Iran Flashback Video: "Neda: An Iranian Martyr" (PBS/BBC)
Two years ago today, dozens of protesters were killed when Iranian security forces cracked down on public marches challenging the legitimacy of the 2009 Presidential election.
One of those slain was a philosophy student named Neda Agha Soltan.
This is the PBS/BBC documentary, from November 2009, on her death and on the post-election conflict in Iran.
June at Tehran Bureau, Hamid Farokhina writes of a day to remember:
Every generation in Iran seems to have key events etched in its collective memory, an ensemble of milestone dates and shared experiences that define its national identity and sense of selfhood.Read the rest.
An older generation had September 1941 and the 1953 coup. The following generation had February 1979. And now the new generation has June 12 and June 15 - the dates, respectively, of the 2009 presidential election and the peaceful march by more than a million people on Azadi Square that followed. The latter, in particular, seems to resonate deeply with many. For it was on that day when millions of mostly young people came out to the streets for the first time in their lives to make a keenly felt statement to themselves and the world at large. And since the march went unmolested for its first few hours, it gave an extra sense of liberation and catharsis both to its participants and those who heard about the remarkable event. For a few rare hours, millions of Iranians actually felt as if they owned their own country.
Unfortunately, though, as day gave way to dusk and as the armed enforcers of the status quo came out onto the streets, violent attacks against peaceful protesters broke out with a ferocity that left dozens killed and injured, along with hundreds arrested.
I happened to be there from the very start and witnessed much that transpired - including organized attacks against the protesters - firsthand.
Also, Pedestrian on the anniversary of the stolen election and its brutal aftermath: Searching...
The International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran gives a thorough account of current abuses by the regime. From their site:
New Report on Iran’s Prison Deaths Raises Concern for the Lives of 18 Prisoners of Conscience on Hunger StrikeRead the rest.
Iran’s pattern of prison abuse and neglect demonstrates that the lives of prisoners of conscience are at risk, the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran said today, with the publication of a new report, Death in Prison: No One Held Accountable.
The Persian-language report documents the deaths of 17 political prisoners and prisoners of conscience who have died while in custody in Iranian prisons since 2003, allegedly due to torture, medical neglect, and misconduct of prison authorities. (English Summary)
Six of the prisoners were detained and died after the 2009 election and the ensuing crackdown on government critics and political opponents.
The Campaign’s report comes out five days after twelve prominent prisoners of conscience commenced a hunger strike protesting the recent deaths of two prisoners, women’s rights activist Haleh Sahabi, and dissident journalist, Hoda Saber. On 23 of June, six more prominent prisoners of conscience have joined the protest bring the number of hunger striking prisoners to eighteen. These men are journalist Kayvan Samimi, journalist Issa Saharkhiz, journalist Massoud Bastani, political activist Heshmatollah Tabarzadi, human rights defender Jafar Eghdami, and student activist Ali Ajami.
Sahabi died from a heart attack while on furlough, when security forces raided the funeral of her father. Saber died of a heart attack while on a hunger strike. Family members and other prisoners have alleged his death was linked to physical abuse and the failure of prison officials to transfer him to a hospital in a timely manner.
ADDED: From The Guardian, Iran giving out condoms for criminals to rape us, say jailed activists.
Now 2009’s events in Iran are replayed in Syria. Accusations that Iranian forces have been joining the Syrian regime in its murderous attacks on protesters have increased over the past two weeks, and are continuing.
Today is the 100th day since the current protests in Syria began, and the daily updates at EA WorldView have more on Syria than I can digest. The video below is from friday of last week, showing Syrian forces firing on protesters in the Khalidiya neighbourhood of Homs.
The law is for the protection of the people.