The Problem of Southern Azerbaijan

Say (No.): 538/2011
İlaygün (Date): 30 April 2011

The Office of High Commissioner for Human Rights, Geneva

Please circulate this letter to the following:

·  Working Group on arbitrary detention (also for Fair Trials);

·  Special Rapporteur on the promotion & protection of the right to freedom of opinion & expression

·  Special Rapporteur on contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia & intolerance

·  The Independent Expert on Minority Issues, and

·  Special Rapporteur on the independence of judges

·  CC       UN Habitat for a Better Urban Future: Christine Auclair, and Günter Karl

·              Mr Dyke and Mrs. Harrison, Amnesty International, London

Also:       Human Rights Watch and Human Rights Server

Strangulation of Lake Urmu

Dear sir/madam,

BREIFING NOTE 2: POPULAR RALLY TO SAVE LAKE URMU (also spelt as Urmia)

Please find enclosed Briefing Note 2 concerning the arbitrary treatment of Southern Azerbaijani environmental campaigners by the Iranian authorities. The campaigners rallied together in many cities of Southern Azerbaijan on 2 April 2011, questioning the policies of the Iranian authorities on Lake Urmu, which is at its last stage of existence. A more detailed report was given on 15 May 2010, Ref 526/2010.

Southern Azerbaijan, dubbed by some European academics as the historic Garden of Eden, is now stricken by salt-dust storms subsequent to the desertification of the vanishing Lake Urmu. The people are alarmed by a looming catastrophe of biblical proportions. For the second year in running, Southern Azerbaijani environmental activists mobilized another popular rally on April the 2nd in many cities to demand action for the rectification of the Iranian policies (for more information, see http://urmugolu90.blogfa.com/). Instead, the Iranian authorities resorted to their iron-fist policies and failed to sympathize with the concerns of Southern Azerbaijanis. We would like to bring this sensitive issue to your attention.

The Briefing below is cascaded covering the impending environmental disaster of Lake Urmu within the context of the problem of Southern Azerbaijan, that within the racism in Iran and that within the context of turmoil in the Middle East. The emerging picture is that the mindset in Southern Azerbaijan is conditioned by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and therefore is quite unique in a region which is in turmoil and without any direction. Despite suffering from the Iranian racism and the onslaught of Iranian authorities, no one in Southern Azerbaijan is talking of martyrdom but the activists inflict attrition onto the Iranian authorities by singing the tune of Save Lake Urmu through democratic protests and further evidence is given in Tables 3, 4 and 5. Notably, the activists of Sayin Qala and Tikan Tepe, Southern Azerbaijani towns, are seen as strong flag-bearers.

We appeal to you to support the human rights of the victims who were arbitrarily detained by the Iranian authorities, where the victims were just exercising their rights to peaceful protests. We also remind you that Mr. Huseyn Nesiri is still in prison (who was arrested on 2 April 2010 when taking part in the first Save Lake Urmu campaign, see Ref 526/2010 Date: 15 May 2010) and urge you to campaign for his release too.

We thank you in advance for your attention and subsequent actions. 

Yours faithfully,

Mr. Boyuk Resuloglu

The Committee for the Defence of the Rights of World Azerbaijanis
 

BRIEFING NOTE

 

This Briefing Note is not an analysis but aims to reflect on the grave environmental disaster, which threatens survival of many towns and cities and thousands of lush villages in Southern Azerbaijan. It covers the following:

  1. An outline of the Second National Rally to Save Lake Urmu – full details may be found in http://urmugolu90.blogfa.com/ – a site maintained by the Southern Azerbaijani environmental campaigners and devoted to the ongoing protests related to Lake Urmu.
  2. Background to the South Azerbaijani Environmental Campaigns
  3. The Southern Azerbaijani Way of Thinking
  4. The Iranian Way of Thinking and Response to the Ongoing Turmoil
  5. The Context of the Ongoing Turmoil in the Middle East
  6. Conclusion

1.  An outline of the Second National Rally to Save Lake Urmu

Every day that passes, Azerbaijanis see themselves confronted with an increasingly shrinking Lake Urmu. They see that the heart of Southern Azerbaijan is being transformed from a wetland to a saline wasteland. The alarm of the impacts of this desertification has now been transformed into a popular action and the first wave of this action was orchestrated on 2 April 2010.

The popular campaign was organised by the environmental activists of Southern Azerbaijan and the date of 2 April is called the Day of Nature, which has mythological history related to preparedness against catastrophes, the account of which goes as far back as the Sumerian times. This day has now entered into the calendar of the national movement of Southern Azerbaijan, as the campaign day for the environment participated by the Azerbaijani women activists, football fans, linguistic and cultural activists of the national movement of Southern Azerbaijan. The aim was to enjoy the day and call upon the authorities to take the environment of Lake Urmu serious. The participation of women and families with their children is a striking feature of this environmental campaign.

