Update on State Violence Against Demonstrators in Iran (video)

This article is an update to an earlier report on shots fired at pro-opposition demonstrators in Iran. Throughout the day on Saturday and late into the night, the internet was buzzing with rumor and conjecture, anecdotal reports and amateur video footage showing evidence of security forces attacking, beating and even shooting unarmed civilians. The following video shows police attacking students and opposition supporters at Shiraz University, on Saturday:

Unconfirmed reports are emerging from Shiraz that Hale Yousefian, a member of Mir Hossein Mousavi’s campaign and a former minister of the Iranian parliament, has been detained. The arrest has not been independently confirmed, but such news is being disseminated via online messaging sites like Twitter. Sporadic reports from unnamed bystanders and foreign media suggested the night could be a dangerous time for opposition supporters.

Videos have also emerged that appear to show unarmed victims of gunshot wounds, allegedly from shots fired by security forces. Here are two examples; be warned, the images are very graphic and may be disturbing:

One site that is collecting videos from links posted to Twitter is CastTV. Some sites, like TweetFeed’s RT Iran page, are showing live updates as new messages with eyewitness accounts, likes, video or transcripts of politicians’ statements, come in. Reports of violence are numerous and coming from a wide range of sources, so figures for the number of demonstrators, number of detained, or dead and injured, are hard to verify.

According to AHN, “Unconfirmed reports put the death toll in Iran at 150 on Saturday from violent clashes in Iran over the recent presidential elections, it was the worst violence there since the 1979 revolution.” CNN reports that hospital officials have confirmed at least 19 deaths.

The Huffington Post kept a live blog throughout the day, tracking online, anecdotal and wire service reports of incidents across Iran. Sometime after midnight Iranian time, the news began to spread that an Iranian state TV report claiming the Assembly of Experts had published a letter supporting the supreme leader and backing Mr. Ahmedinejad was in fact false. The letter had been signed by only one member of the Assembly, a hardline cleric who is described as close to Khamene’i, a rival of Rafsanjani and a staunch supporter of Ahmedinejad.

UPDATE, 2:52 GMT, 21 June: Online sources are posting warnings that Basij militia gangs are “breaking into homes”. There are specific warnings that the militia are heading for Shiraz, or are there already. One feed urges readers in the area “Basiji’s are breaking into homes! Gather with your neighbors in large groups!” These are not the first reports of Basij raiding private homes, but there is not yet independent evidence to show the breakins or what amount of force has been used.

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