Southern Azerbaijan: Periodic Report on Human Rights in the Region
The Ahraz - Association for the human rights of the Azerbaijani people in Iran - has published its periodic report for November-December 2015. The report documents human rights violations suffered by Azerbaijani Turks in Iran. Among other elements, the report mentions the arrests of a group of civil rights activists during anti-discrimination protests. Their charges ranged from participating in ‘unlawful demonstrations’ to ‘propaganda against the regime’. Furthermore, three Azerbaijanis, including Mr Javad Zarepour and Mr Saber Hamidi, were executed in December 2015.
Below is an excerpt of the report published by Ahraz:
Report on the situation of Iranian Azerbaijanis regarding human rights:
On 9 Nov 2015 Atabak Sepehri, the Azerbaijani Turk civil rights activist from Parsabad city, Mughan / West Azerbaijan was arrested following the Anti-racism protest after IRIB2 program (channel 2 of Iran public TV). He was released on IRR 300 million bail on 13 Nov 2015. After he released the security forces several times have attempted to arrest him again and are chasing him.
Note: Children’s television program “Fitileh” aired on 6 November on local state TV that ridiculed the accents of Turks and included offensive joke (the program shows the Turkish kids can not recognize the Tooth brush from Toilet brush). Demonstrations were held in all Azerbaijan as well as in capital Tehran.
On 26 Dec 2015 Eskandar Alimirzaee, the Azerbaijani Turk civil rights activist from Naghadeh city, West Azerbaujan was prisoned after he was summoned through the security force. Mr Eskandar Alimirzaee had participated in Antiracism protest after IRIB2 program (channel 2 of Iran public TV).
Note: Children’s television program Fitileh aired on 6 November on local state TV that ridiculed the accents of Turks and included offensive joke (the program shows the Turkish kids can not recognize the Tooth brush from Toilet brush). Demonstrations were held in all Azerbaijan as well as in capital Tehran.
On 10 Dec 2015, security forces arrested Siamak Seyfi, Azerbaijani Turk activist in Meshkin Shar City, East Azerbaijan. He was transferred to the City prison a day after. According to those close to Siamak, while in detention, he was beaten up severely. The reason for his arrest is not yet known. After mass protests in Meshkin Shahr city against racism, security forces attempted to arrest Siamak, but when they failed, they detained to of his brothers, Hasan and Ebrahim instead and released them after some hours. Security forces had told Simak' family if he had not introduced himself, they would have come to the house for search each time after some hours.
Siamak was arrested earlier by the security forces because of his minority rights activities several times during different occasions related to monitory rights issues. On 23 Dec 2015 Siyamek Seyfi was released from prison.
Photo courtesy of Ahraz