IRAN WATCH CANADA

Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Around 70 Azarbayejanese Arrested on Orumieh Lake protest !

UA: 102/11 Index: MDE 13/038/2011 Iran Date: 04 April 2011 URGENT ACTION AZERBAIJANIS ARRESTED IN LAKE PROTESTS Around 70 Iranian Azerbaijanis were reportedly arrested on 2 April during peaceful demonstrations in Tabriz, and about 20 others in Oromieh, north-western Iran. The protesters were calling for Lake Oromieh to be saved, as it is at risk of drying out due to dam building. Most have been released but the whereabouts of at least five protesters remain unknown. The demonstrations took place in Tabriz, Oromieh and reportedly other cities where Iranian Azerbaijanis live, calling on the Iranian authorities to remove dams on rivers feeding Lake Oromieh (also spelt Urmia, Urumieh, Oroumiye) which is at risk of drying. Similar to protests in previous years, the protesters brought glasses of water and poured them into the rivers feeding the lake or the lake itself. They also carried banners with slogans such as "Break down dams and let water flow into the Lake Urmia", "Lake Urmia has no water in it and [if] Azerbaijan does not wake up now, it will be too late" and "Long live Azerbaijan". The demonstration in Tabriz took place by the Talkheh River (also called Aji Chai) where plain-clothed police and armed forces arrested up to 70 people and injured many. Those still in detention in Tabriz are said to include Habib Pourvali, Jalil Alamdar Milani, Ali Salimi and Sa’id Siyami. In Oromieh, the protest took place in a park in the city where up to 20 people were reportedly arrested including Sa’id Khizirlou. Most of those arrested are believed to have been released within 24 to 48 hours. The whereabouts of those still detained are unknown. PLEASE WRITE IMMEDIATELY in Persian, English or your own language: n Calling on the Iranian authorities to immediately and unconditionally release Habib Pourvali, Jalil Alamdar Milani, Ali Salimi, Sa’id Siyami and Sa’id Khizirlou and any other detained protesters, if they were arrested in connection with the peaceful expression of their views or participation in a peaceful gathering, as they would be prisoners of conscience; n Urging the authorities to immediately disclose their whereabouts and to ensure that they are protected from torture and other ill-treatment and have access to a lawyer, their families and any medical treatment they might require; n Urging the authorities to remove unlawful restrictions on freedoms of expression, association and assembly in Iran. PLEASE SEND APPEALS BEFORE 16 MAY 2011 TO: Head of East Azerbaijan Province Judiciary Hojjatoleslam Sharifi, Judiciary of East Azerbaijan, Central Complex, Beginning of Vali-Asr Hill, Tabriz, East Azerbaijan 5157733135, Islamic Republic of Iran Fax: 009841133201109 Salutation: Dear Sir Head of West Azerbaijan Province Judiciary Hojjatoleslam Sayed Mohammad Ali Mousavi Judiciary of West Azerbaijan Enghelab Square, Oromieh, West Azerbaijan Province, Islamic Republic of Iran Email: info@dadgostary-ag.ir Salutation: Dear Sir And copies to: Secretary General, High Council for Human Rights Mohammad Javad Larijani High Council for Human Rights [Care of] Office of the Head of the Judiciary, Pasteur St., Vali Asr Ave. south of Serah-e Jomhouri, Tehran 1316814737,Islamic Republic of Iran Email: info@humanrights-iran.ir (subject line: FAO Mohammad Javad Larijani) Salutation: Dear Sir Also send copies to diplomatic representatives accredited to your country. Please check with your section office if sending appeals after the above

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