15     If the defender is being prosecuted in the courts for any activity in defence of human rights or related activity, or as a consequence of such activity:

          To the best of our knowledge, no trial has been conducted yet, but the trial will be a kangaroo court, when it comes.

2.15.1 The date and location of the trial

-

2.15.2 The court hearing the case

          -

2.15.3 The relevant appeal procedures

          -

2.15.4 The penalties the group or individual faces

          -

3.       Perpetrator(s) of the alleged violation

 

3.1       Name(s), if known

          We consistently maintain that the authorities are extremely careful to cover their track on matters related to the politics or national and human rights of Southern Azerbaijanis. So all the perpetrators are harboured dearly by the authorities.

3.2       If they are members of the security forces, their rank, functions, the unit or service, etc., to which they belong

          Please refer to 3.1, above.

3.3       If they are members of a civil defence group, paramilitary or other forces or an armed group, details on whether or how these groups relate to the State (e.g. cooperation with the State security forces, including information on chains of command, if available, State collusion with or acquiescence in their operations)

           Please refer to 3.1, above.

4.       Steps taken by or on behalf of the victim or organization to seek a remedy at the national level

 

4.1       All relevant information regarding whether a complaint was filed

          These procedures do not apply in Iran, where everything related to the human rights of ethnic nations are treated in an arbitrary manner.

4.2       If so, when, where, by whom and before which authority

          -

5.       Steps taken by the concerned authorities

 

5.1       Whether or not an investigation or inquiry into the alleged violation has been initiated and/or concluded

           This is not really relevant in Iran when the victims are promoting the national and human rights for the nation of Southern Azerbaijan. The authorities are then most brutal and many organisations collude with one another including: the judiciary system attached to the Ministry of Justice, Ministry of Information, Ministry of Interior responsible for prisons, the police and many paramilitary organisations. We are definitely not expecting any governmental investigation.

5.2       If so, by which authority, ministry or department of the Government

           Please refer to 5.1, above.

5.3       Progress and status of the inquiry or investigation at the time of submission of the allegation

           Please refer to 5.1, above.

5.4       Whether or not the investigation or inquiry has resulted in charges or other legal action

           Please refer to 5.1, above.

5.5       If so, the reason why the result is unsatisfactory

           Please refer to 5.1, above.

5.6       Measures, if any, taken to protect person(s) under threat

           Please refer to 5.1, above.

6.       The violation alleged may not be the result of one incident or event, but may be a continuing violation owing to conditions, policies, practices or laws that obstruct the promotion, protection and/or realization of human rights

Some background to this is given in our Breifing Note:  Ref.: 539/2011 on 19 May 2011

6.1       All relevant information regarding such conditions, policies, practices or laws

          -

6.2       The nature of the prejudice suffered by an individual or group(s) working for the defence of human rights because of the above

          Some of the symptoms of the racist policies of the Islamic Republic of Iran include:

·         Undermining the economical integrity of Southern Azerbaijan

·         The environment of Southern Azerbaijan is approaching a disaster, where the Iranian authorities regard our homelands as their backyard.

·         They are balkanising Azerbaijan and undermining its territorial integrity.

·         The prejudice is widespread, as our mother tongue is treated in contempt and as a sure sign of separatism. There is no single classroom in our mother tongue and the nation is extremely upset about this and this is not tolerated anymore. The authorities are even violating their own Constitution with appropriate provisions for education in mother tongue.

6.3       Methods used to impede the work of human rights defenders on the basis of the above conditions, policies, practices or laws

            Intimidation, detention, imprisonment, flogging, financial crippling of the victims by releases on bail or fining and also shutting down businesses under the official seal.   

 

6.4       Agencies (State, non-State) employed to harass, intimidate and/or injure human rights defenders on the basis of these conditions or in implementing such laws, practices and policies

          Security agents of the Ministry of Intelligence, paramilitary units of Basij and Pasdar, and the police      

6.5       Possible measures that can be taken to remedy the situation

          International campaign

6.6       Any action taken by individuals or groups at the national level to reverse the conditions, policies and practices or for reform of the laws that are contrary to the rights recognized by the Declaration

There is virtually no outspoken members of parliament and therefore not much hope for any outcome.

 

Name and full address:

Mr. Boyuk Resuloglu,

Ayna, Sherifzade 1,

Baki,

The Republic of Azerbaijan

Telephone and fax numbers and e-mail address (if possible):

Tel/Fax: +47-99399225

Email: boyuk_resuloglu@hotmail.com

 

Note that DunAzHAK is an NGO devoted to the defence of human rights of Southern Azerbaijanis.

 


 

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