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Iran: Water Fight in Tehran Leads to Arrests

Photo by Amir, Copyright © Demotix (29/7/11)

Water gun festival in Tehran. Photo by Amir, Copyright © Demotix (29/7/11)

Everyone knows not to play with fire. In Tehran, it seems, even playing with water can cause problems. At least this a ‘lesson’ that several Iranian youngesters learned when they were arrested last week by security forces for taking part in a game of water war in the streets. Facebook played [fa] a significant role in bringing together a few hundred young people for the battle.

According to the Iranian Christian News Agency:

[Tehran Police Chief Sajedinia] warned “We will crush moves by youngsters trying to defy our norms” apparently referring to internet and text messages by youngsters calling others for mixed-gender fun and group activities in Tehran's Public places. Yesterday, several conservative media outlets in Iran objected to scenes of the water fight, wet dresses and pushed-back covers of the girls.

Water gun festival in Tehran

Water gun festival in Tehran. Photo by Amir, Copyright © Demotix (29/7/11)

Several bloggers reacted to this news with irony and anger.

Nedaye Sabz writes [fa]:

In this country if you water fight, you get arrested, but if you rape and murder, you not only do not get arrested, but you can even receive a medal for bravery.

Fetnegar writes [fa]:

It seems they [authorities] were looking for an excuse to arrest our young people… this water fight has potential to extend and maybe revive the Green Movement.

Derafshe Kaviani says [fa]:

Iran is a country where if you play with a water gun, you are accused of disturbing public order, but if you take a Kalashnikov and gun down a young girl, you are considered as a soldier of the Hidden Imam.

Get Honest Third Eye writes [fa]:

It becomes a habit to relate what happens in this country to politics… some media talk about the water fight as though there were a few hundred thousand people demonstrating… I do not question why people enjoyed themselves in a water fight. I question why we politicize this event?

The blogger reminds us that there are political prisoners who take risks and do hunger strikes, but that their news was overshadowed by the water fight event.

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