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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 #56 (August 16 – Mordad 25)
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 Sunday, August 16 – Mordad 25.
== Don’t Miss Out The First Item in Media Section ==
Protests / Unrest
1. There are plans for a protest on Monday, in front of Etemaade Melli’s office. (By the time you read this Brief, it will be past that time). Confirmation whether it has been officially sanctioned by Karroubi have been denied. But there are newer reports, suggesting he may have blessed it and may take part. Nothing can be said with any certainty as to what is going to happen. (Or has happened)
2. Families of detainees gathered in front of Evin prison once again, to demand any information about their loved ones and asked for their unconditional release. In the past, some have been arrested for taking part in the gathering.
3. Even though it is not mentioned in the Briefs every day, people are continuing to chant Allaho Akbar and other slogans directed against Ahmadinejad and Khamanei from their rooftops.
4. Reports suggest that 121 well known doctors and university professors, have released a joint statement expressing concern over what they call psychological trauma being inflicted on all members of society. The statement calls on the government to; stop broadcasting the trial of reformists live; punish the culprits of recent violence upon peaceful protesters; punish those who have committed acts of torture on detainees and the release all political prisoners unconditionally. Otherwise, the statement says, ordinary Iranians will continue to be scared and suffer from emotional and psychological problems going through these dreadful times.
5. Reports are emerging, the government is continuously threatening citizens, accusing them of trying to get news out or even discuss the political situation online. Multiple people have received calls, from blocked numbers, telling them to stop emailing information, about what is happening inside Iran to their friends. Others have received emails, telling them they are being watched and they should immediately cease discussing the Sea of Green online. Many others have been arrested.
6. Mir Hossein Mousavi and his wife Zahra Rahnavard, met with the family of Behzad Nabavi, who has been imprisoned for the past 2 months. Nabavi is a high-ranking member of the Association of Combatant Clerics and was a former minister during Mousavi’s tenure as Prime Minister of Iran. During the visit, Mousavi asked the government again to release all political prisoners.
7. Mousavi and Rahnavard also met with the family of slain protester Amir Javadifar today, as did some other reformist leaders. Mousavi told Amir’s family that the blood of Amir would not be wasted and Iranians would get their rights. There were also unconfirmed reports that the couple met with the family of Abbas, a shopkeeper who was killed during the violence after the elections by security forces.
8. Karroubi released another statement today, stating that he had full evidence and that he will not back down from his claim that rape of detainees had taken place. He said that he will not reply to the criticism of Qom’s Friday prayers’ leader out of respect for his deceased father– even though the leader had criticized Karroubi harshly.
9. A video of Grand Ayatollah Sane’ie’s speech in Gorgan has emerged from August 12 – Mordad 21. Speaking to a group of clerics, Sane’ie criticizes the government in words not used before. He said he had never been so shocked before in his life, as he has been because of what had happened in the events after the elections, especially detentions, deaths and torture – not even during the Islamic Revolution in Iran, when his friends were being tortured by the Imperial regime.
During his speech, he praises Mousavi and other reformist leaders and asks the government as to why they are being oppressed. He declared that all these people who have been detained, tortured and are accused of violence are well-known men that he has known for many a year and none of them were planning to topple the regime, adding, that in terms of piety, Mousavi was the best or one of the best people in Iran.
He said that in Islam, no one had the right to torture someone so severely. He blasted the confessions and said that no confession was valid under any circumstances, if the confession had been obtained through torture. He said the name of Imam Khomeini was being tarnished by the atrocities committed – all in the name of the constitution.
He asked the government, to cease torture, stop persecution and immediately release all political prisoners.
His full speech in Farsi:
10. The Association of Combatant Clerics has released its seventh statement since the start of the unrest calling the attacks and insults, directed at Mahdi Karroubi, a crime. The statement further adds, propaganda directed at Karroubi and his newspaper – Etemaade Melli – was a cause for concern. It further states that the real people who should be punished are those, who have committed the atrocities, that Karroubi is providing evidence of.
Government / International
11. Reports emerged earlier in the day, that the government had taken down Ayatollah Dastegheib’s official website. Later, it was reported that it had been hacked. After logging on – it seems to be back to normal.
12. Ahmadinejad, yet again, slammed Western powers – especially Europe – for its meddling in Iran’s internal affairs during the post-election events. (It appeared, as if he was reading the same statement he has repeated, several times in the past, in regard to the West. Maybe he needs a new speech writer?)
13. Ahmadinejad introduced six members of his new cabinet on Sunday for ministerial posts. Among them, for the first time in the regime’s history, two women have been introduced.
The ministers include:
Ali Akbar Mehrabian: Industries and Mining
Seyed Shamseddin Hosseini: Economy
Hojjatoleslam Heidar Moslehi: Intelligence
Mohammad Abbasi: Cooperation
Fatemeh Ajorlou: Welfare and Social Security
Marzieh Vahid Dastjerdi: Health
Reports indicate that Ahmadinejad’s offer for a ministerial post was rejected by at least one individual. The un-named psychology professor – as it is being reported – had refused to take up a post in Ahmadinejad’s cabinet and replied later that, “Ahmadinejad needs to contact a psychiatrist because he’s mentally unstable”.
14. Syrian President Bashar Al-Asad’s trip to Iran has been postponed.
Arrested / Released / Killed / Torture
15. The third session of trials took place on Sunday for another 25 people, without any reformist political prisons amongst the accused. The prosecutor accused them of taking part in a plot, that had been hatched years before the election, held them accountable for sedition, taking part in illegal protests and using violence, including the manufacture and use of hand-made explosives. One of the people on trial is a teenage Jewish-Iranian who was accused of throwing stones at a Bank in Tehran. Others are facing similar charges. Footage of protests and gatherings were also shown during the trial.
A short video of the trial: YouTube – France 24 Third Stalinesque trial over post election unrest 16August2009
16. More torture methods have now been disclosed. Here is a summary:
– One prisoner was beaten with lead balls tied up in a cloth. The torture blinded him in one eye and he has lost most of his sight in the other. After being kicked repeatedly in the stomach, his kidneys have also been affected.
– Another released detainee, who had been arrested after getting shot, was first taken to a hospital and then moved to a detention center. He complained that his wounds were caused by being kicked, punched and beaten with batons and that he didn’t stop bleeding for hours.
– Shocking reports are also emerging about the sexual abuse of prisoners. In yesterday’s Brief we reported that three detainees, who had told the parliamentary committee, set up to assess the condition of detainees about sexual abuse, had later disappeared from Evin. Today, sources have revealed that one of the detainees, Abbas Begdeli who is just a teenager, had told the committee members that he had been repeatedly beaten with batons first, then for days after guards had forcefully raped him with a baton. The abuse had continued for so long that he had started to bleed internally. This had taken place at Kahrizak. He was taken out of Evin two hours after his confession.
17. Karroubi has confirmed the rape and death of Taraneh Mousavi. According to Karroubi, the woman in Canada, also named Taraneh Mousavi and her family had been tricked, by the government, into believing that the blogosphere was reporting her death and rape. Her family came forward and denied that their daughter had been raped and killed on IRIB. The story was reported extensively in the past few days by IRIB and other government-owned media in Iran, touting the rape and death of Taraneh Mousavi as a lie, that was being spread against the regime. Karroubi also announced that he had evidence of the atrocity.
18. Saeed Shirkavand – a former Deputy Minister of Finance and a lecturer at Tehran University, has been released, he had been in prison for 50 days. Mir Hamid Hasanzadeh, the manager of the website Ghalam was also released.
19. Some detainees that are being released from prison, are knocking on people’s doors and begging for fresh clothes, as their own clothes are too blood-stained and they don’t want to scare their family and friends by going home in them. Others have been stripped naked before being thrown out onto the streets from moving vehicles.
20. French citizen Clotilde Reiss was released on bail and will stay at the French Embassy in Tehran until the verdict of her trial is reached.
21. Abdollah Ramezanzadeh was able to speak to his family and tell them that he was in very bad health and has been receiving medication for a viral infection.
22. Abtahi’s wife and daughter have been threatened severely in the past few days by security forces. According to some reports, they have even been told they would be raped.
23. Shirin Ebadi, a Nobel Peace Prize winning lawyer and human rights activist – told the BBC that Iran should release the 7 Baha’is accused of spying for Israel. Ebadi is also their official attorney. Their second attorney is currently in detention. Their court date today was postponed yet again.
24. The highlight of the day was an article on PressTV’s website. Although the article itself is about the trial, the interesting point to note, in the first line of the third paragraph from the bottom:
“Iran’s disputed presidential vote, which resulted in the re-election of incumbent Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, was claimed as fraudulent by defeated reformist candidates, Mir Hossein Mousavi and Mehdi Karroubi.”
So far, no government-owned media outlet had called the elections disputed.
Here’s the link (Unless it has been altered by the government by the time you read this): Iran post-vote detainee denies charges
25. Etemaade Melli was not published today because according to authorities, the paper’s press faced technical difficulties. The paper’s editor-in-chief, however, disputed the allegation claiming that people from the judiciary had come and stopped them from publishing the newspaper. The reason cited was the publication of Karroubi’s statements about Taraneh.
Later, it was reported by credible sources, that Etemaade Melli had been published on Sunday. However, this was disputed by equally credible sources. The editor-in-chief finally announced the paper would be published on Tuesday. But it has now been revealed that the government has banned the newspaper for what they call publishing illegal material that was causing insecurity in society.
26. Keyhan Daily today called Mousavi the main culprit behind the unrest after the elections.
27. A very good article about rape in Iranian detention centers in English: For a democratic secular Iran. For peace and prosperity in the Middle East.: Fath-ol-mobin, Codename for Rape Operations in Iran’s Prisons
28. Dad’s piece on rape in German: Irannews: Babak Daad 15. August 2009 – Deutsch
29. Green graffiti on the main gate of the Islamic Court in Qazvin which reads “Ma Hastim!” In English Ma Hastim put in context means “We Are Still Here!” or “We Exist!”: http://i27.tinypic.com/21913dd.jpg
30. Dariush’s concert in Armenia is filled with Greens:
31. Free Iran Large Digital Billboard St. Louis, Missouri, U.S.A. – Manchester Rd & Mason Rd:
International Protests / Events / Efforts / Warnings
32. PLEASE READ THIS FOR YOUR SAFETY’S SAKE: Safeguard Your Personal Info and Your Finances! – Why We Protest – IRAN (Jon’s note – US citizens READ THIS!)
33. For an unofficial list of upcoming protests in the US: Protesting for Iran until they don’t have to
34. For an unofficial list of upcoming protests in the US: Protesting for Iran until they don’t have to
35. 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 @jkshalmani)
36. 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
– 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