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  • Masoud Dalvand 5:39 pm on 13 Dec 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , Iran, Simultaneous conference of the Iranian communities,   

    Iran: Simultaneous conference of the Iranian communities- “Need to adopt a firm policy” 

    Simultaneous Conference of Iranian communities 1

    On Saturday, December 15, 2018, an international conference will be held simultaneously in tens of places in the world.

    The conference is dedicated to the issue of exportation of terrorism by the mullahs ruling Iran to other countries and the human rights violations of the Iranian people inside the country by the mullahs.

    Simultaneous Conference of Iranian communities 2

    The program will be broadcasted by Iran Freedom website and its social media. I invite all international journalists and news websites and supporters of Iran’s freedom to see the conference and support it with the press reflection and also by social media. Supporting and conveying the voice of this conference is helping to bring the voice of the Iranian people, which has been for near a year, has raised to protests against religious dictatorship across Iran.

    Simultaneous Conference of Iranian communities 3

    Simultaneous conference of the Iranian communities Halt mullahs’ regime export of terrorism & growing Human Rights violations “Need to adopt a firm policy”

    Saturday 15,Dec. 2018 at 1700 CET

    Live on:  & 

    Simultaneous Conference of Iranian communities 4

    Live Broadcast:
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  • Masoud Dalvand 7:19 pm on 9 Dec 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Fake News, Iran   

    Iran Regime Agents Have Infiltrated Western Media 

    Iran-Regime-Agents-Have-Infiltrated-Western-Media

    Since the Iranian Regime’s inception, its leaders have set their sights on infiltrating prominent Western media outlets that were once lauded for journalistic independence. Now, these news outlets are being taken over by assets of the Iranian Regime, previously employed in Iran’s state-controlled media, who portray the false narrative of mullahs as victims of US aggression or repeatedly claim, without evidence, that the US and Iran are on the road to war.

    However, these propaganda agents are not just content with attacking the US. In fact, their real mission is to go after the group that is far more threatening to the Iranian Regime: the democratic opposition of Iran, who are calling for regime change and basic freedoms for the Iranian people.

    This means that Western media outlets, like Al-Jazeera English and Britain’s Channel 4 News, are filled with “articles” from people repackaging the Iranian Regime’s talking points.

    How do they do it?

    The Regime’s plot has mainly worked through intense control of the media in Iran, only allowing certain foreign outlets to visit. These outlets are normally assisted while there by apprentices from the Intelligence Ministry posing as translators and the like. Importantly, all Iranian people that wish to work with foreign journalists need permits from the Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance and these are not given to people critical of the Regime.

    A relationship often develops between the journalist and the intelligence agents, especially if the agent can help them interview hard-to-get subjects. Those agents who particularly impress the Regime will be sent abroad, potentially to work with the outlet they assisted, and push the Regime’s narrative in what the public believes may be a reputable news source.

    What do these agents write in the press?

    As you might expect, they rarely mention human rights abuses in Iran, the effectiveness of sanctions, how regime change is on the cards, or how the democratic opposition in advancing grassroots change by planning protests. Instead, they tell numerous lies with no evidence to support them, including:

    • sanctions will harm ordinary Iranians rather than the regime

    • US support for protesters will increase support for the mullahs

    • Iran’s democratic opposition is a “cult” that tortures its own members

    The latest piece of Regime propaganda was a 6,600-word piece by Arron Reza Merat in The Guardian that accused Iran’s democratic opposition of brainwashing members, torturing ex-members, harassing female staff, suppressing Iraqi Kurds on behalf of Saddam Hussein, and killing Iranian nuclear scientists with the help of Israel. All credible evidence shows this to be false, but when the Regime starts a fire, it can be hard to clear the smoke without being accused of arson.

    Numerous other outlets carried similar stories aimed at discrediting the opposition in the West because the Regime knows that brave people fighting for democracy represent the best chance for the Iranian people to overthrow the Regime.

    Ivan Sheehan, director of the graduate programs in Negotiation and Conflict Management and Global Affairs and Human Security in the School of Public and International Affairs at the University of Baltimore, wrote: “These pro-Iran writers and their syndicates are not ordinary journalists; they are PR agents for a regime that jails reporters, censors free media expression, and enslaves a restless nation. Speaking up for an independent press should include exposing Tehran’s influence operations in Western media outlets and the foreign agents who traffic in disinformation. The failure to do so threatens journalistic independence and compromises values essential to a free press.”

     
  • Masoud Dalvand 6:57 pm on 6 Dec 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , Iran, Iran Human Rights Monitor, , Persecution of ethnic minorities   

    The Human Rights Situation in the Mullah’s Regime in 2018 in the Annual Report of the Iran Human Rights Monitor 

    A glance at the abysmal human rights situation in Iran - December 2018

    A glance at the abysmal human rights situation in Iran – December 2018

    Freedom Star: Iran Human Rights Monitor‘s annual report for 2018 was released. In this comprehensive and documentary report on the human rights situation in Iran under the rule of the criminal mullahs, along with specific statistics and examples. I invite you to read some parts of this report to get acquainted with the terrible human rights violations in Iran under the bloody religious dictatorship.

    Introduction

    This year, Human Rights Day marks the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, a milestone document that proclaimed the inalienable rights which everyone is entitled to as a human being.
    The people in Iran, however, are deprived of their most basic rights due to the horrendous violations of human rights committed by the clerical regime ruling the country.
    This oppression culminates in horrific scenes of public hangings, floggings, and even limb amputations.
    Prisons are overwhelmed with inmates, and conditions are intolerable and inhumane. Political prisoners, specifically, are subjected to horrendous mistreatment by the authorities.
    Iran’s judicial and security organs systematically wage a vicious crackdown on human rights defenders, lawyers, women’s and civil rights activists, teachers and labor activists, students, journalists and online media activists in blatant disregard of international and domestic standards.
    Hundreds of activists are imprisoned for peacefully exercising their rights.
    Here is a glance on the regime’s record in 2018. It must be stressed that the figures cited in this report have been compiled from official sources or from reliable non-governmental sources inside Iran who risked their lives to obtain the data. Therefore, they should be considered as minimums due to lack of transparency and censorship on the part of the Iranian regime and the absence of free access to information under the clerical regime.
    The Iranian regime has a dismal report card of at least 285 executions as of December 2017, including the execution of four women and six individuals who were sentenced to death for crimes they allegedly committed as children.
    An estimated 8,000 arbitrary arrests were made in the course of the month-long protests in January.
    At least 58 were killed during the 2018 protests and 12 jailed protesters murdered under torture.
    Iran must understand its atrocious crimes will not go unpunished. While more strong measures against Tehran are necessary, emphasis should be placed on Tehran’s human rights violations.
    The sanctions adopted by the US targeting institutions which have quashed dissent and are heavily involved in human rights violations, are welcome.
    Iran Human Rights Monitor urges the international community to hold the mullahs accountable for their crimes against humanity, and stand by the Iranian people in their struggle to achieve their basic human rights.

