article

06.21.09

Exclusive Tehran Account: Rejoicing Rafsanjani's Daughter's Release

In his second online chat with Tehran photojournalist NS, Parvez Sharma witnesses Iran media breaking news on the release of former Iran President Rafsanjani’s daughter. NS details another brutal attack on a loved one during a protest—a male photographer attacked with large Ghameh knife, a weapon traditionally used during the Shia mourning ritual of Muharram. NS also finds a video with the title “Basiji beats 7 year old boy Tehran Iran” but can’t watch it—her access to YouTube is blocked.

In his second online chat with young Tehran photojournalist and Mousavi supporter "NS," Parvez Sharma witnesses Iran media breaking news on the release of former Iran President Rafsanjani’s daughter. NS, whose name has been omitted for safety reasons, details another brutal attack on a loved one during a protest—a male photographer attacked with large Ghameh knife, a weapon traditionally used during the Shia mourning ritual of Muharram. NS also finds a video with the title “Basiji beats 7 year old boy Tehran Iran” but can’t watch it—her access to YouTube is blocked.

Sharma and NS chat from 10:10 p.m. Tehran time (during the chat, news of the prison release is announced on BBC Persian) and NS points out that the nightly rooftop chants of "Allahu akbar" are going on with the same intensity throughout their online chat. This, to both NS and Sharma, is a sign that the opposition has not given up.

NS: hello

Me (Parvez Sharma): so u are there after all!

NS: yes just got on the computer
how are you?

Me: I am ok—its more about you.

NS: alah o akbar just started
im ok thanks
a bit down

Me: Why are you down?

NS: a photographer, a friend of mine
was attacked with some kind of knife
a large kind of knife called "GHAMEH"

Me: I know the Ghameh

NS: the ones they use during MOHARAM
yes
he is alive
thank god

Me: Where did this attack happen and who attacked him?

NS: but he was attacked in the face last night
the animals they released in the streets of tehran

Me: Please share more. Where did the attack happen? Who is on the streets

NS: alah o akbar is very loud and strong
well as far as I know last night
but I dont know by who exactly
i guess by the one who are not in uniform
the so-called "LEBASS SHAKHSSI"

Me: So he was attacked by the Basij?

NS: I assume
he was shooting in the streets last night
and that happened

Me: What do you know about today?

NS: today i went out
there were guards and police everywhere
nothing special
there were some small movements around the city
but nothing big or major
as far as i was told

Me: Where is Mousavi?

NS: we just received some news
but not confirmed that he was arrested

Me: Do people know that Rafsanjani's daughter has been arrested?

NS: yes it was on state tv and local papers

Me: That Rafsanjani’s family is being arrested?

NS: everyone knows yes

Me: That means they are cracking down hard?

NS: yes

Me: Has anyone heard from Mousavi?

NS: but the security is strong
no no one
as far as i know..

Me: What is planned tomorrow?

NS: nothing that i know
nothing is planned as a big thing

Me: What can you see on TV my dear?

NS: we just heard that FAEZEH HASHEMI is released
the daughter
I dont have TV
sorry..

Me: Wow Faezeh has been released?

NS: no details yet..
just a title in the news

Me: NS how are people communicating with each other?

NS: still as usual same system

Me: Can anyone even watch CNN or BBC Persian or VOA?

NS: some can and some can't
in some area is easier
but it's generally difficult as they try to cut them
alah o akbar still on..

Me: I know. My friend told me that the Basij went into her mothers apartment building to take away satellite dishes!

NS: they have started that,yes

Me: If the Allah O Akbars are still on--that means people have not given up hope

NS: i guess that's a sign..

Me: Are people feeling sad? Do you and your friends even know how much support people outside have?

NS: we do feel sad feeling kind of sad...

Me: Is it all over? Or will it continue?

NS: who knows...
everyone is waiting to hear something
i dont think it's over
but i think people will start changing their ways
i think things has moved to another level now..

Me: What is that other level?

NS: people do hear about the support from outside and it's great but i wish it could help these people in the streets

Me: Will there be a national strike on tomorrow or Tuesday?

NS: the ones who were killed yesterday
ones like NEDA

Me: Did you know Neda?

NS: there some talks
no i didn't... but does it matter?

Me: It doesnt matter
She is a shahid now

NS: there are some talks about strike and.... but nothing confirmed exactly

Me: How are you keeping in touch with friends and family joon? SMS working?

NS: sms doesnt work
phone calls
we also heard that they want to disconnect the internet

Me: But they have not done that yet, have they?

NS: not sure how true it is..

Me: You and I are online!

NS: no

Me: How slow is it?

NS: thanks god it's not bad

Me: I am praying for you.

So many are praying for you. Yesterday when I published our chat so many people were supportive and sad

NS: thank you
your help and support is really appreciated

Me: Which web sites are people generally able to access for information?

NS: if they pass the filter, everything
if they dont then almost nothing
maybe yahoo news

Me: but no CNN or all of that?

NS: alah o akbar still on

Me: In any case the people are doing a better job than CNN ever did

NS: all filtered

Me: How long has the Allah o Akbar been on now?
People here dont realize how imortant that chant is

NS: started at 10
and now it's 10:40
it's fading now

Me: Mashaallah
so 40 minutes
people are fighting them back with Allah o Akbar!

NS: yes

Me: Will you now go out or is it too dangerous?

NS: i won't it is im a bit i guess

Me: I pray for you
Please keep us updated here

NS: will do

Me: The world needs to know

NS: thank you so much

Me: And please tell all and each and every one of your friends that millions of people support them

NS: yes they do

Me: Ya Hossein!

NS: thank you i will

Me: Khoda Hafiz

NS: khoda hafiz

Me: u still there?

NS: yes

Me: so anything else to report today?

NS: im afraid not..

Me: But did you hear that Ayatollah Montazeri asked for a mourning from wednesday to friday?

NS:

Video screenshot

seems like in this video you can see them beating a young boy i cant see it so im not sure yes i heard he released a "FETWA"

Me: Where did you hear that Faezeh has been released?

?

NS joon-u there?

NS: bbc persia

Me: radio

NS: announced it on tv

Me: but you dont have TV right?

NS: and a friend told us about straight away

Me: OK I see

NS: yes i dont

a friend called us

Me: OK talk soon Khoda Hafiz and take care

NS: oh one more thing

A NOTE TO OUR READERS: We are saddened to report that the Iranian photojournalist, whose pictures appear in this gallery, is missing. He has not been in contact with us; this morning we received the following email from one of his relatives. We will update this space when we have more details.

from life magazine the photo is on the cover of tim sorry life and they released that note today i dont know if you know about that already or not hope you'll have a good evening talk soon khoda hafez

Parvez Sharma is the director and producer of A Jihad for Love. He is in constant contact with friends on the ground in Tehran and has also been blogging on The Huffington Post.