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When Iranian protesters used internet services like Twitter to gain global attention they also reminded the world that oppressive regimes continue to buy or build technologies to enforce censorship.

Clothilde Le Coz, director of internet research for Reporters Without Borders, says Iran is second only to China in the extent and sophistication of its efforts to stifle dissent online.

“The Iranian government said last year that it was blocking 5 million websites,” Le Coz said in a telephone interview. “They brag about what they can do, perhaps to intimidate their opponents.”


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London Times

The Iranian regime has appointed one of its most feared prosecutors to interrogate reformists arrested during demonstrations, prompting fears of a brutal crackdown against dissent.

The interrogation of prisoners is now being headed by Saaed Mortazavi, a figure known in Iran as “the butcher of the press”. He gained notoriety for his role in the death of a Canadian-Iranian photographer who was tortured, beaten and raped during her detention in 2003.

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NY Times

Iranian officials stepped up efforts to crush the remaining resistance to a disputed presidential election, as security forces overwhelmed a small group of protesters with brutal beatings, tear gas and gunshots in the air. Intelligence agents shut down an office of a defeated presidential candidate, saying it was a “headquarters for a psychological war.”

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“They didn’t know what to make of us,” said Pam Deutschman.

But despite their surprise or shock to meet Americans visiting their country, many of the Iranians welcomed them with open arms.

“They knew how hard it was and how unusual it was for Americans to be there,” said Jon Snyder. “They were deeply impressed and it reinforced their pride in their country.”

Throughout their travels to Tehran, Isfehan, Shiraz and other cities, people stopped to talk.

“What do you think of our country?” they would ask. On a few occasions, some people told them in English: “Government, bad. People, good.”     ( "Hmm, apparently Ernie's been to Iran!" Dianne said! So I thought I'd share that little tidbit with you guys!

Frank G )  

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June 23 (Bloomberg) -- Iranian police massing in force broke up a demonstration over the disputed presidential election just hours after the Revolutionary Guards said they would crush further protest.

Police used tear gas and fired shots into the air to quell yesterday’s rally in central Tehran, the Associated Press reported. Witnesses said helicopters hovered overhead as about 200 protesters gathered in Haft-e-Tir Square before they were dispersed, AP said.

Security forces were deployed in the capital to prevent further demonstrations after hundreds of thousands of Iranians took to the streets in more than a week of rallies. At least 17 people have been killed in the worst internal violence in the oil-producing nation of 66 million since the shah was overthrown in 1979.


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TEHRAN, Iran (AP) - Tehran residents are climbing to their roofs and crying "God is Great!" in open defiance of Iran's supreme leader.

The late-night cries of "Allahu Akbar!" and "Death to the Dictator!" throughout Tehran Friday are a direct challenge to the cleric who has ultimate authority under Iran's constitution. They come hours after Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei warned opposition supporters to stop protesting the June 12 election they say was rigged in favor of hardline President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

Opposition leader Mir Hossein Mousavi borrowed the tactic from the 1979 Islamic Revolution led by Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, who asked Iranians to show unity against the U.S.-backed shah by shouting "Allahu Akbar" from their roofs. 

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Andrew Sullivan (Atlantic)

Yes, the president of Iran's own election monitoring commission has declared the result invalid and called for a do-over. That is huge news: when a regime's own electoral monitors beak ranks, what chance does the regime have of persuading anyone in the world or Iran that it has democratic legitimacy?

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Supporters of opposition leader Mir Hossein Moussavi planned to turn Tehran into a sea of black Thursday when thousands of them march, dressed in dark clothes, to mourn comrades killed or wounded while calling for a new presidential election. Demonstrators expected to start their rallies from mosques across the Iranian capital, converging in a city square Thursday afternoon, for what is expected to be one of the largest protests since last Friday’s disputed election....

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CBS News

Iran's most powerful military force has warned online media of a crackdown over their coverage of the country's election crisis. The Revolutionary Guard, an elite military force answering to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, said through the state news service that Iranian Web sites and bloggers must remove any materials that "create tension" or face legal action

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Washington Post

Large-scale manipulation of Friday's presidential election in Iran was to be expected, but predicted Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, had a military coup in mind. By declaring incumbent Ahmadinejad the winner, Khamenei conveyed a clear message to the West: Iran is digging in on its nuclear program, its support to Lebanese Hezbollah and Palestinian Hamas, and its defiant regional policies.

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News Cnet

While word of riots in the streets of Tehran spread like wildfire on Twitter, CNN stayed largely silent on the story, surprising and dismaying many. (Credit: Twitter) As the Iranian election aftermath unfolded in Tehran--thousands of demonstrators took to the streets to express their anger at perceived electoral irregularities--an unexpected hashtag began to explode through the Twitterverse: "CNNFail." ...

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The New York Times: The Iranian authorities detained more than 100 prominent opposition members, and on Sunday unrest continued for a second day across Iran in the wake of the country’s disputed presidential election. Editor's Warning: The first video in this playlist shows Iranian police beating a man to the point of motionlessness. It's uncertain if he died. All of the videos in this playlist contain varying degrees of graphic images