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Tasua Videos & Headlines

26 Dec 2009 17:35No Comments

Press Roundup provides a selected summary of news from the Iranian press, and excerpts where the source is in English. The link to the news organization or blog is provided at the top of each item. Tehran Bureau has not verified these stories and does not vouch for their accuracy. Please refer to the Media Guide to help put the story in perspective.

Eyewitness report: Jamaran Religious Center, North Tehran

Tehran Bureau | Dec. 26, 2009

Male, 23, Tehran University student:

I got to Jamaran Hosseiniyeh at 5 p.m. We were inspected by police officers at the entrance gate and entered the courtyard, but the inside of the religious center was too packed to go in. There were no loudspeakers; we found out that Khatami was speaking only when the crowd began cheering "Greetings to Khatami!" [dorood bar Khatami], at about 6 p.m.

People who had arrived earlier said that busloads of Basijis were dropped off at the Hosseiniyeh at 4 pm. The Basijis began filming the crowd once protesters started chanting slogans. Slogans included the usual "Ya Hossein, Mir Hossein" as well as the newly-coined "This is the month of blood, Yazid [the tyrant] will fall" and "We are Hossein's Army, we support Mir Hossein." These more radical slogans were hushed by some in the crowd who feared provoking the Basijis. Pro-government supporters, present in smaller numbers, were also chanting slogans such as "Mashallah Hezbollah!"

I left the Hosseiniyeh at 7p.m. to join a large crowd moving south toward Niavaran (a district in northern Tehran). Yasser Cross was cordoned off; I went through side alleys to get to my car. I drove to Bahonar Street in Niavaran, where I saw the crowd reeling from the effects of tear gas and anti-riot police on motorbikes dispersing protesters with batons."

* * *

Male, 32, scientist:

This morning we decided to venture further south in Tehran -- near the Bazaar -- to see what was going on there. We saw no protests, but the annual Tasua processions [dasteh] were notably tiny, especially for that part of town [which is known to be quite religious].

In the afternoon, we went to the Hosseiniyeh [religious center] in Jamaran. The surrounding streets grew more densely packed by the moment. We chanted slogans there until 7:30 p.m., when suddenly a wave of pressure began pushing us to back out of the Hosseiniyeh. We could not see the clashes; we only felt the physical pressure resulting from clashes somewhere up front.

We backtracked to Yasser Street in Niavaran. It took about half an hour for people to regroup; chanting, we began moving toward Bahonar Street.

At Bahonar we were met with a line of 20-30 plainclothes agents and riot-police bikers. We stopped 100 meters away and continued chanting slogans. They waited for about ten minutes, then attacked. The chase-and-run games began ...

Police were not arresting anyone, as far as I saw. They did not even have the means to make arrests (i.e., vans, etc). It appeared they only intended to beat up and disperse us. And beat up, they did.

Those who had stayed in front of the Hosseiniyeh fared worse. When I went back up there at 9 p.m., protesters had got the full treatment: batons, pepper spray, tasors, clubs.

Throughout the day, mobile access was irregular. Tomorrow, protests are slated to start at 10:00 am.

* * *

Female university professor, 30s:

The internet was problematic again today. I went out in the afternoon, but didn't see anything. At 6 p.m. though, Khatami was supposed to speak at the Jamaran Hosseinyeh. I went there. It was so crowded we had to congregate outside. There was some major slogan-chanting going on, including "Death to Khamenei."

I don't know what had happened that they [regime] didn't have enough people [forces] in place there. A pretty large group amassed and we started marching south from Jamaraan to Niavaran, still chanting. Our numbers swelled along the way. On Niavaran Street, drivers honked excitedly, some even joined us.

We progressed pretty far down Niavaran. Then they laid siege and fired tear gas...

I walked home. I heard later that the crowd had gotten even bigger and that they got beat up pretty badly. I heard [back at Jamaraan], that they turned off Khatami's microphone in the middle of his speech, so he couldn't continue. And I heard they were beating up on anyone who left the Hosseinyeh.

