Currently Browsing

Posts Tagged ‘ Protests in Iran ’

  • 20 December 2009
  • Posted By NIAC
  • 3 Comments
  • Events in Iran, Iran Election 2009

Grand Ayatollah Montazeri Dies

Grand Ayatollah Hossein Ali Montazeri died on Sunday at the age of 87.

Though Montazeri was a father of the Revolution in 79 and a drafter of the Iranian Constitution, he like many became disenchanted by the path of the Iranian leadership. According to AP, ” he accused the country’s ruling Islamic establishment of imposing dictatorship in the name of Islam, and he persisted with his criticism after June’s disputed presidential election.”

The Iranian government is once again caught between a rock and a hard place as Iranians have already begun the mourning process by pouring into the streets.  To not allow crowds in the streets would mean disrespecting the a revered Iranian cleric but allowing them the government runs the risk of more anti-government protests.

Radio Free Europe reports that shops have been shut down and that people have already hit the streets, shouting, “We congratulate you on your freedom” and “Innocent Montazeri, your path will continue.”

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mgA9iFXkpLs&feature=player_embedded]

Montazeri had once been designated a successor to Ayatollah Khomeini, but was replaced by Khamenei due to political differences. He was later placed under house arrest from 1997 to 2003 because he said Ayatollah Khamenei was not qualified to rule as Supreme Leader.

Though the Reformists have lost a key intellectual and leader, by publicly mourning in the streets, they are able to keep his desire of freedom in the Islamic Republic and their Green movement alive.

Student Day Protests Met With Violence

Today protesters demonstrated against the Iranian government on what marks National Student Day, which commemorates the death of three students protesting the Shah in 1953.  The Green Movement took to the streets en masse once again and faced a violent response from authorities. There have been reports of police and the Basij striking protesters with batons, the use of stun guns and tear gas on the crowds, and as yet unconfirmed reports of gunfire used for dispersal heard in police clashes. Telecommunications have been severely diminished in the country as authorities have cut down internet services and network signals in Iran as well as banned international news coverage of the demonstrations taking place today. Raw footage of the events can be seen via YouTube.

  • 29 September 2009
  • Posted By Lloyd Chebaclo
  • 0 Comments
  • Events in Iran, Human Rights in Iran, Iranian Youth, Uncategorized

Students at Tehran’s Sharif University Protest Science Minister’s Visit

Today at Tehran’s Sharif University, students protested the visit of Science Minister Kamran Daneshjou, (whom we’ve reported on extensively, and who was appointed with the new Ahmadinejad cabinet). (see video in earlier post). It is the second demonstration at a major university in two days, showing the persistence and resolve of the green movement in the face of government intimidation.  Student Advarnews is cited as a source for reports of the protests in the New York times.  Previous demonstrations include one on Sunday against Parliament member Gholam Ali Hadad Adel’s speech and another on Monday which forced Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to cancel a scheduled appearance.

Radio Liberty reports chants of “Death to the Dictator” and “Political Prisoners Must Be Released” heard among the hundreds at the anti-government demonstration.

Students also expressed support for Grand Ayatollah Hossein Ali Montazeri, Ayatollah Yusef Sanei, and opposition leaders Mehdi Karroubi and Mir Hossein Moussavi who have spoken out against the government’s postelection clampdown on Iranian civil society protest.

The New York Times reports:

“Student leaders do not have a formal presence,” said Ali Afshari, a former student leader who is currently in Washington and is still in touch with students in Iran. “They have all been summoned and threatened. But the frustration is very widespread and the government can only shut down the universities if it wants to stop the protests.”

The protest movement, which has produced some of the nation’s worst unrest in 30 years, emerged as a response to a widespread belief that President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad had falsified election results in his favor. Universities have often been the site of protests, partly because of a student pro-democracy network, the Office for Consolidating Unity, and a law that bans police officers from entering the campus.

The Office for Consolidating Unity, which once had offices on nearly every campus but has been decimated by government pressure since Mr. Ahmadinejad took power in 2004, issued a statement on Tuesday saying the protest movement was a result of years of frustration with the government and that the students would remain part of it. The statement urged students to refrain from violence and pursue their demands in a “peaceful and civil” manner.

  • 21 June 2009
  • Posted By NIAC
  • 9 Comments
  • Events in Iran, Human Rights in Iran, Iran Election 2009

Iran Updates- June 21

12:45 am: Gary Sick analyzes what he calls Mousavi’s “manifesto”:

It is apparent from this statement that Mousavi’s movement—and Mousavi himself—has evolved enormously in the past week. The candidate started as a mild-mannered reformer. After the searing events of the past several days, he has dared to preach a counter sermon to Khameni’s lecture on Islamic government. Although he never mentions the leader by name, there is no overlooking the direct contradiction of his arguments. This open opposition to the leader by a political figure is unprecedented.