    Freedom of expression, association and assembly

    The Iranian authorities crushed the right to freedom of expression, association and peaceful assembly, by cracking down on peaceful protesters. The swift and violent suppression of the protests and the number of deaths in custody suggest that freedom of assembly and expression has deteriorated.
    The protests that erupted in nearly every Iranian province since late December 2017 were met with a state response that was notable for its harshness and disregard for the law.
    According to reports from inside Iran and from within the regime, the number of detainees of the protests amounted to at least 8,000 by the end of the second week of the protests. Detainees were denied access to legal representation and threatened with more serious charges if they sought counsel.
    Despite the regime’s attempts to conceal the number of arrests, it admitted to parts of it.
    Meanwhile, officials openly spoke of “preemptive” arrests to curb further disturbances.
    There are also reliable reports that detainees were administered pills of an unknown substance, as well as methadone, without the presence of a doctor, in what appears to be a concerted attempt to depict the detainees as drug addicts.
    Twelve inmates died in custody under suspicious circumstances.
    Vahid Heydari, 22, is an example of those who died in detention at the 12th Police Station in the city of Arak, Central Province, sometime between the closing days of December 2017 and the beginning of January 2018. The authorities claimed he was a drug addict who committed suicide—a claim that his family has vehemently denied and for which there is little credible evidence.
    Another detainee who officials claimed committed suicide, Sina Ghanbari, 23, was arrested on December 31, 2017, during protests in Tehran and taken to Evin Prison. A week later, judicial officials claimed he had hanged himself in the bathroom of the prison’s quarantine unit on January 6, 2018. His body was delivered to his family on January 9.

    Sina-Ghanbari
    Numerous videos circulated widely on social media channels showed authorities using potentially lethal force against protesters. At least 50 protesters were directly shot dead by the state security force during the street protests.
    In August, more than 1,000 people were arrested during protests in Tehran and other provinces over deteriorating economic conditions and corruption. A protester was murdered in Karaj, during the week-long protests.
    There is grave concern that several hundreds of thousands of those arrested in 2018 protests may still be in custody.
    The Iranian Judiciary has convicted the protesters on vaguely defined national security charges and handed down heavy sentences.
    More recently, in the 15 HEPCO workers, to intimidate protesting and striking workers, the Judiciary of Arak condemned 15 HEPCO workers to 74 lashes, one to two years in prison and five-year suspended sentences for their protest in June last year against non-payment of their salaries and benefits, and the government’s failure to delivers on its promises. They were charged with “disrupting public order” and “spreading propaganda against the regime.”
    As for the truckers who held a nationwide strike over high prices and non-paid wages, a judiciary official warned them of “harsh penalties” if they continued their protests, state media said in September.
    Mohseni Ejei warned truck drivers who have continued their protests despite several rounds of arrests. “Harsh penalties await those who … block lorry traffic on roads,” he was cited by the state-run IRNA news agency as saying.
    General prosecutor Mohammad Jafar Montazeri said that protesting drivers may face death sentences under stern laws against highway robbery, the state broadcaster IRIB reported.
    At least 264 of striking drivers were arrested for allegedly blocking roads and trying to pressure colleagues to join the strike, according to Iranian news agencies.
    In yet another case, the head of the Revolutionary Court warned that those arrested in the January 2018 protests could face the death penalty.

    Torture and other ill-treatment

    Torture and other ill-treatment are still common practice, especially during interrogations.
    What needs clarification is the fact that Iran prisons are infamous for widespread use of tortures and inhumane and unbearable conditions.
    At least seven individuals were tortured to death while many others were subjected to ill-treatment such as prolonged solitary confinement in cells with no windows, ventilation and lavatories.
    Commonly reported methods of torture in prisons also include tying the inmates to a pole in cold or hot weather, mock execution, kicking and punching; beatings with cables or whips.
    The reports pointed to common use of physical or mental pressure on prisoners including isolation to coerce them into making false confessions.
    Reports obtained from inside Iran prisons indicate use of methods such as burning, electric shocks, pharmacological torture, and sleep deprivation.
    Prisoners endure cruel and inhuman conditions including overcrowding, limited hot water, inadequate food, scarce beds, poor ventilation and insect infestations.
    Political prisoners were locked up with dangerous criminals, murderers and ex-members of armed gangs.
    As an example, Iran’s judiciary used the Great Tehran Penitentiary, originally designed to detain drug offenders, to incarcerate dissidents and anti-state protesters convicted of politically motivated charges.
    Soheil Arabi was transferred from Evin Prison to the GTP on January 29, 2018. He was kept with dangerous and belligerent criminals who have assaulted him several times and threatened his life. His family members said prison guards have turned a blind eye on the systematic harassment and ignored complaints made by the prisoner.
    2018 reports indicate inmates are also subjected to rape.
    Taymour Khaledian, a civil activist, revealed on May 19, 2018, that he had been “severely beaten and sexually tortured” at a State Security Force base during his detention last winter, after he was arrested in protest gatherings. He explained that he was punched, kicked and beaten by shockers and batons. He was so tortured that he did not have the power to sit for some time.
    Political prisoners were denied medical care, held in solitary confinement and faced fresh criminal charges in reprisal.
    The judiciary, in particular the Office of the Prosecutor, and prison administrations continued to deliberately prevent political prisoners’ access to adequate medical care in many cases to extract “confessions”.
    Iranian authorities deliberately deprived Arash Sadeghi from his cancer treatment. Arash Sadeghi was diagnosed with a cancerous bone tumour in August. However, authorities at Raja’i Shahr prison repeatedly impeded his access to potentially life-saving medical care.
    The Iranian authorities’ treatment of Arash Sadeghi is not only unspeakably cruel, in legal terms it is an act of torture, Amnesty International said in a September statement.
    Arash Sadeghi was sentenced to 19 years in prison in 2016, for his peaceful human rights work.

    Cruel, inhuman or degrading punishment

    A number of cruel punishments were handed down in 2018, including hand amputations and floggings.

    Statistics:


    • At least 110 people received flogging sentences
      • At least one instance of hand amputation was reported
      • At least 11 people were flogged
      Iranian authorities publicly flogged a man in July for drinking alcohol. Identified only as M.R., he was 14 or 15 years old when he consumed alcohol at a wedding party. He received 80 lashes on the back in Niazmand Square in the city of Kashmar, northwest Iran.
      Authorities in Iran amputated the hand of a convicted thief in a prison in the country’s northeast, according to the state-run ISNA news agency. The January report said one hand of the 34-year-old convict identified only as Ali was cut off by “guillotine” in a prison in Mashhad. The report said Ali was detained in 2011 for allegedly stealing sheep, jewelry and motorbikes.

    Unfair trials

    Iranian courts, and particularly the revolutionary courts failed to hold fair trials. They allegedly used confessions obtained under torture as evidence in courts including in cases which ended up with death penalties. Iranian law restricts a defendant’s right to access a lawyer, particularly during the investigation period.
    Iran’s judiciary in June approved a list of 20 lawyers to represent people accused of national security crimes, i.e. human rights activists, in Tehran’s courts during the investigative stage. Despite the fact that Tehran has more than 20,000 lawyers registered with its bar association, Iran’s Tasnim News Agency published the names of 20 defenders cleared to represent individuals charged with political, security or media crimes. However, even prior to the approved list, human rights organizations had noted a pattern of detainees being denied access to legal representation.
    This is just one more example of Iran’s judiciary trampling over due process.
    Iranian courts are controlled by hardliners who are accountable to the regime’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei. They often act swiftly and harshly against dissidents and civil activists on vague charges and behind closed doors.
    Serious concerns remain that judges, particularly those presiding over Revolutionary Courts, are appointed on the basis of their political opinions and affiliations with intelligence bodies, and lack legal qualifications.

    Death penalty

    Iran is the world’s leading executioner per capita, with many hangings carried out in public. At least 285 people were executed in the period spanning December 2017 to December 2018. The real numbers were likely to be much higher as use of capital punishment in Iran is often shrouded in secrecy.

