Monday, July 6, 2009

Please watch: 'Fewer of us will be killed'

Iran Goes on Strike
Opposition leaders in Iran are planning a three-day strike to be carried out under the cover of a religious holiday.

Reza Azlan, The Daily Beast: Monday is the start of an unusual three-day Islamic holiday called Itikaf. Sometimes translated as 'seclusion' or 'retreat,' Itikaf is a time when particularly pious Muslims cloister themselves inside homes of mosques for a period of intense prayer and deep spiritual reflection... Mousavi's web site has called on Iranians to use the state-sanctioned holiday to launch a three-day, nation-wide strike and boycott of businesses and banks...

The practice of Itikaf allows Muslims to refrain from appearing at work, without facing any consequences. It allows people to simply disappear from public without need for explanation. It also allows for mass assembly inside mosques, homes, and other gathering places -- the equivalent of a peaceful sit-in...

The Itikaf holiday will end on Thursday, July 9th, or 18 Tir in the Islamic calendar. That date marks the tenth anniversary of a savage crackdown on students... The events of that summer day in 1999 are referred to as 'The 18 Tir Massacre.' For ten years, the regime has outlawed all public commemorations... This year protesters plan a huge demonstration to observe 18 Tir, and to openly challenge the regime to respond.

The revolution, it turns out, is far from over. Now if only Iranians can get the rest of us to care. As I ended my phone conversation with the Mousavi aide, he pleaded with me to 'please tell the western media to keep paying attention to us. Please let them know if they are watching, fewer of us will be killed.'

Le Figaro: Among the dead were an eight months pregnant woman and six young males... 'Their skulls had been smashed and their brains had been opened, presumably to retrieve the bullet and destroy evidence of the crime.'... On June 15th the Rasoul Akram Hospital received 38 casualties... 'We found that bullets had passed through the torsos diagonally, which means they were fired from above -- i.e. a roof,' says the second doctor.

Doctors at Tehran hospitals were forced to certify that the deceased died of natural causes. A colleague who was on emergency duty paid a price for refusing to cooperate. 'After being missing for thirty-six hours, he was found half-conscious and disfigured on the sidewalk.'...

The bodies of some protesters were speedily removed. 'We think they were transferred to the military hospital or a place unknown to the general public.' Then, under the pretext of 'organ donation,' the evidence of bullet wounds were excised. Families were forced to go along with the deception in order to recover the remains for burial.
Image source here.