Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Protests Continue as the Guardian Council Announces that They Will Not Nullify the Election Results

Monday Night in Iran:

and the unrest isn't just in Tehran. This video is reportedly from Kerman:

Despite the break-up of yesterday's rally to mourn the dead in Tehran, people still looked for other peaceful ways to demonstrate. Here is a video of people turning on the brights in their car and honking their horn:

and despite the presence of police and Basij, demonstrators are still making their presence known:

In a move that has been expected, Iran's Guardian Council has announced that they will not nullify the results of the election as is being called for by the opposition leader Mir Hosein Mousavi. From Iran's state-run Press TV:

Abbas Ali Kadkhodaei, the council's Spokesman said late on Monday that most of the complaints reported irregularities before the election, and not during or after the vote.


"If a major breach occurs in an election, the Guardian Council may annul the votes that come out of a particular affected ballot box, polling station, district, or city like how it was done in the parliamentary elections," Kadkhodaei said.

"Fortunately, in the recent presidential election we found no witness of major fraud or breach in the election. Therefore, there is no possibility of an annulment taking place," he added.

In the continuation of various forms of protest, there are reports that a movement to begin a national strike is taking shape. The AFL-CIO released this statement:

The AFL-CIO, representing over 11 million working women and men in the United States, expresses its deep concern over the immediate situation in Iran, following the contested election of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Several people have been killed and many more wounded and injured by Iranian government forces attempting to repress massive demonstrations demanding either an annulment of the elections or a vote recount.

Our Federation, joining the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) and the global labor movement, calls on the Iranian authorities to cease and desist their violent repression of these peaceful demonstrations, as well as fully prosecute under due process of law all of those responsible for the tragic and reprehensible deaths and injuries.

The AFL-CIO also condemns and demands an immediate end to the continued violations of fundamental worker rights in Iran, including the recent arrest of four trade unionists and a journalist for participating in May Day rallies in Tehran - Jafar Azimzadeh, Said Youzi, Kaveh Mozaffari, Gholamreza Khani and Mehdi Farahani Shandiz. We also condemn the ongoing detention and harassment of Mansour Ossanlou and Ibrahim Medadi of the Tehran Bus Workers' Union, Farzad Kamangar of the Teachers' Union, Ali Nejati of the Sugar Workers, and Mahmoud Salehi of the Bakers' Union.

and Perry Rod from Market Rap:

Reports are coming in from social networking websites that Iranians are attempting to organize a national strike in reaction to the country's disputed election. A similar event happened in 1979, when Iranian citizens organized against the Shah of Iran, Reza Pahlavi.

Many writers are suggesting that the next move by defeated presidential candidate Mir-Hossein Mousavi will naturally be to encourage an oil industry strike. Oil revenues account for 80% of the government's incoming budget. A national strike could prove to be a powerful tool in crippling the establishment forces inside Iran.

In a disturbing report, 19 year old Kaveh Alipour was shot in the head and killed by security forces on Saturday while returning from an acting class in Tehran. When his family heard of his death they went to claim his body and were asked to pay a "bullet fee" for the reimbursement of the cost of the bullet that took his life:

Upon learning of his son's death, the elder Mr. Alipour was told the family had to pay an equivalent of $3,000 as a "bullet fee"—a fee for the bullet used by security forces—before taking the body back, relatives said.

Mr. Alipour told officials that his entire possessions wouldn't amount to $3,000, arguing they should waive the fee because he is a veteran of the Iran-Iraq war. According to relatives, morgue officials finally agreed, but demanded that the family do no funeral or burial in Tehran. Kaveh Alipour's body was quietly transported to the city of Rasht, where there is family.

and finally, a picture of Neda, whose graphic death was captured on video this weekend, has been circulating and is below:

and here is some more information on her life:

The second of three children, she studied Islamic philosophy at a branch of Tehran's Azad University until deciding to pursue a career in tourism. She took private classes to become a tour guide, including Turkish-language courses, friends said, hoping to someday lead groups of Iranians on trips abroad.

Travel was her passion, and with her friends she saved up enough money for package tours to Dubai, Turkey and Thailand. Two months ago, on a trip to Turkey, she relaxed along the beaches of Antalya, on the Mediterranean coast.

She also loved music, especially Persian pop, and was taking piano lessons, according to Panahi and other friends. She was also an accomplished singer, they said.

But she was never an activist, they added, and she began attending the mass protests only because she was outraged by the election results.


Her friends say she, Panahi and two others were stuck in traffic on Karegar Street, east of Tehran's Azadi (Freedom) Square, on their way to the demonstration sometime after 6:30 p.m.

After they stepped out of the car to get some fresh air and crane their necks over the jumble of cars, Panahi heard a crack from the distance. In the blink of an eye, he realized Agha-Soltan had collapsed to the ground.

"We were stuck in traffic and we got out and stood to watch, and without her throwing a rock or anything they shot her," he said. "It was just one bullet."

Blood poured from the right side of her chest and began bubbling out of her mouth and nose as her lungs filled up.

"I'm burning, I'm burning!" Panahi recalled her saying, her final words.

Those nearby gathered around. A doctor tried to help, Panahi said, telling him to put his palm over the wound and apply pressure. A driver coming from the other direction urged the crowd to put her into his car.

A frantic search for a hospital followed. They took a wrong turn down a dead end and switched her limp body to another car.

Along the way, protesters and others screamed at drivers to clear a path in the snarled traffic.
The medical staff of Shariati Hospital made a heroic effort to rush her into surgery, but it was too late. She was dead by the time she arrived at the emergency room, Panahi said.

"This is a crime that's not in support of the government," he said. "This is a crime against humanity."

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