    Statistics:

    • At least 285 people were executed
      • At least 11 people were executed in public
      • At least 10 political prisoners were executed
      • At least 4 women were executed
      • At least 6 individuals were executed for crimes they allegedly committed as minors.
      Several scheduled executions were postponed in the last minute to add to the mental and physical ordeal of imprisonment on death row. Thousands remain on death row.
      One of the infamous cases in 2018 was the executions of three Kurdish political prisoners hanged on September 8.
      Cousins Zaniar Moradi and Loghman Moradi were held for nine months at Raja’i Shahr Prison of Karaj without access to their lawyers and families before being executed.

    Iran Hangs Three Kurdish Political Prisoners Despite Global Outcry To Stop The Executions

    They said they had confessed to murder under torture. They were punched, kicked, and tied to a bed and flogged. They had been also threatened with rape. Their request for a judicial review of their case was repeatedly ignored.
    The third Kurdish activist, Ramin Hossein Panahi, was accused of “taking up arms against the state” in June 2017.
    The executions took place despite a call to halt the executions by two U.N. human rights special rapporteurs, Javaid Rehman and Agnes Callamard, who said in a statement that the men had not been given fair trials.
    Another example was the execution of a 51-year-old man from Iran’s largest Sufi order, the Gonabadi Dervish religious minority, which was carried out despite serious unfair trial concerns.
    Mohamed Salas  was executed by the Iranian authorities at dawn on June 18, 2018. Amnesty International condemned in the strongest terms the execution asserting: “Mohammad Salas’ trial was grossly unfair. He said he was forced under torture to make a ‘confession’ against himself. This ‘confession’, taken from his hospital bed, was broadcast on state television weeks before his trial and used as the only piece of evidence to convict him. He was not allowed access to his chosen lawyer at any point before or during his trial, and his independent lawyer’s repeated demands to the authorities to allow critical evidence indicating his innocence were dismissed outright.”
    In fact, the Iranian regime uses the death penalty as a tool to suppress and silence a disgruntled public the majority of whom live under the poverty line, are unemployed and deprived of freedom of expression.

    Sufi bus driver Mohammad Salas

    Freedom of religion and belief

    The Iranian regime is among the top violators of the rights of religious minorities. Widespread and systematic attacks continued to be carried out against religious minorities.
    Among religious groups, Baha’is and Christian converts from Islam were seriously discriminated against. They faced systematic discrimination, including in education and employment, and were persecuted for practicing their faith.

              Baha’is
    Followers of the Baha’i faith are systematically harassed and persecuted under the clerical regime in Iran. They are denied equitable access to employment, education, political office and exercise of their economic, social and cultural rights.
    Systematic violence against members of Baha’i community further included arbitrary arrests, lengthy imprisonment, torture and other ill-treatment, forcible closure of Baha’i-owned businesses, and confiscation of Baha’i properties.
    In the time period under study, at least 72 Baha’i people have been arrested while 69 were deprived of education. 18 Baha’I owned businesses have been shut down.

              Christians
    The Iranian regime continues to harass, interrogate and arrest Christians. Many have been charged with spurious, security-related charges such as “acting against national security” and sometimes handed prison sentences of 10 years or longer.
    Most recently, Saheb Fadaei and Fatimeh Bakherti, both converts from Islam, were sentenced to more than a year in prison for “spreading propaganda against the regime,” a common charge used against Christians along with “acting against national security.” Fadaei was already serving a 10-year sentence.
    In yet another case, two Christian converts were detained on November 16, in what some human rights activists are calling a rash of arrests in the area.
    Behnam Ersali and Davoud Rasouli, both converts from Islam who live in Karaj, had arranged to meet in Mashhad, according to advocacy organization Middle East Concern (MEC), but their calls are believed to have been intercepted by the Iranian intelligence.
    Rob Duncan, regional manager at MEC, said: “It reveals how closely the Iranian authorities are monitoring the Christians.”

              Sufis
    Followers of Ahl-e Haq or Yaresan were also arrested in large numbers, brutalized and imprisoned.
    Iranian authorities arrested 600 Dervishes during street protests by Iranian Dervishes in Tehran.
    Amnesty International said some families were not informed of their whereabouts and the detainees were denied access to lawyers until their interrogations were complete.
    Dozens of the arrested Dervishes have received heavy sentences so far.
    Dervishes involved in the February protests had been demanding the release of arrested members of their community and the removal of security checkpoints around the house of their 90-year-old leader.
    Members of the Sufi Muslim religious sect long have complained of harassment by Iran’s Shiite Islamist rulers, who view them as heretics.

    Prisons

    Thousands of prisoners are being held under the worst conditions possible. They face numerous issues of concern. Prisoners’ objections are met by prison guards attacking and beating them.
    Following is a brief review of the conditions in a few of these prisons:

              Evin Prison
    Evin Prison is a vast complex that consists of multiple buildings, generally up to three floors high with two sections on each floor. Several reports point to inhumane and unsanitary conditions at Evin Prison. Chronic overcrowding, severely limited hot water, poor ventilation, and infestations of cockroaches and mice, particularly near kitchen areas, are among the most common complaints. Prisoners are forced to sleep on the floor during cold winter months due to a shortage of beds. According to the reports from inside the prison, meals are little and “barely edible.” Hungry inmates have to collect food residues from other trays or the ground.

              Raja’i Shahr Prison
    Due to the presence of dangerous criminals, bloody clashes among prisoners is a common incident in this prison. Ordinary criminals are detained in the cell neighboring political prisoners.
    Usually, there is no water and prisoners can use the bathroom only for limited hours. Warm water is available only one hour a day and the rest of the day, prisoners have to take shower with cold water.
    Prisoners are beaten and denied medical care. Inmates and their families face degrading treatment during visits through invasive and abusive body searches. In Section 4, Room 12, where political prisoners are held, air ventilation is poor as the windows are covered with metal sheets.

              The Great Tehran Penitentiary
    Located in Tehran Province’s Fashafouyeh district, 20 miles southeast of Tehran, the Great Tehran Penitentiary was built in 2015 primarily for holding inmates convicted of drug-related offenses. Iran’s judiciary has also used the GTP to incarcerate dissidents and anti-state protesters.
    Multiple former detainees have pointed out the inhumane living conditions in the GTP, the largest detention facility in the country. A journalist recently described it as “beyond the limits of human tolerance.” There is running water for only one hour a day. There is only one toilet for every 170 prisoners. Sanitation and health conditions are so bad that several prisoners have got serious infections.
    Ticks and lice infestation are common in overcrowded cells. Prisoners have to take a shower with a single pitcher of water. There are prisoners with HIV and hepatitis who are not being treated or segregated from other prisoners. The authorities have not taken any action to deal with this problem.

              Diezelabad Prison of Kermanshah
    The cells made for three, are filled with seven prisoners. The cells are inspected every other day, the inmates’ belongings confiscated and their books torn. Prisoners get fresh air for only half an hour. The cells lack any form of ventilation, heaters or cooling system. The prison’s store sells only wafers, tea and artificial fruit juice and prisoners do not have access to any other item. To extract confession, interrogators commonly threaten prisoners with rape.

              Karaj Central Prison
    Karaj Central Prison was built for 2,000 inmates. Currently, 8,300 inmates are in extremely inadequate conditions at this facility. A 20 square meter room is home to 45 inmates using three-level bunkbeds. There is no medical care for the inmates. Food quality is very low.
    In response to their complaints, the ward chief says they are given 37,000 rials (around 25 cents) for each inmate and they do not have enough money to provide food.

