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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 28th, 2009.
The Green Brief #42 (July 28)
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 Tuesday, July 28. (Some reports maybe from the 29th as well)
Protests / Unrests
1. The Ministry of Interior refused to issue a permit for gatherings on Thursday for mourning the 40th day of Neda’s death. However, Mousavi and other reformists have indicated that they would proceed with plans for gatherings, even if a permit is not issued. Mousavi and other reformist leaders will also visit the graves of protesters who have been killed during the unrests. Mousavi has reportedly suggested that his supporters make use of religious holy days for gatherings and rallies – full confirmation of this could not be obtained.
2. Two minutes of silence will be publicly observed in many parts of the world on Thursday. For more details on this and how to participate, please follow this link: The Silent Wave. The Silent Wave – Be still for Iran on Thursday July 30, 2009.
3. Saifullah Daad’s funeral will be held on Monday (Iran Time) and many reformists and Green Movement supporters are expected to attend. Partially confirmed reports suggest that Mir Hossein Mousavi will also be present.
4. Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Shirin Ebadi and the Secretary General of Amnesty International Irene Khan have published a joint statement, declaring that the situation in Iran was getting worse. They expressed concern that violent repression was possible in retaliation to protests that might be held on the day of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s inauguration.
5. Mehr News has reported today that a bomb had been defused near Saderat Bank in Karaj. This remains unconfirmed for now.
6. Mousavi stencils in green are appearing all over Tehran. Picture: http://tinyurl.com/mnowfy
7. Full Text of Mousavi’s Speech on Monday (English): Mir Hossein Mousavi میر حسین موسوی: Mousavi: “Religious celebrations are opportunities for the display of the “Green” movement’s creativity.” | Facebook (I went through as much of it as I could and the translation seems to be impeccable. Hopefully, those who were looking for it will find it useful).
8. Ninety two professors and faculty members of universities in Tabriz have sent a letter of support to Mousavi. The letter also asks the government to release political prisoners, ensure freedom of speech and stop violently oppressing peaceful protests.
9. Ayatollah Sayed Jalalludin Taheri Isfahani has written a letter supporting Rafsanjani’s stance in regard to the elections. He asked the political elite to join hands in finding a solution for the current turmoil. He stated that the regime and spirituality were in danger because of the present situation.
10. Ayatollah Bayat Zanjani also wrote a letter today to the reformist leadership. The letter states that the blood spilled, during the post election violence, was on the hands of those who have always thought little of people and have ignored their votes. He urged the reformists to continue to stand against the oppression that was taking place and said those who ignore such atrocities also share the blame.
11. In an interview, published in Etemaade Melli newspaper, Fakhrusadaat Mohtashamipour blamed the Guardian Council of overly supporting Ahmadinejad and hurting the oppositions’ campaigns using censor tactics and media as a tool.
12. Reformist leaders continue to meet with the families of protesters who’ve been killed or detained. On Monday, Mohammad Khatami met with the family of detained reporter Mohammad Ghochani and Mahdi Karroubi met with the family of Neda Aga-Soltan. Karroubi told the family of Neda that she had merged into the people’s movement and had become a symbol for freedom.
Government / International
13. Reports suggest that Ahmadinejad has assumed the responsibilities of the Minister of Intelligence after he sacked Ejaie from the post. This can only be partially confirmed at this point. There are other reports suggesting that he has appointed another high-ranking official at the Ministry as the “caretaker”.
14. Congressman Ted Poe, R-Texas, on Monday praised the women of Iran for their bravery in pursuit of their rights and freedoms. He mentioned Shadi Sadr and the fact she had been arrested. Video: YouTube – Congressman Poe Impressed By The Women Of Iran
15. Iranian MP Ali Motaheri today criticized the government’s decision to close just one detention center. He said the closing of only one detention center didn’t mean that there were not other places where people were deprived of their liberty and tortured.
16. Reports suggest that Ahmadinejad is losing support in parliament. At least two parliament members have reportedly suggested in recent days that Ahmadinejad’s government could face a vote of no confidence. However, this remains only partially confirmed. Ahmadinejad is also still under pressure by some conservatives for keeping Esfandiar Mashaie as his Chief of Staff.
17. MP Hamid Reza Katouzian of Tehran today criticized Ahmadinejad harshly over his continued support for Mashaie. He also accused Ahmadinejad of not being loyal to the Supreme Leader. Also on Tuesday, conservative MP Gholamreza Mesbahi-Moghaddam expressed support for Rafsanjani and said that most of the detainees should be released since they were simply young and excited youngsters.
Arrested / Released / Killed
18. After the order by Shahrodi which stipulated a speedy release for detained protesters with minor offences, Ali Larijani – the head of the Iranian parliament – announced today that a special committee would be reviewing the situation from the beginning of the tension. The three member committee will meet with prisoners and write a detailed report about their status, rights and the interrogations they’ve gone through. The committee would also gather complaints from people who’ve been beaten or have suffered financial loss during the unrest.
19. Saeed Hajjarian is reportedly being released today. He is in failing health and human rights organizations have repeatedly warned that if not released, he could die in detention.
