Chas' Compilation

A compilation of information and links regarding assorted subjects: politics, religion, science, computers, health, movies, music... essentially whatever I'm reading about, working on or experiencing in life.

Friday, July 03, 2009

Iranian Regime crushes all dissent. Relentlessly.

Attacks, arrests slowing online news from Iran
(CNN) -- Bloody attacks and midnight arrests, combined with a regime growing more technologically savvy, have begun stemming the flow of online information from dissidents in Iran, activists and human rights officials say.

Access to some social networking sites has been blocked in Iran since the June 12 election

Once emboldened by their ability to dodge the government and spread news about their protests to the world, many in the youth-driven protest movement, they say, are now scared of the consequences of getting caught.

"It's absolutely chilling," said Drewery Dyke, a member of human rights group Amnesty International's Iran team. "The level of fear that has permeated society now, in terms of this issue, is palpable. It's striking.

"There's an absolute hunkering down by the people."


At first, members of the movement bragged about being able to skirt the Iranian firewall and share their message -- including pictures and videos that showed the scope of their protests and documented government and pro-government violence that helped galvanize international support for their cause.

Now, some say, the government is catching up.

"It's begun to tail off, but not because people aren't taking the video," Nelson said. "There's just no way to get it out.

"Even the really savvy ones, they're having a hard time getting around things just because everything that they've been using is getting blocked quickly."

At least as effective as the online fight has been the violent, real-world targeting of dissidents using the Internet.

Iranian bloggers have been arrested and others beaten by loyalist Basij militia members, Dyke said.

Some formerly reliable sources in Iran now refuse to speak freely on the telephone or ask Amnesty International staffers to stop calling them, Dyke said.

"It hits you in the face; it's extremely frustrating," he said. "They appear to have drawn up the bridges -- hopefully those bridges will come back down soon."

Roya Hakakian, an Iranian-American author and journalist who has stayed in contact with friends and others in Iran, said she heard about one woman being stormed by pro-government militia members for merely stepping out of her car and using her cell phone during a traffic jam near a protest.

Hakakian said she fears not just the clampdown on information now but what may come next.

"Why are they so insistent on making sure there is no communication?" she said, comparing the move to when a fundamentalist government fresh off its overthrow of the Shah of Iran went on a brutal campaign to silence its critics.

"They want to go back to what they have done in the early '80s -- do away with a large number of the opposition that refuses to be converted and refuses to give in." [...]

It is like the '80's. After the overthrow of the Shah, by a coalition of groups working together, the Clerics turned against their fellow coalition members and with brute force crushed them into submission. They are now attempting to do this again, to the reformists among them. They wish to eliminate any semblance of democracy and have a completely theocratic state, a dictatorship run by unelected clerics.

The article goes on to speculate that the quiet from Iran now is not just due only to the crackdown by the government. The political opposition was set up as a political campaign, not a revolutionary movement. But as the government continues to crush that campaign, they may well be turning it into a revolutionary movement. Which is why the Iranian government is moving quickly to terrorize and kill as many of them as possible, just as they did 30 years ago.

Meanwhile, the Theocratic regime also is doing everything it can to put the blame on outside influences:

Report: UK embassy staff in Iran 'face trial'

It's what every fascist regime does. Create a circus, and hope nobody notices what they are really doing? Who are they fooling?

Related Link:

Iranian cleric's "sermon" urges "strong cruelty"

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