Iranian authorities freed an Azerbaijani rights activist.
AI Index: MDE 13/060/2008
26 March 2008
FOR YOUR INFORMATION
Further Information on UA 58/08 (MDE 13/040/2008, 6 March 2008)/ Fear of Torture
Reza Daghestani (m), aged 27, Azerbaijani rights activist, student, journalist
Azerbaijani rights activist Reza Daghestani was released on 19 March, on a bail of around 40,000 US dollars.
He had been arrested on 21 February 2008 at his family home in the city of Oroumiye. His home was searched and his computer, CDs, papers and books were confiscated, along with printouts of his newsletters.
Reza Daghestani is the editor of a student newsletter, Chamlibel, published in both Azerbaijani Turkic and Persian and he has written for several other publications. His other activities have included starting a series of Azerbaijani Turkic classes in the town of Naghadeh and establishing groups to organize peaceful demonstrations in the province of West Azerbaijan in connection with International Mother Tongue Day, 21 February.
He was a member of the committee of a campaign group called Urmu Azerbaijan Sesi, which actively supported several would-be candidates from Oroumiye who all were disqualified from standing for the Majles (parliament) elections which were held on 14 March. Urmu Azerbaijan Sesi issued a public statement objecting to the “unfair and undemocratic disqualification of its candidates”. Amnesty International believes his arrest was connected to some or all of these peaceful activities on behalf of Iranian Azerbaijanis.