MINELRES: Fwd: Novruzali Mammedov: Appeal to ambassadors (Talysh minority in Azerbaijan)

minelres@lists.microlink.lv minelres@lists.microlink.lv
Thu Aug 30 09:01:07 2007

Original sender: Human Rights Center of Azerbaijan <hrca@mail.ru>

From: H.Mammadov

02.07.2007. Baku.

The Committee on Protection of the rights of N.Mammadov - editor-in
chief of the newspaper of "Tolyshi Sado" ("The Voice of Talysh people")
accused according to the item 274 of Criminal Code ("High Treason") of
Azerbaijan Republic.

Chairman of the committee: G.A.Mammadov.

Tel: (0505)559-40 63; (012)423-21-22.

e-mail: hilalmamedov@yandex.ru, novruzmammadovhmk@yandex.ru.

An Appeal

To Ambassadors of the foreign countries in Azerbaijan:

[the list of adressees omitted - MINELRES moderator]

Honorable ambassadors!

I am obliged to make this appeal to you because of the existing
situation in connection with the deputy chairman of the Talysh Cultural
Center of Azerbaijan Republic and editor-in chief of the newspaper of
"Tolyshi Sado" (voice of Talysh people) Mr.Novruzali Mammadov who are
groundlessly accused of criminal code # 274 (high treason) of Azerbaijan
Republic which, further, his arrest caused a very significant
international resonance.

Before making comments on the existing situation, I would like to inform
you that the "Tolyshi Sado" is the only periodical of the Talysh
cultural center that representing one of the ancient indigenous people
(which is today considered a national minority) in Azerbaijan. Talysh
people reside in the south-west of the Caspian Sea, and were divided
into two parts as a result of the historical war and conflicts between
Russian empire (later USSR) and Iran. The language of Talysh people
belongs to the Iran group of Indo-European family languages.

The Talysh Cultural Center was founded under the initiative and
direction of Mr. Novruzali Mamadov in 1989 and since 1992 the center has
been publishing its newspaper of "Tolyshi Sado".

Mr. Mamadov - a scientist, the head of the branch of Roman-German
languages in Academy of Sciences of Azerbaijan Republic named after
I.Nasimi. He has been working in the field of linguistic and
dialectology and since 1967 up today he has dedicated almost all his
scientific activities to Roman-German, Turkish and Iran languages, and
he is the author of around 80 scientific articles and monographs.

In 1960-80 of the last century, after the well-known repression of
1937-38 in the USSR, when even it was absolutely interdicted by the
authorities to say a word about of national minority (including about
the Talysh people) Mr. N Mamadov had defended his Ph.D. thesis devoted
to Talysh people and up to nowadays he has dedicated all his major
scientific activities to the continuation of this thesis. As a
specialist in studying the Talysh he was not prominent only in Ex-USSR
but as well in many foreign countries because of his interesting reports
dedicated to Iran language groups.

His uncial scientific work of Talysh-Russian-Azerbaijan dictionary which
is the output of his 35 years' activity, and was published according to
the decision of the scientific council of the national Academy of
Sciences of Azerbaijan Republic named after I.Nasimi shortly before his
arrest has made the author even more popular in the sciences.

Mr. N. Mamadov has never been engaged in political activities and has
always been advocating for the interests of Azerbaijan, and respected
and followed the norms of law strictly.

Even so he is scientist in linguistic and also teacher of English but
the love for learning the culture and the language of his beloved Talysh
people has emanated from his scientific-patriotic and civil duties that
he is obliged to and his multiethnic country-Azerbaijan:


Here is, how he expressed his scientific-creative and patriotic love for
his people in the preface of above-mentioned vocabulary: " <The
Talysh-Russian-Azerbaijani Vocabulary> on which I worked for more than
35 years of long time covers only the certain  part of the lexicology of
Talysh language, To thoroughly study this very rich and interesting part
of the Talysh language will be made possible through  many years of hard
work, research talent, patience, tolerance and enormous feelings of love
to mother tongue, and this is the duty of the future generation. A life
of a human is not enough to record all words, expression and
holistically study all area of this unique language, which people has
preserved for centuries and informed us as the symbol of material and
moral culture with all mysteries of its history. Nevertheless, I - the
son of this people, as a scientist who devoted all his life to studying 
the Talysh history and language, its development, investigation,
popularization and preservation of the culture of my people, had moral
right to compiling such  vocabulary and even feel pride of this. This
vocabulary together with sixty other scientific-research works dedicated
to studying of various spheres of Talysh language is a kind of report to
my people about my activities".