    Persecution of ethnic minorities

    Ethnicities_and_religions_in_Iran

    Ethnic minorities including Kurds, Baluchis, Azeris, Lors and Arabs have been subjected to oppression for years at the hands of the Iranian authorities.

    Arabs
    Hundreds of people were arrested around Ahvaz last year amid protests against the regime’s discriminatory policies, water and power cuts and poverty.
    Fifteen year-old Ma’edeh Shabaninejad was one of those arrested in March at her aunt’s house in Ahvaz, where she was hiding after security forces raided her own home and confiscated her poems.
    In a sweeping crackdown against the Ahwazi Arab ethnic minority in recent months, authorities arrested at least 700 of people in Khuzestan province. The wave of detentions follows a deadly armed attack on a military parade in the city of Ahvaz in September. Amnesty International believed that “authorities are using the attack in Ahvaz as an excuse to lash out against members of the Ahwazi Arab ethnic minority, including civil society and political activists, in order to crush dissent in Khuzestan province.”
    Iranian authorities did not disclose the fate and whereabouts of hundreds of the detainees being held without access to their families or lawyers.
    At the same time, Ahwazi Arab activists outside Iran told Amnesty International that 22 men, including civil society activist Mohammad Momeni Timas, have been killed in secret.

              Turks
    Azerbaijani Turkic minority rights activists were also targeted.
    Iranian authorities arbitrarily detained 120 people in connection with two separate Azerbaijani Turkic cultural gatherings that took place in July and August 2018.
    They were targeted solely for peacefully exercising their rights to freedom of expression, association and assembly, including through their advocacy promoting the rights of the Azerbaijani Turkic minority in Iran.
    There were disturbing reports of torture and other ill-treatment committed by security forces during and after the arrests, particularly those which took place in July.

              Baluchis
    Iran’s Baluch minority numbers between one and four million people, based mainly in the southeastern region of Sistan and Baluchestan.
    Discrimination and poverty in Baluchestan region have led to many security implications. Even the state’s own research institutes have maintained that discrimination against the Baluchis has created poverty in the region.
    Recently, IRGC-linked news agency Tasnim published a research that poverty in the province has led to a marked increase in the number of those who leave schools, concluding that the rise in drop-outs has had various social, economic, cultural and security implications.
    In the meantime, several Baluchis have been killed while smuggling gas-oil to make ends meet in this unemployment-stricken area. Security forces are not answerable for the murders.
    Baluch human rights activists believe that more than 100 people, including innocent bystanders, are killed every year in anti-smuggling operations in Iran’s Baluch populated province.

              Kurds
    Regime forces, mainly the IRGC, continued to unlawfully attack and even open fire on scores of unarmed Kurdish men known as Kulbars who carry huge packs of goods on their backs and cross the border on foot to supply them with goods not widely available in Iran, like alcohol, foreign clothing, and other consumer goods.
    At least 81 Kurdish porters were shot dead by the state security forces in 2018 in the mountainous border region.
    Iranian security forces began in December 2017 to block footpaths kulbars use to carry goods into Iran from Iraqi Kurdistan. Much of the local economy in Iran’s predominantly Kurdish region relies on such trade.
    The border blockade deprived residents of imported products to sell in local stores, which have suffered from a lack of customers because of widespread poverty in the region.
    There was a heavy police presence across Kurdistan province to confront protests in the majority Kurdish regions with merchants going on strike to highlight the financial losses they’ve suffered since Iran closed the border. The state security forces arrested at least 30 Kurdish people during the protests.
    In March, the state security forces also arrested 20 Kurdish activists in the run-up to Nowruz celebrations, which mark the start of the Persian new year. The arrests took place in the village of Nay, in Marivan County, Kurdistan Province.
    Around the same time, 11 Kurdish rights activists, including outspoken journalist, Adnan Hassanpour, were arrested in Marivan. All the detainees were reportedly accused of participation in a rally for supporting the city of Afrin and its residents in Syria, where was surrounded by Turkish military units at that time.

    Discrimination against women and girls

    Iran morality police

    Iranian woman physically attacked by ‘morality police’

    Women are discriminated against in law and practice, including in access to divorce, employment, equal inheritance and political office, and in family and criminal law.
    The Global Gender Gap 2017 report ranks Iran 140th among 144 countries.
    Women’s participation in City Councils amounts to 1.7 per cent. “Women almost disappear in senior management positions.”
    Women were the first victims of Iran’s bankrupt economy in light of the flagrant discrimination against women institutionalized in the law and numerous restrictions imposed on their employment and education.
    Hassan Ta’ii, job market advisor to the Minister of Labor, said in September 2017, that working women receive %77 of men’s wage for equal work, and as such they lag 10 years behind their male colleagues.
    Many colleges educated women resort to jobs with salaries as low as one-third of the minimum wage.
    Leila Falahati, from the presidential Directorate on Women and Family Affairs, set women’s economic participation rate at an optimistic 17 per cent in Iran. This leaves Iran way behind other economic powers in the Middle East region. (The state-run ISNA news agency, January 13,2018)
    This is while the latest estimates according to official figures stood at 11.8 per cent.
    The unemployment rate among young women doubles that of men. Only 16.2 per cent of the 21 million-strong workforce are women.
    Women’s employment in Iran is contingent on gender segregation at the work place. If women’s place of work is not separate from men, companies and workshops are not allowed to employ women.
    Also, many of the public places including classes, university entrances, parks, city buses, trains and etc. have already been segregated.
    Authorities have defied ongoing public pressure to open football stadiums to women spectators.
    Acts of violence against women and girls, including domestic violence and early and forced marriages are widespread.
    The phenomenon of child brides in Iran has taken on catastrophic dimensions.
    At least 180,000 early marriages are registered in Iran every year.
    At least 37,000 of them are given to marriage between 10 to 15.
    One of the main reasons is the law that sets the legal age of marriage for girls at 13 and allows fathers to wed them even earlier. At the same time, the mullahs’ parliament has been refraining so far to pass a bill seeking to raise the minimum age of marriage for girls.
    Shahrbanou Imami, member of Tehran’s City Council and former member of the mullahs’ parliament, told an IWD gathering at Tehran’s Melli University that there were 15,000 young widows under 15 years of age in Iran. (The state-run ILNA news agency, March 8,2018)

     
  • Masoud Dalvand 9:46 pm on 19 Nov 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , Iran,   

    150 MEPs Call for Expelling Iran Intelligence Agents From EU 

    150-Meps-Call-for-Expelling-Iran-Intelligence-Agents-From-EU

    Statement on Iran 
    (November 2018)

    We are very worried about the deteriorating situation of human rights and repression of women in Iran. The country has maintained the highest number of executions in the world per capita during the presidency of the so-called “moderate” Hassan Rouhani. According to Amnesty International’s Global Report on the Death Penalty, more than half of all recorded executions in 2017 took place in Iran. It is also the leading executioner of underage offenders.

    Women are frequently harassed by morality police for the way they dress, and hundreds of women are arrested every day for improper veiling or “bad hijab”.

    Since late December last year, Iranian cities have been the scenes of major uprisings and anti-regime protests. The social atmosphere is volatile, and people demand fundamental change. The regime’s officials have acknowledged the role of “resistance units” of the opposition PMOI in organizing protests and nationwide strikes.

    Unable to defeat the protesters at home, the regime launched a new wave of terrorism against the democratic opposition activists in Europe and in United States. In March 2018, a car-bomb plot targeting the Persian New Year gathering of Iranian dissidents in Tirana was foiled, and two men were arrested by the police. The Albanian government, host to nearly 3000 Iranian opposition refugees, should not permit Tehran’s agents on its territory.

