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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 13th, 2009.
Green Brief #27 (July 13)
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 Monday, July 13 .
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Protests / Unrest
1. Faculty members, doctors and dentists of the Tehran Medical University staged a gathering in Shariati Hospital in protest of the arrests of politicians and political activists.
2. Kordestan province and many other Kurdish areas in Iran’s northwest observed a strike today. The strike was held in remembrance of Kurdish political activist, Dr. Abdorrahman Ghasimlo and in protest of the elections. All shops were closed in Saqez, Mahabad, Bokan and Sardasht as well as a few areas in Urumieh. The general strike was so wide-spread in Saqez that even rural areas around that city closed all shops in a show of solidarity. Transportation was completely jammed. No taxis could be seen on the streets of Saqez.
3. Tonight, people around Tehran’s Apadana area lit candles in large numbers in order to commemorate the death of Sohrab A’rabi. People chanted, “Sohrab is alive; religious authority is dead!”
4. Shirin Ebadi – Iranian human rights activist and winner of the Nobel Peace Prize in 2002 has asked Germany to question Nokia and Siemens executives in connection with the companies’ sale of surveillance equipment to the Iranian government. Nokia admitted to selling phone-surveillance equipment to the Iranian government two weeks ago.
5. It has now been confirmed that Mir Hossein Mousavi, Mahdi Karoubi and Mohammad Khatami will be attending this week’s Friday prayers which will be lead by Hashemi Rafsanjani. In the past three weeks, Rafsanjani didn’t lead prayers in Tehran’s Friday Prayers mosque even though he is one of the four Imams of the mosque who lead prayers there in turns. There are reports that the Sea of Green might use the opportunity to conduct protests, but they remain unconfirmed as of yet.
Government / International
6. Tomorrow, there will be another protest held in front of the German Embassy in Tehran. According to sources, this protest is being organized by the Iranian government and large numbers of Basijis and government employees are being gathered up to take part in this protest. The protesters will gather to denounce the death of an Egyptian woman at the hands of an ultra-nationalist German citizen in Germany.
7. Iranian President-select Mahmoud Ahmadinejad today called upon the United Nations to impose sanctions on Germany. He said that the German government should be punished for the death of the Egyptian woman who was killed there a few days ago. Ironically, a government-owned media outlet, Reja News declared yesterday that Ayatollah Montazeri was not mentally stable. Montazeri’s son issued a statement today that vehemently denied the accusations. Montazeri released a Fatwa yesterday condemning Iranian Dictator Ayatollah Khamenei’s religious authority null and void.
Arrests / Releases / Killed
9. Mehrdad Heydari, a prominent reporter in northeastern Iran, was killed in Mashhad under suspicious circumstances today by unknown individuals. Heydari had been publishing reports that were deemed anti-government in the past few weeks. This is the second death of a prominent Iranian in Mashhad in the post-election violence. Before Heydari, Hamid Maddah, a member of Mousavi’s party, died under torture in Mashhad two weeks ago.
10. Another death has now been confirmed during the protests. Yaghoub Berwayeh, who was shot three weeks ago and had reportedly died in the hospital, is the latest victim. The confirmation of his death took longer than expected because government agents had told his family that if they talked to the press or held a mass mourning, his body will not be delivered to them. He has already been buried quietly.
11. The body of Sohrab A’rabi was laid to rest in Beheshte Zahra cemetery today in Tehran. There was a mass gathering of hundreds of people during the event. The government had warned his family that in case people chanted anti-government slogans, they will be arrested. Sohrab’s mother, a member of the group of Mourning Mothers, declared today that she was deceived into believing that her son was still in detention while he had been dead for weeks. She also said that she will not be silenced by government intimidation.
12. Dr. Mahdi Botorabi, an Iranian blogger and a supporter of Khatami, was arrested today. Mohsen Hajjarian, the son of Saeed Hajjarian, was released today. He had been detained yesterday, but he after spending a few hours in interrogation, it has been confirmed that he is no longer in detention
13. Reports from Evin now suggest that many political prisoners are held in cells together with hardened criminals. Prisoners are continuously tortured and remain underfed. Some prisoners aren’t given food for days while others only get one small meal a day.
14. The government has also started delivering the bodies of dead protesters to their families. The Iranian Attorney General’s office has reportedly threatened families that if they talked to the press, they won’t hear any news about their loved ones or receive their bodies if they have already been killed in protests. The government has also announced that 14 people belonging to the Jondullah group of Sistan o Baluchistan will be hanged publicly in Zahedan, Sistan o Baluchistan tomorrow. The men have been convicted in an attack in southeastern Iran that left at least 22 civilians dead in 2006.
15. Mohsen Namjo was sentenced in absentia to five years imprisonment today. He was accused of insulting Koranic verses. Namjo had reportedly recorded songs, using Koranic verses as lyrics. It is worth mentioning that the songs were of comedic nature.
16. In a message sent for Mecca, Ayatollah Mousavi-Ardabeli has asked people to continue protesting for their demands in a peaceful manner. He also condemned the violence during the protests and asked members of security forces to deal with protesters with kindness and not with force. In a separate statement Grand Ayatollah Sanei called upon the protesters to continue their protests as it was their right to protest against an election the legitimacy of which they doubted.
17. Javan newspaper declared today that Saeed Hajjarian prefers to remain in prison because the medical care he was receiving there was superior to the medical care he was going to receive outside prison. Hamshahri newspaper has fired several of its staff members for reportedly having sympathies to the protesters’ cause.
(Apologies for any errors, I’m just really drowsy tonite)
*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.
Read this if you want to help or get help!
A. You can retweet this link and help others know what is going on in Iran.
B: If you would like to help out with compiling all the news stories from Iran in a geo-spatial context, please request for sub-editorship at #iran.aic – WebIRC – AnonNet – Check out the website for the project at: Iran Map | Iran Map or email me at email@example.com.
C. The government in Iran is still increasing internet filtering and throttling in an attempt to silence their people. Anonymous info shows that many in Iran are looking for proxy and Tor information in Tehran and all around the country. Please donate your bandwidth to help bring down the Iran Curtain. Here are links on how to help and get help on this:
[B]Help us set up more bridges on Tor here:
Original NiteOwl Greenbriefs at WhyWeProtest.net