Monday, March 15, 2010

Monday March 15th, 2010 Newsletter

Student Information Center (SIC)

Newsletter Issue 185 - Monday March 15th, 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
-- Visiting resting place of the green movement martyrs in Beheshte Zahra (the cemetery) on the last Thursday of the year
-- Being out in the streets on Thursdays
-- Attending "4shanbe-souri" events

-- Jrs: This Tuesday will mark the traditional new years celebration called "Chaharshanbeh soori". The reformist leaders had asked the people to come to the streets on this occasion to express their dissatisfaction with the current situation. In a response the supreme leader has issued a fatwa saying that coming out on this traditional day would be sacrilegious. The Basij and the Revolutionary guard have reportedly also joined forces to prevent gathering of people on streets. The head of Tehran police also announced that police forces would "confront those who can't hold their excitement during the holidays" and that they would arrest anyone who causes disturbance.

--Radio Farda: The Oil Ministry of Iran has given a oil pipeline manufacturing contract worth 850 million dollars to the Revolutionary Guard.

--Sahamnews website: About 50 people surrounded the appartment of Mr. Karroubi (leading reformist) and proceeded to yell obscenities, break glass and damage and lute his apartment complex. Mme. Karroubi who described the situation also explained that the police force in the area was coordinating the attack with the thugs. She added that nothing would deter her and her husband from defending people's rights and that these "primitive" methods were futile. 

--Radio Zamaneh: Tehran's prosecutor announced the sentence of execution for six protesters arrested on Ashura day. He said: "Today the regime has in full strength and authority, silenced the opposition and the "people" will never allow these events to repeat themselves". 

--Radio Zamaneh: Human Rights Associations denied allegations by offficial Iranian news agency Fars that they were receiving funding from U.S.A. They also stated that they would issue a formal complaint against Fars. 

--RAdio Farda: Ayatollah Dastghein, member of council and reformist stated that defenseless people are not agitators, it is those who attack legal gatherings who are the source of violence and agitation.

--Jrs: A pro-government Iranian journalist was arrested in Rome based on allegations that he was involved in illegal arms smuggling. The Iranian Secretary of Defense responded to this by saying that "we will ourselves produce the weapons that he was accused of smuggling".

--Jrs: In a response to comments by Political Deputy Minister that the political party the Participation Front will be shut down, the central committee member of this party, Ali Shakouri Rad stated that he has not heard such news and that only a judicial verdict could close a political party. 

--Jrs: Sheikh Khaled bin Osama bin Laden son of al-Qaida organization leader Osama bin Laden, wrote a letter to the supreme leader asking fo rthe release of some of his family who are under house arrest in Iran. He stated that his family has asked for freedom several time but they were met with "violence and torture". 

--Jrs: A number of contractor employees who worked on Milad Tower in Tehran have staged a rally in front of the tower demanded their wages which have not been payed for 4 months, It is reported that a similar situation is ongoing with Imam Tunnel workers who have not been payed for 5-6 months. 

--Radio Zamaneh: Several politicians from France, Finland announced that they would support unilateral sanctions against Iran if the EU cannot agree to increase sanctions against Iran.

--Radio Zamaneh: Mr. Hashemi Rafsanjani, criticized IRIB for working for "a gang" and said that the people are losing confidence in the national media agency. 

--BBC: an Iranian ship that apparently illegally entered the coastal waters of Yemen was arrested by Yemeni Coast Guard. This ship is suspected of drug trafficking. 

--BBC: The American Parliament has recognized the Iranian new years as a valuable historic tradition and has congratulated the positive presence of Iranians in the American community. They mentioned that 539 years BC, Cyrus the Great was the first to found the charter of human rights, that abolished slavery and allowed religious freedom. "

--Jrs: MOhamad Olayifard was released from prison. He was sentenced to 1 year in jail because of interviewing with foreign media. 
--Jrs: Saeed Lilaaz who was previously sentenced to 6 years in prison had success in his appeal court and is freed after paying 500000$. 

--Rooz Online: Kian Tajbakhsh who was under arrest since last summer, was granted 15 days of freedom after paying 800000 bail. This is while Mehdi Bootraby, member of Mousavi's reformist campaign and pioneer in reformist blogging was arrested yesterday. 

Sazegara's Sunday video mentioned 5 points:

1. It is reported that slogan writing on walls against the supreme leader has increased across Tehran. 
2. The government has told stores to stay closed on Chahrshanbeh Soori. They will also most likely close down main streets and boulevards but the advantage is with the people since they traditionally come out on to the streets all over the city on this day and this is much harder to control.
3. Mr. Hassan Rohani highlights that currently all of the regime's energy is spent on security and this is impossible to maintain in the long run. 
4. The regime is stepping up its crack down on human rights activists by either summoning them or arresting them. 
5. The regime has decided on three methods of attacking the green movement. First is the arrest of human rights, women's rights, and student activists, second is the arrest of political and reformist activists and third is the control of media and the internet. In this way they aim to suffocate the movement. However, what they don't understand is that one of the strongest homes for the movement is within homes, between families and friends and within the community and they have no power over these areas. And this is where the people have the upper hand.

Sazegara's Monday video mentioned the following points:

1. It reported that some navy officials have been detained for quitting their posts. Some changes have also been noticed amongst Revolutionary guard ranks. 
2. Since the supreme leader falsely announced that Chaharshanbeh Soori celebrations are sacrilegious, this offers another opportunity to defy him and show our stand. 
3. In response to the question "when will the Green movement reach victory", Sazegara states that a specific time cannot be said. The movement gets close to victory as the power balance shifts from the regime, to the people. To help this, non-violent strategies such as resistance must be employed by the people.


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