Saturday, November 28, 2009

Do Not Become the Vehicle for Oppression

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Rooz Online English

Mir-Hossein Mousavi released a new statement warning against the transformation of Basij militia into a vehicle of oppression, and announced, “The Basij was not supposed to become a tool to take away voting choices and freedoms from people.” The Iran-Iraq war era prime minister also called on this military force not to stand against the people. Meanwhile, meeting with a group of students, Mohammad Khatami condemned “theorized violence” and declared, “Basij acquires its value by being with people, not standing against them.” Ayatollah Khomeini issued the order for the establishment of the Basij on November 26, 1979. Khatami and Mousavi’s statements on the Basij were released on the thirtieth anniversary of ayatollah Khomeini’s order. Comparing the performance of the Basij in the initial years after the revolution with is performance in recent months, Mousavi noted, “Some [commanders] want the Basij to be a vehicle of oppression for beating, arresting, intimidating and ever murdering individuals whose only crime is to demand justice?” Posting the question, “What is the true identity of the Basij?” Mir-Hossein Mousavi warned against the changing identity of the Basij: “The Basij is turning into a spineless organization that shuts its eyes to perform orders and break the arms and legs of its brothers and sisters.” In an implicit reference to the government, he asked on Basij forces not to support “liars” in Iran’s political scene.

Mousavi emphasized, “The Basij was not supposed to be the government’s mercenary and receive a bonus in exchange for arresting people at gatherings. Alas if the Basij is reduced to a political party. The Basij was not supposed to become a tool to take away choice and freedom in voting from the people.” He said, “The force that once was the symbol of our nation’s courage is now used to frighten the Iranians? Do they not think about how they endanger our national security by such shortsighted behavior?” Mir-Hossein Mousavi said that “frightening the people was the last measure available to the “authoritarian minority,” and asked the people not to allow anyone to think that they can scare us. Simultaneous with the publication of Mousavi’s statement, former Iranian president seyyed Mohammad Khatami blasted the implementation of “theorized violence,” announcing, “Supporters of violence say that one way and method and preference is truly in line with Islam and the revolution, and whoever thinks outside of this framework does not have the right to live, or the right to representation in government, or even the right to speak freely.”