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  • Masoud Dalvand 6:51 am on August 18, 2017 Permalink | Reply
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    Iran Vilifies Human Rights Defenders as ‘Enemies of the State’ 

    by Siavosh Hosseini 

    The Iranian regime has increasingly focused on clamping down on anyone who speaks out against the human rights abuses of its ruling class. One of the key areas where this is demonstrated is in the trials of these individuals. Many lack basic legal representation, and the proceedings are brief. If they do have legal representation, there are often hurdles for them to meet with their lawyers and having access to court files delayed.

    Human rights lawyers who speak out against torture and unfair trials have also faced harassment, disbarment, and imprisonment. Trials of human rights defenders generally take place in a climate of fear.

    Amnesty International recently launched a global campaign ‘Brave’, calling for an end to attacks against those defending human rights worldwide.

    “It is a bitter irony that as the Iranian authorities boast about their increased engagement with the UN and the EU, particularly in the aftermath of the nuclear deal, human rights defenders who have made contact with these same institutions are being treated as criminals,” said Philip Luther, Amnesty International’s Research and Advocacy Director for the Middle East and North Africa.

    “Rather than propagating the dangerous myth that human rights defenders pose a threat to national security, the Iranian authorities should focus on addressing the legitimate concerns they raise. These are people who have risked everything to build a more humane and just society – it is appalling that they are so viciously punished for their bravery.”

    Amnesty International, who released a new report entitled ‘Caught in a web of repression: Iran’s human rights defenders under attack’, is calling on the EU to speak out in the strongest terms against the persecution of human rights defenders in the country.

    “The international community, and in particular the EU, must not stay silent over the outrageous treatment of human rights defenders in Iran,” said Luther. “Instead of appeasing Iranian officials, the EU should forcefully call for the immediate and unconditional release of all those jailed for their peaceful human rights activism and for an end to the misuse of the justice system to silence activists.”

    This recent report detailed the crackdown on human rights defenders in a variety of key areas, including the death penalty, women’s rights, and trade unionists, just to name a few.

    Over the past four years, Iran’s judiciary have dropped the threshold for invoking the vague national security-related charges, while increasing the length of prison sentences for these individuals. Many of their crimes include contacting the UN and the EU, as well as international agencies focused on human rights.

    via  Iran Vilifies Human Rights Defenders as ‘Enemies of the State’ — The Media Express

     
  • Masoud Dalvand 8:43 pm on August 10, 2017 Permalink | Reply
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    A Look at Khomeini’s Fatwa for PMOI/MEK Massacre video & photos 

    Justice for Victims of Irans 1988 Massacre Demanded At Free Iran Rally

    Justice for Victims of Irans 1988 Massacre Demanded At Free Iran Rally

    By Jubin Katiraie

    IRAN FOCUS, 08 August 2017— 29 years ago these days, in Iran under the mullahs’ regime, the massacre of over 30,000 political prisoners, mainly members, and supporters of the Iranian opposition People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK) had engulfed all of Iran.

    Khomeini

    Khomeini’‘Death Decree’ for mass executions of Iranian political prisoners in 1988.
     
    The intensity and speed of this massacre were so severe that not only PMOI/MEK families, but all other families of prisoners sought information about their loved ones. No authorities would provide answers, however.
    The international community had turned its back on this horrible genocide, all under the pretext of Iranian regime founder Ruhollah Khomeini signing United Nations Security Council Resolution 598 ending the Iran-Iraq War. This signing was the result of Khomeini becoming terrified of his regime being toppled by the PMOI/MEK.
    Both Iran and Iraq had accepted Resolution 598 on 20 July 1988
        Both Iran and Iraq had accepted Resolution 598 on 20 July 1988
    Initially, groups opposing the PMOI/MEK, followed by the mullahs’ regime, portrayed these executions as the mullahs’ response to a massive combat operation staged by the National Liberation Army of Iran and the PMOI/MEK in the final days of July of that year.
    However, these claims were discredited shortly and other sources indicated that the massacre was carried out based on Khomeini’s inhumane and anti-Islamic fatwa against the PMOI/MEK issued far before. Khomeini and his regime have to this day considered the PMOI/MEK as the sole serious threat that remains steadfast on its non-negotiable position of “overthrowing” this regime.
     The 1988 massacre that continues to haunt Tehran
    The 1988 massacre that continues to haunt Tehran
    In a recent interview with state-TV Aparat, former Iranian intelligence minister Ali Fallahian said the order to massacre PMOI/MEK inmates in 1988 was issued previously by Khomeini.
    “In relations to the PMOI/MEK, and all groups considered ‘mohareb’ (enemy of God), their rulings are execution. He emphasized in saying don’t hesitate in this regard… they have always been sentenced to execution, before or after 1988,” he said. Based on this fatwa, over 30,000 political prisoners were hanged in less than three months.
    Last year in the PMOI/MEK convention in Paris the Iranian Resistance President-elect Maryam Rajavi launched a justice movement seeking accountability for those involved in the 1988 massacre of PMOI/MEK inmates and other political prisoners. This movement expanded throughout Iran at a rapid pace, caused major troubles for the Iranian regime and been welcomed across the globe. This movement is demanding that senior Iranian regime officials be brought to justice for their PMOI/MEK genocide.

