The Green Brief #22 (July 08)
I'm NiteOwl AKA Josh Shahryar - twitter.com/iran_translator on twitter - and I've been immersed in tweets from Iran for the past several hours. I have tried to be extremely careful in choosing my tweet sources. What I have compiled below is what I can confirm through my reliable twitter sources. Remember, this is all from tweets. (My work is released under Creative Commons (CC). So use it freely and post it wherever you wish to.)
These are the important happenings that I can positively confirm from Wednesday, July 8 in Iran.
Protests / Unrest
1. Tomorrow, July 9th (18th of Tir in Iran), marks a very important day. It memorializes the 10th year anniversary of a student uprising for freedom. Many students were killed and thousands were beaten, arrested and tortured.
Thousands are expected to take to the streets tomorrow in a peaceful march. It will be in memory of those slain, the revived fight for freedom, and to once again show their discontent with the election results. Cities confirmed to protest include: Ahvaz, Arak, Adrabil, Bandar Abbas, Birjand, Bojnurd, Bushehr, Esfehan, Ghazvin, Ghom, Gorgan, Hamedan, Ilam, Kerman, Kermanshah, Khorramabad, Mashhad, Rasht, Sanandaj, Sari, Semnan, Shahrekord, Shiraz, Tabriz, Urmieh, Yasuj, Yazd, Zahedan and Zanjan.
2. Protesters have been advised to walk calmly through cities, as well as to carry Korans and roses in their hands – to show their peaceful intent. Sardar Ismail Ahmadi-Moghadam, a high-ranking commander in the Iranian security forces, claimed that no one had requested permission for permits to hold rallies or to stage protests. Reports also suggest that Rafsanjani’s family is planning on attending the rallies.
3. Mir Hossein Mousavi released a new statement calling on Iranians “To honor and commemorate those slain in the post-election violence by going to mosques and other religious establishments to mourn and pray for them.” He has specifically asked them to do so in the late afternoon. Mousavi went on to endorse rallies and protests that are to be held for this purpose. Furthermore, he declared that he will be joining the mourners.
4. News circulated today of security forces attacking internet cafes in Kermanshah. It was reported that they checked people’s cell phones and interrogated them as to what they were doing there. Reports say Basijis started marking people’s doors with red ink at night – those of who chanted on their rooftops. It was suggested that Basijis would then go back in the morning and intimidate those residents. Recent reports say that people voluntarily marked their doors with red ink in order to confuse and overwhelm the Basijis.
5. IIPF (Islamic Iranian Participation Front) – a reformist political party with close ties to Mohammad Khatami – released a new statement on Iranian websites asking for the immediate release of all political detainees and non-political detainees. The statement slams the government’s brutality and violence and called the election, “a coup against democracy in Iran.” They asked the government to reduce the presence of security forces in Tehran because it was, “starting to look like an army brigade.”
6. It has been reported that Hashemi Rafsanjani has yet again decided to NOT lead Friday Prayers. It is speculated that the rationale behind his decision has to do with wanting to remain neutral until the issues regarding the election are resolved. Two days ago, his political party declared the election invalid. Rafsanjani himself has not made it clear whether he supports that statement or not.
Government / International / Clergy
7. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is continuously canceling trips abroad and inside Iran. So far, he has cancelled his trips to Libya and Egypt (to attend the meeting of Non-Aligned Nations). He cancelled his trip to Mashhad and now there’s news that he has cancelled his trip to Shiraz as well. Heads of States from around the world have also cancelled trips to Iran – among them, The Sultan of Oman and the President of Ukraine. Recent reports from inside his faction divulge that he will not be traveling abroad until the situation in Iran is “completely calm.”
8. International media is reporting that Mojtaba Khamenei – the son of Ayatollah Khamenei – has taken direct control of Iran’s militia group (Basij) in order to suppress the Sea of Green. They also report that officials within other security forces, along with the powerful clergy, are not happy with the situation. However, solid confirmations from our Iranian sources have yet to be confirmed.
9. The spokesperson for the Guardian Council today announced, “That even though the Guardian Council could be approached through legal channels, any complaints against the election were meaningless.” According to him, the Guardian Council’s decision was final.
Arrested / Released / Killed
10. Mohammad Ali Dadkha, a prominent lawyer and human rights activist, was arrested at his office today. Amir Raeesian and Malihe Dadkhah – who were in his office at the time – were also taken into custody. Mohammad Reza Yazdan-Panah of the Islamic Iranian Participation Front was also arrested. Partially confirmed reports suggest that Zhila Bani-Yaghoub and Ahmad Amavi have been put under house-arrest.
11. The Iranian Government released 22 of the 25 staff members from Kalameh Newspaper who had been arrested two weeks ago. Twenty members of the Mourning Mothers Group, arrested last week, were let go. Nine civilians were discharged. High-profile releases include: Gholamreza Zarifiyan (a Cabinet Minister during Khatami’s administration), Zainab Paighambarzadeh, and Poyesh Asaanlo.
12. Ismail Ahmadi-Mogham, Commander of the Iranian Police, announced that 100 detainees will be released in the next few days. He claimed the government had already released two-thirds of the 2,500 protesters arrested. Roughly 500 of those still detained, will be prosecuted in a court soon.
13. IRG’s (Islamic Revolutionary Guard) Javan Daily Newspaper continues to publish confessions of reformists and other detainees who had been arrested in the post-election unrest. Independent sources have confirmed that prisoners have been tortured to confess that they were, “directed by foreign nations into instigating violence in Iran.”
14. Internet connection speed has slowed even further in Iran. Connecting phone calls to Iran has also become notoriously difficult. Chants of Allah o Akbar continue to echo across the night in most parts of Iran -every night.
*A hearty thanks to Sahar 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.
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Labels: The Green Brief #22 (July 08)