The Green Brief is the best source of information from Iran, gathered from sources which are verified as well as they can be, under the circumstances. Nearly all of this information is gathered via twitter sources from inside Iran. An extremely small set of sources, considering the millions of Iranians who, not so long ago, carried on conversations with the world.
Josh, aka NiteOwl, has become a voice for some of them, and a valuable window for the rest of the world. I can’t stress how much I personally appreciate Josh and his small team for the work they’re putting into all this. As an American, it might seem strange that I would care at all. I can only stress that we are all brothers, sisters, and cousins on this world. We all come from a different place and we each have a unique journey.
We all share that.
The Green Brief #70 (September 7 – Shahrivar 16)
By: Josh Shahryar – twitter.com/iran_translator and twitter.com/joshshahryar
(This report has been compiled through reports by twitter users in Iran and aboard, as well as contacts inside and outside Iran. Media outlets have been credited where used. As reports coming from Iran cannot be fully authenticated, if the report confirms something, at best it confirms that several reliable sources agreed upon it. This report is released under Creative Commons (CC) and can be republished under the condition that a link to the original source is provided.
(This Brief also has material from September 6 included, but since most of September 6 was covered in September 5, I did not repeat most of the news.)
Protests / Unrest
1. At around 4:30 PM Tehran time, security forces entered the office of Mousavi’s campaign committee, who are pursuing the fate of detainees, without any warrants or court orders. They confiscated all documents and material inside the office and took it with them to an undisclosed location. When asked about a warrant or court order, the security forces told the office personnel, that the confiscated documents and material, were not going to be returned, so there was no need for a court order or a warrant.
The committee, which is headed by Alireza Beheshti – the son of Ayatollah Beheshti – had been set up, by the Mousavi campaign, to investigate the cases of the detainees, to determine the number of casualties, as well as investigating disappearances and other issues related to violence against protesters.
The committee’s office was one of the few places, where people could come, file complaints and speak of violence against them. This was important, as security organizations have turned a blind eye towards victims and in some cases, even arrested the victims who complained.
2. The government has banned the annual gathering to commemorate Ayatollah Taolghani. The gatherings for Shabe Qader at Imam Masooma’s Shrine in Qom, will continue as planned. However, instead of the usual speakers; Ayatollah Amini, Ayatollah Javad Amoli, Ayatollah Ostadi and Nategh Nouri, this year, the speakers will be pro-government clerics; Ahmad Khatami, Ayatollah Sediqi, Dr. Rafi’ie and Alireza Panahiyan. Reports had indicated that the Greens were going to join the gatherings and this appears to be an attempt, by the government, to stop the Greens from having venues to gather.
3. Reports indicate that dozens of people gather, in different parts of Tehran, every night and chant against the government. These gatherings are quick and simultaneous.
An example of such a protest from September 03 in Shahrake Gharb:
September 06 from Vanak Square: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-hJ3cRFuP9Y
4. Flyers are being distributed across Iran for the protest on September 18. Reports indicate that since the backing of reformists, people have started to organize in mass numbers, in order to make the protest as successful as possible. Pictures of flyers: http://bit.ly/WBXJk
5. Dozens of students from across Iran, are losing their right to study in universities, as the government starts to punish them, for taking part in protests. Reports indicate that these students, are being suspended from their universities or outright barred from ever joining higher education facilities because they have either been photographed during protests or have been detained.
Tabriz, Shiraz and Tehran are the main cities where this is happening.
6. Former President Seyed Mohammad Khatami, today said that they were opposed to those, who in the name of fighting Western liberalism, were using fascist tactics and totalitarian ideas to force people, to where they thought was best. He warned all those who cared, to think of rebuilding national solidarity and yet again restore trust that the current system could help solve the problems.
He hinted that he was in favor of Islam remaining in the government, yet he was opposed to those who were using it to commit wrongdoings. Speaking about the current crisis, he said they believed the election was a great opportunity, which had been wasted. He said that people had hoped, to come forward and take part in the election and this could have been an event to restore people’s trust.
His speech indicated that, if in the coming months, nothing was done to right the wrongs that had been committed, then it would be too late to reform the affairs.
7. On September 5 Grand Ayatollah Safi-Golapyegani visited the Imam Sajjad seminary in Qomm, to meet and confer with Grand Ayatollah Naser Makarem-Shirazi. The meeting, which took place on September 5, was held behind closed doors. According to Ayatollah Golpayegani’s official website, the two Shia Sources of Emulation, discussed and reached a mutual decision on different issues. Safi-Golpayegani had previously called the elections ‘a grand lie’. Makarem-Shirazi has yet to take sides. Makarem-Shirazi however, refused to congratulate Ahmadinejad and did not show up to meet him on his first visit to Mashhad.
8. Other reports coming in from Qom, indicate that clerics are slowly gearing up to get involved. According to these reports, pro-Khamenei clerics are attempting to gather support for Ahmadinejad, on the grounds that Khamenei has backed him, while opposing clerics are declaring Khamenei’s authority null and void.