     Justice for Victims of Iran
    Justice for Victims of Iran’s 1988 Massacre Demanded At ‘Free Iran’ Rally
    The PMOI/MEK genocide by the regime ruling Iran is the most important dossier challenging this regime after Tehran’s nuclear program controversy. This dossier has such deep roots in Iran’s society and enjoys the enormous global support that it prevented Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei from engineering the May presidential elections. He intended to have conservative cleric Ebrahim Raisi replace the incumbent Hassan Rouhani as president.
    Raisi was a member of the notorious “Death Commission” involved in the PMOI/MEK genocide back in 1988. The PMOI/MEK justice movement and revelations by the PMOI/MEK regarding Raisi’s candidacy – blessed by Khamenei – shocked the very pillars of the mullahs’ regime.
    Iranian youths across the country, previously unaware of such crimes by the mullahs’ regime, are now in defense of the PMOI/MEK demanding the mullahs admit to their crimes against humanity. This has led the United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to refer to the 1988 massacre of PMOI/MEK members and supports in this year’s annual report.
    From the very days when reports of this massacre leaked outside of Iran’s prisons, the PMOI/MEK placed a massive global effort to unveil these crimes. They published the names of a number of massacred PMOI/MEK members, along with their graves and information about members of the Death Commission in various provinces. Human rights organizations and other such bodies were provided with this data.
    Marking the anniversary of this justice movement, new measures are necessary to realize the goals set for this initiative:
    1) Inside Iran, gathering new information about massacred PMOI/MEK members, their burial sites, identifying the perpetrators and officials behind these crimes and…
    2) Abroad, further condemning the massacre of PMOI/MEK members by parliaments, political parties, human rights advocates, religious leaders and political figures to hinge political and economic relations with Iran on ending all executions and torture, launching an independent commission to investigate into the massacre of PMOI/MEK members and supporters in 1988 to have senior regime officials brought to justice for crimes against humanity and …
    Now is the time for the international community to open its eyes to the flagrant human rights violations, and specifically the massacre of PMOI/MEK members and supporters in 1988, and not permit this dossier to remain closed as it has for years.
    There is no doubt that that the solution for Middle East crises, now affecting all other countries, is through regime change in Iran. Realizing such an objective needs all of this regime’s senior figures to be tried for human rights violations and massacring PMOI members and supporters in 1988.
    This should be followed by the official recognition of the democratic alternative, the National Council of Resistance of Iran. The PMOI/MEK is the pivotal force of this coalition.
    This reminds us of how US President Donald Trump said the Iranian people are the main victims of the regime ruling Iran.

     

    *Some important issues about MEK:

    A Long Conflict between the Clerical Regime and the MEK

    The origins of the MEK date back to before the 1979 Iranian Revolution., the MEK helped to overthrow the dictatorship of Shah Reza Pahlavi, but it quickly became a bitter enemy of the emerging the religious fascism under the pretext of Islamic Republic. To this day, the MEK and NCRI describe Ruhollah Khomenei and his associates as having co-opted a popular revolution in order to empower themselves while imposing a fundamentalist view of Islam onto the people of Iran.
    Under the Islamic Republic, the MEK was quickly marginalized and affiliation with it was criminalized. Much of the organization’s leadership went to neighboring Iraq and built an exile community called Camp Ashraf, from which the MEK organized activities aimed at ousting the clerical regime and bringing the Iranian Revolution back in line with its pro-democratic origins. But the persistence of these efforts also prompted the struggling regime to crack down on extreme violence on the MEK and other opponents of theocratic rule.
    The crackdowns culminated in the massacre of political prisoners in the summer of 1988, as the Iran-Iraq War was coming to a close. Thousands of political prisoners were held in Iranian jails at that time, many of them having already served out their assigned prison sentences. And with the MEK already serving as the main voice of opposition to the regime at that time, its members and supporters naturally made up the vast majority of the population of such prisoners.
    As the result of a fatwa handed down by Khomeini, the regime convened what came to be known as the Death Commission, assigning three judges the task of briefly interviewing prisoners to determine whether they retained any sympathy for the MEK or harbored any resentment toward the existing government. Those who were deemed to have shown any sign of continued opposition were sentenced to be hanged. After a period of about three months, an estimated 30,000 people had been put to death. Many other killings of MEK members preceded and followed that incident so that today the Free Iran rally includes an annual memorial for approximately 120,000 martyrs from the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran.
     A site of a mass grave for some of the victims of the 1988 massacre of political prisoners in Iran
     A site of a mass grave for some of the victims of the 1988 massacre of political prisoners in Iran
    The obvious motive behind the 1988 massacre and other such killings was the destruction of the MEK. And yet it has not only survived but thrived, gaining allies to form the NCRI and acquiring the widespread support that is put on display at each year’s Free Iran rally. In the previous events, the keynote speech was delivered by Maryam Rajavi, who has been known to receive several minutes of applause from the massive crowd as she takes the stage. Her speeches provide concrete examples of the vulnerability of the clerical regime and emphasize the ever-improving prospects for the MEK to lead the way in bringing about regime change.
    The recipients of that message are diverse and they include more than just the assembled crowd of MEK members and supporters. The expectation is that the international dignitaries at each year’s event will carry the message of the MEK back to their own governments and help to encourage more policymakers to recognize the role of the Iranian Resistance in the potential creation of a free and democratic Iranian nation. It is also expected that the event will inspire millions of Iranians to plan for the eventual removal of the clerical regime. And indeed, the MEK broadcasts the event via its own satellite television network, to millions of Iranian households with illegal hookups.
      A Secret documents smuggled out of Iran, over 30,000 political prisoners as young as 13 were hanged from cranes or shot to death in groups of five or six at a time.
    A Secret document smuggled out of Iran, over 30,000 political prisoners as young as 13 were hanged from cranes or shot to death in groups of five or six at a time.
     

