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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 #64-66 (Aug31-Sept2 – Shahrivar 9-11)
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) under the condition that you provide a link to the original source.)
These are the important happenings that I can positively confirm from Monday-Wednesday, August 31-September 2 – Shahrivar 9-11.
Protests / Unrest
1. More than 50 students of Tehran’s various universities, have been summoned for questioning, by the Ministry of Intelligence. No word yet, as to why they have been summoned, however, rumors suggest it will serve as a warning to other students, not to protest in the future.
2. Dozens of Sea of Green supporters, gathered in front of the Russian Embassy in Brussels, Belgium. The protesters demanded that torture should be stopped in Iran and decried Russian support for the Iranian regime.
3. Dozens of members of the detainees’ families, gathered in front of Evin prison, once again, and broke fast. The gathering happens most days now, with only brief interruptions.
4. Several reformist leaders (not the top ranking) will be appearing at Daruzahra in Tehran, starting Thursday for ten nights. They will be attending special sermons and recitations of the Koran, along with ordinary people from all walks of life. Prayers will be held for the release of prisoners and protesters who have died in during the protests.
5. The meeting of former MPs, that was supposed to be held in the coming days, has been cancelled. Reportedly, the meeting was cancelled because of threats from security forces.
6. Supporters of the Sea of Green, are planning a protest in Stockholm on the 5th of September. Further details will be released in the next brief.
7. Families of detainees gathered in front of Evin once again. Pictures of them breaking their fast in front of the prison: http://bit.ly/Ko0dI
8. Karroubi has formally sent a letter, to the chief of IRIB Ezatullah Zarghami, asking him to allow Karroubi’s representative to be present, during discussions regarding the evidence of rape in detention centers. Lately, IRIB has been holding forums and broadcasting statements by critics of Karroubi’s stance on this matter. Karroubi, in his letter, asked Zarghami to allow him the opportunity, to answer his critics, during these forums, stating that both sides of the story needed to be told.
9. Partially confirmed reports suggest that Seyed Mohammad Khatami, is not going to attend the Shabe Qadr gathering at the end of the month, at Imam Khomeini’s shrine. Earlier, it had been reported that Nategh Nouri and Khatami were both going to attend the gathering and speak. However, pressure has been increased on both Nategh Nouri and Khatami, as the government-run media reported the two of them were solely joining the gathering, to speak about the Green Movement. It has been rumored that Nouri might also cancel his attendance.
10. Reports suggest that Hashemi Rafsanjani’s son Mehdi Hashemi, has left Iran for the UK. Several reformists on trial, during their forced confessions, accused Mehdi Hashemi of several crimes, including telling the editor of Jamhooriyat newspaper, to write articles attacking Ahmadinejad’s first four years in office.
11. Mir Hossein Mousavi met with one of his top campaign managers Hamzeh Ghalebi, who has recently been released from prison.
12. Mehdi Karroubi has said that one rape victim had disappeared, after he told the family to contact authorities about the victim’s ordeal. He blamed Saeed Mortazavi for the disappearance and said, if anything happens to the victim, it would be Mortazavi’s doing. He also praised Larijani’s decision to form a 3-member committee, to investigate the crimes, that have been committed during the post-election violence. He went on to say it was a positive step towards rebuilding people’s trust.
13. The Green Path of Hope will soon officially declare its existence, it has been reported. The official announcement could come within days. For practical purposes, the movement is going to be known as Rasa – the acronym of the movement’s name in Persian.
14. Mehdi Karroubi has sent an official letter to Grand Ayatollah Montazeri, thanking him for his support. In the letter, Karroubi humbly shows his gratitude for Montazeri’s support, during the post-election turmoil and his various repudiations of attacks by the media, other organizations and individuals against Karroubi.
15. Ayatollah Makarem Shirazi stated today, that since Khamenei has given the order to investigate crimes that were committed in the post-election unrest, investigations into what happened at Kahrizak and Tehran University’s dorm should be started as soon as possible. He added that those who are responsible for these crimes, need to be put on trial so that the trust of the people could be restored.
16. More than two hundred reformist students and university professors, have published an open letter calling for the release of Mohammad Reza Jalaiepour.
Government / International
17. Khamenei’s representative in the IRGC Mojtaba Zonnouri, has attacked reformist leaders. He said that several reformist leaders had gone to Arab kings and sheikhs and begged for money. He also said that those who had provoked the public to go out and take part in the unrest were equally responsible for the blood that was shed during the turmoil.
