article

06.16.09

Explosive Protest and Police Brutality Videos from Iran

The Iranian government may have banned foreign journalists from covering protests, but that hasn’t stopped a flood of user-generated videos—many quite disturbing—from hitting the Internet.

Hed: Blood in a Sidewalk in Tehran

WARNING: GRAPHIC CONTENT. In this video uploaded to YouTube on June 23, a group of Iranians, one of them kneeling, look at a pool of blood left on the sidewalk. We cannot fact check the content of this video.

Video screenshot

Students Injured in Protests

This disturbing video shows injured students being tended to by their classmates after violent skirmishes during the protests in Tehran this week.

Video screenshot

Riot Police Flee Protest

From the streets of Tehran: riot police (in khaki in the foreground) are overwhelmed and flee a large group of protesters.

Video screenshot

Tear Gas Fired Into Crowds

Iranian police forces have begun harsher crackdowns on protests, using tear gas to disperse crowds. The individuals filming the scene can be heard coughing in the background as the protesters are forced to flee.

Video screenshot

BBC Reports on Defiant Iranian Authorities

Iran's Guardian Council, the body that supervises elections, may be conceding that there "irregularities" in the presidential election, but in this video, the country's foreign ministry seems far more upset at the Western media than at any possible voter fraud.

Police Capture Two Men

Iranian armed with batons appear to arrest two men. This video was uploaded to YouTube on June 21, but the poster claims the events occurred on June 20. As with many of these videos, we cannot confirm its authenticity.

Video screenshot

Frightening Home Invasion

CNN aired this terrifying video of what is reportedly a nighttime home invasion by paramilitiaries in Iran. Women and children can be heard screaming in the background.

Video screenshot

The Brutality of June 20

The day after Ayatollah Ali Khameini announced that protesters would be punished, thousands stormed the streets of Tehran anyway, and disturbing videos of protesters being beaten—sometimes, it appears, to death—by police made their way to YouTube and Facebook. Shocking in both their content and quantity, the new images of Iran’s user-generated revolution are punctuated with screams and gunfire.

In an extremely graphic video, a female appears to die, with blood welling up on her face while bystanders attempt to revive her.

Video screenshot

Another, titled “People shot in Iran” showed the torso of a man lying on the street, surrounded by protesters photographing him and putting pressure on his wound, while a large crowd walks around him and chants.

Video screenshot

The Crowds of June 20, 2009

It wasn’t all bloody on Saturday. The below video depicts the sheer volume of protesters on the streets, chanting, marching, and clapping.

Video screenshot

Shot from the vantage of a person walking, then running, through the streets of Tehran, this video shows violence erupting and quelling as crowds disperse and gather.

Video screenshot

Iranians Flee From Suicide Bomber

The New York Times linked to this video which claims to show Iranians fleeing from the sight of a suicide bombing Saturday near the shrine of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, Iran’s revolutionary founder.

Video screenshot

Protesters and Security Forces Side by Side

Robert Fisk has reported witnessing security guards actually protecting reformist protesters, which may indicate a major shift in popular opinion. This video depicts a similar scenario, as protesters and security forces appear to be peacefully coexisting. The translation accompanying the video is accurate and paints a starkly different picture from many of the images of brutal violence. Note that the protesters even praise the authorities for allowing the peaceful gathering.

Video screenshot

Man Gets Shot During Protests

Another video from YouTube member sonyblack7 depicts a man injured in the Tehran protests, with the surrounding crowd in a panic. Be warned: This video is extremely graphic.

Video screenshot

Guards Beat Protester

When Andrew Sullivan posted this on his blog, The Daily Dish, he was moved to quote a passage of Orwell’s on fascism. In it, masked police officers pummel a shirtless protester. Be warned: The footage is quite graphic.

Video screenshot

Shots Fired in Front of Police Station

Most accounts of the protests in Iran report that the authorities are attacking civilians unprovoked. In this video, said to be in front of a police station, the authorities appear to begin firing in an attempt to disperse protesters. The crowd makes a hasty retreat, but the gunfire continues.

Video screenshot

Gravely Wounded Man Carried Amid Chaos

Since the harsh media crackdown ordered by President Ahmadinejad, coverage by foreign outlets of the protests have been severely restrained. However, Iranian citizens have taken matters into their own hands. YouTube user penguinswillfly is being closely followed by many news organizations, as he or she appears to be in the thick of the protests by the opposition. In this video, a badly wounded man is carried through a crowd on the shoulders of a group of men.

Video screenshot

Injured Man Rushed Out Of Crowd

Some reports have questioned whether security forces are firing real or rubber bullets, though many of the images shown on news Web sites seem to make the answer quite clear. In this graphic video, a man wounded in the leg is rushed through a crowd of protesters.

Video screenshot

A Police Car Is Burned in the Street

Not since the revolution of 1979 has Iran seen such an uprising. Since that year, the Islamic republic has struggled to reconcile the conservative and reformist strains of society. In this video, protesters channel their anger at a burning police car in the streets of Tehran.

Video screenshot