Sunday, December 27, 2009

Ashura - 27 December 2009 - part 9 - Regime employs extreme violence

Demonstrators had expected that the regime would refrain from using excessive force because of the peaceful nature of the holy month of Moharram. But footage and photos coming out of Iran indicate that the opposite occurred and that security forces resorted to violence that had been unseen since the deadly protests of this summer.

The regime has denied anyone was killed in the protests today. The following pictures tell another story. I will add more as they come in:

A man shot in the head, according to various reports (courtesy AP):

This footage shows a young man shot in the back. Some reports claim this protester is Mir Hossein Mousavi's nephew:

Taken at Vali Asr Square. The young man at the end of the video is close to death. Protesters say that he was run over by a security vehicle:

(More reports from Ashura, December 27, 2009, click here)

Ashura - 27 December 2009 - part 8 - The people fight back

Reports, photos, and footage from Iran signal a renewed vigor among protesters who have not shied from directly confronting security forces. 

Protesters smash a police van and pull out the policemen as others shout 'Don't hit them!'

'I'll kill the one who has killed my brother...' Protesters set security motorcycles on fire and attack regime agents, while others tell them to let the men go:

Barricade in Tehran:

The building of the Basij of the national oil company, corner of Somayeh and Hafez streets in Tehran, is set on fire:

Protesters attack police in anti-riot gear:

'Death to Khamenei' as blazes rage around the protesters:

Demonstrators heckle security forces on motorcycles:

People charge a group of security troops attempting to arrest protesters:

'Death to Khamenei' as smoke rises over a rock-strewn street:

(More reports from Ashura, December 27, 2009, click here)

Ashura - 27 December 2009 - part 7 - Eyewitness to BBC Persian

View Ashura - Tehran - Corner of Roudaki and Azadi streets in a larger map

Male caller to BBC Persian:
It was about 1:30 in the afternoon. We were at the corner of Roudaki and Azadi streets. There was a huge crowd and the special guard was attacking us from all sides. They showed no mercy. Old, young, man, woman... they beat everyone without holding back. A few of us were left behind and the security forces converged on them and started hitting them with such savagery. My friend was among those protesters and we couldn't do anything to help. He was beaten to a pulp and we couldn't take him anywhere. We were afraid to take him to a hospital. We called private clinics and they refused to treat our friend. We had to bring him to our home. At normal hospitals, they arrest anyone who may have been injured during protests. (voice is breaking) We don't know what to do. We think that our friend may have become blind. Security forces are all over the place. The sound of motorcycles has new meaning for us. They entered people's homes and arrested protesters who were taking shelter there. The people have become radicalized, both their slogans and the way they stand up to the security forces now. I don't think the people will surrender.

(More reports from Ashura, December 27, 2009, click here

Ashura - 27 December 2009 - part 6 - Police station set on fire

The following footage shows security forces had completely abandoned Vali Asr Square. The police station is set on fire by protesters. At the end of the video, a seriously injured protester, close to death, is laid down on the ground. The remarks of the surrounding protesters indicate that the man was run over by a car driven by security forces:

(More reports from Ashura, December 27, 2009, click here)

Ashura - 27 December 2009 - part 5 - Mousavi's nephew allegedly killed

Opposition leader Mir Hossein Mousavi's nephew was killed during today's protests, according to Parleman News, the news site of the Imam Line faction of the Majlis.

Parleman News reports that Seyed Ali Mousavi, 35, the nephew of Mir Hossein Mousavi, was shot in the heart at Tehran's Enghelab (Revolution) Square at noon.

Mousavi's nephew was transferred to Sina Hospital in the Sadeghiyeh district, where he was declared dead.

According to Parleman News, Mir Hossein Mousavi and his relatives are currently at the hospital. Seyed Ali Mousavi was the son of Mir Hossein Mousavi's sister.

This news has been confirmed by an opposition figure who spoke to Radio Farda and wished to remain anonymous. Several other sources, including Iran expert Alireza Nourizadeh and opposition spokesman and award-winning filmmaker Mohsen Makhmalbaf, have also confirmed this information. Makhmalbaf has provided the following photograph of Seyed Ali Mousavi with his uncle:

(More reports from Ashura, December 27, 2009, click here)

Ashura - 27 December 2009 - part 4 - Live rounds used by security forces

The use of live rounds appears to have been particularly heavy-handed for the first time since the deadly protests of this summer. Radio Farda reports at least four dead in Tehran.

The following photo released AFP shows a severely injured protester lying on the street:

The following footage shows demonstrators carrying an injured protester at University Crossroads, Tehran:

Protester severely injured:

(More reports from Ashura, December 27, 2009, click here)

Ashura - 27 December 2009 - part 3 - Heightened violence

The preliminary death toll, according to various sources, is between four and seven in Tehran.

Regime forces take cover near several burning motorcycles (courtesy AFP):

Protesters clash with security forces:

An injured member of the security forces is helped as fires blaze behind the group (courtesy AP):

A police car on fire:

Southwest of 7th Tir Square, Hafez Street, a burning garbage container is pushed through the crowd:

(More reports from Ashura, December 27, 2009, click here)

Ashura - 27 December 2009 - part 2 - Keshavarz Boulevard

The cameraman gives the date and location of his footage: 'Keshavarz Boulevard (NB North of Tehran University), 10th of Moharram (NB December 27).

Protesters chant 'Death to this leadership!' before heckling a helicopter flying overhead. Then 'Yazid will be overthrown. This is the month of blood.' Ashura is the commemoration of Imam Hossein's martyrdom at the hands of Yazid, the second caliph of the Umayid dynasty.

(More reports from Ashura, December 27, 2009, click here)

Ashura - 27 December 2009 - Khamenei dead end

The symbolism of this footage is wonderful. Protesters trample a street sign which reads 'Khamanei Dead End':

(More reports from Ashura, December 27, 2009, click here)