18. News has surfaced that Saeed Mortazavi – the butcher of Evin – had been proposed to be Khamanei’s senior advisor on human rights, however, the proposal met with criticism and has been shelved.
19. Reports indicate that Sadegh Larijani – the head of Iran’s Judiciary – has stated that some detainees need to be released swiftly. It is unclear if or when this is going to happen.
20. Former candidate Mohsen Reza’ie is rumored to be replacing the current head of IRIB, Ezzatullah Zarghami. Full confirmation of this development could not be obtained.
21. In response to IRGC Commander Jafari’s claim, that out of the 29 people who have been killed during the protests, 20 were Basijis, reformist MP Nasrullah Torabi, inquired why the Basijis’ names had not been released and why there had only been one Basiji, who’s funeral was officially announced. He accused Jafari and others, of finding ways to shed responsibility, before the crimes committed in the past two and a half months, were fully investigated.
22. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has ordered that 40 Iranian ambassadors, be removed from their posts and be replaced. Confirmed reports suggest, the ambassadors were removed from their posts, due to their support for the green movement. Reports also indicate that dozens more will be replaced, after the expiration of their term, with people who have shown loyalty to Ahmadinejad.
23. Ali Saeedi – a representative of Khamenei at IRGC – has thanked those responsible for obtaining confessions from Saeed Hajjarian and other reformists. He also praised their valuable actions which resulted in swift confessions.
24. IRGC Commander Mohammad Ali Jafari, accused reformists of directly causing the violence after the election. He added that the goal of the reformist leaders, was to weaken the Supreme Leader. He accused Khatami, Ayatollah Mousavi Khoyeni (no relation to Mir Hossein Mousavi), Mehdi Hashemi (Rafsanjani’s son), Abtahi, Tajzadeh and Atrianfar, of directly taking part in the elections, solely to replace Khamenei from the helm of power. He cited unreleased confessions of detainees as the source of his information.
The Association of Combatant Clerics, of which Khatami is a member, quickly denounced Jafari’s statements and called the accusations grand lies.
25. French President Nicolas Sarkozy praised and showed admiration for the Sea of Green while on a trip to Germany. He also added that the Iranian people deserve a better leadership than the current one.
26. Saeed Mortazavi, during the inauguration ceremony for the new Attorney General of Iran, said that while he was Tehran’s AG, his organization had a glowing record of quelling both the 1999 protests and the current ongoing turmoil. For his brutal suppression of peaceful protesters, Mortazavi has earned the nickname of “butcher of Evin” by journalists and human rights activists.
27. Ayatollah Mesbah Yazdi, criticized anyone who called Khamenei a dictator. Speaking during an event hosted in Hamadan, Yazdi said that anyone who opposes the Supreme Leader and considers another source higher than him was committing idolatry, as the Supreme Leader of Iran is considered God’s representative.
28. Reports have surfaced that President Barack Obama has recently sent a letter to the Iranian leadership. Neither the date nor the contents of the letter have been made public. Whether the letter has been sent or not cannot be confirmed at this point.
29. Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, is to arrive in Tehran on an official visit on Saturday, according to Iranian media.
Arrested / Released / Killed / Torture
30. Hasan Bayadi, the deputy chairman of Tehran’s city council – announced that the nameless graves, in Beheshte Zahra, contained bodies that had been buried after orders were received from the courts and the deaths had been certified by a coroner. He said it was nothing new and hundreds of people, who could not be identified, were buried every year. He said the council had appointed two people, to investigate the claims that 40 unmarked graves in Beheshte Zahra, were the graves of protesters, who had been killed and buried, without informing their families.
31. A report by a coroner’s commission, has determined that Mohsen Rohulamini, had indeed died under torture and he had not contracted meningitis, as had been previously stated as the official cause of his death. The report suggests that Mohsen was under stress, kept in unsanitary conditions and had been beaten severely.
32. Unconfirmed reports suggest that two people close to Rafsanjani’s son, Mehdi Hashemi and daughter Fatemeh Hashemi – perhaps with family ties to them – have been arrested on suspicion of subversion. Full confirmation is not at hand at this time. Only their last names are mentioned in the reports as Dawaie and Rajabi.
