Feb 28, 2007

Southern Azerbaijan: Protestors Demand Halt of Persecution

Demonstrators took to the streets last week protesting the systematic persecution of the Southern Azerbaijani community by Iranian authorities.

The Hague, 28 February 2007 - Demonstrations took place last week on 21 and 22 February 2007 in Southern Azerbaijan protesting the systematic oppression and discrimination of the Southern Azerbaijani community in Iran. Hundreds of activists and students, gathered in multiple cities throughout Southern Azerbaijan, including Tabriz, Erdebil, Xio, and Zanjan.

Protestors displayed signs calling for respect of minority rights, recognition of the native language of Southern Azerbaijan and the release of political prisoners held by Iran authorities. Demonstrations remained peaceful despite the arrest of several activists by Iranian police. Protestors Sid Matinpoor, Reza Matinpoor, Huseyn Rahmati, Mohamad Mohamadi, Abas Ghafari, and Jalil Ghanilo were among those arrested during demonstrations.