Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Iran Pulls No Punches: You Protest--You Die!

It's now a capital offense to protest in Iran:
Iran lawmakers urge death for opposition leaders

Iranian lawmakers called for the death penalty on Tuesday for opposition leaders they accused of fomenting unrest after a rally in which a least one person was killed and dozens were wounded, state media said.

Clashes broke out on Monday between security forces and protesters when thousands rallied in sympathy for popular uprisings in Egypt and Tunisia on Monday. They revived mass protests that shook Iran after a presidential vote in 2009.

“(Opposition leaders) Mehdi Karroubi and Mirhossein Mousavi are corrupts on earth and should be tried,” the official IRNA news agency quoted members of parliament as saying in a statement. The statement was signed by 222 lawmakers out of 290.

Being “corrupt on earth” is a charge which has been levelled at political dissidents in the past. It is a capital offence.
Not surprisingly, the threat has worked:
Protests against Iran’s clerical establishment seemed to be over on Tuesday and life in the main cities was back to normal.

But its leaders are wary of a repeat of the kind of protests which shook Iran after a presidential election in 2009. That was the biggest unrest since the 1979 Islamic revolution.
But please, feel free to protest anywhere else--as long as it's against secular governments:
Iran’s top authority Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has called the uprisings in Egypt and Tunisia against secular, Western-allied rulers an “Islamic awakening,” akin to the revolution that overthrew the U.S.-backed shah in Iran.
After stealing the election in 2009, stealing the right to free speech was easy.

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