Via The Corner,
Bracing for New Protests, Iran Issues Media Warning: The mullahs said they’ll do a selective recount of the votes, but when that idea was rejected, they’re cracking down on bloggers
But there were signs on Wednesday that the authorities were preparing further restrictions both on opposition figures and on the way news about the protest is being spread. On Tuesday, the government revoked press credentials for foreign journalists and ordered journalists not to report from the streets.
On Wednesday, government officials telephoned or sent faxes to reporters in Tehran working for foreign news organizations telling them not to venture outside to cover events being held without an official permit. That included rallies by supporters of the main opposition candidate in last Friday’s elections, Mir Hussein Moussavi, and even news conferences or other public events held without the government’s approval, reporters in Tehran said.
Government officials told journalists that they were at risk following an incident on Tuesday when a photographer was stabbed and wounded while covering a rally. But, at the same time, two more well-known journalists, Sayeed Leilaz and Mohamed Reza Jalaipour, were detained Wednesday and were likely to be held for several days, associates and family members said, illustrating the depth of official concern to prevent word of the protests spreading inside and outside the country.
Defying the restrictions, Iranians using the Internet messaging service Twitter spread the word that another silent demonstration was scheduled for 5 p.m. Wednesday and called on protesters to wear green, the signature color of the opposition camp. New amateur video surfaced outside of Iran on Wednesday, apparently showing a government militia rampaging through a dormitory area of Tehran University late Tuesday or early on Wednesday.
The Associated Press reported that the powerful Revolutionary Guards threatened restrictions Wednesday on the digital online media that many Iranians use to communicate among themselves and to send news of their protests overseas. In a first statement since last Friday’s vote, the Revolutionary Guards said Iranian Web site operators and bloggers must remove content deemed to “create tension” or face legal action, the A.P. said. Despite that warning, Reuters reported, meanwhile, that Mohammadreza Habibi, the senior prosecutor in the central province of Isfahan, had warned demonstrators that they could be executed under Islamic law.
And, of course, the mullahs don’t call it an uprising against their oppression, they call it “waging war against God”
“We warn the few elements controlled by foreigners who try to disrupt domestic security by inciting individuals to destroy and to commit arson that the Islamic penal code for such individuals waging war against God is execution,” Mr. Habibi said, according to the Fars news agency. It was not clear if his warning applied only to Isfahan or the country as a whole, Reuters said.
The Anchoress posts about Twittering liberty… and hope
Richard Fernandez looks into the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps, a.k.a. the Revolutionary Guards
It is a state within a state. “The IRG is separate from, and parallel to, the other arm of the Iran’s military, which is called Artesh (another Persian word for army). The IRG is a combined arms force with its own ground forces, navy, air force, intelligence, and special forces. It also controls Basij force, which has a potential strength of eleven million, although Basij is a volunteer-based force, and consists of 90,000 regular soldiers and 300,000 reservists.”
Anti-riot capability, able to face down other power groups. Go read the whole post.
Kevin has more ways to help the Iranian protesters.