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August 6, 2009

Yesterday’s events: “martial law, demonstrations, empty seats, arrests and a helicopter ride”

Kodoom news has a breakdown of yesterday’s events surrounding the inauguration of Ahmadinejad.

  • Basij and plain-clothes intelligence agents were reportedly stationed in hospitals and major city centers to prevent people from gathering and to monitor the protestors.
  • Train operators for the Tehran Metro system were reportedly ordered not to stop at Baharestan and Melat stations, citing security concerns.
  • Among the arrested was Hale Sahabi, an activist and daughter of Ezatollah Sahabi who is the manager and editor of the banned newspaper ‘Iran e farda’ who was arrested in December 2000. Hale Sahabi is a women’s right activist and reports indicate that she was assaulted by plain-clothed individuals and arrested.
  • Ahmadinejad reportedly traveled to the inauguration ceremonies via helicopter in order to avoid the demonstrators. His camp has vehemently denied these reports, emphasizing that he traveled by car so ‘he could be among his people.’ But reporters and eyewitnesses attending the inauguration contradicted that claim, saying he traveled to the Baharestan Sq by helicopter.
  • Parleman news has indicated that out of 70 reformist members of Parliament only 17 of them attended the inauguration and some left as soon as Ahmadinejad began to speak. In fact the majority of the seats of the Parliament were empty and had to be filled with guests invited by Ahmadinejad’s party.
  • Among those absent were prominent clerics and political leaders such as Hashemi Rafsanjani, Khatami, Mousavi, Karroubi, Nateq Nouri, Mohsen Rezai, Ghalibaf, while many international guests and ambassadors also avoided the inauguration.
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