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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 #55 (August 15 – Mordad 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 Saturday, August 15 – Mordad 24.
Protests / Unrest
1. Etemaade Melli’s office was not attacked today, even though it seemed that many radical elements, within the security forces, were planning on executing an attack. The newspaper’s office was under strict police supervision. Eyewitnesses reported seeing suspicious people watching the office from afar. Some identified plainclothes members of different radical militant organizations. Work went on at the newspaper as usual.
2. It was rumored that the attack might take place later at night. However, no attacks were reported; neither was there any tension. As reported yesterday, fliers had been distributed to members of Ansar Hezbollah, calling upon them to gather and protest in front of Etemaade Melli’s office.
Here’s a picture of one of the fliers: تصویر اعلامیه انصار حزب*الله برای تجمع جلوی روزنامه اعتماد ملی – The picture calls upon Hezbollah members, to gather in front of Etemaade Melli, to show that the defeated candidates and their supporters’ plans would fail. It also called Khatami a liar and attacked reformists as the minions of Hashemi Rafsanjani.
3. About 100 members of the Mourning Mothers group tried to gather at Laleh Park today during the evening. However, they were not allowed by security forces to gather at the park or to enter and were told they were not allowed to gather there. Among the women, Neda’s mother was also present.
4. 200 friends of Eng. Hamzeh Ghalebi are going to fast and pray for his release after the authorities refused to budge. Ghalebi was the manager of the youth wing of Mousavi’s campaign and has been in prison for almost two months.
5. The government has denied that it is planning to cancel the upcoming college semester across the country.
6. Reports suggest that the government is now using new and improved technology – possibly from Nokia – that allows them to track calls made and read text messages sent, even if phones are turned off. The only remedy appears to be taking out the phone’s battery to prevent access.
International Protests / Events / Efforts / Warnings
7. PLEASE READ THIS FOR YOUR SAFETY’S SAKE: Safeguard Your Personal Info and Your Finances! – Why We Protest – IRAN(Jon’s note: This is for US CITIZENS as well!)
8. For an unofficial list of upcoming protests in the US: Protesting for Iran until they don’t have to
9. 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) (Courtest of @jkshalamani)
10. A to the point website for help traumatized Greens: Healing the Green Soul
(If you, your friends or your organization are holding events, protests or doing something else related to the Iranian election internationally, please send me an email with details and I will give you coverage. (Will only cost you 10 million dollars!) My email is: email@example.com
11. Mir Hossein Mousavi has finally announced the name and existence of a political front he had promised to form with other reformists. According to Etemaade Melli the front is called Jombeshe Omideh Sabz (The Green Path of Hope). He said that many independent and self-sustained networks, throughout Iran, had banded together to form the movement. His main aim he said, was to get people’s rights and stop the law-breaking that had been unleashed by the government following the rigged elections, adding that they would never succumb to lies.
His statement came at a meeting with members of an association of Iranian doctors. He added that if the news about rape and torture, in Iranian prisons was true, then one should bury one’s head in dust – a sign of shame.
In another part of his speech, he yet again reiterated that he was the legal president of Iran, Ahmadinejad was nothing but a usurper. He said his campaign office had received word from a multitude of people and sources on election day, telling them that wide-spread fraud was taking place.
He further blasted the government for unleashing the Basij and IRG upon peaceful protesters and said that these forces were to fight enemies and not Iranians. He also said that the trials of reformists in Tehran, was another sign of the government’s paranoia and added that such trials, even if held for enemies of the Islamic Republic, would be inappropriate. He said the government should look for its enemies, not within peaceful protesters, but within people who’d been using propaganda as a tool to damage people’s trust in the regime.
12. Mahdi Karroubi criticized Friday prayer Imams who had criticized his letter to Rafsanjani. He said he would soon answer those who sold their faith in order to slander him. Karroubi’s son, later in the day, said that his father had evidence that proved, beyond the shadow of a doubt, that rape had taken place in Iranian detention centers. He criticized the IRIB for attempting to falsify the case of the rape and murder of Taraneh Mousavi.
13. Ali Hossein Mohammadi – the head of IIPF (Participation Front) in the Central province of Iran – said that the government’s trials of reformists were baseless acts. He asked the government to release these people, as they were only fulfilling their duties and responsibilities, while performing their jobs or within the umbrella of a registered political party. He said that all charges leveled against the reformists, were the creations of a few conservative extremists.
14. Families of detained political prisoners released their fifth statement, calling the trials a dark chapter in the history of Iran. The statement calls for a speedy release of the detainees and adds they will continue their efforts to free their loved ones.
Government / International
15. Hojatoleslam Agha Shaykh Sadegh Amoli Larijani has been appointed as the new head of Iran’s Judiciary as Shahroudi’s term has come to an end. Larijani is the brother of Ali Larijani – the head of Iran’s parliament. He is a hardline critic with very close ties to the Islamic Revolutionary Guard and intelligence agencies. He is also currently a member of the Guardian Council.
16. Some government officials, mainly Hojatoleslam Taeb have asked the government to apply Shariah law punishment on Karroubi, if he fails to provide proof that detainees had been raped at detention centers. The rule in Shariah is, if someone accuses another of rape, he must provide four Muslim, sane adult males, who saw the act in person. If he/she is unable to provide the four witnesses, the accuser receives 80 lashes to the back.
17. Partially confirmed reports suggest that Qom Seminary Teachers Association – a conservative association of clerics whose membership includes Mohammad Yazdi and Ahmad Khatami – has called upon the government to deal with illegal acts committed while detaining people, make sure detainees rights are safeguarded and stop willful activities by individuals it did not name. The statement was the headline story of the association’s newsletter that is distributed in Qom.
