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Bloody Protests in Iran

Iranian protesters on Vali Asr Street in Tehran during Ashura demonstrations (photo by Dara)
Iranian protesters on Vali Asr Street in Tehran during Ashura demonstrations (photo by Dara)

Iranian Protests Turn Fatal on Holy Day

Iran's police opened fire at protesters on the holy day of Ashura on December 27, leaving at least 8 killed and 300 detained. Witnesses in a number of Iranian cities described the scene for Radio Farda:

  • An eyewitness from Tehran said that there were so many people that the Basij, at one point, did not dare get close to them; people were fighting with them and defending themselves.
  • People chanted, "Death to Khamenei" and "Death to Islamic Republic", said another protest participant: "They blocked the main circles in Tehran to prevent people from joining forces."
  • "I saw a police van shooting a protester and then running him was a hideous scene...people tried to stop the van, yet it would run over anyone who came its way...he died on the spot," said a female protester from Tehran.
  • A male protester said: "I saw with my own eyes that several men and women were shot by plain clothed agents...people were shot from the waist up."
  • "I can see a lot of blood on the sidewalks...anti-riot police have become much more violent today," said a female protester in Tehran.
  • A witness said, "People tried to express their protest by honking their car horns and the police broke their car windows."
  • A nurse from a hospital in Tehran said that two young people wounded during the protests were under operation at the time of interview.
  • A witness from the southern city of Shiraz said that hundreds of people chanted anti-government slogans: "I saw a woman whose husband was arrested and she wouldn't let go of him; the Basij beat them both."
  • The northeastern city of Mashhad was under heavy security on December 27, said a witness. "Several student activists from the Ferdowsi University were arrested today," she added.
  • A witness from Isfahan, central Iran, said that the presence of commandos in the city was unprecedented

[read in Farsi]

Opposition Leader's Nephew Killed

Among the demonstrators killed during the December 27 clashes in Tehran was the nephew of Mir Hossein Mousavi. Iranian filmmaker Mohsen Makhmalbaf, who is a supporter of Mousavi, told Radio Farda that Mousavi's nephew had received death threats in the days before the demonstration. Makhmalbaf added that the nephew was killed by security forces and his body has not been returned to his family. [read in Farsi]

Aftermath of Iran's Bloody Protests

The Iranian regime has two alternatives after Ashura protests, says a Paris-based political activist: "Khamenei should either retreat in the face of people's demands, or the Islamic establishment will collapse." [read in Farsi]