NiteOwl’s GreenBrief #59

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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 #59 (August 19 – Mordad 28)

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 Wednesday, August 19 – Mordad 28.

Protests / Unrest

1. On Thursday, Ahmadinejad is scheduled to give a speech that is being broadcasted live on IRIB. Protesters have decided to chant on rooftops throughout the speech showing their discontent. The speech was scheduled for today, but was postponed, due to wide-spread reports that people would try to cause a black out by over using electricity. The speech is to be aired at 9 PM Tehran Time.

2. A general strike was observed in Sanandaj City, Kordestan province. Shops were closed in most parts of the city in remembrance of an attack on Kordestan province 30 years ago. Basijis and police had earlier threatened city merchants not to take part in the strike. Reports indicated that police and Basij also clashed with some merchants who were refusing to open their shops and many merchants were injured – this could not be confirmed right away.

3. Kamil prayers will be held on Thursday, in Tehran’s Dar-u-zahra Cultural Center, for the release of detainees and the mourning of protesters who have been killed so far. The prayers are held weekly on Thursdays.


4. Karroubi has announced he is ready to present evidence of the rape of detainees by prison guards. He sent a letter today to Ali Larijani, to set up a meeting between him and various heads of government institutions. According to Karroubi, the meeting will explain whether he is wrong or Friday prayer Imams, who have lambasted him for raising his voice. He has asked these people to be present during the meeting for him to present the evidence:

– President Ahmadinejad

– Judiciary Chief Sadegh Larijani

– Ali Larijani, the head of the Parliament

– The head of the Expediency Council,

– The head of the Assembly of Experts and of the Expediency Council Hashemi Rafsanjani

– Attorney General Ghorbanali Dorri-Najafabadi

– Members of the parliamentary committee set up to assess the condition of detainees

5. Karroubi also alleged that Hossein Ta’eb – the head of the Basij – was one of the main perpetrators of the phony TV interview, with the family of a woman who claimed to be the real Taraneh Mousavi. In response to his statement, Hojatoleslam Seyed Hossein Shahmoradi – who happens to be the brother of the claimant’s wife – released a statement criticizing Karroubi for divulging the information. According to Shahmoradi, he had told Karroubi about the incident and the fakeness of the claimant in confidentiality.

6. Reports from Qom indicate that Grand Ayatollah Seyed Mousa Shabiri Zanjani – a cleric who has been a teacher of Khamenei and his sons – held a meeting with Grand Ayatollah Lutfullah Safi Golpaygani and has shown great concern over the killing of protesters. According to reports, he got so upset during the meeting that he began to cry.

Shabiri Zanjani has also met with Grand Ayatollah Montazeri in his summer residence in Khaveh, near Qom. He is a key cleric who has been instrumental in freeing Montazeri from house arrest.

7. The Defense of Human Rights Society – an Iranian human rights organization – has asked the government to immediately release its members who have been detained in the post-election violence. The Society released a statement saying that their only job was to defend human rights and that they did not engage in political activities. Members of the organization, Mohammad Ali Dadkha, Abdol Fatah Soltani and a few others are still in detention. Three that were detained have now been released.

Government / International

8. Ahmadinejad unveiled his 21-member cabinet on Wednesday. MPs will start examining the nominees for different ministries in four days and will hold a vote for each member on the 30th of the month. PressTV reported Vice Parliament Speaker Mohammad-Reza Bahonar saying on Thursday, that it was likely that several of the ministers would be rejected by the assembly. Bahonar indicated that up to five nominees would possibly be rejected.

Here is a list of the names and posts of cabinet members (as well as some notes about them below):

Agriculture: Sadeq Khalilian

Commerce: Mehdi Ghazanfari

Communications and IT: Reza Taqipour

Cooperatives: Mohammad Abbasi (Retains his post)

Culture and Islamic Guidance: Seyyed Mohammad Hosseini

Defense: Brigadier Ahmad Vahidi

Economy and Financial Affairs: Seyyed Shamseddin Hosseini

Education: Sousan Keshavarz (Female)

Energy: Mohammad Aliabadi

Foreign Affairs: Manouchehr Mottaki (Retains his post)

Health: Marzieh Vahid Dastjerdi (Female)

Housing and Urban Development: Abdolreza Sheikholeslami

Industries and Mines: Ali Akbar Mehrabian (*See note (a) below)

Intelligence: Heyder Moslehi

Interior: Mostafa Mohammad Najjar

Justice: Morteza Bakhtiari

Labor and Social Affairs: Ali Nikzad

Oil: Masoud Mir Kazemi

Road and Transportation: Hamid Behbahani (Retains his post)

Science, Research and Technology: Kamran Daneshjoo

Welfare and Social Security: Fatemeh Ajorlou (Female) (*See note (b) below)

(a) It is worth noting that Ali Akbar Mehrabian, the cabinet member for Industries and Mines, retains his post although he was convicted in court, a few weeks ago, for the stealing of another inventor’s invention.

(b) There may also be a problem for the Minister of Welfare Fatemeh Ajorlou who is also facing legal trouble.

9. Several conservative MPs have criticized Ahmadinejad’s choice of ministers. Many have shown discontent over his choice of three women for ministries. One MP from Oromieh said that it is possible, that these women would face difficulties in the next cabinet [because of their gender].

10. Asgar Aowladi, today denied that a meeting was held between him, Rafsanjani, Haddad Adel and others. This news was widely reported in some government-owned websites yesterday. (Read full report in Brief #58)

11. Former Minister of Intelligence Mohseni Ejaie – who has been widely accused of being one of the main forces behind the brutal suppression of peaceful protesters – is expected to be nominated as the next Attorney General by Sadegh Larejani. Ejaie was sacked by Ahmadinejad days before his inauguration.

12. The leadership council of the Assembly of Experts held a meeting today, postponing the meeting of the Assembly till after Ramadan – which is in a week. Other details were not disclosed.

13. The governor of Tehran province, Moteza Tamaddon criticized Karroubi today, stating that if he cannot prove his allegations, then legal steps should be taken against him. He added that during his and other MPs’ visit to Evin on Tuesday, detainees rejected that they had been raped.

14. Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki said that Iran, would continue a new course in its foreign policy and that Europeans states should “adapt to new realities”.

15. Syrian President Bashar Al-Asad is in Tehran on a two-day trip, holding meetings with various Iranian officials.

16. Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez Frias will be visiting Iran in September.

Arrested / Released / Killed / Torture

17. Partially confirmed reports have emerged of a released detainee, who had been drugged and raped. According to reports, the detainee had been given heavy doses of rohypnol – a sedative, anticonvulsant, anxiolytic, amnestic, hypnotic and skeletal muscle relaxant – and then brutally raped. According to a doctor, who helped with the case while the victim was in hospital, the victim had contracted Chlamydia infection – a common sexually transmitted disease because of the abuse.

18. Partially confirmed reports have emerged that the parliament, may have received a confidential letter from Karroubi 20 days before his public letter to Rafsanjani. According to Iqbal Mohammadi – an MP from Marivan – Karroubi only sent the letter to Rafsanjani after he had not received a reply from the parliament.

19. A un-named MP has told opposition websites, that the news of the parliamentary committee’s ‘fact-finding’ mission to Evin were lying about their meeting with Mostafa Tajzadeh. According to the MP, what the committee members quoted as Tajzadeh’s words, were pre-written and given to them by Saeed Jalili – the Secretary General of the National Security Council.

Reports indicate that Tajzadeh is held outside Evin, while committee members told the press that they met Tajzadeh at Evin.

20. Mehdieh Mohammadi, the wife of political commentator and reporter Ahmad Zeidabadi, said that her husband has been kept in extreme conditions in prison. According to Mohammadi, Zeidabadi had been kept in an unlit 1×1.5 meter room for the first 17 days of his arrest, where he went on a hunger strike. During this period, no sounds reached the room and no one came to talk to him. He described the cell to his wife as a ‘grave’.

After 17 days, his health deteriorated and he was found unconscious in his cell. He was taken to a doctor who told him to eat. He was then taken back to the same cell where started showing signs of dementia, he told his wife, in a meeting 52 days after his arrest, that he wanted to kill himself but couldn’t find anything to do the job with. He spent a further two weeks in this cell. After repeated cries, he was taken to a different cell. He told his wife, during the meeting, that he has been forced to tell the court, in the next trial, that he would never take part in anything related to politics.

21. Isa Saharkhiz – a reporter – is under severe psychological pressure and claims that he will sue the government once freed. His ribs were broken after being beaten by security forces and he has yet to receive proper medical care for his injuries. He has told his interrogators that he would not talk without his lawyer and the parliamentary committee for assessing the condition of detainees present.

22. Kevan Samimi has also been put in solitary confinement and has been repeatedly beaten by prison guards. Samimi is a journalist and a political activist fighting for political prisoners’ rights.

23. Azad University student Hesamat Salamat, has been released after a month and a half in prison. Also released were Journalist Zhila Bani-Yaghoub and Sadegh Nowroozi, a member of reformist party Mojahedin of the Islamic Revolution Organization. Reports suggest that Mehsa Amrabadi and Somayeh Towhidlo would be released soon as well.

24. Mohammad Reza Jalayeepour was supposed to be released today, but he was not. It was expected that he would be released on August 20.

25. Photographer Stayar Emami, of Jam e Jam newspaper, was reportedly released on Sunday after a month in detention. After the current releases, the number of journalists in prison stands at 35.

26. Seven executions have been put on hold by the new Judiciary Chief after taking office. These include one young person who is now a 21 year old who was accused of murder at the age of 16.

27. No news has emerged since the disappearance Sohrab Leqaie, a Baha’i from Ghayem Shahr. He was arrested a month ago by agents of the Intelligence Ministry.


28. Hossein Entezami – the representative of editor-in-chiefs in the Committee to Oversee the Media – has also criticized the ban on Etemaade Melli. He added that the country was not in need of such actions.

29. Reports have emerged that Karroubi has threatened, that unless Etemaade Melli’s ban was not lifted, he would revive his project of running a TV channel. He was forced to shelve plans four years ago for Channel “Saba” a satellite channel, after direct intervention by Ali Larijani, then chair of the National Security Council, who deemed the plan “an act against national security”. Karroubi then founded the Etemade Melli newspaper to reach the masses.

30. Keyhan Daily – the mouthpiece of Khamenei – threatened all reformist parties not to support Karroubi. It also criticized the meetings of reformists with Montazeri and other clerics in Qom.


31. Swissinfo reports:

“Islamic scholar Tariq Ramadan has been fired from his position at a Netherlands university over connections to an Iranian-funded television channel. In a statement, the municipality of Rotterdam and the Erasmus University of Rotterdam said that the Swiss-born theologian’s hosting of a program on Iran’s Press TV was “irreconcilable” with his position as a guest professor.”

International Protests / Events / Efforts / Warnings

32. On Thursday, August 20, at 4:30 pm American student activists will gather outside the Nokia Store at 5 East 57th Street in Manhattan to protest Nokia’s complicity in the crackdown against Iranian protesters. Link for more info: Project Nur Protests Nokia’s Role in Iran

33. PLEASE READ THIS FOR YOUR SAFETY’S SAKE: Safeguard Your Personal Info and Your Finances! – Why We Protest – IRAN

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) (Courtesy 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:

To Helpers

– 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