Thursday, June 25, 2009

Tehran 'like a war zone' as ayatollah refuses to back down on election.

Witnesses are describing the scenes in Tehran as akin to "a war zone" as the last of the protesters are being driven off of the streets.

One woman told CNN that hundreds of unidentified men armed with clubs had emerged from a mosque to confront the protesters.

"They beat a woman so savagely that she was drenched in blood and her husband fainted. They were beating people like hell. It was a massacre," she said.

The opposition website Rooz Online carried what it said was an interview with a man the government had shipped in to Tehran to quell the demonstrations. He said he was being paid 2m rial (£122) to assault protesters with a heavy wooden stave, and that other volunteers, most of them from far-flung provinces, were being kept in hostel accommodation, reportedly in east Tehran.

With the independent media banned from covering street protests, the reports could not be verified.

There were also unconfirmed reports tonight that Zahra Rahnavard, the wife of opposition candidate Mir Hossein Mousavi, had been arrested. Earlier in the day she had called on the authorities to release Iranians who had been detained.

In remarks posted on her husband's website, Rahnavard said: "I regret the arrest of many politicians and people and want their immediate release. It is my duty to continue legal protests to preserve Iranian rights."

And throughout all of this, Khamenei is insisting that he will not back down:
"I had insisted and will insist on implementing the law on the election issue. Neither the establishment nor the nation will yield to pressure at any cost."
He really has destroyed his reputation as a man who stands beyond the political fray, and revealed himself as being in it up to his neck.

And I must admit to being seriously impressed that some protesters are keeping going. I would have thought that they would have been beaten into submission by now. They are displaying an admirable amount of courage to still be standing up for they know to be right, even with the full force of the state ranged against them.

An Iranian friend of mine in London was protesting the other day outside their embassy and was approached and told, "We have taken your photograph. You will pay for this if you ever return to Iran."

Bully boy tactics from a regime which has lost all legitimacy. At least in London they couldn't beat him away from the embassy's doors.

And Obama is getting more and more forceful in his condemnation of the disgusting tactics we are witnessing.
"The United States and the international community have been appalled and outraged by the threats, beatings, and imprisonments of the last few days. I strongly condemn these unjust actions, and I join with the American people in mourning each and every innocent life that is lost."
I would have thought that Khamenei's "revolutionary" brutality would have driven every last protester off of the streets by now. I am seriously stunned that there are some still brave enough to stand up for what is right in the face of this state violence.

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daveawayfromhome said...

I hope your friend took a photograph of the threatener, with the rejoinder, "only if you win".

Kel said...

He actually had to be restrained as he wanted to punch the guy!