Despite the continuation of uncertainty, and the heavy presence of anti-riot police on the streets of Tehran and other major cities, all the correspondence from the country shows that the general mood is improving. Somehow people have crossed the threshold of fear. But the main reason is that although large demonstrations are not allowed anymore, other events indicate that this protest is far from over. I hope this window brings you some of the reasons for this interpretation.
Brutal Attach on June 24 Protesters (discretion recommended)
Fear of Torture to Extract Confession
* Yesterday, I wrote about widespread detentions. “About the arrests, I am sure that this is leading towards tortured confessions” writes an anonymous e-mailer from Iran. He goes on to say, his journalist friend of 24 years who won a medal of valor for journalism and his wife, are among the arrested. He ends by saying “It pains me to think what they must be going through.” We know that all but four of the professors arrested yesterday, have already been released. Let us hope the writer’s friends will be too.
The Doctor who tried to save Neda’s Life Speaks
Significant Developments in Iran
* Issue No. 1 of the underground version of Kalemeh Sabz, Mr. Mousavi’s banned paper came out.
* The Grand Ayatollah Montazeri’s New Statement: A new and strong statement issued by Grand Ayatollah Montazeri condemns the government’s brutal assault on peaceful protesters and urges them to apologize to the people of Iran and respond to their legitimate grievances concerning this election.
* In an interview with “Saniyeh News” in Iran, the Secretary General of Society of Qum Seminary Professors openly and strongly condemned the behavior of the government toward the protesters.
More Backpaddling by the Iranian Ministry of Education
* According to a news announced by Mr. Mousavi’s Persian news sight Kalemeh, the Iranian Ministry of Interior has informed him that he can hold peaceful rallies if he applies for them a week in advance. While this is another attempt to buy time, it contradicts the earlier total ban and indicates confusion within the ministry.
Iranian Members of the Parliament Refrain from Attending Mr. Ahmadinejad’s Party
* Only 105 out of 290 members of the Iranian Parliament attended Mr. Ahmadinejad’s “victory” party. Mr. Haddad Adel, the Supreme Leader’s son-in-law was among them.
More Support for the Protesters. A Game Changer?
*According to a statement just released in Paris by NPA (The New Anti-capitalist Party of France) and translated from French by Andrew Feffer of Union College Iranian auto and bus workers are planning a strike. This could be a crucial game changer for the Iranian reformists. Here is a quote from the statement:
The bus workers union has declared solidarity, stating that “as long as the principles of freedom of assembly and of open elections are not enforced, all discussion of social freedom and workers rights are nothing but a farce.” The workers of Iran Khodro, the main auto manufacturer in the country (with sixty thousand employees), have started a strike movement, adding wage increases and the right to strike to the demands currently being made on the street.
Echoes of the Iranian Protests heard in Dhaka, Bangladesh
* A bright and caring student of mine sends this image from Dhaka: http://www.thedailystar.net/newDesign/news-details.php?nid=94147.
More on the Exact Nature of the Election Fraud
* My economist friend Eshragh – quoting the University of St. Andrews/Chatham House study – suggests that the election fraud was perpetrated more clumsily than one would think: http://www.chathamhouse.org.uk/files/14234_iranelection0609.pdf. It now appears, he goes on to explain that:
a. Aggregative (macro) data were cooked up by high officials of the Ministry of Interior and announced to the nation quickly.
b. Then officials at the Ministry were ordered to manufacture micro data (at the voting booth/box level) to conform to the macro/aggregative data. This explains why there was about a week’s delay between the announcement of macro and then micro data.
The Alaei Brothers
* “This week marks a sad milestone in the lives of Drs. Kamiar and Arash Alaei, internationally renowned HIV/AIDS physicians” writes an Iranian friend. “For the past year they have been imprisoned in the notorious section 209 of Evin prison.” Their crime? Practicing public health diplomacy. In the heat of the current events in Iran, let us not forget the Alaei brothers.You can help by writing to Serah Kalloch, Director, Physicians for Human Rights at <firstname.lastname@example.org>.
Image #2: This is not about Class or Age
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