Sunday, May 28, 2006

Iran Azeris protest over cartoon - BBC

- I encourage all Iranian Azeris to go out into the streets and protest not only against this cartoon, but also the complete inability of this regime to administer the country and the despicable acts of the Regime security forces that lead to several people dieing during these protests. No government is allowed to kill people over differences in opinion and expressions of disapproval. The Iranian people deserve the freedom to express their dislike of any regime in Iran and those government officials may not so much as lay a finger on them.

The Iranian people will teach the mullahs and those corrupt and murderous administrators that are under them that it is the job of the government to do the people's bidding. A government should be scared of its people, not vice versa.

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There have been demonstrations in several parts of north-west Iran, with thousands of ethnic Azeris protesting at a newspaper cartoon.

Azeris said the cartoon, which was published earlier this month, compared them to cockroaches.

Reports from the cities of Ardebil, Naqadeh and Meshkin Shahr say Iranian security forces fired on demonstrators, killing at least five people.

Dozens of others were injured and hundreds arrested.

It showed a succession of people attempting to talk to a cockroach in Persian.

Each time, the insect responded by saying, in Azeri: "What do you mean?"

Azeris are the largest ethnic minority in Iran, and the cartoon caused outrage among those who believed it suggested that all Azeris were stupid.

Thousands of people took to the streets in protest and, shortly afterwards, the newspaper was shut down and its editor arrested.

But that did not quell the anger. In the latest protests on Saturday, government buildings were targeted, and a number of banks and television stations burnt down.

What is ironic is that the man who drew the original cartoon is also an ethnic Azeri. He too has been arrested.

Original Article

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