Public Statement

AI Index: MDE 13/074/2006 (Public)
News Service No: 168
29 June 2006

Iran: Authorities should exercise restraint in policing Babek Castle gathering and address human rights violations against Iranian Azeri Turks

As the annual Babek Castle cultural gathering of Iranian Azeri Turks approaches on 30 June 2006, Amnesty International is urging the Iranian authorities to exercise restraint while policing the gathering. In addition, it is calling on the authorities urgently to address increasing human rights violations being committed by Iranian security forces and others against members of Iran’s Azeri Turkish minority (who sometimes refer to themselves as Iranian Azerbaijanis).

The largest ethnic minority in Iran, the Azeri Turkish community is believed to number between 25-30 percent of the total population and is found mainly in the north-west. Mostly Shi’a Muslims, like the majority of the population, they are not subject to as much discrimination as minorities of other religions, and are well-integrated into the economy. In recent years, however, they have increasingly called for greater cultural and linguistic rights, such as the right to be taught in Turkish and to celebrate Azerbaijani culture and history at events such as at the annual Babek Castle gathering and Constitution Day, celebrated in October. A small minority advocate the secession of Iranian Azerbaijani provinces and union with the Republic of Azerbaijan. Activists who promote Azeri Turkish cultural identity are viewed with suspicion by the Iranian authorities, who often charge them with vaguely worded offences such as "promoting pan-Turkism".

The annual Babek Castle gathering has reportedly been held for the last six years at Babek (or Bazz) castle in the town of Kalayber, north-western Iran. Each year, thousands of Azeri Turks gather in Kalayber and walk up to the castle to celebrate the birthday of Babek Khorramdin, who lived in the ninth century and is regarded as a hero by Iranian Azeri Turks. These gatherings have frequently met with repression on the part of the Iranian authorities. In 2005, for example, scores of people were reportedly arrested and at least 21 were sentenced to prison terms of up to one year, though some of these were suspended.

Mass demonstrations broke out in towns and cities in north-west Iran following the publication on 12 May 2006 of a cartoon in the state-owned daily newspaper, Iran, which offended many in the Azeri Turkish community. The government suspended publication of the newspaper on 23 May and both the editor-in-chief and cartoonist were arrested. Protests began on a small scale mainly among Azeri Turkish students in universities in Tehran and Tabriz, but rapidly to Azeri Turkish areas. A huge demonstration took place in Tabriz on 22 May and further demonstrations were held in other places in the following days. Most of these protests were peaceful, but some ended with attacks on government buildings and cars. Some Iranian Azeri Turkish sources have claimed these attacks were instigated by government agents. The Iranian government has accused the United States (US) and other outside forces of stirring up the unrest. The US government has denied this.

The Iranian authorities reportedly used excessive force to disperse demonstrators, including beatings and lethal gunfire. Amnesty International has received the names of 27 people who are alleged to have been killed, including seven in Tabriz and 14 in Naqadeh (known as Sulduz by Iranian Azeri Turks). One, 26-year-old Jalil Abedi was reportedly shot in the left side of his head by a member of Iran’s Intelligence service in Meshkin Shahr (known as Khiyov in Azeri Turkish) during a demonstration on 25 May, and left to die by security officials who would not let a doctor treat him. His family were reportedly prevented from holding his funeral in a mosque and only a few of them were permitted to attend his burial. The Iranian authorities have generally denied that any deaths occurred during the demonstrations, although a police official acknowledged publicly on 29 May that four people had been killed and 43 injured in Naqadeh.