    MEK’s Domestic Activism and Intelligence Network

     What’s more, the MEK retains a solid base of activists inside its Iranian homeland. In the run-up to this year’s Free Iran rally, the role of those activists was particularly evident, since the event comes just a month and a half after the latest Iranian presidential elections, in which heavily stage-managed elections resulted in the supposedly moderate incumbent Hassan Rouhani securing reelection. His initial election in 2013 was embraced by some Western policymakers as a possible sign of progress inside the Islamic Republic, but aside from the 2015 nuclear agreement with six world powers, none of his progressive-sounding campaign promises have seen the light of day.
    Rouhani’s poor record has provided additional fertile ground for the message of the MEK and Maryam Rajavi. The Iranian Resistance has long argued that change from within the regime is impossible, and this was strongly reiterated against the backdrop of the presidential elections when MEK activists used graffiti, banners, and other communications to describe the sitting president as an “imposter.” Many of those same communications decried Rouhani’s leading challenger, Ebrahim Raisi, as a “murderer,” owing to his leading role in the massacre of MEK supporters in 1988.
    Members of the death commission
     Members of the death commission
    That fact helped to underscore the domestic support for the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran, insofar as many people who participated in the election said they recognized Raisi as the worst the regime had to offer, and that they were eager to prevent him from taking office. But this is not to say that voters saw Rouhani in a positive light, especially where the MEK is concerned. Under the Rouhani administration, the Justice Minister is headed by Mostafa Pourmohammadi, who also served on the Death Commission and declared as recently as last year that he was proud of himself for having carried out what he described as God’s command of death for MEK supporters.
    With this and other aspects of the Islamic Republic’s record, the MEK’s pre-election activism was mainly focused on encouraging Iranians to boycott the polls. The publicly displayed banners and posters urged a “vote for regime change,” and many of them included the likeness of Maryam Rajavi, suggesting that her return to Iran from France would signify a meaningful alternative to the hardline servants of the clerical regime who are currently the only option in any Iranian national election.
    Naturally, this direct impact on Iranian politics is the ultimate goal of MEK activism. But it performs other recognizable roles from its position in exile, not just limited to the motivational and organization role of the Free Iran rally and other, smaller gatherings. In fact, the MEK rose to particular international prominence in 2005 when it released information that had been kept secret by the Iranian regime about its nuclear program. These revelations included the locations of two secret nuclear sites: a uranium enrichment facility at Natanz and a heavy water plant at Arak, capable of producing enriched plutonium.
    As well as having a substantial impact on the status of international policy regarding the Iranian nuclear program, the revelations also highlighted the MEK’s popular support and strong network inside Iran. Although Maryam Rajavi and the rest of the leadership of the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran reside outside of the country, MEK affiliates are scattered throughout Iranian society with some even holding positions within hardline government and military institutions, including the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps.
    Drawing upon the resources of that intelligence network, the MEK has continued to share crucial information with Western governments in recent years, some of it related to the nuclear program and some of it related to other matters including terrorist training, military development, and the misappropriation of financial resources. The MEK has variously pointed out that the Revolutionary Guard controls well over half of Iran’s gross domestic product, both directly and through a series of front companies and close affiliates in all manner of Iranian industries.
    In February of this year, the Washington, D.C. office of the National Council of Resistance of Iran held press conferences to detail MEK intelligence regarding the expansion of terrorist training programs being carried out across Iran by the Revolutionary Guards. The growth of these programs reportedly followed upon direct orders from Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei and coincided with increased recruitment of foreign nationals to fight on Tehran’s behalf in regional conflicts including the Syrian and Yemeni civil wars.
    In the weeks following that press conference, the MEK’s parent organization also prepared documents and held other talks explaining the source of some of the Revolutionary Guards’ power and wealth. Notably, this series of revelations reflected upon trends in American policy toward the Islamic Republic of Iran. And other revelations continue to do so, even now.
    MEK Intelligence Bolstering US Policy Shifts
    Soon after taking office, and around the time the MEK identified a series of Revolutionary Guard training camps, US President Donald Trump directed the State Department to review the possibility of designating Iran’s hardline paramilitary as a foreign terrorist organization. Doing so would open the Revolutionary Guards up to dramatically increased sanctions – a strategy that the MEK prominently supports as a means of weakening the barriers to regime change within Iran.
     The tape-recording of Hossein-Ali Montazeri, Ruhollah Khomeini
    The tape-recording of Hossein-Ali Montazeri, Ruhollah Khomeini’s would-be successor, describing his objections to the systematic massacre of 30,000 political prisoners
    The recent revelations of the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran have gone a long way toward illustrating both the reasons for giving this designation to the Revolutionary Guards and the potential impact of doing so. Since then, the MEK has also used its intelligence gathering to highlight the ways in which further sanctioning the Guards could result in improved regional security, regardless of the specific impact on terrorist financing.
    For example, in June the NCRI’s Washington, D.C. office held yet another press conference wherein it explained that MEK operatives had become aware of another order for escalation that had been given by Supreme Leader Khamenei, this one related to the Iranian ballistic missile program. This had also been a longstanding point of contention for the Trump administration and the rest of the US government, in light of several ballistic missile launches that have been carried out since the conclusion of nuclear negotiations, including an actual strike on eastern Syria.
    That strike was widely viewed as a threatening gesture toward the US. And the MEK has helped to clarify the extent of the threat by identifying 42 separate missile sites scattered throughout Iran, including one that was working closely with the Iranian institution that had previously been tasked with weaponizing aspects of the Iranian nuclear program.
    The National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) led by Maryam Rajavi is thus going to great lengths to encourage the current trend in US policy, which is pointing to more assertiveness and possibly even to the ultimate goal of regime change. The MEK is also striving to move Europe in a similar direction, and the July 1 gathering is likely to show further progress toward that goal. This is because hundreds of American and European politicians and scholars have already declared support for the NCRI and MEK and the platform of Maryam Rajavi. The number grows every year, while the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran continues to collect intelligence that promises to clarify the need for regime change and the practicality of their strategy for achieving it.

