This is an analytical statement of the Association for the Human Rights of the Azerbaijani People in Iran, AHRAZ, on the recent wave of detentions of Azerbaijani Turkish political and civil activists in Iran.
At least 11 Azerbaijani Turkic activists have been detained by the security forces of the Islamic Republic of Iran in different cities. The detentions follow the arbitrary detention of prominent activists such as Ayat (March) Mehr Ali Beiglou and Ebrahim Rashidi (Savalan), as well as the illegal summoning of other activists to security institutions by telephone. It is important to note that all evaluations presented are objective and supported by evidence. Ahraz reported that since 5 February security forces have detained Morteza Parvin Joda in Ardabil, Salar Taher Afshar in Urmia, Vadoud Asadi and Saeid Minaei in Rasht, Ayaz Seif Khah, Baqer Hajizadeh, Saeid Jamalzadeh and Araz Aman in Tabriz, Kamal Nouri in Islamshahr city of Tehran province, Abdullah Vahedi in Astara city of Gilan province and Taher Naghavi in Karaj city. The activists were detained without a court order and subjected to physical violence, as were their families. Additionally, their vehicles and property were damaged. Ayaz Seif Khah, Baqer Hajizadeh, and Saeid Jamalzadeh were able to make a brief phone call to their families on 6 February 2024 to inform them of their transfer to the detention centre of the Tabriz Intelligence Department.
According to Ahraz’s research, the detained activists have not been active recently and many of them are not familiar with each other. Some of the activists interviewed by Ahraz believe that the recent arbitrary detentions are an effort to instill fear among political activists, despite the fact that the detainees have not been active in recent months. Additionally, the security agencies are seeking to curtail the activists’ impact on the public’s boycott of the parliamentary elections.
Ahraz acknowledges the findings of activists, while also expressing concern that the recent increase in detentions may suggest a strengthening of the state’s repressive apparatus under the current government led by Ibrahim Raisi. It appears that security institutions are being utilized as a means of exerting influence over society and various political and civil movements. From this perspective, security agencies are making efforts to address the crisis of boycotting the upcoming parliamentary

elections through intelligence scenarios and forceful methods, while also seeking public satisfaction. They are playing a role in reorganizing society and political movements, and it is important for them to remain impartial and avoid using biased or emotional language in their efforts.
Association for the Human Rights of the Azerbaijani People in Iran, AHRAZ, expresses concern over the detention of Azerbaijani Turkish citizens and political and civil activists. We respectfully urge for their release, as well as the release of all political prisoners in Iran. Ahraz encourages the Islamic Republic of Iran to uphold its domestic laws and international obligations, and to refrain from granting security agencies unlawful powers to arbitrarily detain individuals, use violence and torture. Furthermore, it is recommended that the judiciary avoid making decisions that violate human rights.

About Author

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *