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General Protest action rocks the Islamic regime
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posted February 09, 2001 09:56
February 9, 2001
IRAN ( 01:00 PM Local time)
Violent clashes happened in the Tehran's "Mellat" (former Shah-han-Shahi)park and Vali-Asr (former Pahlavi) avenue of Tehran resulting in the use of Tear gas by brutal militians attacking peaceful demonstrators.
Reports are stating about the brutality of the militians against elder protesters and women who were not able to run fast enough to escape from their aggressors.
Slogans such as: "Down with Dictators" and "Down with Islamic regime" were given by people facing the repression forces who were composed, as well, by Arabic speaking individuals wearing the Militians uniforms.
Several people have been arrested and wounded but thousands of other are rushing from all parts of Tehran and moving toward the gathering point which has created a unprecedented Traffic jam.
Panicked by the prospect of a general riot, hundreds of militians blocked the access of the Governmental TV building in order to avoid a take over take, by the protesters, who in reaction to the imposed official violence destroyed most decorations made for the celebration of the anniversary of the Islamic revolution which is planned to be commemorated on Saturday.
Other clashes happened in Bojnoord and Oroomieh (former Reza-ie) resulting in several wounded and arrested.
In Ghazvin and Shahin-Shahr (near Esfahan) the size of the crowd forced the Security forces to avoid making any kind of noticeable reaction by leaving the streets in the hand of the protesters.
The action still in progress...
posted February 09, 2001 13:40
Police, Demonstrators Clash in Iran
By AFSHIN VALINEJAD, Associated Press Writer
TEHRAN, Iran (AP) - Police and members of a hard-line paramilitary squad arrested dozens of anti-government protesters Friday and used tear gas to disperse hundreds more from a Tehran park, witnesses said.
The official Islamic Republic News Agency said there were only 300 protesters, mostly young people who were demanding freedom of expression.
Witnesses put the number at about 1,000, and described the protesters as monarchists - Iranians who want the son of the late Shah Mohammed Reza Pahlavi to rule the country. Some chanted ``long live freedom,'' witnesses said.
Police and members of the Basij volunteer forces arrested dozens of demonstrators, and scores were seen being thrown into minibuses, witnesses said.
Several shots were heard, but it wasn't clear who fired them. An unspecified number of people were injured. After the initial violence subsided, policemen beat demonstrators with clubs and batons and fired more tear gas, witnesses said.
The violence took place as Iran marked the anniversary of the 1979 collapse of the Pahlavi monarchy. The 10-day celebration ends Saturday.
The news agency, which did not mention arrests or injuries in its report, said ``some opposition groups outside the country had previously called on their supporters to stage demonstrations against the Islamic Republic of Iran today.'' It did not specify which groups.
There has been talk in Tehran for several days about a Los Angeles radio station run by Iranian monarchists calling for a rally Friday in Mellat Park, which is Tehran's largest. Two men who refused to give their names said they came to the area because they had heard the call on short-wave radio, but were afraid to enter the park.
Monarchists, who have little support in Iran, want to remove the Islamic leadership and install the late Shah's son Reza Pahlavi. During a speech last month in Washington, Pahlavi called on Iranians to unite in a nonviolent movement for democracy.
posted February 09, 2001 13:47
Iran Police Break Up Dissident Rally, Arrest Dozens
TEHRAN (Reuters) - Iranian security forces clashed with hundreds of anti-government demonstrators in Tehran Friday, the eve of the anniversary of the 1979 Islamic Revolution, witnesses said.
A number of protesters, mainly young people, were injured as baton-wielding Islamic Basij militiamen and anti-riot police charged a crowd of several hundred at a north Tehran park, the witnesses said.
``Freedom of thought forever,'' the demonstrators chanted. They also shouted slogans against Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.
Police fired in the air and used teargas to disperse the crowd. The feared Basij militiamen dragged many protesting youths behind police lines, where they beat them up before herding them onto buses.
Dozens of people were arrested and driven away in police vehicles. The crowd booed when Basij members shouted slogans supporting Khamenei: ``Khamenei is the leader, an
Groups of protesters reassembled in the evening to sing the nationalist anthem ``Oh Iran,'' prompting attacks by militia members. Residents said police turned off all lights in the park in their drive to clear the protesters.
The protesters had gathered at Mellat (People) Park, a popular outing place for Tehran residents on weekends, to protest against what they called repression in the Islamic republic on the eve of the 22nd anniversary of the revolution.
The rally had been called by exiled opposition groups through radio broadcasts from abroad.
The official news agency IRNA said some 300 demonstrators protesting against a ``lack of freedom of speech'' had gathered outside the park, attempting to march to a nearby square. Police blocked their way and tried to disperse them, it said.
A number of student leaders and pro-democracy activists have been jailed and more than 30 newspapers banned in the past year, in a hard-line backlash against President Mohammad Khatami's liberal reforms.
The crackdown followed a speech by Khamenei accusing the independent press of serving as ``bases for the enemy.''
The campaign has pushed Khatami and his reform program to the sidelines, leaving many young people, one of the driving forces behind his 1997 landslide election, disenchanted.
Iran has tightened security during 10 days of celebrations to mark the revolution that overthrew the Western-backed shah.
posted February 12, 2001 09:15
Police chase protesting students -- Paper
Tehran, Feb 11, IRNA -- A group, allegedly headed by student leader Heshmatollah Tabarzadi, gathered at a central park in Tehran to protest what they said was the illegal imprisonment of political activists and students, but were later dispersed by the police, press reports said.
The Persian daily `Doran-e Emrouz' said that the protesters gathered at the Tehran University and then in Park Daneshjoo (student' park) after police prevented them from convening in downtown Laleh Park, it added.
The protestors acknowledged affiliation with the Iranian Democratic Front headed by Tabarzadi, the daily said.
Police started arresting several protestors after the students started chanting slogans, it said.
Another unauthorized demonstration on Feb 9 was held at Mellat Park in protest at what the demonstrators described as "lack of freedom of expression" in Iran.
A police spokesman on Friday rejected some foreign media reports that many had been wounded at the Mellat Park incident. He said only about 300 to 400 demonstrators had gathered at the Park in northern Tehran at 11:00 hours local time on Friday and were dispersed.
He said that police intervened when the protesters were about to start with their rally.
The spokesman also said that police arrested 50 demonstrators and that legal proceedings are now being conducted against them.
posted February 12, 2001 09:20
Police brutality against opponents sample of Islamic Tolerance
By Safa Haeri
PARIS-TEHRAN 11TH Feb. (IPS) Iranian president Hojjatoleslam Mohammad Khatami offered the world and the Iranians the best example of religious tolerance and Islamic democracy Saturday when heavily armed Police attacked a peaceful demonstration held by students calling for more freedom.
Eyewitnesses said Law Enforcement Forces (LEF), backed by Basij militia and the Ansar Hezbollah thugs attacked violently hundreds of students and youngsters who had responded to calls by Mr. Heshatollah Tabarzadi, the outspoken leader of the secularist Iranian National Democratic Front to voice their anger against the ruling religious authorities who become more and more violent and monopolistic.
It was the second running day that security forces, Basij volunteers and Ansar Hezbollah clashed with hundreds of demonstrators protesting the theocratic dictatorship and calling for a radical change in the Islamic Republic's system.
The anti-regime demonstrators were beaten by Police and the conservatives-controlled Ansar Hezbollah as Mr. Khatami, in a speech marking the twenty-second anniversary of the proclamation of the Islamic Republic in Iran, was offering the Iranian Islamic theocratic system as "a model" to the world and humanity".
Eyewitnesses told Iran Press Service that though Police and Basij rounded up more than 50 protesters but none of the attackers were arrested.
Supporters of Mr. Tabarzadi, joined by some students, member of the Office of Consolidating Unity and the Association of Students for the Defence of Political Prisoners, created by the jailed students leader Manuchehr Mohammadi.
"We gathered near Tehran University to protest the dictatorship faction in the establishment who keep students and writers in jail for demanding freedom and rule of law", Mr. Tabarzadi told The Associated Press.
"We gathered to warn that a revolution that promised freedom has now been seized by dictators who don't hesitate to trample upon the rights of the nation for the sake of retaining power against people's wishes."
His statement came as a sharp rebuke to the embattled President who, in his address to an officially organised gathering made of thousands of people chanting pro-government slogans, had described the Islamic system as one of the most democratic and tolerant in the world.
"Islamic democracy is our model for humanity. A system where the people are masters of their own destiny and choose their own government", he said, forgetting to add that the system has also a leader who not only is not elected by the people, but also enjoys ultra Constitutional powers and tightly controls all the system's institutions.
In a speech that was a copy-conform of those cherished by Ayatollah Ali Khameneh'i, the lamed leader, Mr. Khatami described all Iranians who are against the present regime as "traitors" to both the Iranian people and the Islamic Republic.
"In this regime, people have both democracy, religion and spirituality", mr. Khatami further said, without mentioning the demonstrations held just a day before and were hundreds of people had demanded a change in the regime.
Mr. Khatami also attacked the former Monarchy that, in his view, was a "pawn" in the hands of one super power. "A despotic regime ruled by a tyrant", he said, expressing at the same time his fear of the re-emergence of pro-monarchy sentiments in Iran. "The rulers who used to impose their despotic rule on the people with reliance upon military, security, police and judicial forces have now been toppled by the Islamic Revolution" he said, as police, security forces and pressure groups were beating peaceful demonstrators and the Islamic Judiciary has shut more than 30 publications and jailed a an equal number of influential journalists, intellectuals and reformer clerics.
On Friday, clashes between police and supporters of restoring the monarchy left some people wounded and dozens were arrested, witnesses said. The official Islamic Republic News Agency on Saturday quoted an unidentified police spokesman as saying that no one was injured Friday but that 50 were detained.
"None of those taking part in a Tehran demonstration protesting against "lack of freedom of expression" in Iran has been injured, IRNA said, adding that the police rejected foreign news agency reports that several demonstrators had been injured.
He said that police had dispersed about 300 to 400 demonstrators who had gathered at Mellat Park, in northern Tehran at 11 hours local time on Friday.
"Police intervened when the protesters embarked on holding an unauthorised rally and chanting slogans against what they called "lack of freedom of expression", the spokesman added, not mentioning that demonstrators had also carried slogans against Ayatollah Ali Khameneh'i in the one hand and calling for ending the regime on the other.
Iranian opposition groups abroad had called upon their backers in Iran to lodge a demonstration in the country Friday in protest to Iran's Islamic system.
A spokesman for Prince Reza Pahlavi, the heir to the Monarchy that was toppled 22 years ago by an Islamic revolution said the Friday demonstrations was an echo to Mr. Pahlavi's last message to the Iranian people that was beamed by satellite into Iran.
But professor Sadeq Ziba Kalam of Tehran University said the last two days unrests were the results of the (conservatives) shutting all independent press, leaving the Iranian public with no other alternative but to listen to foreign media, particularly Iranian radio stations abroad.
"While criticism was a crime before the Islamic Revolution, it is a value today and criticising the statesmen is of great importance in Iran", he said, not mentioning that criticising the leader is an offence for which a dozen of journalists, most of them his own supporters, are in jail.
The president attacked those who distort the Islamic Revolution, reiterating again that the Islamic Republic is a "democratic system of government".
He defended the system of velayat faqih, or the rule of absolute ruler, saying that in the Islamic Republic of Iran nothing is more important than the Constitution. "Dividing religion from the democratic demands of the people would pose a threat to the Islamic Republic", he said, as students were demonstrating for the separation of religion from the State.
The Iranian clerical rulers marked the 22nd anniversary of the Islamic Republic as the regime faces more political and social unrests at home, where more and more people, particularly students and youngsters become restless with the despotic system and voice their anger, demanding an outright change in the regime.
All times are PT (US)
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