    Source: A Look at Khomeini’s Fatwa for PMOI/MEK Massacre video & photos

     
  • Masoud Dalvand 9:13 pm on August 6, 2017 Permalink | Reply
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    What is the status of political prisoner, Atena Daemi? 

    Demand for Immediate & Unconditional Release of Atena Daemi, an Iranian Childrens Rights Activist Petition

    Demand for Immediate & Unconditional Release of Atena Daemi, an Iranian Childrens Rights Activist Petition

    IRAN, 06 August 2017— The political prisoner, Atena Daemi, who has been serving time in Evin Prison, was newly framed by the warden and the head of the infirmary as ‘breaching the peace of prison’ with her hunger strike.
    Prison term for Atena Daemi, anti-death penalty activist!
    Prison term  for Atena Daemi, anti-death penalty activist!
    On Monday, July 26, the human rights activist, Atena Daemi was transferred to Branch 4 of Evin’s court from the women’s ward.
    The interrogator informed Atena Daemi that the prison’s authorities have newly filed a complaint against her. Atena Daemi was briefed by the alleged crimes of ‘breaching the peace of prison” and ‘insulting the prison guards.’
    Demand for Immediate & Unconditional Release of Atena Daemi, an Iranian Children
    Demand for Immediate & Unconditional Release of Atena Daemi, an Iranian Children’s Rights Activist Petition
    The head of Evin’s infirmary was introduced as one of the plaintiffs in Atena Daemi’s case. This healthcare official expressed concern since the media had earlier reflected his attitude towards the prisoners of conscience as well as the violation of rights. He also intimidated to revenge on some of the prisoners including Atena Daemi for naming him in their letters.
    One of the notorious personnel of Evin Prison named Abbas Khani also filed a lawsuit against another prisoner, Maryam Zarghan who was on the brink of release.
    The Warden of Evin Prison is another plaintiff of Atena Daemi. According to the interrogator, Atena Daemi is accused of breaching the peace of prison with her hunger strike and sit-in protests. She committed these acts to call for the implementation of human rights and review on her case. She is also charged with insulting the prison’s authorities when they accused her of malingering following her hunger strike and her transfer to the infirmary.
     
     Atena Daemi is currently detained in women’s ward of Evin Prison. She is in her 9th months of temporary arrest and waiting for the verdict of the appeal’s court.
    In her defense, Atena Daemi requested the interrogator to allow her trusted physician to be present in the court and give testimony on her critical health condition in time of hunger strike so that they realize there was no malingering. The head of the infirmary is actually the person that should be prosecuted for the charges of depriving prisoners from medical services as well as accusing them.
    A source close to Atena Daemi confirmed the report and stated, ‘Abbas Khani visited the women’s ward of Evin Prison and told Ms. Daemi that she didn’t have any health issues, according to the medical tests. However, Atena believes that the hospital doctor has forged the medical records. The claim was made on the same day that Atena’s doctor had given her Monuril (a strong antibiotic) for her illness.
    It is noteworthy that Abbas Khani prohibited Atena’s transfer to the hospital on July 17, 2017, in retaliation, however, her transfer had been earlier confirmed by the prosecutor.’

    Source: What is the status of political prisoner, Atena Daemi?