    On 1 July 2018, German police arrested an Iranian diplomat from the embassy in Vienna and charged him with terrorist offences. He was later extradited to Belgium, and he is on trial accused of handing over a highly-explosive device to an Iranian-Belgian couple who were planning to bomb the opposition NCRI’s Free Iran gathering in Paris in June. In August 2018, two Iranian agents were arrested by the FBI and charged with spying on the PMOI in the US and preparing assassination plots.

    In October, the French government officially sanctioned Iran’s Ministry of Intelligence and accused it of being behind the Paris bomb plot. French ministers stressed: “This extremely serious act, which was intended to take place on our soil, cannot go without a response”.

    Denmark foiled a new Iranian terror plot on its soil in October. The EU’s silence in the face of brutal human rights violations in Iran and lack of any response to the serious terror plots in Europe is unacceptable.

    We must hold the Iranian regime accountable for its terror plots and expel Iranian Intelligence Ministry operatives from Europe. We must also condition our relations with Iran to an improvement of human rights and women’s rights, and a halt to executions.

    MEP Signatories:
    Gérard DEPREZ, Chair of Friends of a Free Iran,…

     
    • nathalierobisco 11:25 am on 22 Nov 2018 Permalink

      Hi. I saw your site uses cookies. I tried to upload them in my own site, but they don’t close and cover the page.
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    • wizzymedpower 7:31 am on 27 Nov 2018 Permalink

      We must hold the Iranian regime accountable for its terror plots and expel Iranian Intelligence Ministry operatives from Europe. Thanks Dalvand for the Iranians update.. Prayer going on for the nation of Iran.. Thanks again – Israel

      Liked by 1 person

    • Masoud Dalvand 5:43 pm on 1 Dec 2018 Permalink

      Thanks dear friend, God bless you.

      Like

    • wizzymedpower 6:40 pm on 1 Dec 2018 Permalink

      You’re welcome Dalvand!

      Liked by 1 person

  • Masoud Dalvand 10:43 pm on 16 Nov 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Iran, , , , ,   

    A look at Iran’s Revolutionary Guards 

    IRGC Black List

    The name Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) has been intertwined and synonymous with the current clerical regime of Iran for the past few decades. From the Iran-Iraq War to several regional conflicts, to economic activities and internal crackdown of unrests across the country, the IRGC has had a major role in shaping the Iranian regime’s domestic and foreign policy.

    Establishing The IRGC

    Following the 1979 revolution, Islamic Republic founder Ruhollah Khomeini realized the need to have an advantage and apparatus to quell any domestic threats and unrest. Considering the fact that they could not trust the Iranian military, police and other state forces for this purpose, the ruling mullahs began the process of launching their own parallel forces.

    The IRGC was established on May 5, 1979, less than three months after the revolution. What started as a paramilitary group of ideologically trained units loyal to the supreme leader has now grown to be the sole protector and backbone of the ruling mullahs in Iran.

    The IRGC answers directly to the supreme leader, now Ali Khamenei, and is given unconstrained jurisdiction and authorities. The IRGC is actually above Iran’s classic army in the hierarchy, and provided with enormous economic and political power. The IRGC has now evolved to be a “parallel” or shadow government of Iran, accountable to Khamenei only.

    IRGC Role In Domestic Crackdown

    From day one, the IRGC spearheaded a campaign aiming to purge dissidents, intellectuals, journalists, writers, opposition figures and organized labor unions. The principal target has consistently been Iran’s main opposition entity, the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK), highlighted in a gruesome manner during the summer 1988 massacre of over 30,000 political prisoners, mostly PMOI/MEK members and supporters.

    “The orders for the systematic execution of dissidents came from Khomeini himself in the form of a fatwa (religious edict). His intention was to purge the country of any opposition, notable the main dissident organization, the People’s Mojahedin of Iran (PMOI/MEK),” said Hamid Yazdan Panah, an Iranian human rights activist and lawyer, in a piece published by The Hill.

    Throughout the 1980s, the IRGC carried out numerous campaigns targeting dissidents abroad. These efforts included groups across the spectrum, including Kurdish and Baluchi groups, members of the Iranian opposition coalition National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), among others.

    The infamous “chain murders” of the 1990s targeting political opponents and dissident writers inside Iran was carried out by the notorious Ministry of Intelligence & Security (MOIS) and IRGC units without any individual ever facing justice for their murderous roles.

    Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei ordered the IRGC and its paramilitary Basij militia to crush the 1999 student uprisings, enjoying the blessing of Hassan Rouhani, who was then the regime’s secretary of the Supreme National Security Council and later became the president of the Iranian regime.

    The IRGC was once again unleashed during the 2009 uprisings to quell any pro-democracy demands. The Guards went on a spree of arresting thousands, torturing hundreds and secretly executing dozens.

    The IRGC has relentlessly targeted the main Iranian opposition PMOI/MEK through the years, following both the 1979 revolution and afterwards when the organization went into exile, mainly in Iraq. MEK members were kidnapped and/or assassinated also in Europe.

    Political Interference & Terrorism

    The Iranian regime proclaims to have a divine mission of establishing a universally just government across the globe. It therefore considers meddling in other countries’ internal affairs as justified and necessary measures. As a result, the use of terrorism and spreading fundamentalist viewpoints are not policies of mere marginal importance. Alongside the brutal repression of all domestic protests, Tehran’s very survival fully depends on remaining loyal to this practice.

    Tehran’s notorious activities have expanded to 13 countries and the IRGC is also known to have launched spying cells or networks in at least 12 different countries, while most have seen authorities apprehend members of such groups.

    IRGC Fomenting Sectarian Tension And Violence

    One very deadly method explored by the Iranian regime has been aggravating sectarian rifts across the Middle East, especially in its western neighbor of Iraq that continues to remain a very fragile state. A cruel irony, however, is witnessed in the reality that while the IRGC is known to recruit Shiites for militia groups, it has also fueled support for Sunni terrorist groups.

    “Indeed, the bipartisan 9/11 commission report, which investigated the Sept. 11, 2001 al Qaeda terror attacks — the largest mass casualty terrorist attack in U.S. history — pointed out that there was ‘strong evidence that Iran facilitated the transit of al Qaeda members into and out of Afghanistan before 9/11, and that some of these were future 9/11 hijackers,’” The Washington Times reported.

    This is aimed at fulfilling Tehran’s ultimate objective: overwhelming the entire region with chaos, and utilizing such a situation to expand their field of influence. Iran is “securing an arc of influence across Iraq and Syria that would end at the Mediterranean Sea,” according to The Guardian.

    The IRGC can be described as the Iranian regime’s arm to establish the first “Islamic Caliphate” by taking first measures in this outline in 1979, long before Daesh (ISIS/ISIL).

    In fact, the violence promoted by the Iranian regime across the region under the flag of Shiite Islam, parallel to the atrocious crackdown imposed on Sunni communities in various countries, have encouraged the rise of Daesh.

    The IRGC must be placed on the US FTO list

    Hidden Occupation And Expansion of IRGC Abroad

    The IRGC Quds Force, the unit’s extraterritorial entity currently commanded by Qassem Suleimani, is tasked to carry out foreign missions across the Middle East and beyond. In the broader picture, the IRGC has never limited its expansion and terrorists to the region.

    “The world should rest assured the IRGC will soon establish branches in the US and Europe,” IRGC Brigadier General Salar Anoush said recently.

