Geneva, September 26, 2023 – During the ongoing 54th Session of the Human Rights Council, the Ark Association raised the issue of the dire human rights situations perpetuated by Iranian authorities against Azerbaijani activists.
In recent months, Azerbaijani activists have been subjected to severe persecution by Iranian security agents and the country’s judicial system. Disturbing reports have emerged, indicating a troubling pattern of harassment, detentions, and silencing tactics employed against Azerbaijani students and activists.
In August 2023 alone, the Association for Human Rights of Azerbaijanis in Iran received approximately 500 reports documenting the unjust treatment of Azerbaijani individuals. Many have faced arbitrary detentions and harsh sentences, while others have been effectively silenced. Even family members of Azerbaijani activists have not been spared, with reports on Iranian security agents resorting to various harassment tactics including phone calls.
Moreover, approximately 350 student activists in Azerbaijani universities across Zanjan, Ardabil, and Tabriz have been summoned and threatened by university disciplinary committees. Shockingly, in Tabriz alone, 180 medical university students have been barred from their studies, facing bans totalling 43 semesters, all imposed by these disciplinary committees.
The consequences of this crackdown have extended to the education sector, where an estimated 160,000 primary school children have been forced to discontinue their education due to growing poverty. In Ardabil province alone, over 1,500 students have reportedly abandoned their education.
In another alarming incident, Iranian authorities have stopped and confiscated 439 vehicles in the province of East Azerbaijan. Passengers in these vehicles were subjected to threats merely for not adhering to mandatory hijab laws.
The ArcDH Association urgently calls upon the international community to take note of these arbitrary acts of violence perpetrated by Iranian authorities against Azerbaijani individuals. The situation demands immediate attention to safeguard the human rights and dignity of those affected.