July 1. 2009

Historically, Azerbaijan has clearly stated its attitude and position with respect to processes leading to freedom and democracy in Iran. Azerbaijan has not only contributed significantly to these processes, but has also provided leadership. Recently, activities in pursuit of democracy and human rights have followed the announcement of presidential election results in several large cities, particularly Tehran. They are by no means unusual or previously unknown. Such reactions are considered to be the last recourse against anti-democratic pressures that have been felt since the revolution of 1979.

Likewise, national, civil, democratic and liberal movements within Azerbaijan have entered a new phase and taken on added dimensions since 1995. Such movements are reflected in the course of elections, in gatherings at the Babek Citadel, in commemorative ceremonies, symposiums and conferences, or in events such as the “cartoon crisis” which encouraged millions of people to come into the streets for the pursuit of freedom and human rights. But centralist opposition circles have exhibited attitudes of exclusivity and aloofness, and did not support the rightful protest for basic human rights and demands during the Azerbaijan cartoon crisis of March 2006.

Until now, Azerbaijan has remained silent during the ongoing democratic protests in Tehran and this silence must be reconsidered.

We the undersigned, despite the exclusive and abandoning manner of centralist opposition circles, cannot remain silent while excessive force and violence is used against democratic, civilian and liberal protests taking place in Tehran. In this context, we express our deep sorrow over the events of recent days. We thoroughly condemn these suppressions of humanity and democracy as witnessed in unknown perpetrator murders, detainments, torture, firings, exiles and so on.

Accordingly, we demand:

1. The application of regulations in international law and the articles of the Universal Declarations of Human Rights which have been signed and committed to by the government of Iran.

2. The legal application of constitutionally protected rights and freedoms, and an end to the blockage of modern democratization and liberal processes by outmoded approaches and justifications.

3. The immediate granting of freedoms and rights related to collective cultural identities, thus ending all racist, chauvinistic and fascistic approaches against Azerbaijanis as the relative majority of Iran’s population, and other ethnic minorities; the immediate release and setting free of those Azerbaijani Turks who have been detained, imprisoned, exiled and tortured unfairly because they want to advance their own culture; and the freedom for candidates of presidential, parliamentary or city council elections who by using their constitutional rights, approach positively the needs and demands of Azerbaijani Turks. These candidates have made an effort to compete in equal terms but do so in vain because unfair decisions have been made beforehand.

Afsar Abbasi (MS student of biotecnology)
Artum Dinch (Hossein Ahmadian) (sociologist)
Babak Daneshvar (doctorate student of industrial engineering and academic personel)
Behrooz Alizadeh (doctorate student of biotecnology)
Davood Tooran (sociologist)
Ebrahim Haghighi (MS in agrecultural engineering)
Eldar Aghabalai Vahid (doctorate student of LAW)
Fariba Abdi Golzar (MS in psychology)
Farzad Samadli (MS in political sciences and journalist)
Fathali Ghadami (student of dentistary)
Gholamreza Poorbagher (MS in political sciences)
Hossein Haghparast Gharamaleki (doctor of economy)
Houriyeh Gholipoor (translater and journalist)
Javid Tabrizli (musician)
Majid Javadi (electrical engineer)
Mir Yousef Moosavi (MS in industrial engineer)
Mohammadreza Heyat (MS in Turkology and doctorate student)
Nader Ghazanfari (doktorate student in physics)
Naser Khaze Shahgoli (MS student of Turkology)
Oghuz Turksoy (MS student industrial engineer)
Parvaneh Ebrahimi (psycologist)
Reza Lakzadeh (MS in pharmacology)
Siamak Babanejad (student of Cinema and TV)
Sina Hossein Alizadeh (dentist)
Vahid Malekzadeh (student of medicine)