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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 #58 (August 18 – Mordad 27)
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 Tuesday, August 18 – Mordad 27.
Protests / Unrest
1. Tehran’s Attorney General, Saeed Mortazavi, announced today that the 4th trial of people, who were arrested in relation to the violence and unrest, following the election, has been postponed to next Tuesday. According to Mortazavi, the postponement was requested by the defendants’ lawyers to prepare the defenses. It has been reported that Saeed Hajjarian may be prosecuted in this next trial – confirmation is only partial at this point.
2. 65 detainees continued their indefinite hunger strike in Evin prison, amid rumors that prison guards were still torturing them.
3. It has been reported that Ahmad Zeidabadi, who has been in prison for some time, was force fed by the guard Zeidabadi is a former student leader, political analyst and reporter. He is in frail health at this point and is also rumored be put on trial next week.
4. Alireza Beheshti, a close aide of Mir Hossein Mousavi, said today that Mousavi himself had chosen the name of the new movement, ‘the Green Path of Hope’. According to Beheshti, the movement strived to protect society’s rights. He added that Mousavi had thought about forming a political party, however, he had decided not to do so because it would have been ineffective.
He also added, the idea of forming a new political party, had been abandoned because most political parties in the country were run by the establishment and were not able to do much for the society. Instead, he said the new movement was more of a social network, between people who had been united in the aftermath of the election.
According to Beheshti, different committees are currently being formed within the movement. The central committee would consist of 5 or 6 members and would include Mahdi Karroubi and Mohammad Khatami. The advisory committee would be larger with 30 or 40 members and there would also be committees to oversee the government’s actions.
Newspapers and other media would also have their place within the movement to further its goals. He also criticized newspapers who had written articles denouncing the movement, saying they knew little and distorted facts.
5. Mousavi today supported Karroubi’s stance on the abuse of detainees in detention centers and praised him. Mousavi said it was regrettable that in an Islamic country, authorities could not stand someone even mentioning [abuse] and blasted, especially the government-run media, for criticizing Karroubi harshly. “All this paranoia tells of frightening news that we are yet unaware of.” He added that those who had committed these inhumane acts were a few individuals inside the government.
He criticized the government for asking abused detainees to present four witnesses – as is customary in Sharia law for victims of rape. “Those who have committed crimes are the government’s hands [members]; isn’t the government interested in knowing what these hands do to people?”
He said that it was not possible to heal these wounds without listening to these people and providing them swift justice and that force and denial weren’t the remedies.
He asked clerics and other spiritual leaders of Iran for help and support in this and other matters and said that if clerics did not interfere, they would be committing a grave sin – even though they would be spared criticism from the government.
Full Text of Karroubi’s criticism of media and government from yesterday:
In English (Courtesy of Enduring America): http://tinyurl.com/m5tgut
6. IIPF (Islamic Iran Participation Front) released a statement announcing their complete and firm support of Karroubi, condemned the government-run media and the government for their harsh criticism of Karroubi. The statement also denounces the ban on Etemaade Melli newspaper.
7. Reports indicate that Ayatollah Bayat Zanjani has also released a statement in support of Karroubi. He said he was deeply saddened by what had been described in the letter and hopes that none of it proves to be true. He asked the government, however, why there were clear differences between what the parliamentary commission was stating, what the Judiciary was accepting and what the media was reporting about the detention centers. He added that if the continued spate of criticisms, directed at personalities who were key to the Islamic Revolution continued and the government did not do enough to solve the current crisis, the Islamic Republic might fail. He quoted Prophet Mohammed’s saying, “A government of infidels [over Muslims] might remain, but a government of tyranny will not”.
8. Ayatollah Sane’ie’s website released a statement by him clarifying that he had not called anyone a ‘bastard’ and that his mentioning of the word was in reference to another incident he had described earlier in his speech.
Here are more detailed excerpts of his words from Gorgan in English:
http://theseaofliberty.com/iran/saanei.html (Courtesy of @homylafayette)
9. Reformist leader Abdollah Nouri traveled to Qom along with other reformists to meet with Ayatollah Montazeri and Hojatoleslam Shahrestani – the son-in-law of Ayatollah Sistani. In separate meetings, the reformists discussed the current situation with the clerics and asked for the clerics in the city to get involved in the current restive situation and asked them to enter the scene. Other reformists include Ghomahossein Karbaschi – a former mayor of Tehran and no relation to the current mayor -, Mohammad Hojjati – a former Minister of Agriculture -, Hojjatoleslam Abdul Majid Ma’adikha and Ali Hekmat.
10. Government-owned websites – including one owned by Ahmadinejad’s son – have reported that Rafsanjani met with government officials including Hadad Adel and Asgar Aowladi. During the meeting, Rafsanjani repeated his words from the Friday prayers and added that he had no conflicts with Khamenei. He, however, added that he did not partake in Ahmadinejad’s inauguration because of discontent over Ahmadinejad’s appointment of Masha’ie. The report could not be verified through any other sources.
11. Shirin Ebadi accused the government of holding Mousavi’s brother-in-law – Shahpour Kazemi – hostage in order to silence the reformist leader. Kazemi, 70, has no background in politics, yet was arrested two months ago and has been in detention since. The news of his arrest was kept by his sister, Zahra Rahnavard – Mousavi’s wife – for weeks because according to her, she and her husband wanted to highlight the people’s plight.
12. Dozens of students from Tehran’s different universities – mainly Sharif Industrial University, Tehran University and Amir Kabir University – sent a letter to Rafsanjani, asking him to fulfill his duty as the head of the Assembly of Experts. The letter accuses Khamanei of having the direct responsibility for the death, torture and arrests of peaceful protesters and political activists. The Assembly of Experts is the body responsible for the election of the Supreme Leader as well as his dismissal. Lately, pressure has been mounting on the Rafsanjani, as the head of the body, to at least investigate the crimes that have been committed in the post-election turmoil and if found guilty, hold Khamanei accountable for them.
Government / International
13. Khamenei’s representative to the IRG, Hojatoleslam Ali Saeedi, said today that the masterminds behind the post-election violence were still free. He added the nation wanted these people to be arrested, so action should be taken and added that the confessions during the trials, had uncovered the role of foreigners and embassies in the post-election violence. He said that the turmoil had exposed troublemakers, who had been fooled by those behind the revolutions in Georgia, Ukraine and Kyrgyzstan.
14. Daoud Zare’eyan – an official in Iran’s government-owned telecommunication company today – said that the government was taking all the steps necessary to combat anti-internet filtering technologies. He was responding to news that the US government was working on technologies to combat internet filtering in Iran, China and other countries.
15. Reports are emerging that some high-ranking clerics have held a meeting with Khamanei and accused his son, Mojtaba Khamanei, of having a hand in the violence that followed the election. The reports also indicate that Khamanei rejected these claims. Full confirmation of this could not be obtained.
16. Hamid Katouzian – a member of the parliament’s committee on assessing the condition of detainees – said today that Karroubi is welcome to give them evidence of rape in Iranian detention centers. He added that he would investigate the evidence and ensure the safety of witnesses and victims.
17. Strategic Forecasting Inc. (STRATFOR) has reports that Khamanei has created an elite new security force, dedicated to his protection called Haydaryan. Stratfor reports that this new militia had taken part in the suppression of peaceful protests following the elections. This could not be confirmed by other sources.
18. The governor of Tehran province has released a statement saying the government would compensate the victims of street violence and is willing to pay for property damage. However, proof of injury must be provided in order to receive monetary compensation. He added that if health insurance had paid for their injuries, they would not be compensated.
Arrested / Released / Killed / Torture
19. Disturbing news of torture continues to flow out. Dr. Ali Mohammad Dadkha – an Iranian lawyer and human rights activist – is under severe pressure, to make a confession, stating that the human rights organization he works for is working against the government. Reportedly, besides the beatings, he was pushed and rolled down the stairway of a three story building several times, taken back up and rolled down again to break his nerve.
20. Faizullah Arab-Sorkhi – a reformist leader – has also been tortured badly. After refusing to confess, he was repeatedly beaten severely and then moved back to solitary confinement. The torture so severely affected his body the guards were forced to first move him to the medical care center inside Evin and then finally to an IRG hospital in north Tehran.
21. A Tehrani, who has just been released from Evin, spoke of unimaginable psychological torture. According to him, he was repeatedly put under extreme pressure by the interrogators, who kept telling him that they would break him. He was told that killing him would not be a sin, since him and the likes of him, were acting against the Islamic Revolution. One guard reportedly told him to confess and his confession would be published in newspapers bringing him fame. Another guard said, “We even broke Abtahi. We’re going to easily break you”. He was shown confessions of others – which he claimed were very similar in grammar and usage of words. The Tehrani said that after a few days, he finally, out of extreme fear, signed the pre-written confession to get out.
22. The sister of a detainee, who has just been released, called VOA and said that after his release, her brother is unrecognizable because of weight loss and refuses to speak a word. She adds – amid sobbing cries – that he looks as if he has gone mad and simply stares at the ceiling.
The details of her brother’s current state are so moving that VOA newscaster Elnaz Kiani could not stop herself from crying:
Video (Persian): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B-hm-5B3LFk
23. Saeed Hajjarian’s daughter reports that security forces have interrogated her brother several times, denied them visits and finally a couple of days ago, a large number showed up at their doorstep with more questions. According to her, all this is being done to put psychological pressure on her father, to break him down and obtain a confession.
24. Partially confirmed reports indicate that detained reformist Abdollah Ramezanzadeh’s condition has deteriorated and he has been moved to a hospital. Abdollah Ramezanzadeh is a former government spokesperson, who served under Mohammad Khatami during his presidency.
25. Partially confirmed reports say that Reformist MP Alikhani – the same Alikhani, who criticized the government openly in the parliament, the video which was shared widely around the internet – has been denied access to Evin prison. Alikhani was planning on visiting the prison and talking to detainees.
26. Human rights activists Haleh Sahabi and Kaveh Mozafari were released.
27. Keyhan Daily has a new allegation, “The Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars (or Wilson Center) had a major hand in the unrest that followed the elections.” The paper goes on to blast the US for causing the deaths of Iranians.
28. Six members of Iran’s football team have been bestowed with the Sports for Peace Award. The footballers tied green armbands in support of the Sea of Green during Iran’s World Cup qualifier game two months ago against South Korea.
International Protests / Events / Efforts / Warnings
28. PLEASE READ THIS FOR YOUR SAFETY’S SAKE: http://tinyurl.com/r2ow2c
29. For an unofficial list of upcoming protests in the US: http://protests.sharearchy.com/
30. For a list of protests that are being planned in Germany, please visit this link: http://tinyurl.com/nbzacj (Courtesy of @jkshalmani)
31. A to the point website for help traumatized Greens: http://healingthegreensoul.blogspot.com/
(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: firstname.lastname@example.org
– 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