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News From Iran
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. Nearly all of this information is gathered via twitter sources from inside Iran. 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 29th, 2009.
The Green Brief #43 (July 29)
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 Wednesday, July 29.
In German: http://tinyurl.com/n9l7qv
In Italian: http://tinyurl.com/m8bzrv
Protests / Unrest
1. Gatherings to honor protesters who’ve died in the post-election violence will be held today in Tehran and other parts of Iran. Mousavi, Karroubi and many other reformists are expected to join the protests.
2. Beheshte Zahra Cemetery, where most of Tehran’s protesters who were killed are buried, is currently in a state of lockdown. Plans have been put in place by the government, to stop the flow of protesters into the main grounds of the cemetery.
3 Neda’s mother has declined to join the mourners. She released a statement saying that she does not want to share the blame for the beatings, arrests or deaths of any mourners. However, she has indicated that others could do as they please and join the gatherings if they wanted to. Sohrab A’rabi’s mother will be joining the mourners, though.
4. The main gathering will be at Tehran Mosala, after a visit to Beheshte Zahra Cemetery. Thousands of people are expected to attend. It has been reported that protesters may march towards Neda’s house, after the gathering at Mosala.
5. SMS services have been disconnected throughout Tehran in anticipation of the protests on Thursday. Unconfirmed reports suggest that Khamenei has ordered Basijis and plainclothes men not to interfere with the mourners. He has stated that, at all costs, the Basijis and plainclothes men are to avoid gathering near Mosala. Other security forces are said to be in charge of keeping the peace.
6. At least 50 students of San’ati Sharif University have been forced to write forms stating they will not chant Allah o Akbar from their dorm rooms at night.
7. The Islamic Iran Participation Front (IIPF) – the main reformist party – issued a statement on Wednesday. They stated that the Judiciary Chief’s one-week investigation, into the fate of arrested detainees, is a complete sham. The statement also said that crimes against citizens were continuing and were being perpetrated by the government. The only way to end turmoil – according to the statement – was the fall of Ahmadinejad’s government.
8. Ayatollah Mortaza Motahhari’s son, Mohammad Motahhari, has joined the Green Movement and issued a scathing criticism of the government. Mortaza Motahhari was one of Khomeini’s closest disciples and was a founding figure of the Combatant Clergy Association.
9. Ayatollah Montazeri has, yet again, released a statement criticizing the government, telling it to learn from what happened to the Shah. He added that the shutdown of Kahrizak detention facility was merely a government ploy to distract people. He asked the government to stop the Basij and IRG from killing innocent people and criticized the government for letting a few people control the fate of the whole nation.
Government / International
10. For the first time, the government has admitted that security forces might have been involved in violence during the protests. The overall head of Iran’s security forces, General Esmail Ahmadi-Moghaddam, said today that some members of security forces have overreacted. Moghaddam also added that the government had paid at least 197 Iranians money, to compensate for damages to their property, sustained during the protests. The total amount of payments is about $50,000.
11. Kazem Jalali, the spokesperson for a parliamentary committee that is investigating the condition of detainees, as well as recent arrests, said today that the committee had received news of an underground detention facility, operated by the Ministry of Intelligence. The facility might be located beneath the ministry – according to Jalali. He said investigations were ongoing and declined to comment further.
Arrest / Released / Killed
12. Partially confirmed reports suggest that Javad Abbasi Kangevari – also known as Javad Azadeh Amoli – has been appointed as the chief interrogator for high-profile detainees. He has been appointed after a special order by Khamenei as other interrogators have so far failed to extort confessions from these detainees. Amoli is famous for being a proficient torturer and brutal interrogator. Hossein Ghorbanzadeh – also known as Hossein Gestapo – who is another notorious torturer – is at the moment the main man for extorting confessions from other detainees.
13. Alireza Eftekhari, a former report for Abrare Eghtesad, was killed on June 15 after sustaining massive head trauma. He had been hit badly by security forces armed with batons. It has been also confirmed that Amir Hossein Toofanpour has been killed in the unrest. No other information could be obtained about him or the circumstances of his death. A 16 year old protester Hossein Akbari’s body has also been handed over to his family. He had been missing for a month and his head, chest and limbs had sustained severe injuries from a blunt object – possibly a baton.
14. Saeed Hajjarian still remains in prison, even though it had been reported he would be released today. Today, Shayesteh Amiri – a former aide of Khatami -, Saeed Shariati – a high-ranking member of IIPF – and Fariborz Raees Dana were all arrested by security forces. Emad Behavar – a student activist – and Abolreza Tajik were released today.
15. Reports have partially confirmed that starting Saturday, trials for detained protesters and political prisoners, will commence in Tehran. IRNA also reported on Wednesday, that indictments had been issued against nearly 20 detainees, allegedly involved in “planning and carrying out sabotage”. Their trials are set for Saturday, IRNA reported. Among the detainees are members of MKO, as well as some members of Iran’s Baha’i minority. This could not be confirmed as of yet.
16. PressTV has announced that Iranian security forces have arrested a group of photographers who had been hired by foreign media outlets, to get photos and video of protests in Iran. Majid Saeedi and Satyar Imami – two photographers who have been detained for some time – were forced weeks ago to give confessions and have been introduced to the public as Iranians who are working for foreign elements.
17. Hossein Shariatmadari – the representative of Khamenei in Keyhan Daily – wrote in his column today that the protesters killed in the past few weeks, had been killed by hired thugs, who had been paid for their services by Mousavi and Khatami.
18. The Italian government has named a street in Rome after Neda Agha-Soltan. Article in Italian: Neda: Roma le dedica una via
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*****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.
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