The Iranian authorities acted in their brutish manner and arrested many individuals, an account of which is given by Amnesty international (http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/info/MDE13/038/2011/en, UA: 202/11, Index: MDE 13/038/2011). According to Amnesty International, some 70 individuals were rounded up in Tebriz alone. Table 1 presents our compilation of some of the known names of the victims who were detained by the Iranian authorities and Table 2 outlines more information about one victim who has certainly suffered torture by the Iranian authorities.

Southern Azerbaijanis remain defiant of the repression imposed by the Iranian authorities and some evidence for this include those in Tables 4 and 5.

Notably, Mr. Huseyn Nesiri was arrested on 2 April 2010 when taking part in the first Save Lake Urmu campaign. He has been arbitrarily detained and since then he is still in prison. See Ref 526/2010 Date: 15 May 2010.

1.          Background to this South Azerbaijani Environmental Campaigns

Lake Urmu is a wetland, registered under the “Convention on Wetlands of International Importance as Waterfowl Habitat.” In reality, this lake is the heartland of Southern Azerbaijan for being a vital link in its ecosystem. Now this ecological subsystem is undermined, see the diagram below.

The pictures below show a sign where used to be inside the lake and impacts of desertification on the capital city, Tebriz some 100 km away.

http://www.setfa.net/images/qzsmygdmr4duvhx4.jpg

The sign shows the receding lake

A View of Tebriz Stricken by unhealthy Atmosphere with Wind-blown Particle from the Desertified Lake Urmu by ISNA

The Convention puts various responsibilities on the parties involved including the formulation and implementation of a plan to the conservation of the lake and its wise use. There is a systemic failure so that:

  • The international community do not exert an effective pressure on the Iranian authorities for saving the lake.
  • The Iranian authorities are indifferent to the catastrophe as it unfolds but they are not necessary indifferent to matters such as their iron-fist control even over the environmental campaigners.
  • The Iranian opposition uses all their machinery to divert the world attention from the protests of Southern Azerbaijanis and both the government and opposition deny the existence of the ethnic nation of Azerbaijan in Southern Azerbaijan, who are more populous than Persians and they are undergoing an environmental catastrophe.
  • The most optimistic Southern Azerbaijanis are increasingly becoming aware of the disingenuous nature of the Iranian/Persian approach to Southern Azerbaijan but the majority are now sure that something is seriously wrong. Therefore, the restructuring of mindsets in Southern Azerbaijan is well advanced and is driven by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. We will describe this mindset in the next section.

The ethnic nation in Southern Azerbaijan is now focussed on their own self-interests, according to which the unfolding catastrophe is evaluated within the remits of the following factors:

  1. Incompetence of the Iranian authorities,
  2. Mismanagement of water resources
  3. Poor scientific understanding of the Iranian authorities,
  4. Deliberate policies of the Iranian authorities (See also Table 5, which translates an open letter to members of Majlis – the Iranian parliament – of the Sayin Qala town in Southern Azerbaijan),
  5. Climate change

Whilst there is no serious scientific study of the catastrophe by independent scientific organisations, the public opinion in Southern Azerbaijan is developing along Items a-d above, and they are not convinced about Item e. Items a and d are high in the public perception.

The above explains the reason that the mindset in Southern Azerbaijan is developing unlike that of the Iranian/Persian mindset. Today, Southern Azerbaijanis are taking their own issues in a very serious manner.
 

3.            The Southern Azerbaijani Mindset

The centre of gravity of attitudes in Southern Azerbaijan is formed by the full account of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. This has made the 30 million Southern Azerbaijanis to realise that they are connected to the world in expressing their abhorrence of racism. Driven by the wisdom of this Universal Declaration, this ethnic nation has unearthed the ugly face of the Iranian racism, which unashamedly claims the supremacy of their race.

Today, the youth activists in Southern Azerbaijan have made up of their minds, which goes beyond their elderly generations and as such the remains of patriarchal order has diminished substantially; there are no tribal order in Azerbaijan; religion is exposed by its association with the Iranian authorities; and the Iranian zeal for centralisation is physically preventing the ethnic nations to build capacity for their national organisations, as everything is driven from the Iranian-centric grip of power. The Iranian authorities do everything possible to drive the Southern Azerbaijani youth to extremism but the youth are well aware that this is nothing but a trap, as the National Movement of Southern Azerbaijan has already discovered the magic of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The youth in Southern Azerbaijan have no intention to overthrow the government but they are better organised every day to demand their rights in peaceful ways. They express themselves in the sports arena, in arts, in protests and in the prisons. During the last 10 years, no prisoner of conscience has repented under torture from their intelligently chosen ways.

