The East Azerbaijan Provincial Appeal Court considered the appeal of seven Azerbaijani activists.
Akbar Abulzade, Hamid Allahverdipur, Murtaza Shukri and Israfil Fatulazadeh appealed to the Court of Appeal in protest against the known “Fitileh” program in November 2015, but attended the trial of Saleh Molla Abbasi, Suleyman Kazimi and Ibrahim Nuri who is presently serving a sentence in the Evin Prison of Tehran.
At the hearing, chaired by Judge Alizadeh, the three-person board reviewed the evidence of the activists. The board called the act of “Fitileh” wrong, however, the protest actions against it “an act of separatism”.
Activists were arrested during a peacfull protest in the city of Ahar, South Azerbaijan in November 2015 and charged with “propaganda against the security of the Islamic Republic.” The activists were eventually found “guilty” by the First Division of the Ahar Revolutionary Court. Saleh Molla Abbasi, Akbar Abulzadeh and Ibrahim Nuri, each to 10 months, Hamid Allahverdipur, Suleyman Kazimi, Murtaza Shukri and Israfil Fatulazadeh, each sentenced to 7 months of imprisonment.
On November 6, 2015, a television program “Fitileh”, broadcast on channel 2 of Iranian television, describes a Turkish boy who does not know the difference between a toothbrush and a toilet brush, brushing his teeth with a toilet brush. Although the “comedy” is in Persian, some sections have Turkish dialogues. Following the broadcast, a series of protests against the racist policy of the Iranian regime in southern Azerbaijani cities and abroad began, during which protesters were detained and arrested.
The release of the Fitileh ‘s racist broadcast caused the Azerbaijanis to protest.