April 6, 2011
Thousands of Iranians in Tabriz and Urmia(Northwest Iran) demonstrated to save Lake Urmia and protested against the government’s inaction and indifference towards the irreversible subsequences of gradual drying of the lake. The demonstrators confronted the suppressive regime forces.
On the day of sizda-be-dar, commemorating the end of Persian New Year’s celebrations, huge numbers of people in Tabriz and Urmia gathered together and called for immediate action by the government to prevent the gradual drying of Lake Urmia including proper management of many dams built on rivers leading to the lake.
Lake Urmia is one of the largest saltwater lakes in the world and is a registered UNESCO reserve.
Fearing that the demonstrations would lead to large-scale anti-government, anti-dictatorial uprising, government’s uniformed and plain-clothed armed forces attacked the demonstrators and savagely beat them.
The demonstrators stood up against the government forces. A number of demonstrators were severely wounded; four are in critical conditions. At least 70 people, including some of the wounded, were arrested and transferred to unknown prisons.