After reports of the meeting between Grand Ayatollah Yusuf Sane’ie and Grand Ayatollah Montazeri, it has now been confirmed that Sane’ie has also met with Ayatollahs Safi-Golpayegani, Mousavi Ardabeli, Shabiri Zanjani, Bayat Zanjani, Mousavi Tabrizi, Sayed Javad Shahristani (who is the representative of Grand Ayatollah Seyed Ali Sistani of Iraq) and Said Hasan Khomeini.
Reports also confirm that in the past two months, Ayatollah Shabiri Zanjani has met with Ayatollah Sane’ie and Ayatollah Montazeri. Ayatollah Bayat Zanjani met with Sane’ie, on the day his office was reportedly about to be attacked by pro-government forces.
Sane’ie and Zanjani’s meeting, reportedly resulted in both clerics reaching the conclusion, that clerics needed to take sides and show opposition to the atrocities being committed in the name of Islam. Sane’ie’s meeting with Montazeri’s was also about the same issue. It has now been reported, that both clerics discussed actions that could be taken in solidarity with other clerics.
9. Ayatollah Sane’ie, in a meeting with students, called all allegations levied against reformists during their trials a lie. He added that no one, should stay silent when it came to people’s rights and that their rights needed to be defended.
10. The Assembly of Qom Seminary Scholars and Researchers, in reply to IRGC Commander Ali Jafari, released a statement saying, making the system healthier was more important than saving the system.
The Assembly, which is composed of reformist clerics, asked the government to immediately release all political prisoners, openly apologize to all victims of the unrest, compensate all those who have lost property, put all political, judicial and military personnel and individuals, who have committed illegal acts on trial, prosecute them and stop all lies against politicians, clerics and scholars.
11. The Combatant Clerics Association, also released a statement saying that the Association, intended to file legal complaints, against Commander Jafari and accused him of violating Imam Khomeini’s will.
12. The Islamic Iran Participation Front has released a statement, condemning IRGC Commander Ali Jafari’s statements, in which he accused several high-ranking reformist leaders of attempting to weaken Khamenei. The reformist party asked for legal action against Jafari and accused him of slander.
13. Ali Hoseiniyan – an MP, who is a member of the Imam’s Way faction of parliament and is considered Rafsanjani’s de facto representative in parliament – also blasted Jafari and asked the military court to prosecute him for slander. In response to Jafari’s accusations against Rafsanjani’s son, Mehdi Hashemi, Hoseiniyan asked Jafari where he was, when Hashemi was a toddler and went to meet his father in prison during the Shah’s rule.
14. Ayatollah Bayat Zanjani accused some elements in the government of attempting to purge Imam Khomeini’s ideals from the government and said that soon, they might close the doors of Khomeini’s shrine on people. He expressed grave concern over the government’s discontinuation of Shabe Qadr gatherings at Khomeini’s shrine.
15. Shirin Ebadi – Iranian women’s rights activist and a Nobel Prize Laureate – asked those who wished to participate in the protests globally, in support of the Sea of Green, to post questions on her Facebook page. Readers can post their questions on her Facebook account’s wall. Link: Shirin Ebadi | Facebook
16. MP Hossein Hashemian – the head of Imam’s Way faction of MPs in the parliament – also blasted Jafari and called his accusations lies. He also indicated that several officers in the IRGC, were planning on tending their resignations because of his statements and because of the IRGC’s increasing role in politics.
Government / International
17. Farhad Tajari – a member of the committee to assess the events in the aftermath of the elections and detainees – told Mehr News, the committee had held a meeting with the new Attorney General, Abbas Jafari Dowlatabadi and discussed some of the weaker modes of conduct by prison guards. He said they had discussed the release of individuals whose crimes were forgivable, like university students and lecturers, whose role had been not so influential.
He also said the second category of detainees, who had an influential role in the events after the elections, had been detained, without a long-term detention permit and not enough evidence had been provided to prosecute them. Therefore, he said, it was asked, they be put on trial and their cases pursued quickly, so they could be punished or released.
He asked Ahmadinejad, to provide evidence against those, he had claimed, were responsible for the mistreatment of detainees. Earlier in the day, Ahmadinejad at a press conference, said the mistreatment of detainees in detention centers, as well some arrests and the attack on universities, were by elements linked to violence, who had infiltrated the ranks of security forces.
18. Khamenei asked Ahmadinejad, to listen to criticism by supporters of the government. Sources claim it was in reference to his attempt at appointing female ministers.
19. “The government should have a deeper, wiser and more effective presence in all fields and defend national interests and the ideals of the Islamic establishment,” Ahmadinejad said, during the first meeting of his new cabinet. He also introduced Fatemeh Alia and Ali Zabihi to the parliament, as the proposed ministers of education and energy. The third vacant cabinet seat, the position of welfare minister, has yet to be filled. It is worth mentioning that Fatemeh Alia, is the fourth woman Ahmadinejad has proposed as a cabinet member, after the appointment of one minister and rejection of two by the parliament.
This comes as many clerics and at least one conservative MP, has asked Ahmadinejad not to nominate more women to the cabinet.
