Here’s One For Pilger
It is surely time we focused on the savage repression in Iran.
It is one of the world’s worst dictatorships. The rate of capital punishment confirms it. Iran now stands second only to China in number of executions, with a smaller population. In 2005, the year Ahmadinejad became President, there were only 86 people executed. That figure has been rising steadily – there were 542 executed in 2010. Some are public entertainments.
So far this year there have been 13 public hangings (two of them juvenile offenders – executing children is another test of regime barbarity ) compared to 14 hangings reported for all of last year.
The demonstrations that were ignited by the same wave of protest that produced the crisis in Libya and the collapse of Mubarak simply resulted in even more comprehensive arrests. The protests that took place in February saw 1 500 protestors hauled away, and that included a former Speaker of parliament and a former Prime Minster, both seen by Ahmadinejad as political threats.
The repression of the regime had been effective in 2009 when literally millions of Iranians demonstrated against the stolen election outcome and branded the country’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei as a dictator. Brave people. But the Green Movement was flattened by the raw power of the Islamo-fascist state.
Now, according to Haleh Esfandiari, director of the Middle East program at the Woodrow Wilson International Centre at Washington, this campaign of repression is aimed not only at the usual dissidents but at people who were once considered “regime insiders”. The goal is to prevent the nation ever being taken in a liberal direction, argued Esfandiari, who herself was held in solitary confinement in Evin prison in Iran for 105 days in 2007.
Any opposition? Throw them in gaol.
Deserves a Pilger documentary.