NiteOwl’s GreenBrief #49+50

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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 49-50 (August 4,5 – Mordad 13,14)

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 Tuesday and Wednesday, August 4,5 – Mordad 13,14.

Protest / Unrest

1. A protest is scheduled for today – August 6 – at Vanak Square and Valiasr Square. Should be underway by the time this Brief is out. Protests are also planned for Mashhad – at Malikabard Blvd – and other cities – but confirmation for cities other than Mashhad is not available.

August 5

2. Mass protests were held in Tehran on August 5. The main location was at Baharestan Square, close to the parliament, 1,500 to 2,000 people gathered and chanted against the regime. Thousands gathered at other locations in the city, mainly the Bazaar, Vanak Square, Mirdamad, Yosufabad and Sa’aie Park. Baharestan was important both to the government and the protesters as that is where Ahmadinejad was being sworn in. Thousands of protestors were marching on the streets. Partially confirmed reports suggest that the bazaar was almost paralyzed by the crowd.

3. Thousands of security forces were employed, effectively blocking the parliament from outside access. It has been confirmed that Ahmadinejad flew in by helicopter to avoid the protesters. Helicopters flew overhead in many parts of central Tehran. Security forces were so numerous, that in some areas, they outnumbered protesters.

4. Protesters were again badly beaten during clashes in many parts of the city. Partially confirmed reports also indicated that tear gas was used to disperse protesters in some locations. Subway stations, including the one close to Baharestan, were closed by the police to stop protesters from getting into central Tehran.

5. At least 20 people were arrested according to confirmed sources. Dozens more were also reportedly arrested – but confirmation has not been reliable. It was, however, confirmed that a high school near Baharestan was converted into a temporary holding place for arrested protesters, until they could be moved to detention centers/prisons elsewhere. Reportedly, the number of people arrested may be very high.

6. Detainees’ families also gathered in front of Evin Prison today.

7. Cell phone service was cut off throughout central Tehran, once again.

8. There were also reports of a smaller protest in Sari.


August 4

9. Ayatollah Montazeri released a statement denouncing the government’s obtaining confessions from prisoners and called them illegal and a major sin.

10. Karroubi released a statement saying that both he and Mousavi would continue their protests over the rigged elections.

August 5

11. Mousavi, Rahnavard, Mirdamadi, Nabavi and Ramezanzadeh’s Facebook accounts were attacked today and were inaccessible at the time of the writing of this Brief.

12. Mousavi stated today, that the government thought it could quell the people’s demands by arresting reformist leaders and calling them leaders of a ‘velvet revolution’ but protesters have shown that people’s demands were not tied to individuals. He added that the arrests were not going to stop the political movement.

13. IIPF released a statement today calling the government illegal. The statement also asserted that the government had no longer remained true to the constitution and was not democratic.

14. Ayatollah Sane’ie and Ayatollah Zanjani joined Ayatollah Montazeri in calling the government’s confession program illegal and sinful. Sane’ie went as far as saying that those who were forcing prisoners to confess would soon see the results of their traitorous actions.

15. Ayatollah Moaghegh-Damad sent a letter to Judiciary Chief Shahrodi and literally blasted him for his conduct. Excerpts from his statement are here: Legal Scholar Blasts Judiciary Chief – Tehran Bureau

16. It is unclear whether Hashemi Rafsanjani will be leading Friday prayers this week, even though it is his turn to do so.

Arrested / Released / Killed

August 4

17. Mir hamid Hassanzadeh – the owner of Ghalam, a website that has gained a reputation as Mousavi’s semi-official page online – has been arrested and his computer together with other equipment was confiscated. Hassanzadeh is also the head of Mousavi campaign’s media outreach program.

18 Khomeini’s granddaughter asked the government to reveal the names of detainees so their release could be pursued through legal means by their families. Full story: Khomeini’s granddaughter speaks out – Tehran Bureau

19 Hoshang Baba’ie, the legal counsel of Tajzadeh, Nabavi and Mirdamadi, told ILNA that he would not be attending court on Saturday as the trial was illegal.

August 5

20. Shocking news of Alireza, a 12 year old boy killed at Beheste Zahra, last Thursday, has now been confirmed. He had accompanied his father to the mourning for Neda and the other protestors at the cemetery. He was killed by the security forces after being hit on the head with a baton. His body was returned to his family four days after he was killed. (I have withheld publication of his death since Monday because I wanted full confirmation of this very serious incident.) There are reports of a parliamentary investigation into the circumstances of his death.

21. The body of an unnamed protester was returned to his family 20 days after his disappearance. His heart and kidneys were missing and stitches could be seen on his abdomen. His badly bruised body also lacked finger nails.

22. Mahdi Yazdani Khorram, an editor at Etemaade Melli newspaper, has been arrested. Reza Nourbakhsh – the chief editor of Farhikhtegan newspaper – also arrested, his equipment was ceased and his office was searched thoroughly. Fereydoon Amozadeh – the chief editor of Chilcheragh Weekly – arrested.

23. Ali Vaghefi, the head of Mousavi campaign’s students’ division in Tehran, was released on bail. Also released was Mehadi Hashemi’s wife.

24. The second session of reformists’ trial in Tehran has been postponed to Saturday.

25. The office of the Association of Iranian Journalists has been sealed by agents of the Judiciary. The office has been sealed by the order of Mortazavi. The association was supposed to be holding a meeting on Friday.

Government / International

August 4

26. Iran’s National Security Council has announced that the people in charge of Kahrizak, would be fired and prosecuted, if charges of misconduct are proven against them after investigations were done. (Take them to Evin, give them psychoactive drugs, rip their nails and lash them with different types of electrical cables and they’ll readily confess. You don’t need an investigation.)

27. In an open letter, 44 Nobel laureates have condemned the human rights violations in Iran.

August 5

28. Ahmadinejad’s inauguration ceremony was held in the Iranian parliament with the absence of prominent reformists and Khamenei. Only Shahroudi was present as the highest ranking government official. Several embassies sent low-ranking officials rather than ambassadors to attend the ceremony. (The names of these embassies will be released as soon as I have confirmation. Count on it!)

29. Other people present were; Mohmmadi Golpaygani, Samara Hashemi, Sardar Jafari, Rahim Masha’ie and Mohseni Ejaie. Absentees including all reformist directly tied to the Green Movement, Ayatollah Yazdi, Ahmad Khatami – both staunch Ahmadinejad supporters – Ali Akbar Nategh Noori, former speaker of the house, Mohsen Reza’ie, a conservative and a candidate in the elections for president and Mohammad Baqer Ghalibaf, Tehran’s mayor. Even though the government had invited over 250 people besides the MPs, many seats were empty. Foreign media was barred from the event.

30. Dozens of reformist MPs walked out as Ahmadinejad started his speech. Ahmadinejad did not say a word regarding the protests and simply continued to call his ‘selection’ historic.

31. So far, the governments of France, Great Britain, the US and Belgium have declined to congratulate Ahmadinejad on his historic ‘selection’ as Iran’s president. In a separate statement, EU spokesperson Amadeu Altafaj made it clear that the EU was not going to send a letter either.

32. The Norwegian government summoned the Iranian charge d’affaires to protest human rights violations and imprisonment of opposition politicians.


33. The first game of Iran’s Premier League will be held without spectators on Friday for fear of Green Movement participation.

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– 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