Monday, June 22, 2009

Green Brief #5

(Reposted from the original site)


Please retweet this link. I'm Josh Shahryar AKA NiteOwl - iran_translator on twitter - and I've been immersed in tweets from Iran for the past several hours. I have tried to be extremely careful in choosing my tweet sources and have tried maximally to avoid listening to media banter. What I have compiled below is what I can confirm through my tweets to have happened in the past day and in the past week in Iran. Remember, this is all from tweets. There is NOTHING included here that is not from a reliable tweet. No news media outlets have been used in the compilation of this short brief as I would like to call it.

These are the important happenings that I can positively confirm from Sunday, June 21 in Iran.

1. Thousands of people took to street. People WERE beaten up in some parts; while in other parts, they weren't allowed to gather and were dispersed. There was a silent protest of people in front of the UN's office as well. Sporadic clashes are reported from Baharestan, Enqelab, Vanak and Vali-Asr squares. Hundreds of students continued to protest in Tehran University for the fourth straight day. There were also reports of people being attacked in the UN gathering – this has been partially confirmed.

2. The majority of Mousavi’s advisors and important aides have all been arrested. He has been left with only a handful of junior political workers and is currently under effective house arrest as he not allowed to speak to journalists or make any other statements. His movement has been limited today and he did not appear at any gatherings. His Facebook account and most of the news websites affiliated with him as well as his website and websites of his supporters have more less all been either hacked or now under effective government control. False statements regularly issued from the hacked accounts. GhalamNet can not longer be trusted and his Facebook account is currently being used by the Iranian government to place information so that the protesters can either lose hope or get violent.

3. Even in this state, however, Mousavi has continued his call for a general strike on Tuesday. He has also called all citizens to turn the headlights of their cars on from 5 to 6 PM on Monday in order to commemorate those that have been killed in the protests during the past week and the few days after. He has reportedly called upon people to go on an indefinite strike until their demands are met if he is to be killed by government.

4. Five of Hashemi Rafsanjani’s family members were arrested early on Saturday, these included his daughter Faezeh Hashemi who was among the first from his family to join the protests open on Wednesday. The government announced that they had been arrested because they were under threat of assassination by terrorist elements within the country. Four of the family members were released later while Faezeh was released late at night. No news of why they were released could be confirmed.

5. The police are continuing to find and arrest any reformists that have not been arrested in the past few days. The government-run media in Iran has released information of the arrests of at least 475 people. Yet the number cannot be confirmed or denied. What sources indicate is that more than 5,000 people have so far been arrested by the government. Correspondents of the BBC and Al-Arabiya news crew have been asked to leave the country on Monday. The photojournalist of Life magazine has gone missing. Overall, more than two dozen journalists within Iran are currently under arrest. The government has also increased censorship and at least four newspapers in Tehran were edited by government agents.

6. The government has branded all protesters as thugs as the national media in Iran continues to call them so through government sources. One media outlet in Iran announced that people tried to hide in Embassies on Saturday while trying to flee from terrorists. However, they are unable to account for the participation of a large number of mullahs and clergy in these protests. Here’s a picture of some of the ‘thug’ clerics:

7. Business owners in Tehran and shopkeepers in Tehran are said to have already put their support behind Mousavi for the protests. Our sources have urged everyone in Iran to get food, fuel and other resources as soon as possible and prepare for a few days of shortage of supplies. Autobus workers have also indicated that they will join the protests and the strike now.

8. The Writers’ Association of Kordistan, the Human Rights Campaign of Kordistan and some other prominent people have also called for a strike in Kordistan province on Tuesday.

9. Tweeters indicate that anyone flying into Iran should be highly alert as the government is thoroughly checking those arriving at Tehran International Airport and any connections to Mousavi could mean an arrest on the spot. The government has also created dozens of false twitter accounts to urge people to be violent so they can have a bloodier crackdown and crush the protesters.

10. Rafsanjani has met with clerics from Qom yet again. There are wild rumors circulating as to what the outcome of the meetings will be. However, no news has actually arrived about the incident. Any claims made right now are far-fetched. However, people are slowly starting to call upon him to take action. Tweets have included messages to him, urging him to come to the plight of the oppressed. Mohammad Khatami has released condemning the violence yet again and asked for an end to hostilities.

11. The city of Tehran and cities around Tehran have yet again been hearing Allah o Akbar at night. It needs to be mentioned that most sources tell of the voices getting louder as the protests continue. Chants of Death to Dictator have also been heard. And in a heartbreaking and cruel gesture, the government banned people from holding a memorial for Neda – the Iranian girl who’s death by a police bullet in Tehran has sparked international outrage - in any mosque in Tehran, openly.

12. The Iranian government is aggressively trying to clamp down on internet, telephones and other communication sources. Almost all foreign TV channels are banned, getting through to Iranians on the phone is almost impossible and internet’s download speed right now in Tehran is, according to one source, “375 bytes”.

Finally a few words to those who are reading this:

Iranians who are trying to connect to twitter or other sites and need a way to connect please visit this website: Why We Protest - IRAN - View Single Post - Using Tor in Order to Surf Anonymously - Using Tor in Order to Surf Anonymously

Images and vids and instructions on how to send them to us:

People Outside Iran: This is as clear and concise as I can be. I have not included ANYTHING that I have sensed to be remotely fishy, but human error will always manifests itself in even the most flawless of non-mathematical things. However, this includes nothing from the Western media, including the BBC which I have been generously using to inform people and I laud them for their courageous journalism.

People Inside Iran: Don't believe a WORD of what I am telling you. Do what you think is best, keeping everything in mind. I know LITTLE of what you know so make your decisions based on your OWN judgment.

People Who Want to Send Me Tweet Links: You don't need to find me, I will find you. Don't hassle yourself. Your voice will be heard through millions of others like me.

People Who Want to Hunt Me Down: I'm an Afghan. If you ever tried to attack me, you'll see my back only after your back has met the ground.

P.S. Please post this around and tweet and retweet.
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