The statement further asserts, even though the arrests after the elections may have seemed to authorities to be a good way to curb unrest, certain actions during the process of arrests and detentions have raised an alarm in the society. The statement adds, even though concerns are always raised when people are arrested, this time due to the crisis in the air, even the leadership was forced to take action and close down a detention center [Kahrizak].
It is worth noting that this association is composed of hardliners and not reformists.
18. Karroubi’s son claims that Saeed Mortazavi – the Attorney General of Tehran and a prosecutor working with IRG – asked him for the names of reporters at Etemaade Melli who had spoken to victims of rape, he did not provide him with any names for fear of the reporters’ safety.
19. The Parliament is working on a new law to curb the use of fake degrees by government officials.
20. Reports indicate that several high-ranking clerics from Qom and other cities have sent a letter to the Assembly of Experts, asking them to review the actions of Khamenei following the elections. The letter states that since Khamanei has committed acts of gross injustice during the unrest, based on Islamic law, he should be removed from his position as Iran’s supreme leader automatically. The letter especially points to article 111 of the constitution, that outlines the process of removing the Supreme Leader and the conditions under which that can take place. No names have been provided and confirmation is only partial at this point.
21. Human Rights Watch has accused officials, in the Iranian security forces, of gross human rights violations. The organization has especially targeted Police Chief Ahmadi-Moghaddam and head of Basij Hossein Ta’eb. The article further adds that the activities leading up to the abuse was highly coordinated ordered at the highest levels.
Read full article here: Iran: Investigate Security Chiefs in Post-Election Abuse | Human Rights Watch
22. The US has, yet again, asked the Iranian government to free Tajbakhsh and the three US hikers arrested two weeks ago.
23. Fars reports that Japanese Prime Minister Taro Aso, has sent a letter to Ahmadinejad, congratulating him on his election. The letter also asks to further the ties between the nations of Iran and Japan. So far, no one other than Fars has confirmed this.
24. The Secretary General of Amnesty International, Irene Khan, called upon Khamenei today, to urgently and independently, investigate instances of torture following the elections in Iran. She also asked Khamanei to invite international experts to help carry out the inquiry.
Arrested / Released / Killed / Torture
25. Babak Dad – an Iranian reporter in Iran – has written an article about rape in Iranian detention centers the English translation of which is here (Warning – Graphic Content): Keeping the Change: Babak Dad on the Rapes Inside Iran’s Prisons: The Story of One Anonymous Victim and a Call to the People of Iran by Maryam
A video of his interview with VOA (Farsi):
26. More reports of horrific torture are emerging from Kahrizak. New reports suggest that detainees were stripped naked, forced to step into water-filled containers and were given electric shocks repeatedly. A member of Iran’s parliament, whose name has not yet been divulged, has claimed that he talked to one of the victims – a woman who has now been transferred to Evin.
27. Three detainees who had spoken to the parliament’s committee on investigating the condition of detainees, have disappeared from Evin. The detainees, Abbas Begdili, Reza Rastagar and Majid Mogheemi had shown torture wounds on their bodies to the committee members and spoken openly about the torture of other detainees.
28. One detainee, Hangameh Shahidi, has been repeatedly harassed by guards and told that she is going to be hanged. She has been taken down to the area in Evin, where executions are carried out as if she was going to be hanged, but then returned back to her cell.
29. Fars News reported that the government had dismissed a dozen guards and suspended several judges involved with Kahrizak. Quoting Parviz Sarvari – a member of the parliament’s committee for assessing the condition of detainees – the agency reported that those involved in illegal activities, have been or are being punished. This included “suspension of a number of judges, disciplinary punishment, imprisonment of offenders and referring culprits to the judiciary for further trial”. Kahrizak’s warden has been dismissed and arrested, according to Iran’s police chief.
30. Amir Hossein Sarhadi – a student activist – was arrested from his father’s house in Zanjan today. His belongings were searched and no reason was given for his arrest.
31. Saeed Noormohammadi and Zoya Hasani were released from prison today.
32. A number of human rights activists and women’s rights activists met with the family of detained journalist Isa Saharkhiz today. It has been reported that Saharkhiz’ family will soon be able to meet with him in prison. He has been detained for almost two months and has only been able to speak to his family over the phone for two minutes.
33. Besides the election related violence, the government has been specifically targeting Kurds in northwestern Iran, along the border. Many have been killed in the past 20 days, without the government providing any reason as to why many of them have been killed.
Human Rights Activists in Iran – an Iranian organization for safeguarding human rights – has compiled a report on this, links are here:
English: Statistics on Kurdish Merchants Killed Over the Last Twenty Days in Western Iran
Farsi: آمار کشتار کاسبکاران کرد در غرب کشور در طی 20 روز گذشته
34. Keyhan Daily – a newspaper considered the mouthpiece of Khamenei – attacked Karroubi today. According to the newspaper, Karroubi’s allegations of rape had damaged people’s honor. According to Keyhan, women who have been released from prison are complaining that their families have been shamed by Karroubi. Keyhan further adds that these people plan on protesting in front of Karroubi’s house and demand his prosecution.
35. Iranian banks in Paris getting green stickers!
– Info on republishing the Green Brief: For Bloggers, News Sites and Forum who want to republish the Green Brief Plesae Read! – Why We Protest – IRAN
– Information on Tor: Tor Browser Bundle
This page contains a listing of external mirrors of the GB, as well as various information about the GB. Links to translations are also encouraged: Category:Green Brief – Anonymous Intelligence Collective
– (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.
Original GreenBrief at WhyWeProtest