It was pretty chaotic. People were making plans for tomorrow. The new slogan was "Hasti? Hastaam," -- "Are you in? I'm in!"

Khatami's speech

Blog Watch | Dec. 26, 2009

Mohammad Khatami's speech at a Tasua mourning ceremony at Jamaran center Saturday evening in Tehran was abruptly cut off and left unfinished.

The speech was interrupted by angry shouts from pro-government supporters after Khatami said, "Imam Hossein's rebellion arose from his willingness to die for the sake of freedom. He fought against those who wanted to govern society in the name of religion and abolish freedom."

Jamaraan (North Tehran)

Chanting (above): "Rape in prison, this too was in the Qoran?"

Plainclothes raid Imam Khomeini's Hosseiniyeh in Jamaran

| Salaam | Rahe Sabz | Tabnak | Dec. 26, 2009

Some 50 plainclothes agents attacked mourners at the Imam Khomeini Hosseiniyeh [religious center] in Jamaran with pepper spray, batons and metal chains.

The group attacked the Jamaran Hosseiniyeh as former president Mohammad Khatami was delivering a speech to a large crown on the occasion of Ashura.

According to one report, a dispute between plainclothes agents and Khatami created tension in the ceremony. People formed a human chain around Khatami to prevent what Tabnak termed as "the others" from reaching Khatami.

The altercation prompted police to step in to disperse the crowd.

The assailants shouted "Heydar, Heydar," (the nickname of the first Shia Imam Ali) and "Abolfazl the flag bearer, protect Khamenei from harm" (Abolfazl is Imam Hussein's younger brother who was killed on Tasua, one day before Ashura), apparently associating themselves with Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

The assailants broke the windows of the Jamaran Hosseiniyeh.

According to Salaam News, even though all streets leading to Jamaran were under strict police control, plainclothes agents managed to reach the Hosseiniyeh.

In the streets leading to the Jamaran Hosseiniyeh, bikers reportedly attacked people with stones.

Khomeini's grandson Yasser, and Fatemeh and Faezeh Hashemi, daughters of former president Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, were also present at the ceremony.

Jaras reported that after Khatami's interrupted speech, people gathered outside the Jamaran Hosseiniyeh and headed toward Tajrish Square in northern Tehran chanting "death to the dictator."

Security and civil forces attacked protestors with tear gas and batons in an attempt to disperse them. There were other reports of shots being fired into the air.

Tabnak cited an IRNA report claiming that the large crowd of mourners present at Jamaran led a skirmish between civil forces and mourners, resulting in the cancellation of Khatami's speech.

Riot police cracks down on Isfahan protestors; Ayatollah Taheri under siege

Gooya | Dec. 26, 2009

Clashes have been reported in Isfahan, where opposition supporters chanted slogans in support of the Green Movement and the late Ayatollah Hossein Ali Montazeri.

Riot police and plainclothes agents attacked protesters with tear gas and batons. Hakim Nezami, Artesh, Hossein Abad, and Daneshgah streets were the scene of clashes.

The residence of Ayatollah Jalololdin Taheri was reported to be under siege by security forces.


Security forces firing shots in the air to disperse crowd

Tasua protests, Enqelab St. Tehran, Dec 26, 2009 تیراندازی هوایی توسط مزدوران 5 دی

Drivers support protesters by honking their horns

Tasua protests, Enqelab St. Tehran, Dec 26, 2009

"Death to the Dictator"

Tasua protests, Enqelab St. Tehran, Dec 26, 2009

"This is the month of blood/ Yazid will be overthrown!"

