28 Jun

Iran, June 28, 2009

Kalemeh, Mousavi’s Web Site, Shut Down by Iranian Authorities

28 June 2009 :: staff


Iranian authorities have reportedly shut down Kalemeh, the official website of opposition leader Mir Hossein Mousavi. Kalemeh was considered to be Mousavi’s only remaining independent means of communicating directly with supporters or with the world beyond Iran’s borders. The development is an escalation of the government’s efforts to disrupt opposition channels of communication and organizing capacity.

Mousavi has released an official statement to Iranians living abroad, expressing gratitude for their support and pledging to continue seeking all legal remedies available to challenge the official results of the presidential election, which he maintains was stolen. In that statement, Mousavi noted the weight of the expatriate voting community’s role in the balloting:

Your widespread welcoming of these elections and your green and energetic presence at the ballot boxes was so large that it even forced the government and the organizers of the elections to admit to a 300% increase in the participation of Iranians in the tenth presidential elections outside of the country.

He pledged, “I remain true to my existing pact with you and all layers of the great people of Iran, and using all legal avenues will demand your deserved rights that have been violated at the ballot boxes.” He criticizes the government for using means “contrary to the letter of the constitution, and the stated freedoms in the Islamic Republic” to block communications with his supporters and with the Iranian people broadly.

Mousavi assails the national media for collaborating in the theft of the election, writing “The national media which is being financed with public funds, with a revolting misrepresentation is changing the truth, and labels the peaceful march of close to three million people as anarchist”.

Mousavi also takes care to note that his understanding is that Iranians abroad who have concerns about the legality of the official count are not being manipulated or funded by people “who do not believe in the sacred Islamic Republic of Iran’s system”. He urges expats to distance themselves from such groups and to join him in calling for means that follow the constitution to be used to seek justice for the will of the people.

Juan Cole reports that some 5,000 people marched silently today in Tehran, “ostensibly in honor of cleric Mohammad Beheshti, who was killed in a bombing by the terrorist organization Mojahedin-e Khalq (Holy Warriors of the People) in 1981?. Cole reports that in fact the march was a silent public demonstration against the government’s handling of the election and its aftermath, framing the government’s actions as a “betrayal of the ideals for which Beheshti died”.

UPDATE, 23:54 GMT: Video from today’s street demonstrations in Iran. Estimates from a wide array of online sources range from 3,000 to 750,000 people participating in marches.

Shortly before 23:00 GMT, an Iran-watch Twitter thread posted an unconfirmed rumor that Mousavi had been detained, according to the account of his neighbors. The account was reportedly given in a video commenting on events of the day in Iran, and the allegation has not been independently confirmed.

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