Protests / Unrest
1. The government flexed their muscles today by seizing and closing Mehdi Karroubi’s office. Officials from Tehran’s Attorney General’s office entered the building during the day, forced Karroubi and his staff to leave and confiscated documents, CDs and computers. Until further notice, Karroubi’s office is currently under government control.
2. The office of Karroubi’s newspaper, Etemaade Melli was also raided and closed. Documents, computers, films and CDs were confiscated and the office was locked down. All staff members were forced to give their names, addresses and other information and then sent home.
3. This comes, as the planned protest for September 18 is gaining a lot of support amongst the populace. Karroubi today, yet again confirmed that he would be participating and invited all Greens to participate.
4. The Attorney General’s office also sent officials, to close down the office of the human rights organization Defenders of Detainees’ Rights. Material from the office, located in Tehran was confiscated. Further information in the next Brief.
5. More than a hundred members of detainees’ families gathered under a bridge close to Evin Prison this evening and chanted against the government. They were surrounded and threatened by security forces, but they did not stop chanting. They were joined by more people from the area. The protest lasted for more than an hour.
6. More than a hundred family members of detainees also gathered in front of the Islamic Revolutionary Court – the main judicial body in the country. They were also surrounded by security forces. There were unconfirmed reports of other gatherings and clashes in other parts of the city as well.
7. In Qom, a man was arrested with his family while they were through a busy streeet. Armed plainclothesmen stopped his car in the middle of the road and after meeting with resistance, shot him in the shoulder. He was dragged away while chanting, “Death to Khamenei”. His crime and where the family was taken could not be confirmed.
8. Iran’s Police Chief Esmail Ahmadi-Moghaddam has warned reformists against using September 18 for protesting. According to him, it would only show the true colors of reformists who are going to use the day for political purposes. He said people had accepted the results and rejected that the elections were fraudulent. He also added that no rape had occurred at Kahrizak.
9. A high-ranking IRG commander, Ali Fazli, said they will be holding meetings with officials in Iranian universities to counter any unrest that might occur as a result of protests planned for next week.
10. Greens are holding prayer gatherings in Tehran, Qom, Tabriz and Shiraz to mark the final days of Ramadan. The gatherings are non-political and are being used by Greens, praying for the release of detainees and the reform of the regime.
11. Yesterday, we reported the government was banning dozens of university students from continuing their education. Today, it has been reported that a women’s rights activist and campaign worker for Mir Hossein Mousavi’s election bid Leila Sehat has been barred from continuing her education at Tehran University.
12. On the occasion of the first Qadr night, Allah o Akbar was heard all across Tehran and other parts of Iran.
13. After the government banned the annual gathering for commemorating Ayatollah Taleghani at Hosseiniya-e Ershad, his family has asked all those who want to gather to come to the office of his son on Wednesday to commemorate the cleric’s life.
14. Karroubi’s son, Hossein Karroubi, today said that his father was being intimidated by the government into giving up his support for the investigation of rapes in Iranian detention centers. He said his father was very serious about the cases and was not going to give up that easily.
15. The Imam’s Way faction of MPs released a statement today denouncing IRGC Commander Mohammad Ali Jafari’s accusations against reformists. The statement said that these allegations were baseless and were being pitted against people who had spent their entire lives following the footsteps of Imam Khomeini.
16. Sazemane Mujahidine Enghelab (Mojahedin of the Islamic Revolution Organization) today released a statement asking newly-appointed Judiciary Chief Sadegh Larijani to step down if he couldn’t deal with the rampant lawlessness of government agencies. The organization called upon Larijani to step up and deal with the illegal activities of security forces, especially in the aftermath of the elections. They also accused security forces of trying to coerce Javad Imam into confessing by abducting his daughter and holding her for 24 hours.
17. In a meeting with members of reformist student groups, Grand Ayatollah Bayat-Zanjani harshly criticized what had happened in the aftermath of the elections. Zanjani said that power was not the source of legitimacy, but rather legitimacy was the source of power. He added that some think – clearly hinting at the government – that if by playing with words, they could change that. However, he said this had been the monarchy’s ideology and not the Shi’ite Imams’ ideology, which emphasized that no one was above the law.
Government / International
18. Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani, sought to quell people’s anger today. Speaking at an Iftar party with a group of MPs, Larijani called for diminishing, and not exaggerating, the political disputes in the country amid what he described as a “critical juncture” in the political arena. Every healthy government and society witnesses “ideological, tactical, and strategic differences of opinion,” he said. “The country is currently going through a complicated phase, and right and wrong are mixed up,” Larijani said.
“If we want to help the country pass this critical situation with little cost [so that] the people are not affected with these differences, we should not create disputes or raise issues that take the [existing] disputes in the society to another level,” Larijani added. He went on to stress, that in situations like this “there is doubt about certain issues; we should heed the Leader’s views and advices.”
19. Khamenei will be leading the Friday prayers on September 11. Since June, this is the first time he is going to be taking the pulpit. Sources inside Iran, strongly suggest he will be calling for another crackdown – possibly against reformist leaders this time.
