Iran – Further Weight to Fraud Allegations & Photoshop Abuse
The above picture (from the Guardian) is of today’s rally in Tehran, another silent sit-in said to be numbering in the hundreds of thousands (these numbers are always difficult to verify), you have to admire the tenacity of these protesters, that’s for sure.
Sullivan had some choice things to say about Mousavi’s political shrewdness, and I have to agree:
He really has made some good calls – primarily to restrain his supporters from violence, to insist on peaceful protest, to coopt the rhetoric of the revolution, and to appeal to religious sensibilities. Now an even better one? One obvious weakness of the coup leaders – enough to make even Khamenei acknowledge – is the evidence of rank brutality against students, women and young protestors. Calling for a national Day of Mourning tomorrow in the mosques seems like an inspired move to me.
In some of the most conclusive evidence yet to point to electoral fraud, the Guardian today reported, original source being the centrist Ayandeh website, that some towns recorded a voter turnout of over 100%, with other towns recording voter turnouts of over 95% which is also considered a scientific impossibility.
Taft, a town in the central province of Yazd, had a turnout of 141%, the site said, quoting an unnamed “political expert”. Kouhrang, in Chahar Mahaal Bakhtiari province, recorded a 132% turnout while Chadegan, in Isfahan province, had 120%.
Ayandeh’s source said at least 200 polling stations across Iran recorded participation rates of 95% or above. “This is generally considered scientifically impossible because out of every given cohort of 20 voters, there will be at least one who is either ill, out of the country, has recently died or is unable to participate for some other reasons,” the source said. “It is also unprecedented in the history of Iran and all other democratic countries.”
The claims are impossible to verify but they are consistent with comments made by a former Iranian interior minister, Ali Akbar Mohtashamipour, who said on Tuesday that 70 polling stations returned more completed ballots papers than the number of locally eligible voters.
The other massive piece of damning evidence against the regime is the revelation that they have been photoshopping photos of their rallies that appear in state-media to make them appear larger! Picked up from an Iranian website (.ir extension not being reposted lest it be shutdown), it has now appeared on Daily Kos, Sullivan’s blog, BoingBoing and even Gawker.
In addition, several pundits have come out to oppose the widely-held claim that Ahmadinejad’s popularity among poor & rural Iranis may have propelled him to the presidency fairly.
Trita Parsi for Time Magazine jumped on board:
Mousavi’s support ranges from the urban middle class, students and the intellectuals who previously brought the reform movement to power to many people of humble backgrounds, for whom Ahmadinejad’s triumphalist economic claims simply don’t ring true. They know the economy has gotten worse on his watch because they have been the most vulnerable to its downturn. Ahmadinejad may go on TV and cite statistics to prove that things are getting better, but they’re the ones who are unable to marry because they can never afford to get their own homes. So there’s no easy demographic breakdown between the two sides.
As did Eric Hooglund for TehranBureau, a man who has been researching Iran’s villages for over 30 years:
Is it possible that rural Iran, where less than 35 percent of the country’s population lives, provided Ahmadinejad the 63 percent of the vote he claims to have won?
Take Bagh-e Iman, for example. It is a village of 850 households in the Zagros Mountains near the southwestern Iranian city of Shiraz. According to longtime, close friends who live there, the village is seething with moral outrage because at least two-thirds of all people over 18 years of age believe that the recent presidential election was stolen by President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
By Saturday evening, the shock and disbelief had given way to anger that slowly turned into palpable moral outrage over what came to be believed as the theft of their election. The proof was right in the village: “Interior Ministry officials came from Shiraz, sealed the ballot boxes, and took then away even before the end of voting at 9 pm,” said Jalal. In all previous elections, a committee comprised of representative from each political faction had counted and certified the results right in the village. The unexpected change in procedures caught village monitors off guard, as it did everywhere else in the country.
Also Danish newspaper has added more backing to the allegations made against the regime by Marjane Satrapi and Mohsen Makhmalbaf that I blogged about earlier today in my last post. Stirring stuff as more and more allegations of electoral fraud come out of the woodwork against the regime.
For further analysis of voting patterns in various places, check out Guardian’s brand new handy map of province-by-province results as claimed by the regime, including highlighting some seemingly dodgy calls
Meanwhile, Iran’s footballers know which side they’re on, just look at those green wrist-bands: