Tehran Broadcast + Hajjarian

I have mentioned this in the comments before, but I’ll put it here too. This is a website where we (a rather big group of translators of which I am one of) post news and all kind of other articles translated from Persian:

http://tehranbroadcast.com/

It is run by the managers of balatarin, a sort of Persian version of digg.

Also, there has been (unconfirmed, but from generally reliable people) going around that Hajjarian, who I wrote about in the previous post, has a very bad general health condition, was taken to the Evin prison clinic, but needs to be taken to a real hospital. I do not know whether they have done that … please keep him, as well as all the other prisoners, in your prayers/well wishes.

This one is not new: I’m so terribly worried.

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Concerns about those arrested

I should have written about those killed and injured in the recent protests, particularly on Saturday, it was so awful, I was in a state of shock. I guess everyone has already seen the video of Neda’s death, as a symbol of the brutality going on in Iran right now. I wish all of them peace.

In the last couple of days there have not been large protests, just small ones here and there, again oppressed by the militia and riot police. The presence of military forces in the streets has increased, turning some of the beautiful parks and stadiums into makeshift military camps/headquarters. However, it is not the case that everything is over, there is definitely a power battle going on behind the scenes. I have a post coming up about that, but right now I want to voice some concerns about a few of the detained political figures.

Ebrahim Yazdi

Ebrahim Yazdi

There are an unknown number of protesters and students arrested. Their general effort is to try to make them confess to planning riots and vandalizing, getting orders from foreigners or the disgusting Mojaheidin-e Khalgh terrorists that are referred to in Iran as the Monafeghin (the hypocrytes). They show the videos of the confessions of some that they manage to force into this on the “national” television. There may be actually some thugs among the people, but the majority of those I have seen is just ridiculous confessions, that we have seen many of in Iran in the recent years, and nobody believes anymore, including one in which a woman who confessed she and her son, under the influence of the BBC (as if it’s some sort of drug), had intended to use a grenade “that they had kept since the Iran-Iraq war” [at least 20 years ago] in (source, in Persian) in one of the protests. I don’t want to get started on the Iranian national television’s actions, it is past propaganda, it is a collection of shameless lies and brainwashing.

Hajjarian

Hajjarian with Khatami

Anyway, there are also many political figures arrested in the recent coup, some of which I’ve mentioned before here. is widely believed that a few of the detained reformist figures are being under extreme pressure to confess that they had planned the recent protests, or “riots” as they like to put it, in an effort to organize a “green revolution” in the style of the “velvet revolutions” of the past few years, something that some leaders of the Islamic Republic have a phobia of. We know that they can be very brutal in their jails, and that the detained have obviously been denied their rights to lawyers, visitors, any sort of contact with their families … some of the families do not even know where they are (Ahmad Zeydabadi has been reported by his wife to be basically kidnapped from his home they don’t even know who it was that took him, this is the fate of many).

The ones that are particularly said to be under pressure, and it seems that the goal is to blame it mostly on them are mostly members of the Participation Front, Mostafa Tajzadeh, Abdollah Ramezanzadeh, and Mohsen Aminzadeh, and Mohammad-Ali Abtahi, Vice President for Legal and Parliamentary Affairs of former president Khatami. God knows what they will be willing to do in order to get “confessions” from them. It’s just so stupid since everybody who has been to the rallies has says that they were not really planned ahead, only a time and venue had been announced ear-to-ear, email-to-email and the politicians were actually surprised by the number of people showing up.

What actually worries me most of all is the status of two other detainees that are also definitely under extreme pressure right now. One is Saeed Hajjarian one of the masterminds of the Iranian reform movement whose ideas were so dangerous for some that they assassinated him in 2000. He was shot in the head, the bullet miraculously went through his jaw and lodged in his neck, he survived, but permanent damage was done to parts of his brain and nervous system. He has problems with his movements, uses a wheelchair or walker, has trouble speaking, … he should constantly be under physiotherapy and other sorts of medical care. Not only is he being denied this in prison, but he is probably under mental and physical torture too.

The other person I am particularly concerned about is Ebrahim Yazdi. He is a great man, was the foreign minister in Mehdi Bazargan‘s government, the first after the revolution that was basically forced into resignation after 9 months (when the American embassy was attacked) because they were too calm and intelligent for the extreme revolutionary environment of those days. He has continued his civil activities all these years in Iran, although their party was branded “illegal” early on, they get a share of arrests, accusations, and insults no matter what is going on Iran. He is 78 years old now and has previously suffered from prostate cancer. He was detained from a hospital where he was either under observation or conducting some medical examinations. I have enormous respect for this man, and am very worried about him.

Amnesty international has also reported on these arrests here.

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feelings

I am waiting for ayatollah Khamenei to start his sermons at the Tehran Friday prayers right now.

Listening to any rhetoric from them, AN, anything from the Iranian state tv, … these days makes me sick, physically and psychologically. This speech will have a great impact on what course the events will take from now on, I really wish we would at least hear a change of tone today, but am not that hopeful. So I hope it would not be as I anticipate it. What I want to share now is how I feel right now.

