Monday, April 5, 2010

Security forces and protesters clash in Orumiyeh

The following footage shows protesters clashing with security forces next to Orumiyeh Lake, northwest Iran, on April 2, 2010, Sizdah Bedar in the Iranian calendar. Sizdah Bedar is the 13th day of the Iranian new year when everyone traditionally leaves the house to go on picnics and celebrate nature.

The level of Orumiyeh Lake has fallen drastically in recent years because of the construction of dams on rivers flowing into this body of water. Environmentalists fear that Orumiyeh Lake will turn into salt lands within decades. Activists in West Azerbaijan province had called on citizens to come to the banks of the lake on Sizdah Bedar, an appropriate celebration of nature, to voice their concerns.

Protesters from around Azerbaijan brought bottles of water with them and ceremoniously emptied them into the beleaguered lake.

Security forces had set up blockades on roads leading to the lake and prevented protesters from making their way to the meeting point.