Iranian Human Rights Group Reports Death Toll at 32
Providing evidence that the death toll from Iranian pro-democracy demonstrations is much higher than the 7 officially reported, the NIAC blog quotes this report from the Association of Human Rights Activists in Iran, which it describes as a “trusted” source:
Source: Human Rights Activists in Iran [Farsi: Majmu‘e-ye fa‘âlân-e hoquq-e bashar dar irân]
Numbers of dead in recent violence in Iran reach 32
Wednesday, June 17, 2009, 11:29
The Association of Human Rights Activists in Iran can confirm the deaths of 32 Iranian citizens connected to the events of June 14 and June 15, based on its own fieldwork and despite numerous other reports.
Most of these citizens lost their lives in the attack on Tehran University dormitories on June 14 and the opening of fire by the paramilitary Basij forces on June 15. The violence started after Iranian citizens protested against the results of the tenth presidential elections, and the interference of security and paramilitary forces connected to the government.
In a statement, the public relations office of The Office to Consolidate Unity [Iran’s biggest student organization] yesterday reported the killing of at least seven students during the attack on dormitories of Tehran University and other universities around the country (Amnesty International said on June 15 there had been five deaths).
According to numerous and confirmed reports, the morgue at the Rasul Akram Hospital in Tehran has also stored eight people, who lost their lives during the shooting at defenseless people on Monday June 15.
In addition, Azerbaijani human rights activists have reported the killing of two citizens of Orumiyeh during fights in that city on June 15.
Finally, sources among the doctors at Erfan Hospital (which contains ICU, CCU, NICU and 14 emergency operation rooms) in Western Tehran reported that 15 people were dead in the hospital, all connected to the shooting on June 15.
Reports of civilian deaths across the country received by the Association are very high. However, it is impossible to confirm these because of the highly militarized atmosphere and widespread arrests, so the Association can only vouch for the deaths detailed above but
will continue the process of documentation and reporting.
The N.Y. Times and other sources continue to describe a very fluid situation within Iran with each side jockeying for position and no one yet having the upper hand or taking decisive action. I’ve read several respected sources who claim it’s only a matter of time before “the tanks” are unleashed and the revanchists retake social control.
Several nationally respected journalists have been arrested. Yesterday there was a report that several high ranking political figures, including one who served in a senior role in Iranian intelligence in the past have been arrested. One Iranian prosecutor has threatened execution for anyone found guilty of destroying property and being in cahoots with foreign interests. The regime seems especially intent on suppressing all foreign coverage of the daily rallies by pro-democracy forces. Journalists have been entirely confined to their offices though this has merely forced them to rely on Iranian non-journalists to funnel information, images and video to them.
It would seem that this regime is especially sensitive to how it might be perceived outside Iran. Knowing this provides the opposition with an opening to exploit the government’s weakness. Every bloodied body shown outside Iran helps democratic forces within Iran.
There may come a point when the authorities go for broke and decide they have to risk everything to regain control. Then, there may be no leverage and no conscience remaining and all hell could break loose. Let’s hope that day does not come.
Can we insist that major media stop referring to Ahmadinejad’s election “victory?” This phrasing annoys the hell out of me. He won nothing. It is just as easy to to use terms like “claimed” or “alleged” to distinguish this election from a legitimate one.
Reader Alex Stein yesterday pointed to a BBC story which suggested the election results might be valid. Today’s N.Y. Times provides electoral maps noting tremendous discrepancies between past and current voting patterns. In addition, a sitting president who presided over massive inflation and economic displacement, a repressive and unpopular regime stifling human rights, and who regularly made a mockery of himself and his country with his pronouncements about the Holocaust, homosexuality (there are no gays in Iran)–this guy allegedly received 8 million MORE votes than the first time he ran. It simply beggars belief.
