The women’s cries outside a tribunal in Tehran intensify into a mass howl. The gathering resembles a vigil, but it is actually one of the last remnants of a widespread rebellion that has all but ended as a result of the Iranian judiciary’s hasty execution of recent death judgments.
In a video posted by the Human Rights Activists News Agency on January 14, children can be seen protesting in front of the courthouse while yelling “No to execution” (HRANA). One girl can be seen wiping her tears in the footage, despite the faces being blurred. She doesn’t look more than ten years old.
Iran was shaken by the statewide protest that started in mid-September, which presented the ruling clerical elite with its worst domestic danger in more than a decade.
It broke through the regime’s conservative base and led to numerous acts of resistance – and occasionally violence – against the powerful Basij, a paramilitary organization that serves as the backbone of the Islamic Republic’s security system. A wall of dread seemed to have crumbled under the weight of the youthful and incensed demonstrators.
After four months, the demonstrations have stalled despite an increasing wave of crackdown against the protesters. The regime has murdered four protestors, and many others fear they may follow in their footsteps. The executions mark the end of an increasingly violent crackdown that saw demonstrators shot dead, large-scale arrests made, and physical and sexual assaults committed.
Additionally, the dictatorship has intensified its persecution of women, ethnic minorities, and dissidents. The protests, according to Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, are a “act of treason” and are the result of a foreign conspiracy.
According to analysts and campaigners, the majority of those over 25 have avoided the demonstrations, which is another element working against the demonstrators. This took away the momentum the protest movement needed to topple a dictatorship that had received several sanctions and over which the international community had little to no remaining sway.
Nevertheless, Iran watchers concur that the regime has pushed the issue back and that protests would probably flare up again. Iran’s clerical leadership is either unable or unwilling to handle the country’s lingering economic issues, which are made worse by a system of US sanctions and by pervasive corruption.
A 25-year-old activist from the southeast of the country who begged not to be named out of fear for his safety stated that “people’s fury has increased, not reduced.” “Large crowds would launch an uprising tomorrow if security forces didn’t have guns in their hands.”
According to campaigners, around 20,000 individuals have been taken into custody. According to HRANA, more than 500 people have died, including many kids.
Inside Iran’s third month of unrest as the state intensifies lethal repression
Iran’s demonstrators are caught in a vicious circle as a result of the coercive tactics. Although there seems to be growing unrest against the leadership, its use of force has prevented it from reaching the point where it would have to step down.
For the protest movement, the lack of a critical mass presented a “mathematical difficulty,” according to Ali Vaez, Director of the Iran Project at International Crisis Group.
According to him, the majority won’t join in until the dictatorship has lost the desire to repress. And barring a critical mass of protesters in the streets, the regime’s resolve to repress is unlikely to break.
Vaez draws parallels between the current state of events in Iran and the early 1980s in the Soviet Union, a time of intense unrest and poor economic conditions that, years later, led to the Perestroika reforms that came before the USSR’s demise.
“The Soviet Union was in the Islamic Republic in the early 1980s. It cannot reform itself because it is ideologically bankrupt, monetarily distressed, and in serious trouble. Iran still has the desire to fight, unlike the Soviet Union in the late 1980s.
One might draw the conclusion that the protests will return sooner rather than later and with greater ferocity, he continued.
The gruesome impact of executions
The uprising’s echoes are still audible throughout the nation. Every evening in Tehran, protesters shout “death to the dictator” from rooftops and from concealed locations behind closed curtains, away from the earshot of security personnel. Some of the country’s minority-dominated border regions, which took the brunt of the regime’s repression, are still the scene of anti-regime demonstrations.
After noon prayers on Friday, tens of thousands of people flooded the streets of Zahedan, a city with a majority of Balochs, calling for the overthrow of the government.
Gatherings to celebrate the conclusion of the 40-day period of mourning for dead demonstrators are still happening often in the west of the country, which has a plurality of Kurds.
In a video posted on January 16 by the Iranian-Kurdish human rights organization Hengaw, mourners could be heard chanting, “Kurdistan, Kurdistan, the graves of fascists.” In remembrance of demonstrator Hooman Abdullahi, who was shot and killed by security personnel, mourners held roses aloft.
The persistence of the demonstrations by racial and ethnic minorities is seen by campaigners as a foreshadowing of things to come. They claim that the executions will ultimately fail.
According to HRNA, at least 18 demonstrators have already received death sentences, and only five have been granted the chance to appeal. Charges carrying the death penalty have been brought against more than 100 demonstrators.
Four people have previously been put to death, including prominent inmates like a karate champion and a children’s coach.
On December 21, protesters in The Hague were seen carrying a noose over their necks. The protest demanded that the Iranian embassy in the Netherlands be shut down and its diplomats were to be expelled.
Iran has a history of executions, but this one is unique.
One activist in Iran who goes by Mr. Z and does not want to be recognized for security reasons stated, “People are more upset now that we understood how quickly and hurriedly they hanged those folks.” “I believe the spring was squeezed further. People won’t even be terrified of being hanged the next time, he assured CNN.
The world community has harshly condemned the executions. According to reports, including CNN’s own reporting, the majority of demonstrators are being denied due process, with quick trials and only having access to state-appointed attorneys.
However, executions have also had a chilling effect, particularly on the elder generation of Iranians who mostly avoided the streets and are now attempting to keep their kids in the house, according to campaigners.
One activist outside of Iran remarked, “Nobody wants to hold a picture of their kid,” in reference to mothers holding pictures of their murdered and imprisoned sons and daughters. Since the beginning of the protests, the photographs have been all over the place.
