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News From Iran
The Green Brief is the best source of information from Iran, gathered from 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. An extremely small set of sources, considering the millions of Iranians who, not so long ago, carried on conversations with the world.
Josh, aka NiteOwl, has become a voice for some of them, and a valuable window for the rest of the world. I can’t stress how much I personally appreciate Josh and his small team for the work they’re putting into all this. As an American, it might seem strange that I would care at all. I can only stress that we are all brothers, sisters, and cousins on this world. We all come from a different place and we each have a unique journey.
We all share that.
The Green Brief #52 (August 12 – Mordad 11)
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, August 12 – Mordad 21.
Protests / Unrest
1. Tehran’s Grand Bazaar was more crowded than usual yesterday. In the streets leading up to the bazaar and inside the bazaar itself, there was a large concentration of security forces. Many of them taunted the people that were in the bazaar and tried to provoke confrontations. However, for the most part, it seems that the call for protest hadn’t caught on with the Green Movement.
2. There were reports of skirmishes inside the bazaar and it was reported that some people were injured and others may have been arrested. Reports indicate that these clashes were not wide-spread, but rather confined to a few incidents.
3. It was reported that Zahra Rahnavard – the wife of Mir Hossein Mousavi – had indeed come to the bazaar, but as people chanted around her, she was promptly escorted out by security forces. This could not be fully confirmed and eye-witnesses have not been found to corroborate the story.
4. But it doesn’t end there. Some very reliable sources indicated that nothing actually happened in the bazaar, beyond the presence of security forces and people shopping. They reject that there were any clashes, injuries or arrests. However, they are in the minority.
(The above information is from various sources and not MSM. However, in the absence of any YouTube videos or witnesses, which show anything other than many people in the bazaar, together with a lot of security forces, it is difficult to confirm exactly what happened.)
5. Unconfirmed reports indicate that Baloch fighters attacked Iranian security forces who were escorting detainees to a prison in Kerman province. Casualties were reported. This could not be confirmed independently.
6. Prayer services for the dead and detained protesters will be held on Thursday, as in the past few weeks. The prayer service this week will be held at the Daruzahra Cultural Institute in Tehran. One of Ayatollah Sane’ie’s important aides, Mohammad Taghi Khilji, will be speaking at the service.
International Protests / Events
7. A Swiss-Iranian Green-supporter, who we affectionately call the Epic Protester, has been protesting in front of the Iranian Embassy in Bern for the past two months non-stop, generating quite a lot of buzz. There is a blog dedicated to his efforts which you can reach here: Epic Protester
And you can read his interview here: Interview with the Epic Protester � Epic Protester — (Courtesy of @Nedjarsen)
8. Amidst the stories of brutality being circulated, there are also some heart-warming instances of human compassion. One Hearts View is one such project that a world citizen is undertaking. Visit and comment at: One Hearts View: Iran wanted me to bear witness…and I have.
9. The meeting of Baha’is in support of human rights in San Francisco at Herbst Theater yesterday was a major success.
10. For a list of protests that are being planned in Germany, please visit this link:
Julia’s Blog: Protests and rallies in Germany (subject to change w/o notice) (English and German)
(If you, your friends or your organization are holding events, protests or doing something else related to the Iranian elections internationally, please send me an email with details and I will give you coverage. (Will only cost you 10 million dollars!) My email is: firstname.lastname@example.org
11. In a meeting with members of the Central Committee for Organizing Reforms today, with his wife Zahra Rahnavard present, Mousavi staunchly defended Karroubi against the attacks by Keyhan Daily. He said that what had taken place in the prisons and detention centers, had hurt Iran far more than America ever could. Mousavi added that the show trials were a good indicator that Iran needed profound reforms and the IRIB’s greatest mistake was to call people’s hunger for change, a foreign plot. It has been indicated that Mousavi might join the Friday prayers this week which are going to be led by Ahmad Khatami. Full confirmation is not yet available.
12. Mojahedin of the Islamic Revolution Organization, today released a statement blaming Ahmadinejad and Sadegh Mahsouli, the Minister of Interior, for the inhumane treatment of detainees at Kahrizak. The statement read that the two individuals were directly responsible for the torture and abuse of detainees at the detention center. The Organization also stated that it was in solidarity with the families of those affected.
13. Karroubi’s son, Hossein Karroubi today said that criticism of his father’s letter about prisoner abuse was unfounded. He added that it took people only one day to criticize his father and no investigation could be done in 24 hours to determine if prisoner abuse had taken place and how wide-spread it had been.