Among the items mentioned in the Times’ electoral map section is that in the 2005 election an Azeri candidate (where Moussavi hails from) finished last in the national voting but swept the Azeri provinces. This time, Moussavi won only 42% of his home province. In 2005, Mehdi Karroubi won 55% of the vote in his native province. This election he won 5%. Ahmadinejad’s percentage increased from 9% in 2005 to 71% this election. The claim of a free and fair election is incredible.
8 thoughts on “Iranian Human Rights Group Reports Death Toll at 32 – Tikun Olam תיקון עולם إصلاح العالم”
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There was another piece I saw yesterday (I’m not sure where) by a polling company who said that three weeks before the election their data suggesting Ahmadinejad was heading for a landslide victory. I’m still very cynical, but until we know for sure what’s happened, it’s important to be open to all possibilities.
Everyone concedes that Moussavi’s campaign didn’t really take off until the last few weeks of the election. But everyone also concedes that when it did take off it simply blew Ahmadinejad out of the water.
Look, most Americans knew that George Bush stole the 2000 election with the help of a right wing Supreme Court. Yet most American’s did not take to the streets in their hundreds of thousands as they’re doing in Iran. The Iranian people know something that neither you nor Hassan seem to know, that their election was stolen from them. I truth that they’re right.
Here’s the piece – http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/06/14/AR2009061401757.html, and some commentary from Seamus Milne – http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2009/jun/18/iran-elections-us-foreign-policy – if you can stomach it.
THe “economic mismanagement” of Ahmadinejad has been overblown. Poeple don’t necessarily blame him for their economic situation, which predates his election, and in fact Ahmadinejad has increased the pay of civil servants etc. so there is good reason for them to vote for him.
And there isn’t enough historical data to suggest that electoral districts in Iran can’t shift radically in the course of hot elections, so that doesn’t prove anything either.
And he didn’t say there are no gays in Iran — he said there are no gays LIKE IN THE US meaning an openly gay culture.
Made a mockery of himself? I don’t think so. In fact I know of LATIN AMERICANS who like his populist style of anti-imperialism.
Ah, we have an apologist for Iranian clericalism. How nice!
He didn’t say there are no homosexuals in Iran?? This is a quotation of what he actually said (not what you claim he said):
All you had to do was Google this to find out what he actually said. Couldn’t be bothered though could you?
You mean Hugo Chavez and the few million of his fellow socialists citizens who admire Ahmadinejad as one crazy leader to another. Of course Ahmadinejad is admired in all the finest places like Venezuela, Cuba, North Korea. He’s got friends in all the right places and he’s got a friend in you. How nice for you both.
Incidentally, Ahmadinejad was the governor of an Azeri province and speaks the language fluently — which can explain why he would win. Also, you’re assuming that Azeris will necessarily have an affinity to vote for Azeris, which is not true. They’re a very well integrated minority, with a lot of intermarriage. The Supreme Leader himself is Azeri.
He is hated in the Azeri provinces and won 9% of the vote there in the last election. So that explains why he couldn’t have won 55% this time.
Every region in the world loves a native son & votes for them in droves. The times when this is not the case are incredibly few. This is a phenomenon everywhere whether its in an Azeri region, St. Louis or Istanbul.
What an awful tragedy for the students at Tehran University and the other people killed so far by this repressive government. The Iranian people deserve so much better than this. In many respects Iran is one of the more enlightened, advanced corners of the Middle East, what with a lot of women in the professions and a pretty robust, knowledgeable, (even) cosmopolitan middle class. It’s certainly an advanced fairly progressive society in comparison with that feudal backwater Saudi Arabia, our great ally and official “moderate Arab regime”. It is interesting that with evidence or at least suspicion that the election wasn’t honest, you see the Iranian people in the streets fighting for democracy, again, rather more than can be said for my own country back in 2000 (when there was even clearer evidence of a stolen election). Who has the more intact civil society, I ask. Let’s give the Iranians a chance to figure their own society and politik out without bombing or nuking them, please. I know this is a tall order for you bloodthirsty neocons out there.