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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 over a month. 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 24th, 2009.
The Green Brief #38 (July 24)
I’m NiteOwl AKA Josh Shahryar – twitter.com/iran_translator on twitter. I’m a journalist and a human rights activist and NOT Iranian. This is a compilation of news from Iran that I’ve gathered through twitter and Iranian sites that were advertised on twitter. Remember, this is all from tweets. (My work is released under Creative Commons (CC).)
These are the important happenings that I can positively confirm from Friday, July 24 .
Protests / Unrest
* For the Iranian airliner accident, check this link: http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/n…tory?track=rss
1. In Solidarity with the Green Movement, protests are being held July 25 – that is this Saturday – in more than 100 cities worldwide. This initiative is being spearheaded by United 4 Iran. As I’m not just a journalist but also a human rights activist, I will personally join a protest and strongly urge everyone else to participate and to get their friends and loved ones to accompany them. Shirin Ebadi will be joining the protest in Amsterdam. For information on where they’re being held, please visit: www.united4iran.com
As part of the protest, a green scroll will be exhibited close to the Eiffel Tower from 7 to 9 PM. Link here: OpenDNS
2. Families of many political prisoners are planning to stage a protest in front of Evin Prison at 10 AM tomorrow (they have held many protests previously).
3. The hunger strike in front of the UN’s main office in New York continued today with the participation of many prominent Iranians, Americans and other nationals. Speaking to press reporters, Noam Chomsky – a prominent American linguist and philosopher – said, “People of the world were learning from the Iranian struggle.” Chomsky at the strike: chomsky_hunger_strike_2.jpg (image)
4. An anti-Nokia protest was held in front of the Nokia Theatre in Los Angeles. Protesters blamed the cell phone company for selling the Iranian Regime the necessary equipment needed for monitoring protesters’ phone and internet use. Here is a picture from today’s protest (graphic images ahead – viewer discretion is advised): Picasa Web Albums – Mere Rhetoric Blog
5. In a letter addressed to Mahdi Karroubi, Ayatollah Montazeri expressed “shock and dismay” over last Friday’s attack on Karroubi and Abdollah Nouri. They were attacked, pushed and insulted by security forces while on their way to Tehran University for Friday Prayer’s. Montazeri reiterated his position that, “A government’s legitimacy stems from the support of the majority of a country’s citizens – as mentioned in Iran’s Constitution.”
Moreover, he said, “It’s unfortunate that the government is afraid of peaceful protests and the participation of politicians such as Karroubi.” He put the blame for the violence and bloodshed upon “those who had given security forces the power to conduct such activities” – a clear hint at Khamenei and Ahmadinejad. He concluded by warning, “The government needs to listen to the VOICE of its people and give in to their legitimate demands in order to restore public trust in the Islamic Republic.”
6. Grand Ayatollah Saneie of Qom, has once again stated, “Forced confessions obtained from detainees have no legal or rational merit whatsoever and are un-Islamic.” He added, “Although detainees are allowed to lie in order to escape from torture according to Islam, anyone who FORCES confessions through torture, has committed a grave sin.” He claimed, “ANY form of torture performed on detainees is illegal and un-Islamic.” Saneie had previously slammed IRIB for broadcasting and publishing forced confessions of detainees.
7. Sayed Mohammad Khatami visited the homes of three detained political prisoners today and spoke to their families. The detainees included: Saeed Leylaz, Abbasmirza Abotalebi and Davood Solaimani. Khatami again called for, “The immediate and unconditional release of all the people detained during the post-election protests or otherwise linked to the Green Movement.”
8. On July 22nd we reported that 306 conservative clerics from the Qom’s Seminary Teachers Association had released a statement in support of Ayatollah Yazdi’s dismissal of Rafsanjani’s demands during his Friday Sermon. New reports, however, indicate that the statement was actually written by the Editor-in-Chief of Keyhan Newspaper. Reports say that he was ordered to do so by Ayatollah Hejazi – a prominent conservative cleric from Qom. Although most of the clerics of the Association are arch-conservatives, this is yet another sign of government propaganda against the Green Movement.
Government / International
9. The mayor of Tehran, Mohammad Baqer Ghalibaf, called upon Ahmadinejad to promptly sack Mashaie and called him and his wife “hypocrites.” He joins several other prominent conservatives who have been enraged by Mashaie’s appointment as Ahmadinejad’s Senior Vice President. Mashaie has been criticized heavily by the Iranian Conservatives. Khamenei sent a personal letter to Ahmadinejad asking him to remove Mashaie from his post last week.
10. Within hours, Sayed Mojtaba Samareh Hashemi – a top Ahmadinejad aide – announced, “Esfandiar Rahim Mashaie has declared that he no longer considers himself as the Vice President of Iran. He is ready to accept any other position – to be of service to the Islamic Republic.” Mashaie’s website, however, does not include anything about his sudden departure. No hint has been given as to who will be replacing him.
(Enduring America did an interesting critique of Mainstream Media’s converge of the Mashaie affair. Here’s the link: Iran: How the “New Media” Tore Down the Gates of the “Mainstream” | Enduring America)
11. The US Senate voted unanimously last night to adopt bipartisan legislation that allocates funds to help Iranians obtain better access to news and information. This was in part initiated to neutralize the censorship of news and information by the Iranian government. In total, almost $55 million dollars will be made available – according to the legislation called the Victims of Iranian Censorship (VOICE) Act.
12. Sayed Reza Akrami – the Secretary General of the Society of Preachers in Tehran – has been dismissed from his post by the government. Reportedly, members of the Society had objected to his political positions. Akrami had supported Mir Hossein Mousavi during the elections. He also headed a small conservative faction that supported Mousavi’s candidacy.
13. Friday Prayer’s was lead by Ahmad Khatami today. The number in attendance was roughly 10,000 people – a far cry from the numbers who showed up last Friday. Khatami again criticized the Green Movement – and any politicians or activists who are leading and/or supporting it. After the sermon, about 300 pro-government people protested against Rafsanjani. It only lasted a few minutes. Most of the protesters were reportedly walking towards bus stops and only a few chants could be heard. On the other hand, the National Islamic Council – a reformist body of clerics and politicians – today announced their support for Rafsanjani’s Friday sermon.
Arrested / Released / Killed
14. A survivor from the June 23rd brutal attacks in Baharestan Square, has come forward and confirmed that he attacked by a Basiji with an axe. He claims that he was recuperating from injuries. It should be noted that this man has been a reliable source of information from Tehran in the past.
15. Reports indicate that many Iranian professors -who are currently in detention for participating in the post-election protests and/or helping the Green Movement – are most likely to be dismissed from their posts. Many of them teach at Tehran University. The loss of these professors would severely damage the scholastic reputation of the university.
16. The father of martyred protester -Masood Hashemzadeh – has been released from jail on bail. His family has been instructed NOT to hold a funeral for Masood, not to hang black banners outside their home for mourning, and not to talk any foreign media. Neda’s family has also been threatened to not hold any mourning events in commemoration of the 40th day after her death as well. This comes after the Ministry of Information announced today that the families of martyred protesters did not have the right to hold any events to commemorate their loved ones.
17. Hossein Shariatmadari – the editor-in-chief of Keyhan Daily Newspaper –wrote an editorial criticizing Ahmadinejad over the “Mashaie Affair.” He stated, “Ahmadinejad’s delay in dismissing Mashaie – even after receiving a letter from Khamenei – only showed his lack of understanding Islam.
18. Amir Reza Khadem – a conservative member of Parliament – reported on his blog that IRIB had banned his pictures and videos from appearing on their broadcasting and publishing outlets. He added, “This was done in retaliation for my participation in Friday Prayer’s last week led by Hashemi Rafsanjani.”
*While the Iranian government continues to slam the “Evil UK,” an Iranian blog published photos Gholam-Ali Haddad Adel – a former leader in Iran’s Parliament – supposedly shopping in London. You are welcome to authenticate it if you’re a Londoner. It is worth mentioning that Adel is also the father-in-law of Khamenei’s son, Mojtaba Khamenei who is widely believed to be the driving force behind the suppression of protesters. Link: Freedom 4 persia:
حداد عادل در انگليس- زیارت قبول حاج آقا
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****(A list of all the Green Briefs: The Green Briefs
*****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. Discuss/Annotate: http://aic.openmsl.net/wiki/index.php/Green_Brief_38
C. Iranmapping: iranmap.whyweprotest.net ; If you would like to help out with compiling all the news stories from Iran in a geo-spatial context for Iranmapping, please follow the instruction over at IranMapping – Anonymous Intelligence Collective
D. 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:
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