Student Activist Hadi Hamidi Shafiq Arrested; His Wedding Not Permitted

HRANA News Agency – In an unprecedented move, Tabriz Intelligence Agency prevented Hadi Hamidi Shafiq to have a wedding.

According to a report by South Azerbaijan Student Movement (AZOH), Hadi Hamidi Shafiq’s wedding was to take place in Tabriz with political and social activists from all over Azerbaijan attending the event.Yesterday morning, on July 20, 2011, Tabriz Intelligence Agency summoned the wedding banquet hall director and interrogated him about the scheduled event.

Additionally, this morning, Tabriz Intelligence Agency contacted the bride and the groom’s families by phone, summoning them for questioning and threatening to arrest all the guests.The intelligence agents also contacted Hadi Hamidi Shafiq, forbidding him from going ahead with his wedding plans.When faced with his opposition, the agents told him that the wedding ceremony would be held by them and all the guests without any exception would be detained.

The intelligence agents from Tehran and Urmia offices have also phoned some of the activists invited to the wedding in order to warn them not to attend the ceremony or be arrested.

According to the last reliable news, Hadi Hamidi Shafiq has been arrested by Tabriz Intelligence Agency, and his whereabouts is still unknown.

Recently, Hadi Hamidi Shafiq was sentenced to six months in prison and 60 lashes on charges of propaganda against the regime.In May 2006, Hadi Hamidi Shafiq was arrested for attending demonstrations and spent 17 months behind bars.


Tense Security Environment in Azerbaijan

HRANA News Agency – On the eve of the fifth anniversary of protests in Azerbaijan Province, a large number of cities in this region are witnessing the presence of security forces in the streets and main squares.


According to a report by Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA), tense security environment clearly hangs over the cities of Tabriz, Ahar, Marand and Maragheh.  Eyewitnesses have reported the presence of special units and military and security forces throughout the region including town squares, streets and universities.


Prior to May 22, 2011 which coincides with the fifth anniversary of protests in Azerbaijan Province, law enforcement and security agents have systematically begun to arrest political and civil activists in Azerbaijan.


Last year, eleven activists were arrested during the same time, and each one of them was sentenced to five years in prison.  Two well-known political activists, Alireza Farshi and Sima Didar, were amongst the detainees who are currently serving their prison terms.


Additionally, amongst tens of activists who have been arrested and summoned to court are Ibrahim Nuri, Siamak Koshi, Saeid Naimi, Ayoub Shiri, Sima and Mehdi Derakhshan, Akbar Azad, Sima Didar, Alireza Farshi, Hadi Hamidi Shafiq.


As the fifth anniversary of protests in Azerbaijan approaches, security forces have attempted to confiscate satellite dishes in some of the cities.  Since this morning, access to Internet has also been interrupted.   Eye witnesses have reported to HRANA that isolated clashes in streets surrounding the University of Tabriz have occurred, and a few citizens have been arrested in the city of Tabriz.


Furthermore, according to an eyewitness, heavy presence of law enforcement agents are such that there are four policemen stationed in every 100 meters.  As this report was being prepared, people continue to gather in the streets.


Beginning on May 22, 2006, for a period of one week, various cities in Azerbaijan witnessed widespread protests and clashes in response to a newspaper article that had published an insult to Azeri citizens.  Tens of people were arrested or killed during these demonstrations.