Azeri Turkish lawyer Saleh Kamrani is reportedly held without charge in Evin Prison in Tehran. In an interview on June 19th, 2006 on Araz Radio, broadcasting from Sweden, Kamrani’s wife, Mina Esgeri, said that she had been allowed to meet with her husband in detention on June 18th, 2006. He reportedly needs medication for a heart condition. He may be held solely for his work as a lawyer and human rights defender, in which case Amnesty International would consider him a prisoner of conscience.
On June 14th, 2006 when Saleh Kamrani did not return home, his wife Esgeri called all the hospitals and police stations in Tehran but did not find any trace of him. In the evening, she called Ministry of Intelligence officials who at that time reportedly refused to confirm whether they were holding her husband.
Saleh Kamrani has practised as a lawyer since 1999 and has defended a number of Iranian Azeri Turks (who sometimes refer to themselves as Iranian Azerbaijanis) who have been detained in connection with their political or cultural activities. One of his clients, activist Saleh Malla Abbasi was arrested on 17 April (see UA 115/06, MDE 13/045/2006, 3 May 2006). Kamrani has also defended members of other ethnic groups. He has reportedly suffered harassment at the hands of the Iranian security forces, including phone calls threatening him with arrest and in 2005 was detained for three days with his brother in the town of Oromieh. He has also reportedly written articles on human rights and has helped to organise training in human rights for lawyers and students. Kamrani’s brother, Maharam Kamrani, was arrested on 30 March, and reportedly tortured during his 19 days in detention (see UA 86/06, MDE 13/039/2006, 12 April 2006).
Letter by Gail Davidson sent on June 27, 2006