Al-Ahram Weekly / Hamid Dabashi

The security apparatus of the Islamic Republic behaves like a wild beast, chasing after its own tail, maiming and murdering anyone in its way. Innocent citizens are arbitrarily arrested, or more accurately kidnapped off the streets (like the prominent human rights lawyer Shadi Sadr), incarcerated in their hundreds, at times viciously tortured, or even cold-bloodedly murdered, and their bodies given to their families on the obscene condition that they utter no word of protest and bury their loved ones quietly. Leading public intellectuals, political activists, reformist journalists, university professors, and political analysts are arrested, charged with treason, forced to confess to outlandish charges, and then paraded in front of national television in kangaroo courts to humiliate and break them in the public eye. Anyone with an ounce of intelligence, a caring intellect, a moral fibre in her or his being is suspect.

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