Monday, July 18, 2005

Mullahs resort to brutal crackdown to thwart spread of Tehran demonstration

Fearing the spread of yesterday’s antigovernment demonstration in Tehran, the clerical regime deployed thousands of suppressive forces, including the State Security Forces (SSF), plainclothes officers and Intelligence Ministry agents, to crack down brutally on the protesters, particularly women and youths. The protest, which began at 5:00 pm, quickly swelled to several thousand protesters as many people and young men join it. The protest was in support of Mojahedin and other dissident political prisoners. A large number of these prisoners have been on a hunger strike for several weeks.

At outset of the protest, more than 1,500 suppressive forces, equipped with batons and tear gas spray and canisters, charged the crowd and began beating and assaulting them violently.

Despite the harsh crackdown, the protesters continued chanting “Death to dictatorship,” “Freedom, freedom,” “Free all political prisoners,” “Guns, tanks, Bassijis are no longer effective,” “We don’t want the rule of force, mercenary police,” and clashed with the security forces and beat up a number of them. In some areas, including Farvardin Street, young people set tires ablaze and set up barricades to stop the agents’ attacks.

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