25 June, 2009

Update from Iran

Here's some of an email I received today from friends in Iran...

"Thanks God we are all OK physically, but emotionally we are disturbed by the militias' brutal attack on people and the lives that are lost. We have our ups and downs for example based on a speech here and there given by some officials, and just listening to their nonsense lies is enough to make you insulted and agitated for hours.

At the same time observing the bravery of our people, especially women who are very active in the movement brings ray of hope to our hearts for a brighter future. We know that for a reformed Iran we must remain patient & keep our unity to continue the path that many of our innocent citizens lost their lives over it."

They also forwarded an image of a man's body on a table with a gaping lateral wound across the middle of his left breast and down his left side. The accompanying description accompanying the image states:This is an axe wound, just one, doled out by the regime's thug basiji animals on Saturday, June 20, 2009.
This was a brutal murder of an assuredly unarmed protester of the up-close-and-personal variety. An act, and one not isolated, which requires the presence of inhumane malice and aggression and the absence of humanity. The traits required for massacres upon the unarmed. There is no nuance, no logical approach, no deft explanation that covers near silence and inadequate, tepid condemnation of the meekest sort. To decline any mention of possible repercussions on the regime for these acts "because we don't know how this is going to turn out" is moral cowardice of the highest order.

I feel it important to state that cannot verify the image or description. There were reports of militia members wielding axes against protesters yesterday, however that is far from verification. The last line is interesting. I've heard no similar complaints directly from my friends.

23 June, 2009

The Islamic Republic Bans God

Richard Engel on NBC is reporting that the takbir, "Allahu Akbar/God is great!", the rallying cry of the opposition in Iran, which has been shouted during demonstrations in the daytime and from rooftops at night, has been banned by Iranian government and neighbors are to inform on those who still take part in the nightly calls.
If this is true, it's pretty unbelievable.

22 June, 2009

Nokia, Siemens and Iran

Very good report in the WSJ today about the technology used by the Iranian government to monitor communications and who sold some of it to them. Also a related piece from the Guardian.
"Asked about selling such equipment to a government like Iran's, Mr. Roome of Nokia Siemens Networks said the company 'does have a choice about whether to do business in any country. We believe providing people, wherever they are, with the ability to communicate is preferable to leaving them without the choice to be heard.'"

My question is are there telecom firms that have refused to sell this type of technology to repressive regimes? And, does this story make anyone else want to toss their Nokia phone?