NiteOwl’s GreenBrief #44

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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 30th, 2009.

The Green Brief #44 (July 30)

I’m NiteOwl AKA Josh Shahryar – 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 Thursday, July 30.

For Yesterday’s Brief:

In Polish:…p?nid=14426314

In German:

Protests / Unrest

1. Protesters all over Iran were prevented from mourning the death of other protesters today. Reports suggested that Khamenei had asked for no violence but unfortunately this was not the case.

2. In Tehran, the plan was for people to first gather at Beheshte Zahra Cemetery, recite Koran and then head towards Grand Mosalla through Khosravi Avenue. There the people were supposed to gather and listen to the reformists and other clerics speak about the protesters who had lost their lives.

3. Around 30-40 thousand people tried to gather at Beheshte Zahra Cemetery throughout the morning. As more and more people arrived, it became difficult for everyone to enter the cemetery. Thousands stayed outside and gathered around the perimeter. Security forces had blocked entrances to Khosravi Avenue where Neda was killed.

4. Mir Hossein Mousavi, Mahdi Karroubi, Mousavi’s wife Zahra Rahnavard, Abdollah Nouri, Ayatollah Mousavi Tabrizi and Haji Mahdi Ghaffari all came to Beheshte Zahra Cemetery separately. Mousavi was immediately escorted off the grounds of the cemetery by the security forces before he could make his way towards Neda’s grave. Karroubi was able to give a speech. Sohrab A’rabi’s mother also managed to make it to the Cemetery and spoke to the mourners. Sohrab’s brother read the names of many of the fallen protesters.

5. At least 200 security forces had gathered at the Cemetery. They tried to block the area around Neda’s grave and other prominent protesters’ graves called area 257. However, as Karroubi entered the cemetery, protesters broke through the security forces and thousands gathered around Neda’s grave.

6. Thousands of protestors gathered across Tehran at Valiasr and Vanak Squares, at Beheshti, Motahhari, Hafez Shamali, Zartusht and Fatemi Avenues. Others gathered at Sayed Maidan and Hafte Tir Square. Many other areas of Tehran also saw large gatherings of protesters and mourners. By far the largest crowds were gathered at Valiasr with witnesses describing thousands of protesters chanting anti-government slogans.

7. The Basij and other security forces used brutal tactics against the people, yet again. In the morning, they closed the doors to Mosalla, stranding people outside. The security forces used extreme force to remove people from the area. Several videos show them firing tear gas into the crowd of protestors. Yet again several protestors were badly beaten with batons.

8. Protesters were also beaten at Beheshte Zahra where one man’s skull was fractured after being hit repeatedly by batons. Security forces tried to remove protesters – many of them women – from around Neda’s grave injuring many of them. Despite having 200 security forces at the cemetery they failed to stop the people from gathering around Neda’s grave.

9. Away from Beheshte Zahra and Mosalla, clashes were reported all over Tehran. At Valiasr, protesters were beaten with batons, then tear gas was shot into the crowd, finally, after they refused to disperse, bullets were fired directly at the people. At least ten people have been injured and one fatality has been confirmed. The people had tried to give the security forces flowers and in return the security forces attacked them with tear gas.

10. On Amirabad Street and Abbas Abad Street the clashes were less violent although 10 people were still injured. Shots were heard from Amirabad. Clashes were also reported from Beheshti, Motahhari, North Hafez, Zartusht and Fatemi Avenues. At Vanak, people threw stones at security forces to try and drive them back. Riot police also smashed the windows of cars with no regard for the safety of the driver or passengers.

11. Helicopters flew above Beheshte Zahra from early morning; they also flew over other parts of Central Tehran. SMS was completely shut down. In many areas, people set garbage on fire and smoke could be seen all over Tehran’s skies.

12. Security forces also video-taped protesters so they could be identified and arrested later. Hundreds of protesters also gathered round the Ministry of Interior and the IRIB building. Slogans chanted today were, “Iranian Republic, Independence, Freedom,” “Death to the Dictator,” “Death to Russia,” and other slogans against Mojtaba Khamenei (Khamenei’s son). Protests in Tehran continued very late into the night.

13. The attitude of the security forces appeared weaker today. The number of protesters arrested from many areas of Tehran cannot be confirmed, but it appears the number was lower than the previous protests. Reports indicated that Mosalla was packed with Basijis and other special forces wearing black uniforms. They stormed out of the building and attacked people – although this can only be partially confirmed. A few Basijis were injured in the clashes and were taken from the scene by ambulance.

14. Outside Tehran, protesters and mourners gathered in Shiraz, Ahvaz, Isfahan, Rasht, Mashhad, Mahabad, Oromieh, Kermanshah, Arak and Tabriz. Clashes were reported from Isfahan, Shiraz, Ahvaz, Rasht, Mashhad, Mahabad and Oromieh.

15. 5-6 thousand people gathered in Maidane Enghelab, Ayeneh Khaneh Park, Sio-Seh Bridge and other parts of Isfahan. Security forces clashed with protesters violently. Reports of injuries or deaths could not be confirmed at this time. Tear gas again was used to disperse the crowds. Protesters were holding green placards with the names of the detained or dead protesters.

