The Problem of Southern Azerbaijan

Say (Ref.): 549/ 2011
İlaygün (Date): 3 Oct 2011


The Office of High Commissioner for Human Rights, Geneva

• Please circulate this to Dr. Ahmed Shaheed,
• The Special Rapporteur on the right to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health; this is also relevant to:
• Working Group on arbitrary detention (also for Fair Trials);
• Special Rapporteur on the promotion & protection of the right to freedom of opinion & expression
• Special Rapporteur on contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia, intolerance
• The Independent Expert on Minority Issues
• Special Rapporteur on the independence of judges;

Also to: Mr. Boehner, Mr. Cantor and Mrs. Pelosi ofthe US House of Representatives
Mr Dyke and Mrs. Harrison, Amnesty International, London
Human Rights Watch and Human Rights Server, UN Habitat



Mr. Abbas Leysanli

Dear sir/madam


This is Communication 1 to defend human rights of Mr. Abbas Leysanli (or Lisani, or Lesani), a veteran of the national movement of Southern Azerbaijan and one of the founders of its activism based on the Universal Human Rights Declaration. The Iranian authorities arbitrarily detained him on 8 September 2011 together with at least 12 other Southern Azerbaijani prisoners of conscience. Even prior to his arrest and subsequent detention, he was under constant harassment, as pointed out by Briefing Note 2 (Ref: 546/ 2011, on 5 Sep 2011). Table 1 presents the form for the defence of the individuals detained arbitrarily with the details of Mr. Leysanli. We also learned on 1 October 2011 that Mr. Leysanli has been taken from a detention facility in Erdebil to a detention facility in Tehran, some 500 Km away from his family in Erdebil. We are therefore very concerned with his wellbeing and safety and the risk of torture against him.

As per information given in Table 1, this detention is arbitrary for the following reason:
• Mr. Leysanli has not broken any Iranian or international law and in addition, all Southern Azerbaijani activists, including Mr. Leysanli, exercise a high standard of compliance with any law even if the law is nonsense. This is because they utterly disappoint the Iranian authorities even though these authorities are habitual violators of their own laws.
• The Iranian authorities are infested with collusion and therefore before detaining any Southern Azerbaijani activist, no legal basis is observed due to the collusion between the Ministry of Justice and the Ministry of Information.

This illegal act of the Iranian authorities is evident when considering the background to his detention. There is an ongoing wave of protests to the environmental catastrophe in Southern Azerbaijan instigated by the Iranian authorities, please refer to Table 1, Part IV for the specific details. If up to recent times, Southern Azerbaijanis were campaigning for their national rights, the scope has now expanded and covers their protests against the deliberate policies of the Iranian authorities to dry up Lake Urmu. The Iranian authorities are not minded with correcting their deliberate policies but their mindset is described, as follows:
• Iranian authorities are trigger happy and resort to repression against Southern Azerbaijanis protests;
• Southern Azerbaijan is under the siege by militarisation of Southern Azerbaijani cities by special detached forces of the central government;
• They round up protesters at will and subject them to violence and torture, depriving them from all the rights – literally, more than 500 individuals have been detained and gagged by heavy bails
• They victimise protesters by rubber bullets – 100s have been wounded and at least 3 killed
• They deploy extra-judiciary killings – this is a targeted act deployed by the Iranian authorities from time to time. Mr. Ibrahim Jeferzade, a high profile activist, his wife Mrs. Mina Kehrebayi and their daughter Ayla on 26 September 2011, were apparently killed by a car accident but this is not crystal clear yet and the incident is regarded with suspicion. During the funeral, more than 100 participants were rounded up in Khoy and the procession was therefore carried out under highly intense atmosphere (see the films:

The facts are that despite the legitimacy of the ongoing protests, Mr. Leysanli has neither issued any single statement regarding the ongoing protests nor has been seen to take part in any of the ongoing protests. After all, today there are 30 million Abbas Leysanli’s in Southern Azerbaijan who are willing to defend the environment of Southern Azerbaijan with or without the presence of Mr. Leysanli. In fact, Erdebil, the home city of Mr. Leysanli, orchestrated a magnificent protest on September the 14th, under heavily militarised atmosphere, while Mr. Leysanli was illegally under detention.

