[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/WORLD/meast/07/01/analysis.iran.whats.next/art.art.run.afp.gi.jpg caption="The unrest following the disputed election led to riots on the streets and a brutal clampdown by authorities. "]
The Iranian government has reacted to the protests over the June 12 presidential election results with increased repression and force.
Over the past two weeks more than 1,000 reformist figures, political activists, journalists, students, and critics have been arrested in Iran. Some have been forced to make false confessions while others are reportedly under pressure.
A number of activists have been forced into hiding because of the crackdown. RFE/RL correspondent Golnaz Esfandiari spoke to one of them, a student leader, who discussed the postelection crisis and the future of the "Green" movement.
RFE/RL: A number of political activists have gone into hiding as a result of the postelection repression, but critics might say that this is the time when people such as yourself should work with others and be part of the movement for change in Iran. How would you respond to such criticism?
Student leader: Crises are a good opportunity for the establishment to repress the civil society with more force and prevent it from continuing its existence. Iran's establishment is facing a crisis on the domestic and international scene regarding its legitimacy and its acceptance; the establishment feels powerful only through the use of repression.
What happened in Iran in the June 12 vote is clearly visible in this context.
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