It’s Day 37 of the New Iranian Revolution, and word about Friday’s prayers are just getting out due to the press blackout. Atlas Shrugs has a TON of great pictures HERE:
Before the sermon, hardliners made traditional chants of “death to America”, while opposition supporters countered with “death to Russia”, a reference to the government’s ties to Moscow. (Guardian)
Mousavi supporters interrupted Rafsanjani’s sermon by chanting “Freedom! Freedom!”, according to al-Jazeera, and there were shouts of “death to the dictator” outside the university.
A usually trustworthy source on Twitter says the security forces were “extremely violent” today. Karoubi was one of those attacked by basij, one update says citing Karoubi’s website. Children were also hit, says another. These reports are impossible to verify at this stage. (Guardian)
An email from an Iranian student group has more on the chants on Friday:
It says:In Enqelab Square, thousands of people are chanting, “Iranians will die but will never bow down”. Thousands of people in Enqelab Street are chanting, “Mojtaba (Ayatollah Khamenei’s son) hope you die and never become leader”, “Rafsanjani if you stay silent you are a traitor”, “political prisoners must be freed”, “death to dictator”, “the martyrs have not died, the government has died”, “we have not had martyrs to negotiate”.
Basij militia threw stones at people to disperse them. At least 20 have been arrested and many mobile phones have been confiscated because their users were filming the unrest.
“One cleric, among the crowd, wore a green shawl over his shoulders. People applauded him.”
Atlas also has this story of how barbaric and horrifying the Basij (Revolutionary Guards) are becoming. IN Islam, it’s illegal to execute a virgin, so they can’t execute female virgin protesters. The solution?
Founded by Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini in 1979 as a “people’s militia,” the volunteer Basiji force is subordinate to the Iranian Revolutionary Guards and intensely loyal to Khomeini’s successor, Khamenei.
The Basiji member, who is married with children, spoke soon after his release by the Iranian authorities from detention. He had been held for the “crime” of having set free two Iranian teenagers – a 13-year-old boy and a 15-year-old girl – who had been arrested during the disturbances that have followed the disputed June presidential elections.
“There have been many other police and members of the security forces arrested because they have shown leniency toward the protesters out on the streets, or released them from custody without consulting our superiors,” he said.
He pinned the blame for much of the most ruthless violence employed by the Iranian security apparatus against opposition protesters on what he called “imported security forces” – recruits, as young as 14 and 15, he said, who have been brought from small villages into the bigger cities where the protests have been centered.
He said he had been a highly regarded member of the force, and had so “impressed my superiors” that, at 18, “I was given the ‘honor’ to temporarily marry young girls before they were sentenced to death.”
In the Islamic Republic it is illegal to execute a young woman, regardless of her crime, if she is a virgin, he explained. Therefore a “wedding” ceremony is conducted the night before the execution: The young girl is forced to have sexual intercourse with a prison guard – essentially raped by her “husband.”
“I regret that, even though the marriages were legal,” he said, “I could tell that the girls were more afraid of their ‘wedding’ night than of the execution that awaited them in the morning. And they would always fight back, so we would have to put sleeping pills in their food. By morning the girls would have an empty expression; it seemed like they were ready or wanted to die.
“I remember hearing them cry and scream after [the rape] was over,” he said. “I will never forget how this one girl clawed at her own face and neck with her finger nails afterwards. She had deep scratches all over her.”
If you’re not aware of what’s going on in Iran, you’re probably not on Twitter, where the #iranelection tag is still one of the top ten searches, even 37 days later.
You really should be there.