Mousavi has in fact issued a manifesto for a new vision of the Islamic republic. The repression and disdain of the government has brought the opposition to a place they probably never dreamed of going. And no one knows where any of the parties are likely to go next.

12:15 am: A NIAC employee just spoke with a contact in Tehran, who tells us that Iranian security forces are arresting injured demonstrators after they are released by the foreign embassies. This has not been corroborated.

The embassies reportedly started helping some of the injured because those being sent to hospitals were being arrested.

11:59 pm: From Tehran, a friend of a former NIAC intern sends the following message:

A day after the the black Saturday, you could see people shocked with the news of the killings. We all knew that these guys are savages. But what we did not think was that, in the time of the Internet and mobile phones with cameras, they would show their real face so early.

People want revenge. You probably have read what Iranians are posting on the Internet. “Neda” has become a hero–we will definitely rename the street where she was killed after her. We will fight back. People have not stopped chanting God is Great. The funniest thing is that a government which claims to get its legitimacy from Allah and Islam cannot stand people saying “Allah-o-Akbar”.

Nevertheless, there is nothing they can hide. We still have very slow Internet access which, if people continue to protest, I believe will be shut down completely. The only concern that we have now is the bloody Rajavis (MEK), who now want to benefit from the situation. They are definitely helping the dictators. They are only giving more reasons for cracking down the people. May God protect us all.

11:37 pm: There are now blogs and websites in Persian being circulated that tell you how to stop bleeding, etc. This one tells you how to take care of someone who has been shot, and this one says how to stop bleeding in general.

11:03 pm: Thinking up new ways to protest.

According to Kalemeh News [Persian], people are finding creative ways to protest since they have not been able to get permits for peaceful demonstrations. “People have decided to turn on their [automobile] headlights on Monday from 5pm to 6pm. It seems like this new method of protest is a result of unprecedented restrictions and harsh treatment of the people by the armed forces and militias.

10:27 pm: Mousavi’s statement.

An amazing NIAC member, Arvin, translated Mousavi’s 6th statement, which was posted today. The original Farsi is here: http://ghalamnews.org/news-21185.aspx [The newspaper, affiliated with Mousavi, was reportedly hacked earlier today and now appears down.]

It is worth nothing that unlike his earlier statements he is no longer saying there is doubt about the election or irregularity; he outright calls it cheating as a foregone conclusion. Also when he refers to “unlawfulness by the government” that is code for Ahmadinejad. That is what he called him during the debates, and is what he said he has come to stop. He also urges the people to keep their protests nonviolent.

In the name of God, the compassionate and merciful,

We are all from God, and one day we will return to Him [A Koranic quote, that signifies readiness for death]

The heart-wrenching news of martyrdom of a group of protestors, against widespread cheating in recent elections, has cast a pall of silence and sadness over our society. Opening fire on people, militarizing the city, spreading fear, provoking [the public] and power displays are all illegitimate children of the unlawfulness which we face and it is bewildering that the perpetrators of these acts accuse others of this. To those who call people lawless for expressing their opinions, I say that the biggest act of lawlessness is indifference [to the public] and contravention of the explicit [text] of article 27 of the constitution [allowing public demonstrations] by the government in not issuing permits for peaceful gatherings. Do revolutionary people who, with gatherings like these brought you and us out of the dark history of the Shah’s tyranny, need to be beaten and wounded and be threatened with force?

I, as a mourner, invite the people to self-restraint. The country belongs to you. The revolution and the government are your inheritances. Objecting to lies and cheating is your right. Be hopeful in exercising your rights and do not allow those, who try to instill fear in you to dissuade you, to make you angry. Continue to avoid violence in your protests and treat the disproportionate actions of the security forces as broken hearted parents would their children. Having said that, I expect that security forces will not allow memories of these days to cause irreparable harm in their relationship with the people. That they [security forces] are not informing the families of the martyred, the wounded, and the arrested, and are keeping them hidden and in limbo will not aid in restoration of peace and will antagonize [people’s] emotions. Arbitrary arrests lead to loss of respect and authority of security forces in the mind of the people and the society.

I ask the Almighty to be compassionate towards these martyrs and to give them the highest of honors, and for their stricken families I wish patience and fulfillment of their dreams.

Mir Hossein Moussavi

31 Khordad, 1388 [June 21, 2009]

  • 13 June 2009
  • Posted By Sanaz Tofighrad
  • 1 Comments
  • Uncategorized

News on Unrest

Casualty of the Riots – Ali, a university student, went to the take a final exam today but ended up in an alley all beat up and bloody after he decided to attend the protests in the Fatemi Square.  His friends found him in back streets near the Fatemi Square where thousands of people gathered to protest the results of the election.  Ali’s family said, “There is not a spot on his body what was not beat including his head and face.”   Ali’s real name has been changed to protect his identity.

