Apr 20, 2016

Southern Azerbaijan: New Report on Human Rights Violations in Iran

Photo Courtesy of AHRAZ 

The Association for the Human Rights of the Azerbaijani People in Iran has released a report documenting recent arrests and imprisonments of Azerbaijani Turk activists, including Mansour Fathi and Siyamak Seyfi. Over a dozen activists were sentenced to imprisonment and 74 lashes on charges of “illegal demonstration” for participation in anti-racism rallies in Southern Azerbaijan. The activist Abbas Lesani, whose case has been raised repeatedly by international human rights organization, undertook a hunger strike in solidarity with the demonstrators and as a result has been moved to an alternative prison and banned from receiving visitors. 


Below is a statement published by AHRAZ:

Report on the situation of Iranian Azerbaijanis regarding human rights:

Abbas Lesani, Azerbaijani Turk activist from Ardabil ended his hunger strike after he returned to his ward in prison and received his rights to have an access to the prison phone.

Abbas was exiled to Shiraz after announcement of hunger strike on 13.11.15. On 09.11.15, Abbas started hunger strike at Ardabil Prison at the time of massive public protest against insult of the state’s broadcasting agency in a protest against the insult and in solidarity with the protesters.

On 15 Nov 2015, Abbas Lesani had informed his family in a telephone conversation that he ended hunger strike based on request from the family and his friends. He was sent from Ardabil city prison to Shiraz city prison in exile after he had announced his hunger strike. He went on hunger strike at the same time when massive public protest erupted against racism in Iran on 09 Nov 2015. Abbas Lesani was spending his a-year in prison sentence in Ardabil prison. This civil rights activist was arrested by security forces on 22 Jul 2015 while going to work, for a-year in prison sentence in Ardabil prison.

Mr Lesani has faced ban on prison visit after his exile to Shiraz Prison. His family stated that they could not meet Abbas because of this ban as well as financial problems.

Amnesty International and other human rights organizations defended him and have announced their concerns over him for several times during past years. Source: OyanNews and Ahraz

An Azerbaijani Turk civil rights activist was summoned to the Revolutionary Court of Baharestan city/ Tehran. According to the Human Rights Activists News Agency (Hrana), On 10 March 2016 Mr Fathi was summoned to the Revolutionary Court of Baharestan city/ Tehran.

On 21 February 2014 Mr Fathi was arrested by Iranian Security alongside with other Azerbaijani people whilst they were celebrating international mother tongue day in Tehran / Nasimshahr. He was then released on bail İRR 50 billion on 19 March 2014.

On 2 March 2016, The Turk civil society activists, Siyamak Seyfi has been summoned by the 2nd branch of the revolutionary court in Tabriz. He has been asked to be present at the court in order to stand trial on 4 April 2016. He and other 18 people had been arrested on 26 February 2013 at the stadium of “Yadgare Emam” during the football match between Tractorsazi FC and Aljazireh from U.A. Emirates.  The accusation was “public disturbance via unordinary actions and unlawful slogans at the Yadgar Emam sports stadium”.

Tactorsazi FC is a football club from Tabriz, Iranian Turk city, whose matches used to be a gathering for Azerbaijani activists to protest against the discriminatory policies of the government toward Iranian Turks.
The summons from Tabriz revolutionary court came at the same time that Siyamak Seyfi has received another summons from the second criminal court in Meshkin-shahr. According to this summons Mr. Seyfi would be present at the court on 2 February 2016. The trial would be in connection with his detention during the demonstration of “Anti-Racism” in Azerbaijani cities of Iran. Source: Oyannews

Sahar Tirandaz Lalehzari, Hadieh Fathi Rostami, Sorayya Azar Hava, Farshad Sadeghi Khiavi, Shayan Dolatabadi, Safar Bayrami Qolan, Ramin Behzad Nahand, Milad Asghari, Bagher Faramarzi, Soheil Ghaderi, Reza Bagheri, Mohammad Shafaian Kavij, Naser Pourkadiv Mayan, Sajed Anami, Bahram Jovdat Mayan, Tohid Alijani, Tayyeb Alijani, Omid hatami Aghdam, Ali Pejman Akhoule, Adel Amirpour Sefidhekhan, Hamed Nasimi Sis, Alirza Abdollahi Miran, Alirza Shaban Gheshlagi are the Turk civil society activists who each of the has been sentenced for to one year of suspended imprison for three years and also 74 lashes.

The branch of number 112 for criminal court in Tabriz whose judge is Mr. Mohammad Ali Piri has sentenced these activists on charge of “the participation in illegal demonstration and public disturbance”. They all have been arrested in connection with the demonstration of “Anti-Racism” in Azerbaijani cities of Iran. Source: Oyannews

The first week of March 2016, The Turk activists, Ata Karimi and Sina Ershadi received summons to be present at court respectively in Urmia and Meshkin-shahr, the Azerbaijani cities in Northwest Iran. According to the summons Ata Karimi’s trial would be held at the branch number 104 of criminal court of Urmia on 9 March 2016 and Sina Ershade’s as the same way at the branch number 101 of criminal court of Meskin shahr on 6 March 2016.

Both activist have arrested in connection with the demonstration of “Anti-Racism” in Azerbaijani cities of Iran. Source: Oyannews

In October 2015, in many cities of Azerbaijan (northwest Iran) and Tehran there were demonstrations against the TV program of “Fitileh” in which the Turks had been humiliated. These demonstrations are known as “anti-racism protests”. Although the demonstrations were peaceful in the beginning but they turned violent as police attacked the protester by tear gases and batons. Hundreds of activists were arrested during the protests in Azerbaijani cities of Iran.

Asghar Akbarzade Azerbaijani Turk activist was freed from Ardabil security detention center on a IRR 100 million bail.

On 02.03.2016, Akbarzade defended himself at the branch 2 of Ardabil military court and then was freed after paying the bail amount.

This civil activist was detained by intelligence services at his last day of military service in Ghivi (Kosar) city on 31.01.2016. After his arrest, security forces had searched his father’s home and had gone through all rooms and his belongings.

Akbarzade is a graduate from applied chemistry. He has been detained by security forces many times because of his minority rights activities and has been sentenced to prison by the revolutionary court.

Mr. Hoseyn Zareiyan from Tabriz city was sentenced to three years in prison and with enucleating [removal] of the eye. He was involved in a fight in which he had caused a person to become blind. Now after that three years in prison period is passed, on 08.03.2016, Hoseyn and his complainant became present at Tabriz court again. His complainant requested execution of the court order on enucleating Hosseyn’s eyes.

This file will be sent to Tehran. If the head of Iranian judiciary approves court’s order, enucleating eye will be executed on Hosseyn. Previouly, a similar order of nemesis of enucleating eye was executed in the Karaj city prison in March 2015.