PRESS BLACKOUT: Iran Expels Foreign Media


GUARDIAN: Ominously, the government ordered ­foreign journalists who are not ­permanently based in Iran to leave the country at once, and banned resident correspondents from reporting from the streets, a move seen as possibly heralding an intensification of the crackdown. The regime appeared to be following a dual strategy of partial concessions on ­Friday’s vote combined with arrests of opposition figures who could give ­coherence to the protests, which appeared relatively disorganised. Those detained included ­Muhammad Ali Abtahi and Saeed Hajarian, both Mousavi supporters and senior advisers to the former reformist president, Muhammad Khatami. MORE

BBC: Supporters of Mir Hossein Mousavi are planning a new demonstration in Tehran in protest at what they see as a fraudulent presidential poll in Iran. A similar march on Tuesday is thought to have passed off peacefully, although few details have emerged. A witness told the BBC that Tuesday’s rally in northern Tehran was even bigger than Monday’s – though this cannot be independently confirmed – and the state Press TV also described it as large.  Iran has imposed tough new restrictions on foreign media, requiring journalists to obtain explicit permission before covering any story. Journalists have also been banned from attending or reporting on any unauthorised demonstration. MORE

NEW YORK TIMES: Conspiracy theories seem to flourish in secretive authoritarian governments, perhaps because such systems are essentially conspiracies themselves. In Iran, this is true of the general public; witness the number of people who took their own pens to the voting booths on Friday for fear the government-supplied pens would contain disappearing ink. And it is true in spades of their rulers. Mr. Ahmadinejad’s list of those out to get Iran includes most of the post-World War II order, but at the moment it is focused on the Western news media, without whose meddling, he suggests, the Iranian people would be happily united and compliant. Not to worry. On Sunday, Iran’s acting police chief, Ahmadreza Radan, gave the state press service an update on the arrests of protesters, and assured the public that “in the interrogation of related rebels, we intend to find the link between the plotters and foreign media.” Already, text-messaging, Web sites, mobile phones, social networking services and other possible avenues of outside agitation have been rendered sporadic by government interference. Today the aptly named Ministry of Guidance announced that the work credentials of nonresident journalists had been revoked, and that authorities “would not be responsible” for anything that befell reporters who continued to cover the daily resistance. MORE


[Photo via BIG PICTURE]

EDITOR’S NOTE: The Basiji are the regime’s de facto goon squad. They are the plainclothes guys you see on motorcycles wielding bats and batons, cracking open the skulls of protesters on the streets and storming the universities and attacking students. You can see some of their handiwork HERE. From Wikipedia:

Human Rights Watch has reported that the Basij belong to the “Parallel institutions” (nahad-e movazi), “the quasi-official organs of repression that have become increasingly open in crushing student protests, detaining activists, writers, and journalists in secret prisons, and threatening pro-democracy speakers and audiences at public events.” Under the control of the Office of the Supreme Leader these groups set up arbitrary checkpoints around Tehran, uniformed police often refraining from directly confronting these plainclothes agents. “Illegal prisons, which are outside of the oversight of the National Prisons Office, are sites where political prisoners are abused, intimidated, and tortured with impunity.”

Seven protesters were shot dead by Basiji snipers during the massive demonstration in Tehran on Monday. This appears to be footage of stone-throwing demonstrators retaliating at Basiji headquarters. A Basiji sniper begins firing on the demonstraters, chaos ensues and the footage ends with the image of a demonstrator lying in the street with a gunshot wound to the stomach.

TRANSLATION: They are saying: “Marg bar basiji” (down with the baisjis). A guy yells: “They have left. Don’t throw stones any more”. And then “Tireshoon tamoom shod” (They are out of bullets!) and then there are more shots. Somebody cries, “Don’t run away.” Then, “they have killed 5 people”, and some body shouts at the militia, “what are you doing??” and somebody else,”They are not shooting blanks (they bullets are live)” some more shots and somebody says, “They are shooting for real, Look at the blood” and then the guy on the ground and someone yells, “Ya abolfazl” (Abolfazl is brother of Imam Hossein and a saint like figure) and “Na-mard-haa” (cowards) then,”I called the emergency”, getting the reply, “Forget about the emergency, let’s take him (the guy on the ground) with us.” [via DAILY DISH]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *