Thursday, November 12, 2009

Newsletter for Wednesday 11th of November 2009

Student Information Center (SIC)

Newsletter Issue 128 - Wednesday November 11th, 2009                                                                                                                                                              

Note: Hamid Dabashi, Iranian professor of Columbia University at New York has started a series of videos titled "WeekInGreen" which discusses Iran's democratic movement. Student Information Center recommends all readers to watch and share them. If interested visit the "WeekInGreen" youtube channel and Facebook group:

Future Plans:

--Iranian-style protests, Thursday evening, go to parks and around in the city with family.

-- Accompanying the mothers of the green movement victims in Laleh Park – every Saturday afternoon.

Summary of the News:

--Radio Zamaneh, Radio Farda, the wave of freedom, BBC News: Unfortunately, despite all the efforts of human rights organizations, Ehsan Ftahyan, 28-year-old political activist was executed today. He was initially sentenced to   10 years imprisonment at a lower court. But the opposition appealed and he was sentenced to death. Various efforts of his family and "human rights watch" and "amnesty international" organizations were not successful in even delaying his execution and he was executed this morning.

--Radio Zamaneh: Shirin Ebadi, Nobel Peace Prize laureate met with the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon about the human rights situation in Iran. In this meeting, Ms. Ebadi discussed the "illegal" behavior of the authorities of the Islamic Republic towards human rights groups. She also wrote a letter to the head of human rights organization asking for them to put pressure on the Iranian gouverment regarding their ban on human rights activists to leave Iran. In this letter, she wrote that members of human rights groups are "constantly threatened, imprisoned, and deported. Essentially, she added that these individuals were being held hostage in Iran. 

--Rooz Online: A day after the new media and press deputy was introduced at the Ministry of Culture, Tehran's prosecutor delivered harsh remarks to the media stating that reports that can "disturb public opinion" will be confronted legally. At another ceremony, he warned: "I emphasize that online news sources should also mind their content otherwise they will also be taken care of". 

--Mowj-e-Azadi: Ali Khamenei, the supreme leader, has written a confidential message to Ezzatollah Zarghami (head of media) and has asked that two important conditions be met for the next five years. First he has asked for a reduction in the number of television hosts e
specially the elimination of i
mages of women in media productions. Next, he has asked for the reduction of use of music during television programming. Based on this report, it is apparent that the new government plans on restricting television content in the future.

--Rooz Online: In a response to journalists regarding the execution of some protesters and those under the age of 18, Ayatollah Montazeri answered that these shame trials have no religious or legal legitimacy and therefor any prison or execution order has no merit.

--Mowj-e-Azadi: the National and Religious Coalition has released a statement condemning the oppression of the green movement. They have state
d that the Iranian goverment should recognize the green movement as a legitimate cause for some of the Iranian people and instead of oppressing them, they should start a dialogue. This would be in the long term intrest of the Iranian nation.

--BBC News: The Human Rights Watch Organization has awarded 4 Iranian activists with the Hellman Hammett award for their courage and resilience despite the Iranian government's oppression and threats. These activists are Asiya Amini, Yusef Azizi Banitaraf, Mohamad Sadigh Kaboodvand and Arash Sigarchi. This award was given to  human rights activists from 18 countries. 

--AFP: After sprotets from the Iranian Embassy in London due to the establishment of a special scholarship from Oxford University, today one of the officials of the university defended the move. Oxford representatives stated that this new scholarship for a degree in p

hilosophy has been established to provide financial help to an Iranian student and that the source of this scholarship is well-known to the College.   

--Deutsche Welle: on Tuesday (10 November, 19 Nov.), a public meeting on the sidelines of parliament, revealed that the Supreme National Security Council has divided the executive responsibilities of national security between police and security institutions. POlice security forces are now responsible for monitoring information propagated on the internet and the revolutionary guard are now responsible for satellite signal-jamming towers. The latter has raised criticism in the parliament from the minister of health since these high-energy signals are shown to be bad for public health.

University News:

 --Mowj-e-Azadi: Morteza Asadi, a former member of the Islamic Association of Allameh Tabatabai University (student activist) was arrested by security forces outside of this home on Saturday. He had already received a 2 year ban on attending the University.  

News of Arrested, and Deceased: 

BBC News: A Danish journalist who was reporting on Iranian student protests of last week was arrested in Iran yesterday. He had travelled to Iran to investigate the current situation. 


Siraj al-Din Mirdamadi, journalist and political analyst in living Paris, interviewed with adio Farda regarding the current issues in Iran  Mir Hossein Mousavi. He said:

- After the recent events and the way in which the regime confronted the opposition, it appears that since then the opposition leaders' language and rhetoric has changed dramatically. It appears that they are more established now, but not necessarily radicalized.-He added that he thinks the rhetoric of Mr. Mousavi and Mr. Karroubi might still change under the pressures of the regime. After the pressures of the government as well as pressures from state-backed media for their arrest, it is possible that in the future they might have to back away from some of their earlier ideological statements. For example, some of their statements regarding defending the Imam's (Khomeini's) values. He added that further harsher reactions are also expected from the government. Already, the police confrontation with protesters last week was more violent than the previous demonstrations. But at the same time, the slogans shouted by protesters were also more volatile and direct. It is hard to tell whether less people came out to protest last week as compared to the Qods day protests, or whether they were just more wide-spread (and thus diluted). Either way, the slogans and songs were definitely stronger. It seems that both sides are gaining fervor in their cause and are further challenging the other sides' theoretical and intellectual stands. 

Recommendations and Warnings:

Mohsen Sazegara mentioned various points about the revolutionary guards in his Tuesday and Wednesday videos. He pointed that MirHossein Moosavi currectly mentioned in his earlier interview that the revolutionary guards are deeply involved in fraud and also that their legitimacy should be taken by publicizing notions about their moral, religious, political and financial illegitimacy due their acts in torture and rape of prisoners, bringing in arms in politics and corrupting the economical system.

Sazegara also pointed that the green slowgans were heard this Nov. 4th in schools so this counts as the birth of Iran's high school students movement.


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