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.
These are the important happenings that I can positively confirm from Friday, July 03 in Iran.
1. Family of detained protesters continued to swarm in front of Evin Prison for the third day in a row. In yesterday’s mourning at Beheshte Zahra Cemetery, mourners were reportedly attacked by Basijis. It was reported that a large portion of Tehran’s shops were closed yesterday – to commemorate the 20th day of the “Sea of Green” movement.
2. There were demonstrations at Mashhad today, although our sources could not confirm information beyond that. Sources also indicated that so far, at least 5 people have been killed and more than 200 have been detained during protests from Mashhad. High-profile detainees include Hashem Khastar, Reza Arab and Rohullah Shahsavar.
3. The main University of Sistan o Baluchistan has been shut-down by the government, according to unconfirmed reports. Furthermore, students from the university were dragged out of their dorms and sent home. Daryoosh Shikoof, a prominent Iranian filmmaker who lives in Germany, has started a hunger strike in front of the Russian Embassy in Berlin to protest Russia’s continued support for Ahmadinejad’s regime.
Arrested and Killed
4. Ayatollah Jannati – Head of The Guardian Council – announced that the remaining British Embassy staff has been found to have had a hand in the unrest. Speaking at Friday Prayer’s in Tehran, he added they will be “prosecuted for the crimes they have committed – and already confessed to.” He went on to say that, “confessions from other instigators of violence will also be shown on national TV.” Sources indicate that the government is planning on hanging the remaining staffers after mock trials. So far, two British Embassy staffers remain in Iranian custody.
5. Sara Sabaghian, a lawyer and prominent women’s rights activist, was freed today from Evin Prison. Another detainee at Evin, Mojtaba Tehrani, who maintained the website for Etemade Melli newspaper, has called his family after a week in detention and asked them for their prayers. Reports have also surfaced that an Iran Telecom employee who has sent text messages to the BBC has been fired from his job.
6. Grand Ayatollah Yosuf Sanei today stated that, “confessions of detained protesters didn’t hold any merit, neither legally or rationally.” He added that, “detentions, killings, beatings, lies and tricks should not stop people from trying to retain their right to determine their future.” He called into question the legitimacy of the election again by stating that none of the candidates – except for the winner – had given up their claims against its impartiality. He also cautioned security forces against the use of force against civilians and called it an “unforgivable sin” and stated that no order by any authority could justify acts of violence against the populace. His statements come at a time when more Ayatollahs are siding with protesters and denouncing the government’s actions in the aftermath of the elections.
7. No reliable statements from Mousavi have surfaced today. His wife, Zahra Rahnavard, however, did state today that Mousavi will continue to fight for women’s rights. Reports have indicated that at least she is under house arrest and unconfirmed reports indicate that both of them are currently being overseen by security forces and their movement is severely restricted.
8. The Association of Iranian University Graduates has released a statement claiming that, “the government was out to suppress opposition by any means possible escalating from the rigged elections.” Dozens of Iranian university professors have a signed a letter expressing deep anger for the attacks made by security forces on Iranian universities and students.
Government / International
9. Reports indicate that Ahmadinejad’s trip to Mashhad has been canceled due to the government’s fear of possible violent reaction from the residents there. Reports have also surfaced that clerics in Mashhad are conducting closed-door meetings to evaluate the situation and many have given their blessings to protesters. Mashhad, Iran’s second-largest city is considered a holy city because of the numerous shrines for martyrs, as well as for Prophet Mohammed’s family members. It boasts a large and active population of clerics.
10. All 27 EU member nations have summoned the Iranian ambassadors in their countries to question them about the current situation in Iran. They asked about the fate of the remaining British Embassy staff detained in Tehran, and demanded their immediate released. Pressure is being mounted on Iran as EU nations are searching for ‘other ways’ to resolve the situation. It is being reported that the EU is considering whether it should stop issuing visas to Iranian government officials.
11. The Dutch government today passed legislation banning the sale of all technology that could be used to filter or censor information in Iran. It was reported that China lent expertise to the Iranian government to censor websites and track down net-dissidents. Today, it was also reported that the Sultan of Oman – one of very few countries who congratulated Ahmadinejad on his re-election – has canceled his trip to Iran.
12. Etemaade Melli’s Newspaper was once again censored by the government. According to reports, it was forced to publish a repeat of yesterday’s articles. The government has claimed that the videos of Neda’s death are all fake. Mr. Zarghami, head of the government’s official media organization, IRIB, has accused Twitter, Facebook and YouTube of grossly misrepresenting what is going on in Iran and said that they were being directed by foreign forces.