Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Brutal Crackdown Continues in Iran

Iran's Security Forces and the Basij are showing no signs of retreat as the brutal crackdown on demonstrators continued today in Iran. Here is video of an interview that an Iranian student gave to CNN earlier today describing the violence:

More video from today's protests:

and the courage of the protesters continues to stay resolve as demonstrated in this video. The woman in the video has been translated as saying to the police "Beat me!":

Opposition Mir Hosein Mousavi's wife has likened the situation in Iran to "martial law":

Iran's supreme leader said Wednesday that the government would not yield to demonstrators demanding the annulment of a disputed presidential election. The wife of the opposition leader said protesters would not buckle under a situation she compared to martial law.

Reformist leader Mir Hossein Mousavi's official Web site said a protest was planned outside Iran's parliament Wednesday afternoon. A helicopter could be seen hovering over central Tehran, but there were no immediate, confirmed reports of a demonstration.

Mousavi's Web site had distanced him from the protest, calling it independent and saying it had not been organized by the reformist candidate.

It is now being reported on the Huffington Post via a twitter message that Mousavi's legal adviser, Ardeshir Amir Arjman, has been arrested. There are also reports saying that Mousavi himself is "virtually under house arrest" and is being watched at all times by the secret police.

It also appears that pressure has been put on the family of Neda Agha Soltan, the young woman whose death was famously captured on camera over the weekend. A friend of the doctor (who is seen in the video) who tried to save her posted an email from the doctor who said he was fleeing Iran for Britain. The Guardian is also reporting that Neda's family has been kicked out of their apartment in Tehran by the Iranian authorities. Iranian authorities are also claiming that she was killed by protesters and not by security forces:

Neighbours said that her family no longer lives in the four-floor apartment building on Meshkini Street, in eastern Tehran, having been forced to move since she was killed. The police did not hand the body back to her family, her funeral was cancelled, she was buried without letting her family know and the government banned mourning ceremonies at mosques, the neighbours said.

"We just know that they [the family] were forced to leave their flat," a neighbour said. The Guardian was unable to contact the family directly to confirm if they had been forced to leave.

The government is also accusing protesters of killing Soltan, describing her as a martyr of the Basij militia. Javan, a pro-government newspaper, has gone so far as to blame the recently expelled BBC correspondent, Jon Leyne, of hiring "thugs" to shoot her so he could make a documentary film.

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