Sunday June 21st: Protests continue to be held in Iran

by on June 21, 2009 · 0 comments

in World News

Editor: I cropped this image from a very grainy video shot today, Sunday, June 21, Tehran.

Protesters Rally,

Bloggers and Journalists Arrested,

Re-form Clerics Step Up Their Criticism of Government – 3 Days of Mourning Called for the Dead,

Guardian Council admits more votes were cast than voters

Editor: I’m not doing any live-blogging but want to post some news here from our traditional sources, used yesterday, Nico Pitney at  Huffington Post by Nico Pitney, and Andrew Sullivan of the Atlantic, plus a new one here.

Protests and demonstrations continue on Sunday. Here’s pics and perhaps an alleged video from a blogger in Iran. CNN reported on Twitter: “Eyewitnesses: Thousands of riot police lining Tehran streets Sunday; marches taking place, but noviolence reported.”

But this same blogger reports “conflicts” in several areas of Tehran.


In a statement posted on his Website Sunday, Moussavi urged defiance, telling his supporters:

“To protest against lies and fraud is your right”.

Though he called for self-control, Moussavi encouraged them to continue the protest: “In your protests keep on refraining from violence… I as one of the mourners (of the Saturday killings) invite my dear people to self-restraint. The nation belongs to you.”

According to Twitter almost all of Mousavi’s campaign managers have been arrested.

Guardian Council admits: more votes than voters. Another fairly shocking report given that it comes from Iran’s state-funded PressTV:

Iran’s Guardian Council has admitted that the number of votes collected in 50 cities surpass the number of those eligible to cast ballot in those areas.
The council’s Spokesman Abbas-Ali Kadkhodaei, who was speaking on the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting (IRIB) Channel 2 on Sunday, made the remarks in response to complaints filed by Mohsen Rezaei — a defeated candidate in the June 12 Presidential election.

“Statistics provided by Mohsen Rezaei in which he claims more than 100% of those eligible have cast their ballot in 170 cities are not accurate — the incident has happened in only 50 cities,” Kadkhodaei said.

The spokesman, however, said that although the vote tally affected by such an irregularity is over 3 million, “it has yet to be determined whether the amount is decisive in the election results,” reported Khabaronline.

Watch this Pitched Battle Between People in the Streets Against Police on Sat.

This is what democracy in the streets looks like. Just watch this pitched battle in the streets between a crowd and the riot police (via BBC Farsi). And watch it to the very end, as the police suddenly turn tail and run. Yes, you can hear the shouts ‘Hurrah!” and I confess I found myself yelling with them. Let us hope this is a microcosm of the whole thing. Faced with so many with such determination, the will of the regime will crumble.

At least 23 bloggers and reporters arrested. Via my colleague Nick, the Associated Press reports:

Iranian authorities have arrested 23 journalists and bloggers since post-election protests began a week ago, according to a media watchdog that says reporters are a “priority target” for Iran’s leadership.  Among those arrested was the head of the Association of Iranian Journalists, Reporters Without Borders said Sunday. […]

The group released a list of 23 Iranian journalists, editors and bloggers arrested since June 14, and says it has lost contact with several others believed detained or in hiding. Hervieu said RSF verified each arrest via its network of reporters and activists in Iran. No foreign journalists were on the list.

Reporters Without Borders writes, “The Islamic Republic of Iran now ranks alongside China as the world’s biggest prison for journalists.” They have a hotline for journalists here.

Young Woman Tells Her Story: Beaten and Escaped

A young woman marching to Freedom Square on Saturday shared her amazing story with CNN: She was beaten by paramilitary forces with clubs, escaped with her camera and shared her photos with the network after tricking a member of the Basij by giving him an empty memory card, keeping the one that held her photos.

She told CNN about the intensity of the protests and the strong female presence:

There were many women among the crowd of demonstrators trying to get to Freedom Square, she said. “We gave the boys the stones because we can’t throw them so far. We gave them the stones, and we said the slogans.”

Khatami, Montazeri step up criticism. From Reuters:
Pro-reform clerics in Iran stepped up criticism of the authorities on Sunday after more than a week of unprecedented popular defiance against the leadership of the Islamic Republic. […]
As authorities fulminated against protesters backing defeated presidential candidate Mirhossein Mousavi, moderate former president Mohammad Khatami signaled increased opposition among pro-reform clerics to Iran’s conservative leadership.

“Preventing people from expressing their demands through civil ways will have dangerous consequences,” Khatami, a Mousavi ally, said in a statement, the semi-official Mehr news agency reported.

His comment, implying criticism of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei who has backed a ban on protests and defended the outcome of the election, found an echo with Grand Ayatollah Hossein Ali Montazeri, the most senior dissident cleric.

“Resisting people’s demand is religiously prohibited,” said Montazeri, an architect of Iran’s 1979 Islamic revolution who fell out with the present leadership and has been under house arrest for some years.

In a statement on his website, Montazeri called for three days of national mourning for those killed.

Understanding Ayatollah Montazeri’s statement. A reader who has been very helpful over the last week sends in this note about today’s statement (highlighted below at 12:28 PM) by dissident cleric Grand Ayatollah Montazeri (slightly edited for clarity):

Just had call with Iranians who read the whole Montazzeri statement (I have not myself – note – my farsi is not good enough to get all the nuances of the thing). But the main point I think you should be aware of is that he’s asking people this coming Wed-Fri to mourn the people who have died. The people I talk to suggest it’s his covert way of asking people to strike.
As point of reference – in the ’79 Revolution, it was the strikes that did it. This is super important – because roughly right now you have some of the population that are hitting the streets, while others are Ahmadinejad people — and it’s the silent 30-40% they are after. Each day this silent majority is slowly stepping towards the reformists.

One important point with strikes — they cannot shoot people who are striking. That will leave them in a bind — and more people dare to strike than hit the streets. Again, this is in reference with what happened in ’79 – strikes are the most potent weapon.

Also – what is happening now with regards to spreading information to the people. They are going back to 79 strategies. basically they are printing papers having people distribute them all over the country. twitter/net etc is not effective right now – they are going back to old-fashioned style.

Neda - the young woman whose death rocked Iran...and the world.

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