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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 more than 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 12th, 2009.
The Green Brief #26 (July 12)
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 wish to.)
These are the important happenings that I can positively confirm from Sunday, July 12 .
In French: http://ledossiervert.wordpress.com
In Hebrew: http://tinyurl.com/kun7r6
Protests / Unrest
1. Sporadic protests were reported from Tehran today. Although the numbers could not be confirmed, many sources claimed that people tried to gather at Valiasr Square. Clashes were reported in Keshavarz Blvd, Towhid Square, Fatemi Blvd, Satarkhan Street and Valiasr Square. Heavy presence of security forces was reported in those areas. Reports indicated helicopters were hovering over Central Iran – where most of these areas are located. Cell phone networks were cut off in the aforementioned areas as well.
2. Hundreds of people staged peaceful gatherings in front of the Islamic Republic Court and Evin Prison. They were demanding the release of their loved ones. It is speculated that there will be a large protest in Iran on Friday, however, this cannot be confirmed as of yet.
3. Shirin Ebadi – Nobel Peace Prize Winner and Iranian Human Rights Activist – has declared that this Friday, Iranians from all over the world, will unite to protest the appointment of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad as President. A three-day hunger strike by prominent Iranians will also be observed in front of the United Nation’s Headquarters in New York City on July 22nd.
4. The Democratic Party of Iran has declared its support for Mousavi. The party has declared that a regime only has legitimacy when that legitimacy is earned through the people. This party joins many others who have already pledged their support for Mousavi.
5. In a statement released today, Mohsen Rezaie – another candidate in the disputed elections – announced five points that everyone in Iran should realize in understanding the post-election problems.
– The Iranian Government should KNOW the difference between peaceful protesters and people who’re working to destroy the Islamic Republic.
– The Iranian Government should KNOW the difference between politicians/people who merely have complaints, and those who may be “foreign meddlers.”
– Politicians should be able to pursue their rights and rights of the people through legal channels. Government organizations should seriously consider complaints from the people/politicians without the fear of persecution from someone else.
– Negotiations should be held between those with complaints and the government for solving these complaints in order to safeguard national security and continue peaceful political participation in the country.
– Government agencies should follow the law when restoring calm and safeguarding people’s rights.
– Imam Ali’s guidelines and his life should be used as an example for solving all political issues.
6. Ayatollah Bayat Zanjani has given a Fatwa declaring that people should use peaceful means to remove individuals who have illegitimately gained a government post from their official posts. He gave the Fatwa after being asked whether government employees should stop working because the government was illegitimate. Ayatollah Montazeri also declared in a Fatwa yesterday that anyone who uses their power illegitimately was automatically disqualified from their position of religious authority.
7. In an interview released to the media, Shirin Ebadi has denounced the government’s wide-spread arrests of lawyers and human rights activists since the election. She also denounced a new ‘law’ being created by the justice department which gives it broader power to revoke lawyers’ permits, calling it illegal and asking the government to declare it null and void.
9. There are partially confirmed reports that Hashemi Rafsanjani will be leading the next Friday prayers in Tehran. It has also been reported that the Green movement is planning on participating, including leaders of the movement. This, however, cannot be confirmed at this point.
10. The commander of the IRG has warned that those who oppose the election should be careful because the armed forces of Iran would not surrender against protests. He also announced that the armed forces for ready and fully capable of quelling any unrests that may come in the following days.
11. In an attempt to ward off criticism from the government by the international community, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s assistant has issued a statement calling out the international community’s stance regarding the recent developments in Iran, hypocritical. Among his claims to justify government’s actions was that the number of political prisoners in Iran was far less than the number of political prisoners in Western countries. Several important clerics in Qom have criticized the government’s silence over the deaths of more than 150 Muslims Uighors in unrests in Western China. They have called upon the government to condemn the Chinese government’s brutality.
Arrested / Released / Killing
12. Since the beginning of the protests, 41 journalists have now been detained so far. Abulfazl Abedini – another journalist – has now been confirmed to have been arrested by unknown people and his whereabouts cannot be determined Sheila Najafi, a leftist activist and poet, was arrested from Amol and her whereabouts are unknown as well. . Saeed Hajjarian’s son Mohsen Hajjarian has now been arrested as well. Mahdi Madavi-Azad, another journalist and editor-in-chief of Shahab News, was arrested today as well.
13. Sohrab A’rabi’s body was finally given over to his family. His funeral will be held tomorrow at Beheshte Zahra cemetery and he will be buried there. It’s worth noting that even though the last Green Brief indicated that he’d died under torture at Evin, it has now being reported that he had actually died weeks ago during a protest and that his body could not be identified until now.
14. In Saqez on Saturday, security forces stormed the houses of several prominent Iranians who are either reformist or pro-protester without search warrants and arrested as many as 32 people. During the recent protests in Kermanshah, dozens of protesters have been arrested and moved to Dizel Abad Prison. In Tehran, as people continue to chant Allah o Akbar at night on their rooftops – some have even started using loudspeakers -, the security forces have slowly ramped up arrests of people who engage in this form of protest. Several people have been arrested so far.
15. Mahdi Karoubi met with the families of detained reformists today. The detainees’ families told Karoubi that they weren’t anti-government and asked Karoubi to help them secure the release of their loved ones. Families of detainees are now being threatened by security forces that if they talk or give interviews about the detention of their loved ones, their relatives will be kept in prison longer.
16. The sale of Nokia cell phones in Tehran has taken a setback in recent days as people in Tehranis accuse Nokia of helping the Iranian government in planting surveillance devices that have been used to arrest scores of Iranians. Sales have plummeted by as much as 50 percent.
17. This comes at a time when today, the IRG warned Iranians to not use websites like Twitter, Myspace and Facebook to create tensions. All of the above mentioned sites have already been blocked in Iran. It has also been reported that since Mousavi’s call to stop buying advertisement time on IRIB, several prominent business-owners have complied. This has affected the IRIB’s income significantly.
*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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Original NiteOwl Greenbriefs at WhyWeProtest.net