Open letter to the director of VOA about the discrimination against Turkish rights activist of South Azerbaijan on VOA Persian!

To the director of Voice of America, Mr. David Ensor
Dear Mr. Ensor,
This letter is written to express Azerbaijani civil right activists’ concerns about boycotting the Azerbaijani Turks ethnic groups’ news in Iran by the Persian division of VOA.

In April 2013 five Azerbaijani civil rights activists, Yeni Gamoh party central council, were sentenced for 45 years imprisonment, 9 years each. They focused their efforts on Turk minority human rights in Iran which is violated by Iranian government. 

In June 2013, activists mentioned above started hunger strike protesting unfair trial and mistreatment in Tabriz prison.  In response, Iranian authorities exiled them from Tabriz prison to Rajaee Shahr prison. They conditionally ended hunger strike after 28 days following civil right society request.  Several human rights organizations such as, Human Right Watch and Front Line published a declaration condemning the mentioned violation and required Iranian authorities to immediate action to release them. Although thirteen human right organizations condemned this violation and almost two thousand civil rights activists signed a petition for their freedom, the Persian division of Voice of America ignored this news. Repeated requests for covering the mentioned news were rejected by VOA Persian, while the news attracted the Azerbaijani public attention in Iran.
VOA Persian inattention to this news is an example among dozens of news related to non-Persian population in Iran which is ignored by VOA Persian.
Since people do not trust the news published by Islamic republic of Iran, the foreign media penetration and influence are high in Iran.  This is a true fact about VOA accordingly.Therefore VOA plays an effective role in forming public view towards issues related to Iran. Considering all facts mentioned above, ignoring the news which is important for some of your viewers will damage the people’s trust on your media in the long time. This intentional negligence to the subjects related to large Azerbaijani population in Iran will ruin VOA dependability and decrease the number of your audiences in Azerbaijan considerably. This biased point of view even against Azerbaijani political prisoners is clearly observed in the entire program produced by VOA Persian. 
We would like to draw your attention to the fact that ignoring the subjects related to minorities’ efforts and demands for equal rights will create social distance among different ethnic and lingual groups in Iran. This in turn will hinder the collaborative efforts to build a democratic society and conduct a constructive dialogue.
Those of your audience, who do not follow the Azerbaijani news from other media, might have a wrong perception about the facts and real political situations of Iran. In addition, they will have a misconception about the demands of all groups in Iranian society. This ignorance will cause people become indifferent to Azerbaijanis’ needs and requests; while this is against the VOA objective statement and manifesto.
We would like to demand you to cover Azerbaijanis’ news alongside world and neighbor countries news. We desire VOA Persian to participate in preventing human rights abuse against Azerbaijanis’ political prisoners via covering the news related to them. We believe the principle of fairness and justice in VOA manifesto requires the VOA management board and executives to give the chance for Azerbaijani activists and political specialists to indicate their views directly instead of inviting someone else who are not really involved in Azerbaijani problems and issues to discuss about the current topics of Azerbaijan.