16. In Ahvaz, hundreds of protesters gathered at Kyanpars Avenue and chanted against Ahmadinejad and the regime. The weather was very hot, but protesters stayed for hours. At least 30 protesters were arrested after clashes with the security forces.

17. Close to 2,000 people gathered in Rasht. The protest was less violent than in other parts of Iran. Protesters filled the central part of the city while security forces largely stayed a few meters away and watched.

18. In Shiraz, a few hundred protestors gathered around the main Gas Plant in the city as well as in Azadi Park. They sang Yaare Dabestani and chanted slogans. Security forces later dispersed the crowds.

19. Smaller crowds gathered at Mellat Park in Mashhad. Clashes between protesters and security forces were reported, but no further information could be obtained at this point.

20. Neda’s mother held a silent candlelight vigil at a park near her home. She had previously said that she would not go to Neda’s grave at Beheshte Zahra Cemetery because she didn’t want the blame for anyone’s injury or death.
Here is a picture of her in the park (Courtesy of Enduring America):

21 All around the world people have held vigils for Neda and the other fallen protesters. A vigil was held at Union Square in New York City tonight, candles were lit and mourners sat in silence, holding pictures of Neda. In San Francisco, around 200 mourners gathered at the UN Plaza and held a candlelight vigil between 8-9pm. People handed out signs with the photo and name for each of the fallen. Everyone was requested to sit on the ground, while the name of each person who had fallen was read, followed by the sound of a bell. As the names of the fallen were read, the person holding the sign with the name of the fallen and stood in respect. The reading of the names was followed by 15 minutes of silence, after which, there was singing and chanting.
Pictures: (Courtesy of Dana – @dakster9) on Flickr – Photo Sharing!.

22. In Europe, vigils and flash demonstrations were held in many cities. In Flensburg, German, dozens of people gathered outside a Lutheran church to mourn Neda and the other protesters who have been killed by the security forces. Mourners sang songs, prayed, read anthems and poems and placed flowers in front of a picture of Neda. The gathering was organized and attended by “Deutsch-Iranischer Freundschaftsverein”, which has been recently formed in support of the Green Movement. Picture (Courtesy of Paleene):

23. In Vienna, a flash demonstration was held in front of the parliament building. Around 25 people gathered, dressed in black and green, some of them carrying red roses. At 6:30 Vienna time the demonstration dropped themselves to the ground and lay motionless for 2 minutes. Pictures (Courtesy of @Kyrah) : ازادی


24. In a meeting with parliament members from the Imam’s Way faction, Khatami today said that the government needs to prosecute the people who are responsible for killings and torture. He dismissed the government’s closing of Kahrizak, saying that torture had happened all over Iran and in other prisons as well Kahrizak. He also criticized the government’s decision to close Kahrizak just as a parliamentary commission was established to investigate the condition and treatment of detainees.
Government / International

Government / International

25. Reports indicate that the former Minister of Intelligence, Ejaie is forming a group with other disgruntled officials from Ahmadinejad’s government to oppose him. Full confirmation has not yet been received.

26. It has been reported and confirmed that several supporters of Mousavi and elements within security forces that are sympathetic to the protesters’ cause have been sacked or transferred away from Tehran.

Arrested / Released / Killed

27. Kazem Jalali, spokesman for the Iranian Parliament’s Special Committee, following up on recent events, announced today that Saeed Hajjarian has been moved from prison to a governmental housing facility. Jalali quoted Saeed Mortazavi, Tehran’s attorney general, saying that the new housing facility is equipped with welfare and medical facilities and that Mr. Hajjarian’s family is allowed to visit him at this new location.

28. The government has stopped Alireza Avaie from visiting Evin prison. He was turned away from the gates, by guards, after he went to prepare a report about the condition of detainees. Avaie is a high-ranking official in the Judiciary, responsible for an office within the Judiciary, whose responsibility is to investigate human rights abuses against the citizens of Tehran province.

29. Mahnaz Mohammadi, Jafar Panahi and Rukhsareh Ghayem-Magham who had been arrested earlier today have been released. Panahi and Mohammadi work in Iranian cinema and Ghayem-Magham is a renowned documentary maker.

30. Reports of the release of Mahsa Amrabadi are false.

31. Two more protesters have now been confirmed to have died:

– Mostafa Kya Rostami was killed two weeks ago during Rafsanjani’s sermon. He was 22. He succumbed to his injured four hours after being hit repeatedly on the head with batons.

– Saeed Esmaili-Khanbebin’s body was also returned to his family in Tehran after his family paid money to security forces. His funeral was tightly guarded by the police. He was 23. He also died of injuries inflicted by repeated blows to his head with batons.


32. IRNA today published a report calling the mourners violent mobs. The news agency blamed the mourners for breaking the law and called their movement small and insignificant. It also claimed that Iranians wanted the government to suppress these protests as they had made the city insecure.

33. PressTV reported that, “Police have dispersed hundreds of Iranians who sought to gather in a cemetery south of the capital of Tehran to commemorate those killed in the post-election unrest”. The station did not mention anything about violence or other protests around the country.


Picture of the day from Tehran:

Death to Khamenei written on a city bus: 20495517-8476285c09aee819c31e0c3de441ab38.4a7249a7-scaled.jpg (image)

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***For Radio Broadcasters: Green Brief Pronounciation Guide – Why We Protest – IRAN

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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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