“Where’s My Vote?”

By Sumayyah Meehan, MMNS Middle East Correspondent

“The tree of liberty must be watered from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants.”

–Thomas Jefferson


An Iranian demonstrator shows a placard against Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad during a demonstration outside the United Nations office in Kuala Lumpur June 15, 2009. Malaysian police used teargas to break up a crowd of around 500 Iranians demonstrating outside the United Nations mission against Iran’s contested presidential election, a Reuters photographer said.

REUTERS/Bazuki Muhammad

United by the common rallying cry composed of a mere three words,  “Where’s my vote?”, enraged Iranian protestors hit the streets this past Saturday in a show of defiance against the reelection of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.  They numbered in the millions as they filled the streets to march against perceived election fraud.  The popular candidate, Mir Hossein Mousavi, was seemingly robbed of certain victory as he received overwhelming support during his candidacy.  Over the course of less than a week protestors have clashed with security personnel and pro-Ahmadinejad supporters on a daily basis.  The result has been several horrendous and often vicious encounters that have played out on live TV and social networking sites on the Internet.  Many protestors have been beaten to a bloody pulp and some have lost their lives in this unwinnable battle of hearts and minds. Iranian security forces show no mercy as they beat anyone, including women, with their batons. There have also been several recent reports of protestors being shot at with live ammunition, with at least seven protestors having been shot to death.

One would expect the commander in chief of any nation to calm the storm until cooler heads prevailed. Not Ahmadinejad, who is relentlessly holding on to his stifling reign of dictatorship. Instead of rising above the controversy, he is stirring the pot to keep the tensions at a fever pitch. Perhaps his strategy is to keep his detractors busy so that no one can challenge his win or recount the ballots.  Why else would he clamp down so hard on media reports in Iran? Some journalists have been arrested while others have been forbidden from filming the bloody protests, Iranian reformists have been detained and telecommunications have been blocked.

But somehow, some way, the information keeps flowing.  The battle has moved into cyberspace where it began and has taken on a life of its own to tell the world about the injustice being meted out to an innocent populous. Once again social networking sites like Facebook, YouTube and Twitter have been fundamental in uniting pro-Mousavi Iranians into a central force as well as harnessing global condemnation regarding the brutality in which demonstrators have been dealt with.  Not since President Obama’s candidacy for the White House has there been such a political revolution been played out in cyberspace.  In this case, American-operated websites have been vital in keeping the stream of information running. Twitter cancelled a scheduled site maintenance and rescheduled it to coincide with the Iranian time zone, which came at the request of no other than President Obama. YouTube has also been a willingly ally and has kept video footage of demonstrations up on its website. Normally, YouTube’s policy is to remove violent videos, but plans to leave the Iranian protest videos up for their “documentary” value.

As of press time, it seems that a minuscule wind of hope is beginning to blow into the Iranian capital of Tehran. The Ayatollah Khameni has promised a partial recount of the votes in question under the auspices of representatives of both parties. Meanwhile, the fight goes on in the Iranian streets with both sides refusing to coalesce. Rallies for both sides were held on Tuesday. Touting a ban on public gatherings, opposition leaders have scheduled even more rallies in the coming days.


1 reply
  1. shahriar bozorg
    shahriar bozorg says:

    Down with dictatorship of Islamic republic of iran,such a fake regime.
    Here shahriar bozorg(Babak),BD 1979-Gorgan
    I was sued by embassy of iran in Malaysia-Kuala Lumpur just because of I was supporting and reporting the announcement of Iranian demonstration in KL.we held demonstration in 15 June and condemned IR coup and fraud election and also brutality action of anti-riot police which they was killing innocent people at streets. so eventually I forced to save my life and leave my life and occupation and flee from Malaysia, I was searching for safe and secure shelter, because I become a homeless . by the time two friends of me with the name Mojtaba Kabiri and Arman Taheri ,whom they had accepting responsibility of announcement of demonstration of Iranian students and residents in KL have been captured by anger secret police service embassy of IR in KL.. they were tortured several times.
    Secret police service of embassy still searching for others parties who accompany that demonstration. here I claim that I have never been a politics activist in my life. i sense that ,this is a duty and I feel responsible as an Iranian for that. I take a step and joining to the group of leaders who announcing to Iranian residents in KL to join them with together for having demonstration against fraud election in KL.
    Coincidence event ,all political intellectuals, common people,artists, athletes and Iranians and foreigners supporting Iranian demonstration against fraud election and coup in IR and condemned killing people and capturing people in recent days..
    Its clear for all people in the world that they have watching and listening about riot in iran which so many people was killed and captured by that regime and still all press and newspaper are writing about that.
    Islamic republic of iran ,has claimed that I am a politics activist who was a leader of demonstrators against regime which was held in KL recently in 15 of June. Due to they are still chasing me to capture me to returning me to the official state in iran..
    Such a this brutality action from IR is against human rights and all countries condemned this treatment with people.
    (In Hope of having comfortable life and freedom for all Iranians and all people in all over the world)