Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Fire festival turns into anti-government protests !

Iran police arrest 2,000 during fire festival!

Despite heavy security preparations for the last Wednesday of the year (Fire Festival) turned into widespread demonstration of the Iranian people’s hatred of the ruling clerics.
Throughout the capital, citizens paid no heed to repeated orders of the Islamic republic' suppressive police using loud speakers to disperse scores of youths participating in the celebrations.
The participants, two by two, and hand in hand, in turn jumped over bonfires marking the arrival of the Iranian New Year beginning March 21.
Loud noise of fire crackers and on occasions concoction grenades could be heard from blocks away. Last Wednesday of every year is a nightmare for the Islamic republic' regime in Iran since men, women and children turnout in thousands to celebrate the traditional Fire Festival throughout the country.
In other cities citizens turned out to celebrate and often clashed with the security forces. More than 20 local residents were arrested by the police in Karaj, some 40 kilometers west of the capitol.
In Kurdish city of Sanandaj, the mullahs' regime arrested a number of youth celebrating the Fire Festival.

paramilitary police arrested 2,000 individuals in the Iranian capital during Tuesday night’s annual fire festival, Tehran’s deputy chief prosecutor announced on Thursday.

“On the night leading to the [Persian calendar"> year’s final Wednesday, 1,000 individuals who were creating disorder and disruption were arrested across Tehran”, Mahmoud Salarkia announced. His comments were carried by the state-run news agency ISNA.

The figure was considerably higher than the one announced earlier by Greater Tehran’s chief of police. Brigadier General Morteza Talai said on Wednesday that the security forces had arrested 174 people in Tehran during the festival which dissidents turned into widespread anti-government protests. Salalrkia said that individuals sent to prison for their actions late Tuesday would remain behind bars over the Persian New Year period, adding that a number of detained individuals who repented in writing had been released.

Talai had said that some 729 motorcyclists who broke the ban on motorbike riding during the day were detained. Despite a massive crackdown to prevent this year’s “fire festival” from turning into scenes of anti-governments protests, young people took to the streets across Iran to defy the government ban and celebrate the last Tuesday of the Persian year with a big bang. In Tehran and several other cities effigies of Iran’s theocratic rulers, including those of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, were set on fire.

Posters of Iranian officials hung on lampposts in Tehran as well as in other towns and cities were also burnt by disillusioned youths. Iran’s State Security Forces (SSF) had also stepped up arrests of people for distribution of fireworks in the past several days. The festival is barely tolerated by the authorities in the Islamic Republic, who object to it on the grounds that it is “un-Islamic”. The Tehran Public Prosecution Office had issued a statement, announcing that individuals caught creating “disruption in public order” will receive jail sentences of between three months to one year and up to 74 lashes on their backs in accordance with Iran’s Islamic laws. Individuals caught distributing fireworks will receive between three and ten years in prison, the statement said.

No comments:

[Valid RSS]