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News From Iran
It’s damned near impossible to get any. Josh, aka NiteOwl has been producing The Green Brief for about 3 weeks now. This is the best source of gathered sources which are verified as well as they can be, under the circumstances. Some of these things he reports I can somewhat verify, in that I have seen the same reports from very trusted sources. An extremely small set of sources. Josh is more connected to the #iranelection than I am. I trust him to be as accurate as is possible.
The following is from trusted reports from inside Iran and describes events of July 7th, 2009.
The Green Brief #21 (July 07)
I’m NiteOwl AKA Josh Shahryar – twitter.com/iran_translator on twitter – and I’ve been immersed in tweets from Iran for the past several hours. I have tried to be extremely careful in choosing my tweet sources. What I have compiled below is what I can confirm through my reliable twitter sources. Remember, this is all from tweets. (My work is released under Creative Commons (CC). So use it freely and post it wherever you want.)
These are the important happenings that I can positively confirm from Tuesday, July 7 .
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1. There have been reports of atrocities committed against villages in Iran. According to partially confirmed reports, a village near Kamyaran in the Kordestan Province was set on fire by security forces because of protests there last week. Several villagers have also been arrested and are currently in custody.
2. In anticipation of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s speech on Tuesday night, people across Iran came up with a unique plan to disrupt the transmission of the broadcast. The plan was to turn on as many electronic devices as possible, thus disrupting the flow of electricity across the country. Reports confirm that during his speech parts of Karaj, Ghazvin, Sari, Tabriz, Isfahan, Rodehen, Saghez, Lavasan, Ahvaz, Khoramshahr, Dezful, Jahrom, Khomeini Shahr, Shahin Shahr, Folad Shahr, Kashan and Rasht experienced massive black-outs.
3. Black-outs were also reported in Eastern Tehran, as well as the areas of Baharestan, Sarcheshme and Amir Kabir in Central Tehran. There were unconfirmed reports of gunshots in Eastern Tehran as well as Basijis attacking people who climbed to their rooftops to chant ‘Allah o Akbar’ and ‘Death to the Dictator’.
4. Mousavi, Karoubi and Khatami held a joint meeting in Tehran today. The three leaders reaffirmed their commitment to the cause of invalidating the election. They called on the government to recognize the legitimate demands of the protesters. They also appealed the government to immediately release all political prisoners and protesters detained during the post-election unrest. The three leaders appointed Mr. Alireza Beheshti, Mr. Moghadam, Mr. Al-Weri and Mr. Amini to probe into the cases of those arrested. They will also survey families whose properties had been damaged during the protests.
5. Hashemi Rafsanjani’s Politically Party – Kargozaran – released the following statement yesterday: “We declare that the election result is unacceptable due to the unhealthy voting process, massive electoral fraud, and the bias candidate choice of the Guardian Council.” Rafsanjani himself has so far not supported this statement and where he stands is still unknown at this time.
6. There are partially-confirmed reports that Mousavi met with one, mourning protester’s family on Monday night. The protester’s father told Mousavi that his son was not very political, yet had taken a great deal of interest in Mr. Mousavi’s message. He also claimed that his son was not violent. Mousavi told the grieving family that the blood of the innocent never goes in vain.
7. After US Vice President Joe Biden’s statement yesterday, that suggested the US would not interfere if Israel were to attack Iran’s nuclear facilities, Saudi Arabia was reported as offering Israel its airspace for any future attacks on Iran. However, Saudi Arabia today denied that it had made such comments. In the meantime, US President Obama has vehemently denied that Biden’s statements implied that the US had given Israel “a green light” to attack Iran’s nuclear facilities.
8. Canada announced today that it hoped the G8 group of nations would hold a unanimous and firm position in regards to Iran in its upcoming meeting in Italy. Statements by the Prime Minister’s spokesperson indicated that Canada saw Iran’s regime as extremely dangerous, and hoped for a united position by the G8 in this regard.
9. Ten Nobel Peace Prize winners sent a letter today to Ban Ki-Moon, the UN Secretary General. They asked him to do everything in his power to put a stop to the abuse of human rights in Iran, and to make sure political prisoners in Iran are freed. They went on to request that he send a special envoy to Iran to investigate human rights abuse and government propaganda against Iranian Nobel Peace Prize winner, Shirin Ebadi.
10. Kenneth Roth, Executive Director for Human Rights Watch, called on G8 leaders to denounce the violent repression of protesters in Iran. He asked the G8 to dismiss any claims made by the Iranian government that blames “foreign powers” for the violence THEY have committed against protesters. The group called on G8 leaders to ask for an impartial investigation into abuses and accountability for those responsible. Mr. Roth added, “G8 leaders should make clear that Iran is violating international law.”
11. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, in a televised speech tonight, told the Iranian people that the election was the ‘freest’ of any other anywhere in the world. He blamed foreign powers of interfering in Iranian affairs. He claimed that his opponents have not provided any evidence of voter fraud. His speech was briefly cut because of a power outage, but transmission resumed within seconds.
Arrests / Releases / Killed
12. Faizollah Arab-Sorkhi, a reformist member of Mujahideen-e-Enghelab and a close supporter of Mohammad Khatami – was arrested at his home today. His whereabouts are unknown. It has also been confirmed that another reformist, Siyamak Haidarzadeh is currently being held in captivity. There are no news of his whereabouts either.
13. Although the police in Tehran claim that students arrested from the University of Tehran have all been released, the University’s Chancellor announced that at least two are still in detention.
14. Mahdi Karoubi’s office has asked those with family members in detention or whose property has been damaged during the protests by security forces to contact them about the incidents. Karoubi’s office has released a phone number through which they can be contacted: 227 131 35
15. French President Nicolas Sarkozy, demanded that Iran release French citizen Clotilde Reiss immediately. Reiss was arrested a few days ago as she was leaving Iran from Tehran International Airport. She had been living in Isfahan for five months and was teaching French. Reiss has been charged with attempting to harm Iran’s National Security.
16. Confirmed reports from Evin prison indicate that the torture of prisoners has intensified. A reliable source confirmed that hot water was being poured on prisoners, they weren’t allowed to sleep, and that many had been put in solitary confinement. We now confirmed instances of sexual harassment, and rape of male and female prisoners.
17. Iran’s Attorney General’s Office has announced that starting next week, prosecution against some 500 detainees – all arrested during the protests the last couple of weeks – will begin. This comes at a time when thousands of people are feared to be in Iranian prisons stemming from arrests made at protests. Many high-profile political prisoners have not been able to contact their families and many are said to be in dire need of medical attention.
18. In other news, during Ahmadinejad’s speech, a bug continued to fly around his head, forcing him to swat around relentlessly at the bug in front of his face. Reliable sources have now confirmed that the bug has been arrested, moved to Evin Prison, and has confessed to a plot to annoy Ahmadinejad by the Evil UK. His confession will be broadcasted through IRIB soon – so stay tuned.
(A special thanks to all the translators, editors and compilers who make the job of making the Green Brief easier. THANK YOU!)
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Original NiteOwl Greenbriefs at WhyWeProtest.net