(Sunday afternoon from Tehran, I.ran)
This is a message to update you on I.ran:
I appreciate you for pr.ying for here and request you to continue to remember the nation. The situation still remains here and even getting more serious since last Friday. The Supreme Leader of I.ran at Friday P.rayer held in Tehran University warned that the government will use violent forces to suppress all the illegal protests and thus confrontations between gov. security forces and citizens have been more serious and blood shedding.
Yesterday (Saturday) people were to gather again at Freedom Square at 4 pm where tens of thousand people protested last Monday, but they were severely suppressed by security forces who were intensely occupying all the streets leading to the Square and were using tear gas, batons, metal clubs, guns, water cannons, etc. to disperse people. So in many areas around the Square, there were caused lots of violent clashes between gov. security forces and people. Sasan was also heading to the Square, but stopped by police who fired tear gas towards people around. Meanwhile his other two brothers and his nephews were heading to the Square and on the way beaten with batons by police or slightly hurt by kind of bullets. They are bruised, but otherwise they are all fine now. I heard that police mercilessly beat children and women as well.
Last night after the clashes, the every night ritual after 10 pm since last Sunday - ''Alahu Akbar (God is Great)'' or ''Death to dictator'' shouting from rooftops and balconies - seems to be ever louder and widespread as people must have been very enraged due to yesterday severely violent reaction of the government. I also heard gun-firing or some exploding sound last night... I wasn't able to sleep well last night as I felt tense and insecure about all the situation here. In a way, I'd like to go out to streets to witness what's happening with my own eyes, but Sasan asks me not to go out as I'd be easily exposed to danger as a foreigner and pregnant woman. I'd appreciate if you'd p.ry for me not to get stressed out which is no good to my pregnancy! I also asks Sasan today not to go to any dangerous place or protest as I become worried what if he gets hurt. We are secure and doing well in general. But just you never know and nothing to lose if you are careful and cautious enough.
Frustratingly due to gov. strict control on foreign journalists and all the communication means here, it's hard for us (and harder for you out there) to be fully informed on what is really happening at times. The gov. still often disconnects mobile communication (particularly before and after any protests) and has banned text messaging system since 13, June. But we (people here) communicate with each other or hear all the news through mouth words, the present gov.-strictly-controlled internet sites or satellite (Iranian news stations - BBC Persian or Voice of America) to some extent. As foreign media is not being able to cover everything in truth at present, it may give you a wrong impression that all the protests here are just carried out by some people groups or you may not see all the wild violence, blood shedding being done by the security forces in reality.
But I must emphasize that the present situation is a thoroughly widespread phenomenon (NOT partial among some people!) and represents the absolute majority of Iranians including ordinary people just like us. As far as I am concerned, the situation vocalizes the whole Iranian nation except those connected to the authorities in some way. The authorities now came to realize the seriousness of present reality and people's determination and they are prepared to do whatever it takes to stop people.
I'm very proud of I.ranian people who fight fearlessly against injustice and for their own rights and freedom. And my p.ryr is all the more that God may use all the situation for His glory and kingdom to expand here.
Yours in His presence,