Yours Sincerely,

1-     Dr. AlirezaAbdollahi (Turkey)
2-     Dr. AsadTagizade ( Norway)
3-     Dr. Hamdullah Soleymani
4-     Dr. Hasan Gulmuhammad ( USA)
5-     Dr. HoseinYahyai (Sweden)
6-     Dr. HusenXurushi (USA)
7-      Dr. İbrahimPakizeh (Turkey)
8-     Dr. Ishiq Sonmaz (Turkolog and Etnolog)
9-     Dr. KetayunSarnesar (USA)
10-  Dr. Shakour Babazadeh (Sweden)
11-  Dr. Simin Sabri (Norway)
12- Dr. Talas Avshar (Canada)
13-  Dr. Veli Bashiry (North Cyprus)
14-  Mr.  Araz muğanli
15-  Mr. Adel Motallebi.
16-  Mr. Ahmad Amini (Norway)
17-  Mr. Ahmad Mahdian
18-  Mr. Ahmad Mahdian
19- Mr. Akbar Ahmadi ( Norway)
20- Mr. Ali Qulami (USA)
21- Mr. Ali Suleymani (USA)
22-  Mr. Alireza Ardabili (Sweden)
23-  Mr. Alireza Nazmi Afshar (USA)
24- Mr. Amir Makouei (Norway)
25-  Mr. Araz Atapour (Turkey)
26-  Mr. Araz Nesimi (switzerland)
27-  Mr. Aslan Soltani Nazarlou (Sweed)
28-  Mr. Ata Hamedi (Canada)
29- Mr. Avid Meyinli
30-  Mr. Ayat Mahman (Norway)
31- Mr. Aydin Qaraxanli (Finland)
32-  Mr. Aydin Salimi (USA)
33-  Mr. Babak Bakhtavar (England)
34-  Mr. Babak Chalabiyani (USA)
35-  Mr. Babak Shahed (Turkey)
36-  Mr. Behnam Yousefi Sadat
37-  Mr. Behzad Xanelilu
38-  Mr. Boyuk Rasuloghlu (Norway)
39-  Mr. Davud Turan (USA)
40-  Mr. Duman Radmehr (Human Rights activist)
41-  Mr. Ebad Rafati Gargari
42-  Mr. Elchin Hatami (Human Rights activist)
43-  Mr. Elnur Marandli (Netherlands)
44- Mr. Ensafali Hedayat (USA)
45-  Mr. Farzi Nasab ( Norway)
46-  Mr. Gholamreza Zarei (Sweden)
47-  Mr. Hadi Musavi (Turkey)
48-  Mr. Hadi Qarachay ( Norway)
49-  Mr. Hasan Sulduzlu (USA)
50-  Mr. Hosein Tabrizli (Sweden)
51-  Mr. Isa Turkoglu (England)
52-  Mr. İsmail Jamili (USA)
53-  Mr. Javad Derakhti (sweden)
54-  Mr. Javid Nazmi
55- Mr. M. Soleymani Namin
56-  Mr. Mahdi Fazli (Sweden)
57-  Mr. Mehdi Jomehri
58-  Mr. Mohammad Azizi (Norway)
59-  Mr. Mohammad Reza Torabi
60-  Mr. Mohammadreza Tabrizli (Norway)
61-  Mr. Mohmoud Bilgin (Sweden)
62- Mr. Naser Mergati
63-  Mr. Naser Rezayi
64-  Mr. Navid Soltani (Turkey)
65-  Mr. Okhtay Valizadeh (Turkey)
66-  Mr. Parviz Ahmadzadeh (Azerbaijan)
67- Mr. Rahmat Najafpour (Norway)
68-  Mr. Ramin Jabbarli (Turkey)
69-  Mr. Reza Bargoshadi
70-  Mr. Reza khalili
71-  Mr. Reza Talebi (Turkey)
72-  Mr. Rufat Muradli (Azerbaijan)
73-  Mr. Sahain Helali khyavi ( Norway)
74-  Mr. Said Azizi (Sweden)
75-  Mr. Said Eslami
76-  Mr. Said Moradi Naqade (Turkey)
77-  Mr. Said Saed (Germany)
78-  Mr. Salamat dashti (Sweden)
79- Mr. Sardar Asadi ( Norway)
80-  Mr. Sirus Fekri
81- Mr. Tahir Mahami (USA)
82-  Mr. Toghrul Atabay (Turkey)
83-  Mr. Umid Niayesh
84-  Mr. Umud Evren (Netherlands)
85-  Mr. UmudShukri (Turkey)
86- Mr. Vahid Hayri (Turkey)
87-  Mr. Vəhid Bahaduri (Turkey)
88- Mr. Vida Doshabchi (USA)
89-  Mr. Younes Shameli (Journalist)
90-  Mr-Muxtar şamszadeh (Netherlands)
91-  Mrs. Azra Azari (Sweden- Women Rights activist)
92- Mrs. Faride saray ( USA)
93-  Mrs. Gunesh Zamanzade (Turkey)
94-  Mrs. IliyaSuleymani (USA)
95-  Mrs. Mahni Turanli (Norway)
96-  Mrs. Mahsa Mehdili Barzin (Turkey)
97- Mrs. Seva Ahmadova (USA)
98-  Ms. Gisou Haghi (Norway)
99-  Ms. Parvin Araz
100-         Ms. SevilSoleymani (USA)
101-         Ms. SharifehJafari (Turkey)
102-         Ms. ShirinKanani
103-         Ms. Torkman Tamaddoni Gamichi (USA)
104-         Prof. Dr. AhmadOmid Yazdani (Germany)