Save People of South Azerbaijan
To: His Excellency Kofi Annan, Secretary General of the United Nations
His Excellency RenÃ© van der Linden, President of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE);
His Excellency George W. Bush, President of the United States;
His Excellency Tony Blair, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom;
Her Excellency Angela Merkel, Chancellor of Germany;
His Excellency Vladimir Putin, the President of Russia;
World leaders and the Human Right Organizations.
We would like to bring to your attention the fact of the violation of ethnic and human rights of millions of Azerbaijani Turks in South Azerbaijan, Iran. Since May 22nd, millions of Azerbaijani Turks have demonstrated in the Azerbaijani cities of Tabriz, Urmia, Khoy, Maku, Sulduz (Nagadeh), Meshkin Shahr, Marand, Zanjan, etc., demanding the Iranian regime to stop the cultural and language genocide, and economic suppression against them.
As the proceeding monarchy, the Islamic Republic of Iran has systematically violated the ethnic rights of Azerbaijani Turks who comprise 37.5 percent (www.ethnologue.com) of the total population of the country (estimated 30 million).
The Iranian regime applies the policy of Persianization and assimilation of national minorities. As a result of this policy, Azerbaijani Turks have been denied to receive any education in their mother language. Neither are they allowed to speak their language in official circles.
The provinces populated by Azerbaijani Turks are exposed to extreme economical exploitation whereby they are significantly behind than those populated by Persians. This discriminating policy forced many Azerbaijani Turks to abandon their homeland and migrate to Persian speaking provinces to find low-paying jobs.
The government feels unrestrained to humiliate Azerbaijani Turks hence distorting and rejecting their culture and ethnic identity. The latest example to this was the publication of a caricature in the official newspaper Iran in which Azerbaijani Turks were openly insulted (Iran, May12, 2006).
Decades of accumulated anger and frustration resulted in mass demonstrations that started on May 22, 2006. Heavy handed authority of the government turned the peaceful demonstrations into bloodshed and violence. Tens of demonstrators were shot and killed. Thousands are detained and being interrogated. Prisoners are neither allowed to see their family members nor have legal representation. Thousands more are expected to be detained (See the attached list of demonstrators killed).
We have received very alarming and disturbing information according to which the regime makes the detainees to â€œadmitâ€ on TV that they were paid by foreigners (particularly the Americans) to instill chaos in the country. This is a pretext for mass executions and long-term imprisonment of well-known activists including Abbas Leysani who is one of the leading figures of the movement.
We would like to urgently ask you to give due attention to this matter by helping to arrange for a fact finding commission to travel to Iran to defend and secure the international laws and human rights, to which Iran is signatory.
We thank you for your attention to this matter.
World Azerbaijani Congress, DAK
South Azerbaijan Independence Party, GAIP
United Azerbaijan Union (BAB)
Southern Azerbaijan National Awakening Movement, GAMOH
21 Azer Teshkilati (Europe and Canada)
South Azerbaijani Television, GunAz TV
World Azerbaijani confederation
Azerbaijani Federation (Sweden)
Azerbaijani Youth Federation Sweden, AGFI (Sweden)
Swedish Azerbaijani Union
Committee for the Defence of the Rights of World Azerbaijanis
American Azerbaijani Cultural Society
North and South Azerbaijan academic Union, GQAAB, Germany
St. Petersburg Azerbaijani Society (Russia)
Azerbaijan Dostlari Cemiyyeti (Holland)
British Azerbaijani Community (UK)
Azerbaycan Nederland Cemiyyeti (Holland)
Azerbaycan Siyasi Muhacirlerin Dunya Ittifaqi (Holland)
Azerbaijan Social Club (UK)
Tabriz Youth Union (Iran)
South Azerbaijan Student Union
Turk Yukselish Teshkilati (Finland)
Azerbaijan Cultural Association Northern California
GAIP Urumia Qolu (Iran)
Maku Young Azerbaijanis for Human rights (Iran)
Azerbaijan Association of New York (USA)
Chicago Azerbaijanis for Democracy (USA)
Washington Azerbaijani Community (USA)
California Azerbaijan Friendship Society (USA)
Azad Tribun (Sweden)
Ark Society (Sweden)