Tasua protests, Enqelab St. Tehranm Dec 26, 2009

Tasua protests, Enqelab St. Tehran, Dec 26, 2009 تظاهرات خیابان انقلاب 5دی

Tasua protests, Enqelab St. Tehran, Dec 26, 2009 تظاهرات خیابان انقلاب 5دی

Tasua protests, Enqelab St. Tehran, Dec 26 تاسوعای 88 خیابان انقلاب

Tasua protests, Tehran, Dec. 26, 2009

Tasua protests, Tehran, Dec. 26, 2009

Tweets from a reliable source in Tehran:

# In Jamaran [northern Tehran] the police are warning people over the loudspeaker, "if you do not disperse, we have orders to shoot."
# نیروی انتظامی از طریق بلندگو مردم حاضر در خیابان جمران رو تهدید کرده که اگر متفرق نشید دستور شلیک داریم / منبع خودم در جماران

# After firing in the air and throwing tear gas, police told protesters in Jamaran over loudspeakers: "if you do not disperse, we have orders to shoot."
پس از تیراندازیهای هوایی و گاز اشک آور از طریق بلندگو مردم حاضر در جماران رو تهدید می‌کنند که دستور تیر مستقیم دارند

# Basijis have attacked people gathered in front of a mosque [hosseiniyeh] in Jamaran [north Tehran] بسیجیها از داخل حسینیه به بیرون، از خیابان جماران و از خیابان یاسر به مردم جمع شده در بیرون حسینیه حمله کردند

# Before Khatami's speech at the mosque [hosseiniyeh] at Jamaran, Basijis filled the inside of the mosque.
# داخل حسینیه جماران قبل از سخنرانی خاتمی توسط بسیجیها پر شده (مثل مجلس ختم منتظری) و مردم در حال پایین آمدن از نیاوران هستند

# A large crowd has been reported in Jamaran. Plainclothes forces are present but no clashes have been reported yet.
جمعیت در جماران بسیار گزارش شده، بی‌لباسها! حضور دارند ولی هنوز درگیری مشاهده نشده / به نقل از کسی در ۵۰۰ متری حسینیه جماران

# Protesters in Jamaran are chanting "Khamenei is a killer/ his rule is null and void"
مردم در جماران شعار «قاتله باطله» می‌دن و: این لشگر حسینه، یاور میر حسینه / منبع خودم در جماران

# Mohammad Khatami was due to give a speech at 6 pm at Jamaran mosque. The area is seeing large crowds.
به نقل از منبع خودم در ۵۰۰ متری حسینیه جماران که قرار بود ساعت ۶ سخنرانی خاتمی باشه: نیاوران رو با ماشین نمیشه رفت بالاتر به خاطر جمعیت

Tehran clashes reported in Enghelab, Haft-e Tir squares

Rahe Sabz
| Dec. 26, 2009

Clashes between mourners, police and plainclothes agents in Enghelab, Ferdowsi, Imam Hossein and Haft-e Tir squares in Tehran have been reported by correspondents on the reformist website Jaras.

As the report was being filed, riot police in full gear were headed toward Vali Asr and Enghelab squares from Ferdowsi, suggesting a possible escalation in clashes in Enghelab, the site reported.

Police inspections under way at central Metro stations

Rahe Sabz | Dec. 26, 2009

Security officials tried to curb the gathering of protesters on Tasua (the day before Ashura) by monitoring the entrance and exits of all metro stations in central Tehran.

Metro stations at Enghelab, Ferdowsi, Darvazeh Dolat and Imam Hossein were under heavy police surveillance. Officers reportedly inspected the personal belongings of some passengers.

According to Jaras, police officers were mainly targeting passengers wearing green clothing, the color of the opposition.

Any passenger objection to police inspection of their possessions was not being tolerated, and officers reportedly confiscated a number of passenger cell phones, the reformist website reported.

Riot police raid ISNA building

Rahe Sabz | Dec. 26, 2009

Riot police clashed with protesters in Tehran since the early hours of the morning and raided the offices of the Islamic Student News Agency (ISNA), a reformist website reported.

As protesters fled police and sought refuge in homes located around Enghelab Square, riot guards raided the ISNA building and assaulted protesters hiding in the news agency's courtyard with batons and metal chains.

