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 Monday, June 29 in Iran.
1. There was a human chain planned for today. The plan had been to form it between Tajrish Square and the Railway; however, the route was guarded heavily by Basijis, plainclothesmen and security forces. Nonetheless, people at gathered Mellat Park, Valiasr Field, Vanak and Valiasr Avenue and were trying to form a human chain. The police tried to disperse the crowd and stop the human chain from being formed. There were reports of clashes as well which cannot be fully confirmed. Reports of police smashing people’s windows for honking their horns and slashing their tires with knives.
2. Cell phone services were cut off around Valiasr as well as other parts of Tehran. The Basiji had Daneshjo Park under their control and helicopters were flying all over the place, especially over Valiasr. Today was one of the few times when the government cut off phone lines in order to disrupt communications between protesters and hinder their coordination of the event. During the event, several people were arrested as well. Most of Tehran was crawling with Basijis carrying sticks, some on motorcycles sporting camouflage vests. Protesters and some other people were wearing green wristbands in support of Moussavi.
3. Larijani, the speaker of the parliament today said that CNN had given money and cell phones to protesters to portray a wrong image of Iran. He added that the unrest was not an important event and it will be easily overcome and that it was just another experience for the Islamic Republic.
4. Two former Ministers of Interior have asked the Ministry of Interior to form an independent commission to investigate the problems related to the election. They have asked for the release of all the detained protesters as well and for the Iranian media to let protesters’ demands be heard. They have also requested an investigation into the deaths of protesters and other crimes committed during the protests and ask that people should be compensated for their losses.
5. Bijan Khajehpour a renowned Iranian political economist was detained at the airport in Tehran on Saturday upon arrival from the UK. Sources were unsure about his whereabouts but assumed he was in Evin prison. Dr. Mehdi Khazali, the son of Grand Ayatollah Khazali, who unlike his father is a critic of the government and Ahmadinejad, was also arrested. The Iranian media also announced the arrest of some people who were posing as Basijis. Yesterday’s arrest of Homa Roosta has now been confirmed to not be true.
6. Human rights groups claim that so far over 2,000 people are still in detention. Reports have surfaced that there is no more space left for women in Tehran’s official prisons. Human rights’ activists report on unsanitary and inappropriate conditions for imprisoned women protesters in Iran’s overcrowded jails. At least 60 of imprisoned women are in the public wards and have only been given a blanket and are forced to sleep in corridors.
7. Today, Amnesty International expressed concern about the political leaders who have been arrested and claimed that they faced torture in detention. This is while a member of the National Security Council announced today that they were not going to release any of the political prisoners any time soon.
8. Members of the National Security Council met with Khatami today. A special commission has been ordered to be formed by the Judiciary to take up the cases of the people arrested in the recent unrests. Ahmadinejad has reportedly asked the Judiciary to investigate the murder of Neda Agha-Sultan. In a letter, Ahmadinejad asked the head of the Judiciary for answers in the death and called the killing ‘suspicious’.
9. State TV says Iran’s top legislative body has confirmed Ahmadinejad victory in the disputed June 12th Presidential election after a partial recount. The Guardian Council’s leader, Jannati said that the GC deemed the complaints and irregularities irrelevant and thereby can confirm the results. Clashes were reported in Tehran after people took to the streets protesting the Guardian Council’s ruling. (This cannot be fully confirmed). People also started shouting ‘Death to Dictator’ on their roofs, after GC confirmed the victory of Ahmadinejad.
10. Since official results of Ahmadinejad’s win, only 11 countries congratulated Ahmadinejad on his ‘victory’. These countries are Tajikistan, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Turkey, the People’s Republic of China, Oman, Russia, Qatar and Venezuela.
11. The office of the Islamic Association of Sistan and Baluchestan University was set on fire by anonymous people today. The office is a hotbed of reform student activity.
12. Mohseni, Iranian Minister of Information, said today that he had met with Mousavi and had told him that the path he had taken had no end. He added that he told Mousavi that his insistence on annulling the election would achieve nothing but create more problems for him and his followers.
13. Five out of nine British Embassy staffers arrested earlier in the wee were released today. The rest are currently being held at an undisclosed location and include senior staff members. The government issued a statement saying that the detained staffers had connections with the unrest in Iran. . The EU threatened a mass pullout of its ambassadors from Iran if the staffers were not released.
14. The spokesperson for the Foreign Affairs Ministry of Iran has stated that they don’t want to close any embassies. He added that the arrest of the local staff of some embassies was not breaking international conventions. He added the remaining four staffers will be dealt with according to the law.
15. Keyhan, a newspaper close to Khamenei, slammed Mousavi today and called him a criminal. Also in a TV confession, another of Mousavi’s staffers was forced to say that the Iranian election protests were preplanned. Press TV announced today that reports of Iranian soccer players being punished for wearing green bands during their game with South Korea are false, after FIFA inquired about their reported lifetime ban which was placed by the Iranian Football Federation.
* Today, the source that had claimed of reports of persiankiwi’s arrest has tweeted that she talked to persiankiwi and pk is still free. Pk told the source that they simply don’t have access to resources for tweeting at this point. ** Also a HEARTY thanks to Amandapanda for spending her precious time and energy on debriefing me to help compartmentalize the work.