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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 #69 (September 5 – Shahrivar 14)
By: Josh Shahryar – twitter.com/iran_translator
(This report has been compiled through reports by twitter users in Iran and aboard, as well as contacts inside and outside Iran. Media outlets have been credit where used. As reports coming from Iran cannot be fully authenticated, if the report confirms something, at best it confirms that several reliable sources agreed upon it. This report is released under Creative Commons (CC) and can be republished under the condition that a link to the original source is provided.
Protests / Unrest
1. Dozens of people have been arrested in Sistan o Balochistan province in the past ten days. The whereabouts of the detainees is not known at this point. The detainees are all linked to Baloch nationalist groups or Baloch opposition movements. This comes as the government is battling Kurd nationalists on the northeastern border, where clashes have left tens of people dead in the past several weeks.
2. Partially confirmed reports indicate that dozens of people held a gathering, in front of the Supreme Court building in Tehran and demanded that their relatives be released. There are confirmed reports that gatherings in front of Evin Prison, by families of detainees, continue even though the government is trying to force them to stop the daily ritual. About 50 broke their fast in front of the prison again today.
3. Nightly chanting in Tehran and other parts of Iran continue. Even though news about this is scarce, multiple witnesses have come forward and testified that this has been going on non-stop. The government is actively trying to catch and fine people who climb on their roofs to engage in this form of protest. This is a video of a young child chanting ‘Allah o Akbar’ and ‘Marg Bar Dictator’ from his window with his neighbors responding to his chants from September 4.
4. This year’s Eid Prayers, will not be held in Imam Khomeini Mosalla. (Mosalla is usually a large area, close to a mosque, designed specifically to be used for huge prayer processions.) The reason that has been cited, is ongoing construction. Even though the construction has been going on at the site for years, it has never been used, as a reason, to move Eid prayers from the site. There is speculation that the government has moved the procession because they fear Greens would use it as a gathering point. This year’s prayers will be held in Tehran University’s mosalla, which is considerably smaller than Imam Khomeini’s, which can house up to 2 million people at a time.
5. Mir Hossein Mousavi released his 11th statement today calling for continued civil disobedience. Mousavi, yet again, decried the clamp down on peaceful protesters and accused the government of creating crises. His rather long statement contains praise for protesters and harsh criticism of the government’s actions.
He outlines a series of demands, which hardliners must meet, to get the country out of the crisis in which it finds itself. He also speaks about the movement “The Green Path of Hope”. According to Mousavi, the government must help the situation by:
Forming a truth commission, one whose findings and verdicts are likely to be accepted by all sides, to investigate the violations of law, fraud during and after the election, and punishing those who were responsible.
Revising the election law in such a way that free and fair elections can be held.
Identifying and punishing those who were responsible for the crimes committed by all organs of the government, including military, police, and the media.
Helping those who have been hurt and injured after the elections, especially those who have lost loved ones; releasing from prison all the campaign workers and political activists; dismissing the bogus charges against them; restoring their credibility, and ending all the threats against them.
Putting into practice Article 168 of the Constitution by defining precisely what constitutes a political offense, and using a jury when the offenders are put on trial.
Guaranteeing freedom of the press, and changing the biased behavior of the Voice and Visage in order to eliminate all the limitations on its programs so that the political parties can use the Voice and Visage to express their positions regarding various issues, and revising the law that governs the Voice and Visage to make it responsive to people’s demands.
Putting to practice Article 44 of the Constitution regarding privatization so that private radio and television stations can also be created.
Guaranteeing the right of the people to gather and demonstrate by putting into effect Article 27 of the Constitution.
Passing legislation forbidding the military from intervening in political as well as economic affairs.
(Because of the importance of this statement given the current situation, I am not going to copy and paste portions which I believe are more important than others because frankly, my view is rather subjective and I think it does not do justice to the whole statement to pick and choose. Reading it in full is highly recommended.)
