Saturday, February 20, 2010

Saturday February 20th, 2010 Newsletter

Student Information Center (SIC)

Newsletter Issue 174 - Saturday February 20th, 2010

--Efforts focused at increasing non-violent civil disobedience in the society.
--Allah o Akbar during the nights
--Writing slogans on the walls and bills

--JARAS: Saham news reports a meeting today between Mehdi Karoubi and Mir Hossein Moussavi. In this meeting, the green leaders discussed their new positions in the upcoming days. In this meeting which was held in the household of Mr. Karoubi, Mr. Mohtashemipour and Kian-Ersi were also present.

-- Kalemeh: According to the ISNA reporter, Ahmad Reza Radan, the police commander in chief, explained the police program for the last Wednesday of the year:"This year like all previous years, Police will arrest those who use dangerous explosives or disturb the citizens", said Radan.

--Kalemeh: Mohammad Mehdi Shahriari, member of the national security and foreign policy council of the parliament, said:"if the color of Iran's flag has been modified on purpose in the recent meetings of the president, it should be questioned because it is against the constitution".

--JARAS: Reynolds Journalism Institute gave its best picture of the year 2009 awards in "social protests" to Iranian journalist photographers. These photographs can be seen in the attachment.

--JARAS: Reza Akrami, suggested the best way to unite the country is for the leaders to get closer to each other. "For example, AhmadiNejad should resume going to the Expediency council and Hashemi Rafsanjani should also resume leading the Friday prayers in Tehran".

--Radio Farda: Mohammad Reza Tabesh, the spokesman for the minority fraction of the parliament in his meeting with the ministry of Islamic culture and guidance, criticized "unprecedented limitations of the journalists and the media" in the recent months and said this situation is not acceptable.

--Neday e Azadi: Mehdi Kalhor, a consultant to Mr. Ahmadinejad, believes that the first velvet revolution in Iran formed in 1376 through which president Khatami was elected. He went on to claim that this revolution was not challenged in Iran and the 2nd khordad became a successful outcome of this revolution for the countries in the middle east.

--Deutsche Welle: Com. Esmail Ahmadi Moghaddam, the commander of security forces in Iran, names BBC and VOA as intelligence-affiliated institutions and claimed that the behaviour of these agents are under control and they'll be dealt with in due time.

--Radio Farda: Mohammad Reza Tabesh, the secretary general of the minority fraction in parliament, in a meeting with Kamran Daneshjou, the minister of sciences and higher education, demanded an end to the expulsion and forced retirements of the university faculties and also requested the release of the imprisoned students.

--Neday e Azadi: MirHossein Mousavi and Zahra Rahnavard, met with Mohsen AminZadeh, vice chancellor of the ministry of foreign relations during Khatami's administration.

--Neday e Azadi: Political prisoners at ward 350 Evin prison are facing countless problems to contact their families. There is a large number of detainees in Evin 350 and it seems that they are deliberately being limited from using phones. Each prisoner can only talk to his/her family for 2 minutes every day.

--Neday e Azadi: It is more than 10 days that three student activists have been arrested. "Yasser Khosravi Zadeh", "Rooh Allah Sahrai" and "Alireza AbooFazeli" were summoned to the "follow up" committee of the ministry of intelligence and got arrested there. According to the reports, Sahrai and AbooFazeli have called their family two times so far, but there is no news about whereabouts of KhosraviZadeh.

--Neday e Azadi: According to JARAS, tens of people who were arrested in Ayatollah Montazeri's funeral in Najaf Abad still are in jail and the scurity forces treat them very badly. According to the reports, they have been severely beaten.

--Neday e Azadi: Morteza Samyari, a core member of the Tahkim Vahdat was convicted to 6 years imprisonment.

--Nedaye Azadi: More than 50 protesters were arrested on Bahman 22 in Ahwaz. More than 100 protesters were arrested in Mashad. They are still in jail. Some of them are being kept in unknown places.

--Nedaye Azadi: The Secretary of the Human Rights Council of the Iranian Judiciary told the reporters that the two individuals [who were executed prior to Feb. 11 protests] had been in jail for months before the election. This statement is despite the previous statements of the Judiciary that those individuals were executed for their involvement in post-election events.

