London, 29 Mar – The Iranian judiciary reports that 43 people in Kermanshah, western Iran, have been indicted for taking part in recent anti-establishment protests.
On Wednesday, public prosecutor Mohammad Hossein Sadeghi told Mizan Online, the official website of the Iranian judiciary, that the people named in the indictment were under the influence of “cyberspace” and that their cases will be reviewed by the court.
It is common for the members of the Iranian Regime to attempt to paint the legitimate political activism of the Iranian people as being caused by foreign media, including satellite TV channels and the internet.
This is why Iran forcibly removes satellite dishes, censors the internet, and blocks most social media (i.e. Twitter); to stop the public from getting ideas. Of course, powerful Regime members like Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, endure no such restrictions.
Sadeghi then went on to describe the popular people’s protest as “sad incidents” that damaged the country, but failed to acknowledge that they were a direct result of the Regime’s malign actions and inherent corruption.
He did admit that the protests were “partially” due to economic problems in the country, which is a massive understatement. The protests began in response to a draft budget that cut subsidies for the poor and ploughed more money into the suppressive security forces. They then took on an overall anti-regime sentiment with people calling for the fall of the Regime as a whole.
Then Sadeghi tried to blame the protesters for “deconstructive behaviour”. These attacks were only levied against Regime property, not private businesses, and pale in comparison to how the Regime has treated the people in the past.
He then went on to praise the security forces and the judiciary for “successfully” restraining the protesters, by which he must mean the brutal crackdown that left 50 people dead in the streets and over 8,000 arrested. He must also be referring to the fact that at least 14 of those arrested have died under torture in prison.
As part of their crackdown, the Iranian Regime also restricted/blocked access to the social media apps Instagram and Telegram, which were being used by protesters to communicate with each other and share information with the outside world.
Said Peyvandi, an Iranian sociologist living in Paris, wrote an op-ed for Radio Farda recently in which he described the previous Persian calendar year (which ended on March 20) as a “big defeat” for the Regime in the “media war” as this advanced technology has allowed Iranians to communicate without being seen by the Regime.