Iran rejected the authenticity of a video circulating on Monday, and confirmed to be real by the Associated Press, of anti-regime protesters helping a woman bleeding profusely after reportedly being shot by Iranian police.
The woman was one of thousands to take the streets again after protesters erupted on Saturday in response to the Iranian regime admitting it had shot down a Ukrainian commercial airliner last week, killing 176 mostly Iranian, Ukrainian, and Canadian passengers. The Islamic regime had concluded in its preliminary report that the Ukrainian International Airlines (UIA) flight out of Tehran had crashed after its engine spontaneously caught fire, but ultimately admitted its military had shot the plane down with a Russian Tor missile after mounting international pressure.
Tehran has yet to admit that it lied about the fate of the airliner, instead insisting it had honestly reported its initial findings. Ample video and photographic evidence of Iranian officials bulldozing the crash site before international inspectors arrived contradict this claim.
The incident triggered protests attracting at least a thousand people, according to the state-run Fars News Agency, on Saturday. While Fars insisted the outcry was limited to Tehran and only numbered in the hundreds, independent reports said thousands, many of them students, took the streets in at least five other cities. The Kurdish outlet Rudaw described the crowds nationwide as numbering in the “tens of thousands.”
By Monday, reports began circulating that Iranian police were shooting live fire at protesters. Videos also showed the liberal use of tear gas to disperse crowds in Tehran. Radio Farda, a U.S.-funded information and news outlet, shared a graphic video of blood dripping in the streets of Tehran, believed to be from protesters that police shot with bullets. Those in the videos reportedly shout “clerics get lost!,” “death to the dictator!,” “They are lying that our enemy is America, our enemy is right here,” and other anti-government slogans in Farsi. Reuters reported police also beating protesters with batons.
[Warning: Graphic Images]
ویدیوی دریافتی با شرح: “خیابون آزادی #تهران، تقاطع استاد معین یک لباس شخصی #تیراندازی کرد و یک خانم زخمی شد. خورد تو پاش”https://t.co/kofj1qa7cJ#دی۹۸ #IranProtests #Iran #Tehran pic.twitter.com/Ym1NUvKJOH
— Vahid Online (@Vahid) January 12, 2020
The German outlet Deutsche Welle compiled similar images from Azadi Square in Tehran, showing trails of blood on the floor. The outlet also published video of Iranian women tearing down posters of Iranian terror chief Qasem Soleimani, eliminated in an American airstrike this month.
Iranian regime officials claim the strike against Soleimani instilled so much fear into the Iranian military that it prompted soldiers to shoot down the Ukrainian passenger plane.
The Associated Press published the same video of the woman dragged out of the plaza bleeding, stating that it received the video from the New York-based Center for Human Rights in Iran and verified its authenticity. Those in the videos can be heard shouting “death to the dictator!” and other slogans.
Radio Farda documented similar protests throughout the country.
“Large groups of people gathered at Azadi Square in Tehran and several other cities including Mashhad, Isfahan, Shiraz, Gorgan, Rasht, Ahwaz, Qazvin, Semnan, Tabriz and Kermanshah Sunday afternoon and early evening to hold vigils while chanting slogans against the regime and the IRGC,” the outlet noted, “protesting the downing of a Ukrainian airliner that left 176 passengers and crew, including many Iranian students and academics dead.”
The airliner had flown out of Tehran’s international airport en route to Kyiv shortly before an Iranian military missile shot it down.
Radio Farda also quoted local sources saying that Iranian police had elevated security not just around college campuses known as protest hotbeds during waves of unrest, but the Imam Sadeq University, an elite facility for the most trusted young regime loyalists, indicating that outrage against the regime had spread even among previous supporters.
“At protests, police absolutely did not shoot because the capital’s police officers have been given orders to show restraint,” Hossein Rahimi, head of the Tehran police, insisted following the publication of reports of live fire on Monday.
Iranian officials also denied that protesters were increasingly outraged at the regime, instead claiming that the average Iranian was angrier about the elimination of Soleimani.
“Certainly, the Iranian nation’s hatred for the US measures has increased compared with the past,” Iranian First Vice-President Eshaq Jahangiri said on Monday, according to Fars News. Fars published images it claimed to be from a vigil for the dead on the UIA flight but showed a man holding up a photo of Soleimani respectfully, a departure from the images circulating in free media of protesters tearing photos of Soleimani down.
Soleimani was the head of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps’ (IRGC) Quds Force, its external terrorist arm tasked with killing regime enemies, such as U.S. soldiers. Soleimani is believed to have coordinated several attacks by the regime of dictator Bashar al-Assad in Syria against civilians there and is believed to have helped the government of Iraq use snipers to target and kill civilians protesting Iran’s presence in the country. The IRGC is a U.S.-designated terrorist organization.
Iranian military officials shot down UIA Flight 752 early last Wednesday morning as it took off from Tehran, amid a shower of ballistic missiles targeting Iraqi military sites housing U.S. troops. The ballistic missiles caused no casualties and negligible property damage.
President Donald Trump warned the Iranian government not to attack civilians in a message Sunday.
To the leaders of Iran – DO NOT KILL YOUR PROTESTERS. Thousands have already been killed or imprisoned by you, and the World is watching. More importantly, the USA is watching. Turn your internet back on and let reporters roam free! Stop the killing of your great Iranian people!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 12, 2020
Beijing to suspend buses entering or leaving capital to contain virus: state media
Beijing (AFP) – China’s capital will suspend buses that enter and exit the city boundary, state media reported on Saturday, as Chinese authorities scramble to contain a new SARS-like virus that has killed dozens in the country. According to state-run People’s Daily, “all passenger transport by road” that crosses in and out of Beijing will…
Beijing (AFP) – China’s capital will suspend buses that enter and exit the city boundary, state media reported on Saturday, as Chinese authorities scramble to contain a new SARS-like virus that has killed dozens in the country.
According to state-run People’s Daily, “all passenger transport by road” that crosses in and out of Beijing will be suspended starting Sunday, citing “requirements of epidemic prevention and control”.
George Soros Accuses Facebook of Working to Reelect President Trump
Facebook is helping to reelect President Trump in 2020 in exchange for protection, billionaire George Soros claimed Thursday in Davos, Switzerland. “Facebook will work to re-elect Trump and Trump will protect Facebook. It makes me very concerned about the outcome of 2020,” he said during a private dinner hosted by his Open Society Foundations at…
Facebook is helping to reelect President Trump in 2020 in exchange for protection, billionaire George Soros claimed Thursday in Davos, Switzerland.
“Facebook will work to re-elect Trump and Trump will protect Facebook. It makes me very concerned about the outcome of 2020,” he said during a private dinner hosted by his Open Society Foundations at the World Economic Forum.
The left-wing financier reportedly described Trump as “the ultimate narcissist” and a “con man” who wanted the world to “revolve around him.”
“When his fantasy of becoming president became a reality,” his ego grew significantly, Soros alleged, then added, “This has turned his narcissism into a malignant disease.”
However, a Facebook spokesperson called the accusations “just plain wrong.”
January 9, the social media company announced that it would continue to allow politicians to run advertisements and “would not police the truthfulness of the messages posted,” according to Fox News.
“Ultimately, we don’t think decisions about political ads should be made by private companies,” said Facebook’s Director of Product Management Rob Leathern.
In the absence of regulation, Facebook and other companies are left to design their own policies. We have based ours on the principle that people should be able to hear from those who wish to lead them, warts and all, and that what they say should be scrutinized and debated in public.
Soros’s Open Society Foundation’s website states that it believes “the solutions to the national, regional, and global challenges we face demand the free exchange of ideas and thought, and that everyone should have a voice in shaping the policies that affect them.”
Despite his foundation’s commitment to the free exchange of ideas, Soros called the Trump administration “a danger to the world” at Davos in 2018, and also accused social media companies of encouraging addiction to their platforms.
The billionaire stated:
The distinguishing feature of internet platforms is that they are networks and they enjoy rising marginal returns. They deliberately engineer addiction to the services they provide. This can be very harmful, particularly to adolescents. As Facebook and Google have grown into ever more powerful monopolies, they have become obstacles to innovation, and they have caused a variety of problems of which we are only now beginning to become aware.
“Davos is a good place to announce that their days are numbered,” he concluded.
Schiff: ‘Uncontested’ that Trump Invited Ukraine ‘to Help Him Cheat’
During a press conference on Saturday, House Impeachment Manager and House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-CA) stated that President Trump’s impeachment defense team did “not contest that the president solicited a foreign nation to interfere in our election, to help him cheat.” And that “they acknowledge, by not even contesting this, that the facts…
During a press conference on Saturday, House Impeachment Manager and House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-CA) stated that President Trump’s impeachment defense team did “not contest that the president solicited a foreign nation to interfere in our election, to help him cheat.” And that “they acknowledge, by not even contesting this, that the facts are overwhelming.”
Schiff said, “First of all, what was most striking to me about the president’s presentation today is, they don’t contest the basic architecture of the scheme. They do not contest that the president solicited a foreign nation to interfere in our election, to help him cheat. I think they acknowledge, by not even contesting this, that the facts are overwhelming. The president invited Ukraine to get involved in our election to help him cheat against Joe Biden. That is uncontested, uncontested in our presentation and uncontested in theirs.”
Follow Ian Hanchett on Twitter @IanHanchett
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