Date: 22 May 2006
Amnesty international, London
Dear Mrs. Harrison
Re The Culmination of the ongoing Mass Protest in Tebriz
We trust you are informed that last week “Iran,” the official newspaper of the Islamic Republic of Iran, published a caricature insulting Turkic Azerbaijanis and subjected them to abuses. This publication has been rebuffed by the democratic protest of the student over the days and culminated on 22 May 2006 in the mass protest and perhaps the uprising of the population of Tebriz, the capital of Southern Azerbaijan. Today, the movement gathered momentum here in a short length of time leading to the march of at least 200,000 (two hundred thousands) peaceful protesters to the point that security agents were taken by surprise by the enormity of the movement and simply reduced to runaways. However, in certain regions of Tebriz and especially towards the evening after the dispersal of the protesters, there is a vast operation of reprisals and arrests. According to our authenticated information, the cowardly acts of security agents resulted in beating up and wounding of innocent peoples. My representatives are confident on the following:
Our information is clear that the casualties have been moved to the Khomeyni Hospital but their relatives have been denied access to their loved ones. We fear that they will almost certainly be subjected to cowardly acts of vengeance and reprisal.
We shall supply you the list of the people under detention.
The critical issue is now to be helpful for the wounded people. We therefore most persistently request you to use your good offices by offering them any effective support as in your disposal to save their lives.
For and on behalf of
The Committee for Defending the Rights of the World Azerbaijanis