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This is not my country

23 June 2009 No Comment

By HANA H. in Tehran | 23 June 2009

[TEHRAN BUREAU] I am an Iranian and I love my country but what has been taking place here in the past few days is so wrong that I can no longer remain silent.

People are scared and want to know the truth about the events happening in their country but it is pointless to look to state media for news as it hardly reflects anything related to the ongoing crisis.

The bits and pieces of information thrown our way all tell the same story ‘a group of hooligans are trying to upset peace but the situation is under control’, ‘ elements of foreign countries are attempting to stage a velvet revolution but they have been identified and detained’, and “thugs are trashing the city but intelligence forces have identified them and everything is under control’.

Before the revolution in Iran, the state media refused to show street protests and continued broadcasting mundane programs because everything was ‘fine and dandy’ there was no such thing as protesters being killed on the streets, no such thing as police beating angry rioters. In the world of the state broadcaster, Iran had no protesters, every single Iranian was a loyal subject and protesters were not Iranian.

History has the tendency to repeat itself. Thirty years after the revolution, once again, Iran has no protesters but now every single Iranian is a god-fearing revolutionary. Protesters are still not Iranian.

Better yet some of the protesters are people who have been tricked by foreign countries and terrorist organizations into vandalism and participating in illegal gatherings.

I live in Tehran and I do not have a clue as to what is going on in other cities in my country. I am certain that people living in other parts of Iran are also clueless as to what has been happening in the capital. Courtesy of state media some may even be convinced that a few ‘disgruntled kids’ are vandalizing the city because no one will listen to them.

It is an insult to our intelligence when everyone knows the country is struggling with a crisis and there is violence on the streets every day but five of the six national channels show movies non-stop and the sixth one shows news from a crisis-free Iran and occasionally a 1-minute clip of hooligans vandalizing the city…

This is a war zone. This is not my country.

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