Sunday, December 27, 2009

Mousavi Nephew Killed in Tehran Protests

From the Los Angeles Times, "Deaths reported amid chaos and violence in Iran":

The Iranian capital erupted in massive and fiery morning-to-dusk protests as tens of thousands of demonstrators clashed with security forces on the occasion of an important Shiite Muslim holiday.

Several witnesses told The Times that Iranian security forces opened fire with live ammunition against unarmed protesters near College Bridge in in the capital. And opposition news websites reported that several protesters had been killed, including Ali Mousavi, the adult nephew of opposition figurehead Mir-Hossein Mousavi.

Reformist websites said he was shot and taken to a Tehran hospital, where his uncle and other relatives soon arrived.

The information could not be independently confirmed, and a police source denied that protesters had been killed in a comment to the pro-government Fars News Agency.

But a witness in front of City Theater in downtown Tehran said she saw a fallen man, apparently stabbed in the back, and spotted another man falling to the ground after a volley of shots was fired near Enghelab Street, which emerged as the epicenter of the day's clashes.

The reports of deaths came during a harrowing day of multiple, rolling clashes between police and Iranian protesters coinciding with an important Ashura religious commemoration as well as the significant seventh day of mourning following the death of the country's leading dissident cleric, Ayatollah Hossein Ali Montazeri.

Reformist websites and witnesses also reported clashes in the cities of Qom, Esfahan, Najafabad, Kashan, Shiraz, Babol and Mashhad.

Demonstrators vowed to continue the protests into the night, with reformist news websites identifying key Tehran squares for gatherings.

"There is no let-up," said Farzad, a 30-year-old who attended today's protests with his girlfriend. "We will go ahead until we topple the government."

Across the capital, witnesses described scenes of pandemonium, which were confirmed by video footage posted online. One described Tehran as a war zone, and another likened the situation to open "civil war" as increasingly bold demonstrators took on security forces, in one case stripping a member of the security forces naked before letting him go, a witness said.

Despite a heavy crackdown, the protest movement that emerged from Iran's disputed June 12 presidential election has grown increasingly daring, with those who want abolition of the Islamic Republic increasingly vocal.

Protesters had vowed for weeks to turn today's annual Ashura commemoration marking the 7th century martyrdom of Imam Hossein into an anti-government demonstration.
Also, lots of videos at Jawa Report, "This Will Be a Day Long Remembered," and IranNewsNow, "Live-blog: Ashura in Iran – December 27, 2009":

And from the Guardian's report:
The authorities are taking a risk in using lethal force against protesters during the Islamic Moharram, during which war and bloodshed is deemed to be religiously haram, or forbidden. It raises the likelihood of a series of mourning cycles, as required by Shia tradition. It was such a mourning cycle that fatally undermined the Shah's regime when it tried to suppress demonstrations in 1978.


Douglas V. Gibbs said...

People don't realize that the people in Iran is not the problem, it is the government. Of course, you won't hear the mainstream press spend much time on this story. Glad folks like you, Donald, are. This is why more and more people are turning to the new media.

Reaganite Republican said...

Once again, in a situation that calls for the true voice of world leadership, we have the Bolshevik Boy Wonder out on the links again... pathetic. Did this self-absorbed twit learn nothing from Jimmy Carter's misguided accommodation with this vile, apocalyptic regime?

Nor from Ronald Reagan's brave and principled support of Solidarity in Poland... thus freeing millions?

Bloviating Zeppelin said...

Once again confirming that there is a HUGE disparity between the people of Iran and its ruling Islamists. Iran is more "westernized" than many would believe.

If this continues I suspect there will be even a greater use of force against its citizens. The mullahs and imams and Supreme Leader Khomeini and Admadinnerjacket may be left with little alternative, in their minds.


Dennis said...

Soon a tipping point will be reached and it will all come falling down. You would not have this continual protests of this size against the government without the underlying prospects of overthrow of the present government.
I suspect that even some of those attacking their own citizens will begin to rebel soon. The real question is will the Obama administration be on the right side when it happens?

science fiction writer said...

Obama, for some reason, has taken a passive role in this matter. Why?

What's disturbing is that Kerry has the White House blessing for his possible trip to visit AhMADinejad.