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Minorities At Risk Project: Home    

Chronology for Azerbaijanis in Iran

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Date(s) Item
Jan 19, 1990 Reports that Iranian Azeris are supplying weapons and other support to their Soviet counterparts who are engaging in a bloody struggle with rival Christian Armenians
Aug 30, 1991 The Soviet Azerbaijani parliament declares Azerbaijan independent from the Soviet Union.
May 23, 1992 About 200 students, most of them Azeris, in the city of Tabriz chanting "death to Armenians" demonstrate in support of Azerbaijan in their undeclared war against the Armenians.
Apr 13, 1993 Hundreds of Iranian University students, many of them Azeris, march to denounce Armenia's attack on Azerbaijan.
Aug 1993 Iran condemns and denounces the Armenians in their war on Azerbaijan. Until this point in time they had been neutral and attempted to mediate the dispute.
Aug 1993 The Iranian Government is worried that the potential influx of Azeri refugees from the war between Azerbaijan and Armenia will reawaken nationalist feelings among its own Azeri population but prepares for the potential influx of refugees.
Oct 1993 Iranian President Rafsanjani vows to support Azerbaijan in its war with the Armenians.
Oct 1 - Nov 30, 1993 Azeri refugees from the war between Azerbaijan and Armenia enter Iran. By mid-November, their number reaches 50,000.
Aug 3 - 5, 1994 Persian rioters clash with police in the city of Qazvin over demands that it be turned in to a separate province after a bill to separate it from the Azeri Zanjan province is rejected by parliament.
Mar 10, 1996 Reformers gained a majority of seats in first round polls. (ABC CLIO)
Apr 21, 1996 Conservative parliamentarians in Iran's Islamic Consultative Assembly lost seats in the run off elections held on April 19. (ABC CLIO)
May 23, 1997 Khatami, a moderate was elected president with 69% of the vote. Khatami promised in the campaign to reduce censorship and support a diversity of attitudes. (ABC CLIO)
Oct 25, 1998 Conservatives dominated the election to the council of experts when many of the reformist candidates were disqualified. (ABC CLIO)
Mar 8, 1999 Moderates won in the first local elections in 20 years. (ABC CLIO)
Mar 19, 1999 The opposition in Azerbaijan called on Iran to end violence against Azerbaijanis in Iran. (BBC)
Apr 24, 1999 A new organization, the Council to Protect the Rights of Azerbaijanis of the World (CPRAW), was formed to campaign for a united Azerbaijan. It was formed in Azerbaijan and is particularly interested in the civil rights of ethnic Azerbaijanis in Iran. (BBC)
Apr 24 - 27, 2004 Clashes occur between the Azeris and Armenians over the Armenian "genocide" day. Iranian officials arrest 50 Azeris. (BBC Monitoring. 4/27/04. "Ethnic leader sees Azeri-Armenian clashes as Iran's provocation")
Jun 2004 In Azerbaijan Province, authorities arrested more than 100 Azeris citing the "spreading [of] secessionist propaganda" as their charge. (U.S. Department of State. 02/28/2005. "Country Reports on Human Rights Practices-2004: Iran." Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor. http://www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/hrrpt/2004/41721.htm. 2/12/2009.)
Jul 12 - 13, 2004 The National Revival Movement of South Azerbaijan alleges that more than 1,000 Azeris were arrested by Iranian authorities following July protests. (BBC Monitoring. 7/15/04. "Ethnic Azeris under pressure in northern Iran.")
Sep 2004 Hundreds of thousands of Azeris protest to have Azeri language taught in school. More than 40,000 police responded to the protest and several were injured and some arrested. (Svante Cornell. 11/22/2004. “Iranian Azerbaijan: A Brewing Hotspot”. Presentation to Symposium on “Human Rights and Ethnicity in Iran”. Swedish Parliament. http://www.cornellcaspian.com/pub2/0411IRAN.pdf. 02/12/2009.)
2005 At an Azeri celebration of Babek Khorramdin's birthday, thousands gathered. Iranian authorities responded by arresting scores of participants. (Amnesty International. 06/29/2006. "Iran: Authorities should exercise restraint in policing Babek Castle gathering and address human rights violations against Iranian Azeri Turks." http://web.amnesty.org/library/Index/ENGMDE130742006?open&of=ENG-IRN. 02/12/2009.)
Aug 5, 2005 Hojjatoleslam Ezimi Qedimi, an Iranian Azeri cleric, was arrested in Tabriz by security forces. (Amnesty International. 02/16/2006. "Iran: New government fails to address dire human rights situation. http://web.amnesty.org/library/Index/ENGMDE130102006?open&of=ENG-IRN. 02/12/2009.)
Sep 12 - 15, 2005 The Araz magazine, an Azeri publication, was closed down its cover featured a map of Azerbaijan. (BBC Monitoring. 9/15/05. "Iranian authorities close down Azeri magazine 'for promoting separatism'.")
Oct 3 - 3, 2005 A journalist and Azeri rights activist, Massoumeh Babapour, was found stabbed nine times, but alive after having disappeared. (U.S. Department of State. 03/08/2006. "Country Reports on Human Rights Practices-2005: –Iran." Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor. http://www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/hrrpt/2005/61688.htm. 02/12/2009.)
Nov 30, 2005 - Jan 20, 2006 In November, "Qizil Uzen", a Turkish student publication, was closed down after being cited for instigating separatism and its leader detained. Similarly, the editor of another university publication, Marefatollah Fazli, was summoned to Intelligence Offices in January. (Amnesty International. 02/16/2006. "Iran: New government fails to address dire human rights situation." http://web.amnesty.org/library/Index/ENGMDE130102006?open&of=ENG-IRN. 02/12/2009.)
Dec 24 - 24, 2005 Hedayat Zaker, a teacher and activist was sentenced to a prison term and was due to begin the next day. Instead, authorities arrested him the same day citing fears that he may attempt to escape. (Amnesty International. 02/16/2006. "Iran: New government fails to address dire human rights situation." http://web.amnesty.org/library/Index/ENGMDE130102006?open&of=ENG-IRN. 02/12/2009.)
Jan 21 - 21, 2006 Yashar Haqqaqpour Maraghei, a student, was arrested by authorities despite the absence of an arrest warrant. (Amnesty International. 02/16/2006. "Iran: New government fails to address dire human rights situation." http://web.amnesty.org/library/Index/ENGMDE130102006?open&of=ENG-IRN. 02/12/2009.)
Jan 23 - 23, 2006 Davoud Azimzadeh was arrested by Intelligence Ministry officials. His arrest is thought to be linked to articles he had written about pollution Maragheh. (Amnesty International. 02/16/2006. "Iran: New government fails to address dire human rights situation." http://web.amnesty.org/library/Index/ENGMDE130102006?open&of=ENG-IRN. 02/12/2009.)
Apr 2006 Authorities banned an Azeri publication, the Navid Azerbaijan newspaper. (Koknar, Ali. 06/06/2006. "Iranian Azeris: A Giant Minority." The Washington Institute for Near East Policy. http://www.washingtoninstitute.org/templateC05.php?CID=2476. 02/12/2009.)
May 12 - 28, 2006 Following the Danish cartoon of the Prophet Mohammed, tens of thousands of Azeris took to the streets in protest. At least four died in the authorities' response to the protests and at least another 43 were injured. (Koknar, Ali. 06/06/2006. "Iranian Azeris: A Giant Minority." The Washington Institute for Near East Policy. http://www.washingtoninstitute.org/templateC05.php?CID=2476. 02/12/2009.)
May 12 - 31, 2006 Azeris take part in a number of demonstrations following the May 12 publication of an offensive cartoon in an Iranian paper. The largest demonstration took place on May 22 and while most demonstrations were peaceful, some resulted in attacks on government property. (Amnesty International. 06/29/2006. "Iran: Authorities should exercise restraint in policing Babek Castle gathering and address human rights violations against Iranian Azeri Turks." http://web.amnesty.org/library/Index/ENGMDE130742006?open&of=ENG-IRN. 02/12/2009.)
Jun 3, 2006 Abbas Lisani was arrested after hiding out from a protest. He is on a hunger strike (Amnesty International. 06/29/2006. "Iran: Authorities should exercise restraint in policing Babek Castle gathering and address human rights violations against Iranian Azeri Turks." http://web.amnesty.org/library/Index/ENGMDE130742006?open&of=ENG-IRN. 02/12/2009.)
Jun 14 - Sep 13, 2006 An Azeri human rights lawyer, Saleh Kamrani, was arrested and later charged with "propaganda against the system." (U.S. Department of State. 03/06/2007. "Country Reports on Human Rights Practices- 2006: Iran." Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor. http://www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/hrrpt/2006/78852.htm. 02/12/2009.)
Jul 24 - 24, 2006 Nada-yi-Azerabadagan, a daily newspaper in East Azerbaijan Province, had its license revoked and its editor arrested and sentenced to six months. (U.S. Department of State. 03/06/2007. "Country Reports on Human Rights Practices- 2006: Iran." Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor. http://www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/hrrpt/2006/78852.htm. 02/12/2009.)
Sep 2006 Authorities arrested nine Azeris after they called for a school boycott to protest for the use of Azeri language in school. (U.S. Department of State. 03/06/2007. "Country Reports on Human Rights Practices- 2006: Iran." Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor. http://www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/hrrpt/2006/78852.htm. 02/12/2009.)

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Information current as of July 16, 2010