Today, Southern Azerbaijanis not only have discovered the wisdom of this Universal Declaration but have also acquired its mindset, its mannerism, its worldview. The youth are highly appreciative of the value of their lives. Everyone in Azerbaijan rejects martyrdom but defends fiercely their rights. The youth are driven by issues and not by hot-air political sentiments. This is not a claim but a solid fact. For instance, Table 3 presents a chronology of the build-up towards the 2nd campaign of Save Lake Urmu. We are not asking you to read the contents of this table but a glance through it shows that a critical mass of activists has already been created, which is capable of implementing organised actions. The youth are not being controlled by a single individual but all the activists are spontaneously emerging from all over Southern Azerbaijan and acting in a like-minded manner. The more extreme policies inflicted by the Iranian authorities, the more like-minded the Southern Azerbaijani youth become. We argue that the Southern Azerbaijani mindset is now a reality and this is the triumph of the Universal Human Rights, which is unique in the region.

Southern Azerbaijani youth have been alienated by the Iranian racist policies and therefore the Southern Azerbaijani activists take initiatives on:

  • Being engaged on environmental issues and they challenge the authorities for deeds and actions without aiming to overthrow them
  • By fighting racism in the real fields of life, such as education and sports
  • By being focussed on the gender issues and supporting woman rights
  • By fiercely defending their language and ethnic rights
  • By exposing the Iranian-centric politics on their disingenuous economical policies
  • By not compromising with Iranian racism undermining the territorial integrity of South Azerbaijan

Southern Azerbaijanis are now outspoken in the Iranian politics by their characteristic silence. This is their reciprocity to the Iranian iron curtain of misinformation and disinformation against all the ethnic nations. Southern Azerbaijanis are also clear in campaigning for their environment and their human rights. Even though the Iranian repression is at its full force now, Table 4 shows the defiant Southern Azerbaijanis are campaigning for Saving Lake Urmu by a petition signed by activists.

The Iranian Response to the Ongoing Turmoil

The Iranian-centric worldview has alienated the youth of the ethnic nations in Iran. This worldview keeps bombarding incessantly with their Persian ancestor-worshipping sentiments on the face of Arab, Southern Azerbaijani, or Baluchi youth. The Iranian-centric sentiment is a mishmash of the following traits:

  • Racism and chauvinism: the country is in its feverish stage on this disease
  • Patriarchy: This is quite strong especially among the wealthy and the religious Iranians. The strength of religion is often more felt among such Persians.
  • Tribalism: By renaming the country from the Protectorate (Memalik-i-Mehruse) to Iran, The thinking was that the name Iran cognately related to the word Aryan, where Aryan as a term is nothing but fiction of the 19th century and Iran was never the official name of the country. This legitimized the Iranian/Persian tribalism and the emerging Iranian-centric worldview, regarding all the other ethnic nations by their language and as migrants.
  • Feudalism: Still its cultural relics are striking in the country.
  • Nationalism: If a healthy version of nationalism can be found in the country, it will be quite sensible trait to do business with but the Iranian nationalism is infested with the other traits.
  • Religious zeal: This is at its high tide but then Iranian secular groups tend to worship Zoroastrianism forgetting that it was a religion with a cast system.
  • Exaggeration: The character of exaggeration is legendary in itself in this country.
  • Democracy: This term is in widespread use and is a cliché replacing the old term of “imperialism” which was another cliché in common usage before the Islamic revolution. All it means in Iran and in a colloquial language is this: “you make the way for me to rule but you should not rule anyway.” The Iranian-centric worldview is devoid of the culture of democracy. The acid test for this is their conception of ethnicity. If they start acknowledging themselves as an ethnic nation in the country but not the master of it, the long process of normalization may start afterwards and only after this there is a chance for the emergence of a democratic culture.

The Persian archetypal character is a composite of the above and they are in no way to compromise with the other ethnic nations in the country and at least accept them for not sharing the above Persian mindsets. It is noteworthy that in the Persian language the word for ethnicity and tribalism are the same Arabic word: “Qovm.” This is a good measure of the Iranian-centric mindset.

5.     The Context of the Ongoing Turmoil in the Middle East

The Middle East is now in turmoil where the various countries and societies are being torn apart towards various centres of gravity including:

  • Patriarchy
  • Tribalism
  • Religion
  • Nationalism
  • Democracy

When one visualises the role of the above centres of gravity in the Middle East, it is difficult to become an optimist for the future of the region. Of course, democracy without the culture of mutual inclusion and debate means very little.

