NiteOwl’s GreenBrief #25

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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 11th, 2009.

The Green Brief #25 (July 11)

I’m NiteOwl AKA Josh Shahryar – 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 wish to.)

These are the important happenings that I can positively confirm from Saturday, July 11 .

In Danish:

In German:

In Hebrew:

In Spanish:…ulio-2009.html

Protests / Unrest

1. Delayed reports – just emerging – confirm that protests did indeed take place around the country on July 9th. We also have authentication of mass arrests during this time. Reports of black-outs during Ahmadinejad’s speech are now being confirmed by mainstream media as well (this was confirmed on twitter three days ago).

2. Vast weekly protests and the heavy presence of Basiji’s have had a negative impact on Iranian bazaars; they are finding it harder and harder to stay open. As a result, commerce is slowly coming to a standstill. Reports indicate that the opposition is in the midst of planning more strikes and protests. Today, about 150 protesters pelted eggs at the German Embassy in Tehran protesting against the death of an Egyptian woman in Germany at the hands of a right-wing extremist.

3. People in Tehran are continuing to honk their horns at the sight of Basijis – and chanting anti-government slogans while speeding away. Many people drive with their headlights on. Reports indicate that many Basijis are quitting their jobs and are being replaced by fresh recruits, many of them under 18. People travelling to Iran are being targeted at the airport upon entry and are being forced to divulge their Twitter and Facebook accounts so the government can monitor their online activity.


4. In a letter to the Head of the Judiciary, Mahdi Karoubi – one of the candidates during the election and a key force behind the current protests – asked for the immediate release of all political prisoners as well as arrested protesters. In a letter addressed to Ayatollah Shahrodi, Karoubi claimed that, “People believed in the system, however, the system had been hijacked by a few.” He accused Tehran’s authorities of systematically eradicating opposition. He warned the government of “unimaginable consequences” if the current situation persisted.

5. Ayatollah Montazeri has released a Fatwa that is very supportive of protesters and their cause. In the Fatwa, Montazeri “condemned violence against protesters as un-Islamic.” He’s pleaded with the government to not play with the name of Shi’ism and Islam with their actions. He hinted that Khamenei’s leadership is standing against Islam, human rationale and National interests – and that he was clearly in the wrong. Reports of Ayatollah Ustadi – Qom’s temporary Friday Prayer’s Imam – resigning his position and calling a strike could not be confirmed.

6. In an open letter released to the media, the women’s wing of Mousavi’s Participation Front have said that Iranian mothers were awaiting the release of their loved ones with teary eyes and aching hearts. They asked the government to immediately release all prisoners and to stop arresting people for using peaceful means to express their dissent.

Government / International

7. Iranian Foreign Minister, Manuchehr Motaki, has stated that Iran is willing to discuss issues with the West, but claimed that the government was going to present a package of issues for discussion – rather than just one. This comes at a time when the European Union has now fully suspended visas to Iranian diplomats who wish to enter any EU member nation.

8. The spokesperson for Parliament’s Imam’s Way Faction declared that the government’s legitimacy was “questionable” after what transpired post-election. Reports from Tehran indicate that many members within the Faction are thinking of not partaking in the “vote of confidence” that will be held in Parliament soon (the President selects a cabinet, and then a vote of confidence takes place). The spokesperson added that, “When a Cabinet Minister refuses to answer to the public, then it shouldn’t expect to get a vote of confidence.”

9. Tehran’s Police Chief has declared a state of emergency in parts of Tehran. Iran’s government removed the head of security of Zanjan Province – after reports surfaced that he may be sympathetic to the reform movement. A number of prominent citizens in Tabriz have written a letter to Khamenei declaring that, “people were not satisfied with the election and that they will continue to voice their opposition to Ahmadinejad’s government.”

10. One of Mousavi’s offices, located inside the Presidential Palace, was evacuated by government orders. Mousavi used this office during the last twenty years after leaving the Prime Minister’s Post. It was NOT his campaign headquarters. Meanwhile, the government is stepping up its media campaign of discrediting Mousavi’s role in Iran’s past. This comes at a time when a large number of Iranian clerics in Qom have reportedly threatened to leave Iran for Najaf, Iraq (Najaf is the holiest site in Shi’ism and Qom is a center of Shi’ite learning). They demanded the government to cease with their relentless pressure to side with them.

Arrested / Released / Killed

11. Reports from inside Evin Prison indicate that at least one prisoner has died under extreme torture. The prisoner is the son of a member of the group of Mourning Mothers and was reportedly named Sohrab A’rabi. Reports of torturous acts had been confirmed before, but recent details reveal more extreme forms such as:

o Binding and then beating prisoners with batons
o Forcing prisoners to lay on their wounded side – on hot asphalt
o Pouring scorching-hot water over prisoners’ heads

12. Reports of more than a dozen prisoners crammed into a 9 x 9 foot cell are increasing. Other reports indicate that the prison is so overcrowded that prisoners are now being thrown into cells that are half-demolished. Prisoners are interrogated non-stop for more than 12 hours. Injured prisoners are not receiving any medical attention – many are said to be in very bad conditions.

13. Iran is now holding 36 journalists in prison. Reports indicate that despite the overcrowding, nearly 150 protesters arrested on July 9th in Tehran were moved to Evin Prison. We don’t have confirmations to the number of people arrested, but without a place to go. The arrest of many people were confirmed today – among them: Abbas Mirza Abutalebi (a reformist politician), Majid Saidi and Towheed Begi (photojournalists), Kaveh Muzaffari (a journalist who been detained and released prior), Shamsuddin Esaie (a key aide of Mousavi), and Hengameh Shaheedi (a key member of Etemaade Melli Party).

14. On a positive note, Iranian courts postponed the court date for seven Baha’is detained in Tehran today. They are being prosecuted under Iran’s strict religious laws because of their faith. Reports also indicate that Kambiz Noroozi, a journalist detained yesterday, was released. The families of several detainees have pleaded directly to influential clerics in Qom to help attain the release of their loved ones.


15. In an unexpected move, ISNA – one of Iran’s official news agencies – declared that recent unrests in China’s Xinjiang Autonomous Province was provoked by US intervention in Chinese affairs. ISNA declared that China did all it could to quell an uprising fueled by foreign intervention.

*A hearty thanks to Sahar 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.

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