Saturday, March 11, 2006

Soccer game leads to protest in Iranian Capital - SMCCDI


Hundreds of Iranians used the occasion, offered by the match played between Persepolis and Esteghlal (former Taj) soccer teams, in order to protest against the Islamic republic regime. The local game took place yesterday at the "Azadi" ('Freedom') stadium of Tehran.

Slogans were shouted and a street clash took place in the Azadi and Enghelab areas as security forces attacked the protesters. Tens of security patrol cars and buses were damaged in retaliation to the brutality of Islamist Militiamen.

Tens were seen injured or arrested at the issue of the unrest.

Exasperated Iranians are usually seizing opportunities offered by soccer games or big events to protest and express their rejection of the Islamic regime. Iran was the scene of consecutive and massive protests, during the 2002 World Cup soccer qualification games but the trend was stopped by bloody repressive measures, and the believed forced loss of Iran to Bahrain. In Esafahan alone several protesters were killed by the security apparatus and the regime had to transfer the notorious Esfahan Governor. Known for having ordered the bloody repression, he, the governor, was transferred to his present post as the Islamic regime's Ambassador to Kuwait.

Since then, important soccer games are often turned into popular protests, especially when they're played in Tehran. The "Iran-Japan" game of March 25th resulted in several deaths and hundreds of injured or arrested.

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