5.     Conclusion

The Middle East is in turmoil; Iran follows the illusion of becoming a chemical and nuclear power; each Iranian opposition group sees themselves as the “only legitimate democratic power;” and Southern Azerbaijan braced with coping the unfolding catastrophe by the desertification of Lake Urmu. The voice of Southern Azerbaijan is clear: this unfolding catastrophe is the outcome of the incompetence or deliberate policies of the Iranian authorities. However, still people believe that the catastrophe can be averted.

We therefore appeal to you to use your mandates and campaign for:

  • Immediate and unconditional release of the detainees including Mr. Huseyn Nesiri, who is arbitrarily detained since 2 April 2010 for his environmental campaign.
  • Assurance from the Iranian authorities that the environmental campaigners are not harassed let alone detained and tortured.
  • The planned damming of the tributaries are stopped immediately
  • The existing dams are dewatered
  • Science-based water resource planning is carried out for Southern Azerbaijan, using international skills and employing democratically-elected Southern Azerbaijani experts rather than appointing self-conceited officials who do not care about the ethnic nations.
  • Condemn racism in Iran in strongest terms and by doing so, please be sure that you are doing the best to cure the sick mind of the racist elements riddling Iran.

Table 1 Names of some of the Individuals who were rounded up when campaigning for Save Lake Urmu

On the Nature Day – 2 February 2011 –

According ArazNews (http://urmugolu90.blogfa.com/post-81.aspx) estimate the number of arrested individuals to be 127 individuals in Tebriz.

No

Name/Family Name

The Situation report

Source

        Urmu – the capital city of West Azerbaijan and the second city of Southern Azerbaijan

1

Seid Khizirlu

 

http://urmugolu90.blogfa.com/post-81.aspx

2

Tahir İmamkendi

 

 

3

Dr Mehbub Azadi

Summoned together with 20 individuals for court due to chanting mottoes for saving Lake Urmu

http://www.araznews.net/2011/04/20.html

4

Qadir Qevi-penje

Tebriz

5

Adil Yusifi

 

http://urmugolu90.blogfa.com/post-81.aspx

6

Babek Rizai

 

http://urmugolu90.blogfa.com/post-81.aspx

7

Babek Huseyni

 

http://urmugolu90.blogfa.com/post-81.aspx

8

Davud Shiri

Doubts were expressed on this

 

9

Ehed baqiri

Detained, beaten when arrested

 

10

Eli Babapur

 

http://urmugolu90.blogfa.com/post-81.aspx

11

Eli Balende

 

http://urmugolu90.blogfa.com/post-81.aspx

12

Elyar Shukri – (can be: Ilyas Shukri Astamal)

 

http://urmugolu90.blogfa.com/post-81.aspx

13

Hamid Huseyni

 

http://urmugolu90.blogfa.com/post-81.aspx

14

Hebib Purveli

Detained, tried on 29-30 Feb in Tebriz Court 4, Judge: Hashem Zadeh

http://www.araznews.net/2011/04/13-90_20.html

15

Hesen Khoyi

 

 

16

Hesen Khubi

 

http://urmugolu90.blogfa.com/post-81.aspx

17

Hojjet Mukhtarzade

Detained, tried on 29-30 Feb in Tebriz Court 4, Judge: Hashem Zadeh

http://www.araznews.net/2011/04/13-90_20.html

18

Huseyn Abdullahi

 

 

19

Jelal Berqi

 

http://urmugolu90.blogfa.com/post-81.aspx

20

Jelil Elemdar Milani

Detained, tried on 29-30 Feb in Tebriz Court 4, Judge: Hashem Zadeh

http://www.araznews.net/2011/04/13-90_20.html

21

Mehemmed-riza Jeferi

 

http://urmugolu90.blogfa.com/post-81.aspx

22

Mehemmed Khetibi

 

http://urmugolu90.blogfa.com/post-81.aspx

23

Resul bahari

 

http://urmugolu90.blogfa.com/post-81.aspx

24

Resul Rezevi

Doubts were expressed on this

http://www.arkqalasi.com/1390/01/14/post-1358/

25

Seid Aghayi

 

 

26

Sefer Aftabi

 

http://solgunaz.com/

27

Tevekkul Aftabi

 

http://solgunaz.com/

28

Vehid Purrize

 

http://urmugolu90.blogfa.com/post-81.aspx

29

Vehid Terebnak

Tortured after detention

http://www.araznews.net/2011/04/blog-post_09.html

30

Semed Kerimi

 

http://urmugolu90.blogfa.com/post-81.aspx

31

Veli Hebibpur

 

 

 

Tikmedash (Bostanabad)

32

Eli Selimi

Detained, tried on 29-30 Feb in Tebriz Court 4, Judge: Hashem Zadeh

http://www.araznews.net/2011/04/13-90_20.html

33

Kazim Vahidi

 

http://urmugolu90.blogfa.com/post-81.aspx

34

Seid Siyami

Detained, tried on 29-30 Feb in Tebriz Court 4, Judge: Hashem Zadeh

http://www.araznews.net/2011/04/13-90_20.html

 

Defiant Jelil Elemdar Milani (Penname: Savalan) when arrested

Maragha: The following victims were detained in relation to supporting Tiraxtur Team

 

Shehruz ?