    The IRGC has also launched a massive network of training camps inside Iran and abroad to gain new recruits for its proxy militia groups. Hundreds of future soldiers arrive from Afghanistan, Iraq, Lebanon, Syria and Yemen each month to undergo such training courses.

    The IRGC’s broad meddling makes its involvement in covertly occupying four regional countries undeniable: IraqLebanonSyria and Yemen.

    Scenes in Syria during the past several years have made the IRGC’s deadly role crystal clear. Reports indicate up to 70,000 IRGC foot soldiers and cannon fodders were roaming the Levant, involved in launching killing sprees.

    “The Iranian regime’s military incursion in Syria came at a great cost to Tehran. According to reports obtained by the NCRI from within the regime’s own ranks, Iran’s death toll in the Syrian war are estimated to be over 12,000,” according to a research report.

    The IRGC has allocated both its human and financial resources to make good on its security threats, in tandem with military attacks. The IRGC has also been establishing cultural centers across the Middle East and throughout Europe and North America, aiming to expand its influence. They have monopolized control of more than 90 ports and loading docks in the Persian Gulf for shipping supplies, weapons and explosives to their preferred destinations. To this day, 14 different countries are known to have been targets of such covert activities.

    IRGC Influence In Iran’s Foreign Policy

    With Khamenei’s approval, the IRGC enjoys special and powerful dominance over the regime’s foreign policy and agenda. For example, the Guards have taken full control over Iran’s embassies in Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Lebanon, Syria and Yemen. While having prominence in the affairs related to Armenia, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Russia, Saudi Arabia and the UAE.

    In view of the significance to IRGC operations, the Iranian regime’s ambassadors and diplomatic missions to Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria are appointed directly by the IRGC and not the Foreign Ministry of Iran. It is worth noting that Iran’s current ambassador to Iraq, Brigadier Iraj Masjedi, was formerly in charge of the IRGC’s Iraq desk, as its chairman and a senior Quds Force advisor. The Quds Force is overseeing the Iranian regime’s operations in Syria and Iraq.

    Masjedi himself supervised and coordinated attacks against U.S.-led Coalition forces in Iraq, leaving scores killed and wounded.

    Growing Grip Of IRGC Over Iran’s Economy

    The IRGC quest to gain full control over Iran’s economy began following the Iran-Iraq war. This grip grew significantly during the presidency of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, himself a former IRGC commander, from 2005 to 2013.

    The IRGC has gained increasing influence in major sectors of Iran’s economy, such as oil and gas, and the construction industry. The exact number of IRGC-affiliated front companies remains unknown, simply due to the fact that they seek to evade sanctions through the use of various front companies and institutions in different countries.

    Ironically, the IRGC benefited enormously from the 2015 Iran nuclear deal (JCPOA) the regime signed with the world powers.

    Of nearly 110 agreements signed since the JCPOA’s signing, worth at least $80 billion, 90 counts of these deals have been with companies owned or controlled by Iranian state entities, according a Reuters analysis.

    IRGC Controlling Iran’s Nuclear & Ballistic Missile Programs

    The IRGC is now considered a huge conglomerate of different companies and assets. Parts of its holdings include controlling Iran’s missile drive and the controversial nuclear program.

    The IRGC owns and controls dozens of companies, involved in procuring the technology needed to develop ballistic missiles and sensitive nuclear products. The IRGC has been entrusted to develop and pursue the ballistic missile program and all its aspects. A senior Iranian official once boasted about Iran having a sixth missile production line, including the Shahab-3/3B, with a range of over 2,100 kilometers.

    Terror Designations

    The U.S. Treasury Department blacklisted the IRGC Quds Force back in 2007 for “Proliferation Activities and Support for Terrorism.” The Quds Force is known to provide material support to terrorist groups such as the Taliban, the Lebanese Hezbollah, Hamas, Islamic Jihad and other such entities.

    In 2017, the Treasury designated the Iranian regime’s IRGC as a “Specially Designated Global Terrorist” for the “activities it undertakes to assist in, sponsor, or provide financial, material, or technological support for, or financial or other services to or in support of the IRGC Quds Force.”

    As the U.S. State Department has designated the IRGC Quds Force as a “Foreign Terrorist Organization,” there are growing calls in Washington calling for similar damning measures against the mother IRGC entity to deliver a crippling blow to the mullahs’ regime.

    The Iranian regime considers this a declaration of war.

    Final Words

    The mullahs’ regime of Iran is a dictatorship on a mission to agitate and expand its influence throughout the region and beyond. The IRGC is the main apparatus and the leverage for this regime to continue its aspirations and existence through domestic crackdown and export of terrorism abroad, whether through proxy wars, terror attacks or spreading its extremist ideology.

    “The IRGC is dedicated to protecting the Islamic Revolution, not the state of Iran. As guardians of the Islamic Revolution, it supports terrorist activities by the Quds Force and its other military divisions. The IRGC finances these terrorist activities through its business activities, making the overall o simply the paymaster for terrorist activities by its constituent elements,” wrote Raymond Tanter and Ed Stafford in The Hill.

    The cancerous and unchecked growth of the IRGC throughout the region is a threat to not only the Middle East but also Europe. A dangerous fundamentalist ideology drives this armed (military) entity. The world needs to take this threat seriously before it is too late.

     
  • Masoud Dalvand 8:43 pm on 26 Oct 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Europe, Iran, ,   

    Fears and hopes for the new European package and its new office in Iran 

    European Union flag

    The Iranian regime faces an increasingly heated internal debate and factionalism over Europe and how to engage it.

    Rouhani’s supposedly moderate faction considers Europe the only escape the Iranian regime has. But Europe does not hide that in order to legitimize its engagement with the ruling theocracy in Iran, the union needs to have an office in Tehran from where it can monitor the human rights situation in the country.

    Khamenei’s faction meanwhile, knowing that oppression and censorship are the artery of the regime, vehemently opposes the idea of such an office and doesn’t want to pay such dear a price for a package that doesn’t entail anything tangible.

    On October 21, after a meeting with foreign minister Javad Zarif, Falahatpishe, chief of the security and foreign affairs commission in the Iranian parliament, said: “In two days the document related to the economic relations between Iran and Europe after the US left JCPOA should be ready and we are waiting to receive this document.”

    Falahatpishe also announced that Europe’s financial special purpose vehicle will be finalized before November 4, but was still skeptical about the practical outcome.

    “We believe that Europeans have the necessary resolve to maintain the JCPOA and give a positive response to Iran’s engagement politics, but we still need to wait and see how much power they have.”

    “Unfortunately, the type of behavior we witnessed in small and large European companies and even banks shows that they don’t have the necessary power for a confrontation,” he added.

    Mahmoud Vaezi, Rouhani’s chief of staff, referred to a developing cooperation with the European Union and said: “Especially in the current climate, we have made some arrangements with the EU in regards to JCPOA.” He added that, “the opening of EU’s office can be beneficial for our economic cooperation with the union.”

    But opponents of the plan are vocal about their concerns. Mashreq website writes: “Mr. Vaezi! The European Union wants the office for infiltration and sabotage.”

    Even proponents of EU’s plan to circumvent the new sanctions have their doubts about how effective and practical the measures can be.

    On October 21, Fararu website quotes Beheshtipur, a pundit close to Rouhani’s faction, saying that Europe won’t be the savior of Iran’s economy.

    “I think, what Iran and Europe intend to do is sort of a shoestring channel for trading. In fact, Europe is very much tied-hands when it comes to doing much for Iran… We need also consider Europe’s ability, capacity, and situation.”

