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 Topic: Iran uprising - is the end in sight for the Islamic regime?

 (Read 18970 times)
  • Previous page 1 ... 8 9 1011 12 Next page « Previous thread | Next thread »
  • Iran uprising - is the end in sight for the Islamic regime?
     Reply #270 - November 24, 2019, 07:39 PM

    https://mobile.twitter.com/farnazfassihi/status/1198662014165495809
    Quote
    #IranProtests Day 10
    Association for Iranian journalists issues statement saying Iranian media & journalists were ordered not to cover protests or print photos.
    Cover of Hamshahri newspaper:
    “Media empty of people’s voice”

    https://mobile.twitter.com/farnazfassihi/status/1198655105945473029
    Quote
    #IranProtests Day 10
    1. No internet on mobile phones.
    2. Cities big & small feel like heavy security zones with swarms of forces out.
    3. Families scrambling to find dead, missing & detained lives ones.


  • Iran uprising - is the end in sight for the Islamic regime?
     Reply #271 - November 24, 2019, 09:21 PM

    More protest videos: https://mobile.twitter.com/borzou/status/1198268197511815168
  • Iran uprising - is the end in sight for the Islamic regime?
     Reply #272 - November 24, 2019, 11:24 PM

    https://mobile.twitter.com/MAliKadivar/status/1198289034688237570
    Quote
    Thread about #IranProtests: Iran’s state elite has been more united than ever before in their brutal repression of this recent wave of protest trigger by the hike in petroleum prices.

    In the previous wave of protest and repression during December 2017-January 2018, the state elite was more divided and hardliners and moderates did not want to take responsibility for repression but instead were trying to even spin the protests against each other.

    With imposition of sanctions and the policy of maximum pressure the state elite has come together and perceives any kind of protest as an existential threat for the regime.

    This brutal repression is a major turning point for any kind of institutional or electoral politics in Iran. Rouhani and his administration betrayed all of the promises he had made during his campaign, from proper management of the economy to political reforms.

    The prospect for institutional politics and electoral participation seems very dark or nonexistent in the wake of this wave of heavy repression.

    Comparing with the previous protest wave, the current wave was broader in its geographic spread even though it happened over an even shorter period of time and the demands were also more radical. These issues arose despite internet shutdown after the first day.

    The next wave is probably going to be even more radical and more widespread.

    The main weakness for the current protest wave is the lack of internal organization and leadership.

    Because of heavy repression there has been no credible political leadership from inside the country, and the ones from outside- such as monarchists, Trumpists or others that try to hijack or advocate the protest- lack credibility

  • Iran uprising - is the end in sight for the Islamic regime?
     Reply #273 - November 25, 2019, 10:44 AM

    https://mobile.twitter.com/HussBanai/status/1198805982891139073
    Quote
    In the coming days, weeks, and months there will be a narrative forming about how Rouhani & his cabinet weren't happy with how things were handled, but ultimately were hamstrung due to security establishment pressure at home and US aggression from outside

    This insider-agonist narrative will lament the loss of life and property, and will even level veiled criticisms at state repression and heavy-handedness. But, crucially, it will fall short of resignations or outright statements of protests to said repression because the public's interests, it will be argued, simply won't be served by such acts. "Sure, the internet was turned off and people were beaten, killed, maimed, arrested, etc. All true. But what's a government not actually in charge of security matters to do? Our hands were tied."

    "Plus, these nezam devotees will implore, the heightened level of paranoia of the deep-state isn't entirely unwarranted given US-Saudi-Israeli-FDD-MEK-Pahlavi-+ all-out drive for regime change. What do you expect we do in this environment? The alternatives were far worse."

    For 20 years (since summer 1999 student unrests), a version of this insider-agonist narrative has been parroted about as justification for inaction, unaccountability, and the urgency of continued faith in gradual reforms. For 20 years: "keep the faith & what's the alternative?"

    Tellingly, the intensity of this narrative has been inversely proportional to the number of insider-agonists parroting it about. More and more of them have either been driven out of the country, banned from public gatherings, put under house arrest, or indefinitely imprisoned.

    There was some hope in 2015 that the nuclear deal had at last vindicated this narrative, and that domestic reforms could be rolled out after the easing of tensions with the West. But Trump's election and Raisi's challenge restored the narrative even more intensely.

    It must be noted that under Rouhani there's even less of an attempt to sustain the narrative on the promise of reforms, since he's never been a self-proclaimed reformist. His campaign promise of "prudence & hope" was simply about being a steady placeholder.

