• 9 July 2009
  • Posted By NIAC
  • 3 Comments
  • Events in Iran, Human Rights in Iran, Iran Election 2009

Iran updates – July 9

7:13 pm: NIAC President Trita Parsi and Carnegie’s Karim Shadjadpour are on the News Hour with Jim Lehrer right now.

6:43 pm: Roxana Saberi Calls for Release of Iranian Baha’is

Roxana Saberi, an Iranian-American journalist who spent almost four months in an Iranian prison earlier this year, today called for the release of seven Iranian Baha’i prisoners of conscience who are set to go on trial Saturday and could face the death penalty.

“In addition to the hundreds of Iranians who have been detained in the context of Iran’s disputed presidential poll, many other ‘security detainees’ arrested long before the June election remain behind bars,” wrote Miss Saberi in a letter to USCIRF requesting U.S. government intervention in the Baha’i case. “These Iranians and the authorities who have detained them need to know that the Iranian people’s human rights are a matter of international concern.”

4:39 pm: Large Demonstrations

We are seeing higher quality videos come out of Tehran, which appear to be from today. The first video shows a very large crowd, apparently at the intersection of Taleghani and Valiasr avenues. We can’t confirm the video is from today, but given the size of the crowd and the notable absence of green, it seems likely that it is.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2adQe1CBmSc]
Here is the full description posted to youtube:

This video shows the time when protestors arrived at the intersection of Taleghani and Valiasr ave, heading toward Valiasr Square. The duration of this rally was about 25 minutes and before arriving at Taleghani intersection, riot forces were not interfering but closed behind the crowd to block the accumulation of people. After arriving at the intersection of Taleghani and Valiasr ave, people continued toward Valiasr Square, as shown in this video. At this time, the anti riot forces shot teargas and followed people on motorcycles forcing the crowd to Taleghani ave. I continued toward Chahar-rah Valiasr where people were blocked from going to Enghelab Square. The revolutionary guards on motorbikes hit pedestrians with batons. On my way to the subway station I saw a lot of military cars full of anti riot guard heading west, apparently to help their forces stationed at Enghelab square

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8I015R00dHQ]

4:28 pm: Pictures from Gooya news:

3704373705_037b2a1753

3705181566_996dcb0d8c

4:22 pm: Challenging the official death toll

Tucked away in their story about Mojtaba Khamenei taking over the Basij militia, the Guardian says this:

The official death toll from that backlash is less than 20 but, according to a Tehran doctor who has given his account to the Guardian, the actual number is much higher – 38 in the first week at his hospital alone. He said the basiji covered up the deaths and pressured doctors not to talk.

3:08 pm: EU putting entry visas for Iranian diplomats on hold -

The Financial Times of Germany (German) reported today that none of the 27 members of the EU will approve entry visas for Iranian Diplomats. High-ranking diplomats from the Member States have agreed to extend the review time for processing visa applications by holders of diplomatic and service passports, according to a letter from Sweden. These countries are not allowed to make decisions on visa applications until further notice.

2:31 pm: Dorms attacked at Amir Kabir Polytechnic University – Amir Kabir newsletter: Armed plainclothes security forces, accompanied by motorcyclists, attacked student dorms at the Amir Kabir Polytechnic University in Tehran today.

Plainclothes forces attacked the Golshan dorm on Beh Afarin Street, entering the dorm and beating several students and dorm guards.

[They] also destroyed parts of the property. In this attack, they used tear gas and attacked the study room, bathroom, the prayer room, and several levels of the [dorm].

The condition of several of the students is not known.

Also, the plainclothes along with the armed forces appeared at the Yavai dorm and threatened the students.

The plainclothes forces have announced that they will attack the dorms again tonight.

2:10 pm: Amnesty International condemns “excessive use of force”

“Once again today, the authorities have demonstrated their intolerance of dissent in a manner all too reminiscent of the ruthless methods they used in 1999,” said Hassiba Hadj Sahraoui, Amnesty International Deputy Program Director for Middle East and North Africa. “It is high time that they stop using strong arm tactics to crush protest and abide by their obligations under human rights law.”

The National Iranian American Council has also repeatedly condemned the violence and called for an end to both the violence and a release of all political prisoners.

1:45 pm: Immediately after the elections, demonstrators were chanting, “Armed forces, support us!” in hopes of creating unity between themselves and the armed forces. As a result of the violence between demonstrators and armed forces, the chants have changed to, “Courageous Iranians, support us!”
[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iCOApTqq3iQ]

1:36 pm: More “Death to the dictator” chants from North Palestine Street in Tehran can be seen here.

1:16 pm: U.S. Congress avoids $75 million landmine

Last night, the U.S. Congress shelved a controversial motion to restore $75 million in funding for regime change in Iran. We reported on this yesterday before it came up for a vote:

Under the Bush administration, Congress appropriated up to $75 million–under the guise of “democracy assistance”–for regime change. The money, some of which went to legitimate democracy organizations, played right into the hands of the hardliners in Iran who used it as justification for clamping down on all types of activism. Even worse, the existence of the program tainted any and all civil society activists in Iran as “agents of the West” and effectively painted a target on their backs. Ultimately, the overwhelming message that civil society activists in Iran sent to the US was: if you want to help us, stop sending us money.

With Iranian state media trying desperately to portray the demonstrators as foreign agents, Congress made the right decision not to give the claim any credence.

12:51 pm: “Mojtabah die, so we will not see you become the leader.” - Credit to Huffington Post for finding this video of people chanting against the supreme leader’s son, though our (literal) translation of this chant differs a bit from theirs. The Guardian cited a source yesterday saying Khamenei made Mojtabah commander of the Basij militia.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hTj4T2UVInQ]

12:50 pm: New video, taken from Enghelab Sq, showing the armed forces arresting one person, chasing a women and kicking cars. The person taking the video asks: “are these people not Iranian” referring to the security forces.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NYIlQ_Xf3Ok]

12:45 pm: Not a new story, but now we have picture confirmation.

satellites

In the past, the government has regularly confiscated illegal satellites from people’s rooftops. Following the election, they issued another statement reiterating the ban on satellite television, and have since been seizing them from people’s homes.

12:40 pm: TehranBureau has this from a source in Iran:

“I just spoke to my friend who was there. He didn’t want to speak on the phone, so I just asked him: “On a scale of 1 to 10 , 10 being the worst, how bad was it?” and he said: “7″.

The other thing he said was that there were a lot of people around the university where he was, there was tear gas everywhere, and two basij militias badly beat the guy right in front of him (blood and everything), but that the guy was helped by those around him. The two militias ran away though before anyone could get to them.

Apparently there were basij militias scattered beating the heck out of people with batons and then running, but there were no gunshots heard.

12:35 pm: More video reportedly from today’s demonstrations:

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AGKFtVwX40E"]

12:31 pm: The “traditional” media is doing an incredible job covering events today. In particular, I have to say the L.A. Times and The Lede (NY Times) have done an amazing job getting stories out of Tehran in this difficult climate and putting out the stories very quickly.

12:29 pm: The L.A. Times has harrowing stories from Tehran:

The screams of a woman being beaten could be heard from nearby buildings, a witness said. Business owners could be seen hustling protesters into their buildings to shield them from plainclothes officers and anti-riot police who fired tear gas canisters.

Passing drivers and motorcyclists honked their horns and flashed the “V” sign in support of the clumps of demonstrators. At least one trash bin was set afire, a witness said, sending a plume of black smoke rising as dusk approached.

Many of the demonstrators wore surgical masks to protect their identities from cameras stationed at adjacent buildings. They could be seen escaping into side streets and regrouping as shops quickly were shuttered.

Some witnesses said pro-government Basiji militiamen also could be seen wearing masks to hide their faces from digital cameras.

Protesters chanted in support of Mir-Hossein Mousavi, who was defeated by President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in disputed elections last month, and urged the security forces to join them.

Uniformed security forces on motorcycles wearing black helmets and plainclothes officers had blocked off streets around Revolution Square, near the Tehran University epicenter of the protest. The Basiji militiamen could be seen fanning out throughout side streets to block demonstrators trying to flee. Armored police vans to haul away protesters could be seen parked along the roadways.

But as the militiamen tried to drag away demonstrators, one witness said, protesters joined together to overpower them and rescue their comrades. The witness also said he saw some women with their headscarves pulled off being forced into police vans. Another woman taking pictures with her cellphone camera was dragged away.

