“The police didn’t even introduce themselves”
On Tuesday, plainclothes police officers came to my apartment complex, and asked one of the residents to open the door, without even introducing themselves. They immediately went to our roof and ripped all the LNBs off from the satellite dishes, including mine. They broke about 20 dishes on our roof and then hopped over to neighbouring roofs, where they broke about 50 to 60 more. When they were gone, I spoke to some of my neighbours, who all said they would call [illegal] satellite dish installers to bring them new dishes.Here, getting an installer to hook you up a new satellite dish with a LNB costs about 100,000 Toman [about 61 euros], so most people can afford to replace their broken dishes. Many people in Iran believe the rumour that Revolutionary Guards are actually behind the importation of satellite equipment to Iran, and that they profit from the mass destruction of dishes.
“Most people just watch entertainment channels”
Though many people in my neighbourhood were affected by the latest raid in the past few days, the police had already come to our apartment complex last month. We just bought a new dish the next day and continue to watch our favourite shows. Most people don’t actually watch very political shows or even the news – over the past year entertainment channels have grown in popularity. To get the news, we might switch to BBC Persian for a few minutes, but then return to entertainment channels, like Manoto or GEM, which shows the popular Turkish series Harime Sultan [a drama about intrigues at an Ottoman sultan’s court] and even American TV series, which are very well-dubbed into Persian.We depend on satellite TV for entertainment. Nobody I know watches state-run channels, except for some sports talk shows. We don’t waste our time going to the movies, either, because tickets are expensive and the movies are of low quality.