20. Brigadier Yadullah Javani – the head of IRGC’s political office – in response to criticism over IRGC’s increasing political role, said that the country’s atmosphere had changed and the IRGC no longer viewed itself solely as a security organization. He added, the IRGC would continue to fight with people opposed to the regime.
21. Also today, a high-ranking official, in the intelligence branch of the IRGC, backed Commander Jafari’s statements, that accused reformist leaders of attempting to weaken Khamenei. He said they had clear evidence, which had been handed over to the Judiciary, and in case the necessity arose, it would be given to the public as well.
22. A government source claimed, the attack, on the office of the committee to investigate the plight of detainees, was ordered by Ahmadinejad personally. He added, Ahmadinejad had always been against the committee and wanted to send a clear message out to the reformists.
23. Sources inside the government also indicated, that the new Attorney General of Tehran, does not want the trials of reformist to be broadcast. He also believes that the trial of the perpetrators of abuse at Kahrizak, should also not be tried in public.
24. The governor of Tehran Province Morteza Tamaddon, has said that the National Security Council has appointed a panel to investigate the attack on Tehran Universtiy’s dorm.
25. The Iranian government has reportedly launched an investigation into public complaints regarding the post-election unrest, with a focus on charges of prisoner abuse. The Supreme National Security Council has formed a committee to look into the cases of those who sustained losses, of any kind, after the June 12 presidential elections. The officials are investigating the charges of mistreatment made by a number of detainees who were held at the Kahrizak detention center, which is located in southern Tehran. This committee is not linked to the committee formed by the parliament for the same purpose.
26. Ahmadinejad has reportedly cancelled the nomination of two ministers that he nominated only yesterday. Fatemeh Alia and Ali Zabihi were introduced to the parliament as the ministers of education and energy. However, today, a new letter was sent to the parliament, asking them not to consider either Fatemeh Alia or Ali Zabihi and new names would be sent to them.
27. Ali Motaheri, MP from Tehran, today accused Ahmadinejad of attempting to buy the support of voters who had backed reformists by nominating women for ministerial positions. He said Ahmadinejad might even legalize the use of satellite dishes to appease people.
28. Iran is set to submit a new nuclear package to the West on Wednesday.
29. Tehran has been excluded from the upcoming summit of nations bordering the Caspian Sea. The meeting will be held in the city of Atkau in Kazakhstan on Thursday and will be attended by representatives of Russia, Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan and the host nation.
Arrested / Released / Killed / Torture
30. Some rape victims have taken their cases and evidence to Ayatollah Javad Amoli in Qom, who is the interim Friday prayers Imam of the city. It has been reported, that after the seizure of Karroubi’s office and its subsequent closure, Ayatollah Javad Amoli and Ayatollah Yusuf Sane’ie have opened the doors of their offices to anyone who has a complaint of abuse, torture or rape. Both have promised to pursue the cases.
31. There were three high-profile arrests today. A clear sign the government is going to broaden its crackdown on reformists. First, a senior aide to Mousavi, Alireza Beheshti – the son of Ayatollah Beheshti, who was one of the leaders of the Islamic Revolution – was arrested. He was Mousavi’s representative in the reformist committee, investigating the deaths, arrests and the condition of detainees in the aftermath of the elections. He was arrested by order of Tehran’s Attorney General by security forces.
32. Later in the day, Morteza Alviri, Mehdi Karroubi’s representative on the same committee, was arrested from his home. His home was thoroughly searched and many documents together with other material was confiscated. This comes after the office of the committee, of which Alviri and Beheshti are members of, was attacked yesterday and almost everything from the office was confiscated by the order of the Attorney General.
33. Also arrested was Mohammad Dawari, a journalist and the editor of Sahaam News, a news website close to Karroubi. He had also been working with Etemaade Melli newspaper after the Chief Editor, Mohammad Ghouchani was arrested by the government.
34. A day after 300 journalists wrote to the new Attorney General of Tehran, asking him to stop illegal actions by his office and allow reformist newspapers to publish again, 15 signatories of the letter were summoned by the Ministry of Intelligence and threatened. The journalists were also told they were no longer allowed to travel outside of Iran.
35. Reporters Without Borders called for the release Ali Asguar Jamali, a blogger and doctor based in the northern city of Qasvin. Jamali, who was arrested along with other activists for “inciting actions against national security including protests and insults against government officials by means of publications and meeting,” as reported by the news agency Fars on 2 September. A Qasvin judge was quoted by Fars News as saying that Jamali was arrested as the head of a group of activists and as a “doctor having immoral relations with his patients.” The court also claimed that “alcohol and evidence of membership of counter-revolutionary groups were also found in his office.”
36. There were reports today that at least 30 people were arrested by security forces from Shohada Square where a gathering was held. This news could not be confirmed.
37. New reports, arriving from Tehran, indicate the government has created at least one clandestine security force unrelated to other security organizations solely for arresting dissidents. This force is tasked with searching and arresting low-key reformist organizers of protests.
38. Raja News – a conservative news outlet, which is a strong backer of Ahmadinejad – today published an article complaining that protesters were using buses in Tehran as a stage for protests. According to Raja, people were chanting from buses while they were going through the streets of Tehran, creating unrest!
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