Detained on 6 February 2011; tried on 29-30 Feb in Tebriz Court 4,

Judge: Hashem Zadeh

http://www.araznews.net/2011/04/13-90_20.html

 

Taghi Movlevi

http://www.araznews.net/2011/04/13-90_20.html

 

Behzad Khudayari

http://www.araznews.net/2011/04/13-90_20.html

 

Firidun Ehmediyan

Detained on 31 March 2011; ; tried on 29-30 Feb in Tebriz Court 4, Judge: Hashem Zadeh

http://www.araznews.net/2011/04/13-90_20.html

 

Babek Huseyni

Was arrested on 31 March 2011 and there is no much news on him.

 

Table 2 Individual victims who are definitely known to be tortured

 

 

 

Summary of the information on Hebib Purveli (Source: http://www.araznews.net/2011/04/blog-post_6847.html)

  • Was arrested and detained on 2 February 2011 in Tebriz on Nature Day taking part in the Save Lake Urmu campaign
  • He has been physically tortured
  • He was being kept in an undisclosed place
  • Amnesty International has named him in (http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/info/MDE13/038/2011/en)
  • He was in good health before detention
  • The other individuals who are known to be tortured include: Eli Selimi, Seid Siyami, jelil Elemdar Milani and Seid Khizirlu

 

 

Table 3: Chronology of the Build-up towards the Second Campaign of Save Lake Urmu
It is not necessary to read the contents but a glance shows the like-mindedness in organising the campaign.

 

Activity, News, Article

Source: http://urmugolu90.blogfa.com/posts/?p=1 and http://urmugolu90.blogfa.com/posts/?p=2

Date

1

Beating up the family members of the protestors

5 February 2011

2

Gathering of family members of the detainees in Tebriz in front of the detention centre, the names of 25 detainees

4 February 2011

3

Nice pictures from protests

4 February 2011

4

Reflection of the Repression of the Campaign in other Mieda

4 February 2011

5

The names of some of the detainees

4 February 2011

6

The assaults by the paramilitary groups on the protestors in Urmu

4 February 2011

7

Transfer of the detainees on the Save Lake Urmu campaign to detention centres

3 February 2011

8

Pictures from the gathering in Ankara expressing their support to the Save Lake Urmu campaign

3 February 2011

9

Scenes of a protestor being arrested

3 February 2011

10

The gathering of Qoshachay activists expressing their support to the Save Lake Urmu campaign

3 February 2011

11

Detains Continue in Tebriz

2 February 2011

12

Nice Pictures from the campaign  of protests Lake Urmu

2 February 2011

13

Arrests and Casualties against Activists of Tebriz

2 February 2011

14

Another Round of Crackdown of the Protesters in Eller Bagi, Urmu

2 February 2011

15

Silence of Farsi-speaking Media on the Ongoing Repression against Southern Azerbaijanis

2 February 2011

16

Latest News on the Campaign in Urmu

2 February 2011

17

Update of on the name of the individuals arrested in relating to the campaign of Save Lake Urmu

2 February 2011

18

The Communiqué by the Gathering in Ankara for Saving Lake Urmu

2 February 2011

19

Gathering of Azerbaijani Resident of Turkey for Protest Campaign of Saing Lake Urmu

2 February 2011

20

News Correction

2 February 2011

21

Crackdown against Protests by the People of Urmu

2 February 2011

22

Widespread Arrests in Azerbaijan Square, Tebriz

2 February 2011

23

Casualties among the Protesters in Tebriz

2 February 2011

24

Escalation of Conflict Along the Northern Borders of Azerbaijan Square, Tebriz

2 February 2011

25

The Police blockade Roads

2 February 2011

26

Antiriot Police Assault People in  Tebriz

2 February 2011

27

15 Individuals Arrested in Tebriz

2 February 2011

28

Intensification of Conflict Between Civilians and the Police in Tebriz

2 February 2011

29

Crackdown agains people taking part in the Campaign

2 February 2011

30

The gathering of Special Forces in Azerbaijan Square, Tebriz

2 February 2011

31

Preliminary news from the Southern Azerbaijani cities Regarding Protests for Lake Urmu

