Disgustingly Brutal

by Pejman Yousefzadeh on February 15, 2011

In response to protests in Iran, the regime shows its true colors:

One witness described a scene in which a flower-decorated car in a bridal convoy became stuck in the protests. With security forces in pursuit of demonstrators, a bride in full regalia stepped out of the car and helped shove protesters inside to protect them, this person said.

Witnesses said the plain-clothes Basij militia were dispatched on motorbikes and vans later in the evening. They took position in side streets and beat protesters with sticks and batons, witnesses said.

Various observers reported several injuries and arrests. Their accounts weren’t possible to verify.

“I saw a young woman thrown to the sidewalk, her head split open and she was bleeding, but the guy kept kicking her,” a young man from Tehran said via Internet chat.

A young female activist said by telephone from the city of Isfahan that plain-clothes Basij militia had attacked a group of young men and women and dragged them into a parking lot on Revolution Avenue. They locked the gate and began beating them with wooden sticks and electric batons as the protesters fell to the ground and screamed, the activist said.

“Everyone was terrified and we felt helpless. All we could do was shout ‘Death to the Dictator,’ but the police chased us,” said the activist.

This kind of barbarism cannot be gotten rid of fast enough.

UPDATE: It just gets more appalling:

Hardline Iranian lawmakers called on Tuesday for the country’s opposition leaders to face trial and be put to death, a day after clashes between opposition protesters and security forces left two people dead and dozens injured.

Tens of thousands of people turned out for the opposition rally Monday in solidarity with Egypt’s popular revolt that toppled President Hosni Mubarak after nearly 30 years in power. The demonstration was the first major show of strength from Iran’s beleaguered opposition after canceling planned rallies for the past year when authorities refused permission.

In Washington, President Barack Obama criticized the Iranian government for its harsh treatment of protesters and noted the irony of its support for Egypt’s uprisings while repressing demonstrators at home.

At an open session of parliament Tuesday, pro-government legislators demanded opposition leaders Mir Hossein Mousavi, Mahdi Karroubi and former reformist President Mohammad Khatami face be held responsible for the protests.

Pumping their fists in the air, the lawmakers chanted “death to Mousavi, Karroubi and Khatami.”

If this is an attempt to intimidate the opposition, the regime may have underestimated its foes.

One of the advantages the regime has is its ability to keep most–if not all–of the foreign media out of Iran. That way, it can attack protesters with relative impunity. But some pictures still get out (via al Jazeera). The question is whether the international community will act on what it sees, for its interests, and for those of the Iranian people:

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