Imagine the outrage and indignation this story would cause:
At least 128 people were killed when Iranian troops opened fire on opposition protesters on Monday, rights groups and opposition figures claim.
Earlier police said 87 people had died, but local activists say hospital sources confirmed a much higher toll.
Human rights groups say they have had reports of soldiers bayoneting people and women being stripped and raped in the streets during the protest.
Iranian Revolutionary Guard head Yahya Rahim Safavi denied knowledge of sexual assaults.
But he admitted that some of his security forces had lost control.
French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner said France was suspending economic ties with Iran after the “savage and bloody” crackdown on opposition protesters, the French news agency AFP reported.
About 50,000 people were protesting over the results of Iran’s 2009 presidential election.
But soldiers moved in to quell the rally using tear gas and baton charges and firing live ammunition into the crowds.
The Iranian Organisation for Defence of Human Rights put the toll at 157 people killed and more than 1,200 wounded, although this has not been corroborated.
Human rights groups said there were widespread reports of rape.
“The military is going into districts, looting goods and raping women,” the head of the Iranian branch of the Encounter for the Defence of Human Rights (EDDHO), told AFP.
An eyewitness told Human Rights Watch: “I saw several women stripped and then put inside the military trucks and taken away. I don’t know what happened to them.”
“They were raping women publicly,” an opposition activist said in an interview with French radio station RFI, adding that he had witnessed soldiers raping women with rifle butts during Monday’s protests.
Iranian human rights activists told Reuters news agency that people trying to escape from the shooting were “caught and finished off with bayonets”.
A doctor at a government hospital in Tehran said his wards looked like “a butchery”.
American pundits and politicians would be outraged. Calls for military involvement to protect the democratic process would surely be forthcoming.
Unfortunately, this story is not fiction. It’s just not taking place in Iran, North Korea, or any of the number places deemed “of concern” to American interests. It is happening in Guinea, and apparently CNN doesn’t think anyone gives a shit (and they may be right).
On cnn.com, there is no article (even in the hard to find “Africa” section) and only a small video clip. I’m not sure if the network covered it, but if they did I’m sure it’s sandwiched between a Polanski story and some bullshit about some fat lady who lost a lot of weight on an “all green onion” diet .
If anyone is watching CNN (or MSNBC/Fox), and thinks the media is treating this story with the appropriate coverage, please let me know. My guess is it’s filed in the voluminous “African Indifference” archive.