Because of his reputation and respect gained in the society N.Mammadov
was appointed to various social posts and was awarded with different
state rewards. In particular, till last days he was the member of the
"council dealing with teaching method for languages of national
minorities" set up by Ministry of Education of Azerbaijan Republic and
member of social council working directly with the advisory council on
ethnic issues of the president of Azerbaijan Republic

Before continuing with this subject, it is necessary to say a few words
about the second prisoner-Elman Guliyev, an orientalist/ iranist, the
responsible secretary of the above mentioned newspaper, also is
convicted under the item of 224 of the Criminal Code ("High Treason") in
connection with the same case of N.Mammadov. E.Guliyev is author of
dissertation at the same Institute of Linguistics where N.Mammadov
worked. During the Soviets (70-80 of the past age) the orientalist
E.Guliyev occupied many responsible state posts, particularly, worked at
the Embassy of USSR in Afghanistan occupying the rank of the second
secretary (from 15.08.1982. to 10.02.1984), further worked at the
ministry of foreign Affairs, Committee of the State Security of the USSR
and at the Ministry of National Security of Azerbaijan. In early of the
90th of the last century he performed various missions in the conflict
areas of Kharabakh.

In August 2001 he underwent staff reduction because of  unknown reasons
and since that time he has been engaged in scientific activities and
started working with Talysh Cultural Center. Shortly E.Guliyev had to
substitute one of the former deputy editor-in-chief and secretary
responsible of the newspaper "Tolyshi Sado" who was unexpectedly invited
to MNS (ministry of national security) for the "interview" and was sent
to Army.

All these or other late nuances related to the issue of  N.Mammadov
provide a basis to assume that  the intelligence service of Azerbaijan
has partly prepared this political scenario a long ago ,using its former
(or may be current ) agents for performance of this scenario and then
even scarifying him. Certainly, our intention is not to accuse the
spiritually weak E.Guliyev who was unable to bear the moral and
psychological pressure/temptation of his colleagues by promising him of
being exempted from criminal liability in case of "voluntarily
cooperation", particularly "confessing voluntarily" to "being espionage
in favor of Iran" and giving groundless testimony against Mr.N.Mamadov
and other representatives of Talysh intelligentsia for their

Probably, like many of our compatriots who are lost in confusion about
the happenings, You might ask us surprisingly:- What is actually hidden
behind the arrests of 65 year old linguist and young orientalist
E.Guliyev? What way N.Mammadov and E.Guliyev who have been truly
servicing their country, suddenly has changed and got "the criminal task
of betraying his country" and began to spy in favor of Iran? And the
main fact is: - What secret "criminal task" could a young
scientist-linguist and orientalist get from the intelligence service of
the foreign country that "resulting with the severe harm and damage to
the sovereignty, territorial integrity, state security and defensibility
of Azerbaijan Republic?" (The item 274 CC of Azerbaijan Republic). And,
really E.Guliyev's "frank confession" in accepting the financial
contribution from Iran (whereas the latter refuses this flatly) during
the International Conference dedicated to the history and culture of
Talyshes held in Iran three years ago provided for the purpose of
translation of one the historical books about the ancient Talyshes, for
covering expenses of the Center of Culture and publishing the newspaper
is a sufficient motive for their arrest and accusation (see the

Reading these lines, possibly You will be asked a logical question: -
Can't the Embassy of Iran or other charitable organizations operating in
our country provide financial support to the Talysh Culture Center and
its newspaper? Was there any need in financing the newspapers and
culture centers by "hiring" a scientist-linguist with "criminal tasks"
against our country?