12:21 pm: The Lede is back in its top form, liveblogging as events can be confirmed. Here are two dramatic first hand-accounts:

The phones are completely out. I’m hiding in an international hotel…. riot police wanted to break in but the managers convinced them. The crowd is running in the thousands, starting in Enqelab where riot police and basij started beating people. Saw one middle-age woman with blood stains. Then they pushed up kargar st to laleh park, squads of 25 police would run up the streets with batons beating people. I hid in a clock shop, like many other people who would hide in street shops and come out once these attack squads went up the streets.

Fires of trash are burning in main streets. Everyone honking, women and men of all ages out, even kids in cars (most families have driven their cars and blocked the streets). No phone so hoping there will be internet later. One 55-year-old housewife said to me proudly “This is Iran. We are all together,” in front of Fatemi street where the crowd stretches as far as the eye can see, but again crowd is moving because riot police is moving as well as the basij on motorcycles. Lots of people chanting “Down with Dictator!” and “Moussavi! Moussavi!” and “God is Almighty.”

==========

The crowds are too huge to contain. Riot police running up and down Fatemi Street beating people, barely got out of the way. The crowds just get out of their way and come back. Saw two undercover Basij, one was actually a late 40s businessman in a suit, whipped out a collapsible metal baton and started beating someone with a camera. He was beaten until the baton broke, another Basij came on motorcycle to help but crowds started surging and booed them away. Someone threw a water bottle but otherwise crowd is peaceful — keep chanting “Please Stop!” andchased the two Basij away.

Then riot police came back up. More fires in the street as trash and various containers are burned. Tear gas everywhere, no gunshots yet I think but again undercover Basij everywhere. Again I stress crowds in thousands and this is just one street. One 27-year guy in black shirt said “We don’t want war. We just want freedoms. Here, [he signals getting shot] no matter. Down with the dictator,” and people joining in the chant. Also [chanting] “God is Great!”

The main theme is that people are surprisingly non-violent. They seem very hopeful and energetic. People from all levels of society are out. No one is throwing rocks but people have been setting fires in the street.

12:11 pm: We can’t confirm, but a number of twitter feeds have posted this picture, reportedly from today’s rallies.

pic

We haven’t seen images like this since the first week or two after the election–obviously the government’s efforts to keep a lid on demonstrations today has not been entirely successful.

One piece of evidence that leads us to believe this image is from today’s demonstrations is the conspicuous lack of green–Mousavi has been telling his supporters not to wear green when they take to the streets so as to avoid being identified by security forces.

12:05 pm: Updates from the streets – Unconfirmed tweets are reporting that Rafsanjani’s daughter (Faizieh Rafsanjani) is among the demonstrators today. Reports are also indicating that there are fires in Mirdamad Sq and Azadi Sq.

Meanwhile the majority of the crowds are moving towards the Enghelab Sq and Vali Asr Sq to provide support to those who are already there, it appears that the bulk of the armed forces are gathered there as well.

11:54 am: This video, apparently from today, shows a heavy police presence but not a lot more.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rJE1Znr6C8Y]

11:41 am: We’ve seen this bit of news over and over in the last 10 minutes from different twitterers.

It appears that there are clashes between armed forces and demonstrators in front of EVIN prison. There are a number of reports of shots being fired in Azadi Square, and more reports of numerous arrests in proximity of the University of Tehran.

11:34 am: From a reader, via Facebook:

cartoon

11:27 am: More from twitter -

Protestors are gathering by greater numbers in Tehran’s number one major square (Vali Asr Sq) and there are reports of shots being fired in Keshavarz Blvd which is connected to the left of Vali Asr Sq

11:21 am: Events from the perspective of a basiji

Information has been increasingly difficult to get out of Iran. Primarily, we’ve reported on accounts of demonstrators in addition to translating how state media is covering events because those are the most readily available sources of information. Now, France’s channel 24 (h/t The Lede) appears to have an interesting new perspective:

Mehdi (not his real name) is a 39-year-old Basij commander and a former classmate of one of our Observers from Tehran (who prefers not to be mentioned). Mehdi led a mission in the city centre, close to the Tehran military base, on June 20, one of the most violent days of the clashes.

“I did shoot at people myself. I am a military man I have to obey my orders. The crowd was attacking us like crazy people; throwing stones and Molotov cocktails. We had to protect ourselves; to show we were serious, and we did warn them, shouting several times, before opening fire. But they continued to attack. I don’t remember who I shot, I just tried to shoot at the people’s feet.

