June 25, 2009

Martyrs persecuted beyond death

Death doesn't end the persecution by the state.
The Iranian authorities have ordered the family of Neda Agha Soltan out of their Tehran home after shocking images of her death were circulated around the world.

Neighbours said that her family no longer lives in the four-floor apartment building on Meshkini Street, in eastern Tehran, having been forced to move since she was killed. The police did not hand the body back to her family, her funeral was cancelled, she was buried without letting her family know and the government banned mourning ceremonies at mosques, the neighbours said.

"We just know that they [the family] were forced to leave their flat," a neighbour said. The Guardian was unable to contact the family directly to confirm if they had been forced to leave.

The government is also accusing protesters of killing Soltan, describing her as a martyr of the Basij militia. Javan, a pro-government newspaper, has gone so far as to blame the recently expelled BBC correspondent, Jon Leyne, of hiring "thugs" to shoot her so he could make a documentary film. ...

In accordance with Persian tradition, the family had put up a mourning announcement and attached a black banner to the building.

But the police took them down, refusing to allow the family to show any signs of mourning. The next day they were ordered to move out. Since then, neighbours have received suspicious calls warning them not to discuss her death with anyone and not to make any protest. (The Guardian)

To readers of JSF all this should sound awfully familiar, the persecution of the families of martyrs, the disruption of funerals, and of course the fabrications, all standard operating procedures of the IDF. Let's refresh our memories with just a few stories. Click on the links to read the full account. Of course these stories would never get the amount of publicity that oppression in Iran gets.

First a recent one from Bil'in

Hundreds of mourners, including several Palestinian leaders, clergy and political activists, left the Ramallah hospital with Yosef A'qel Srur's body. They took to the streets to accompany the man, who was shot in the chest with a live bullet by Israeli soldiers on Friday, to his grave.

The procession chanted slogans affirming their belief in non-violent resistance and dedication to the struggle against the wall....

When the funeral procession arrived to the entrance to the village, four Israeli military checkpoints were set up. Mourners were forced out of their vehicles and walked the rest of the way to the village, said Salah Al-Khawaja, coordinator of the Popular Committee Against the Wall in Ni'lin. (IMEU)

And an old one from the first intifada:

At 10 pm the word spreads that the army has finally brought Salem's body back. We follow Firas' fiery but warm-hearted mother through the dark streets to the church where the funeral is to be held. There, soldiers block the entrance to prevent anyone, even relatives, from entering. Since only 30 persons are allowed in, and they are all coming by bus, everyone else must go home. With our foreign identity still protected by darkness, we hurry to join the dozens of other young men defying the army by hiding in the cemetery. "It is not Israel's right to tell me I can't bury my cousin," Issa Musleh says angrily, as men stand around waiting for the body to be handed over.(WRMEA)

And this one from Gaza recently, also the parents not even notified of the murder of their child.
If you watch the video below, which was taken by an ISM Gaza, you will notice that despite the soldiers knowing that we are UNARMED CIVILIANS and “searching for a body,” they shot at us directly and close, particularly once the body was found. They went out of their jeeps and hummers, thus, knowing that we pose not threat to them, shooting was whimsical. They shoot according to their moods and whims. “They [Israelis] knew that they shot an unarmed boy. They knew they killed him. They said no word of it!” (Intifada Palestine)

As for the lies and the horrible stories invented about the victims and how they died, there are legion: remember James Miller, Muhammad al-Dura, Rachel Corrie, Tom Hurndall ... (click on these links only on an empty stomach)

The Khameini regime is happy to flatter itself with its defense of Palestine and everybody notes that is one of the pillars of its legitimity. But they behave in the same despiccable way when their power is questioned. Power has its own built in universality. Not only do thugs and their masters learn from each other, but they also often come to the same "solutions" to their problems independently.

Of course, most of the hypocrites who are so shocked with the behavior of the Iranian government during this crisis don't even blink at the fact that this is normal behavior in Israel for decades. Obama criticized Palestinians in Cairo for not following the ways of Martin Luther King, but passed in silence Israel's routine murder of protesters like Martin Luther King. Those Iranians who justifiably resent the Western politicians' and media hypocritical attention need only carry signs "Free Palestine" to their next protest to see Gordon Brown and the BBC losing all their feigned sympathy.


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