Another Iran protester dies in jail: report

An Iranian student arrested in protests against President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s re-election has died in jail, a newspaper said on Sunday, the second such death reported in recent days.

Amir Javadifar, “a student of industrial management in Qazvin (city) died in prison,” the reformist Etemad newspaper said, adding that his family has been asked to come for the body Sunday morning.

Etemad said Javadifar had been arrested in July 9 protests and had injuries in his arm and nose but it did not elaborate on the cause of death.

Newspapers reported on Saturday that Mohsen Ruholamini, 25, who had also been arrested on July 9 when thousands of protesters took to the streets on the anniversary of a bloody student uprising in 1999, also died in custody.

Hundreds of thousands of Iranians poured into Tehran streets after the disputed June 12 re-election of Ahmadinejad to protest their “stolen votes” before a crackdown by security forces.

Iranian official reports say at least 20 people died and more than 1,000 were arrested in the protests. Dozens of reformist leaders, journalists and human rights activists have also been jailed in the wake of the disputed election.

Iran’s opposition leaders have warned against mistreatment of the detainees and called for their unconditional release.

(This article is available at http://arabia.msn.com/News/MiddleEast/AFP/2009/July/881095.aspx?ref=rss)

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DAWN.COM | Front Page | Is there life after democracy?

While we’re still arguing about whether there’s life after death, can we add another question to the cart? Is there life after democracy? What sort of life will it be? By democracy I don’t mean democracy as an ideal or an aspiration. I mean the working model: Western liberal democracy, and its variants, such as they are. So, is there life after democracy?

Attempts to answer this question often turn into a comparison of different systems of governance, and end with a somewhat prickly, combative defence of democracy. It’s flawed, we say. It isn’t perfect, but it’s better than everything else that’s on offer. Inevitably, someone in the room will say: ‘Afghanistan, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Somalia . . . is that what you would prefer?’

The question here, really, is what have we done to democracy? What have we turned it into? What happens once democracy has been used up? When it has been hollowed out and emptied of meaning? What happens when each of its institutions has metastasised into something dangerous? What happens now that democracy and the Free Market have fused into a single predatory organism with a thin, constricted imagination that revolves almost entirely around the idea of maximising profit? Continue reading

Iran….Busy revisiting History!

Today while watching the news, a certain new item could not help but give me a sense of nostalgia. This nostalgia, for me also meant a sign of what I have been hoping for.. no reasons that I quite don’t understand myself yet.

Since the start of this dispute, I had followed the news on Iran almost religiously, and some how feeling that this is going to be the event that will bring the next revolution in Iran. And I didn’t want to miss a single moment of that. It seems some how that revolution comes naturally to Iran. From the revolutionary election result of 1951, to the overthrow of the Shah as a result of the Shia Revolution, it just seems that the land of Iran has yet to find stability in the arena of Politics atleast.

Today, it was the following news that made it for certain that Iran actually might be on the brink of revolution. The news on BBC read as follows:

UK fury as staff arrested in Iran

This headline to me bought back memories of an incident that happened at a similar revolutionary point in the history of Iran. The headline then read

Student Occupy Consulates

Does this actually is an indication that a change is about to come? Already the relationships between the UK and Iran have been pretty strained due to the constant accusations that the West has been meddling in its internal affairs. Will this be the final dent in the relationships between the West and the East? Is this going to be one more step in defining the future of Iran?

This sense of nostalgia was also shared by South Carolina Native William Belk, 79, who had been one of the hostages in the 1979 revolution. He instantly became an iconic figure when he appeared on the cover of Newsweek magazine blindfolded.

Watching the recent events unfold on the streets of Tehran, he described them simply “It’s about time…My heart goes out to the people in the streets …..It’s horrendous when a country with the power (Iran) has, has to go through something like this….But I thought it was inevitable. People don’t like dictatorships, and that’s basically what they have there now.”

The entire world is sitting holding its breath to see what happens the next. And there are many who are on the side of Iran .. always repeating the same old line that it is all the doing of the Western Intelligence, but my answer to them has been that it is always the system itself that provides opportunity for a revolution.

It was true when the revolution knocked on the door of France, when the monarchy had completely forgotten about its people and indulged in its own whims. The same was true when the revolution came in Russia in the 1917, when people had grown tired of the Czars. It was true for Cuba, and the United States of America itself when they revolted against the British Empire in great episodes like the Boston Tea Party.