    Iran’s fears and hope and the internal tensions between different factions in the ruling elite about Europe’s package have root in the simple reality that without the US, Europe can’t provide much tangible economic benefits to Iran.

    That’s why sources close to Rouhani’s faction call it “shoestring” while Khamenei’s faction is blunter in saying that it is a “damaging” relation.

    But there is also a less apparent reason why Europe’s plan is not so attractive with Iran’s ruling mullahs: A European office for monitoring the human rights situation. In fact, for the past 20 years, Iran has not allowed any reporter or monitoring team on human rights issues to enter the country.

    For those not very familiar with the power structure in Iran and the ideological hegemony the ruling mullahs exert over the country’s population, the reasoning behind Iran’s outright fear of human rights may not be very obvious.

    About opening a European office in Tehran, Abolfazl Zohrevand, Iran’s former ambassador to Italy and Afghanistan, says: “Now by opening an office the EU is sending an ambassador to our country who has no embassy and yet can report about us in terms of human rights issues.”

    He adds that, “we have problems with the EU in normal circumstances, especially with regards to the JCPOA. They are following and advancing their policies in Tehran and by opening this office we are actually empowering them to do so… This is a pressure on us and puts us in a position of answering to questions.”

    The dilemma the Iranian regime faces can be described as follows: A hope for relief to make up for decades of economic mismanagement to decrease the population’s rising discontent and the risk of popular uprisings on the one hand and the fear of the accompanied opening up that could endanger the very oppressive structure that the mullahs rely on to crack down on popular discontent in the first place.

     
  • Masoud Dalvand 10:14 am on 17 Oct 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Diplomatic Immunity for Iran Terrorists, , Iran, ,   

    Diplomatic immunity for terrorism 

    The Iranian regime must not be permitted to take advantage of diplomatic immunity to pursue terrorist objectives

    The Iranian regime must not be permitted to take advantage of diplomatic immunity to pursue terrorist objectives

    The Iranian regime has taken measures seeking to inflict a severe blow to the Iranian opposition through terrorist attacks. To this end, Tehran dispatched a sleeping cell, consisting of an Iranian-Belgian couple, to receive 500 grams of the dangerous TATP explosives from their Vienna-based diplomat by the name of Asadollah Assadi.

    The couple were then instructed to go to Paris from Belgium and target an Iranian opposition rally on June 30th held in Villepinte, a town near Paris.

    Tens of thousands of people and hundreds of prominent dignitaries from across the globe were attending the event, and the casualty figures of this attack could have been enormous.

    By taking advantage of diplomatic immunity, the Iranian regime has a long history of carrying out espionage measures and terrorist attacks abroad. The Iranian opposition coalition National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) has a long history of exposing these measures.

    For the past three decades the NCRI, with the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI) at its core, has emphasized domestic crackdown and exporting terrorism/warmongering are the two pillars guaranteeing this regime’s ongoing existence. All key officials are involved in these two initiatives.

    The decision to carry out this operation targeting the Iranian opposition was made by the most senior regime officials.

    Three months later, the French government’s recent decision to conduct a raid on October 2nd targeting a religious center tied to the Iranian regime, accusing the individuals in charge of terrorism. This was a firm measure by the French authorities, aiming to prevent terrorist attacks in the future. Over 200 police officers from various units took part in this raid.

    The al-Zahra Center in northern France was involved in directing and providing logistics for a number of Shiite associations linked to the Iranian regime. French authorities believe these entities have links to terrorist groups such as Hamas and the Lebanese Hezbollah.

    French Foreign, Interior, and Finance ministers issued a joint statement emphasizing the plot targeting the Iranian opposition rally on June 30th was foiled and a number of other such events on our soil cannot go unanswered.

    The Iranian regime’s embassies across the globe, and especially in Europe, are literally centers of terrorism and espionage. As a result, to prevent the Iranian regime’s terrorism, the Iranian opposition has called upon European countries to implement the European Union’s 29 April 1997 statement regarding the Iranian regime’s intelligence operatives.

    From this day forward, the Iranian regime must not be permitted to take advantage of diplomatic immunity to pursue its malign and terrorist objectives.

     
  • Masoud Dalvand 10:19 am on 16 Oct 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Iran, , ,   

    Humans Without Rights 

    The World Day Rural Women-Oct. 2018

    I read a report on the situation of rural women in Iran, which was prepared by the Women’s Committee of the National Council of Resistance of Iran. The report is published on the occasion of the International Rural Women’s Day. In this comprehensive report, which I put the PDF link at the end of the article for full study, the main violations of the rural women’ rights in Iran has been investigated. I draw your attention to the summary of this comprehensive report.

    A Study of the Situation of Rural Women in Iran From the Women’s Committee of the National Council of Resistance of Iran.

    In Iran, the word “village” brings to mind a place without water and electricity, with sheds made of mud and adobe. So, shortages and deficiencies are inherent to the word village.

    The burden of such intolerable life, of course, is carried by women and girls who have to respond to the needs of their families despite the fact that their own special needs are never responded to.

    The life of Iran’s rural women does not comply with any humane, let alone, international standards. Rural women in Iran are “forgotten” human beings who are deprived of the most basic requirements of a decent life.

    The general director of Women and Family Affairs in the Central Province’s Governorate, Zahra Faraji, described the situation of rural women as “disorganized.” She acknowledged that although rural women do not enjoy any resources or opportunities, “The issue of occupation of rural women and girls has not been defined in any of the government plans and programs.”

    Albeit tragic, the statement does not reflect the whole truth.

    On the one hand, there is no transparency on the situation of rural women in Iran.

    On the other hand, the situation of Iranian women in general is deplorable since their rights have not been respected in the law and are discriminated against because of their gender.

    According to Article 1210 of the Constitution, a girl is mature when she is 9 lunar years.

    Article 1041 sanctions marriage of girl children at the age of 13 and even younger with the consent of their father.

    Article 1105 of the Constitution reiterates that man is the head of the household.  Article 1117 states that man can prevent his wife from being employed in any profession or industry if doing so contradicts the family’s interests.

    According to articles 1123 and 1124 of the Constitution, a man can divorce his wife if she gets sick. Whereas woman faces numerous obstacles in filing for divorce.

    The few above mentioned examples violate Iranian woman’s basic rights. Naturally, the situation is much worse in the case of women who live in rural areas as they also have to grapple with absolute poverty and destitution.

    The information in this report has been compiled from a limited number of reports which appeared in the state media.

    Noteworthy is that most of the problems mentioned for one or two villages are common to all villages and the differences are not significant.

    1-lack of Access to infrastructures

    LACK OF ACCESS TO INFRASTRUCTURES

    2-Food security and nutrition

    FOOD SECURITY AND NUTRITION

    3-Access to medical care

    ACCESS TO MEDICAL CARE

    4-Access to education

    ACCESS OF EDUCATION

    5-Marriage of girl children and sale of girls

    MARRIAGE OF GIRL CHILDREN AND SALE OF GIRLS

    6-Gender-based violence

    GENDER-BASED VIOLENCE

    7-Employment and wages

    EMPLOYMENT AND WAGES

    8-Shanty dwelling

    SHANTY DWELLING

    9-Social activities and status

    SOCIAL ACTIVITIES AND STATUS

    10-Participation in political decision making

    PARTICIPATION IN POLITICAL DECISION MAKING

    11-Access to the internet technology

    ACCESS TO THE INTERNET TECHNOLOGY

    12-Some telling examples

    Photos of rural women who carry the burden of life in underprivileged villages are more telling than anything else.