In his Thursday video broadcast, Mohsen Sazegara mentioned the following points:
1- According to some reports from Iran which also appeared on the latest release of the Guardian, Mojtaba Khamenei [the son of Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei] headed the committee responsible for Feb. 11 crackdowns. This committee also included Hossein Taeb (the Intelligence Deputy of IRGC), Mostafa Mohammad-Najjar (the Minister of Interior) and Naqdi (the Commander of Basiji militia). It is also reported that the severe crackdowns of Feb. 11 has also infuriated some conservatives including the Commander of the Revolutionary Guards. The involvement of IRGC in cracking down the protestors seriously damages its credibility and reputation amongst the masses.
-Javad Larijani [the Head of Iranian delegation to the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva] said that Iran will not admit a UN Special Human Rights envoy to investigate the allegations of human rights violations and torture. Such a position will definitely have consequences e.g. in the form new resolutions against Iran.
- We continue reviewing Feb 11 events in the four categories [we mentioned before]. First, what Mr. Mousavi asked his supporters to do, Second, what really happened on the ground, Third, the weaknesses of the Green Movement and Fourth, a review of upcoming actions. Today we continue our discussion of the second category. It was expected that protestors would tilt the balance in favor of the Green Movement by turning up in numbers exceeding two millions in Tehran, however people showed up in smaller numbers, something in the neighborhood of one million, which was less than what was expected. This reduced turnout can be most importantly attributed to obstacles put in the way of communicating and reaching out to ordinary people, which was caused by widespread censorship, knocking down international satellite news channels, slowing down the internet and blocking GMAIL. In addition to this, most people who had gotten aware of the Regime's intention for crackdown- and possibly bloodshed- had left their homes but not approached the hotspots of protests. FInally heavy presence of military forces impeded the flexibility of the protestors and stopped them from moving to alternative venues and generated confusion amongst the protestors.

On his Friday video broadcast, Mohsen Sazegara mentioned the following points:
- After a meeting which took place between Mir-Hossein Mousavi and Mahdi Karroubi, the two main opposition leaders, the emphasized that the Regime has 'stolen' the presence of protestors in Feb. 11 rallies [as they stole the elections in June]. They also reiterated that people's constitutional rights should be respected and observed. They also stated that they will stand firm until all people's rights are all reinstated.
-The families of political prisoners continue their nightly gatherings in front of the Evin prison.
- More than 300 laborers of the Alborz Tire Factory gathered in protest for their delayed wages.
- Recent statements of the new Head of IAEA regarding the possibility that Iran is pursuing a nuclear weapon program have stirred numerous reactions in the International community and it is likely that tougher sanctions against Iran will be approved in a much faster timeframe.
- Some Green Movement Activists in Tehran have distributed brochures emphasizing the presence and perseverance of the Green Movement in the streets of Tehran. This is a very good way of communicating people and showing the presence of the Green Movement.
- There are reports that the Regime is going after the families of victims of mass executions of 1988 to arrest them since they think that those families are among Green Movement activists. It is obvious that apart from being oppressive and mean, making such arrests will not weaken the Green Movement since this movement bears strong social roots.
- We continue reviewing the events of Feb. 11 today. Today we are going to talk about the weaknesses of the Green Movement. On Feb. 11, the Regime succeeded in confining the communicative capabilities of the movement by slowing down the internet, blocking GMAIL and knocking off news programs of international satellite news channels. There are several solutions to face this [in future]. One solution is to transmit news by face-to-face contact; the other solution is that everyone of us commits himself to get the news to ten different individuals who are from age and social groups different of his. The other solution is to distribute brochures in the street, buses, subway stations, etc. We will talk more about the weaknesses of the Green Movement tomorrow.

On his video broadcast on Saturday, Mohsen Sazegara mentioned the following points:
- The Iranian Government owes $5 billion to the power industry where many of its employees have lost their jobs.
- Eutel SAT has filed a complaint against Iran for attacking its satellites by sending strong noises to knock off certain satellite programs broadcast on Eutlelsat. This complaint can have grave consequences for the telecommunication industry.
- Roger Cohen, the New York Times columnist, has forecasted that China will simply abstain at the next meeting of UN Security Council on Iran.
- The insurance giant Lloyd declared that if tougher sanctions against Iran are approved by the UN Security Council, it will follow them and will no longer insure the cargos destined to Iran. Munich Re, the German insurance company, will no longer conduct business with Iran.
-Weaknesses which we should try to improve:
1- Our communication overdepends on the internet and the Regime is usually able to stop us from getting the news to everybody by blocking the internet and knocking off satellite channels. We should instead learn to make our networks more personal (even face-to-face) and everybody should commit to get the news to 10-15 individuals. Such internal contacts should be organized in a much more efficient way.
2- As the Regime has increased its pressure on protestors, we should learn how to become less vulnerable. We are currently preparing a pamphlet which learns how to protect individuals and groups which we will release when ready.
3- The main characteristic of the Green Movement is in 'personal innovations'. Therefore the more we learn about the techniques of non-violent struggle, the better strategies we could design for the road ahead. To reach this goal, we are currently planning to introduce and translate additional books about the principles of non-violent struggle in addition to the ones we have release so far.


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