June 17, 2009

MAKING MARTYRS:

Iran protests: Fifth day of unrest as regime cracks down on critics (Robert Tait, Ian Black and Mark Tran, 6/17/09, guardian.co.uk)

Hundreds of thousands of demonstrators took to the streets of Tehran in a fifth day of protests as the government intensified its crackdown on opposition figures with the arrest of hundreds of leading critics.

Mainly dressed in black and wearing green wristbands and headbands to show their support for the defeated presidential candidate Mir Hossein Mousavi, crowds gathered in Tir square and streets around it. Most of the protesters were silent and made victory signs, according to Reuters news agency.

Witnesses estimated that as many as half a million people joined the march, with one street leading to the square packed for several kilometres. A young woman held a picture of one of those killed during the recent violence. [...]

The protests spread as far as South Korea, where Iranians denounced their government during a World Cup qualifying match. Dozens of Iranians unfurled a banner that read "Go To Hell Dictator" and chanted: "Compatriots, we will be with you to the end with the same heart."


Iranian football team shows support for Mousavi with green arm bands at Seoul World Cup qualifier (Daily Telegraph, 17 Jun 2009)
Several players on the Iranian national football team took advantage of a World Cup football qualifier in Seoul to denounce their government amid allegations of election rigging at home.

As many as eight players wore green wristbands and the captain, Ali Karimi, wore a green armband, symbolising support for Mir Hossein Mousavi, the opposition challenger, at the high-profile game, which was broadcast live on Iranian state television.


In a culture where martyrdom is so central, the regime runs tremendous risks in making new ones.

Posted by Orrin Judd at June 17, 2009 11:35 AM
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