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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 #67-68 (September 3,4 – Shahrivar12,13)
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 Thursday-Friday, September 3-4 – Shahrivar 12-13.
Protest / Unrest
1. It can be confirmed that the September 18 protest, now has the endorsement of Mir Hossein Mousavi, Zahra Rahnavard and Mehdi Karroubi and they will all be joining the protest. Where and when exactly, on that day, the protest will be held and the scope is not yet clear.
2. It has now been confirmed that a few days ago, families of detainees who had gathered outside Evin Prison, to break their fast, were attacked and scattered by security forces. Reports indicate, the attack took place on September 1. Some sources, however, also cite September 2 as the day of the attack. As yet, we cannot confirm the exact date.
3. As more news of dissent amongst laborers reaches across Iran, economic reasons are being cited as the driving force behind the dessent. According to several websites, the cost of living, since Ahmadinejad’s election in 2005, may have risen by more than 100%, yet many workers are vocally complaining about not being paid their meager wages in the past several months.
4. The Mourning Mothers Association will be holding another vigil at Laleh Park Saturday, September 5.
5. For the first time in 20 years, nightly vigils at Imam Khomeini’s shrine will not be held. It was feared the Greens would flood the premises and try to get their message out using this gathering.
6. Karroubi in response to IRGC Commander Ali Jafari’s allegations, that reformists were attempting to weaken the Supreme Leader, hinted that certain people should stop meddling in politics, as politics were a totally different area than the military – a clear indication that IRGC should stay out of politics.
Karroubi who was at the mourning for the deceased Iraqi cleric Abdul Aziz Al-Hakim, also added he had met with the three-member commission, set up by the Judiciary and had explained to them the evidence he had, at hand, of the instances of rape. He said they would be holding more meetings in the near future.
He also added, one of the victims, that had been referred to the authorities, had gone missing for several days. He did not clarify when the victim had returned or what had happened while he was missing.
7. Hasan Rohani, a member of the Assembly of Experts and a former national security chief – said that attacks on prominent personalities, during the trials, were against Islamic Sharia and the national interest of Iran. Rohani also added that Jafari’s statement – mentioned above – and the IRGC press secretary Sardar Javani’s statement calling Mousavi a hypocrite, would only hurt the regime and weaken people’s trust in it.
Reza Tabish – the Secretary General of Imam’s Way faction of MPs – had earlier also blasted such accusations against reformist leaders.
8. Faezeh Hashemi, the daughter of Ayatollah Hashemi Rafsanjani, in an interview today, said that the health of the election was still very questionable and what happened after the election, while very important, should not overshadow the importance of what happened to the election. She also strongly condemned the “show trials” and the crimes committed after the election. She went on to stress that all these were indicative of a “velvet coup” and it was clearly a deception, that people were being accused of starting a “velvet revolution’ instead.
Faezeh Hashemi added that an independent commission, to investigate the election, should had been set up instead of leaving it up to the Guardian Council to decide. She also added that only investigating what happened at Tehran University or Kahrizak was not enough and the killings and havoc that was wreaked during the protests should be investigated as well.
She also blasted the IRIB for its one-sided coverage of events and added that what has happened, in the aftermath of the election, were signs that the system was about to become both undemocratic and unIslamic.
9. Reports indicate that Karroubi has openly encouraged people to join the Qods day Friday prayers. Keyhan had earlier reported that Rafsanjani was going to lead the prayers on that Friday. This could not be confirmed through independent sources.
(However, should Rafsanjani lead the prayers, I will be live-blogging his sermon in English on Anonnet and later release a transcript.)
10. Partially confirmed reports indicate that Grand Ayatollahs Sane’ie and Montazeri have held another meeting. Both clerics have expressed concern over the current crisis and showed their displeasure over the continued arrests of political activists. Both later prayed that the country could come out of the crisis sooner and that all prisoners be released.
Government / International
11. The parliament voted on Ahmadinejad’s proposed cabinet and approved 18 of 21 ministers. Here is a list of the approved cabinet members and their posts:
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
Foreign Affairs: Manouchehr Mottaki (Retains his post)
Health: Marzieh Vahid Dastjerdi (Female)
Housing and Urban Development: Abdolreza Sheikholeslami
Industries and Mines: Ali Akbar Mehrabian
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
These proposed ministers failed to get the required vote of confidence:
Education: Sousan Keshavarz (Female)
Energy: Mohammad Aliabadi
Welfare and Social Security: Fatemeh Ajorlou (Female)
12. The Deputy Speaker of Parliament Mohammad Reza Bahonar, has disclosed that Khamanei had sent a message to the parliament, stating that he wished to see Ahmadinejad’s cabinet passed – although no one should feel any pressure. It has been indicated, by unnamed MPs, that many more ministers would have been rejected, if Khamenei had not sent the message to sway the opinion of the Parliament. “If we had not received the leader recommendations, probably eight or nine ministers would have failed to win the vote of confidence, and that would not have been a good start for the government,” he added.
13. Reports indicate that the newly appointed Minister for Labor Ali Nikzad’s work plan, that he submitted to the parliament, shows unemployment numbers that are vastly different from those claimed by Ahmadinejad. According to confirmed sources, the numbers actually match those provided by Mousavi and Karroubi during the election campaign.
14. Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani, Mohammad Hossein Saffar Harandi, the former Minister of Culture and Islamic Guidance, together with many hardliners who have been accused of having a direct hand in the violence against peaceful protesters, joined the 40th day mourning ceremony of Mohsen Rohulamini at his house. Rohulamini died under torture at Kahrizak.
15. The live broadcast of the cabinet vote was disrupted when a parliamentarian was overheard saying, “If anyone cheats [in counting the votes for the cabinet member], we’ll send them to Kahrizak.” The live broadcast was promptly cut after the remark was made. The broadcast resumed later.
16. The Czech Republic reportedly declined to sell pepper spray and taser guns to Iran last year, over fears that these might be used, by the government for torture, according to Al-Arabiya.
17. Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez arrived in Tehran early Saturday morning to meet with the Iranian Supreme Leader and Ahmadinejad.
Arrested / Released / Killed / Torture
18. Partially confirmed reports say the body of a teenage detainee has been returned to his family after more than a month. Alireza Azadpour – a reisdent of Kermanshah – disappeared on July 19 while attending a rally. His family was unable to find him, even though they had tried to inquire about his whereabouts from the various security agencies. His body was handed over to his family on August 23 on the condition that they would not hold a funeral.
19. A list of the 72 people, that can be confirmed, who have died during the protests or in prison, has been released by The Participation Front and published on Norooz.com. (I am going to translate and release the list after writing this Green Brief later in the day.)
20. Unconfirmed reports suggest that reformists, who have been forced to confess, are being tortured at one of the IRGC headquarters in Qasre Feirouzeh, a locality in eastern Tehran province. Further details are ambiguous at this point.
21. Amnesty International has confirmed that Caspian Makan – the fiancé of Neda Agha-Soltan, is in detention and might be facing torture. (This was reported by media organizations weeks ago including GB.)
22. Abbas Mirza Aboutalebi has been released from prison after nearly three months in detention. He was arrested on June 12 and is a top campaign manager for Mousavi, as well as an important reformist.
24. Green graffiti for Quds Day celebrations: http://bit.ly/6RwhP
International Protests / Events / Warnings / Efforts
25. A petition to be signed and sent to ambassadors as well as their contacts: http://docs.google.com/View?id=dcnj8jzc_8dxb9vbgf
26. PLEASE READ THIS FOR YOUR SAFETY’S SAKE: http://tinyurl.com/r2ow2c
27. For an unofficial list of upcoming protests in the US: http://protests.sharearchy.com/
28. For a list of protests that are being planned in Germany, please visit this link: http://tinyurl.com/nbzacj
29. 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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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: http://aic.openmsl.net/wiki/index.php/Green_Brief
– (A list of all the Green Briefs): http://ded1.hybrid-optix.com/greenbriefs.html
– 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