Iran TV silences anti-regime stadium chants

Heavy reporting restrictions and reports of mobile Internet black-outs in affected areas have made it difficult to verify claims by the authorities and on social media. (File Photo: AFP)
Updated 12 August 2018
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Iran TV silences anti-regime stadium chants

  • Mobile phone footage shared widely on social media showed thousands of fans in Tehran’s Azadi stadium chanting “Death to the dictator”
  • Regime fears mass protest, analyst tells Arab News

LONDON: Iranian TV turned down the volume on anti-government slogans chanted during a football match amid widespread public protests over the economy and Tehran’s foreign interventions.

Videos on social media showed thousands of fans in Tehran’s Azadi stadium chanting “death to the dictator.” But state broadcaster IRIB muted the sound and avoided images of the crowd in its broadcast of the match. 

One Twitter user said: “Yesterday, when the football was being shown, the sound in the stadium was turned down to such a level that one would think they were playing in an alleyway.”

“They turned down the volume so no one could hear the slogans,” wrote another.

IRIB’s football commentators blamed “network disruption” for the low volume, without giving details.

Alireza Nader, an independent Iran scholar based in Washington, said Tehran was trying to avoid acknowledging the extent of public protests in the country.

“The regime doesn’t want to know that there is a mass opposition movement in Iran. These images prove it,” he told Arab News.

 

US sanctions

Protests have rocked major cities across Iran — including Tehran, Isfahan, Shiraz and Mashhad — amid mounting anger over the country’s economy and political system.

They coincide with a new wave of US sanctions on Iran, the first phase of which was introduced on Tuesday, and involves blocks on financial transactions and imports of raw materials among other measures.

It emerged on Saturday that Iraq’s Prime Minister Haider Abadi is to visit Iran next week to discuss economic affairs in the wake of the new sanctions. 

Abadi, who will also visit Turkey, said earlier that Iraq would comply with the sanctions but said they were a “strategic error.” 


Sudan appoints new peace envoy to S.Sudan

Updated 17 October 2018
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Sudan appoints new peace envoy to S.Sudan

  • Jamal Al-Sheikh was put in charge of “following the implementation” of the peace deal signed last month by warring South Sudanese parties
  • Civil war in the world’s youngest country erupted in December 2013, killing tens of thousands and displacing millions

KHARTOUM: Sudan’s President Omar Al-Bashir on Wednesday appointed a peace envoy to South Sudan, mired in conflict since it won independence from its northern neighbor in 2011.
Former ambassador to Juba, Jamal Al-Sheikh, was put in charge of “following the implementation” of the peace deal signed last month by warring South Sudanese parties, Bashir told a gathering of Sudanese diplomats.
“Peace in Sudan cannot be separated from peace in the region, and achieving peace in South Sudan is a big step toward a comprehensive peace,” he said.
Civil war in the world’s youngest country erupted in December 2013, killing tens of thousands, displacing millions and triggering a regional refugee crisis.
South Sudanese arch-foes President Salva Kiir and rebel chief Riek Machar signed their latest peace deal on September 12 in Ethiopia after talks hosted by Khartoum.
South Sudan gained independence under a peace deal ending a 22-year civil war pitting rebel groups against Khartoum.
But the Darfur region and the states of Blue Nile and South Kordofan, close to oil-rich South Sudan, have continued to see deadly conflict pitting rebel groups against the Sudanese government.
Khartoum accuses Juba of supporting insurgents against it.
A US-funded survey released recently estimated that nearly 400,000 people have been killed in the conflict in South Sudan.