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Series of reports about South Azerbaijanis who lost their lives in 2006 demonstrations: Farzad Asadpour

Series of reports about South Azerbaijanis who lost their lives in 2006 demonstrations against discriminatory policies of the oppressive regime of Iran.

Azerbaijan -Turks in South Azerbaijan (Iran) have been systematically discriminated over the past 90 years since when Pahlavi regime came to power in Iran. Pahlavis aimed to build a nations-state in Iran based on Persian identity and language and banned the use of ethnic national languages such as Azerbaijani -Turkish in public and in schools. They even went on burning books in Azerbaijani-Turkish. Further details about chauvinist policies of Pahlavis can be found in numerous resources such as the falsifying series of books from Ahmad Kasravi and Mahmood Afshar .

The 2006 demonstrations were sparked by a racist cartoon and article in Iran Newspaper, the official newspaper which publishes the views of the Iranian Islamic Persian government. This cartoon depicted Azerbaijan -Turks in Iran as cockroaches who don’t understand human language and repeatedly answer: namana (what?) when a human being is talking to them. The article in Iran Newspaper went on giving metaphorically household tips on how to get rid of these cockroaches and put them on the choice of either to learn human language (meant to be Persian) or be eliminated. Widespread but peaceful demonstrations followed in all Azerbaijani cities in Iran in 22 May 2006, which soon turned into a protest against the longstanding discriminatory policies of the central Persian government. The oppressive regime in Iran came back with an iron fist, using brute force against protesters all over South Azerbaijani cities, resulting in many deaths, injuries and long imprisonments. The regime, however, managed to keep utmost media silence and categorically denied any deaths in the demonstrations and claimed the protests were a plot of the Zionist Regime (Israel) in their terms and the west.

A brief report about one of those protesters who lost his life in the cause of home ( South Azerbaijan ) .

Farzad Asadpour

Farzad Asadpour was a 21 years old young Azerbaijani -Turkish from South Azerbaijan (North-Western Iran) born to a small goldsmith (gold jewelry workshop) in Urmia. He was a student in Urmia Azad University and used to work in his father's workshop at the same time.

Farzad was shot in Atayi St. in Urmia when he was attending a widespread protest against a cartoon published in Iran official newspapers, an insulting cartoon which was a mockery of Azerbaijani -Turks in Iran. He died a day later in the hospital from injuries on 24 May 2006, a day after the widespread demonstrations in Urmia.

No one was allowed by the security forces in his funeral except his parents, which was held on 26 May 2006. The security forces also had ordered his family to keep their son’s death quiet. They had ordered his family to declare the cause of death as an accidental shock to Farzad’s head in the bathroom.

The goldsmith Bazaar (local market) had turned half closed following Farzad’s funeral.

However, following a complaint by Farzad’s father, his body was taken out of tomb for forensic assessment.

Independent activists spectrum of south Azarbaijan national movement


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