If you believe in praying, it is time to pray for Iran. Things are getting worse and worse.
* Riot police has blocked all the streets to the Azadi Square. People are being arrested in large numbers.
* After dark, shotguns and cries of Allaho Akbar from the rooftops are heard.
* On the streets, the chants have now changed to “Down with Khamenei.”
Explosion in Khomeini’s Tomb
* An alleged explosion has occurred in Khomeini’s tomb by a suicide bomber. It is generally believed to have been staged so that it can be blamed on the protesters. An unconfirmed report said the bombing was reported on the National TV minutes before it actually happened.
Anonymous E-mail From an Iranian Medical Student
* I only want to speak about what I have witnessed. I am a medical student. There was chaos last night at the trauma section in one of our main hospitals. Although by decree all riot-related injuries were supposed to be sent to military hospitals, all other hospitals were filled to the rim. Last night, nine people died at our hospital and another 28 had gunshot wounds. All hospital employees were crying till dawn. They (government) removed the dead bodies on back of trucks, before we were even able to get their names or other information. What can you even say to the people who don’t even respect the dead. No one was allowed to speak to the wounded or get any information from them. This morning the faculty and the students protested by gathering at the lobby of the hospital where they were confronted by plain cloths anti-riot militia.
* I am not going to attach any graphic clips about the street fights. They are horrendous. I have been in a daze the whole day. Don’t want to subject you to it as well. However, in the interest of making it possible for you to see what is happening to Iranians, I’ll point you to a website which will let you see these events if you like. Please be aware that they are hard to watch: http://www.citizentube.com/.
* Instead of these horrifying clips, you might want to read a first rate eye-witness account by NY Times Roger Cohen who is still in Iran. The article is an example of superb journalism: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/06/21/opinion/21tehran.html?_r=1&adxnnl=1&ref=global-home&adxnnlx=1245535317-UflBE25qJMlNlT8eSyd5LQ.
Foreign Embassies Beginning to Accept Injured Protesters
* So far the Australian, British, and Dutch Embassies have been accepting the Iranians injured in today’s clashes with the riot police. There are indications that other embassies may follow suit though there have been some refusals (i.e. the Canadian Embassy). If your country has an embassy in Iran, PLEASE contact your foreign affairs officials and ask them to give refuge to the wounded. As you see in the above e-mail, some hospitals are reported to have been raided by the Basij.
Pouring Acid on Demonstrators
* According to Mousavi’s Facebook page, there have been instances of pouring acid on demonstrators.
Important Fax Number for Iranians to Stay in Touch
* Iranians feel trapped. It is very important for them to be able to stay connected with the world. Eric Purdy @ the University of Chicago has announced “We have set up a website to receive faxes from Iran, which we will post online. Hopefully this will be another way for information about what’s going on in Iran to make its way out of the country. The faxes can be sent in English or Persian. Eric Purdy says we will post any faxes we receive at iranfax.org. Apparently, at this point, there are only about 5 foreign journalists left in Iran. The fax number is: 001 773 321 0202.
Mr. Mousavi Joins his supporters
* As I write to you (10:55 am), an e-mail arrived. Mr. Mousavi has joined his supporters in Jayhoon Street. Mr. Mousavi said “He is prepared to die with his supporters” for the cause of freedom they have been pursuing. He renewed his plea to the people to continue the movement.
I am truly sorry that I cannot give you a happy picture from today. Let’s hope tomorrow will be better.
Fatemeh Keshavarz, Professor and Chair
Dept. of Asian and Near Eastern Languages and Literatures
Washington University in St. Louis
Honorary Co-Chair, Iranians For Peace
Tel: (314) 935-5156
Fax: (314) 935-4399