Nearly 200 Iranian activists, journalists, writers and former political prisoners have condemned a recent wave of arrests and other forms of pressure targeting Azeri civil society activists in the country.
In a joint statement, the 196 signatories urged the Iranian judiciary and security institutions to put an end to the "unlawful treatment" of ethnic Azeri activists.
They said that these activists have been subjected to unjustified prolonged detention and extensions of temporary detention. While in custody, they have had their communications with their families restricted.
The signatories cited the case of Morteza Noormohammadi Nadarli, who was remanded in custody despite being granted bail.
The statement also expressed alarm over the fate of Roya Zakeri, a woman who was taken to a psychiatric hospital in the northwestern city of Tabriz last month after a video of her yelling "death to the dictator” went viral on social media.
The collective of activists posted their statement online, asking the public to add their signatures.
Many Azeri activists were arrested amid increased government pressure on dissent and civil society ahead of the September 16 anniversary of Mahsa Amini's death in police custody.
Amini’s death sparked nationwide protests against the Iranian establishment which were brutally put down by security forces. More than 500 people were killed in the repression and over 20,000 were arrested, including many journalists, human rights advocates and civil activists.