Jul 07 2018

Over 50 Turkic Azerbaijani civil activists detained in Iran

A least 50 Turkic Azerbaijani civil right activists have been detained in various cities in Iran over the past few days, Turkey’s state-run Anadolu News Agency reported.

Iranian Security forces have arrested the Turkic Azerbaijani activists to prevent them from staging an annual rally at a mountain fortress known as ‘’Babek Fort,’’ the agency said, citing Azerbaijani Araznews.

The activists -  among them Hamid Edip Şefik, Mehdi Golabi, Firuz Muayyeni, Muhammed Hakpur, Davud Azimzade, Behrad Hodayari, Aydın Zakıri, Said Sinedar and Şahin İsmailpur -  planned to gather at ‘’Babak Fort" in East Azerbaijan province to protest what they say is discrimination against Turkic Azerbaijanis by the government, Anadolu News Agency said.

Turkic Azerbaijanis in Iran, believed to number around 40 million, criticize Iran for seeing the Turkish language as a national security threat and neglecting Azerbaijanis civil rights, including education in their mother tongue.