Shock and Tragedy in UCLA, Murder in Iran

According to reports in the media, Mostafa Tabatabainejad, a UCLA student, was repeatedly stunned with a taser and then taken into custody after he failed to exit the CLICC Lab at the Powell Library at UCLA in a timely manner. Community Service Officers had asked Tabatabainejad to leave after he failed to produce his BruinCard during a random check. Global Voices has already published video related to this incident, and now we look at what Iranian bloggers had to say about this incident. As usual their opinions are diverse and interesting.

Iranian-American Youth

IranianTruth has covered news and published many photos and video clips about student protest demonstrations at the university. He also mentions something very interesting about Iranian-Americans.The blogger says

I think relevant, but unreported, to Mostafa’s abuse, is not the abuse itself, but the activism evidenced by the Iranian-American youth. Generally, most of us are first generation Americans. The Iranian community in America is a young one, and most of us born here are born to families who were born, raised and lived in Iran till 1979. As such, most of our parents were unaccustomed to the political nuances of America. It has only been recently, as my generation has become older, that the notion of Iranian-American political activism is taking root.


Omid Memarian announces on his blog on November 21, that there will be “a demonstration to protest against this tragic and shocking “abuse of power” in UCLA” and mentions that UCLA Acting Chancellor Norman Abrams had announced an independent investigation into the Incident at Powell Library.

Remember Student repression in Iran

Jomhour reminds us of other instances of student repression in Iranian universities and abuse of power by authorities [Fa]. The blogger says

به تمامی این مواد می توان تحقیرها و برخوردهای نامناسب و گاها غیر انسانی مسوولان برخی دانشگاه ها را اضافه نمود که به واسطه ی قدرت خود از هر گونه پیگیری رهایی می یابند.
شايد هر کدام از ما در دوران دانشجویی خود خبر سو استفاده های جنسی و مالی بسياری را شنیده ایم که کمتر موردی منجر به برخورد با خاطی و یا خاطیان شده است. این دانشجو در فضایی زندگی می کند که همکلاسی هایش اجازه یافته اند برای اعتراض به حادثه ی پیش آمده تجمع کنند.
رسانه ها و مطبوعات آمریکا در اخبار خود به آن می پردازند و وکلای کشورش -توجه کنید که طباطبایی نژاد تبعه آمریکاست- آزادانه از او حمایت خواهند کرد

To all these [repressions] we can add authorities’ inappropriate and in some cases, inhuman behaviour, whose power let them free to go without any charges. Probabaly in our student years we all heard about financial and sexual abuses. But only in a few cases guilty ones faced any charges. This student [Mostafa Tabatabinejad,UCLA] lives in any environment where his classmates came together and protested after the incident. The Amercian media covered the story and his country's lawyers–he is US citizen–will defend him.

Who is the guilty one?

Majid Zohari writes that by looking at the video, we can not really say who is the guilty one and who is right [Fa]: the police or the student. The blogger adds that, if you have a negative preconceptions about the USA, you will say policemen are the guilty parties. But comparing US police to the Iranian Hezbollah is in bad taste.

Holy Violence in iran

FreeThoughts compares what happened in UCLA to a criminal case in Iran where a pro government Basiji killed a student. The blogger says

as it happens, when I decided to write this piece, I did a regular google search for the UCLA student's name in Farsi to see what Iranians are saying about him. Among the search results I found this: Tohid Ghaffarzadeh, a student at the Free University of Sabzevar, was stabbed to death by a Basij member (in Farsi) on November 13, a day before Mostafa was tasered by UCPD. The reason: Tohid was talking to his fiancée (or girlfirend, who knows?) in front of the University entrance, and the vigilante Basij member found that against “his religious beliefs” and acted “upon his religious duty,” according to the University's security chief. There was no news of the killing until yesterday, five days after the indicent, and then only on a web site that is filtered by the government inside Iran. Instead, the national state TV is running the news of the UCLA tasering for its propaganda value over and over again.

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