We would like to explain why Mr. Leysanli was possibly detained and then taken to Tehran:
• The Iranian authorities were naive to think that by stopping Mr. Leysanli the planned protests in Erdebil would not materialise. We confirm that, the protests took place for short periods despite the brute forces of Iranian might being in its full swing.
• The Iranian authorities have taken Mr. Leysanli to an undisclosed detention facility in Tehran to inflict maximum suffering on his family as a revenge for his past activism. This is really, unworthy of any authority but this is a hard reality of the Iranian authority, who has no intension of a wise governance but be engaged in infantile revenges against the Turkic nation of Southern Azerbaijan.
• However, we are concerned with the message that Mr. Leysanli passed to his wife on 26 September 2011 during his second two minute telephone call (the information on his hunger was given in the first telephone call), stating that “I stress that should something happen to me, the cause shall not be my hunger strike.” We fear that something more cynical is brewed up in the medieval mind of the Iranian authorities. We dare not to spell it out.

Today Southern Azerbaijan is under the onslaught of a racist sentiment by the Iranian authorities. The last minute information is that there has been a nuclear explosion in Erdebil, the home city of Mr. Leysanli, in a secret Uranium Enrichment Plant. We simply do not know what is in the stock of the Iranian authorities for the Turkic nation of Southern Azerbaijan: numerous pollution hotspots, the catastrophe of Lake Urmu, arbitrary treatments of the Azerbaijani Turks, and now a possible nuclear explosion in Erdebil. The defence of this nation is only in the hands of your mandates and only your defence will curb the arbitrary and racist acts of the Iranian authorities against the Turkic nation of Southern Azerbaijan and restore human rights of Mr Leysanli. We thank you in advance for your care.

Yours faithfully,
Boyuk Resuloglu

The Committee for the Defence of the Rights of World Azerbaijanis

Table 3: The Complaint Form for the Particulars of Mr. Abbas Leysanli

Working Group on Arbitrary Detention

c/o.  Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights

United Nations Office at Geneva

 CH-1211, Geneva 10



1. Family name:

Leysanli (also known as Lesani or Lisani); in Farsi: لسانی

2. First name:

            Father’s name:

Abbas, in Farsi: عباس


3. Sex:  (M/F)

Marital status



4. Birth of date (age):

23   August 1967

5. Nationality

Southern Azerbaijani; a citizen of the Islamic Republic of Iran

6. (a) Identity document:


(b) Issued by:


 (c) On (date):

·         Not available


·         Not known but it is normally issued by the Registry Office of Erdebil


·         Not available

7. Profession / activity

·         Self Employed

·         Poet and writer

8.Place of usual residence

Erdebil ( Ardabil ), Khiyaban-e-Mojez, Shehid Yusuf Qaffari Street , Number 15P

II. Arrest 

1. Date of arrest:

The victim was arrested on 8 (or 9) September 2011, in the morning

2. Place of arrest:

Based on our own sources, the arrest took place in the victim’s house (although some report mention his work place), during which the agents searched his house and confiscated his PC, CDs and personal belongings.

3. Forces who carried out the arrest or are believed to have carried it out:

The perpetrators are believed to be security agents operating for the Ministry of Information of the Islamic Republic of Iran.

4. Did they show a warrant or other decision by a public authority?

It is highly unusual for the security agents to show any warrant and our sources indicate that there was no such a warrant for the arrest.

5.Authority who issued the warrant or decision:

The Iranian authorities fail to fulfill their duties as an authority to issue such information but the arrest had the hallmark of the Ministry of Information.

6.Relevant legislation applied (if known):

Our reports including ( indicate that the act of arrest was arbitrary and not based on any legislation.

Azərbaijani Turkic

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