Saturday, June 13, 2009

Chaos and Violence on the Streets of Iran

The opposition leader is under house arrest. Demonstrators are being beaten, some possibly dead in the streets. Cell phone service, internet access, and Facebook are all down. This has all the makings of a coup d'etat. I am talking, of course, about the farce of an election in Iran, where Ahmadinejad was declared the winner by over 62 percent of the vote.

Iranians doubt the legitimacy the outcome, and their outrage is pouring out into street violence. Huffington Post's Nico Pitney has done a round up of reports from various sources on the chaos in Iran. From Reuters, comes this report:
"Canada is deeply, deeply concerned by reports about voting irregularities in the Iranian election. We're troubled by reports of intimidation of opposition candidates' offices by security forces," said Cannon.

He said Canadian embassy officials in Tehran were closely monitoring the situation and urged Iranian authorities to conduct a "fair and transparent" counting of ballots.
And Pitney, who is liveblogging this situation, also reports this:
4:15 PM ET -- A reader gets a message from his cousin in Tehran: "Please share this message on Facebook or share it in a way for us to be heard: Tehran-9:50pm: We don't have text message, cellphone network, Facebook, youTube, Twitter and lots of other websites. BBC PERSIA is gone also on HOTBIRD. 3 reformist newspapers are banned (I can't check the names I've just heard and everything is blocked on internet) If anyone can, help me share the news. They have cut us off from the world."
The situation is indeed dire. It's careening into violence. Here is some footage of the situation, with a warning, some of it is graphic.

And this:

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