Association of Iranian Political Prisoners(in Exile)

Public Statement
31 January 2003

Turkey: Two Iranian refugees died in Turkey

Two Iranian refugees, Javad Azimi(m),aged 25, and Shahram Zargani(m), died after they were transferred to a hospital in Bilecik on 30 January 2003.
What has caused their death is not clear yet but it is saying that Javad has repeatedly said he would commit a suicide for his unbearable situation in Turkey and nonexistance of a perspective that UNHCR would grant him refugee status.

Javad was a member of a group of Iranian refugees known as a group of 12, who decided for few months ago to commit suicide one by one in protest to the rejection of their asylum requests by UNHCR. Following this decision, Kamran Farmande(m),aged 32, a member of the group committed suicide on 3 November 2002 and died in the university hospital of Eskeshir on 18 Novemebr 2002.

Javad was reinterviewed by UNHCR for two weeks ago and he was told that he and his wife, Soraya Ahmadi, aged 19, would have chance of being granted refugee status.

Shahram was granted refugee status and was about to be transferred to USA.

The bodies of these two young Iranian refugees are taken to a bigger city for autopsy.

Our organisation has followed the case of the group of 12 carefully and urged UNHCR in Ankara to speed up the refugee process of this group in order to prevent a new tragedy. But unfortunately, for the reasons which are not clear for us, UNHCR has not done sufficient work in this regard.

There is no doubt that death of these two refugees are partially the consequence of the unbearable and inhuman condition that the Islamic regime has created for the Iranian people for the last 24 years.If they were not forced to leave Iran they wouldn´t have such unfortunate fate.