Today, the central London based think-tank, the Legatum Institute, has dedicated its website to the Iranian opposition movement.
The Legatum site will be featuring articles by experts on the region about the situation in Iran, and what the future holds for the country.
It coincides with the 31st anniversary of the Iranian regime, and with the release of a report by Human Rights Watch (HRW) which details the horrific treatement of Iranian protesters. According to one protester who was detained:
On June 23, three men in a car arrested me near my father’s house and took me to an unknown location blindfolded and in handcuffs. On June 24, guards beat me violently with something that felt thicker than a whip, possibly a hose. I was not given any food or water. On June 25, fake execution sessions started. They gave us a piece of bread and water that tasted foul. We were randomly selected and beaten. On June 26, prison guards one more time set up fake executions, cursing and randomly beating people who asked for water or to use the toilet. I said, “Execute me if you want and get it over with.” I received a kick to my stomach and when I fell to the ground more kicks in the stomach, until I started throwing up blood. Another man said, “Take this faggot and make him pregnant, so he won’t be a smartass again.” That man grabbed me violently and pulled me to another location. He tied my hands and feet and pulled down my underwear and […] while he was raping me he said, “I was so wrong to enjoy 12 and 13-year-old girls before. You little faggots are so much better. You can’t even defend your own ass, how do you want to start a velvet revolution?” I threw up blood and passed out.
This story is but a small glimpse into what is really happening in Iran at the moment, and there are likely to be hundreds if not thousands of similar incidents that we will never even know about.
Let’s not forget that tonight, as was first reported by Iranian blogger Arash, the Ahlul Bayt Islamic Society at UCL will be holding an event called ‘1979 – The Revolution That Shook the World’. According to its Facebook page:
In 1979, an Islamic revolution took place which reformed a country in a way never seen before. Although it took place in Iran, its effects reverberated throughout the world. Led by Ayatollah Khomeini, it was a revolution like no other in history, in its efficiency, success and popularity. This event will aim to understand how one man revived the faith of a nation and why the regime that this revolution put in place can still be seen as successful today.
Yvonne Ridley will be one of the keynote speakers at this paean to the apex of religious fascism, and of course a London University is yet again more than happy to provide the platform. As if to rub it in even further, it will be taking place in the Darwin Lecture Theatre.