Hundreds, possibly thousands, of demonstrators, are reported to have been detained, of whom Amnesty International has received the names of almost 200. On 23 June, Hojjatoleslam Aghazadeh, Head of the Office of the Ministry of Justice in East Azerbaijan province, told the press that some 330 people had been arrested in Tabriz, most of whom had already been released, although as many as 85 would be tried later. He said that 20 to 25 people had been identified as playing a major role in the disturbances and that some were Baha’is, some Tudeh party members (communists) and two had “links with Israel”.
While many protestors have been released, scores are believed to remain in detention, including Changiz Bakhtavar, Dr Ahmad Gholipour Rezaie (known as Dr Heydaroglu) and Hassan Ali Hajabollu (known as Hassan Ark), all of whom were detained after the Tabriz demonstration on 22 May. Hassan Damirchi, aged 65, a businessman and a well-known musician from Tabriz (also known as Hassan Azerbaijan) and his son Babak were arrested at home on 26 May and Gholam Reza Amani was detained on 28 May; he is now reported to be on hunger strike. Some or all of these may have been transferred to Evin prison in Tehran for questioning but their current whereabouts are unclear. Some detainees are reported to have been tortured, including Davoud Maghami, held in Parsabad (known as Mughan in Azeri Turkish) who is said to have required hospital treatment as a result. He has now been released.

Other prominent Azeri Turkish activists who are reported to have been detained include Abbas Lisani (or Leysanli), who was arrested on 3 June when he returned home after hiding for a week following a demonstration in Ardebil in which he was beaten by security forces. He is reportedly on hunger strike and his condition is causing concern. His home telephone line has apparently been cut, possibly to prevent his wife publicising his plight. Abbas Lisani has previously been detained several times because of his political activities on behalf of the Azeri Turkish community, including during or following the Babek Castle gatherings in 2003 and 2005. He was severely tortured during his arrest at a sit-in protest by Azeri Turks at the Sarcheshme Mosque in Ardebil in June 2004.

In advance of this year’s Babek Castle gathering, Iranian security forces are reported to be carrying out arrests, possibly to prevent certain individuals attending. One, Akbar Qorbani, was reportedly arrested on 26 June at his workplace in Ardebil by unidentified men in plain clothes (lebas-e shakhsi), having previously been threatened by such people since he took part in the demnonstration in Ardebil. Another, political activist Ebrahim Ja’farzadeh, was reportedly arrested on 26 June in Khoy after being summoned to an Intelligence Ministry facility; he was released the next day. On 27 June, Reza Abbasi, a member of ASMEK (Association for the Defence of Azerbaijani political prisoners) and of the Office for Strengthening Unity (Daftar-e Tahkim-e Vahdat), a student body, was reportedly arrested in Zenjan after he refused to comply with a verbal summons to attend an Intelligence Ministry facility for interrogation. On the same day, Jahanbaksh Bekhtavar, the brother of Changiz Bekhtaver (see above) was reportedly arrested at his home in Tabriz by Intelligence Ministry officials who are also said to have confiscated his books and other personal belongings. Also on 27 June, ‘Isa Yeganeh, the managing director of the suspended newspaper Payam-e Sulduz was reportedly arrested in Naqadeh, Sayed Mehdi Sayedzadeh was arrested in Tabriz and at least five people released after the May demonstrations in Miandoab were reportedly redetained.

Amnesty International recognizes that the Iranian authorities have a right and a responsibility to bring those suspected of criminal offences to justice. However it is concerned that many of those detained may be prisoners of conscience, detained solely on account of their peaceful exercise of their right to freedom of _expression and association, or on account of their peaceful political activities on behalf of the Iranian Azeri Turkish community.

Amnesty International is calling on the Iranian authorities to

·                                 respect international human rights standards in relation to the policing of the Babek Castle gathering and ensure that those responsible for law enforcement conform at all times with standards such as the United Nations Code of Conduct for Law Enforcement Officials

·                                 release all prisoners of conscience immediately and unconditionally. Other detainees should be released unless they are to be charged with a recognizably criminal offence and brought to trial promptly and fairly

·                                 grant all detainees prompt and regular access to lawyers of their own choosing and their families and to appropriate medical care if necessary

·                                 investigate all allegations of torture or ill-treatment promptly and thoroughly. The methods and findings of any such investigation should be made public. Anyone implicated in human rights violations should be brought to justice promptly and fairly and victims of torture and ill-treatment should be granted compensation

·                                 ensure that any trials respect, as a minimum standard, the relevant provisions of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights

·                                 investigate all possible unlawful killings or extra-judicial executions promptly and fairly in accordance with the UN Principles on the Effective Prevention and Investigation of Extralegal, Arbitrary and Summary Executions, and bring to justice, fairly and promptly, any members of the security forces responsible for unlawful killings or other grave violations of human rights.