Full statement in English with valuable commentary
(Courtesy of Tehran Bureau) http://tehranbureau.com/mousavi-gree…hope-movement/
6. At an Iftar Party, Mehdi Karroubi today said that he would continue to move, towards the realizations of the objectives of the revolution and its martyrs and vowed to carry on ‘till death. He said, their greatest cause for concern, after the election, was the danger to the republic, but since both the republic and Islam were inseparable, they were also worried about the fate of Islam. He added, they feared that the republican dimension of the government might gradually be forgotten.
He added that, “the people are completely ready for any action that is in line with a legal Islamic framework.” Karroubi said that post-election incidents should not be hyped but nor should they be buried and overlooked. “We must make an attempt at damage control and find the perpetrators. We must find out how and why we were blindsided.”
Regarding the ban on his newspaper Etemad-e Melli and his party’s website, Karroubi said, “Journalists should not be worried; they close one newspaper, we can always open another.”
He also addressed the crackdown on the internet. ”You filter sites, [but] there is always filter-breakers [proxy software]! No matter how hard you try to impose limitations, the intelligent children of our country will know what to do [how to confront you].”
“Limitations can make things difficult but they will not limit action; these days there are plenty of websites and news can [always] get out.”
(Translation courtesy of Tehran Bureau.)
7. In a meeting with a group of reformists students, Ayatollah Montazeri, yet again, asked for the release of detainees and criticized the government. He asked the students to pay heed to their studies and said that the future would be theirs. He criticized the government for detaining people in the name of Islam and said, “They speak of the regime, but they mean an individual,” a clear jab at Khamenei.
He yet again criticized Khamenei, without being explicit, by saying, “They say that one individual’s vote is the standard; Imam Khomeini said that the standard is the people’s vote.” (Another clear jab at Khamenei, considering how his vote swayed the parliament’s selection of ministers.) Montazeri called the trials illegal and unIslamic.
8. Ayatollah Ali Mohammad Dastegheyb’s latest remarks, from September 2, are a stinging rebuttal to his critics. During a sermon, he reportedly said, that those who had brutally suppressed the protesters, were going to hell for what they have done. He said people who had beaten others during the protests, on the street, had committed great sins.
9. Qudratullah Alikhani – a reformist MP and a member of Foreign Affairs Commission in the parliament – criticized Jafari’s statements, in which he had accused reformist leaders of attempting to weaken Khamenei. Alikhani said that Jafari’s statements, were doing nothing but creating distrust amongst the populace and were hurting the regime further.
He added that Imam Khomeini, had explicitly asked the Basij and IRGC, not to mingle in politics or they will both hurt themselves and the country.
10. Mohammad Hashemi, one of the leader of Kargozaran Party – which is considered close to Rafsanjani – said that if the gatherings at Imam Khomeini’s shrine, have been cancelled because of political considerations, then he was not sure where the country was really headed. “When Imam and his shrine are no longer safe, then it’s not certain where the revolution is really going.” Due to mounting pressure by the government, on the family of Khomeini, Ihya prayers, held annually at his mausoleum, have been canceled this year.
(During Ramadan, Shia Muslims stay awake on three nights — the 19th, 21st, 23rd — to pray for salvation and mercy, as they believe their fate, in the following year is determined on these nights. The prayer ceremony held on these three very important nights, on the Muslim calendar, is known as Ihya.)
Every year, Imam Khomeini’s mausoleum, was the site where thousands gathered on Ihya nights in Ramadan. Ali-Akbar Nateq-Nouri, Seyyed Mohammad Khatami and Hassan Rohani each led the ceremony on one of the three nights.
Government / International
11. Ahmadinejad warned the West today, that he was not going to back down, in the face of pressure, to halt Iran’s uranium enrichment program. “If some believe that through accusations, impoliteness, insults, and spreading of lies they can force us to retreat from the values of the revolution, they are gravely mistaken,” Ahmadinejad said, in a meeting with war veterans, according to IRNA. The remarks came after diplomats, from the six world powers known as P5+1, met in Frankfurt to discuss Iran’s nuclear enrichment program and warned Tehran over their nuclear activities.
12. Hasan Sobhani-nia, an MP from Khorasane Razavi, told ILNA that a former IRGC commander, was likely to be appointed as the governor of Khorasane Razavi, after the province’s incumbent governor was appointed as the head of the Department of Environmental Protection.
13. Khamenei called on the artists, during a meeting in Tehran with members of the Iranian arts community, to make a strong presence in the ‘ongoing soft war’. He added that the ‘ongoing soft war’ could not be fought through a ‘political approach’, offering the presentation of ‘the truth’ through a “full-fledged and influential artistic manner” as the alternative.
His remarks are the first acknowledgment, that Iranian and International Greens, who have spent the past three months creating songs, videos, posters, paintings and numerous other works of art to fight the regime, are starting to really get under his skin.
14. Afshin Ghotbi – the head coach of Iran’s national soccer team – said in an interview, he had received an invitation letter, from Khamenei’s office, to take part in Ahmadinejad’s inauguration and his attendance was not a political statement but a show of respect to the leader.
15. Hugo Chavez met with Ahmadinejad on his trip to Tehran today.
Arrested / Released / Killed / Torture
16. Alauddin Boroujerdi, Chairman for the Committee for Foreign Policy and National Security of the Parliament, rejected the claim by Norooz – the media outlet of IIPF – that they had a confirmed list of 72 people who had, so far, been killed in the unrest and many more may have died in the violence.
He said that earlier, Morteza Alviri – a Karroubi aide – had alleged that 69 people had died in the violence, yet after a week’s notice, he still had not been able to provide concrete proof, that the number of people who have died in the violence, was that many.
(I’m still working on a complete translation of the list, as well as further details, should be released some time today.)
17. A leaked interview with Abdullah Ramezanzadeh – a former spokesperson during Khatami’s presidency – has surfaced. According to Parlemaan News – which is a reformist news website – Ramezanzadeh gave the short interview, while in court to defend himself, a couple of days ago. He said he was being interrogated at night, for up to 8 hours, while he was blindfolded and was under tremendous pressure, to confess to having a hand in the unrest, following the election. He said he was yet to be officially charged with a crime.
Ramezanzadeh also reported that he had been badly beaten while being arrested. He claimed to have had a fractured skull and broken teeth because of the initial beatings. He added that he had been kept in solitary for the initial two months and had only been moved to a better cell after Ramadan started.
18 Reports coming out of Iran, suggest that several prominent political prisoners; Ghouchani, Abtahi, Hajjarian and Ramezanzadeh, might be released by the end of Ramadan. These reports indicate that newly-appointed Judiciary Chief Sadegh Larijani, plans to speed up the release of many prisoners. Full confirmation is not at hand at this point.
19. Arrests continue. Arash Geety, a student activist from Zanjan, has been arrested and is being kept at the Intelligence Department of Zanjan province.
20. Shayesteh Amiri and Roshanak Siasi have finally been released. Siasi is a member of the Kargozaran Party and a women’s rights activist.
21. More than 300 reporters, have sent a letter to the new Attorney General of Tehran Abbas Jafari Dowlatabadi, asking for the release of all detained journalists.
22. Jordan has shut down Press TV’s main bureau in Amman. It is still not clear what caused this, however, Jordan had asked Press TV and Al-Alam TV, to renew their accreditation with the government.
23. Green graffiti in boys’ dorm, Sharif University: http://bit.ly/urJBc
24. Green graffiti in girl’s dorm of Ferdowsi University in Mashad: http://bit.ly/VOvsI
25. “Leader” Street is changed to “Leader the murderer” Street : http://bit.ly/4I4PO
International Protests / Events / Warnings / Efforts
26. A fundraising event is being held in Richmond, California for the New York City protests on September 23 and 24. Link: http://tinyurl.com/n5adyj
27. Payam Parsinejad and Younus Abissy will be cycling from Boston to New York in support of the Green Movement. They will start their three-day long journey on September 7.
26. A petition to be signed and sent to ambassadors as well as their contacts: http://docs.google.com/View?id=dcnj8jzc_8dxb9vbgf
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]firstname.lastname@example.org
– Info on republishing the Green Brief: http://tinyurl.com/mjxrz3
– Information on Tor: http://torir.org
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