Sunday, January 24, 2010

Saturday January 23rd 2010 Newsletter

Student Information Center (SIC)

Newsletter Issue 160 - Saturday January 23rd, 2010                                                                                                                                                              

--Preparation for 22nd of Bahman demonstration and the "ten-day civil residence".
--Holding the 40th day anniversary of the martyrs of Ashoura day, on 16th of Bahman, at the same time az Arba'een day.
--Holding the 40th anniversary of Ayatollah Montazeri on14th of Bahman.
--Efforts focused at increasing non-violent civil disobedience in the society.
--Writing slogans on the walls and bills

--SIC: The French version of the Student Information Center Newsletter can be accessed at this web address:

--Radio Farda:
Finland on Thursday summoned the Iranian charge d'affaires in Helsinki to express its concerns over the human rights situation in Iran, the Foreign Ministry said. "Finland condemns the use of violence against demonstrators exercising their freedom of speech and freedom of assembly," the ministry said in a statement.

--Radio Farda: Simon Guess, the UK ambassador in Tehran stated in an interview with the governmental press Irna, denied the charge of interfering in the post-election protests, and added that having contact between the employees of a foreign embassy and the students or politicians of the resident country is internationally legal.

--BBC: Abdolhossein Rouholamini, father of Mohsen Rouholamini, who was murdered during the post electoral protests in Khahrizak said that Saeed Mortazavi, the former prosecutor of Tehran should resign from all his governmental duties.

--JARAS:  Ayatollah Hossein Arab, a member of the main council of the "Rohanioon-e-mobarez" and a teacher of the Kashan religious school wrote a letter to Abdonnabi Namazi, Kashan's Friday-prayer cleric and former chief national prosecutor stated that using militaristic methods, the iron wall strategy and ruling by threatening the citizens would not work for long term.

--BBC: The Ministry of Culture & Islamic Guidance has warned Ettela'at, Etemad, Asrar, Tose'eh, Jahan San'at,  Roozan, Mardom Salari and Bahar newspapers for publishing Iran's ex-president, Mohammad Khatami's speech. The Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance declared that the warning was issued because of Khatamti's speech in which he had said the situation in Iran is critical and the supporters of the government are acting against the unification of the country.

--BBC: Ali Larijani, the chairman of the parliament said that the current political crisis in Iran is an obstacle for the development of the country. He urged for finding a way out of the crisis.

--BBC: Iranian police announced that recently 40 more protesters were arrested in connection with the protests on Ashura. 
Recent arrests take place after police published pictures of a large number of protesters on its website and requested the people to identify the pictures and report them to the police.

--BBC: Human Rights Watch covered the continuing governmental crackdown on peaceful activists in Iran  following the disputed presidential election of June 2009. Human Rights Watch documented the arrests of thousands of ordinary and high-profile people, providing detailed accounts of state violence against peaceful protesters, arbitrary detention of human rights defenders, and abuse and torture in Iran's illegal detention centers.

--JARAS: Head of the special committee for investigation of the incidents after the June election in Iran said the parliament has solid documents about what happened after the election and will submit the documents to the court.

--JARAS: The government has asked the parliament, to issue an excessive 15 million dollar aid, in order to increase the capitals of the governmental banks. The crisis has been said to be due to the improper economical decisions made by the government.

Islamic Student Council of the Amirkabir University reacted to the decree issued for Majid Tavakkoli. According to the AmirKabir bulletin, this council has requested freeing  Majid Tavakkoli and other prisoned students and added: "When people like Mortazavi and Radan are free and get awards and better positions from the government everyday, how can we expect Majid Tavakkoli and other political students be free? "

--JARAS: A number western cinema and theater directors boycotted the Iran's Fajr cinema and theatre festival. According to Asr-e-Iran, the independent press in the UK has reported that some British, French and Greek directors have boycotted the Fajr festival to condemn the post-electoral violations against the protesters.

--Radio Zamaneh: Families of detainees of the Nehzat Azadi party, have expressed concerns about their arrested families because they do not have any information about their situation in prison.

--Radio Farda:
Saturday was Neda Aghasoltan's 27th birthday. Neda was shot dead on a street in Tehran 7 months ago. Caspian Makan, her fiance has called for peaceful gatherings by Iranians around the world to remember Neda on her birthday. 

--BBC: Reports indicate that tens of political activists, students and journalists all over Iran have been arrested in the past few days. 

--Jaras: Former President, Mohammad Khatami, paid a visit to a number of recently-released prisoners who had been arrested after the election. This visit occurred after the release of Morteza Haji, the Executive manager of Baran Foundation [and Khatami's campaign manager in 1997 Presidential election] and Mohsen Safaei-Farahani, the leading member of the Central Committee of the Participation Front [one of the most progressive reformist parties].

--Radiofarda: According to a statement released by Amnesty International, Habibullah Latifi, an ethnic Kurd Iranian citizen who had been sentenced to death, has been transferred to solitary confinement [which is normally done before execution]. They have warned about the possibility of his execution in the next few days. 

--Adwarnews: Several students of Chamran University in Ahvaz, Khuzestan have been called and some of them have been arrested during Ahmadinejad's visit to Ahvaz. According to Adwarnews, all those students were arrested on January 13, most of them were release the day after and one of them was released four days later. However one student activist, Sajjad Pirfalak, has been in jail since then and no information is available about his whereabouts.