Later, we moved back and went behind the vans in middle of the street and I ordered my unit to shoot into the ground in the hope of scaring the crowds from coming closer.

I hoped it would never come to shooting them. That night, I had a nightmare in which the protesters threw me on a fire. It’s come back several times, and I can see the faces of the people I was ordered to shoot. I’ve asked a very spiritual mullah to pray for me.

I did it for Islam but it wasn’t easy to kill people. We have to remember who they are though – they’re deceitful people who are against the Islamic Revolution. You can’t expect us to stay calm when they want to overthrow our regime.”

11:12 am: Still more first hand accounts, this time via WaPo:

Riot police with shields and batons could be seen dispersing people as they walked through alleys and attempted to assemble at Engelhab Square, in front of the campus, around 5 p.m., witnesses reported. People could be heard screaming in the background as the witness was interviewed. The witness said members of the Baseej, a volunteer militia, were beating people with clubs.

“There are 300 of us in a small alley and we are under attack by dozens of security forces,” the witness reported. Pepper spray was being used, and police officers in plainclothes led people off the streets into white unmarked vans, the witness said.

11:08 am: More first hand accounts, via NYT:

Security forces began clashing with protesters shortly after they began massing in the streets of Tehran on Thursday evening, as an initially festive demonstration quickly turned grim, witnesses said.

Tear gas was fired into Lelah Park, they said, and a woman whose coat was covered in blood ran from Revolution Square, one of the main gathering spots during the initial weeks of protests over the June 12 election. She said that police officers were beating protesters. [...]

But at the end of the work day, hundreds of protesters began packing the streets of one area of Tehran, chanting, clapping and sitting in jammed traffic as drivers honked their horns, witnesses said. Families brought their children. Many held a hand in the air in the defiant V for victory.

The security forces quickly moved in.

11:06 am: Bistoon tweets, and is backed up by many others with similar accounts, that demonstrators are dispersing from Engelab Square due to the pressure from the armed forces. Crowds are gathering in the side streets now around the University of Tehran and in particular Mohammad Ali Jenah St where there are reports of clashes between the two sides.

11:00 am: The Guardian interactive – Identifying Iran’s dead and detained –

GuardianIran

The Guardian has this very helpful resource to compile pictures of those who have been arrested or killed in Iran since the election. They are asking for any further information that anyone can provide about the victims of the latest government crackdown.

Hundreds, probably thousands, have been arrested in Iran since the presidential election on 12 June. Human rights and campaign groups such as Human Rights Watch, the Campaign for Human Rights in Iran and Reporters Without Borders have been collecting and publishing the names of those dead or detained.

We have brought those lists, and reports from trusted media sources, into a database that we are asking readers and those elsewhere on the internet to contribute too.

All information is assessed before publication and we will be both visualising as an interactive graphic and making it available as a spreadsheet. Click on the link below to get the spreadsheet.

DATA: download the full spreadsheet of the dead and detained

• Can you do something with this data?
Flickr Please post your visualisations and mash-ups on our Flickr group or mail us at datastore@guardian.co.uk

10:31 am: Tweets from a reliable source-

Large pockets of people are gathering in the major squares of Tehran. The majority of Crowds are heading towards the University of Tehran and Enghelab Sq (revolution Sq).

There are about 500 basijis on motor cycles taking pictures of demonstrators.

Eye witness have reported of baton style attacks and use of tear gas, while there has been shout fired in the air.

So far 30 people have been arrested, based on eye witness reports

10:21 am: Update: CNN’s report citing 2,000-3,000 people demonstrating in Tehran covered a rally in Enghalab Square only. We understand that there are other demonstrations in other parts of the city.

10:09 am: First reports from demonstrations coming out; 2,000-3,000 people in streets

[CNN] “Iranian pro-government Basij militia members dispersed crowds of protesters in Tehran Thursday — sometimes with force — according to a journalist on the scene.” [...]

“An estimated 2,000 to 3,000 people crowded the streets and headed toward Tehran University, the site of the 1999 student uprising. Several protesters were hit on the arms and backs by the Basij, the journalist reported. The militia tried to convince one man, whose face was bleeding, to get into an ambulance but he refused.”

9:59 am: Iran given until September to accept nuclear talks

While much of the world is fixated on the power struggle inside Iran, people in the national security establishment are still deeply concerned about Iran’s nuclear program.

[NYT] After a long discussion Wednesday night, President Obama and counterparts from the rest of the Group of 8 powers called on Iran to compromise on its uranium enrichment program, condemned its crackdown on dissent following President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s reelection and repudiated his statements denying the Holocaust. [...]

The Obama administration took heart specifically from the assertion that the major powers would use a United Nations meeting in September “to take stock of the situation,” effectively setting a deadline of sorts for Iran.

9:55 am: US releases Iranian officials held in Iraq - Reuters:

The U.S. military on Thursday handed over five Iranian officials it has held in Iraq for two years to Iraqi authorities and they would be transferred to Tehran shortly, Iraqi and Iranian officials said.The detention of the Iranians, who were accused by U.S. forces of arming Shi’ite Muslim militias at the height of Iraq’s sectarian fighting, stoked tension between Tehran and Washington, also embroiled in a row over Iran’s disputed nuclear program.

Analysts are unsure about why the US decided to release these officials now, but the detention has been a source of real tension between the US and Iran for two years now, so it must have been under consideration for some time.

9:49 am: Bazaar closures in Tabriz – According to kodoom, the ‘kafashian bazaar’ in Tabriz has been shut down for 2 weeks now. The wide closures are attributed to the ongoing non-violent demonstrations against the presidential elections.

Kodoom further states that 16 of the main bazaar merchants have been invited by the courts to partake in seminars which aim to teach the merchants property law and how to be “proper” merchants. However according to kodoom, these invitations have all been ignored.

9:40 am: Global Solidarity Rallies

Here is a list of global rallies today, as compiled by Mousavi’s facebook page:

Iran: Everywhere-all day
http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=95846014620
Los Angeles: Federal Building- 7pm
http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=205998615525
Washington DC: Freedom Plaza- 6pm
http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=101536187539
Munich: Neuhauser- 7pm
Hamburg: Ganseuarkt- 6pm
Vancouver: Vancouver Art Gallery- 6pm
NY City: Washington Square Park- 7pm
Berkeley:UC Berkeley -6pm
http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=134121448384
Seattle: WestLake Center- 6pm
http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=118220654399
Boston: Copley Square- 6pm
http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=118780114777
Berlin: Breitscheidplat- 6pm
Denmark Odense: Munike Mose- 0pm
Toronto:Mel Lastman Square -8pm
http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=99237022630
Los Angeles:Federal Building in Los Angeles -5pm
http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=205998615525
Irvine: Jamboree & Barranca -6pm
http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=110507658054

9:28 am: I am Neda – A new video, from a group calling itself Voice of the Voiceless

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H2LlQkTEjFo]

<!–[if gte mso 9]> Normal 0 false false false EN-US X-NONE X-NONE MicrosoftInternetExplorer4 <![endif]–><!–[if gte mso 9]> <![endif]–> <!–[endif]–>

Source: http://twittbee.com/IranElection/

Not a new story, but now we have picture confirmation.

The government issued a statement banning the use of satellites. They began to seize all satellites from peoples residences.

Attached is a picture.

Posted By NIAC

    3 Responses to “Iran updates – July 9”

  1. lorenzoqwerty says:

    http://hinari-gw.who.int/whalecomwww.bmj.com/whalecom0/cgi/section_pdf/338/jun19_1/b2283.pdf review about Management of the effects of exposure to tear gas #iranelection

  2. Ali says:

    .درود به بچه های خوب و با انصافه ایران زمین

    اگر این دولت سالمی بود، با مردم بی‌ گناه که فقط حق زندگی انسانیشون رو میخوان اینطور رفتار نمی‌‌کرد

    با زور اسلحه و کشتو کشتار و شکنجه، دولت شیطانی اسلامی گور خودش را دارد میکند. امیدوارم که این دیکتاتوری ضد انسانی‌ اسلامی هر چه زود تر و خیلی‌ زودتر از اینکه همه توقع دارن به گور اجدادیشن پیمند همیشگی ببندند

    مرگ بر دیکتاتوری اسلامی شیطانی ایران

  3. KR says:

    “Stand by Me; Change is coming!” A photo-YouTube video expressing Iranian-American solidarity for the democracy movement in Iran:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7mEpHCuoGtc

    [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7mEpHCuoGtc&hl=en&fs=1&]

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