Uprising in Northwestern Iran – Statement No. 1
On Saturday, September 3rd, people of cities of Tabriz (capital of Eastern Azerbaijan Province) and Urumieh (capital of Western Azerbaijan Province) continued their demonstrations of past weeks by staging an extensive anti-government demonstration. Demonstrators protested against the anti-people policies of the clerical regime, including policies that have resulted in the drying out of Urumieh Lake.
On Saturday, September 3rd, for the third consecutive Saturday, people of Urumieh staged protests against the clerical regime. From morning, anti-riot units, security forces, intelligence elements, plainclothes agents, and the Basij forces were stationed in city’s main streets and by blocking the streets attempted to prevent demonstration from starting.
However, on Saturday afternoon, people of Urumieh gathered in front of the provincial building. People surrounded the building and when they attempted to enter the building security forces attacked the crowd arresting a number of demonstrators. Demonstrators confronted the suppressive forces by throwing stones at them. Until 9pm, heated clashes continued around the provincial building. In these clashes, suppressive forces savagely attacked the protestors and injured a number of them firing directly into the crowd. A number of those injured are in serious condition.
People created entrenchments in Taleqani Street and prevented suppressive forces on motorbikes to pass through. Inside narrow alleys and from rooftops people threw stones at suppressive forces. Movement of anti-riot forces was hindered due to numerous obstacles placed in their way. Another clash broke out between people and revolutionary guards and Basij forces in Daraei Street. Until 11pm chants of slogans and teargas shots could be heard. From midnight, a state of martial law has taken effect in the city with armed security forces stationed at short distance from each other.
To prevent the spread of protests the Iranian regime has cut off SMS and slowed down internet lines in Urumieh since Saturday morning.
At 6 pm Saturday, in Tabriz, bazaar merchants demonstrated towards Sa’at (Watch) Square. Security forces fired teargas to disperse the crowd.
Another crowd moved towards the provincial building and remained there until 8 pm. On Saturday, situation was volatile in Chahar-Rahe Shahnazi and Bagheh Golestan districts and the bazaar of Tabriz. The Iranian regime brought in great number of suppressive forces to control the situation. Another group of people of Tabriz gathered at Qonqa Square and chanted anti-government slogans.
Secretariat of the National Council of Resistance of Iran
September 3, 2011