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Student protest outside Iranian Embassy in Yerevan

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Following Friday's disputed presidential election in Iran and clashes on the streets in Armenia's southern neighbour which have left several people dead, Iranian students studying in Yerevan again protested outside their Embassy. Alerted to the small protest which eventually attracted about 50 people by Twitter, it also provided another opportunity to put the Nokia N82 through its paces using Twitter, Twitpic, Qik live video streaming, and standard video interviewing.


Many of the protesters were careful not to have their faces photographed out of fear of later retribution and either wore masks or hid behind some of the posters they were displaying. Some, however, did not. The protesters were eventually requested to leave by police in clear violation of the law on rallies, but said they would continue after applying for official permission.



Actually, following the dispersal of the students in contravention of the law, Daniel Ioannisyan, an Armenian political party youth activist explained the law to the police who admitted they didn't know and instead tried to find excuses for why the gathering had to stop. I also interviewed Ioannisyan afterwards.




Interestingly, despite the significance of the developments in one of the countries bordering Armenia which have otherwise made headline news the world over, the local Armenian media was represented by just two of the country's main online news outlets -- RFE/RL and A1 Plus. There were no TV stations present.





Photos: Student protest outside Iranian Embassy, Yerevan, Republic of Armenia © Onnik Krikorian / Oneworld Multimedia


Onnik Krikorian | June 16, 2009 9:04 PM | Reply

A1 Plus have since posted a story and video:

Iranian Armenians held a protest today in front of the Iranian Embassy in Armenia.

The youth with green flags and closed faces are expressing their protest against the results of the Iranian elections and the assaults against citizens.

"Where did my vote go?" "We don't want a gnome dictator", screamed protesters in the park near the Iranian Embassy.

"I voted for Musavi here at the embassy and he won 1,200 votes. Where did my vote go?" one Iranian young man told "A1+". Let us mention that the protesters were mainly students and had closed their faces to avoid pressure.

"The most dangeorus thing is their deportation. They will not only be deported, but also arrested as activists," said an Iranian-Armenian student.

Participants of the protest said that they will hold a strike and will stay in front of the embassy as long as it takes for justice to be restored.

"We keep in touch with our parents back home and the situation is complicated there too, but we have hope for change," said one female Iranian student. link

Onnik Krikorian | June 17, 2009 5:22 AM | Reply

Several dozen Iranians rallied outside the Iranian embassy in Yerevan for the second day on Tuesday to protest against the official results of Friday’s disputed election that gave victory to the incumbent President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.


Organizers said the demonstration was part of worldwide street protests staged by Iranian expatriates supporting Mir Hossein Musavi, the main opposition presidential candidate. The small crowd chanted slogans and held banners accusing the Iranian government of rigging the vote. An Armenian police unit kept it from getting too close to the embassy building.

“Between 2,000 and 2,500 of our citizens voted here [in Armenia] and 70-80 percent of them voted for Musavi,” one young man told RFE/RL. “The same happened all over Iran.”

In contrast to Monday’s rally, many protesters wore dark sunglasses and medical facemasks. “We want to make sure they don’t recognize us by face,” one of them explained. “Why? Because our state is such that we may get in trouble. And we, the students living here, don’t want to have problems.”

Other protesters claimed that Iranian embassy officials phoned Iranians living in Armenia the previous night and warned them against attending further protests against their government. “But we still decided to come here because young people in Iran have been killed,” said one young woman.


Armenia, which maintains close political and economic ties with the Islamic Republic, has recognized the vote results, with President Serzh Sarkisian sending a congratulatory message to Ahmadinejad at the weekend. link

What do you think?