Tuesday, June 1, 2010

EU legislators greet regime's FM with cries of 'murderer' and photos of Neda

Islamic Republic Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki received a less than enthusiastic reception from some EU parliamentarians as he made his way into the Foreign Affairs Committee in Brussels to make a speech on Tuesday, June 1, 2010.

British conservative legislator Struan Stevenson held up a photo of Neda Agha Soltan, who was killed by regime security forces during a protest in Tehran last year. He shouted 'murderer' at Mottaki as the Foreign Minister pushed his way into the committee hearing room.

Other legislators, particularly from Italy, Spain, and Estonia, joined the unusual protest, during which EU parliament security agents pushed back members of parliament, who were brandishing photos of Neda. 'We should never have invited him in the first place,' a British lawmaker can be heard saying on footage of the skirmish.

Satellite news channel Al Arabiya reported on the event and broadcast the same footage:

Meanwhile, protesters stood outside the European Union building in Brussels. One Iranian woman took a Belgian representative to task for organizing a luncheon with Mottaki as she explained that members of her family had been killed by the Islamic regime. She pointed to an older woman next to her and said that she had also lost dear ones, namely a son and a niece:


Further reading: The Wall Street Journal - 'Honoring Neda Soltan's Memory'

Close-Up: Students commemorate Kianoush Asa's death

Much of the information coming out of Iran is in the form of footage uploaded to the Internet without the benefit of any description or explanation. Each installment in the Close-up series provides an in-depth analysis of a single video or a series of videos covering one event.

Hundreds of protesters commemorated the death of fellow student Kianoush Asa with a peaceful march that began at noon on Tuesday, June 1, 2010, on the campus of Elm-o-Sanat (Science and Technology) University, where Asa was pursuing a graduate degree.

Kianoush Asa was killed by security forces in Tehran's Azadi Square on June 15, 2009, but his family only managed to find his body at a Tehran morgue on June 24. He was buried in section 58, plot 12 of Bagh Ferdows cemetery in his hometown of Kermanshah a few days later.

The organizers of today's ceremony may have decided to hold the commemoration two weeks earlier than the real anniversary of his death in order to circumvent severe security measures which are expected to be in place in Tehran during the anniversary of the disputed election of June 12.

Students were asked to congregate in front of the chemical engineering school (number 1 on map below) of Elm-o-Sanat University at noon. Kianoush Asa was studying to become a petrochemical engineer before he was killed.

The following footage shows students amassed in front of the chemical engineering school as they shout, 'Students would rather die than accept humiliation':

The protesters then marched peacefully towards what has come to be called Martyr Kianoush Asa Park (number 2 on map), a green area between the men's cafeteria and the professor's cafeteria. Students have started calling the area Asa Park since a memorial service was held for Kianoush there last year.

Students chanted 'Honorable student, support, support.' They cover their faces as they go past a man who is filming them:

The same man can be seen in this footage trying to film the faces of the students:

'We are all Kianoush and Neda. We speak with one voice,' they said, referring to Asa and Neda Agha Soltan, perhaps the most famous protester killed by security forces:

'Woe on Science and Technology University if it accepts humiliation':

Students sang the protest anthem 'Yareh Dabestaniyeh Man' (My Schoolmate). For a subtitled clip of a new version of the song, please click here:

The protesters chanted the name of opposition leader Mir Hossein Mousavi. 'Ya Hossein, Mir Hossein':

On March 9, 2010, Students celebrated what would have been the birthday of Kianoush at Asa Park:

Greens stage mock ballot in Stockholm

The Green Democracy group, based in Sweden, has staged another anti-Ahmadinejad event, part performance art, part demonstration. The participants organized a mock ballot in front of a banner proclaiming, 'Iran re-election 2010. Ahmadinejad is not Iran's president':

In March, to mark protests which took place around Iran during the chahar shanbeh souri fire festival, members of the group stationed themselves in public places in Stockholm and displayed videos documenting the post-election unrest on laptops: