Sunday, June 28, 2009

HRW: Basij Conduct Night Terror Raids

From Human Rights Watch:
Iran's paramilitary Basij are carrying out brutal nighttime raids, destroying property in private homes and beating civilians in an attempt to stop nightly protest chants, Human Rights Watch said today. Human Rights Watch also said the Iranian authorities are confiscating satellite dishes from private homes to prevent citizens from seeing foreign news.

"While most of the world's attention is focused on the beatings in the streets of Iran during the day, the Basijis are carrying out brutal raids on people's apartments during the night," said Sarah Leah Whitson, Middle East director at Human Rights Watch. "Witnesses are telling us that the Basijis are trashing entire streets and even neighborhoods as well as individual homes trying to stop the nightly rooftop protest chants."

Since the onset of protests against the disputed presidential election results on June 12, 2009, residents throughout Tehran and in other cities in Iran have carried out nightly rooftop protest chants of "God is Great" (Allahu Akbar) and other similar slogans.

The nighttime shouting of such slogans at designated hours is a powerful form of protest in Iran, as it was one of the emblematic forms of protests during the Iranian revolution 30 years ago, which toppled the ruling Pahlavi monarchy and led to the establishment of the Islamic Republic. Opposition leaders had asked their supporters to chant these slogans as a form of peaceful protest. With the increasingly severe crackdown on the current street protests in Iran appearing to make large-scale daytime protests impossible, the nightly chanting has become one of the few remaining forms of mass public protests against the disputed results of the June 12 presidential election.

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Read the whole thing on the HRW website. Readers can also view a video of a nighttime raid on an Iranian university below:


For more complete coverage of the Iranian crisis readers can refer to the following websites:

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