Arrests by the Annual Assembly at Babek Cathedral 2017 3 july

Dear Mrs Jahangir,

Further to our note on 3 July 2017 related to rounding up of participants of the Annual Assembly at Babek Cathedral, we have now further information available for your attention.

The Assembly attracts participants from all Azerbaijan and this is evident from the home city of the detainees in the past and now, which includes Urmia, Zengan, Khoy, Ardebil and Tabriz. The past experience shows that the detainees can suffer months of arbitrary imprisonment and torture and they are normally released on bail by providing hefty sureties. This pattern is showing up this year as well. Above all, the Iranian authorities do their most damage when international objections are low key.

The participants of the Assembly are all Azerbaijani and by and large cultural activists. They are normally engaged in singing songs, reading poetry, dance and similar cultural activities. They would normally emphasise the importance of mother language and the vitality of environmental issues and the importance of sustainable developments. These are common themes of South Azerbaijani activists.

The verbal information available to me is that security agents are resorting to their brute acts and incite violence. This is a tactic that they normally deploy deliberately and then use it as a pretext for falsifying and justifying meaningless charges.

The list of detainees below is not yet exhaustive but we endeavour to provide you the full details as they become available.

The List of the Names as available now:

Group 1

  1. Araz Qaradaghli (teenager), released under bail after 24 hours of detention

  2. Mehemmed Merdi (teenager), released under bail after 24 hours of detention 

  3. Hesen Qaradaghlı (teenager), released under bail after 24 hours of detention

  4. Riza Aghayi (teenager), released under bail after 24 hours of detention

  5. Sejjad Sidqi (teenager), released under bail after 24 hours of detention

  6. Mehdi Ekberi (11 years old) released under bail after 15 hours of detention

Groupe 2

  1. Milade Akbari,

  2. Rahim Zarei

  3. Hamed Varaji

  4. Rahim Nowrouzi

These prisoners of conscience are now in Eher (Ahar) prison. We understand a judge has said that they would be tried in 10 day times as he is awaiting instructions from Tehran.

Groupe 3

  1. Mortaza Parvine

  2. Akbar Jahangiri :

These two activists were transferred immediately to the detention facilities of intelligence services in Tebriz. During their short telephone call, they informed their family that they subjected to physical violence and subsequently they were suffering from bleeding around heads, as well as from broken bones. Their telephone call was then abruptly interrupted.

We rally for your urgent campaign to secure unconditional release of these individuals and reinstatement of their human rights.

For and on behalf


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