Mission Free Iran has received the below report and accompanying photos from human rights activist, journalist, and asylum-seeker Kaveh Taheri. We condemn this attack against asylum-seekers in Turkey, and demand that the UNHCR afford them the protection that is mandated by international law, and urgently expedite the processing of these asylum cases. Those who were attacked are currently protesting outside of the UNHCR offices in Ankara.
Brutal attack against political and human rights activists in Turkey
Iranian human rights and political activist refugees in Turkey were suspiciously and brutally attacked by Turkish citizens.
Last night on 13 April 2014, Iranian human rights and political activist refugees in Kayseri were severely beaten by a group of unknown people.
One of the people beaten last night, [Rouhollah Mirzakhani], told our reporter that a Turkish citizen came to him and asked his nationality; after hearing that his nationality was Iranian, the Turkish man attacked him.
Mirzakhani continued: “A few minutes after he attacked me, more than 15 people surrounded me and attacked me.”
Seeing the situation, other asylum-seekers came to the aid of Mirzakhani, but the assailants began to beat them with sticks and bars as well.
[Asylum-seeker] Babak Ejalali was beaten with a wooden stick so severely that the stick broke when it struck his head, caused him to lapse into an unconscious state. His ear was torn, and one of his teeth was broken. Police observed the scene [while this brutal assault was taking place], but took no action to stop the assailants.
Surprisingly, when Mirzakhani and Ejalali went to the police to complain, they were kept in detention for several hours.
Seeing this conflict, police attacked Mirzakhani with pepper spray.
According to the beaten refugees, Turkish police did not undertake any legal response to the assailants, and only transported the beaten people to the police station and filed their complaint.
In the end, these human rights activists announced their decision to hold a sit-in in front of Kayseri city’s Assam Office as a demonstration.
The names of the people who were beaten are as follows: Babak Ejlali, Soroush Partoazad, Sirous Partoazad, Peyman Karami, Hosein Qasemi, Hadi Rahbar, Hadi Zeraat pisheh, Ali Abedi, Siamak Ajorlou, Rouhallah Mirzakhani, Kaveh Taheri, Abdolkarim Mirfard, Ali Nasimi, Behnam Parvizi.
(Edited for English by Maria Rohaly)