Shocking video, the “Khomeini poster” campaign, and details from Kahrizak in German daily newspaper “Welt”
Published in German daily “Die Welt” on December 13, 2009
Original title: Video proves the brutality of the regime in Tehran
Source (German): http://www.welt.de/politik/ausland/article5517430/Video-belegt-Brutalitaet-des-Teheraner-Regimes.html
(Translator’s note: Annoying as it may be that WELT ONLINE not only seems to be unaware that Khamenei is not a Grand Ayatollah, but also displays several small inaccuracies in this article, it still shows that despite the foreign press ban in Iran many shameful details manage to reach the outside world.)
By Florian Flade
Fleeing protesters are attacked by military vehicles: Footage like this proves the brutality of the regime in confronting the opposition. According to Amnesty International, the human rights situation is the worst in the past 20 years. Grand Ayatollah [sic] Ali Khamenei has made an appeal for calmness.
An amateur video that reached WELT ONLINE from opposition supporters in Iran provides shocking evidence about the ruthless brutality which the regime in Tehran applies in their response to the recent student protests in the country. The video was taken on December 7 in the central Iranian city of Yazd. It shows a military vehicle of the Iranian army running over protesters who are fleeing on a motorcycle (translator’s note: the video embedded here is the version available on YouTube. The video on WELT ONLINE shows the same thing, but could not be linked separately).
First, a military vehicle full of soldiers runs into one of the motorcycles, both motorcyclists topple over. They try to flee while the vehicle overruns the motorcycle.
These pictures were taken by an amateur filmer. She boldly comments the violence exerted by the Iranian security forces: “Did you see that? This is the Islamic Republic!” she is heard saying in the video.
Iran’s supreme religious leader [Grand Ayatollah again] Ali Khamenei in the face of the recent unrests today expressed his concern about the Islamic Republic. Khamenei warned the opposition to not undermine the Islamic leadership. The protests against the controversial re-election of president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad last summer have been increasingly directed against the spiritual leadership of the country as well. In the past days, the regime in Tehran spread photos, allegedly showing protesters burning portraits of the founder of the Islamic Republic, Aytollah Khomeini, and the current religious leader Khamenei last Monday.
Opposition leader Mir Hossein Moussavi is doubting the authenticity of the footage.
Last night, opposition websites speculated that Moussavi might have been arrested.
Today. once again hundreds of students gathered on the campus of the Tehran University and accused the regime of having fabricated the pictures of burnt Khomeini posters, which are considered utterly offensive. Police units again surrounded the university and closed in on the protesters.
Ayatollah Khamenei called on the opposition leaders to stop the “illegal” protests of their supporters. Ahmadinejad might not be an ideal president, however, the society should accept his election.
According to Khamenei, the opposition has not been able to prove accusations of electoral fraud. “The election is over”, said Khamenei, successor of the late revolutionary leader Khomeini who died in 1989. “The elections were legal, and they [the opposition] were not able to prove the case for their allegations.” He also appealed to “all those who are angry to stay calm.”
The human rights organization Amnesty International these days published an 80-page report on the current situation in Iran (here). Their conclusion is a damning one. In Iran, the human rights situation is currently the worst in the past 20 years.
Following the rigged presidential election in June, the regime responded to the opposition protests with brutal force, according to Amnesty. Dozens of people were killed and at least 4000 protesters detained.
One of the prisoners reported to Amnesty International about the 58 days he spent in the disputed Kahrizak detention center. He was held in a big container together with 70 other detainees. Only after 43 days he was allowed to contact his family. During his interrogations, security forces had threatened to rape his son. In addition to that, he was beaten to unconsciousness.
The Kahrizak detention center had been closed down in July on order of Ayatollah Khamenei. Allegations about severe human rights violations, however, have always been rejected by the regime.