More than 70 arrested in Azerbaijani provinces of Iran

During the demonstrations of Iranian Azerbaijanis to save Lake Urmia in the Azerbaijani cities of Tabriz and Urmia on April 2, 2011, dozens of protesters were arrested, reported Association for Defence of Azerbaijani Political Prisoners in Iran.

According to with reference to reliable sources, the peaceful protest in Tebriz been turned into battle field by police and plain clothed armed forces. At least 70 people been arrested and taken to unknown places. Also there are injured and insulted people reported mainly families and those how had red cloths or any red symbol.

Local websites released the names of some protesters; Said Khizirlou in Urmia, and Rasoul Razavi, Davoud Shiri, Samad Karimi, Hassan Khoyi, Habib Pourvali, Hussein Abdullahi, Ali Babapour, Hamid Husseini, Jalil Alamdar Milani, Hudjat Mukhtarzade, Ali Salimi, Kazim Vahidi and Said Siyami in Tabriz.

Same protest is in Urmia city and other major cities of Iranian Azerbaijan.

The demonstrators brought water in a glass and poured it into the lake. Protesters carried banners with slogans such as “Lake Urmia is burning of thirst”, “Break down dams and let water flow into the Lake Urmia”, “Lake Urmia has no water in it and Azerbaijan does not wake up now, it will be too late” and “Long live Azerbaijan”.

Lake Urmia situated between East and West Azerbaijani provinces of Iran faces the risk of drying out. While the 60 percent of the lake water has already dried the experts warns that if necessary precautions are not taken the lake will dry out completely in a couple of years.

Experts believe that the drought that began in 1999, surface flow diversions, groundwater extraction, and the lack of efficient water management are the main reasons.

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