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Series of reports about South Azerbaijanis who lost their lives in 2006 demonstrations -Sattar Salimi

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 ) .

Sattar Salimi

Sattar Salimi was a young student studying in Akbariyeh Technical School in Saman-Meydani suburb of Tabriz. His was born in 1988 to a working class family and had grown up with financial hardship. Therefore, he was an active Azerbaijani protesting against discriminatory policies of the Iranian Persian government.

Sattar was very interested to learn his own mother language, Azerbaijani-Turkish, and had taken part in language classes organized by individual volunteers. He took part in May 2006 demonstrations which was against the insulting cartoon in Iran official newspaper. After the demonstrations, his family waited for him for a long time but there was no sign of him, so they went to the local judicial office for an inquiry about their missing son. The judicial officials admit that their son has been arrested in the demonstrations and will be released soon after his file is processed. However, after two months, the officials gave back the body of Sattar and threatened his family not to talk about their son’s death with the media. They even did not allow the family to hold funeral ceremony in the local mosque so they held the ceremony in their small residential house. The picture below is sent by Sattar’s school friends, who have written on the picture in Turkish “May your soul rest in peace Sattar”. We will hold his memory alive and continue his path towards freedom.

«Independent activists spectrum of south Azarbaijan national movement»



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