1 February 2011

32

Poster 4

1 February 2011

33

Expression of Support by the Students of Tebriz University for protest campaign on the Day of Nature, 2 February 2011

1 February 2011

34

Expression of Support from Tufarqan activists on the Day of Nature, 2 February 2011

1 February 2011

35

Distributing some 10,000 tracks in the match between Tiraxtur and Foolad

1 February 2011

36

Poster 3

1 February 2011

37

D.A.K. expresses support for the Campaign Regarding Lake Urmu

1 February 2011

38

Campaign by the National Movement of Southern Azerbaijan for Protests Concerning the Drying up of Lake Urmu

1 February 2011

39

The effectiveness of the March in Ankara Campaigning for Lake Urmu

31 March 2011

40

Gathering in Ankara supporting the protest campaign concerning Lake Urmu

31 March 2011

41

Distributing CD in Merend regarding the Day of Nature, 2 February 2011

31 March 2011

42

The speech by Dr Elemi supporting the protest campaign concerning Lake Urmu

31 March 2011

43

Expression of Support from Merend activists of the national Movement of Southern Azerbaijan on the Day of Nature, 2 February 2011

31 March 2011

44

Statement by the National Unity Council regarding Lake Urmu

31 March 2011

45

The Fear of the Iranian Authorities and Parasite Signals over GünAzTV

31 March 2011

46

Expression of Support from the activists of the national Movement of Southern Azerbaijan on the Day of Nature, 2 February 2011 – Sayin Qala

31 March 2011

47

Expression of Support from the activists of the national Movement of Southern Azerbaijan in Shebuster for the symbolic gathering on the Day of Nature, 2 February 2011

31 March 2011

48

Is the “Green Movement” (the organisation in support of Mr. Moussavi, which is a political movement and not an environmental movement) supporting the protests of Southern Azerbaijan?

30 March 2011

49

Public Opinion in Southern Azerbaijan is Ready for the Campaign

30 March 2011

50

The Tiraxtur and Foolad-e-Khozestan game reverberated expressions of solidarity with Lake Urmu by the fans of Tiraxtur

30 March 2011

51

Statement by Social Democratic movement in Southern Azerbaijan on: Campaign for Lake Urmu

30 March 2011

52

Statement by a Group of Southern Azerbaijani socialists

30 March 2011

53

Statement by a group of young webbloggers of Urmu

30 March 2011

54

Expression of Support from Qoshachay Regarding the gathering on the Day of Nature, 2 February 2011

 

55

Statement by the Tebriz Arman Student Organisation on the Gathering in Nature Day

29 March 2011

56

Boyuk Resuloglu: Let Us Prevent the Drying Up of Lake Urmu

29 March 2011

57

Staement by Southern Azerbaijani Activists of Tikme Dash

29 March 2011

58

Proceedings to be Organised in Sweeden Regarding Lake Urmu by AFI

29 March 2011

59

Expression of support of, and call for, the Protest on the day of Nature, 2 February 2011

29 March 2011

60

Statement No 3 of the Coordination Committee Supporting the Gathering on the day of Nature, 2 February 2011

29 March 2011

61

Final Statement of Naational Movement of Southern Azerbaijan – Tebriz Branch

28 March 2011

62

Poster 3

27 March 2011

63

Expression of support by the Southern Azerbaijani Organisation of National Resistance to gather the Day of Nature, 2 February 2011

 

64

Expression of Support from Sulduz to gather Eller Baghi in Urmu on the Day of Nature

27 March 2011

65

Expression of Support by Group of Workers in Urmu

27 March 2011

66

Photos from Lake Urmu

27 March 2011

67

OyrenchiNew publishes a Special Issue on Lake Urmu: oyrenci.dergisi@gmail.com

27 March 2011

68

Expression of Support by Amac for gathering on 2 February 2011 in Azerbaijani cities

27 March 2011

69

Expression of Support by a group of naturalists  and supporters of the national movement of Southern Azerbaijan in Tebriz

26 March 2011

70

Statement of Support for the gathering on 2 February 2011 in Urmu by the former writer boards of the UrmuNews group

26 March 2011

71

Distributing the leaflet on the call for the gathering on 2 February 2011 in Urmu

26 March 2011

72

Poster 2

25 March 2011

73

Warning: watch out for blooding hand

25 March 2011

74

SMS activities among the youth in Urmu

24 March 2011

75

Warning: Suspicious elements may instigate unrest on the Nature Day

24 March 2011

76

Poster 1

23 March 2011

77

Statement by Urmu University Students on the Gathering in Nature Day on 2 February 2011

23 March 2011

78

Gathering Momentum for Protests in other (Southern) Azerbaijani cities

23 March 2011

79

Statement by a group of Urmu Fans of Tiraxtur of Tebriz and of the Urm Volleyball

23 March 2011

80

An Article by Yashar Guneyli: If Lake Urmu dries up can we justify calling ourselves the children of Babek?

