Hope and Protests:
Iran’s autocrats have shown once again that they know absolutely no shame. Last week, they crowed about the ouster of Hosni Mubarak of Egypt and rushed to claim solidarity with the protestors in Tahrir Square.
On Monday, when thousands of Iranian protestors courageously took to the streets of Tehran, the government sent out its riot police to threaten and beat anyone who dared to demand an end to the mullah’s rule. The judiciary announced that 1,500 people were jailed, and a member of Parliament said two people were killed. Journalists were barred from covering the protests, so no one really knows how many more may have died.
The government has placed two of the main opposition leaders, Mir Hussein Moussavi and Mehdi Karroubi, under house arrest. On Tuesday, 222 of 290 Iranian lawmakers called for their execution. Unfortunately, no one can dismiss that as empty rhetoric. A group of Iranian intellectuals living abroad recently charged that Tehran executed more than 500 dissidents in 2010 and another 83 just since the start of this year.
We don’t know what will happen next.
We are cheered by the news that the Iranian people are still willing to stand up and truly frightened by the government’s capacity for brutality.