It's Happening Again
These are some of the latest tweets from one of my sources actually on the ground in Tehran (although some of them are hours old but these are not merely retweeted but the source):
all shops was closed - nowhere to go - they follow ppls with helicopters - smoke and fire is everywhere
in Baharestan we saw militia with axe choping ppl like meat - blood everywhere - like butcher - Allah Akbar
they catch ppl with mobile - so many killed today - so many injured - Allah Akbar - they take one of us
Lalezar Sq is same as Baharestan - unbelevable - ppls murdered everywhere
they pull away the dead into trucks - like factory - no human can do this - we beg Allah for save us
Everybody is under arrest & cant move - Mousavi - Karroubi even rumour Khatami is in house guard
we must go - dont know when we can get internet - they take 1 of us, they will torture and get names - now we must move fast -
It seems to be even worse than it was on Saturday. What the hell is going on? Mousavi had asked the protesters to be more lowkey. What could've possibly have started this massacre?
A partial answer is from this Iranian blogger named Nite Owl who's been tirelessly translating reliable dispatches through twitter from Farsi into English. The opposition movement that's backing Mousavi seems earnest but disorganized. This is what he has to say:
Although most sources had confirmed that there was going to be a strike today in Tehran, the city had only partially closed down its shops. Throughout the day reports kept arriving that Mousavi had not ordered the strike, however, most people continued urging protesters to comply with the strike. It seemed that there was a complete lack of coordination between the movement and its leader. This is the first time it has happened, however, and seems to be a direct result of government’s tireless efforts at trying to jam communications between protesters and their leaders.
This isn't at all surprising since Mousavi hasn't been seen since Thursday (although there's no truth as yet to the rumor that he's been placed under house arrest) and he hasn't any chance of even having a proxy speak on his behalf.
But the source of the violence is almost surely in retaliation for the partial strike called for by Mousavi and if my Iranian source on the ground is any indication, people are literally getting cut to pieces and their bodies stacked and carted away like cord wood. He continues:
The city of Tehran was literally crawling with Basijis and police. There were roadblocks everywhere and the streets were heavily patrolled by the security forces. Most sources complained that going outside was dangerous for anyone – even if the person wasn’t a protester as security forces continued to beat up anyone they could get their hands on.
Yet I haven't heard any declaration of martial law coming out of Tehran or anywhere in Iran, as if they were trolling and looking for people to kill and beat. Nite Owl again (and I've been hearing abominable stories such as this for days now):
There was also sickening news of security forces asking the families of protesters who’d been killed for large sums of money – typically between 3-5 thousand dollars - as a “bullet fee” if they wanted the bodies of their dead relatives back. At least two cases were confirmed by our reliable sources, but it seems to have not picked up with MSM yet. Also, relatives of protesters went today to Evin prison to see if they could get information about the ones arrested recently. They were turned away without a chance to verify whether their relatives were in custody.
I've heard of the $3000 bullet fee. I didn't know they were asking for as much as $5000. This doesn't seem to make any sense.
Mr. President, this is no longer an internal, Iranian matter. Since Saturday at least, this is a human rights emergency and we need to get involved now.