Tag Archives: Iran Protests

Iran steps up arrests ahead of protests

Gearing up for possible protests during state-sponsored rallies in celebration of Iran’s 1979 Islamic Revolution on Thursday, police have stepped up arrests of political dissidents in Iran. Opposition groups in Iran use a tactic of briefly showing themselves during state rallies before disappearing back into the crowds, Associated Press.

Civil servants in Greece are striking after the government announced a plan to freeze wages to save money, Al Jazeera. Greek protests in pictures, BBC News.

The outcome of the Ukrainian election is in dispute. Current Prime Minister Yulia Yanukovich received 3% less votes than rival Viktor Yanukovich but has not yet conceded, New York Times.

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New Protests in Iran Show Hope for Reform Still Alive

On what was meant to be a day of anti-American sentiment, anti-government protesters instead took to the streets in Tehran, Iran. Today is the 30th anniversary of the Iranian takeover of the American Embassy in Iran and the beginning of the Islamic revolution that put the Shah of Iran in power in 1979.  Demonstrations for the anniversary are sponsored by the state, but opponents of the current government used the occasion to demonstration their support for reform. Police used teargas and violence to subdue protesters, New York Times.

Protests have been ongoing in Iran since the disputed June 12 presidential election. President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad officially won reelection but supporters of reform candidates Mir-Hussein Moussavi and former president Muhammad Khatami alleged that the election was a fraud. Censorship and heavy surveillance by police prevent reformist Iranians from staging large-scale or long-running protests but protesters have been able to show their support and their growing numbers by coordinating reform demonstrations during state-sponsored demonstrations, such as at the Quds Day rallies in September. Iranians are also coordinating on Twitter and by text message. Timeline: Iran after the election, Al Jazeera.

President Obama appealed directly to the Iranian people in a statement released today. He called on Iranians to put aside the 30 years of mistrust that followed the seizure of the American Embassy and to start a new chapter of cooperation and mutual respect, Whitehouse.gov.

See our Live Blog for more information. See also the Green Wave of Freedom website for reports on reform efforts from inside Iran, Mowjcamp and the website for former presidential candidate Mehdi Karoubi, Tagheer. Use Google Translate to change the text to your language.

5 British soldiers were shot inside a police training facility in Helmand Province, Afghanistan. The shooter was described as a “rouge policeman.” It is unknown if the Taliban was involved in the attack. Strategy in Afghanistan has focused on training Afghan police and soldiers in hopes that those forces will one day be capable of stabilizing the country without the aid of NATO forces, BBC News. Taliban link to the shooting probed, BBC News.  Q & A on British troops in Afghanistan, BBC News.

Voters in Maine overturned a law passed by the legislature and signed by the governor that had allowed same-sex couples to marry.  Maine becomes that 31st state that has rejected same-sex marriage by popular vote, ABC News.  Republican candidates won the race for governor in both Virginia and New Jersey, ABC News. In New York City, incumbent Republican Mayor Michael Bloomberg won reelection. The race was closer than had been expected with the Democratic candidate getting 46% of the vote to Bloomberg’s 51%. Mayor Bloomberg, who has a personal fortune of $20 billion, spent $90 million of his own money on his reelection campaign, New York Times.

At least 91 people are dead and thousands have been displaced by Tropical Storm Mirinae in Vietnam, Associated Press.  Vietnam is still recovering from Typhoon Ketsana, Citizen’s Daily Brief.

American diplomats were allowed to meet with Burmese pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi despite her house arrest. Suu Kyi has been under house arrest for much of the past 20 years. Suu Kyi was democratically elected President of Burma but a military junta did not allow her to take office. The junta controls the country, which it has renamed Myanmar. The U.S. has initiated a new policy of engaging with the country’s leaders, CNN International.

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Militants Attack Pakistan Military HQ

Six gunmen disguised as military attacked Pakistan’s military headquarters in the city of Rawalpindi earlier today. 4 of the men were killed and 2 were able to escape. 6 troops were killed in the attack, Voice of America. The 2 escaped men are now said to be holding military personnel hostage in the compound, BBC News.

3 people arrested during the protests that followed Iran’s disputed presidential election last June have been sentenced to death, Al Jazeera.

Turkey and Armenia are expected to sign an agreement today that will reestablish diplomatic ties and reopen the border. The two countries have been in conflict for over a century.  A key issue, Armenia’s insistence that the killing of 1.5 million Armenians near the end of the Ottoman Empire was genocide, was not explicitly addressed but the agreement calls for a scientific review of historical events, Associated Press.

In a search for water, NASA crashed two spacecraft on the surface of the Moon, Scientific America.

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