In his video broadcast on Thursday, Mohsen Sazegara mentioned the following points:
1- The most recent speech delivered by Ali Khamenei [the Supreme Leader] is aimed at casting divisions within the ranks of the Green Movement. As similar experiences from other countries suggest, the success of the Green Movement depends on three factors; unity, mass mobilization and adhering to the principles of nonviolence struggle. Therefore it is Khamenei's strategy to target these three principles.  They try to harm the mass mobilization capabilities of the movement via widespread arrests, waging psychological war [against the movement] and creating an atmosphere of fear. In order to weaken the adherence to nonviolent struggle, they try to drive people impatient and make the movement violent by exerting brutality. Regarding unity, Khamenei's strategy is to cause divisions; divisions between domestic and out-of-country dissidents (Khamenei's recent speech), divisions within domestic dissidents (rumors about Khatemi's alleged letter to Khamenei) and divisions within out-of-country dissidents. In order to confront this, all of us should keep in mind that if we attack each other instead of targetting Khamenei and his regime, we  [unknowingly] help Khamenei succeed in his strategy. Therefor nobody should disturb the 'every comrade is a leader' principle of the movement by unreasonable personal attacks. After the victory of the green movement, we can resolve our differences at the ballot box.
2- In a military base, two thousand soldiers have all started coughing [in protest] when the ideo-political officer of the base compared Mousavi and Karroubi with Talheh and Zubair [the senior companions of Propher Muhammad who waged a war against Imam Ali, the fourth Muslim Caliph and first Shia Imam, after the assassination of the Uthman, the third caliph, 25 years after Prophet Muhammad's decease. Although highly-revered in Sunni Islam, they are considered symbols of betrayal and poor judgment in Shia Islam.]
3- [In a weird incidence], the initial imprisonment sentence of two Kurdish political dissidents, Muhammad-Amin Abdullahi and Qadir Muhammadzadeh, has been converted to death penalty in the appeals court. This is a testimony to the fact that the Regime is far more brutal in Kurdistan than anywhere else and we should express our protest to these executions.
4- In a recent report released by Human Rights without Frontiers, they have requested that the Iranian Regime be tried for crimes against humanity. 
5- In a recent public opinion poll conducted by some Iranian professionals inside Iran, 76% of the respondents have considered 'Regime Change' as the only solution for this crisis.

On his Friday video broadcast, Mohsen Sazegara mentioned the following points:
1- As Iranian banks and financial institutions have declared that they have a sum $48 billion of unpaid loans 70 per cent of which has been borrowed by less than 1000 individuals, these banks are in the verge of bankruptcy. It is anticipated that the dollar exchange rate vs. Rial will surge to an unprecedented Rls. 30,000-40,000 = $1 due to deepening economic crisis, expected 40+ per cent inflation following the removal of government subsidies, decrease in the exchange rate of Rial, the likelihood of removing three digits from the national currency and freeing monetary exchanges That's why so many people are withdrawing their deposits from banks and converting them to foreign currencies, gold and other commodities.
2 After every mass demonstration, Khamenei desperately hopes that he would disappoint people by waging widespread arrests and creating an atmosphere of fear, and will prevent them from coming to streets. However previous experiences clearly show that such demonstrations cannot be prevented by arrests and crackdowns.
3- Around 30 intellectuals and authors have released a statement in which they have emphasized that there is only one way for [smooth] transition to democracy and that is a referendum.
4- Show TV debates have literally become a joke; airing such debates reveals more vividly how ignorant this regime is.
5- Families of political prisoners gathered [in protest] in front of Tehran's Revolutionary Court's Prosecutor General office last Thursday.
6- The employees of Pars Niroo, in Fars Province, have gathered in protest since they have not been paid in the last nine months.
7- Speaking to a private meeting of Basijis in Khuzestan, Ahmadinejad has claimed that all atrocities and crimes committed [against protestors] on the day of Ashura had directly been ordered by Khamenei.
8- In a public opinion poll conducted by some professionals in four provinces inside Iran, in response to the question that 'How will regime change occur?', 22 per cent of respondents have said that regime change is improbable in near future; 25 per cent have said that regime change will happen through a staged process (removing Ahmadinejad out of office, an interim government taking charge and finally a referendum), 19 per cent have said that regime change will be instantaneous and 34 per cent have said that the final outcome depends on the behavior of the regime and other [unpredictable] factors.

On his Saturday video broadcast, Mohsen Sazegara mentioned the following points:
1- Melli and Mellat banks will go bankrupt unless the Iranian Government bails them out. It is also reported that the government is intending to reinstate bi-rate exchange for Rial . Rial's exchange rate will continue to decline and it might be wiser to convert all your deposits to other currencies. Apart from this, this can be a very effective political action.
2- There are some rumors that family members of senior regime officials having applied for political asylum. Further pressure on officials from within their own families might help change their behavior at the end.
3- Today is the birthday of late Neda Agha-Soltan [the young woman who was shot death at June 20 protests in Tehran].
4- It seems that Tehran-Moscow relations have become colder in recent months. It is more likely that this change in behavior on the part of Russia is a consequence of their knowledge about what is going on in Iran,
5- In a new attempt, Friday Prayer Imams in Iran are trying to cast divisions between domestic and out-of-country activists.

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