Iran: Several Arrests on Election Anniversary

2010/06/13

Published at German public service TV channel “ARD” in their news broadcast “Tagesschau” on 13 June 2010
Source (German): http://www.tagesschau.de/ausland/iran1122.html

On the anniversary of the disputed re-election of Iran’s President Ahmadinejad, exiled Iranians protested in many places around the globe. Allegedly there were no protests inside Iran, although many people were arrested. The police commander announced 91 arrests, but did not disclose the reasons.

By Ulrich Pick, ARD Radio Studio Istanbul

This picture shows a protest staged by exiled Iranians in Tokyo on the anniversary of the disputed election. Pictures from inside Iran are not available. (Photo: AFP)

It is official since this morning: Again many people were arrested yesterday on the anniversary of the disputed presidential election in Iran. This was reported by ISNA news agency with reference to police commander Hossein Sajadinia, who announced that 91 people were arrested. Deputy police commander Ahmad Reza Radan confirmed this, adding that “despite the propaganda of the enemy” there have been no demonstrations or riots.

Demonstrations of the Opposition Banned
Initially, opposition leaders Mir Hossein Moussavi and Mehdi Karroubi had called for silent marches and officially requested for authorisation. But no permission was granted by the authorities, whereupon Moussavi and Karroubi called off the protests in order to not put lives and health of protesters at risk.

On Saturday, an increased presence of security forces was observed in all major squares. The Revolutionary Guards had previously warned they would strictly confront any protests. Several days ago reports circulated saying that the government recruited more than 1 million volunteers to disrupt and disperse any protest, if necessary, by force. In a press conference by opposition websites, Moussavi and Karroubi demanded more freedom and democracy for the country.

The opposition still accuses the government of massive ballot fraud and refuses to acknowledge the re-election of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. After the disputed vote one year ago, Iran had faced the most widespread demonstrations after the Islamic Revolution of 1979. 30 people died according to official announcements by the government. The opposition names at least 79 proven cases of death, although in fact up to 200 could possibly have been killed.

EU Representative for Foreign Affairs: After 2009 the situation has significantly deteriorated
Approximately 4000 people were arrested during and after the protests, about 200 of them were already sentenced – among them numerous journalists and bloggers, but also former reformist ministers. Catherine Ashton, EU representative for foreign affairs, expressed concern about the situation in Iran. The human rights situation in Iran has significantly deteriorated after the elections of June 2009, she said.

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