thePublished in “Der Standard” (Austria) on October 24 2009

Heavy police presence stops protest at media fair
Standard_Karroubi 091024
After leaving the media fair, a supporter of Ahmadinejad threw a shoe at Karroubi

Tehran/Brussels – On Friday, heavy skirmishes took place between supporters and opponents of the Iranian opposition leader Mehdi Karroubi. As reported by news agency ISNA, the fights began when Karroubi arrived at a fair in Tehran, and his supporters chanted slogans. As a result, the defied candidate of the presidential elections in June had to leave the premises, and apparently he also got beaten.

Photos show the cleric without his white turban and with a red scratch in his face. According to news agency Mehr, the police did not arrest anybody, and claimed that Mr Karroubi’s appearance at the fair had caused the fights.

The European Union on Friday expressed concerns about the human rights violations committed by the Iranian government in the context of the controversial presidential election of June 12. The Swedish EU Concil Presidency in a statement condemned the “continuing arrests” of journalists and human rights activists. (APA/AFP)

Published in “Schweiz-Magazin” (Switzerland) on October 24 2009

Supporters of Iran’s former presidential candidate Mehdi Karroubi rioted at the International Media Fair in Tehran on Friday.

As reported by an on-the-ground correspondent of RIA Novosti news agency [note of translator: RIA Novosti is a Russian news agency for international information], the opposition intended to once again show their discontent with the results of the presidential elections in June to the authorities. The crowd, that was led by Karroubi, demolished several fair booths. The opposition members were calling slogans against Ahmadinejad and Russia. Karroubi condemns the policy of Russia, which in his opinion supports incumbent Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and his dictatorship.

The Iranian security forces had to temporarily evacuate all participants of the fair. There were no casualties.

The British TV- and broadcasting channel BBC hat previosly reported that criminal proceedings were initiated against Karroubi. The judiciary in Tehran accuses Karroubi of allegations about his supporters being tortured in prison after their arrests.

Ahmadinejad had reached more than 60 percent of the votes in the election of June 12. Following the announcement of the result, the opposition accused the authorities of electoral fraud and called for its nullification. During the following mass unrests in Tehran, at least 30 people were killed, about 1,000 were arrested.