Oct 04, 2012

Southern Azerbaijan: Protests Against Human Rights Violations

The Southern Azerbaijan National Awakening Movement held a demonstration in Eskishahir, Turkey, on 30 September 2012, to protest the Iranian government’s denial of minority rights.

Below is an article published by Güney Azərbaycan Milli Oyanış Hərəkatı:

The new education year in Iran has begun, but Southern Azerbaijani Turks are unhappy because their children do not have the freedom to receive education in their mother tongue.

Southern Azerbaijani Turks, who constitute half of the population of Iran, have been deprived of their minority rights. 35 million Southern Azerbaijani people living under the occupation of the Iranian regime are forced to educate their children in Persian. This is not the only area where the rights of Southern Azerbaijani Turks are being squashed by the Iranian government. People of Southern Azerbaijan do not even have the right to name their newly born children in Azerbaijani Turkish. It is the same case with naming businesses, companies, streets, etc.

More than 100 gathered in the Turkish city of Eskishahir to protests the undemocratic policies of the Iranian government. Members of SANAM living in many cities of Turkey also gathered together for this symbolic meeting. SANAM is working closely with human rights organizations around Turkey and around the world to help the voice of the Southern Azerbaijani Turks be heard.

Other topics of concern in the protest meeting were the inhumane reaction of the Iranian regime towards the earthquakes which happened in Southern Azerbaijan, and the Southern Azerbaijani human rights activists who have been recently jailed for no reason but the fact that they were supporting the rights of the Southern Azerbaijani people.

Many informative posters and the Southern Azerbaijani flag were raised by the protesters. The posters which showed the comparison of Orumiyeh Lake (before and after) grabbed much attention. The viewers were shocked at how much the lake had dried, coming to a point of total drought. Taking into account that the lake bed is filled with billions of tons of salt, it is not difficult to foresee the devastating salt tornadoes which will eventually cause millions of people to move from the region to save their lives.