Basij militia

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What I Did to Deserve 13 Years and 74 Lashes

Mazair Bahari explains the sentence handed down in absentia

(Newser) - Newsweek reporter Maziar Bahari learned this week that, without telling him or his lawyers, an Iranian court had sentenced him to 13 years in prison and 74 lashes. Bahari won't serve that sentence—he was released from Iranian jail in October, after 118 days of interrogation and torture, and... More »

Twitter's @Oxfordgirl Takes On Iran

Anonymous tweeter helps mobilize protesters from afar

(Newser) - From the quiet English village of Oxfordshire, an anonymous Twitter user has become an important figure in the opposition movement. Tweeting from her handle " Oxfordgirl ," the remote revolutionary has made use of contacts from her time as a journalist in Tehran to spread news of the movement. Since... More »

Video Shows Protester Run Over by Iran Cop

Ahmadinejad blames America, Zionists for protests

(Newser) - Police vehicles can be seen speeding toward groups of Iranian activists and running at least one of them over in a shocking video believed to have been taken during protests last weekend. A person lies crumpled in the road at the end of the video as activists scream, and it's... More »

Ahmadinejad Defies Ayatollah, Refuses to Sack Vice Prez

In-law stays despite pro-Israel comments

(Newser) - Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has defied a direct order from Ayatollah Ali Khamenei to dismiss his vice president, opening a rift between Iran's president and supreme leader, reports the Los Angeles Times. Ahmadinejad's newly chosen VP, who is his son's father-in-law, has infuriated hardliners by making favorable remarks about Israel. But Ahmadinejad... More »

Mousavi's Options Dwindle as Time Ticks Away

Beaten on the streets, reformer takes uphill battle to the elite

(Newser) - The Iranian protest movement is running out of time and options as the regime continues its brutal crackdown, Time reports. Government forces have full control of the streets of Tehran, hundreds of political opponents are in jail, and Western journalists have been packed off. Mir Hossein Mousavi now has no... More »

Iran Police Clash With 3K Protesters

Witness describe chaos at a protest near Tehran mosque

(Newser) - Riot police clashed with up to 3,000 protesters near a mosque in north Tehran today, using tear gas and truncheons to break up Iran's first post-election demonstration in 5 days. Witnesses told the AP that some protesters fought back, chanting: "Where is my vote?" They said others described... More »

In the Shadows, Ayatollah's Son Calls the Shots

Mojtaba Khamenei has power throughout the security apparatus

(Newser) - Ayatollah Ali Khamenei rarely appears in public and cultivates a shadowy reputation—but even further out of the public eye, his son has become one of the post powerful men in Iran. Ultraconservative cleric Mojtaba Khamenei, believed to be around 50 years old, has connections throughout the Revolutionary Guards and... More »

Iran Teen Describes, Via Email, His Torture

(Newser) - Iranian-American activists are circulating an email, written in Farsi, in which a 17-year-old boy describes his torture at the hands of the regime, complete with graphic photographs, Salon reports. The boy, who says he's not an activist of any stripe, says he was minding his own business in a parking... More »

Shadowy Militia Is First Line of Defense for Iran Regime

(Newser) - The Iranian regime’s first response against pro-Mousavi protesters last week was not the Revolutionary Guard but its volunteer branch, the Basij militia, CNN reports. Iran says the militia, created by the Ayatollah Khomeini in 1979, numbers 12 million; the actual count is probably a smaller—but still effective—300,... More »

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