ISNA: Protesters chased by riot police

Tabnak | Dec. 26, 2009

ISNA released a statement in response to a report carried by various websites about a police assault on a number of protesters hiding in the news agency's courtyard.

"Around noon at Enqelab Square, riot police chased a group of slogan-chanting [protesters]. The group charged toward the staff entrance of ISNA. Despite repeated warnings by security, they entered the courtyard, which led to police who were pursuing them to enter the premises too. An ISNA reporter was injured in the process," the statement said.

Police crack down on protesting drivers between Imam Hussein, Azadi

Rahe Sabz | Dec. 26, 2009

Police assaulted drivers who honked their horns to protest the stagnant traffic between Azadi and Imam Hossein squares, the reformist website Jaras reported Saturday.

According to Jaras, police officers were seen striking the sides of cars with their batons, tearing off license plates, and in some cases dragging drivers out of cars and assaulting them.

According to eyewitnesses, in other instances plainclothes agents approached cars and ripped off the plates before drivers could stop them.

Report: Riot police fires tear gas in Imam Hossein square

Rahe Sabz | Dec. 26, 2009

Police clashed with mourners in Tehran's Imam Hossein Square on Saturday, which marks Tasua, the day before Ashura, in the Shia holy month of Moharram.

Aside from attacking mourners with batons, riot police fired tear gas into the crowd to disperse protesters, according to reports on reformist websites.

Riot police clash with mourners in Pole Choubi

Rahe Sabz | Dec. 26, 2009

Reformist websites reported ongoing clashes between protesters and riot police in Tehran's Pol-e Choubi district Saturday morning.

Heavy police presence in central Tehran

Rahe Sabz | Dec. 26, 2009

Hundreds of riot police officers have been stationed in streets across central Tehran from the early hours of Saturday morning, on the Shia mourning day of Tasua.

According to the reformist website Jaras, riot police and officers from the Jami 129 and Enqelab 148 precincts were stationed along Azadi Street from the corner of Navab Safavi and Enqelab Square since 9 am Saturday.

Clashes erupt in Tehran

France 24 | Dec. 26, 2009

A reformist website said Iranian riot police fired tear gas to disperse opposition supporters in Tehran who used a religious commemoration on Saturday to try to revive anti-government protests in the Islamic Republic.
"Well-equipped security forces are clashing violently with backers of the opposition in many parts of downtown Tehran," the opposition Jaras website said.
The report could not be independently confirmed, as foreign media have been banned from covering protests.
If confirmed, the outbreak of clashes between security forces and the opposition during a two-day major Shi'ite ritual would underline escalating tension in Iran, six months after a disputed election plunged the major oil producer into turmoil.
Iranian police have warned the pro-reform opposition against staging any new demonstrations during Tasoua and Ashura on Dec 26-27, when Shi'ite Muslims mark the 7th century martyrdom of a grandson of the Prophet Mohammad.
"Police are firing tear gas to disperse a huge crowd in Imam Hossein square ... but people are resisting and chanting slogans against the government," Jaras said.
It earlier said security forces "fiercely" confronted opposition backers in different parts of the capital.

A witness said opposition supporters had gathered in groups along a several kilometres long stretch of a main downtown street. "Police aren't letting them join each other," she said.

Police arrest 10 in Tasoua protests

HRA | Dec. 26, 2009

In the crackdown on Imam Hossein mourners, at least 10 people were arrested by riot police in Tehran on Saturday.

Police assaulted mourners trying to make their way to Enqelab Square. Even cars driving on the street were damaged by police officers.

Police fired tear gas at protesters attempting to disperse mourners who were moving in groups of 500 and 1,000, arresting 10 people in the process.

Plainclothes agents dressed in black [as a sign of mourning] were spotted around Tehran University but did not participate in the attacks.

Reports suggested that protests were in full swing in Imam Hossein Square, Pole Choubi, Ferdowsi Sqaure, Hafiz Bridge, Navab Junction, Felestine Junction, Vali Asr Square, Enqelab Square, Kargar Street, Keshavarz Boulevard, and Taleqani Street.