It is not secret that this country and many other countries have
provided a grant for charitable works in our country. Many publications
are printed through the donation by the foreign embassies in Azerbaijan.
For example, with the direct financial support by Embassy of Norway the
uncial work-monograph after the late historian authored by professor
G.Javadov titling "The Talyshes" consisting of 615 pages was published
for the first time in the history of Talish people. Similar support was
provided by US Embassy for publication of the book called "The Talysh
Tales". Apart from these, through the financial assistance by European
Council (EC) the book of "A frame convention on protection of the
national minorities", "The convention on prohibition of the
discrimination on the basis of the race and origin of the minorities"
and other books were published in Talysh language. And dozens of other
books were also published in Talysh language with the help of
compatriots of Talysh origin living in Russia, Byelorussia and other
countries.  Unfortunately, for the last 15 years the government of
Azerbaijan has not provided any support to the Talysh Cultural Center
and the newspaper of "Tolyshi Sado" ("The Voice of Talysh people"),
despite of undertaking obligation with the Council of Europe but still
didn't fulfill a single item of the convention on protection of national
minorities. Though in 2001 our country adopted and signed "a frame
convention on protection of national minorities" but the law on national
minorities of Azerbaijan is not adopted yet and is not intending to
ratify "The European Charter on regional languages and the languages of
national minorities" by this the government breaks the obligations
undertaken with the European Council.

A simple question arises that expresses the essence of our appeal to
you: What is the essence of arrests and repressions against the
representatives of Talysh and other peoples of minorities in Azerbaijan?
According to opinion of many experts, politicians and human right
defenders that the authority of the republic by means of MNS  arrests
the famous representatives of Talysh people who are even  loyal to the
authority, blaming them in "engagement of  espionage in favor of Iran"
and scarifying them for achieving its "objectives of" : firstly, in a
situation of aggravating  Iran-American conflict the Azerbaijani
government are pretending to convince formally the American
administration that Talyshes living in frontier zone of Iran are
pro-Iranian and as  preventive measures the so-called "Iranian spies"
are arrested. which means, in a way of somehow to prove, look ,under
what hard circumstance  the authorities work: "Azerbaijan authorities,
on the one hand, is shattered by Russians and, on the other hand, the
state of Iran tries to inflate center of separatism in the frontier zone
between Iran and Talysh"; secondly, Azerbaijan authorities manipulating
the situation to carry out its strategy of pan-Turkism" and transformed
it to official state policy under an obvious separatist slogan "one
nation-two states" they artificially try to make the
non-Turkish/indigenous people of Azerbaijan keep silent aiming at not to
prevent from the realization of those ideas. Thus, in order to make the
position of pan-Turkism dominant over the Talysh areas by all means they
bring chaos and fear among the representative of Talysh people to
interfere with development of national self-identification,
strengthening their artificial assimilation into turks/strengthening the
process of turkification and trying to spoil and break all the relations
among the Talysh people inhabiting in the territory of Azerbaijan and
Iran. In this way, focusing on the "Talysh card" the authorities using
the ordinary suitable historical chance to generate a mono-state by
rather ill-intentional/dirty principle: "without nation-without problem
or no nation-no problem".

In making a short analysis and research of reason and motive of the
arrest of managerial personnel of Talysh Cultural Center provide ground
to guess that existence or function of almost all the "cultural centers"
and organizations  representing the national minority in Azerbaijan have
been used as a "pocket" instrument in the hands of the security services
and other competent bodies of Azerbaijan only for the sake of publicity,
sample performance to the world community  to create a visibility of
"tolerances" towards the minority peoples in Azerbaijan.

Having got acquainted with the reports of MPs(Milli Majlis) and the head
of Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Azerbaijan at the Parliamentary
Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), Organization on Security and
Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) and to the other world community  "about
the paternal care of state' in the development of the minorities in
Azerbaijan and comparing these reports to current situation of national
minorities in Azerbaijan one can easily see how Azerbaijani authority
impudently insult and mock at these poor nations/national minorities:
And the most disgusting thing is that of the authority always tried to
use many famous people and scientists as an "instrument" for this

For the sake of preserving their ancient ethno cultures the
representatives of the minority peoples are often obliged to act
according to the order of authority to please them everywhere by
constantly repeating the "slogan of the day" - "Azerbaijan always was
and will remain  a tolerant state, where no ones right are infringed
regardless of ethnicity"!