Listening to this sort of rhetoric humiliates you, it’s lying to your face, making everything look upside-down. It not only disregards your intelligence, but you dignity. Now I feel that there is a blow on the way, and I have to take it, I prefer to listen than to remain guessing. It’s like knowing that someone will rape you, and that there will be nothing that you can do, you just have to take it.

I fight these feelings and overcome them each time, we will be persistent on what we want. We are not just taking it anymore, we are making our voices heard. But frankly it still doesn’t help me very much to not feel like this right now. I just have one question:

Isn’t making someone feel like this a crime?

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More on Wednesday’s demonstrations

I contacted some people that were at the demonstrations. One group started at around 4pm at Haft-e Tir square, down Karimkhan street, Valiasr square, Keshavarz boulevard, down Kargar street, and then Enghelab square. It took a total of three hours. But when they contacted friends who had gone back to Haft-e Tir because they had left their car there, they reported that there were still people coming from Hafte-tir even at around 8pm. I have marked the route in light green in the map below for those who are not familiar with Tehran, it is something between 4 and 5 kilometers. Another person said that some people had gone towards the Tehran University dormitory complex (Kuy-e Daneshgah) (which was scene of a bloody attack a few day ago), the route that they have probably taken is branched off in the map in a darker green. There seems to have been people in many of the other streets in the area as well.

17june

I also talked with someone who had spent more that three hours on top of Karimkhan bridge (seen in the video below), in order to have an estimate of the number of people participating in the demonstration. Calculating the number of people that passed by per minute, the estimation was that around 1.5 million people had passed by that very point, this is not considering the huge number of people that had entered the route from other perpendicular alleys after that, which could have been half that amount. This particular person was also pretty active in the 1979 revolution and believed that this demonstration was twice as big as any demonstration in those days. There has been NO account of violence that I have heard of, and people have not been chanting any slogans, just holding their hands up with signs of victory, and some holding posters, amazingly quiet.

Somehow there is a widespread awareness of how to handle this among everybody, something that I also saw here at the protests in The Hague. The demands are clear, protesting the election outcome, asking for another free and fair election, and preventing the country from turning into a totalitarian dictatorship. Anybody saying anything outside this framework is promptly quietened by the crowd, so as to not give an excuse to brand them as being after a “velvet-revolution”. Nothing against the supreme leader, the Islamic republic itself, no insults to anybody, even AN.  One of the demonstrators today said that the campaign officials that loosely monitored the demonstrations would make sure nothing like that would get through, and nobody would object. This is not because we have no problem with the current system, but because we don’t want another revolution, not to mention foreign involvement in our country. We want to go back to the state before AN, or even before the elections, then we would be back to ground zero and would need hard work to make whatever changes we want from within.

I am basically worried to death and have my heart in my throat the whole time each of these rallies is going on, waiting to hear some bad news (like what happened on Monday). This is particularly heightened when I happen to listen to the rhetoric from the Iranian state television, they try to portray these protesters as thugs, rioters, and trouble-makers. They don’t sound as if they want to compromise, that they may want to suppress all these people or that they may have some other worse, more complicated plans. I pray to god that it may not be so.

But I am mostly hopeful. If we gain nothing else, we have already shown our courage, persistence, and maturity to the world. A dictator will not have a cahnce to rule for too long over such people. I am proud of our people.

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More peaceful demonstrations today

There has been more peaceful protests today, probably stll going on righ now. This photo is from Theran 5:25 pm local time, Karimkhan bridge (via Facebook).

17june

Also since yesterday evening, people in Iran are also having problems in accessing their emails, yahoo messenger which we normally use for chat and voicechat did not work for a few people I was trying to contact, I also heard from multiple sources that they could either not access their inboxes at all or could only recieve, but not send messages.

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Link: Irregularities in the “provincial outcomes” + some quick stuff

I have wanted take a closer look at the provincial outcomes ever since they were announced, but just don’t find any time, but this is making the rounds:

Iran Does Have Some Fishy Numbers

I am also adding this to the first post about cheating:

Faulty Election Data

And a quick update: guess you have heard that there is a ban on reporters covering the rallies, now all footage is coming from citizen journalists, through the web. Wish them the best. There is another rally planned for today, Wednesday, 5 PM, at Hafte-e Tir square, if everything goes right.

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Silent demonstrations on Tuesday

What is most interesting and makes me very hopeful and optimistic about the Green movement in these days is how amazingly peaceful they manage to remain amongst all the efforts ti drag them into violence.

Today (actually yesterday …) Mousavi (and other reformists) called off the demonstrations they were planning to have in Valiasr square after the government tried to stage clashes by asking “those whose property has been destroyed in the recent riots” to come to the same place at an overlapping time slot. They managed to spread the word for them to gather in front of the state television buildings, and the thousands that came spread across several kilometers (I’ve heard from people that were crowds all the way down to Saee park, which would be roughly around 5 kilometers, but that was word of mouth so I’m not sute).
The demonstrations were supposed to be a “silent demonstration”, people just going there, and not shouting any slogans or singing songs. But what really surprised me was silent the crowd actually was. take a look at the video below. This maturity is so amazing, remember that at least 8 of these people were confirmed to have died in an otherwise just as peaceful demonstration yesterday, and they still are not getting engry. Bravo!

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