20. More deaths during the protests have been confirmed.
– Hossein Akhtar-Zand, 32, was killed by Basijis in Isfahan on June 15th.
It has been alleged that he was thrown from a building. I have seen pictures of his body. I am not going to post the link as they are too graphic.
– Saeed Abbasi was killed on June 20 after being shot in the head on Rodaki Ave.-
– Sajjad Qayed Rahmati, was killed on June 21 by IRG members near Navab Metro Station.
– Davood Sadri, 25, was killed on June 15 after being shot by Basijis from the rooftop of their headquarters at Moghdad near Jinnah Avenue in Tehran.
– Amir Javadi Langroodi has also died after suffering days of torture at Evin.
– A 16 year old detainee was brutally beaten in front of more than 200 other detainees at Kahrizak and died on the spot.
– Hossein Akbari was killed by security forces in the first week of unrests. He had gone missing, but his family didn’t know of his death for almost a month. His body was given to his family on July 22 and he was buried four days later.
– Mansour Ghoujazadeh, a resident of Khoy, was beaten so badly during a protest that he couldn’t survive his injuries. He was quietly buried after his family was threatened by security forces.
(But they aren’t just names, they have faces too: Faces of the Iranians killed and Arrested)
21. Reports today confirmed the detention center, ordered to be shut down by Khamenei, is Kahrizak Detention Center located south of Tehran. Horrendous reports of torture and abuse are surfacing about the facility.
– One detainee reportedly suffered so much trauma to the head at Kahrizak that he went blind and died in detention.
– Detainees are forced to strip, then, electric cables are used to lash them for hours ripping into their bodies and inflicting terrible damage.
– Other detainees are crammed into small cells where many have contracted infectious diseases.
– Tehran’s Police Chief, Ibrahim Reza Radan has personally beaten and tortured detainees on his visits to the facility. His weapon of choice was reportedly a plastic hose.
22. Reports from other detention facilities describe incidents like these:
– A female detainee was supposedly forced to sign a confession to admit she had not been mistreated while in detention. She was repeatedly beaten, harassed by male interrogators, her hair was pulled and male interrogators repeatedly touched her body inappropriately to force her to confess.
– One detainee was forced to lick the commode of the detention facility’s toilet and guards forced his head down to the ground with their boots. He was also repeatedly beaten with batons.
– Guards who would refuse to subjugate prisoners to such torture were reprimanded. One guard was detained and tortured after he refused to torture a detainee.
– One Iranian expatriate, who had been detained after returning from London, was beaten so badly and harassed that he has become mentally unstable. After his release, his family has been forced to restrain him so he does not attempt to commit suicide.
(The committee formed by the parliament to investigate the cases of detainees most probably will not be visiting Kahrizak as it has already been closed. For accounts of what happened at Kahrizak, visit this link: كودن با استعداد: The Holocaust denier is casting his own version)
23. The number of protesters who have been killed in detention or on the streets has climbed to 78. According to multiple sources this number is much higher. Here is an updated list of the dead and detained Leaving Facebook… | Facebook.
24. The government is continuing to charge people money for returning the bodies of their loved ones. They are also being forced to sign papers that absolve the government of the blame for the victim’s death. Unless these two conditions are met, bodies are not returned.
25. Reports suggest that in the past two days, at least 140 prisoners were freed from Evin and other prisons. They include Mohammad Tavsoli who had been in detention for the past 43 days. Aida Mesbahi was also released today. The government has announced that the remaining detainees – which according to it number in less than 200 – have committed major crimes such as damaging property or providing weapons to other protesters that were used in violence.
26. Ali Maghami – a member of Karoubi’s campaign HQ – was arrested yesterday.
27. Unconfirmed reports indicate that two political prisoners were hung in Zahedan, Sistan o Baluchestan province. The prisoners were primarily persecuted because they belong to the Sunni branch of Islam which is a minority in Shia-majority Iran. There is still no news on the fate of seven detained members of the Baha’i faith.
28. Javan Daily has accused the Association of Anonymous Addicts of also having a hand in the current turmoil. (Next, it will be the Pope!)
29. Khanaye Moseeqi (House of Music), an organization of Iranian musicians, has released a letter defending Saeed Shajarian. He has been repeatedly insulted by the government owned media after he asked them to stop broadcasting his patriotic songs.
30. Francesco Totti, top Italian footballer, sent a message in Farsi to Iranian youth fighting or their freedom:
YouTube – Top striker Francesco Totti sends…
Note: I thought about cutting down the number of GBs to less than 7 a week. But honestly, so much happens every day that I find it difficult to keep the GBs as brief as they should be. So until further notice, one a day will be the norm.
*Discuss/Annotate: http://aic.openmsl.net/wiki/index.php/Green_Brief_42 ; Create it if it doesn’t exist.
**If you wanna republish the Green Brief, please visit this page: For Bloggers, News Sites and Forum who want to republish the Green Brief Plesae Read! – Why We Protest – IRAN
***For Radio Broadcasters: Green Brief Pronounciation Guide – Why We Protest – IRAN
****(A list of all the Green Briefs: The Green Briefs
*****A hearty thanks to Sahar joon and S 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!
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