23 March 2011

81

Call for Protests by the Urmu Activists

23 March 2011

82

Call for Campaign by Tiraxtur Fans

23 March 2011

 

Table 4 Petition by Defiant Southern Azerbaijanis campaigning for Saving Lake Urmu

http://www.petitiononline.com/UrmuLake/petition.html

The Petition: Save Lake Urmu and Release its Environmental Protesters

22 April 2011

Over the years, Lake Urmu is led toward a slow death subsequent due to their incompetence. It seems that the relevant authorities are not minded to prevent this catastrophe. Under the circumstances, it has fallen to the caring nation of (Southern) Azerbaijan to undo this unfolding catastrophe.

 

Noble-minded individuals of our (Southern) Azerbaijan took the initiative of family protest for the first time on 2 March 2011 at the location of the Bridge crossing Lake Urmu. This was orchestrated to show the resolute protests in relation to the emergence of this environmental catastrophe. However, the agents of the Iranian authorities resorted to violence by scattering the protesting individuals, many were treated harshly and various groups were rounded up and detained. Some of these protesters were passed with arbitrary sentences, who are still imprisoned. Still there are others yet to be tried in the coming days. This will take place under the circumstances that the first initiative is reiterated after one both in Azerbaijan Square in Tebriz and Eller Baghi in the city of Urmu and again the same story, the participants were rounded up and detained.

 

The undersigned individuals of this statement demand the slow and dreadful death of Lake Urmu must be prevented. We also demand that the detainees must be released immediately and unconditionally. We appeal to other caring individuals to undersign this statement with their real names.

No

Family Name, Name

No

  Family Name, Name

No

Family Name, Name

No

Family Name, Name

1

Abdullahi, Elirza

25

Fayizpur, Eli

49

Khelili, Ashiq Jabrayil

73

Quluzade, Behbud

2

Abdullahi, Zaman

26

Ferdi, Emir

50

Khiyavi, Nigar

74

Qurbani, Ekber

3

Ahengeri, Eynullah

27

Ferdi, Solmaz

51

Kudrulu, Jelal

75

Qurbani, Fatime

4

Akson, Babek

28

Ferid, Feranek

52

Lek, Qehreman

76

Rashidi, Hesen

5

Ayrimlu, Jamal

29

Fershi, Elirza

53

Lisani, Abbas

77

Rengrezi, Mahmud

6

Azerdokht, Eqil

30

Feyyaz, Mehemmed

54

Lutfi, Ekber

78

Reshidi, Ibrahim (Savalan)

7

Behjet, Sehend

31

Fezli, Mahmud

55

Lutfi, Ismayil

79

Rzayi, Eli

8

 Bekhtaver, Jahanbekhsh

32

Hergli, Huseyn

56

Lutfi, Sadiq

80

Rzayi, Yasir

9

Beraderi, Hesen

33

Herisi-nejad, Musa

57

Mededi, Hadi

81

Sadiqi, Aydin

10

Berazish, Settar

34

Heseni, Letif

58

Mehemmedi, Dehqan

82

Sani, Mehemmed

11

Berzger, Hashim
 (Guneyli, Yashar)

35

Heseni, Shahin

59

Mehemmedi, kerim

83

Semedi, Behram

12

Binezir, Ekber

36

Heseni, Yaqub

60

Mehemmedi, Seyyad

84

Serrafi, Elirza

13

Danishjuyi, Reshid

37

Hesenzade, Eli

61

Mehemmedian, Naghi

85

Settarian, Yunis

14

Demirchi, Hesen

38

Heyderi, Huseyn

62

Mehemmedian, Seyyad

86

Shafeyi, Hemid

15

Deshti, Ibrahim

39

Hojjeti, Eli

63

Mehrelibeylu, Ayet

87

Shefii, Khelil

16

Dovletkhah, Mustafa

40

Huseyni, Hemid

64

Menafi-Azer, Hebib

88

Sheykhbeylu, Vehid

17

Ehmedi, Kazim

41

Huseynzade, Eli

65

Menafi-Azer, Rza

89

Sheykhi, Sirus

18

Endelibian, Dariyush

42

Huseynzade, Elirza

66

Muheddis, Ehmed

90

Shiri, Sirus

19

Erhemjani, Jelil

43

Ibrahimi, Qafar

67

Neimi, Seid

91

Subhi, Shayan

20

Erk, Hesen

44

Imani, Siddiqe

68

Nikrevan, Abbas

92

Sudber, Javad

21

 Esedullahi, Ekrem (Sevil)

45

Javadiay-Sekha, Hale

69

Nurefken, Huseyn

93

   Teqevi, Mehemmed

22

Esedzade, Eli

46

Jeferi, Husheng

70

Nuri, Mehdi (Elman)

94

Valayi, Ehmed

23

Ezizi, Mehuchehr

47

Keyvan-chehr, Sefer

71

Ojaqli, Mahmud

95

Vusali, Ebulfezl

24

Ezizi, Sejjad

48

Khalitabadi, Eli

72

Qehremani, -

96

Zulqederi, Abbas

 

Table 5 Excerpt of an Open Letter by Sayin Qala Branch of the National Movement of Southern Azerbaijan to the Sayin Qala Member of the Iranian Parliament (Majlis) http://sayinqalali.blogfa.com/post-3.aspx

Open letter by national and cultural activists of Sayin Qala (ShahinDej) to Members of Majlis:

Mr. Jahanbakhsh Mohebbi-niya and Sefer (Mehdi) Isazade on 28 April 2011

From the County of Qoshachay (Miyan-e-do-ab), Sayin Qala (Shahindej) and Tikan Tepe (Tikab)Please see the Note below

You honourable Members were elected by the caring people of Azerbaijan. We appreciate your effort and know that you mean to care for Qoshachay, Sayin Qala and Tikan Tepe with a successful track record. Our conscience will be bother if we are indifferent to your care.

At this time, the outstanding problem confronting South of Azerbaijan is the slow death of Lake Urmu by drying up and its subsequent desertification. We want to put you in the picture and therefore first sketch the problem for your information and then we will lay down our demands for your kind attention and campaign.

Excerpts from technical information in the Open Letter

  • The imminent salt-dust storms are a time bomb and may go off any time
  • The impact is the desertification of the lake bed with 80 billion tons of salts
  • This will be quite impossible to control it
  • The salt-dust storms are anticipated to give rise to all sort of skin and respiratory problems
  • Agriculture in the whole region will be undermined
  • The death of the lake is the death of Azerbaijan and the extinction of artemia from the region.

As you know members of Majlis from Tebriz and Urmu (Mr. Munadi from Tebriz and Mr. Seyyid Selman Zakir from urmu) have made representation on saving Lake Urmu. However, this issue is not in the mind of all the Azerbaijani Members of Majlis. Also, to date, there is no plausible measure to Save Lake Urmu. Behaving irresponsibly by these Members of Majlis has provoked the public opinion and the people are minded with the situation and the question is this: how can the government know less than our nation and 100s of caring scientists? On the grounds of scientific research by caring scientists, the popular perception of discriminatory policies implemented by the Iranian authorities towards all the (Southern) Azerbaijani problems and affairs do seem to be truth and not perception anymore.

The caring nation of (Southern) Azerbaijan has done anything possible to bring the problem into the agenda even though their information media is meagre but the Iranian authorities remain indifferent to the problem. Azerbaijanis have always urged the appropriate authorities to take interest in the problem. Now we cannot overlook some of the learned scientists concluding that the drying up of Lake Urmu is a deliberate policy!

Today, pressure groups concerned with environmental problems are supported by the governments of the developed countries. We are petrified that in Iran, simply for making protests, individuals expressing their interests in the environmental impacts of Lake Urmu are arbitrarily arrested in tens and detained arbitrarily in detention centres and are subjected to tortures. This year alone, on Nature Day¸ 2 February 2011, the people of our region gathered in Qoshachay, along the River Jighati near Sayin Qala Bridge, and sang the motto in Azerbaijani: Let us offer our tears for filling Lake Urmu; in this way they expressed their solidarity with the rest of Azerbaijan including Tebriz and Urmu; and in this way they expressed their duty of care on this issue. In all cases, the people were faced by abuse of the power of the authorities as some of them are still arbitrarily detained.

Now we address you two popular Member of Majlis, elected by Qoshachay, Sayin Qala and Tikan Tepe and duly request you to contemplate the issues we raise above and rally for your campaign, as follows:

1.    Please do not neglect the determination and the will of the nation of (Southern) Azerbaijan, make a representation on the vital issue of Saving Lake Urmu in the Islamic Majlis of Iran and follow up your campaign with all the relevant authorities.

2.    Please campaign for the release of the environmental activists who were arbitrarily arrested on 2 April 2011. ......

Thanking you in advance.

National Movement of (Southern Azerbaijan), Sayin Qala Branch

28 April 2011

Translator’s Note: In Iran, even the names of the cities and places are translated into Farsi and those within bracket are translation or look alike of Azerbaijani names and when the translation is not possible they change the pronunciation, e.g. Urmu or Urmia is transcribed as Oroumiyeh!

 

 

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