Thursday, March 18, 2010

Remembering the dead

Will all great Neptune's ocean wash this blood
Clean from my hand? No, this my hand will rather
The multitudinous seas incarnadine,
Making the green one red.
- Macbeth

O wine-bearer brighten my cup with the wine,
O minstrel say good fortune is now mine.
The face of my beloved is reflected in my cup,
Little you know why with wine, I always myself align.
Eternal is the one whose heart has awakened to Love,
This is how Eternal Records my life define.
- Hafez, Translation courtesy of Shahriar Shahriari.

The last Thursday of the Iranian year is a day of remembrance for loved ones who have passed away. The first photographs on this page were taken today, Thursday, March 18, 2010, at Beheshteh Zahra cemetery in Tehran. They are followed by photos of just some of the victims of the Islamic regime. No exhaustive list of the dead exists yet. In the mean time, I am publishing these portraits to represent all the victims, identified or anonymous. 

I have decided not to publish gory, blood-filled shots. They should be remembered as they appear here: smiling, radiant, full of hope, and alive.

Rest in peace.

'Don't be afraid, we're all together': Images of chahar shanbeh souri

For more videos and coverage of chahar shanbeh souri in other parts of the country, please click here

The following video is purportedly from Khorram Abad, capital of the western province of Lorestan. The people chant 'Death to the dictator!' and 'Don't be afraid, we're all together,' one of the first slogans used in the post-election unrest. The protesters shout a challenge to security forces.

Where joy is a crime: Woman arrested as child runs after her

For more videos and coverage of chahar shanbeh souri in other parts of the country, please click here.

The following video and accompanying message were posted on YouTube. I have translated the message verbatim. Although it appears genuine, I cannot vouch for its veracity.

'Police and plainclothesmen (NB Usually refers to Revolutionary Guards intelligence or security agents, or Basij militia members, not plainclothes police officers) raid a home at midnight on chahar shanbeh souri (NB Fire festival, 16 March 2010) - The savage arrest of a woman as a child runs after her - Iran

'On the night of chahar shanbeh souri, after we had all celebrated chahar shanbeh souri together in our street and had returned to our homes, our neighbor had a small family gathering with music and dancing. At around 2 in the morning, the police, led by plainclothesmen, raided the home. The screams of the women can be clearly heard in the film. Even some of the guests who were escaping over the rooftops were arrested. In the middle of the film, a woman, a boy, and two men rush out of the house, but they are arrested before reaching the end of the street. The bitterest moment of the film is where the police force the woman towards their car and the innocent child is running behind them.

'The whole film lasted 20 minutes and has been edited down to 5 minutes. For your information, as an eyewitness, I say that from the number of parked cars it can be surmised that it was no more than a small family gathering. I am sorry for the police force, which was ordered around by 3 or 4 Basijis and which did not even show mercy to this woman and child. Given the slow speed of the Internet here, please upload this film to YouTube and other sites and send it everywhere.'