First-hand reports from Tehran and around the country portray physical brutality and police state threats as widespread. It's important to remember this as the junta continues to give an impression - that the MSM cannot counter without reporters on the ground - of greater calm, and the next Big Lie that the protests were some kind of British conspiracy. Here's an interview from a Czech paper, translated by the Guardian, that describes tactics in Behnaz. I suspect this is the truth all over the country:

LN: How are the Basij trying to suppress the unrest?

Behnaz: They are beating demonstrators in a brutal fashion. They're hitting people with heavy staves, to the head and to the stomach. Some people have been beaten to death. They have no reservations about attacking children and old people. There's talk of a pregnant woman having been shot; she then gave birth on the street. Here in Isfahan, one person was first beaten and then thrown from a roof. I was at his funeral today [24 June]. His family can't talk about the circumstances of his death with anyone; they've been threatened. I'm convinced that many more such cases will surface over time.

LN: Is the regime applying pressure on the families of protesters?

Behnaz: The regime is putting a lot of pressure on the families of demonstrators who've been detained and killed. When you see how they treat people on the streets, in front of everyone, what must they be doing to those who are in detention?

LN: Were the elections manipulated, or were there only isolated instances of manipulation?

Behnaz: If the elections had been perfectly in order, why would the government be so resistant to holding them again? They should, after all, produce the same result. Why, instead of that, do they prefer to kill so many innocent people on the streets?

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to