Challenges of criminal justice – 8th session of the Forum on Minority Issues

Hello mr chair,
I would like to talk to you about justice system process and proceeding in the case of south Azerbaijani activists

The tactic of denying South Azerbaijanis with the right of defence in mother language shows that the Iranian justice system is not interested in justice over South Azerbaijan but on the Iranian assimilation policies.
An instant of the impact of this policy found an international exposure. Sekine Mehemmedi (Sakineh Mohammedi) Ashtiyani, an accused female from Tebriz had not understood the court proceedings in Farsi and had signed unknowingly her death sentence. Iranian disinformation concealed the role of mother language in this episode.
The Iranian justice system employs deterrence tactics to make impossible for the activists to demand their legal, national and cultural rights as conferred by the International conventions including the Universal Human Rights Declaration, as well as Iranian laws even though they are deemed inadequate. These tactics include:
• Arbitrary treatment of the activists, arresting and searching them
• Detaining the activists indefinitely, sentencing them without evidence
• Depriving activists often from the right to contact their family
• Demanding hefty sureties for temporary releases of the activists
• Menacing family members of the detainees, isolating them within the society by persecuting their visitors
• Demanding written undertakings for abandoning conferred by the Universal Human Rights Declaration
• Keeping South Azerbaijani prisoners of conscience in the same cells as criminals and drug addicts
• The Justice system in Iran is normally a party for all of the above arbitrary acts.
When the Iranian governance system fails to deter South Azerbaijani activists, they resort to collusion and instigate a host of tactics including:
• Subjecting activists to physical violence during the act of being arrested
• Inflicting physical/psychological torture against activists in detention or keeping them solitary confinement
• Revenging activists by lashing prisoner of conscience (but recently this type of sentences has reduced)
• Depriving activists from temporary release to visit their families over some weekends, a right is given to criminals but not to prisoners of conscience – in the case of the prominent human right defender, Mr. Metinpur, Iranian authorities acted with vengeance and deprived him for years from this right
• Pressing arbitrary verdicts without exception and passing sentences that are getting longer and longer
Banishing some activists to remote Persian cities outside South Azerbaijani cities of their residence and according to Iranian laws, this is illegal. This is currently the case against Mr. Abbas Lisani, a prominent leader of the national movement of South Azerbaijan

I appreciate your passion.
Special thanks to ARCDH Arc Culture ـجمعیت دفاع از حقوق بشرآزربایجانی ـ ارک کولتور
Mansoor Seifi.


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