33. Saleh Nikbakht, a lawyer to former deputy economy minister Mohsen Safayi-Farahani, stated that Farahani’s treatment during his first 18 days of detention was so horrific, he could not bear to discuss what happened. He then added that conditions improved after those first 18 days.
34. Reports suggest that Naseh Fareedi – a member of the committee to defend political prisoners – has been released after 78 days in detention.
35. Hojjatoleslam Mohammad Zabihi and Dr. Abdurrahim Soleimani – both prominent clerics of Qom and supporters of Mousavi – have been released after weeks in detention.
36. Reports have emerged that political prisoners, have been shown fake footage, suggesting that Mousavi and Karroubi had been arrested, to break their spirits and pressure them to make false confessions.
37. Dariush Qanbari – a spokesperson for the Imam’s Way faction of MPs, who are mostly reformists – said that those who have committed criminal acts at Kahrizak, need to be put on trial in public. He also said that it needs to be determined, whether they were directed to do so by higher authorities, or they had violated the rights of detainees without such orders.
38. Seven Christian converts from North Tehran, who were detained a month ago, are still being kept in detention. They were arrested with 18 others, by security forces and plainclothesmen, yet the other 18 were released after being interrogated.
39. Abtahi was allowed to break his fast at home with his family, for one night, then was promptly taken back to prison.
40. The coroner’s office in Tehran, has sent a report, on the conditions that brought about Mohammad Kamrani’s death to the Judiciary. Although contents of the report were not released, it has been confirmed by Kamrani’s family and other sources that he died at Loqman Hospital, as a result of injuries he sustained under torture at Kahrizak.
41. Khamenei is now reportedly trying to buy the silence of the torture victims of Kahrizak. According to reports from some families, Khamenei’s office asked several of them to come in for meetings. They were interviewed and sent home. After a few days, some families whose loved ones had been tortured more severely than others, were asked to return to the office where they were given money termed as “the Supreme Leader’s conciliation”. They were also told indirectly not to talk about the torture or give interviews to media outlets.
42. The coroner’s office in Tehran has denied claims, made by the Tehran city council’s deputy head, they had issued birth certificates for the nameless bodies buried at Beheshte Zahra’s 302 section.
43. Reliable reports suggest that the Iranian Intelligence Ministry, has set up a team to find out who leaked the news about the nameless victims buried at Beheshte Zahra.
44. Sayed Alireza Beheshti – a member of a reformist commission, investigating the deaths, detentions and torture in the aftermath of the elections – today said they had received word of 3 more victims. They were now positive that at least 72 people had been killed in the unrest. He rejected IRGC Commander Jafari’s statement that 20 Basijis had died in the violence and only 9 civilians had lost their lives.
45. Another victim, unrelated to the list of names Beheshti mentions, has surfaced as a victim of the violence. Mahmoud Raiesy Najafi – a resident of Tehran – was badly beaten with batons while he was coming home from work near Azadi square, only three days after the elections. He later died because of the injuries he sustained. This can only be partially confirmed at this point.
46. At least five university students, from Mashhad’s Ferdowsi University, have been arrested and transported to an unknown location. All the students are members of Karroubi’s campaign staff.
47. Human rights activist Rasool Badaqi has been arrested. Security forces searched his house and confiscated many of his personal items , including his writings.
48. Journalist Isa Saharkhiz’ detention has been extended for two more months. He has already spent two months in prison.
49. Ali Ehsani – a Baha’i from Semnan – who was arrested on charges of subversion earlier this year, has been sentenced to two years imprisonment.
50. Raja News website published an article, severely criticizing Grand Ayatollah Sane’ie, calling him a megalomaniacal narcissist and embodied the Quranic verse about falling into the satanic trap of egotism.
51. Photos: Green Iftar in Qom http://bit.ly/2h32Xl
52. Protester sneaks in through IRIB’s live broadcast: http://bit.ly/K5zAj
International Protests / Events / Warnings / Efforts
53. A petition to be signed and sent to ambassadors as well as their contacts: http://docs.google.com/View?id=dcnj8jzc_8dxb9vbgf
54. PLEASE READ THIS FOR YOUR SAFETY’S SAKE: http://tinyurl.com/r2ow2c
55. For an unofficial list of upcoming protests in the US: http://protests.sharearchy.com/
56. For a list of protests that are being planned in Germany, please visit this link: http://tinyurl.com/nbzacj
57. 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: [email]email@example.com
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– A hearty thanks to 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