Monday, February 14, 2011


Police in Iran square off against tens of thousands of protesters

According to Associated Press clashes between Iranian police and tens of thousands of protesters wracked central Tehran on Monday as security forces beat and fired tear gas at opposition supporters hoping to evoke Egypt’s recent popular uprising. Police used tear gas against the protesters in central Tehran’s Enghelab, Revolution square and in Imam Hossein square, as well as in other nearby main streets. Demonstrators responded by setting garbage bins on fire to protect themselves from the stinging white clouds. Eyewitnesses said at least three protesters injured by bullets were taken to a hospital in central Tehran while dozens of others were hospitalized because of severe wounds as a result of being beaten.

"An Iranian dies but doesn’t accept humiliation,” demonstrators chanted. “Death to the dictator,” they said, in a chant directed at hardline President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Security forces on motorcycles could also be seen chasing protesters through the streets, according to eyewitnesses.The semiofficial Fars news agency called protesters “hypocrites, monarchists, ruffians and seditionists,” and ridiculed them for not chanting any slogans about Egypt as they had originally promised. Fars, which is linked to the Revolutionary Guard, Iran’s most powerful military force, said an unspecified number of protesters were arrested and handed over to police and security officials. It didn’t elaborate.

Protesters attacked and shot in Shiraz

Based on reports received by Human Rights and Democracy Activists in Iran, security forces have attacked the crowd of protesters in Shiraz. Shots were heard on Eram Street, Namazi Street and Setad Square. Many ambulances are moving in and out to transfer the wounded. The students at Engineering Faculty of Shiraz University staged a large protest and entered Namazi Street. Citizens joined in. Other protests were staged at Setad Square, Molasadra and Eram streets. People were marching and chanting slogans like “Death to the dictator”. Around 6:30pm, security forces attacked the protesters and beat them with batons; however, when they were unable to disperse the crowd, they fired shots into the air. Some unconfirmed reports indicate that security forces opened fire on the protesters, which resulted in the injury of some people. Following the reported shooting, ambulances left the city’s hospital located in Paramount to the location of the shooting. Meanwhile, the security of the Eram Student dormitory (of Shiraz University) prevented students from leaving the dorm and threatened them to not take part in the protests. A large number of security forces surrounded the areas where protests were being held and tried to disperse the crowd. However, people continued their protests and fought back. Some of the students were beaten by the forces and some have been arrested.