Arrested, Raped, Tortured, Murdered: Solidarity with Protesters in Iran

Solidarity with the protesters of Iran! And shared grief.

Almost a year has passed since the mass protests in Iran last June in response to election fraud by vicious dictator Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Yet, despite widespread disgust and anger, it is predicted that this years protests will not happen on the same scale as those of last June.

Since then, Ahmadinejad has presided over a brutal crackdown on all dissent. According to the Guardian, at least “5,000 people have been arrested since last June and 115 executed this year alone. Opposition groups say at least 80 have died in street clashes and in detention, although the real death toll may be far higher.” Those who have been arrested have also been subjected to rape, sodomy, and all forms of torture. Many of those subjected to this mistreatment have died in jails. One man, who managed to flee to Turkey, said he was dumped in the street and left for dead after sexual assault.

This flagrant mistreatment does not, however,  stop the hypocritical dictatorship from claiming that six political detainees who are currently on death row are guilty of mohareb (waging war against God).

On the streets, there is a massive effort to snuff out an anniversary protest. Activists describe ever-present surveillance on the streets, as well as in cyberspace. The internet – which enabled protesters to communicate through outlets like Facebook and Twitter – has been used by the leadership to monitor dissent. Many others report receiving threatening phone calls from security agents warning against 12 June activities. The message has been reinforced by warnings from senior revolutionary guard commanders that any demonstration will receive zero tolerance. Everyone knows what “zero tolerance” means: vicious para-military and police violence of the kind that has previously led to many deaths.

“I understand why people are no longer willing to pour on to the streets,” said the mother of a female student activist, who did not want to be named for fear of exposing her jailed daughter. “If you do so, you can be sure to face any kind of punishment, either being arrested, raped, killed or anything else. I don’t think people will come out in the numbers we saw last year.”

What can I say? I am disgusted, I continue to be shocked; I offer my solidarity and my grief.

——————-

One further word: “emasculated.” This is how <a href=”http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/jun/09/iran-election-demonstration-green-repression”>Robert Tait described protesters in the Guardian article from which I’ve been borrowing facts, quotes and a few lines.</a> Frankly, it’s beyond tactless. “Masculine” is exactly how Ahmadinejad’s rapists feel when they sodomise an activist in order to “emasculate” him. In truth, then, this is the discourse of brutal, macho masochists, this is the discourse of fascist repression through rape; this does not belong in Guardian reportage. And is it somehow “feminine” to avoid probable death on the streets? What an insult this is, then, to those brave women who are also being intimidated, threatened, assault, raped and murdered in the name of freedom? I am angry.

Wit

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~ by Wit on June 10, 2010.

2 Responses to “Arrested, Raped, Tortured, Murdered: Solidarity with Protesters in Iran”

  1. Hey how is the blog coming along? I was wondering if there was a way to create a blog circle of blogs that are interested in Situationist ideas? I’m not sure exactly how to go about doing that, but if it could be done would you want to be a part of it?

    • Hey Lettrist,

      Sure, it’d be great to set something like that up and to be a part of it. I’ll try to think of some ways it could be done… but nothing springs immediately to mind (except “following” blog/blog posts, or manual methods). Let me know if you have any ideas.

      A reading group might also be good, although I’m quite short on time at the moment, so texts would have to be kept short (e.g. an article, or a chapter, a blog post, a news story, etc. etc.). Perhaps we could take it in turns to select and post reading material on our blogs, with others commenting. Say, reading material posted once every two weeks; one week you do it, a couple of weeks later I could post something, etc. Any ideas who else might be interested?

      In the meantime, I quite often flick onto your blog for a read. It’s looking very good!

      All best,
      Wit

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