Arrested / Released / Killed / Torture
20. The identity of five new casualties of Sea of Green have been revealed. According to sources, the new casualties include Mohammad Naderipour from Serjan and Majid Kamali from Imamshahr. Naderipour was a member of Mousavi’s campaign in Serjan. The other three have only been identified by their last names. As soon as full information is at hand, we will post.
21. Tehran Bureau reports:
“One of Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei’s photographers, who had been violated in Kahrizak, personally informed the Leader about the incident, leading to the closure of the detention center. He was arrested during the post-election unrest and taken to Kahrizak where he was violated and tortured.
According to the source, he reportedly told the Leader, ‘What they did was inhumane and in violation of all human rights… When they did those things to me, in my eyes it was you who was doing them.’ It was after hearing his accounts that the Leader ordered the closure of the notorious detention center.
During the election, he worked as Mir Hossein Mousavi’s documentary maker and was one the cameramen who made Mousavi’s campaign films.
22. According to Saham News, Mehdi Karroubi, disputed claims made by two members of the special judiciary committee, tasked with investigating jail rapes, that he had presented them with no documented proof of his allegations. The opposition cleric turned over a medical report on one jail rape victim, tortured in detention and signaled his readiness to turn over more proof.
“I offered them three documents at the meeting,” Karroubi said. “The first was a video statement by the individual who has gone missing because of threats issued by the representative of Judge Saeed Mortazavi. My second document was about the [sexual] assault of a woman. The third was a document about one man who was subjected to various calamities after his arrest and I offered a CD and the medical examiner’s report on him as well. In that session I also offered two verbal reports as well.”
Karroubi went on to elaborate, on the two oral reports he had offered at the meeting. “One of the reports was about Taraneh Mousavi… I told them her family [is so scared] after the incident that they refuse to even let the girl who was with their daughter on that day [when she was taken] into their home anymore… [I told them] that you, as the officials of this country, must visit the family yourselves and find out the truth of [the] matter… Go to Karaj city’s Imam Khomeini Hospital and seek the doctor’s opinion about the injuries on this girl’s body… I gave them a second report as well.”
23. Seven Christian converts, who had been detained for more than three weeks have been released on bail.
24. Zahra Towhidi has been released.
25. Saeed Shariati has reportedly spent Thursday night’s Iftar dinner with his family and then has been promptly taken back to prison. Abtahi was allowed to do the same a few days ago.
26. Atefeh Imam – the daughter of detained reformist Javad Imam – was arrested on September 7 from Taloghani Avenue, but released today.
27. Idris Ariashokoh and Ziauddin Saboori – two senior officials at the Ministry of Interior – have been detained for the past 80 days. News about the detention has only now surfaced.
28. On Saturday, a young man was beaten and injured by security forces at Laleh Park and later arrested.
29. Saeed Hajjarian, Saeed Shariati and Atrianfar have been forced to take part in a round table discussion on IRIB by the government. During the discussion, the speak of why they changed their views. It will be broadcasted by IRIB soon.
30. Keyhan has called Mousavi’s demands, from his 11th statement, a plan that has been written by the CIA.
31. IRIB broadcasted a documentary on Kahrizak, which was slightly more impartial, yet refrains from following the more serious allegations levied against the detention facility. It is worth mentioning that the documentary shows Kahrizak, after it has received a fresh coat of paint and has been considerably cleaned up.
32. Shajarian joined the Green Movement with a new masterpiece called put down the guns: http://bit.ly/s3rJi
33. Social Gaming with Conscience! Play4Iran: http://bit.ly/32kL7u
34. A cartoon sent by Iranian cartoonists to the 9th Bi-Annual Caricature Festival in Tehran:
International Protests / Events / Warnings / Efforts
35. Greens in Stockholm breaking Nokia cell phones: http://bit.ly/NokO
36. Something for French Greens to consider: www.whereismyvote.fr
37. Transportation info: Maryland & Virginia to NYC For Sep 23 Protest: http://bit.ly/lHNrp
38. Green Stockholm, Earth, Sea and Air: http://bit.ly/hPpnB
39. A fundraising event is being held in Richmond, California for the New York City protests on September 23 and 24. Link: http://tinyurl.com/n5adyj
40. For more information on the NYC protest, please check http://standbyiran.org or http://united4iran.org/)
41. A petition to be signed and sent to ambassadors as well as their contacts: http://docs.google.com/View?id=dcnj8jzc_8dxb9vbgf
42. For an unofficial list of upcoming protests in the US: http://protests.sharearchy.com/
43. For a list of protests that are being planned in Germany, please visit this link: http://tinyurl.com/nbzacj
44. A to the point website for help traumatized Greens: http://healingthegreensoul.blogspot.com/
(If you, your friends or your organization are holding events, protests or doing something else related to the Iranian election internationally, please send me an email with details and I will give you coverage. (Will only cost you 10 million dollars!) My email is: [email]firstname.lastname@example.org
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– A hearty thanks to S joon for helping me out with proof-reading and very valuable tips. Also, a BIG THANKS to all the translators who’re spending their precious time on getting this to as many people as possible.