     
  • Masoud Dalvand 6:38 am on July 24, 2017 Permalink | Reply
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    Suicide increasing in Iran due to crackdown and poverty 

    Suicide increasing in Iran due to crackdown and poverty

    Mazandaran Province, northern Iran – July 22 – An 18-year old girl committed suicide by throwing herself off a 6-story building.

    Tehran Province – On Friday, July 21st, with the mother absent, the father of a 6-year old girl and 2-year old boy gave them suicide pills, and he too committed suicide. All three lost their lives.

    Karaj, west of Tehran – July 22 – A construction worker climbed a crane and threw himself off, protesting not receiving his wage. He lost his life.

     
  • Masoud Dalvand 11:01 am on July 23, 2017 Permalink | Reply
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    Arrest of young woman in Iran for wearing skirt 

    A young Iranian woman shared a post and a photo in the social networks, reporting that she had been arrested for wearing a blouse and skirt. In this illuminating post, she recounts what happened to her and other women arrested and detained for being improperly veiled. Following is the text of her post:
    They told me it’s forbidden to wear a blouse and skirt.
    It was the first time I was hearing something like this. I never thought the situation in the country was so bad that wearing a skirt could be counted as a crime.
    And it was not just me. Everyone wearing short manteaux which was above the knees or was open in the front, and everyone wearing pants just 90-cms in length, were arrested. They were arresting people en masse. Then, when the van was filled, the captain said, ‘That’s enough. Let’s go!’
    All the girls were weeping. They were so scared.
    When we arrived at the police station, their treatment became really rough. They made threats to send some of us to (the infamous) Vozara (detention center).[1] They had us fill a questionaire and took our photos. Then they made us sign a pledge. And finally, they said (your families) should bring you clothes and covering. We can let you go only after we check and OK them.
    I told the agent, “Although compulsory Hijab is wrong in the first place, what was wrong with my clothes? Is it a crime to wear a blouse and a skirt? Where is this written?”
    He told me, “The color of your hair is like those who worship Satan. Your covering belongs to Israel. Then if you fall down and trip over, your skirt flies up. Then what are you going to do? You have ruined our lives!!”
    I started laughing so hard that all the girls who were crying started to laugh loud, too. But I couldn’t resist. I had promised Tahoora (name of a person) that nothing would happen to me again.
    We were humiliated so much. This wasn’t any feminist tweet or an argument over literature. This was the “reality” going on. The reality that showed the real society was something else.
    There I learned that I must get out of the cyber space and all the hot talks in it. Education and protests must be taken to the streets. When security forces tell me that it is a crime to wear a blouse and skirt, I must not fear and I must punch them in the mouth. It’s time for everyone to take to the streets and demand that violence against women be stopped.
    In the end, I have a question for Rouhani, Molaverdi[2] and other officials who speak of freedoms. Is it a national security crime to wear a blouse and a skirt?
    [1] Vozara is the name of an infamous detention center located on a Tehran street with the same name, where women are taken to for improper veiling but are tranferred from there to other unknown locations to be tortured and sexually assaulted.
    [2] Shahindokht Molaverdi is Rouhani’s deputy in women and family affairs.
    Originally published at freedomessenger.com.
     
  • Masoud Dalvand 8:47 am on July 21, 2017 Permalink | Reply
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    Short Video: The unpunishment Crime 1988 Massacre in Iran 

    This short video is presented to commemorate the 30,000 Political Prisoners of Iran who executed in the 1988.

     
    • bluemoone 3:20 am on July 24, 2017 Permalink

      So sad. but they should be remembered and their work carried on. Peace be.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Masoud Dalvand 6:22 am on July 24, 2017 Permalink

      Thank you dear Danielle, yes you’re right they will be remembered on our mind and our hearts.

      Like

  • Masoud Dalvand 8:19 am on July 21, 2017 Permalink | Reply
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    The Truth About Iran’s Evin Prison 

    Evin Prison – Tehran, Iran

    By Heshmat Alavi 

    Two months have passed since the May presidential “elections” in Iran that saw the incumbent Hassan Rouhani reach a second term. The pro-Iran appeasement camp in the West went the distance to raise hopes over the hoax of Rouhani rendering major reforms.

    These voices somehow described Rouhani as a “reformist” and completely neglected the over 3,000 executions during his first term as president. Reports from across the country are turning out to be very disturbing, signaling more troubling times to come in reference to human rights violations.

    As fellow Forbes contributor Ellen R. Wald reported, “On July 16, news came out that an American graduate student at Princeton University named Xiyue Wang had been sentenced to 10 years in an Iranian prison for ‘espionage.’”

    This is Iran again resorting to old tactics of taking Westerners as hostage, mainly dual citizens, to be used as bargaining chips in advancing objectives and politics in negotiations with interlocutors.

    Another practice the regime in Tehran will continue is sending scores to the gallows. The Iranian opposition National Council of Resistance of Iran issued a report recently indicating 57 individuals have been executed across Iran in the beginning of July alone.

    Reports from inside Iran also indicate nearly 120 inmates held in a prison west of Tehran are on the verge of execution. These hangings are planned for the next few weeks, their families say citing authorities, and the sentences of at least 13 individuals are to be implemented soon.

    These alarming reports have all arrived only after a recent tour launched by the mullahs for dozens of foreign ambassadors to visit the notorious Evin Prison located in the hilltops of northern Tehran.

    But of course, no human rights organization or international prison expert were invited, only selected areas of the prison were shown, and merely hand-picked images were provided to the media to depict a highly peaceful environment and go against any claims of rights violations.

    This PR show in Evin, with its history of atrocities, was coupled with Iranian state media outlets pumping reports claiming the jail being upgraded to state-of-the-art conditions.

    Iranian authorities went the distance to showcase specific facilities provided only to rich inmates behind bars for financial crimes. These areas included a gym, an in-house beauty salon, a library and also a restaurant.

    What needs clarification to the outside world is the fact that Evin, along with many other prisons, has a dark history of widespread executions, tortures, and inhumane and unbearable conditions, to say the least. The regime in Iran, with a track record of 63 UN condemnations of human rights violations, is hardly in any position to claim of providing inmates with adequate conditions.

    If Iran truly intends to be transparent, why not begin permitting all international human rights organizations unlimited access to any and all areas of each and every single prison across the country?

    Following this orchestrated tour, Human Rights Watch made a call to Tehran seeking access for rights groups to these prisons. HRW is among many similar entities seeking access to Evin as the facility has been closed to human rights investigators representing independent international and national organizations.

    While there is no expectation for Iran to begin allowing any honest visits, two female political prisoners wrote an open letter explaining the atrocities they endured in Evin.

    Golrokh Iraee and Atena Daemi

    Political prisoners Golrokh Iraee and Atena Daemi described ”solitary cells with no windows, ventilation and lavatory,” “dungeons and dark interrogation rooms,” and “cells known as graves” in Evin.

    Why did this international delegation not visit the women’s ward of Evin where female political prisoners like themselves are held, they asked. Their letter goes on to explain how ward 4 of this prison was renovated by the inmates transferred to solitary confinement on the very day of the ambassadors’ visit.

    Mrs. Maryam Akbari Monfared, another political prisoner whose three brothers and sister were executed during the 1988 massacre of over 30,000 political prisoners across Iran, also wrote an extensive open letter as she spends her eighth year behind bars in Evin. Having experienced a variety of Iran’s jails for decades, Monfared wrote, “I’ve witnessed with my own eyes the devaluation of human and humanity” and experienced atrocities also in Shahre-Ray and Gohardasht prisons.

    “Prison food was so little that hungry inmates were forced to collect the residue of other food trays as well as the food which was left on the ground,” she explains.

    “I saw an eleven-year-old girl who was sent into exile from a children correction center to Gohardasht prison so as to be punished… Women and girls who had repeatedly felt the hanging rope around their necks, being on death row for years… Dear ambassadors, who were surprised by what you saw! What you saw was a made-up face of this religious regime’s prisons… I saw inmates on death row in Share-Ray prison, desperately begging their families to talk their judges into implementing their death sentence sooner, as they didn’t wish to stay alive in prison…”

    What needs reminding here is the fact this is a regime founded by the ultraconservative Ruhollah Khomeini who, as the first supreme leader of Iran, authorized the amputation of hands and feet as punishment for thieves.

    All this is more reason for the international community, and especially the Trump administration, to turn up the heat on Iran. The regime in Tehran is resorting to all measures possible to deceive Washington and other parties to delay the blacklisting of the Revolutionary Guards as a major party involved in the mullahs’ crimes against humanity, terrorism and international belligerence.

    In 2009 former US president Barack Obama betrayed universal humane values and chose to side with the mullahs’ regime. And Tehran responded by continuously taking Americans hostage and now putting a show for the Europeans and others.

    Taking strong action against Tehran, similar to the recent sanctions slapped against 18 entities involved with Iran’s support for terrorism and ballistic missile program, will finally signal to the Iranian people that the world has now decided to stand by their side.

    Source: The Truth About Iran’s Evin Prison

     
  • Masoud Dalvand 8:29 am on July 14, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , Women's Committee of NCRI   

    Ban on women’s entry to stadiums climaxed in June 

    Ban on women's entry to stadums in Iran

    NCRI Women’s Committee Monthly Report – June 201

    Denying women’s entry to stadiums to watch sports competitions once again climaxed in June, attracting attention to the lingering discrimination against women in Iran.

    Women’s tickets were announced “sold out” by the website selling tickets for the FIVB Volleyball World League 2017 in Tehran in the first hour of sale on June 6. Those attempting early to purchase tickets on the website saw this message: Unfortunately, women’s quota of tickets has been SOLD OUT.

    The website also had some warnings before sale of tickets. One such warning read: Ticket quotas for men and women are completely separate and it is not possible to swap tickets between the two. Spectators who purchase tickets from the other’s share will not be allowed to enter the stadium.

    A female journalist reporting on sports said, “We learned that, as in the past, a number of women have been allowed into the stadium as a theatrical measure to claim that the authorities have allowed women into the stadium, while the website selling the tickets displayed a ‘sold out’ message since the very first minutes of the sale of tickets if you chose female as gender.”

    Iranian women showed their protest in different forms.

    A number of women held a banner and staged a protest in Tehran in mid-June against the ban imposed on their entrance to Tehran’s Azadi sports stadium. The banner read, “Entering Azadi Stadium is my right.”

    Iranian women and other users tweeted a Farsi hashtag, “the rights of 49% of the populace (women),” to express their protest to the continued ban on women’s presence in sports stadiums in Iran.

    These protests, however, met threats by Ansar-e Hezbollah. The Coordinating Council of the Ansar-e Hezbollah in Iran issued a warning against women’s presence in the stadiums and declared that it would use Khamenei’s order of “fire at will” to deal with it. (The state-run ILNA news agency – June 17, 2017)

    Hossein Allah-Karam, head of the coordination council of Ansar-e Hezbollah, published the statement on his Instagram and wrote, “This organization has complaints about the Ministry of Sports and Youths which has illegally and unlawfully dragged hundreds of women and girls as spectators to the recent volleyball games of men.”

    Hezbollah students also issued a declaration on Friday, June 16, to the speaker of the mullahs’ parliament (Majlis), Ali Larijani, in which they demanded prohibition of women’s entry to stadiums to watch the World League Volleyball games in Tehran. The declaration read in part, “Please order tending to this matter, otherwise, we would have to prevent it based on Khamenei’s ‘fire at will’ order….”[1]

    The Ansar-e Hezbollah is protesting women’s entry to stadiums while it has not been facilitated, yet. Only a limited number of women attended the first game played by Iran’s national volleyball team.

    Shaqayeq Yazdani, wife of the team’s medical doctor, wrote in her Instagram in this regard, “Unfortunately, entry to the stadium has not been sanctioned for all women and only the wives and families of members of the national volleyball team whose names have already been registered by the federation can enter after providing proper identification.”

    Alamol-Hoda, Khamenei’s representative in Mashhad, reacted on June 11, 2017. He said, “If it is decided that a group of boys and girls gather and a bunch of women and girls create excitement in the sideline of an athletic championship race, clap and whistle and jump up and down, then this would be indecent. And indecency is an epitome of sin.” (The state-run Aparat website – June 11, 2017)

    Women were not allowed in to watch the Pakistan-Iran volleyball match on May 1, 2017, in Rezazadeh stadium of Ardabil, East Azerbaijan Province. They voiced their protest against such discrimination. The cancellation without prior notice was made despite previous approval letting women into the stadium to watch the game.

    Eight young women who attempted to enter Tehran’s Azadi Stadium to watch the game between Persepolis and Esteghlal football teams, were arrested on February 12, 2017, during inspections before passing the entrance gate. (The state-run ISNA news agency – February 14, 2017)

    Female reporters were not allowed entry to the stadium to take pictures of the football match between women of Iran and Russia. ISNA’s headline read, “Female reporters do not enter, the Russians are not wearing the veil!”

    “The women’s national football team of Iran was hosting the world’s second champion, when the Football Federation ironically banned entry of women reporters and photographers to this competition.” (The state-run ISNA news agency – October 17, 2016)

    In August 2016, Shahindokht Mollaverdi, Rouhani’s deputy in women and family affairs, stressed in a news conference that the issue of women is “a political issue.”

    She also defended restrictions imposed on women’s presence in the stadiums and said, “We have never wanted to open the doors of all stadiums on women without any restrictions! We believe that women’s presence in stadiums must be in accordance with religious principles and in some fields!”

    Background

    Women’s presence in sports stadiums was restricted in post-Revolutionary Iran and in line with the clerical regime’s views and policies of sex segregation.

    Nevertheless, Iranian women and girls have continued their efforts to gain equal rights. They believe that being able to attend the games in sports stadiums is a step towards elimination of inequality and gender discrimination and they will keep up their struggle in this regard.

    In the 1990s and 2000s, women demanded to be able to watch the games and the Asian and World sports federations brought pressure on the regime to end the ban.

    Women tried to enter the Iran-Germany football match in 2004.

    On September 9, 2012, the State Security forces prevented entry of 1000 female spectators to watch the game between Iran and Japan volleyball teams.

    The state-run Etemad newspaper, reported on June 20, 2014, that in the margins of the Iran-Italy volleyball games, the State Security forces and security forces prevented women’s entry to Azadi sports stadium. According to this report, female journalists who carried special ID cards were not allowed to enter the stadium, either.

    In July 2016, although Iran’s Volleyball Federation had announced that it had sold 466 tickets to women, those who had referred to the website to buy tickets in very hours, they saw this message: “Due to limits on the sector related to women, women’s ticket has been finished and there are no more tickets available until further notice.”

    Subsequently, the state-run TV also showed images of women participating in the game between Iran and Serbia. What was common among female participants in the stadium was that most of them were wearing the black Maghna’eh (tight head cover) and manteaux and they did not show much excitement, either.

    The women present in the stadium were reportedly, the relatives of the players or staff of the Sports Ministry. They had been told to be “conventional and act within limits” in encouraging the players. Their number was also far below the announced figure and amounting only to some 200 people.

    On October 13, 2016, the Human Rights Watch sent a letter to Ary Graça, President of the World Volleyball Federation, in which it wrote, as long as Iran does not guarantee the freedom of female spectators to attend and watch the volleyball games in the country, the World Volleyball Federation must deprive Iran from hosting the federation’s tournaments.

    …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

    [1] Ali Khamenei, the mullahs’ supreme leader, used the term, “fire at will”, in a speech on June 7 to a group of youths whom he called “officers of the soft warfare.” He said the young men had permission to “fire at will” to criticize the cultural policies of the government.

     
  • Masoud Dalvand 7:38 am on July 12, 2017 Permalink | Reply
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    Why Are Suppression and Arrests Ramping up in Iran? 

    Iranian political prisoner, Majid Assadi

    INU Staff writer, July 9, 2017 — According to reports obtained from inside Iran, the past months have seen a spike in arrests and executions. In fear of mass anti-state protests similar to those that took place in 2009, the regime has resorted to raid the homes of political and human rights activists in Iran, especially the supporters of the main resistance group People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK).
    This happens against the backdrop of a widespread campaign in Iran condemning the regime’s three-decade-long crimes in the country’s prisons, especially the massacre of 30 thousand political prisoners in the summer of 1988.
    One of the more recent cases is that of Majid Assadi, 34, who lives in Karaj, 40 km west of Tehran. Holding a degree in economics from the Alameh Tabatabai University, Assadi is a student activist, former political prisoner, and a supporter of the MEK.
    On February 18, 2017 agents of the Ministry or Intelligence and Security (MOIS) arrested Assadi after they violently broke into his father’s home in Karaj.
    The ten armed MOIS agents arrested Assadi and ransacked his house without any warrant.
    At the time of the arrest, the agents also harmed Assadi’s ailing father, who had just undergone a liver implant surgery as part of his cancer treatment.
    The agents handcuffed Assadi in front of his family and interrogated his family in his presence to torment him. They then confiscated all of his personal belongings, including his personal computer, phone and books.
    Assadi was subsequently transferred to the Karaj intelligence office, and from there to Evin prison’s ward 209, where political prisoners are held. He spent 50 days in solitary confinement, under severe mental pressure and interrogations.
    Since the time of his arrest, Assadi has been held in a state of limbo. After lingering in wards 209 and 240, he was transferred to Gohardasht prison in recent weeks.
    According to the latest reports, Assadi is now in Gohardasht and his case remains unsettled.
    In 2008, Assadi was arrested for attending a ceremony to commemorate the anniversary of the 1999 student protests in Tehran. Assadi was held in solitary confinement for 52 days.
    In 2010 he was given a four-year prison sentence. His appeal request was rejected, and he was imprisoned from 2011 to 2015.
    At present, Majid Assadi’s family have called on human rights organizations and other relevant international bodies to help save his life and deliver him from the dungeons of the Iranian regime, where human rights activists are executed and tortured to keep the mullahs in power.

    Originally published at http://www.mojahedin.org.

     
  • Masoud Dalvand 9:30 am on June 23, 2017 Permalink | Reply
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    Citizen-journalists increasingly spied on, hounded in Iran 

    Irans Press crackdown and censorship

    June 22, 2017 – Reporters Without Borders (RSF) condemns the increase in Internet censorship and harassment of citizen-journalists in Iran. According to RSF’s tally, 94 Internet users, mainly users of the instant messaging service Telegram, have been arrested since the start of the year. More and more journalists are falling victim to the war between different government factions.
    RSF has learned that, on 9 April, 12-year jail sentences were imposed on three citizen-journalists who were arrested in September 2016 in connections with content they had posted on Telegram.
    Users of Telegram, which is very popular in Iran, are increasingly being targeted. Telegram creator Pavel Durov has said that “Telegram has not entered into any agreements with any government on this planet,” and has “no plans to.” But statements by Iranian officials seem to belie this claim.
    Information and communications technology minister Mahmoud Vaezi told parliament on 7 June: “Rather than block Telegram, which would drive users to turn to another app, we have reach an agreement with those in charge of it to block content of a sexual or anti-religious nature and content condoning violence and terrorism.”
    A total of 173,000 Telegram accounts have so far been blocked. Vaezi said he had “launched an intelligent filtering that has enabled the verification of 400 million logos and images.” He said his ministry did not monitor the content of posts but added that, “in the past three years, at least 7 million addresses and 121 software applications for bypassing filtering have been blocked.”

    The censorship and persecution, which is officially intended to protect the public from immoral content, has been extended to political and religious content and to websites dedicated to human rights and women’s rights.

    Abdolsamad Khoramabadi, who heads the committee in charge of identifying unauthorized websites, reported in March 20 17 that “more than 18,000 volunteers monitor the Internet and report crimes committed on social networks to the prosecutor’s office.”
    According to RSF’s tally, at least 94 Internet users, mostly Telegram users, have been arrested since the start of 2017. In most cases, journalists and citizen-journalists arrested by the regime are charged with cyber-crimes or immoral acts.

    Source: Citizen-journalists increasingly spied on, hounded in Iran

     
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