When some  people by origin of national minority  criticize the
political tricks and the empty words of the authorities, the "pocket
instruments" are used against these people by articulating the following
sentences:" We don't agree upon the idea of government's oppressions
and  deprivation of their rights to developing their culture"," We will
not let those who don't have any moral support from the people but
speaks on  behalf of the people and making petition to international
communities or " the so-called Sufferers of Talysh people  struggling
for the freedom of Talysh"  deform the truth about the situation of
Talysh people in Azerbaijan"

This type of problems exists in all states and nations. The authority of
Azerbaijan takes possible measures in solving these problems (including
problems concerning Talysh) and specially those concerning to us. All
Talyshes have one and the same country-that is Azerbaijan and we are
ready to work and do everything for their prosperity." (See "Zerkalo",
March 10, 2006)

Many of the leaders in Talysh cultural center and including N.Mammadov
used to repeat the same "slogans" before he was arrested. But today he
is jailed and suffering in the cell of MNS, being accused of high
treason by the law of his country that he was doing all his best for its
prosperity who with his family hope for/rely on the support by the
international communities and "the so-called sufferers of Talysh people
struggling for the freedom of Talysh".

It is quite possible that after spreading of this appeal the
aforementioned instruments will be applied and the next> instruments of
victims" among the representatives of Talysh people will be abused for
this purpose. Of course, all above sayings doesn't mean that N.Mammadov
was blindly following what he was said by the authorities. Seductive
offers by authority to N.Mamdov were made to use him as "pocket
instrument", to barter his arrest for the aforementioned "slogan"
/repeating the banal words and speeches to international community on
behalf of his people. But N. Mamadov has resolutely rejected their offer
and therefore it is quite possible that this is a main motive for his
arrest and N.Mamadov has now to pay for "disobedience" and secondly his
arrest is used as an exemplary lesson for other leaders of the Talysh
cultural center.

It is completely nonsense to speak about the toleration in the country
or tolerance of the state towards its citizens after such political
tricks, provocative arrests and persecutions of the leaders, outstanding
scientists-agsaggals (a respected adult man) of the people of
minorities. Isn't it an obvious proof of deliberate discrimination of
the rights of minorities in a country , a country that is the member of
the Council of Europe and signed numerous obligations on protection the
rights of its citizen?

To a great regret, hundreds of our complains, appeals and letters
addressed to the authorities in connection with aforesaid arbitrary has
left unanswered and therefore we are obliged to make this appeal to You.

We, the members of the Committee on protection of the rights of
N.Mammadov and the representatives of Talysh minorities of Azerbaijan
are seriously anxious about the dangerous tendency of development of
socio-political processes in our country  that are really fraught with
further frustrations and limitations of the elementary constitutional
and international law and freedom of its civilians and people. We have
no doubt that your county wishes to collaborate only with the
politically stable, legitimate and democratic state and those are what
just all the honorable citizens and patriots want to see in their
country. Just for this, explaining the existing situation into details
in regard with the arrest and persecution of Talysh intelligentsia, we
wanted to draw Your attention to all the happenings and ask You do,
please, inform of our authorities about the inadmissibility of similar
towards their civilians and call for respect of fundamental norms of
international human laws of the civilized world.


Chairman of the Party of Equality of the People in Azerbaijan (EPPA), 
the former Talysh People's Party, TPP), 
complaint to the European Court on Human Rights (application #36642/05 
Mammadov, Azerbaijan) against the government of Azerbaijan Republic, 
candidate of phisico-maths. Science 



[1] Chronology of arrest: the MNS (ministry of National security)
officials kidnapped on 02.02.2007 at about 17-00 N.Mammadov near his
house. After a day of detention he was released and he came to the
building of the Academy of Sciences to take his car. Suddenly, a
suspicious looking man in civilian clothes comes up to him and asked him
for document. While Mammadov asks the man to present himself two other
men in police uniform approached him immediately. They take the key of
his  car and took  him to the nearest police station where they draw up
a protocol as if Mr. N.Mammadov put up resistance to law enforcement
bodies and during the formal judicial process he was convicted to 15
days of punishment in accordance with item 310.1 of Administrative Code
of Azerbaijan Republic. During all these days neither his family, nor
his advocate were informed of his location. And only on the expiry of
the punishment period E.Guliyev was arrested with the same suspicious
method and a search was conducted in N.Mammadov's flat It becomes
evident that all these time N.Mammadov was detained in the jail
/insulator of Ministry of National Security. Further, they conducted
search in N.Mammadov's flat twice and did some identification and
assessment of several home assets. All further judicial procedures
(Court of Appeal, prolongation of arrest period and etc.) also were held
in rude violation of the elementary judicial

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