    In light of this 20-yr history, the crucial question to ask is this: why should the purveyors of this narrative any longer bother to frame it in terms of reforms or gradual change, when it's just about preserving the stability of a repressive political system (nezam)?

    Now that the internet can literally be turned off at the flip of a switch and vicious punishment meted out under the dark veil of the security establishment (made up of the military-intelligence tutors of Assad, no less), why not simply admit that it will always be thus?

    Sure, Trump's policy on Iran is vulgar, vacuous, and vicious - and it's added its share to Iranians' daily problems. But let's be clear about a 40-yr reality, too: for reasons internal, no elected IRI government has ever had the power to address the Iranian public's problems.

  • Iran uprising - is the end in sight for the Islamic regime?
     Reply #274 - November 25, 2019, 10:52 AM

    https://mobile.twitter.com/HadiNili/status/1198709965948686342
    Quote
    #Iran blood bank is calling on ppl to donate blood; saying its reserve level is low…

  • Iran uprising - is the end in sight for the Islamic regime?
     Reply #275 - November 25, 2019, 12:57 PM

    What’s driving Iran’s crackdown on protesters?
  • Iran uprising - is the end in sight for the Islamic regime?
     Reply #276 - November 25, 2019, 05:56 PM

    https://mobile.twitter.com/JasonMBrodsky/status/1198917547724279808
    Quote
    #Iran MFA on pro-regime rally today: "I recommend they (foreign countries) look at the marches today, to see who the real people in Iran are and what they are saying." https://www.nytimes.com/reuters/2019/11/25/world/middleeast/25reuters-iran-gasoline-protests.html

    https://mobile.twitter.com/farnazfassihi/status/1198947270101753860
    Quote
    #IranProtests Day 11
    Familiar playbook. Regime supporters are free to assemble & protest. Critics were shot in the streets & arrested en mass, their communication cut off.

    https://mobile.twitter.com/farnazfassihi/status/1198974982577172482
    Quote
    Hard to overstate the impact of regime cutting Internet on the psyche of Iranians. The word in every tweet & message: feeling hopeless.

    https://mobile.twitter.com/farnazfassihi/status/1198977497356013574
    Quote
    #IranProtests Day 11
    IRGC comments:
    Confirms violence & destruction unprecedented.
    Compares protestors to ISIS.
    Admits if Internet wasn't turned off riots would take over the country.
    Muses about "generational disconnect" & younger generation favorable view to Pahlavi era.

    https://mobile.twitter.com/farnazfassihi/status/1199004957766299648
    Quote
    #IranProtests Day 11
    Parliament holds closed meeting w/heads of intelligence & IRGC. Intelligence minister says most of the arrested protestors are unemployed or very low-income. Predicts there will be more unrest.

    https://mobile.twitter.com/farnazfassihi/status/1199017331567058944
    Quote
    #IranProtests Day 11
    Fight breaks out among lawmakers over the protests & crackdowns, reports say.

  • Iran uprising - is the end in sight for the Islamic regime?
     Reply #277 - November 25, 2019, 06:28 PM

    https://mobile.twitter.com/HadiNili/status/1199030277558939648
    Quote
    #IranProtests:
    @Amnesty just updated its assessment: at least 143 been killed by Iran authorities since protests began on 15 Nov.

    There are estimation higher than this number, but this is what Amnesty could verify based on reports while local media are under severe restrictions.

    @amnesty says all but two of these 143 ppl been shot dead.
    The other two: one was reported to have died after inhaling tear gas, another after being beaten.

    https://mobile.twitter.com/HadiNili/status/1199017806416826370
    Quote
    @amnesty confirms reports that Iran authorities been asking for millions of tomans from families of those who were killed during the protests to return their bodies.

    https://mobile.twitter.com/HadiNili/status/1199027859395948545
    Quote
    #Iran officials now blame the "cold season" for severe shortage of blood supply, asking ppl to step up donating blood to the natl blood bank.

    Sources on the ground link this shortage to the #IranProtests injuries overwhelming hospitals & surgery rooms.

  • Iran uprising - is the end in sight for the Islamic regime?
     Reply #278 - November 25, 2019, 06:38 PM

    Thread: https://mobile.twitter.com/amnesty/status/1199017249748729858
    Quote
    In some cases, there are shocking reports that, when authorities have returned victims’ bodies to families, they have demanded payment citing several reasons, including the cost of the bullet that killed their loved one or compensation for property destroyed during the protests.

  • Iran uprising - is the end in sight for the Islamic regime?
     Reply #279 - November 25, 2019, 06:45 PM

    https://roarmag.org/2019/11/25/leftists-worldwide-stand-by-the-protesters-in-iran/
    Quote
    The following is a statement by the Iranian leftist diaspora in the United Kingdom, France and Germany who have formed a loose coalition of academics and militants to express their support for the ongoing popular uprising in Iran.

    Quote
    While the BBC Persian TV and reactionary loyalist media (Iran International, Manoto etc.) prescribe the liberal doctrine of “peaceful, civil protest,” the Iranian youth are self-conscious of the fact that “a people without hate cannot triumph,” that “material force must be overthrown by material force,” and that they have the right to legitimately defend themselves against the state violence systematically aimed at killing the citizens.

    Quote
    The Islamic Republic has been successful so far in achieving its goals. They have seized the opportunity provided by the US sanctions to realize their neoliberal dreams in order to be able to both recover the current budget deficit and increase their military operations in the region. To do so, they have shut down the internet by virtue of which they have brutally slaughtered their opponents. Internationally speaking, there has been no specific media coverage, no international condemnation of the state repression, and very little solidarity from the global left — in other words, the bloodbath is carried out in silence. This is possible because, while the oppressed classes in Iran and the Middle East have no illusion about the “anti-imperialist” role of the Islamic Republic, many on the left still believe in the ideological self-representation of the regime as an anti-imperialist force standing against the US and its regional allies.

    The left needs to learn from the oppressed classes to simultaneously oppose US imperialism (especially US sanctions) and the Islamic Republic’s interventions in the region.

    We, the undersigned academics and militants, urge the global left to break its silence and express its solidarity with the people of Iran and their resistance.

    It is pointless for us to demand anything from the Islamic Republic, but we will demand from our comrades and progressive forces all over the world to be — in any possible form — the voice of the oppressed people in Iran suffocated by the forced isolation. We also call on the international left to condemn the atrocities of the regime against its own people.


    Edit: a critical response to this statement (thread): https://mobile.twitter.com/adavari21/status/1199022564137459717
    Quote
    We need to develop a language for global Left solidarity regarding Iran. This isn't it. 

    This is a valiant attempt to break through left reticence by condemning state violence in Iran.

    It is also an exhibit of out-of-touch leftists with the gall to push inaccurate analysis that detracts from understanding what's going on, & the ego to then make demands.

  • Iran uprising - is the end in sight for the Islamic regime?
     Reply #280 - November 25, 2019, 10:43 PM

    https://iranwire.com/en/features/6497
    Quote
    An Interior Ministry source has confirmed that, as of noon of Monday, November 25, 218 people have been killed during recent protests, 87 of them in Tehran province. The figures, which are based on reports sent to the ministry by provincial and city governors, is expected to rise as the ministry receives new reports.

    As of last Tuesday, November 19, the Interior Ministry had received reports that 4,523 people had been arrested. That figure has not been updated and the ministry has received no further information.

    According to the source, Brigadier General Gholam Hossein Gheybparvar, the acting commander of the Revolutionary Guards’ Central Imam Ali Security Garrison, had been given permission to order forces to “fire at will,” and so has been directly responsible for the massacre of protesters across Iran.

    The Central Imam Ali Security Garrison commands Imam Ali Battalions, which were established following the disputed 2009 presidential election, across Iran. The battalions, then and now, are tasked with confronting and suppressing popular protests in an organized and comprehensive way. The battalions form part of the paramilitary Basij Organization, which functions under the umbrella of the Revolutionary Guards. According to Major General Mohammad Ali Jafari, the former commander-in-chief of the Revolutionary Guards, approximately 31,000 Basijis have been trained as members of the battalions

  • Iran uprising - is the end in sight for the Islamic regime?
     Reply #281 - November 25, 2019, 10:49 PM

    https://www.nuj.org.uk/news/cruel-and-inhumane-treatment-must-stop-insists-nuj/
    Quote
    Journalists working for UK-based broadcasters Iran International and the BBC Persian Service have been subjected to new threats by the Iranian authorities. Journalists’ family members living in Iran have also been threatened and harassed as a result of their family connection to reporters based in the UK. 
     
    Family members in Iran have been told to pass on threatening messages to journalists working in London – to tell them they must resign from their jobs or face the risk of being forcefully removed from the UK and returned to Iran. Relatives in Iran have been brought in for questioning by the authorities and had passports confiscated as a result of their family connection to a journalist. 
     
    These alarming developments come at the same time as an increase in civil unrest in Iran and it appears the Iranian authorities are trying to blame journalists and the foreign-based Persian-language media.
     
    The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) has been approach with similar cases of harassment targeting journalists based in Germany, France and the Czech Republic.

  • Iran uprising - is the end in sight for the Islamic regime?
     Reply #282 - November 26, 2019, 12:07 AM

    https://iranhumanrights.org/2019/11/iranian-government-dictated-to-local-media-how-to-cover-protests-new-documents-reveal/
    Quote
    While Iran is still reeling from the recent protests that have left scores injured, more than a hundred dead, and thousands arrested, the Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI) has learned that two main government ministries have silenced the domestic media by issuing directives dictating coverage of the unrest, in a blatant violation of freedom of the press. Intelligence ministry officials have also threatened journalists that they will be charged with “crimes” if their reporting of events does not hew to the official narrative of events.

    Moreover, contrary to the widespread view that the government was caught off guard by the protests, CHRI has learned from an informed source who requested anonymity for security reasons that officials anticipated there would be unrest after the planned announcement of the gasoline price hikes. According to the source, state officials met with media publishers to instruct them on coverage of the expected unrest before the price hikes were announced to the public.

    CHRI has confirmed the above account with two other journalists who had detailed and reliable knowledge of the meetings.

    “It is now clear, the state’s preemptive directive to the media to censor coverage of the protests, the subsequent news cut-off and internet shutdown, and the violence exacted against the protestors all went hand-in-hand,” said Hadi Ghaemi, CHRI executive director.

    “This was a calculated crushing of peaceful dissent.”...

  • Iran uprising - is the end in sight for the Islamic regime?
     Reply #283 - November 26, 2019, 09:43 AM

    https://mobile.twitter.com/Vakil_e_Roaya/status/1199118733777735680
    Quote
    The representative of Mahshahr, #Iran which has seen intense #IranProtests, Mohammad Golmoradi had to be restrained in parliament today. He said: "What did you do that the dishonorable Shah didn't do? Your behavior surrounding security issues is suspicious and questionable."

  • Iran uprising - is the end in sight for the Islamic regime?
     Reply #284 - November 26, 2019, 02:58 PM

    Hamid Yazdan Panah - A simple truth about the protests in Iran
  • Iran uprising - is the end in sight for the Islamic regime?
     Reply #285 - November 26, 2019, 03:03 PM

    https://soundcloud.com/vomekpfa-1/nov-23-2019-anti-government-protests-in-iran-sparked-by-sharp-hike-in-petrol-price
    Quote
    On Friday Nov 15, protests broke out in 30 cities across Iran after a surprise announcement by the government it would ration gasoline and raise prices by 50 percent to 300%. The protests swiftly turned into anti-government demonstrations targeting the theocratic regime as a whole.

    And, as in previous protests, demonstrators utilized twitter and other social media platforms to organize, to communicate with the outside world and document the typically heavy-handed response by the regime. In the first twenty four hours, hundreds of images and video clips showed security forces brutally attacking protesters -

    Amnesty International Verified video footage as well as eyewitness testimony from people on the ground and information gathered by human rights activists outside Iran reveal a harrowing pattern of unlawful killings by Iranian security forces: At least 106 protesters in 21 cities had been killed as of Wednesday, and tAmnesty International believes that the real death toll may be much higher, some reports suggesting as many as 200 fatalities. State media have reported only a handful of protester deaths, plus those of four members of the security forces.

    Adding to lethal attacks on the protests, within twenty-four hours, the government has used other tool in their arsenal - The Iranian authorities shutdown the internet for 5 days to stop the flow of information to the outside world and to cut off communication among the Iranian people themselves.

    NetBlocks, a non-governmental organization that monitors Internet accessibility around the world, has reported that “The ongoing disruption is the most severe recorded in Iran since President Rouhani came to power, and the most severe disconnection tracked by NetBlocks in any country in terms of its technical complexity and breadth."

    Shahram aghamir spoke with Peyman Jafari, a historian at princeton University about the latest wave of anti-government protests in Iran

  • Iran uprising - is the end in sight for the Islamic regime?
     Reply #286 - November 26, 2019, 07:27 PM

    https://mobile.twitter.com/farnazfassihi/status/1199388026344001540
    Quote
    #IranProtests Day 12
    Sharp spike for Google search on "immigration" by Iranian users.
    @pooriast a tech expert in Iran, "I don't know a single person in the tech industry who isn't thinking of leaving Iran after last week."
    Wow.

  • Iran uprising - is the end in sight for the Islamic regime?
     Reply #287 - November 27, 2019, 10:21 AM

    Thread: https://mobile.twitter.com/HadiNili/status/1199577231506456576
    Quote
    this is what IR state TV #IRIB is preaching ab how to treat those who dare to come to streets for #IranProtests:


    Also: https://mobile.twitter.com/radiojibi/status/1199483148343615493
  • Iran uprising - is the end in sight for the Islamic regime?
     Reply #288 - November 27, 2019, 10:30 AM

    IranWire: After the protests, an Iranian city is still in shock and mourning
  • Iran uprising - is the end in sight for the Islamic regime?
     Reply #289 - November 27, 2019, 01:03 PM

    https://mobile.twitter.com/AlinejadMasih/status/1199367955584344071
    Quote
    Nikta Esfandani is the youngest victim of the regime crackdown on #IranProests. I spoke to her friend who send me second photo of her & said Islamic Republic's security forces told her family that because she was only 14 they don’t have to pay to retrieve her body.

  • Iran uprising - is the end in sight for the Islamic regime?
     Reply #290 - November 27, 2019, 02:04 PM

    Video: https://mobile.twitter.com/IranIntl_En/status/1199383918518116352
    Quote
    In an interview with @IranIntl_En, Michelle Stanistreet, General Secretary of the National Union of Journalists (#NUJ) in Britain spoke about the intimidation campaign conducted by #Iran’s authorities against Iranian journalists outside the country.

  • Iran uprising - is the end in sight for the Islamic regime?
     Reply #291 - November 27, 2019, 05:09 PM

    BBC Persian: Videos reveal crackdown regime tried to hide from world
  • Iran uprising - is the end in sight for the Islamic regime?
     Reply #292 - November 27, 2019, 08:02 PM

    Borzou Daragahi - Iran admits 200,000 took part in recent anti-government protests, 731 banks torched
  • Iran uprising - is the end in sight for the Islamic regime?
     Reply #293 - November 27, 2019, 09:14 PM

    Video: https://mobile.twitter.com/ThomasVLinge/status/1199797216505974787
    Quote
    #Iraq  BREAKING: Protesters in #Najaf have set fire to the Iranian consulate in the southern city.


    Video: https://mobile.twitter.com/LawkGhafuri/status/1199772323529801730
    Quote
    It is confirmed, protesters burned down part of the Iranian consulate building in #Najaf province in #Iraq. The protester in the video says that they have taken down the Iranian flag from the building as well and burned it.

    Video via Save the Iraqi People


    Video: https://mobile.twitter.com/farnazfassihi/status/1199788788454690816
    Quote
    Iraqis attacking Iranian consulate in Najaf. Symbolism hard to miss.


    Video: https://mobile.twitter.com/nafisehkBBC/status/1199779451707506690
    Quote
    #Iran’s consulate in the Shiite holy city of #Najaf was torched by a group of #Iraqi protesters. A protester carries a giant Iraqi flag while another one beats Iran supreme leader Ali Khameni’s pictures with slipper. Some are chanting “Iran go out”


    https://mobile.twitter.com/Mustafa_salimb/status/1199775360835096577
    Quote
    Protesters in #Najaf set fire inside the Iranian Consulate. The diplomatic staff were evacuated by security forces 10 minutes before the storm of protesters according to eye witnesses.

  • Iran uprising - is the end in sight for the Islamic regime?
     Reply #294 - November 27, 2019, 09:25 PM

    https://mobile.twitter.com/BahmanKalbasi/status/1199772478454796288
    Quote
    #IranProtests: This video was recorded by a young protester who was later killed. It’s painful to listen to him express hope for better days.


    Edit: version of the video with subtitles: https://mobile.twitter.com/AlinejadMasih/status/1199972916110274560

    Interview with his father and grandfather: https://mobile.twitter.com/AlinejadMasih/status/1200098864851832832
  • Iran uprising - is the end in sight for the Islamic regime?
     Reply #295 - November 27, 2019, 11:18 PM

    Thread: https://mobile.twitter.com/HadiNili/status/1199577231506456576
    Quote
    this is what IR state TV #IRIB is preaching ab how to treat those who dare to come to streets for #IranProtests:

    Also: https://mobile.twitter.com/radiojibi/status/1199483148343615493


    Version of the video with subtitles: https://mobile.twitter.com/AlinejadMasih/status/1199823541400588289
    Quote
    Koran expert on Islamic Republic TV says protesters should not simply be killed but they should also suffer. He recites a verse from the Koran and suggests mutilation, exile and public hanging for punishing participants in #IranProtests of last week.

  • Iran uprising - is the end in sight for the Islamic regime?
     Reply #296 - November 28, 2019, 06:13 PM

    https://mobile.twitter.com/BahmanKalbasi/status/1200087965567004675
    Quote
    A website close to the green mov. oppos. leader, Mousavi, has quoted a reliable source who put the death toll of #IranProtests much higher at 366 people killed in 72 hours. Even with previously reported 143 it was the deadliest of any protest crackdown in #Iran’s modern history.

  • Iran uprising - is the end in sight for the Islamic regime?
     Reply #297 - November 30, 2019, 10:43 AM

    https://iranwire.com/en/features/6513
    Quote
    On November 15, protests began in Iran, and starting spreading across Iran the next day, with people in 100 cities going out on to the streets to voice their anger and frustration – not just with the sudden announcement of a hike in gas prices, but also with the economic crisis and the regime's persistent violation of their rights. More than 200 people were killed by anti-riot police and security forces during the week-long demonstrations. IranWire pays tribute to those who lost their lives standing up for their rights and the rights of others.

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=JN9hPNZ_tGc&time_continue=35&feature=emb_title https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=vFieewxmoHk&feature=emb_title
  • Iran uprising - is the end in sight for the Islamic regime?
     Reply #298 - November 30, 2019, 10:54 AM

    They killed my son. I'll continue to fight for his ideals
  • Iran uprising - is the end in sight for the Islamic regime?
     Reply #299 - November 30, 2019, 10:59 AM

    https://iranwire.com/en/features/6514
    Quote
    UN Must Investigate the Killing of Protesters in Iran

    A group of prominent Iranians have appealed to the United Nations to take immediate action on Iran and appoint a commission to investigate the human rights violations in the country during the recent nationwide protests.

    The letter, signed by prominent Iranian academics, lawyers, doctors, journalists, and human rights activists based in the United States, Europe, Canada, India and Iran, also urges the UN to demand the immediate release of protesters still incarcerated, and to allow the UN’s Special Rapporteur for Iran to visit the country and talk to human rights activists targeted in recent weeks.

    The full text of the letter is below.


    November 26, 2019

    To Ms. Michelle Bachelet,

    The High Commissioner for Human Rights,

    United Nations

    Madam,

    We the undersigned wish to ask you to appoint a commission of inquiry to visit Iran with the purpose of investigating violations of human rights in the recent popular protests across the country. We also suggest that you ask the Iranian government to permit Mr. Javaid Rehman, the sixth Special Rapporteur for Iran since 1979, to interview human rights activists who have been arrested during the recent uprisings. 

    As you are certainly aware, from November 15-21, 2019 the security forces of Iran fired live bullets and teargas canisters at protesters in cities and towns across the country. Amnesty International (AI) maintains that at least 143 protesters were killed, and thousands were injured and arrested. However, AI researchers believe the number killed is much larger and they are continuing their investigation. Officials do not give the bodies to the mourning families and refuse to provide information about the wounded and jailed protesters. Security agents have threatened to arrest families if they try to hold public memorials for their loved ones. The Supreme Leader of the country, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, justified these criminal acts by referring to peaceful demonstrators as “villains.” After the third day of massacre, he said, “we pushed the enemy back in a security war.” He simply ignored the fact that what caused the spontaneous outpouring of people to the streets was their resentment against years of systemic political repression, high unemployment, rampant inflation and the ruling elite’s pervasive corruption. The Ayatollah has declared victory and blamed foreign conspirators for the uprising. He is not the only autocratic leader who makes such false claims in an attempt to deny the right of people to hold peaceful demonstrations.

    It is imperative that you demand immediate release of the detained protesters who are being tortured to “confess” their connection to “foreign enemies.” Over the past forty years the Iranian regime has used forced confession of its critics in order to silence human rights and pro-democracy activists. Iran has signed international human rights treaties, but the clerical authorities reject the very idea of human rights and recognize no limit in mistreating human rights activists, particularly women who object to gender discrimination and mandatory veiling.   

    We urge you to use the mandate of your office and instruct the commission to interview some of the injured and arrested protesters as well as the families of the dead. The arrested protesters who are accused of wrongdoing should be granted open court hearing. The facts that such  a commission could gather would enable you to take appropriate action to censure the Iranian regime for its massive use of violence against peaceful protesters.

    Copy: Mr. Antonio Guterres, Secretary-General of the United Nations

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