Jun 23, 2016

Southern Azerbaijan: Civil Rights Activist Soheila Karger Released on Bail After A Month


Iranian Azeri advocate and activist Soheila Kargar, who had been arrested at her home on 15 May 2016 by security forces, was released on bail from ‪Qazvin prison on 2 June, after paying 500 million IRR. Kargar, a leading advocate for the anti-racism protests that had taken place in multiple cities in Southern Azerbaijan, has still not been given the reasoning behind her detention by Iranian authorities.


Below is an article published by Ahraz.org

According to AHRAZ, the arrest of Soheila was violent and without presenting any warrant. Her brother Javad Kargar confirmed that “At 10 am on Sunday, May 15, 2016 security officers who had introduced themselves as electrical officers, entered to Soheila Kargar’s house and arrested her violently without presenting any warrant. The security forces did not mention either why they arrested Mrs. Kargar or where they were going to take her.”

Two days later, Mrs. Kargar’s family found out that the responsible judge for the case is Mr. Baghdadi at Branch 3 of Court of Qazvin. In the evening of the 4th day Soheila rang her family from Evin prison and told that “she was all right and the interrogators had dealt with her respectfully and she was held in solitary confinement.” according to Javad Kargar. Arrested on the accusation of “founding an illegal group”, Soheila was released from Qazvin prison on the formentioned bail after 18 days of being in confinement.

Mrs. Kargar, the Turk activist, whose activities have been on the ethnic rights and women’s rights, was a candidate for parliamentary elections in city of Qazvin but was refused approval Guardian Council.

In October 2015, Kargar and colleagues had participated in demonstrations against the TV program of “Fitileh” across numerous cities of Azerbaijan (northwest Iran) and Tehran, in which the Azeri community had been mocked. These demonstrations known as “anti-racism protests” while peaceful in the beginning, had turned violent as police attacked the protester by tear gases and batons. Hundreds of activists were arrested during the protests in Azerbaijani cities in Iran.

On 31 May 2016, Branch 112 of the Criminal Court in Tabriz sentenced 26 fans of Tractorsazi FC of Tabriz to flogging, fines and imprisonment on charge of “disturbing the public peace through participation in clamouring”. The activists had been arrested during during the football match between Tractor and Siyah Jamegan teams on November 20, 2015 following the “Anti-racism” mass protest in Azerbaijani cities in Iran. They had been transferred to Tabriz Central Prison and released on the bail after one day of detention.

Photo Courtesy of Ahraz.org