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Iran first-hand

2009 June 23
by Tedb0t

The following was posted to the Hunter and ITP lists from an Iranian alumnus (or alumna, no way of knowing which) who is there now and has very few communication options.

Dear all,

My other email is down by the gov. hence I have been able to hack into
this unsuspecting email account.

Things are turning very violent here for Iranians - last night at
least 90 were killed and many hundreds others injured (as I write this
reports are coming in that it is in fact more than 150 from yesterday
alone killed - putting in the total in at least the many hundreds over
the past nine days).  As fate would have it, Neda, aged 22, was an
employee at the travel agency who had booked our trip to Mashad for
yesterday.  We decided to forgo the trip for safety, and she was
killed by basij yesterday.  Today, without knowing it, when picking up
refund for the trip, all of the employees were dressed in black as are
many who take to the streets today to mourn her and the scores of
others killed yesterday - certainly many will be killed today as well.
There are vast first hand accounts of many of the stormtroopers et al
being from other countries outside of Iran speaking Arabic - certainly
some groups rely on the oil profits of Iranian for their own
operations and even their security is at stake in this shake-up.
There is information, misinformation, and disinformation so take what
you will, but too many first hand reports usually add up to some sort
of truth.

It is no joke that communication is down and that what goes in/out, is
being tracked.  I have been followed by secret service.  I cannot post
to blogs for fear of safety to others.  Facebook and Twitter does not
work within Iran - it has not for more than one week - all rally
communication takes place via mobile and, more importantly, face to
face.  International telephone calls do not come in; mobiles are cut
between 4-5PM each day until midnight; SMS are out; TV channels are
sent parasites so that each night searching for a different satellite
takes place to find channels (while I have written this, VOA has just
been lost; we were able to find it last night after one week).  Most
of the journalists who are reporting are not here and seem to not be
speaking to people who are experiencing these events (as I write this
the BBC correspondant has been ordered to leave the country).  The TV
"experts" on the bbc, cnn and al jazeera are for the most part,
completely out of touch, with the facts: this is way beyond ahmadi,
the supreme leader and rafsanjani.  Many of the Western press are just
as out of touch: I recommend the Guardian from the UK if you must read
something.  This is about the IR and the people at this point.

I can still go to select areas of this vast city, but go in disguise.
You may see the stormtroopers on bikes et al, but it is always the
plains clothes basij who are to be feared - they are free to shoot to
kill, free to beat to pulps with no reprisal from government.  They
are stationed on most street corners, even tens of kms away from the
main rally avenue.  This is a very serious issue and what amazes
Iranians the most is that the UN is completely silent on this issue,
with Western governments still speaking too diplomatically, although
thankfully Merkel has come out the boldest as of now.  At this point,
the people who are going out - who are children, young adults and
people in their 60s and 70s - are leaderless.  It does not matter what
Mousavi does at this point - it goes well beyond him and has since
Friday.  Although thousands and thousands went out yesterday, there is
a very high percentage that one will be killed or gravely injured, it
does not matter.  These people are willing to die for the cause.  I
have never experienced such a movement in my life, beginning well
before the election, to last week's rallies, to Friday's speech
advocating for destruction, to yesterday and today.  There simply are
too few people from my country and too few people who look like myself
for me to write more without causing potential harm, arrest and death
so with this I end this letter.  Rest assured that the rallies will
continue until the change that they demand happens.  There are too
many millions to be killed for it not to stop.

Please post to NYPL, IMA, Facebook, Grad Center, Columbia, list
serves, forward, etc. - please do not include my name until I've
returned, which should be on Saturday, unless the authorities ban air
travel, which is a strong possibility: during the prior revolution, it
was closed down for three years.  All my other contacts are in my
other email app hence this can only be sent to a select few people.



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One Response
  1. Zoh permalink
    June 23, 2009

    Wow… I will pass this along.

Comments are closed.