“But the youth want to construct their future,” the activist, also known as Mamlekate, who has been instrumental in connecting journalists with sources in the nation and in disseminating images and videos from the protests, said.
He told CNN, “If the youngsters don’t do it, who will?” “This is not over yet.”
After a High Court order, Netanyahu fires Aryeh Deri, a crucial ally.
Aryeh Deri, a major supporter of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, was removed from all cabinet positions on Sunday after Israel’s highest court ruled that it was unfair to put the head of the Shas party in such positions. The decision was reached “with a sad heart, with profound grief,” Netanyahu reportedly told Deri, according to a statement from the Prime Minister’s office.
Due to his prior convictions and the fact that he declared in court last year that he would resign from public life before being punished for tax fraud, the court had stated that Deri’s appointment “cannot stand.” In the midst of an extraordinary dispute between his government and the judiciary, the decision was a bold action.
Why it’s important Major judicial reforms are being planned by Netanyahu’s administration, and a number of the measures that were proposed earlier this month would empower parliament to overturn high court judgments and give lawmakers more control over the selection of judges. The greatest of several protests against the proposed reforms drew more than 100,000 people to central Tel Aviv on Saturday night.
Release from prison of a prominent Egyptian businessman and his son
After nearly two years in pretrial incarceration, Safwan Thabet, the founder and former CEO of Juhayna Food Industries, and his son Seifeldin Thabet were freed from prison in Egypt on Saturday. The businessmen’s release comes roughly two weeks after one of the primary criteria of a loan agreement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) included more support for the private sector.
Background: Safwan was detained in December 2020, and his kid was later detained in February 2021 after being summoned. They were both charged with “belonging to and funding terrorist groups,” although no formal charges were ever brought against them. In September 2021, Amnesty International stated that the incident demonstrates “just how far the Egyptian authorities are willing to go in order to exert control” and “exposes how terrorism-related accusations are ruthlessly exploited in today’s Egypt.” The businessmen’s case had gained international attention over the previous two years.
Why it’s important The biggest manufacturer of dairy and juice goods in Egypt is the publicly traded Juhayna. It held a 58% market share in the milk sector in 2021. The two men’s release comes barely two weeks after the IMF detailed Egypt’s $3 billion Extended Fund Facility, in which Egypt promises to “lower the governmental footprint” in the private sector. It is unknown why the two men were released.
EU accepts new Iran sanctions package, stating that a member state’s court judgement is necessary for Iran Guards terrorist classification.
Josep Borrell, the head of foreign policy for the European Union, stated on Monday that any move to label Iran’s Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) as a terrorist group would first require judicial approval in a member state.
Background: On Thursday, the European Parliament passed a resolution urging the Union to classify the IRGC as a terrorist organization. Additionally, in response to Iran’s assault on domestic protests, the EU adopted a fresh set of sanctions against the nation on Monday.
Why it’s important Borrell’s statement comes in the midst of contradicting allegations from Iranian leaders regarding possible retaliation should the EU proceed with the terrorist designation. According to regional media, Mohammad Hassan Asfari, the vice chairman of the Internal Affairs and Councils Commission in the Iranian parliament, stated on Monday that closing the Strait of Hormuz to European commercial ships is “on the table.” The strait is not scheduled to be closed, according to Nizamuddin Mousavi, a spokesman for the parliament, who spoke shortly after. At its narrowest, the strait, which is off the southern coast of Iran, is barely 21 miles wide. It is traversed by a third of the world’s seaborne oil.
Conservatives in Jordan’s parliament are upset about a locally made Netflix movie that portrays violence and corruption in the nation. MIME jordan the alleys This is happening all around the region.
Beginning in early January, the Netflix original series “The Alleys,” which is based on a fictional Jordanian neighborhood, came under fire from MPs. Some of them called it a decadent depiction of society and denounced its use of profanity.
Suleiman Abu Yahya, a member of parliament (MP), even demanded on Monday that the government revoke the citizenship of one of the movie’s actors.
Another MP, Mohammad Abu Suailik, demanded last week that the producers be prosecuted for defaming the nation and its citizens.
He declared in front of the legislature that “this is a serious assault on other people’s freedom, their values, religion, and beliefs.” “The movie’s financiers and the movie producer should be held accountable.”
The director, Bassel Ghandour, did not reply to CNN’s request for a response.
Conservative lawmakers routinely criticize Jordan’s young but burgeoning film industry for its portrayal of local life.
In response to the issue, liberal activist Sanad Nowar posted a video showing MPs fighting each other last year on Instagram. She claimed that the MPs’ behavior, not the movie, is what is damaging Jordan’s reputation.
He told CNN, “This is not the first time parliament has attacked such Jordanian movies. They always make the same defense, namely that it doesn’t speak for the Jordanian community.
“We’ve been witnessing so many assaults against everything related to art, music, or any innovative creative endeavor,”
The movie, which was co-written and directed by Oscar-nominated director Bassel Ghandour, tells the story of events that take place in a “claustrophobic community where rumors and violence regulate people’s conduct.”
The movie has received numerous honors, including the Malmo Arab Film Festival in Sweden’s Audience Award and Special Mention.
Author: Celine Alkhaldi
On January 21, Beyonce and the Lebanese dance group Mayyas performed at the inauguration of the opulent Atlantis the Royal resort in Dubai.
On January 21, Beyonce performed alongside the Lebanese dance group Mayyas at the debut of the opulent Atlantis the Royal resort in Dubai.
Parkwood Media/Getty Images/Mason Poole