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Three Azerbaijani Christians arrested at a party in Tehran, detained without charge

On Friday 24 June security agents raided an engagement party in Tehran, the capital of Iran, attended by Eldar Gurbanov, Yusif Farhadov and Bahram Nasibov from Baku, Azerbaijan. Initially about ten people were arrested, but most were soon released. However Eldar, Yusif, Bahram and an Iranian Christian were taken to an unknown destination for interrogation.

Since their arrest the Azerbaijani detainees have been able to contact their families once or twice. They are being kept in solitary confinement and consular officials from the Azerbaijan Embassy in Tehran have not been allowed to see them.

The families of the Azerbaijanis detained have issued the following appeal for help and the safe return of their husbands and fathers:

Petition from the families of Eldar Gurbanov, Yusif Farhadov and Bahram Nasibov, arrested in the Islamic Republic of Iran on 24 June 2016.

To whom it may concern.

On 22 June 2016 our husbands and fathers – Eldar Gurbanov, Yusif Farhadov and Bahram Nasibov – travelled to Tehran in the Islamic Republic of Iran. They were invited as guests in Iran to participate in an engagement ceremony and meet with their Iranian friends.

As we discovered later, they were arrested on 24 June by security agents during an engagement ceremony and they have not been charged with any crime.

Eldar Gurbanov (48), Yusif Farhadov (51) and Bahram Nasibov (37) are all married and have children. Yusif Farhadov has a young son with Down’s Syndrome under his care.

Until now (26 July) they have neither been allowed to meet the Azerbaijani Consul in Iran nor had any access to a lawyer’s assistance. They have not been charged with any crime and their future is unknown to all of us. We ask all who are concerned to help our husbands and fathers to return safely to their homes!

With respect and love,

Aida Gurbanova

Lala Farhadova

Kamila Nasibova

You can help by writing letters
Please write on their behalf to the Iranian authorities and the Iranian embassy in Australia at the addresses below. The following letter has been included as a guide.

[Salutation]

I am writing you to express my concern regarding the situation of three Azerbaijani citizens: Eldar Gurbanov, Yusif Farhadov and Bahram Nasibov. They have been detained in Tehran since 24 June 2016, when they were arrested at an engagement party. So far no charges have been filed against them. Their sole purpose was to visit friends in Tehran who had invited them.

Their wives and children are very concerned for their welfare.

In light of Article 14 of the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iran, which requires that the government of the Islamic Republic of Iran treat non-Muslims fairly and respect their human rights, and in light of Iran’s obligations as a State Party to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, I urge the immediate and unconditional release of Mr Gurbanov, Mr Farhadov and Mr Nasibov.

Yours sincerely,

[your name]

Please send to:
Leader of the Islamic Republic
Ayatollah Sayed ‘Ali Khamenei
The Office of the Supreme Leader
Islamic Republic Street – End of Shahid
Keshvar Doust Street
Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran
Email: http://www.leader.ir/en/letter
Salutation: Your Excellency

President of the Islamic Republic of Iran
Hassan Rouhani
The Presidency
Pasteur Street, Pasteur Square
Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran
Email: media@rouhani.ir
Salutation: Your Excellency

Head of Judiciary
Ayatollah Sadegh Larijani
c/o Public Relations Office
Number 4, 2 Azizi Street intersection
Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran
Email: info@humanrights-iran.ir (Subject line: FAO Ayatollah Sadegh Larijani)
Salutation: Your Excellency

His Excellency Mr Abdolhossein Vahaji
Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary
Embassy of the Islamic Republic of Iran
PO Box 705
Mawson ACT 2607
Salutation: Your Excellency