Eyewitness – Mina, a resident of Tehran went to a dentist appointment near the Ministry of Interior where she encountered thousands of protesting young people.  She talked to some girls who were crying.  “They said they worked so hard for two months, they where certain Mousavi was going to be elected.”  Mina saw buses full of soldiers and Special Forces with batons and shields who came to crack down on the protests.  “They were pushing people away from the interior ministry.  People who didn’t listen to them were beat up viciously.” She also said “there was a guy who lost consciousness after the police beat him up in the head with a baton.  They took him away.”

Sign the Petition

 

7,349 signatures

Tell Google: Stop playing Persian Gulf name games!

May 14, 2012
Larry Page
Chief Executive Officer
Google Inc.
1600 Amphitheatre Parkway
Mountain View, California 94043

Dear Mr. Page:

It has come to our attention that Google has begun omitting the title of the Persian Gulf from its Google Maps application. This is a disconcerting development given the undisputed historic and geographic precedent of the name Persian Gulf, and the more recent history of opening up the name to political, ethnic, and territorial disputes. However unintentionally, in adopting this practice, Google is participating in a dangerous effort to foment tensions and ethnic divisions in the Middle East by politicizing the region’s geographic nomenclature. Members of the Iranian-American community are overwhelmingly opposed to such efforts, particularly at a time when regional tensions already have been pushed to the brink and threaten to spill over into conflict. As the largest grassroots organization in the Iranian-American community, the National Iranian American Council (NIAC) calls on Google to not allow its products to become propaganda tools and to immediately reinstate the historically accurate, apolitical title of “Persian Gulf” in all of its informational products, including Google Maps.

Historically, the name “Persian Gulf” is undisputed. The Greek geographer and astronomer Ptolemy referencing in his writings the “Aquarius Persico.” The Romans referred to the "Mare Persicum." The Arabs historically call the body of water, "Bahr al-Farsia." The legal precedent of this nomenclature is also indisputable, with both the United Nations and the United States Board of Geographic Names confirming the sole legitimacy of the term “Persian Gulf.” Agreement on this matter has also been codified by the signatures of all six bordering Arab countries on United Nations directives declaring this body of water to be the Persian Gulf.

But in the past century, and particularly at times of escalating tensions, there have been efforts to exploit the name of the Persian Gulf as a political tool to foment ethnic division. From colonial interests to Arab interests to Iranian interests, the opening of debate regarding the name of the Persian Gulf has been a recent phenomenon that has been exploited for political gain by all sides. Google should not enable these politicized efforts.

In the 1930s, British adviser to Bahrain Sir Charles Belgrave proposed to rename the Persian Gulf, “Arabian Gulf,” a proposal that was rejected by the British Colonial and Foreign offices. Two decades later, the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company resurrected the term during its dispute with Mohammad Mossadegh, the Iranian Prime Minister whose battle with British oil interests would end in a U.S.-sponsored coup d'état that continues to haunt U.S.-Iran relations. In the 1960s, the title “Arabian Gulf” became central to propaganda efforts during the Pan-Arabism era aimed at exploiting ethnic divisions in the region to unite Arabs against non-Arabs, namely Iranians and Israelis. The term was later employed by Saddam Hussein to justify his aims at territorial expansion. Osama Bin Laden even adopted the phrase in an attempt to rally Arab populations by emphasizing ethnic rivalries in the Middle East.

We have serious concerns that Google is now playing into these efforts of geographic politicization. Unfortunately, this is not the first time Google has stirred controversy on this topic. In 2008, Google Earth began including the term “Arabian Gulf” in addition to Persian Gulf as the name for the body of water. NIAC and others called on you then to stop using this ethnically divisive propaganda term, but to no avail. Instead of following the example of organizations like the National Geographic Society, which in 2004 used term “Arabian Gulf” in its maps but recognized the error and corrected it, Google has apparently decided to allow its informational products to become politicized.

Google should rectify this situation and immediately include the proper name for the Persian Gulf in Google Maps and all of its informational products. The exclusion of the title of the Persian Gulf diminishes your applications as informational tools, and raises questions about the integrity and accuracy of information provided by Google.

We strongly urge you to stay true to Google’s mission – “to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful” – without distorting or politicizing that information. We look forward to an explanation from you regarding the recent removal of the Persian Gulf name from Google Maps and call on you to immediately correct this mistake.

Sincerely,

[signature]

Share this with your friends: