Sunday, December 13, 2009

No normalcy in Iran, either

Not even the generation-long "revolutionary" normalcy of the Islamic Republic.

From the Guardian, a sample of person-in-the-street commentary:

Meshkat Nourahmadi, 45, nurse

"I have seen patients with bullets in their chests, bullets in their legs, bullets in their heads. Everybody is talking about the violence, whether you are at work, in a taxi or at a family gathering. Something has changed in this country. I don't think this is just about fraud in the election. It's about the blood that has been spilled and people who have been raped or tortured or harassed by this government."

Hoori Ghasemi, 35, lawyer

"In Tehran, even if you have not been beaten by the riot police personally, at least you have a friend or relative who has."

Mohammadreza Kakavand, 62, retired accountant

"I was out in the streets 30 years ago protesting against the Shah because that regime was brutal and savage and today I'm out again, this time older, again seeking justice and standing against dictatorship. I might not see a free Iran in my lifetime, but I'm proud of the battle of today's youth against injustice and dictatorship. It would be an honour to be killed in a fight for freedom."

Bahram Ebrahimian, 30, businessman

"If you are going out today in protest, it means that you are ready to be arrested, it means that you are ready to be tortured or even sentenced to years of prison, but thousands of students are still protesting and I as a normal citizen want to join them despite all the fears."

Reyhaneh Aboutorabi, 23, Tehran University student

"Many students are no longer thinking about their exams, their education or their future, they are still thinking about their stolen vote. These demonstrations are going to continue until we can get back our votes and have our classmates freed from Evin prison."

Siamak Pournejati, 31, Tehran shopkeeper

"I'm ready to risk everything to get back my vote. You can smell the blood of innocent and peaceful protesters in the streets of Tehran, the blood of Neda Agha Soltan [killed during election protests], the blood of Sohrab Aarabi [who disappeared and was killed]. This city is no longer like it was last year. It's different and we will change it finally."

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