Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Iranian Uprising


A friend has been receiving first hand accounts from a friend in Iran regarding the current uprisings taking place there. She has asked that the word get out and that this information get to as many folks possible so I'm posting the messages below. Just in case, however, I'm eliminating her friend's name from these messages. Very sad stuff... Thanks for news TT.

first:

I just received my second message of the day regarding the violence in Iran, which appears to be much more widespread then what has made it to the US newspapers. The first, the account copied below, comes from a friend of ---.

The second comes from a good Persian friend of mine from residency who has shared multiple video clips through Facebook from the University of Isfahan, where students posted images of themselves shot and/or dying following protests there. I will not copy them here. But they are as chaotic, heart-breaking, and graphic as you might imagine. The accompanying posts note that students were shot by police in the students dorms as well as at the protests and note the presence of sniper fire.

If we can do nothing else, at least we can help give them a voice.


second:

Quick update, as I'm very tired, and all internet services are cut (we
have tried to connect via dialup for the last few hours) and even phone
calling abroad has become nearly impossible. Please, on my behalf,
thank everyone, really...it is so helpful for me to write every day and
to know that you are reading. Internet communication has been nearly
impossible; unable to send a single email last night! Think Sisyphus.


last:

TEHRAN, June 15, 3h30---Today, at least 1 million people gathered for a
'silent' march from Revolution Square to Freedom Square. The crowd,
which filled the wide avenue, extended further, and at one point it
became impossible to move forward. There are no official figures (and
those would of course be disputable), but I have never seen a
demonstration like this in my life, anywhere!

People walked silently, hands raised. We had been warned to stay
indoors, as the police have orders to fire live bullets, and this being
Iran, we take that for exactly what it means, but people did not
listen.

As night fell, and the crowd dispersed, Bassiji militiamen opened fire
on the crowd, killing one (his photo is circulating) and many were
injured. The city took flames again, but by this point I had come
home. In our neighborhood, there were Bassijis stationed with police
at the major square north of the house, pushing people and hitting cars
with batons, telling people to go home. Again at 9:30 pm, people made
their way to the rooftops to cry out, "Allah Akbar" and "Death to
Dictatorship". We heard shots that sounded like tear gas pellets
(although they are using some strange nerve gas or other chemical
agent, not tear gas) but also live fire.

Today, students at Tehran University were in mourning. Many of their
peers were arrested last night, and one student was shot dead, when
Bassijis raided their dorms and beat them. Today, as the demonstration
passed by the University, we saw students protesting from inside and speaking to
people through the metal bars. They were locked in.

I won't get into the decisions and talks taking place in the high ranks
of the regime, and amongst reformist groups. These people, no matter
how much they represent 'change', are problematic political leaders
with shady pasts.

Tonight we are only thinking of the dead, from the past and today, and
preparing ourselves for more. Something is taking form, and it is only
a matter of time before there is a bigger backlash than what we have
seen.

Here are the names of the 5 people who have been confirmed dead from
yesterday and Saturday's clashes. 2 women and 3 men, all of whom were
buried in Behesht Zahra cemetery without their families being notified.

Fatemeh Barati
Kasra Sharafi
Mina Eterami
Kambiz Shoai
Mohsen Imani

We do not yet know the name of the man shot dead tonight.

No comments: