Tehran Updates: Greens Plan Tuesday Protests, Heavy Security in Capital
by MUHAMMAD SAHIMI
24 Feb 2011 22:52
Mojtaba Vahedi, a close aide to Karroubi who lives in the United States, said today that the last three Tuesdays of the current Iranian year, which ends on March 20, will be used for public demonstrations. The first of these Tuesdays -- 10 Esfand/March 1 -- is Mousavi's birthday, the second -- 17 Esfand/March 8 -- is International Women's Day, and the third -- 24 Esfand/March 15 -- marks the traditional festival of Chahar Shanbeh Souri.
Various reports indicate that that security and police forces are on alert in various parts of Tehran, creating a state of quasi-martial law. Dr. Ardeshir Amir Arjomand, senior advisor to Mousavi, has warned people to keep calm and be alert.
The youth divisions of the all the major reformist groups in Iran have issued a statement that demands Mousavi and Karroubi be released from house arrest. The statement declares that if they are not released, the young reformists will call for demonstrations on March 1, the birthday of Mousavi.
Hassan Younesi -- son of Ali Younesi who was minister of intelligence in the administration of former President Mohammad Khatami -- has been arrested. An attorney, he has been very active in the defense of political prisoners.
Mehdi Tahaghoghi and Ahmad Hashemi, members of the Organization of Islamic Revolution Mojahedin, a leading reformist group now outlawed, have been arrested. A few days ago, two other senior members of the group, Dr. Abdollah Naseri and Ali Bagheri, were also arrested.
Abdollah Sadri, a faculty member of the Department of Mining and Metallurgy at Amir Kabir University of Science and Technology, and at least four students at the school have been arrested.
Iman Sedighi, secretary-general of the Muslim Student Association of Noshirvani University of Technology in Babol, has been arrested. Amnesty International has issued a statement about the arrest. A few days ago, Ali Yazdanpanah and Sara Bagheri, two students of the same university, were also arrested. Ali Saberi, another university student activist, has been arrested in Mashhad, in northeast Iran.
In a letter to Ban Ki-moon, secretary-general of the United Nations, a group of Iranian physicians in Iran have warned that the government has been using unconventional gases to disperse demonstrators. The letter, posted on the physicians' website, asks him to intervene.
Reza Rousta Azad, interim chancellor of Sharif University of Technology, has banned 20 students from entering the campus or staying at its dormitory. They are all students who have been politically active at the school.
In a moving letter, the three daughters of Mousavi and his wife, Dr. Zahra Rahnavard, have described what has been happening to them since their parents were placed under house arrest on February 14 and cut off from the outside world. They say that when they ask the security agents about the whereabouts and condition of their parents or the "offense" that they have committed, they are told that it is not their business to ask.
In another moving letter, addressed to Iran's grand ayatollahs, Maryam Sharbatdar Moghaddas, wife of Fayzollah Arabsorkhi -- a senior member of the Organization of Islamic Revolution Mojahedin who has been jailed -- asks them to break their silence and protest against what is going on in the country.
Photo: Protesters on 25 Bahman (© Mianeh).
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