» 06/14/2010, 00.00
More 900 people arrested in Tehran, Green Wave more mature than a year ago
Activists say 300 women are among the arrested. Uniformed and plainclothes police as well as revolutionary guards patrol the streets, intimidating people against demonstrating. University students engage in silent protest and hunger strike. Some protesters chant “death to the dictator”. Opposition leader Karroubi says, “The Green Movement today is stronger and more mature than last year”.
Tehran (AsiaNews/Agencies) – Iranian security forces last Saturday detained more than 900 people in the capital, including 300 women. Still, in spite of increased police presence, and the deployment of plainclothes agents and revolutionary guards (pasdaran), many members of the pro-democracy opposition took to the streets to mark the first anniversary of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s allegedly rigged re-election. Unlike last year, few protesters came out, but their action is a sign that the Green Wave is not completely over. In fact, for opposition leader Mehdi Karroubi, “The Green Movement today is stronger and more mature than last year”
Last Saturday, more than 900 people were arrested for marking the first anniversary of Ahmadinejad’s presidential victory with a protest, the Human Right Activists News Agency (HRANA) reported. Detained protesters included 300 women, and their relatives have not yet heard from them.
The authorities refused to authorise protests for the anniversary. They also sent threatening text messages that read: “Dear citizen, you have been deceived by foreign media and are operating for them. If you repeat this action you will be dealt with in accordance with Islamic penal law.”
Similarly, opposition leaders Mir Hossein Mousavi and Mehdi Karroubi urged people to keep a low profile to avoid further bloodshed.
Nevertheless, small-scale protests did take place in Tehran as well as provincial cities with people voicing their anger by shouting “death to dictator” and “God is great”.
At the University of Sistan and Baluchistan, about 1,000 students took part in a silent protest that included a hunger strike. Some clashes with police were also reported.
A journalist with Rooz online, who followed the demonstration in the capital, said that people used subtle forms of protest. “They would walk and laugh, angering the police, but at the same time not giving them an excuse to attack them,” he wrote. “The officers were extremely angry and frustrated.”
At the same time, activists have complained that the authorities have cracked down on jailed political prisoners, saying that families are no longer allowed to see them face to face or talk to them in private. Hereafter, they will only be able to communicate via telephone. For prison authorities , his will prevent the release of statements and declarations by political prisoners to the outside world.
Overall, Iran’s clerical regime has failed to silence completely the pro-democracy opposition. Speaking to CNN via e-mail, Mehdi Karroubi said, “The Green Movement today is stronger and more mature than last year.”
“From the way things appear, things have not improved because the political situation, the economy and international relations have been damaged,” Karroubi said. Nevertheless, “if we take a deeper look at the situation, Iranian society has made strides in the path of knowing their rights, and this is a great achievement.”
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The vote is on Friday with any eventual run off on the 19th. Ahmadinejad seeks a second mandate against the ‘reformist’ ex premier Mousavi. Rather than the choice of the 46 million voters, the preference of the Supreme Leader ayatollah Ali Khamenei is what counts, who may not share the current president’s hard-line towards the United States.
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The offices in Qom of the late grand ayatollah are closed and sealed after pro-government militias carry out a punitive raid. Karroubi, who is also visiting the holy city of Qom, has his car attacked and destroyed. Shirin Ebadi says opposition is not over but has adopted different forms of protest. The Nobel Prize laureate opposes a military attack.
Tehran cracks down with violence and arrests on student demonstrations
With the consent of university authorities, security forces and Basij paramilitaries police Iran’s main campuses. Last Saturday, Azad University was the scene of protests during which students were arrested. Mobile phones were blocked. University dean and hard-line cleric call for rigid enforcement of the Islamic dress code.
For Washington and Paris, Iran not capable of making nuclear weapons
French foreign minister accuses Tehran of fuelling tensions. Clashes occur in Iranian capital during celebrations marking the 31st anniversary of the Islamic Revolution. Unconfirmed reports speak of three people killed. The Iranian government imposes tight censorship, bans foreign journalists.
Pope Francis tells young people that “genuine love” is not a “soap opera”, but Christians’ real identity card
In his homily for the Jubilee of Teens, Pope Francis asked questions and gave answers to the 70,000 present. Stressing the great ideal of love as giving oneself “without being possessive”, he noted that freedom is “being able to choose the good”. He warned young people “who dare not dream,” telling them that “If you do not dream at your age, you are already ready for retirement”. He also received funds raised for the Ukraine, and appealed for the release of bishops and the priests held in Syria.
Odd alliance between the US and Iranian fundamentalists
Washington is still preventing the use of US dollars in transactions with Iranian banks, preventing business with the outside world in spite of the nuclear deal. This way, the US is helping Khamenei and the Revolutionary Guards, who want to torpedo the agreement in order to maintain their hold on power. Meanwhile, most Iranians hold down two or three jobs just to make ends meet. An unstable and bellicose Iran is a boon for arms sales. A report follows.
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