Iran: This Is What Violent Repression Looks Like

(6:00PM EST – promoted by Nightprowlkitty)

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Iran’s Government has decreed that the demonstrations must end.  And if the Government kills many of its citizens, and assaults and imprisons and threatens numerous others, that’s apparently just fine with the Government.

The New York Times story is chilling in its understatement and lack of descriptions:

Hundreds of protesters clashed with waves of riot police and paramilitary militia in Tehran on Wednesday, witnesses said, as Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, insisted the authorities would not yield to pressure from opponents demanding a new election following allegations of electoral fraud.

It was impossible to confirm first-hand the extent of the new violence in the capital because of draconian new press restrictions on coverage of the post-election mayhem. But the witnesses reached by telephone said the confrontation, outside the national Parliament building, was bloody, with police using live ammunition.

Defying government warnings, the witnesses said that hundreds, if not thousands of protesters, had attempted to gather in front of the parliament on Baharestan Square. They were met with riot police and paramilitary militia, who struck at them with truncheons, tear gas, and guns. One witness said he saw a 19-year-old woman shot in the neck.

Truncheons, tear gas, and bullets. Riot police and paramilitary militia.  And, of course, suppression of the press.  Not only will the Iranian government not yield, it’s evident that it intends to end all demonstrations with deadly force, which it naively hopes will not be widely reported. And, of course, it plan on massive incarceration:

A New York-based human rights group, International Campaign for Human Rights, listed the names Wednesday of 240 of the 645 people the Iranian state media has reported detained in the crackdown. The total number of detained, the organization said, citing human rights activists in Iran, may be as high as 2,000.

Among them are people arrested in a Monday night raid of a campaign office for Mr. Moussavi in Tehran, Press TV, state television’s English-language satellite broadcaster, reported Wednesday… snip

The detained, most of whom are being held incommunicado, also include students picked up at their dormitories, dozens of street demonstrators, and “targeted, politically motivated arrests of intellectuals, civil society leaders, political campaigners, journalists, and human rights campaigners,” said Aaron Rhodes, a consultant with the organization in Vienna.

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I am having trouble watching these events unfold.  I am very afraid for the people of Iran.  I am afraid that what will now happen will be far worse than Tiananmen.

I am having trouble reading the 140 character posts at #iranelection on Twitter.  I am having trouble reading even the traditional media, like CNN, which doesn’t withhold descriptions of the violence:

Security forces wielding clubs and firing weapons beat back demonstrators who flocked to a Tehran square Wednesday to continue protests, with one witness saying security forces beat people like “animals.”

At least two sources described wild and violent conditions at a part of Tehran where protesters had planned to demonstrate.

“They were waiting for us,” the source said. “They all have guns and riot uniforms. It was like a mouse trap.”

“I see many people with broken arms, legs, heads — blood everywhere — pepper gas like war,” the source said.

About “500 thugs” with clubs came out of a mosque and attacked people in the square, another source said.

The security forces were “beating women madly” and “killing people like hell,” the source said.

“They beat up a woman so bad, she was all bloody,” the source said in a description that underscores the growing and central role of women in the uprising.

And, of course, I cannot stand to watch the videos.  Or look at the photographs.  Who can?  The Iranian Government’s actions are brutal and inhumane.  And as individuals and as foreigners and even as a foreign government, we are entirely powerless to protect the demonstrators.  This is a frustrating and unhappy position for us to be in.  The whole world is watching.  And, I’m afraid, it’s about to see a bloodbath.

cross-posted from The Dream Antilles

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14 comments

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  1. Thanks for reading.  Please keep these people in your thoughts and prayers*.

  2. it’s been so damn depressing. Persiankiwi, someone in Iran on the front lines, who I’ve found to be relentlessly reliable from the start, has gone dark as of a few hours ago. Prayers now, and in the days to come.

    His/her entries from today are extremely ominous:

    (newest first)

    # Allah – you are the creator of all and all must return to you – Allah Akbar – #Iranelection Sea of Greenabout 5 hours ago from web

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    thank you ppls 4 supporting Sea of Green – pls remember always our martyrs – Allah Akbar – Allah Akbar – Allah Akbar #Iranelectionabout 5 hours ago from web

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    we must go – dont know when we can get internet – they take 1 of us, they will torture and get names – now we must move fast – #Iranelectionabout 5 hours ago from web

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    Everybody is under arrest & cant move – Mousavi – Karroubi even rumour Khatami is in house guard – #Iranelection -about 5 hours ago from web

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    they pull away the dead into trucks – like factory – no human can do this – we beg Allah for save us – #Iranelectionabout 5 hours ago from web

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    Lalezar Sq is same as Baharestan – unbelevable – ppls murdered everywhere – #Iranelectionabout 5 hours ago from web

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    they catch ppl with mobile – so many killed today – so many injured – Allah Akbar – they take one of us – #Iranelectionabout 5 hours ago from web

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    in Baharestan we saw militia with axe choping ppl like meat – blood everywhere – like butcher – Allah Akbar – #Iranelection RT RT RTabout 5 hours ago from web

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    reports of street fighting in Vanak Sq, Tajrish sq, Azadi Sq – now – #Iranelection – Sea of Green – Allah Akbarabout 5 hours ago from web

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    rumour they are tracking high use of phone lines to find internet users – must move from here now – #Iranelectionabout 5 hours ago from web

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    phone line was cut and we lost internet – #Iranelection – getting more difficult to log into net – #Iranelectionabout 5 hours ago from web

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    all shops was closed – nowhere to go – they follow ppls with helicopters – smoke and fire is everywhere #Iranelectionabout 6 hours ago from web

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    ppl run into alleys and militia standing there waiting – from 2 sides they attack ppl in middle of alleys #Iranelectionabout 6 hours ago from web

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    so many ppl arrested – young & old – they take ppl away – #Iranelection – we lose our groupabout 6 hours ago from web

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    saw 7/8 militia beating one woman with baton on ground – she had no defense nothing – #Iranelection sure that she is deadabout 6 hours ago from web

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    they were waiting for us – they all have guns and riot uniforms – it was like a mouse trap – ppl being shot like animals #Iranelectionabout 6 hours ago from web

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    I see many ppl with broken arms/legs/heads – blood everywhere – pepper gas like war – #Iranelectionabout 7 hours ago from web

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    just in from Baharestan Sq – situation today is terrible – they beat the ppls like animals – #Iranelection RT RT RTabout 7 hours ago from web  

  3. far, far more than he does the lives of his own people–as does his puppet, the “president”.

    • Viet71 on June 25, 2009 at 12:36 am

    met in Chicago in July 1968.

    They are old fucks now.

    Screw them.

    This is a new day.

    • Viet71 on June 26, 2009 at 12:08 am

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