Mourning protesters chanted slogans such as "Ya Hossein, Mir Hossein," "Khamenei has become Yazid [the tyrant], he makes Yazid look innocent," "This is the month of blood, Seyyed Ali [Khamenei] will fall," and " O Mahdi [the Hidden Imam or messiah], root out oppression."

Imam Mausoleum not to host Ashura ceremonies

Rahe Sabz | Dec. 26, 2009

While it is an annual custom for the Imam Khomeini mausoleum to host mourning ceremonies on Tasua and Ashura (the ninth and tenth days of the Shia holy month of Moharram), no ceremonies have been announced publicly this year.

Caretakers at the Mausoleum issued a bulletin saying that owing to limited space due to renovations, only a few heyats (organized groups of mourners) would be hosted there this year.

According to Asr Iran, the bulletin was published in the hardliner daily Kayhan and did not note any scheduled speeches or ceremonies.

Ashura ceremonies were held last year at the mausoleum with many guest speakers, including reformist cleric Mehdi Karroubi.

It should be noted that this past Ramadan was the first time since the death of Ayatollah Khomeini, the founder of Iran's revolution, that his mausoleum did not host Ramadan ceremonies.

Police ordered to use minimal violence against protestors

Press TV | Dec. 26, 2009

Iran's police chief said "using the least violence" was a central plank of their policy in dealing with protestors.

Speaking to reporters on Friday, Esmail Ahmadi-Moqaddam said Iranian police officers had received orders to use minimum violence in dealing with protestors.

"However, when damage is caused and riots are sparked as a result of such protests [the police] will take serious measures," he said.

Ayatollah Taheri rejects issuing statement

Tabnak | Dec. 26, 2009

Former Isfahan Friday Prayers leader Ayatollah Jalaleldin Taheri's office rejected claims of organizing a seventh-day memorial ceremony for the late Ayatollah Hossein-Ali Montazeri in Isfahan.

According to the statement carried by ILNA, Ayatollah Taheri's office said it scheduled an Ashura ceremony in the grand mosque of the town of Hossein-Abad, Isfahan and that "other ceremonies announced for Tasua and Ashuhra in Isfahan are in no way related to Ayatollah Taheri."

Earlier a number of websites had published a statement in the name of Ayatollah Taheri calling people to four ceremonies organized by the senior cleric in Isfahan on the holy days of Tasua and Ashura.

15(11).jpgKhomeini's grandson sits alongside Supreme Leader, Hardliners

| Dec. 25, 2009

Ayandeh, a news site affiliated with the Tehran mayor, reported that Seyyed Hassan Khomeini attended a mourning ceremony for the Shia holiday of Tasua Friday night at the Beyt Rahbari, the seat of the Supreme Leader.

The grandson of Ayatollah Khomeini, founder of Iran's revolution, was seated beside Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Ayatollah Jannati, and Hojatoleslam Nateq Nouri.

Larijani's forgiveness may secure Nourizad release

Rahe Sabz | Dec. 26, 2009

Mohammad Nourizad, who was arrested for insulting judiciary chief Sadegh Larijani, may be released after Larijani said he would not press charges.

A source close to the Judiciary told Ayandeh news that while insulting the head of any of the three branches of the government was a punishable offense, it was up to the injured party to file suit against the offender.

It should be noted that a few weeks ago a number of websites including Ayandeh were prosecuted by the Tehran prosecutor for insulting Iranian authorities.

British newspaper names Iranian protester 'person of the year'

VOA | Dec. 26, 2009

The British newspaper the Times has named an Iranian woman who was killed during Iran's post-election unrest its "person of the year."

The Times said Saturday Neda Agha-Soltan has became the global symbol of the Islamic "regime's brutality, and of the remarkable courage of Iran's opposition in a region where other populations are all too easily suppressed by despotic governments." 


Billboard: We await Moharam, when it will be a time for trial, it will be our blades and your throats if even one hair on Ali's (Khamenei) head is lost

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