Southern Azerbaijan: Report Highlights Iranian Repression Of Azerbaijani Activists
A recent report from the ADAPP contains evidence of the arbitrary arrest, prosecution and torture of Azerbaijani activists.
Below is an article published by the Association for the Defense of Azerbaijani Political Prisoners:
The systematic violations of Azerbaijanis human and ethnic rights in Iran continued through August, 2010. Azerbaijani activists were sentenced to jail and tens of activists are still in temporary detentions without access to a lawyer or visit their family. The activists are subjected to tortures or other ill-treatments. The judiciary authorities deny releasing the reason of detentions.
Akbar Azad, Alireza Abdollahi, Ayat Mehralibayglu, Hamide Farajzade, Zahra Farajzade, Hasan Rahimi, Shahram Radmehr, Mahmud Fazli, Bahman Nasirzade, Behbud Gholizade, Aydin Khajeyi, Yunes Soleymani, Naim Ahamadi Khiyavi, Shokrollah Ghahramanifard, Ahmad Aghayi, Latif Hadani and Heydar Karimi are Azerbaijani activists were detained through series of detention which started in May 2010. The detainees are still held in Tabriz Prison or intelligence office custody. Most of them are not allowed to access a lawyer or visit their family. Reportedly they were tortured to give untrue confessions.
Yunes Soleymani, student activist and former director of “Ildirim” student journal in Bu-Ali Sina University has been tortured by electric shock in Tabriz intelligence office during interrogations. He is suffering from heartaches after tortures.
According to Yusef Soleymani, Yunes Soleymani’s brother, he has been tortured by giving electric shock and injecting some medicine. Soleymani has been transferred to Sepah Hospital (an army hospital) and was there for three days after suffering from heartaches resulted from tortures.
Reportedly Ayat Mehralibayglu has been tortured as well. According to some families of detainees who were able to visit them, Mehralibayglu’s voice has been heard when shouting under tortures.
Mehralibayglu was not allowed to contact with his family. His family requested the authorities to let them visit him to be sure of his health but the judiciary authorities denied their requests because of high security problems related to their case.
Hasan Abdollahi Jahani (Umudoglu) an Azerbaijani Turkish teacher, Mahbub Budaghi, poet, Faraz Zehtab, student activist, Habib Avaride, Mohammadreza Hashemi, and Hossein Asiyabi were sentenced to prison. According to the verdict issued by Tabriz Court Avaride was sentenced to one year of imprisonment and other activists to six months of jail term.
The activists were arrested on May and Jun 2009 and were released after almost three months of detention on bail to be tried later. They were charged with propaganda against the regime based on their activities on moderating websites, publishing articles, and calling people to demonstrations. Their trail was not public.
Mohammad Tajeri and Jafar Yavari, who were arrested on August 1, 2010 during the gathering of Tractor Football Club supporters by Tabriz security forces, were released on bail of 100 million Rials ($10,000) after 12 days of detention. Previously, more than fifty people was released who were related to the same case, but Darush Ebadpur, an azarbaijani poet, is still in detention.
The demonstration was organized by Tractor FC supporters against the official support for the racist actions and slogans of a Tehran based football club supports toward Azerbaijanis during a match between two clubs. The peaceful demonstrations of Azerbaijanis were violently attacked by riot police forces.
Ebrahim Rashidi, a young journalist and political activist who was arrested on Jun 14, 2010 by Ardebil intelligence officers was released after 57 days of temporary detention on bail of 500 million Rials ($50,000) to be tried later. He will be charged with propaganda against the regime and also collaborating with opposition groups.
Rashid is a writer in “Bayram” monthly journal and also a former writer of closed down “Navid Azerbaijan” weekly. He was arrested, detained and sentenced to prison several times through past years. Amnesty International released two actions in defence of activist on April 1, and May 1 2006 and Reporters without Border issued another one on Jun 22, 2010 condemning his detentions.
The last session of trail of Ramin Jabbari, Hafez Sardarpur, and Nader Azizpur Aghdam took place on August 8, 2010. The activists were detained in Parsabad Moghan for 11 days and were released on bail to be tried later. They are charged with propaganda against the regime and also violating national security by establishing classes to teach Azerbaijani Turkish, and publishing articles.
Sardarpur is the founder and former director of Heydar Baba Association (a student organization), Jabbari is a journalist who is writing in “Yapraq”, “Neday-e Moghan”, and “Byram”, and Azizpur is a poet.
Aydin Sardariniya and Ghader Noruzi, student activists and members of Arman Student Organization were acquitted in a trail in Tabriz Court. They were going to be charged with violating public order and violating national security.
Sardariniya was arrested in a ceremony which was organized to welcome the released student activists from Tabriz Prison after months of detention in October 2008, in front of Tabriz University.
Noruzi was called to the court following a publishing a special issue by Arman Student Organization in March 2010 about the role of women in movements in Azerbaijan and entitled “Azerbaijani women”.
The activists are members of Arman which was closed down on April 26, 2010 by university authorities. Arman was the only student organization that was active in introducing and analyzing cultural, social and political problems of Azerbaijanis in Iran.
Click the link in the sidebar to download the full report with photos.