And the same is true for Iran today. It is when the system is no more in line with the wishes and demands of the people, when the system itself has gone very very wrong that the chance comes along to attack it and change it. These events might never have happened in Iran today if the system wasn’t failing, if the system hadn’t allowed for corruption to step into it. This system was accepted by the people 30 years ago because they had hope in it. But today the hope is gone, and maybe this is why the system should go too.

Did you break a glass? Go ahead, blame the Zionist!!

It has always been an Eastern tradition that whenever something wrong happens in your own country, without a single thought blame the West, the USA in particular and the Zionist Lobby in specific. The West has been involved in twisting around the political outcome of the East many many times. And therefore the mistrust is not without some concrete foundation.

Front cover of Tehran Mosavar, a Tehran weekly, showing the events of the coip detat in 19 Aug. 1953

Front cover of Tehran Mosavar, a Tehran weekly, showing the events of the coip d'etat in 19 Aug. 1953

The hand that the CIA played in sponsoring the War of Afghanistan against the Soviet Union. This included not only throwing in the money, but also weapons and training, thus making this the largest ever covert operation by the CIA. The profile of the CIA goes on to include the overthrow of many of the governments in the East, which includes Iran as well.The 1953 government of Iran when Mohammad Mosaddeq was in power, with the support for his nationalistic ideas among the people. He wanted what was the right of the Iranian people, to get the profits out of the oil reserves of Iran, which were being harassed by the UK. The events so formed that the single biggest investment of the British Government, the Anglo Iranian Oil Company was nationalized. This resulted in a huge rift between the two governments, so much so that the UK tried to get the USA on its side for a coup against the most popular government in Iran. Although President Trueman refused, but President Eisenhower was all up for the idea. And therefore in 1953, the CIA and the British SIS orchestrated a coup d’etat that toppled the democratically elected government of Mohammad Mossadegh.”

At the time, it might have felt as a victory for the West, but since then it has resulted in a mistrust, that has yet to be sub-sided. The USA also had to pay for this during the 1979 Shia Revolution in Iran, when the embassy was taken up as a hostage, and not only humiliated on the streets of Tehran but was also kept hostage for almost a year.

People from the Embassy were humiliated on the streets of Tehran and kept hostages for almost a year.

People from the Embassy were humiliated on the streets of Tehran and kept hostages for almost a year.

After all that has happened, it is not a very shocking revelation to say that the East can never find it easy to trust the West. This, recently in the case of Iran became very obvious when initially the Supreme Leader, Ali Khameni, made it clear that the enemy wants to make people believe that they have been fooled. It started 3 months ago. I have been hearing enemies saying repeatedly that the elections will be fraudulent. They had been preparing months in advance…….The enemies are trying through their media – which is controlled by dirty Zionists. The Zionist, American and British radio are all trying to say that there was a competition between those who support and those who didn’t support the state.”

But the danger of this trend is now that everuthing is blamed on the USA or the Zionist and the Eastern countries automatically feel free from any responsibilty on their own behalf. The Iranian Government simply blamed the “enemy” without any investigation and then sat back to relax.

The fault came forward yesterday when the Guardian Council admitted that there has been fraud in the elections, as the number of votes exceeded the population in many cities. The amount of the rigged votes is almost around 3 million but it still has to seen whether, as the powerful council’s spokesman Abbas-Ali Kadkhodaei pointed out, “the amount is decisive in the election results”

What are you doing, Iran?

This post comes amidst great emotional turmoil as a girl named Nda was murdered as a result of the confrontation between the riot police and the protesters who have been protesting for almost a week now against the election result.

Iran was, if not the ideal state, but still was a symbol of religion and polictics in perfect harmony. But the recent events have shaken everyone to the core. This is not Islam, neither it is humanity.

Shiaism was a sect that have mourned for the tragedy of the Proaphets grandson who was killed with his family in Karbala, for he dared to raise his voice against the wrong, and the dictator.

Are you not today letting  the same tragedy reoccur on your own soil? Aren’t you killing the innocent who just want to know the truth, and are standing against what is wrong, in the face of force and injstice? How can you mourn Karbala when you are busy creating one yourself as we breathe here? How can you mourn the death of  Imam Hussain when you are becoming the Yazid for so many families .. when you are the Yazid of Neda’s family?