Protests / Unrest
On 16 Azar / December 7
1. Word out from Iran suggests that protesters are planning on holding protests in as many cities possible. Earlier, it had been reported that protests might be restricted to only a few of the major cities. However, insider reports suggest otherwise, debunking this suggestion.
2. Reports from Tehran also suggest that IRGC has increased the supply of ammunitions to its members in Tehran and might have helped the police with some extra guns as well. No news from the provinces on this, yet.
3. Already universities across Iran have been put under heavy surveillance. Reports from Tehran suggest that in some dorms, armed policemen have been stationed so that students cannot actively plan the protests.
4. Reports from Tehran confirm that some student leaders have asked Tehranis to come out in support of the Green Movement on 16 Azar and gather in front of Tehran University.
5. Supporters of the Green Movement are also planning to intensify chanting on the rooftops starting tonight and continue onto 16 Azar. No video is yet available of these chants, but will be posted as soon as I get my hands on any.
6. The Youth 2 Youth campaign has released a new video in support of Iranian students and the Green Movement on Youtube: http://bit.ly/6DbVNT
7. Mir Hossein Mousavi and Mahdi Karroubi are being heavily lobbied by students to make it to the 16 Azar protests at Tehran University. Hundreds of signatures from students are being collected at the moment and are going to be sent in an open letter to both Mousavi and Karroubi. The letter warns that Iran is on the verge of becoming a dictatorship and both men must act to stop it.
8. Sayed Yaser Khomeini – the grandson of Imam Khomeni – met with Behzad Nabavi at his house today with other clerics. Khomeini expressed joy at his release. It is worth mentioning that Sayed Hasan Khomeini – Imam Khomeini’s son has now been confirmed to have called Nabavi and congratulated him on his release. (This, however, did not go well for Nabavi. Read details in the Arrested / Released… section)
9. Rumors are circulating the perhaps Karroubi has already pledged that he would join the 16 Azar protests. I have so far been unable to confirm this. If and when I can, I would tweet about it as soon as I can.
10. In an interview with the BBC, Ali Agha-Soltan, Neda Agha-Soltan’s father directly accused the Iranian government of killing Neda. According to Ali, no other party shares the blame with the Islamic Republic in this act.
11. The students’ wing of IIPF in East Azerbaijan province released a statement today warning the government against using violence against students. The letter asks the government to promptly release all student activists and stop the campaign of oppression that has been unleashed upon Iranian students after the June elections.
Government / International
12. Ayatollah Jannati – a hard-line cleric allied with Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei – gave the Friday prayer sermon in Tehran on Friday. During the sermon, he warned protesters that “fighting the system” would “cost them heavily” and result in their “homelessness.” He added that “those who betray the Revolution and the system will face retribution.” (Courtesy of Radio Farda)
13. Sardar Ali Fazli – the Tehran commander of Sepahe Sayedu-Shuhada, a paramilitary organization linked with the IRGC – announced that they were not expecting much violence on 16 Azar. According to Fazli, they were simply going to give the students flowers. However, he also added they have planned for every possible event and were ready.
14. Ismail Kowsari – a member of the National Security Commission of the Iranian Parliament – today said that security forces had no right to enter university campuses on 16 Azar. According to Kowsari, it was the job of university administrations to allow protests and to ensure security.
15. In more serious news, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad announced today that he has concrete evidence that the US was trying to prevent the Hidden Imam from descending on earth. (The Hidden Imam is the 12th and final Imam of Shi’ites who is said to return to earth during the final days and usher in the apocalypse)
(Did you seriously expect me to write more on this?)
16. Amnestry International today asked the Iranian authorities to overturn Iranian-American academic Kian Tajbakhsh’s 15 year prison term.
Arrested / Released / Killed / Tortured
17. Behzad Nabavi has been yet again thrown into Evin. He was freed for ten days, but the courts accused him of violating the terms of his freedom by meeting with people other than his family members and ordered him to report to Evin prison. He’s currently enchained again.
18. According to more reports, even though Fariba Pejooh has been ordered to be released by prison and the court has told her family that she is free to go, her captors in Evin’s Ward #209 have refused to free her.
19. The head of Karroubi campaign’s students wing Sayed Bagher Eskoie has been ordered to appear at the office of the Department of National Security. His summons accused him of acting against national security.
20. The Iranian government continues to persecution of ethnic and religious minorities. Today, a Baha’ie citizen was denied release even though his family posted his bail. At the same time, a Baloch dissident who has already been sentenced to death was granted a stay of execution so that he could be further tortured to obtain more information from him.
21. In better news, Isfahan University student Ali Mashmouli and Tehran University student Yashar Darolshafa were released from prison.
22. Iranian political party Freedom Movement’s online news website has been banned by the government. The party was ordered to suspend all activities on their website yesterday by government officials.
23. Please support the campaign to make “Iran Protesters” Time’s person of the year by voting on their website. I have written about this before and have urged everyone to back this campaign up. Iranian protesters deserve to receive recognition. Here’s the link to Time’s polling page: http://bit.ly/6MECzi