بیانیه عفو بین الملل در مورد نقض حقوق بشر در حق رضا عباسی

PUBLIC                                                                                                          AI Index: MDE 13/101/2006        

                                                                                                                                 12 September 2006


UA 246/06            Fear for safety/ Unfair trial/ Possible prisoner of conscience                        


IRAN                   Reza Abbasi (m), human rights defender

Human rights defender Reza Abbasi, a member of the Azeri Turkish minority in Iran (who sometimes refer to themselves as Iranian Azerbaijanis), has been detained in the city of Zenjan in northwestern Iran since 27 June, and is at risk of torture or ill-treatment. His trial, which does not appear to comply with international fair trial standards, is in progress. He may be a prisoner of conscience, detained solely on account of the peaceful exercise of his right to freedom of _expression, including his human rights work.


Reza Abbasi is a member of ASMEK (Association for the Defence of Azerbaijani Political Prisoners) and of the Alumni Association of Iran (Sazman-e Danesh Amukhtegan-e Iran-e Eslami [Advar-e Tahkim-e Vahdat]), an organization which has been active in promoting democracy and human rights. He was reportedly arrested on 27 June, after he refused to comply with a verbal summons to attend an Intelligence Ministry facility for interrogation. He is believed to be held in the Central Prison in Zenjan. According to reports, the Zenjan office of the Ministry of Intelligence has been harassing Reza Abbasi's family, including by repeatedly summoning his elderly parents for interrogation.  


On 5 September, Reza Abbasi reportedly appeared before Branch One of the Revolutionary Court in Zenjan, in a closed session without the presence of his defence lawyer or his family.   A second closed session was held on 11 September, this time in the presence of his lawyer, who afterwards reportedly stated that Reza Abbasi had been questioned about his activities in various student organizations and for ASMEK.   The charges against him reportedly include "insulting the Leader [of the Islamic Republic of Iran] " and "propaganda against the system". The Court is expected to deliver its verdict during the next week.


Reza Abbasi's arrest followed widespread demonstrations in predominantly Azeri Turkish areas in May 2006 in protest at a cartoon published on 12 May by the state-owned daily newspaper Iran, which many Azeri Turks found offensive. The arrest was in advance of the annual Babek Castle gathering on 30 June, at which thousands of Azeri Turks gather to celebrate the birthday of Babek Khorramdin, who lived in the ninth century and is regarded as a hero by Iranian Azeri Turks. These gatherings have frequently met with repression on the part of the Iranian authorities , and this year the security forces were reported to have carried out arrests prior to the event, possibly to prevent certain people attending (for further information see AI Public Statement:  



Hundreds of people were reportedly arrested during or following the May 2006 demonstrations (see UA 151/06, MDE 13/055/2006, 26 May 2006 and UA 163/06, MDE 13/063/2006, 8 June 2006). Some of those detained have allegedly been tortured, with some requiring hospital treatment.   Publication of the newspaper was suspended on 23 May and the editor-in-chief and the cartoonist were arrested. Azeri sources have claimed that dozens were killed and hundreds injured by the security forces. The security forces have generally denied that anyone was killed, although on 29 May a police official acknowledged that four people had been killed and 43 injured in the town of Naqada.


ASMEK was reportedly founded in 2002.  Four of its founding members, including Reza Abbasi, are said to have been detained in April 2004 in connection with their activities.


RECOMMENDED ACTION: Please send appeals to arrive as quickly as possible, in Persian, Arabic, English, French or your own language:

- expressing concern that Reza Abbasi may have been detained solely in connection with his work as a human rights defender;

- calling on the authorities to ensure that he is not tortured or ill-treated, and to allow him immediate access to a lawyer of his own choosing, and to any medical treatment he may require;

- calling on the authorities to release him immediately and unconditionally unless he is to be promptly charged with a recognizably criminal offence and given a prompt and fair trial.

- asking the authorities for information about the reasons for his arrest, including any charges brought against him;

- expressing concern for the safety of his family, who have reportedly been harassed and intimidated by the authorities, and calling for them to be given all necessary protection to ensure their safety.



Leader of the Islamic Republic

His Excellency Ayatollah Sayed Ali Khamenei

The Office of the Supreme Leader, Shoahada Street, Qom, Islamic Republic of Iran

Fax:                 + 98 251 774 2228 (mark "FAO the office of His Excellency, Ayatollah al Udhma Khameni'')


Salutation:       Your Excellency


Head of the Judiciary

His Excellency Ayatollah Mahmoud Hashemi Shahroudi

Ministry of Justice, Park-e Shahr, Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran

Email:              Please send emails via the feedback form on the Persian site of the website


                                    The text of the feedback form translates as:

1st Iine: name, 2nd line: email address, 3rd line: subject heading

                        then enter your email into the text box

Salutation:       Your Excellency


Ministry of Intelligence

Gholam Hossein Mohseni Ejeie

Ministry of Intelligence, Second Negarestan Street

Pasdaran Avenue, Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran


Salutation:    Your Excellency




His Excellency Mahmoud Ahmadinejad

The Presidency, Palestine Avenue, Azerbaijan Intersection, Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran


via website:


Speaker of Parliament

His Excellency Gholamali Haddad Adel

Majles-e Shoura-ye Eslami, Imam Khomeini Avenue, Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran

Fax:              + 98 21 6 646 1746


and to diplomatic representatives of Iran accredited to your country.


PLEASE SEND APPEALS IMMEDIATELY. Check with the International Secretariat, or your section office, if sending appeals after 24 October 2006





چهارشنبه 22 شهریور ماه سال 1385

آخرین وضعیت زندانیان  آذربایجان از زبان سخنگوی آسمک


علیرضا جوانبخت سخنگوی آسمکمهندس علیرضا قولونجلو سخنگوی کمیته دفاع از زندانیان سیاسی آذربایجان آسمک وضعیت زندانیان آذربایجان را تشریح کرد

علیرضا جوانبخت قولونجو سخنگوی کمیته دفاع از زندانیان سیاسی آذربایجان ( آسمک ) با ناعادلانه خواندن این احکام اعلام کرد : احکامی که بر اساس پیشداوری سیاسی و پرونده سازی تحت شکنجه و در محیطهای رعب آور صادر شده باشد واجد ارزش حقوقی نیست و محکومین پیشاپیش نزد افکار عمومی تبرئه شده محسوب می گردند.

وی با اعتراض به سکوت برخی رسانه ها وگروههای مدعی حقوق بشر و دمکراسی در قبال احکام اخیر و نقض حقوق بشر در آذربایجان عنوان نمود ، امروز برای آنها روز امتحان است و ادامه سکوت موجب شرمساری آنها و روشن شدن سرشت واقعی آنها در ضدیت با حقوق ملی آذربایجانیها خواهد شد.

جوانبخت با بیان اینکه دومین و آخرین جلسه رسیدگی به اتهامات رضا عباسی – عضو موسس کمیته دفاع از زندانیان سیاسی آذربایجان – تشکیل شده ادامه داد : نحوه برخورد دادگاه با رضا عباسی شاخص خوبی برای سنجش نحوه برخورد حاکمیت با فعالان حقوق بشر است و امیدواریم دادگاه با درایت و بدور از سیاسی کاری   رضا را تبرئه کند .وی همچنین اعلام کرد که آسمک از طریق مجامع داخلی و بین المللی در دفاع از رضا عباسی و دیگر زندانیان سیاسی تلاش می کند.

سخنگوی آسمک همچنین در پایان از اشخاص حقیقی و حقوق و وکلای مستقل که به یاری زندانیان سیاسی و عقیدتی آذربایجان شتافته اند قدردانی نمود و این فعالیتها را موجب ایجاد همبستگی در مبارزه با نقض حقوق بشر خواند.


آخرین وضعیت زندانیان آذربایجان



آخرین جلسه بررسی به اتهامات رضا عباسی - روزنامه نگار و فعال حقوق بشر -  ۲۰ شهریور  به صورت غیر علنی در شعبه‌ اول دادگاه انقلاب زنجان برگزار شد. 

موضوعات مطرح شده در این جلسه دادگاه پیرامون فعالیتهای وی در انجمن اسلامی و جمعیت اسلامی دانشجویان دانشگاه زنجان و در قالب کمیته دفاع از زندانیان سیاسی آذربایجان (آسمک) و فعالیتهای هویت طلبانه اش در شهر زنجان بوده است .


همچنین خلیلی مدافع عباسی در مورد این جلسه به ایلنا گفت : در این جلسه آخرین دفاع از موکل اخذ شد و قرار است دادگاه ظرف مهلت قانونی نسبت به صدور رأی خود اقدام کند.

وی همچنین گفت : قرار کفالت پنج میلیون تومانی موکلم صادر شده است اما هنوز مورد پذیرش قرار نگرفته است. وی با بیان اینکه عباسی در قرنطینه زندان نگهداری می‌‏شود، این اقدام مسوولان زندان را خلاف قانون دانست .

امروز سازمان عفو بین المل برای دومین بار با صدور بیانیه ای خواستار آزادی رضا عباسی گردید.

ارومیه :

حکم حسین نوری یکی از فعالین دانشگاه اورمیه که در روز 6 خرداد به همراه 5 تن از دیگر دانشجویان دانشگاه اورمیه دستگیر و در تاریخ 11 شهریور دادگاهش برگزار شده بود اعلام شد. حسین نوری به اتهام اقد ام علیه امنیت ملی، شرکت در قیام های خرداد ماه ، شرکت در تحصن دانشگاه اورمیه و اقدام به نبش قبر شهید فرزاد اسدپور به 8 ماه تعلیقی به مدت 2 سال محکوم شده است .

همچنین اسدالله سلیمی، روزنامه نگار و فعال فرهنگی آذربایجان، چند روز پیش در حین عزیمت به تبریز بازداشت شد. وی که ساکن اورمیه می باشد قصد سفر به تبریز را داشت که در بین راه توسط ماموران امنیتی این شهر بازداشت گردیده و اینک در زندان تبریز به سر میبرد. وی، روزنامه نگار و مدرس زبان ترکی آذربایجانی در اورمیه می باشد. هنوز خبری از علت بازداشت وی به دست نیامده است اما احتمال می رود وی به دلیل حوادث خرداد ماه آذربایجان و نیز به دلیل خبرهایی مبنی بر تحصن در روز اول مهرماه بازداشت شده باشد

کلیبر :

 بر اساس رای صادره از دادگاه انقلاب شهرستان کلیبر سعید محمدی و سعید بیدخت از هویت طلبان ترک به ترتیب به یک سال حبس و دو سال تبعید به جزیره خورموج و هشت ماه حبس محکوم شدند.

اردبیل :

بر اساس خبرهای دریافتی از اردبیل حکم 4 تن از بازداشت­شدگان اعتراضات خردادماه این شهر به ترتیب زیر اعلام شده است :

-     رضا تدین ، چهار ماه و یک روز زندان و 40 ضربه شلاق

-     مظاهر معالی ، سه ماه و یک روز زندان و 40 ضربه شلاق

-     رحیم خدادادی ، سه ماه و یک روز زندان و 40 ضربه شلاق

-      جلال تقوی ، سه ماه و یک روز زندان و 40 ضربه شلاق

-    حسن بالا زاده (نوجوان 16 ساله)…… 3 ماه زندان تعزیری و 50 ضربه شلاق به جرم تخریب اموال عمومی و حمله به مامور اطلاعات و شکستن دوربین  وی

-    بهمن افغان فرزند بایرام علی، 20 ساله، دانشجو…… 6 ماه زندان تعزیری و 3 میلیون ریال جزای نقدی و 40 ضربه شلاق

   قاسم غریبی فرزند عباس، 20 ساله…… 10 میلیون ریال جزای نقدی و 40 ضربه شلاق

همچنین بهروز علیزاده زندانی 18 ساله اردبیلی پس از 88 روز حبس دیروز با قرار وثیقه پانزده ملیون تومان آزاد گردید.

تهران :

آخرین جلسه محاکمه صالح کامرانی - وکیل و فعال حقوق بشر - در شعبه ۱۳ دادگاه انقلاب تهران برگزار گردید در این جلسه متهم و وکیل مدافعش دکتر یوسف مولایی با رد اتهامات به دفاع پرداختند. به گفته مینا اصغری همسر متهم رای دادگاه در هفته آینده صادر خواهد شد گفتنی است وی از ۲۴ خرداد در زندان اوین محبوس است.

تبریز :

 مهدی نوری (ائلمان تبریزلی) نوزدهم شهریور ماه پس از تحمل هشتاد روز حبس و شکنجه آزاد شده است.

بیست  ودوم شهریور 1385

به امید آزادی همه زندانیان سیاسی و عقیدتی

کمیته دفاع از زندانیان سیاسی آذربایجان



چهارشنبه 22 شهریور ماه سال 1385

آخرین جلسه محاکمه صالح کامرانی از وکلای مدافع فعالین آذربایجان

برگزاری دادگاه یک وکیل به خاطر دفاع از موکلان هویت طلب ترک

آخرین جلسه محاکمه صالح کامرانی - وکیل و فعال حقوق بشر - در شعبه ۱۳ دادگاه انقلاب تهران برگزار گردید در این جلسه متهم و وکیل مدافعش دکتر یوسف مولایی با رد اتهامات به دفاع پرداختند. به گفته مینا اصغری همسر متهم رای دادگاه در هفته آینده صادر خواهد شد گفتنی است وی هم اکنون90روز است که باقرار بازداشت موقت در اوین محبوس است



چهارشنبه 22 شهریور ماه سال 1385

احکام سنگین برای فعالین حرکت ملی آذربایجان در کلیبر

 احکام سنگین زندان در آذربایجان

دو تن از فعالین حرکت ملی آذربایجان به نام سعید محمدی به یک سال حبس و دو سال تبعید به جزیره خورموج و  سعید بیدخت به هشت ماه حبس محکوم شدنداین افراد از هویت طلبان ترک شهرستان کلیبر بودند که در خرداد ماه امسال دستگیر وبدون داشتن وکیل وبصورت غیر علنی در این دادگاه محاکمه گردیدند لازم به ذکر است سعید محمدی علاوه بر این حکم باید حکم شش ماهه حکم قبلی تعلیقی اش را نیرز باید بگذراند این افراد اکنون در زندان مرکزی تبریز به سر می برند

دستگيري دونفر در سولدوز به دليل پخش اعلاميه


اورمونيوز( 23 شهريور 1385): در روزهاي اخير دو نفر در شهر سولدوز (نقده) به اتهام پخش اعلاميه هايي مبني بر دعوت مردم به حضور در راهپيمايي روز اول مهر ماه از سوي مقامات امنيتي شهر بازداشت شده اند. نام يكي از اين افراد اسكندر ميرزايي ميباشد كه راننده تاكسي در شهر سولدوز است. دستگيري وي در اتومبيل خود صورت گرفته است. فرد ديگر وحيد نام دارد و صاحب يك مغازه در سولدوز است كه دستگيري وي نيز در محل كارش صورت پذيرفته است. مردم شهر عقيده دارند پس از قيام مردم سولدوز بر عليه سياستهاي حكومت، و بويژه در روزهاي اخير بر تعداد نيروهاي امنيتي كه به شكل نامحسوس در شهر تردد مي نمايند افزوده شده است.

بنابر فراخوان فعالين آذربايجاني، در روز اول مهرماه كه به عنوان روز بازگشايي مدارس در ايران به شمار مي رود، ملت آذربايجان در اعتراض به فشارهاي وارده بر مردم و فعالين آذربايجاني و نيز اعتراض به عدم به رسميت شناخته شدن حقوق و زبان اين ملت، در شهرهاي مختلف آذربايجان تجمع خواهند نمود.



تبريزليلرين تبريز اورمو باغچاسينا گئتمکلری ياساق ايميش!