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The Report on the arresting of Azerbaijani civil rights Activists on the occasion of International Mother Language Day

Azerbaijani Turks of Iran again were oppressed on International Mother Language Day for the consecutive years.

According to the Message from Ms. Irina Bokova, Director-General of UNESCO, on the occasion of International Mother Language Day “International Mother Language Day is a moment for all of us to raise the flag for the importance of mother tongue to all educational efforts, to enhance the quality of learning and to reach the unreached” (February 2015). Unfortunately Iranian security forces intensified repression against Azerbaijani-Turkish civil rights activists, arresting and subjecting them to arbitrary detentions.

Azerbaijani-Turkish civil right activists were planning to get permission from city authorities in different cities of Azerbaijan and Tehran to celebrate International Mother Language Day peacefully and legally. In spite of two months efforts to get permission to celebrating this day, Iranian authorities did not get permission; also they arrested some Azerbaijani activists.

Here are some activist names, which have been arrested and detained during February 2015.

    Alireza Farshi Yekenli   (21 Feb 2015 in his house in Tehran)

    Aydin Zakeri   (21 Feb 2015 in Meshkin Shahr, Ardabil Province)

    Eslam Aliakbarlu   (16 Feb 2015 in Khoy, West Azerbaijan Province)

    Araz Khaseh Tarash   (16 Feb 2015 in Khoy, West Azerbaijan Province)

    Amin Hajilu   (16 Feb 2015 in Khoy, West Azerbaijan Province)

    Ali Rezaei   (04 Feb 2015 in Tehran Airport)

 Alireza Farshi Yekenli

The Azerbaijani activist and mother language rights defender ran the campaign for getting legal permission to celebrate International Mother Language Day from January 2015. He arrested on 22 February 2015, in his house in Tehran and transferred to Evin prison. Also Iranian security forces detained him on 15 February 2015, and threatened him to stop campaign. Mr. Farshi’s accusation has not been declared and he is in unknown situation in Evin prison in solitary confinement.

Mr. Farshi Yekenli was the former lecturer of Jolfa Islamic Azad University. He was expelled on 2009 because of his civil activities. Mr. Farshi Yekenli was arrested two times in the past.

On 21 February 2014 he arrested on the occasion of International Mother Language Day and transferred to Evin prison (section 209 and 305). His arrest was due to attendance in the ceremony of International Mother Language day, which was arranged in Mr. Mansour Fathi’s house, in Nasimshahr of Tehran. He has been released on 100 million Toman bail and released on 6 May 2014.

Mr. Alireza Farshi Yekenli sentenced for 6 months imprisonment on 2009 because of defending the language right and demanding school for children in their mother language (Turkish language).

This link www.youtube.com/watch?v=VWRBSo9g75g (on 22 May 2009) clearly shows that Mr. Farshi Yekenli is only asking for basic human rights saying “Turk Dilinde Medrese” means “school for Turkish language” while he is arresting by Iranian security forces.

Aydin Zakeri

Aydin zakeri is the Azerbaijani language right activist, who was arrested on the occasion of International Mother Language Day on 21 February 2015, in Meshkin Shahr (Khiyav) Ardabil Province. Mr. Zakeri had been detained along with other Azerbaijani activists from Ardabil province on 15 August 2014, by Iranian forces.

Amin Hajilu, Eslam Aliakbarlu, and Araz Khaseh Tarash

The above three Turkish language right activists were arrested in Khoy, West Azerbaijan Province. After a day detention they were transferred to Khoy prison.

According to the last reports these three people were accused for “Acting and threatening the national security”.

They have been arrested in Eslam Aliakbarlu’s workplace, afterwards his workplace was inspected and intelligence agents have recorded, computer and personal belongings.

 Ali Rezaei

Another Language right defender and Human Right activist was arrested on 4 February 2015, while he was going to working mission in Mehrabad Airport (Tehran).

According to his wife statements their home was inspected and all books, computer and personal belongings has been recorded by intelligence agents. Mr. Rezaei’s accusation has not been declared and he is in unknown situation in Evin prison.

Ali Rezaei is MSc in Computer Science and a veteran activist of the “Azerbaijan National movement” that has been repeatedly threatened and intimidated by intelligence agents.

Based on reports to AHRAZ, we should mention that some Azerbaijani activists and people celebrated International Mother Language Day in their own place secretly, which in some occasions resulted with threatened and short detention before and after International Mother language Day in several cities of Iran.

Brief information about arresting of Azerbaijani civil rights activists on the occasion of International Mother Language Day on 2014.

 On 2014 International Mother Language Day in Iran’s cities more than 100 activists were arrested. Just in one attempt in Ahar city, East Azerbaijan, more then 30 Azerbaijani Turks arrested.

Need to be mentioned on 21 February 2014 ceremony alongside with Mr. Aleireza Farshi yekenli 7 other Azerbaijani Turkish activists were arrested in Tehran with the name of; Akbar Azda, Behnam Shayekhi, Hamid Manafi, Mahmud Ocaqlu, Rostam Kazempour and Mansour Fathi.

Rostam Kazempour and Mansour Fathi, after more than one month from arrest, are released on very high bail. Some of the last year arrestees who released on bail are in uncertain situation and did not get their bail back. In this link http://www.amerikaninsesi.org/content/mahmud-ocaqli/2657931.html Mr. Mahmud Ocaqlu, recently interviewed by Voice of America (VOA). Mr. Ocaqlu mentions that they could not get the property deed back, which is been used as a bail. Iranian authorities do not give response to their request in this regard.

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