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Iran's protests persists on the Web

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2009-06-25

In this edition: Despite threats from the authorities, Iranian opponents continue their online battle; Italian net users express their exasperation in the face of Silvio Berlusconi’s escapades; ‘All For Good’ promotes online charity work.


In this message broadcast on YouTube from Rome, filmmaker Mohsen Makhmalbaf calls upon the Iranian opposition to continue with its fight for democracy. He also calls on the international community to refuse to recognise Mahmoud Ahmadinejad as president of the Islamic Republic.

Abroad, online initiatives aiming to support the movement are multiplying. In France, celebrities from political and cultural circles have launched this online petition to request that the Iranian authorities listen to the demands of their citizens.

In Iran, opponents are not giving up and remain mobilised on the Web. On Wednesday they posted a report by the presidential candidate Mirhossein Mousavi on their Kalemeh site outlining the fraud that seemingly stained the vote.

At the same time, calls for protests and respect of a day of mourning in tribute to the slain victims of the repression have been broadcast on Twitter. But some net users are recommending caution. This female user asks protestors to refrain from provoking the Basiji.


Fear of fresh waves of violence persists in the blogosphere. On this map of Tehran, this blogger has highlighted the embassies poised to accept injured protestors; rumour has it that militia men are now hiding out around hospitals to track down opponents.

Videos showing the imposing deployment of the armed forces in the streets of the country have been posted online by Iranian net users. There is a dissuasive police presence that could lead to a loss of impetus amongst protestors.


The results of the European and local elections in Italy have brought comfort to Silvio Berlusconi. However, net users are rising up against the repeated accusations of scandal faced by their prime minister. After ‘Noemigate’ and the photos of parties thrown in his luxury homes, the Italian head of government could now be facing a prostitution scandal.
This photomontage shows the creator has had enough, claiming that Berlusconi is above all obsessed by women and money.

It’s the same story on Facebook, where groups calling upon the ‘Cavaliere’ to stand down are numerous, and their member numbers growing each day. The last to date was a group of people who have never voted for him, with over 350,000 members.

This anti-Berlusconi petition has gathered over 15,000 signatures and continues to be broadcast by net users.

This blog recalls that three female academics are calling upon women and G8 leaders to refuse to attend the G8 organisation’s summit, set to take place next month in Italy. According to the blogger, the call has little chance of being heeded.

Finally, despite Berlusconi’s denials in the press, net users continue to illustrate the prime minister’s setbacks with humour, in many videos broadcast on share sites.


It is now possible to find charity work online, thanks to ‘All For Good’. Several companies such as Google, Facebook & Craigslist, as well as many NGOs, have grouped together to create this site which coordinates the many existing offers of charity work. It's an initiative aiming to follow the lead given by Barack Obama, and by the American first lady, in favour of these activities. There are over 100,000 opportunities such as collecting funds or food. A YouTube channel has also been created in partnership with the site. Users are asked to help NGOs to make videos for their cause.


The French national audiovisual institute is launching a new version of its website. For the occasion, the institute looks back on the 40 years since its creation and is posting online over 200,000 adverts broadcast since 1968.


Here is a surprising video made with a simple mobile phone, image by image. This amateur filmmaker photographed himself at the wheel of an imaginary car driving through the ‘Lausanne Jardins’ exhibition, which is currently being held in Switzerland. He then put the images back to back to create the video.

Date created : 2009-06-25