I’m NiteOwl AKA Josh Shahryar – twitter.com/iran_translator on twitter – and I’ve been immersed in tweets from Iran for the past several hours. I have tried to be extremely careful in choosing my tweet sources. What I have compiled below is what I can confirm through my reliable twitter sources. Remember, this is all from tweets. No news media outlets have been used.
These are the important happenings that I can positively confirm from Sunday, June 28 in Iran.
1. URGENT: Rumors of Mousavi’s arrest are being spread around the blogosphere and twitter. So far, no reliable source has confirmed this. At the time of the writing of this brief – 9:27 PM ET – he is still free. His facebook account denies the claim: http://www.facebook.com/mousavi?ref=mf
2. Thousands of people gathered in Tehran’s Ghoba Mosque today at a rally planned to coincide with the 7 Tir bombing that killed Ayatollah Beheshti and 70 other prominent clerics in 1981. The mosque was filled and the streets and alleys leading up to the mosque were completely crowded by protesters chanting “Where’s our vote?” Reports indicate that the number was somewhere between 3 and 10 thousand. Beheshti’s son addressed the crowd and said that the current regime was pushing people backwards and was not in touch with current realities of the world. He said that the Sea of Green could stand this and were protesting.
3. Mahdi Karoubi was able to join the protests spoke to protesters. Mousavi wasn’t able to make it to the center of the crowd and was forced to deliver his message by calling a cell phone as the receiving phone was put on a loudspeaker. Other prominent members of the reform movement were also present, including the wife and daughter of Rafsanjani. Mousavi urged people to continue fighting for their legitimate demands and announced that he would not stop pursuing their collective goals. Rezaei also issued an open letter to the GC today asking them to investigate the whole election & all protests & complaints.
4. Later, intense clashes broke out between the security forces and protesters. Several shots were heard from the vicinity of the mosque. Fires were started in the area and smoke could be seen coming out of some streets from afar. Police violently beat some protesters in order to disperse them. Although the protesters had received a permit by the government, they were still attacked by the police under the pretense that people were only allowed to be inside the mosque. Protesters were beaten, tear gas was used and many protesters were hauled away and arrested by the security forces. Some of the high-profile arrests today included Reza Ataraan – a movie star and filmmaker -, Shokoofeh Azar, reporter for Sarmaye Emrooz, and Kambiz Norouzi, legal secretary of journalists’ union. The actual number of protesters arrested today could not be confirmed, but several dozens people were likely arrested, reliable sources indicated. There were also reports of protests in other parts of the city and clashes as well, yet they could only be partially confirmed.
5. Rafsanjani today spoke to reporters today and said that the election had created a complex situation and that enemies were trying to create a divide between the regime and people. He praised Khamenei’s decision to extend the period for complaints to the Guardian Council about the election. Khamenei today said that people shouldn’t stoke emotions and both sides should not create tensions and inflame the youth. He also accused the world of meddling with the affairs of Iran and warned them to back off of Iranian affairs.
6. In a letter addressed to the Guardian Council, Karoubi said that the election was engineered in such a way that people’s presence was only a pre-designed show. Karoubi: For every candidate a share of the vote was previously defined. He added that before the election a member of GC said that the leader had chosen Ahmadinezhad and it’s not wise to cross him and that the small share of the votes assigned to him will not stop the pursuit of people’s demands.
7. Yesterday, it was reported that 9 UK Embassy staff from Tehran were arrested. Today, reports have surfaced that at least 4 of them have been released. It is being reported that the rest are not being kept at Evin, but rather at an undisclosed location. They were all accused by the Iranian government of having a hand in the protests which they claim are ‘riots’.
8. A representative of Tabriz spoke in the Parliament today and said that it was not fair to listen to only one-side of the dispute and ignore the cries of the other side completely. He called upon the government to not act against the country’s laws when dealing with people. Ahmadinejad’s supporters in the parliament tried to force him from continuing his speech by yelling and shouting at him.
9. A government spokesperson today said that there have been no serious incidents during the protests and that people should go to courts to complain if they’ve been beaten with sticks. The bodies of some protesters who’ve been killed so far are being released to their relatives if they quietly bury them. Mousavi’s head of campaign, Ghorban Behzadian Nezhad and all but three staff members of his newspaper were released today.
10. A selected team of the parliament’s security commission will meet with Mohammad Khatami regarding the recent events. The team will meet Ahmadinezhad as well. Previously they met Ayatollas Javadi Amoli, Mousavi Ardebili and Sobhani. Amoli said today that the separation of powers was not a recent phenomenon and it had existed before in Islam and called for it. Ayatollah Javadi Amoli previously criticized the government in Friday prayer in Qom. Amoli said that if someone’s the judge, jury and executioner, then there was a problem.
11. Insurance companies are shunning people. They’re being told that the government has told them not to talk to rioters. This is after people went to insurance companies after the destruction of property or death of a loved one.
12. The Min. of Interior has been asked to cancel the permits of IIPF, the Combatant Clerics and Mojahedin-Enghelab parties. They are going to legally pursue them and if found guilty of a crime – the protests have been called law-breaking and a crime – their permits will be cancelled. It is being reported that the online results of the election released by the Ministry of Interior are continuously being changed.
13. Tonight people are continuing their chants of Allah o Akbar as Basijis have started to harass them. During past days plain cloths went door to door and warned people to stop chanting. Website of ministry of internal affairs which uploaded election statistics keeps updating files as people find more errors in the results.