14. More than 200 former and current government officials of Iran sent a letter to the government asking it to pay heed to Rafsanjani, Karroubi, Khatami and Mousavi’s suggestions and stances on the country’s future. Signatories included former and current ministers, directors, governors, mayors and academics.
Government / International
15. Ayatollah Dastegheyb has asked for an immediate session of the Assembly of Experts to be held, in order to review the demands of the people and the current situation in Iran. He added that Mousavi and Karroubi were the representatives of the people and the people demanded nothing but the upholding of the constitution.
16. It is being reported that Judiciary Chief Shahroudi will be appointed to the Guardian Council. This cannot be confirmed at this time. The same source also indicated that Jannati will remain as head of the Guardian Council.
17. Jamshid Ansari – a reformist MP from Zanjan – has asked the government to sack Ismail Ahmadi-Moghaddam, the police chief of Iran. According to Ansari, Ahmadi-Moghaddam is responsible for the illegal arrests, beatings and the deaths of protesters during the unrest that followed the election. He also connected Ahmadi-Moghaddam with the torture and abuse of detainees at Kahrizak.
18. Only a day, after stating that the allegations of detainees being raped at government detention facilities be investigated, the head of Iran’s parliament Ali Larejani stated that no such thing had taken place. According to Larejani, the parliamentary committee to investigate the condition of detainees, had determined that the allegations were unfounded.
19. One day, after stating that UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon had sent a letter congratulating Ahmadinejad on his election, Mr. Ban’s spokesperson, Marie Okabe, said that “It is not accurate to refer to this as a congratulatory letter”. Previously on Tuesday, when she was asked if a congratulatory letter had been sent to Ahmadinejad by Mr. Ban, Ms. Okabe replied, “Yes”. She added that the letter took advantage of “the occasion of the inauguration to express the hope that Iran and the United Nations will continue to cooperate closely in addressing regional and global issues”.
20. Ayatollah Mesbah Yazdi today said that obeying Ahmadinejad was obeying God. Speaking to a group of Basiji artists in Qom, he also praised Khamenei and said the Supreme Leader was a light of the last Imam and that the unrest had been targeted at him.
21. Mohsen Rezaie reiterated his position, yet again today, that all government officials and members of security forces that were responsible for prisoner abuse be dismissed and prosecuted.
22. A letter from Ayatollah Makarim Shirazi, congratulating Ahmadinejad on his selection as Iran’s president is being circulated on the internet. My sources have confirmed that it is a fake. Ayatollah Shirazi has not and does not plan to congratulate Ahmadinejad.
23. The deputy commander of Iran’s police, Ahmad Reza Radan, today dismissed reformist claims that at least 69 people have so far been killed during the unrest. He called the claim propaganda and psychological warfare.
Arrests / Releases / Deaths
24. Majid Ansari – a member of the Combatant Clerics Association – today stated that a report about the rape of detainees had been prepared and sent to government officials for review. He added that there was not just one instance, but several and that they had concrete evidence to back up their claim.
25. Mehr News reported that French citizen Clotilde Reiss has been released on bail. It was reported earlier that the French government had sent a letter to the Iranian government agreeing to post bail for her. Her current whereabouts are unknown but it was indicated previously, by the Iranian government, that if she were to be released on bail, she would be confined to the French Embassy in Tehran. The government also announced today that her trial was over and a verdict was expected in her case shortly. Her release could not be confirmed through other sources.
26. Reports indicate that the Iranian government, has officially informed the Swiss Embassy, about the arrest and detention of three American hikers who allegedly strayed into Iran two weeks ago. The Swiss Embassy represents US interests in America, as the US has not had an embassy in Iran since the 1979 revolution, nor diplomatic staff.
27. Alauddin Borujerdi A member of the committee formed by the parliament to investigate the condition of detainees today told reporters that detainees were content with the conditions at Evin. Another member told the press that they had met with Abtahi in his prison cell and found him in good health. He added that Abtahi also had access to a television and a radio whilst in detention. He added they were going to meet Tajzadeh and Mirdamadi soon. Reports indicate that they will only be visiting Evin and not other prisons.
28. Reporters Without Borders have confirmed that Amir Asslani – a student and CEO of an IT company, has been in detention since August 8. He was arrested for sending emails. His house and office were also raided by security forces.
29. Journalist Dr. Chobineh was released today.
30. U2’s concert in Zagreb was overwhelmingly pro-Green Movement. Watch the YouTube video:
U2 in Zaghreb, asking to turn on Radio Tehran 09August2009
31. Swedish policeman supporting Iranian Greens: Sweet Swedes: Stockholm Police solidarity with Iranians #iran… on Twitpic
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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.
Original GreenBrief at WhyWeProtest