    SOME TELLING EXAMPLES

     Download English Version

    Humans without rights

     
  • Masoud Dalvand 10:02 pm on 10 Oct 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , Iran   

    Cruel And Inhuman; Executions In Iran. Annual report on the death penalty in Iran, October 2018 

    Iran-executions

    Introduction

    While 160 countries across the world have either abolished the Death Penalty or at least called a moratorium on its use, the clerical regime ruling Iran remains among the world’s most brutal.

    The Iranian regime executes more people per capita than any other country. The total number of executions carried out in Iran stands only next to China, whose population is over 17 folds greater. According to Amnesty International, Iran accounts for over half of executions world over.

    Tehran sanctions capital punishment for political dissidents as well as ethnic and religious minorities. Juvenile offenders and women are not excluded.

    Iran Human Rights Monitor recorded at least 3,602 death sentences carried out during Rouhani’s tenure. This includes the executions of 34 juvenile offenders, 84 women and 86 political prisoners.

    Since January 2018, at least 223 people have been executed. The executions of at least nine political prisoners and six individuals who were under 18 at the time of the crime have been confirmed. 35 executions were carried out in public. The actual numbers are likely to be much higher as most executions are carried out secretly.

    The death penalty is not only a means for punishment in Iran, but a tool for perserving the rule of those in power in the face of an increasingly furious populace.

    The most recent case was the Judiciary spokesman threatening to execute truckers participating in a nationwide strike to demand their rights.

    In yet another case, the head of the Revolutionary Court warned that those arrested in the January 2018 protests could face the death penalty.

    On the occasion of the World Day Against the Death Penalty, Iran Human Rights Monitor draws attention in this report to the common use of the death penalty in Iran often carried out before completion of the due process of law against young Iranians.

    Iran HRM calls on all international human rights advocates, in particular the High Commissioner for Human Rights and the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Iran, and the Working Group on Arbitrary Executions, to use their powers and authority to compel the clerical regime to stop its prevalent use of the death penalty.

    iran-execution-2

    Executing Child Offenders

    Iran is one of only four countries known to have executed child offenders since 2013.

    At least 85 individuals arrested as minors, are known to be on death row. They include, Mohammad Kalhori, Hamid Ahmadi, Abolfazl Naderi, Babak Pouladi, Mohammad Khazaian, Pouria Tabaie, Mohammad Salehi, Mehdi Bohlouli, Mohammad Reza Haddadi and Saleh Shariati.

    In contrast to the international law, retrials of juvenile offenders pursuant to Article 91 of the 2013 Islamic Penal Code result in renewed death sentences following arbitrary assessments of their “maturity” at the time of the crime.

    Article 6.5 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights states that death sentence “shall not be imposed for crimes committed by persons below eighteen years of age.”

    Iranian authorities detain death-row child offenders until they pass their 18th birthday and then they execute them.

    Iran has executed at least five child offenders across the country since January 2018:

    Amirhossein Pourjafar

    On January 4, authorities in Karaj prison executed Amirhossein Pourjafar for the rape and murder of a 3-year-old girl when he was 16. Pourjafar, who was 18 when he was executed, told Shargh newspaper on December 30, 2017, that he was under influence of alcohol when he committed the crime. Mojtaba Farahbakhsh, Pourjafar’s lawyer, told the newspaper that Pourjafar had signs of a “conduct disorder” and had been hospitalized in a mental health center during his detention. Despite these circumstances, the authorities pushed ahead with carrying out the death penalty.

    Ali Kazemi

    On January 30, authorities in Bushehr prison, in southern Iran, executed Ali Kazemi for a murder he allegedly committed when he was 15. He was executed even though the authorities had promised to try to halt the execution. On the morning of January 30, prison authorities called to reassure the family that the execution had not taken place. However, at midday, Kazemi’s family found out that the execution had just been carried out.

    Mahboubeh Mofidi

    On January 30, in Nowshahr prison in northern Iran, authorities executed Mahboubeh Mofidi, who was married when she was 13, for the alleged murder of her husband in 2014, when she was 17. Mofidi was 20 when authorities executed her on January 30 in Nowshahr prison in Mazandaran province.

    Abolfazl Chezani Sharahi

    On June 27, Abolfazl Chezani Sharahi, aged 19, was executed in Qom prison in Qom province, central Iran.  He was sentenced to death for a murder committed when he was aged 14 based on an official medical opinion that he was “mature” at the time of the crime.

    Zeinab Sekaanvand

    On October 2, 24-year-old Kurdish woman Zeinab Sekaanvand was executed in Urumieh central prison, in Iran’s West Azerbaijan province, despite being only 17 at time of alleged crime. Sekaanvand was married at 15, suffered domestic abuse and reportedly endured torture during her police interrogation.

    Executing political prisoners

    10 political prisoners have been executed since January 2018, most of which despite international campaigns urging reprieve.

    Ramin Hossein Panahi, Zaniar Moradi and Loghman Moradi

    Ramin Hossein Panahi and cousins Zaniar Moradi and Loghman Moradi were executed on Saturday, September 8.

    The trials of all three men were grossly unfair. All were denied access to their lawyers and families after their arrest, and all said they were tortured into making “confessions”. They had been sentenced to death despite these massive failings in due process.

    The two cousins had spent eight years on death row since confessing to a 2009 killing of the son of a Muslim cleric in Marivan, a confession that both men later said was extracted under torture.

    Panahi was sentenced to death in January for allegedly drawing a weapon against Iranian security forces operating in northwestern Iran’s predominantly ethnic Kurdish region in June 2017. He confessed to taking up arms against the state, but Amnesty said family members who saw him in court believe he also was tortured into confessing because of apparent torture marks on his body.

    Ramin Hossein Panahi began a hunger strike at Rajaei Shahr prison on August 26 by sewing his lips together in protest at his death sentence.

    Mohammad Salas

    On June 18, Iranian authorities executed Mohammad Salas convicted of killing three police officers during clashes involving members of a Sufi order, despite calls to stop his execution.

    According to Amnesty International, the 51-year-old bus driver was convicted and sentenced to death in March following  a “grossly unfair trial.”

    Salas said he was forced under torture to make a “confession” against himself. This “confession”, taken from his hospital bed, was broadcast on state television weeks before his trial and used as the only piece of evidence to convict him. He was not allowed access to his chosen lawyer at any point before or during his trial, and his independent lawyer’s repeated demands to the authorities to allow critical evidence indicating his innocence were dismissed outright.

    Death-row prisoners, horrifying numbers

    Rjaie Shahr Prison

    The highest number of executions count up for Rajaishahr Prison. This prison is also known as Gohardasht. It’s located in the city of Karaj approximately 20 km west of Tehran.

    Around 264 inmates are held in ward 10 of this prison, of which 86 are on death row, meaning one third.

    In ward 3, known as the youth ward, with around 180 inmates under the age of 25, around 80 are currently on death row condemned for “retribution in kind.” A number of these individuals were arrested under the age of 18. This accumulates to nearly half of the youth ward and one-third of ward 10 are inmates on death row.

    In ward 3 nearly 120 of the 210 inmates are on death row. This is more than half.

    In ward 2, known as the Dar Al Quran ward, 120 of the 160 inmates are condemned based on “retribution” charges.

    Qezel Hessar Prison

    Unit 2 of this prison has around 1,000 death row inmates, with numerous individuals charged with murder and others for drug offenses.

    Urmia Central Prison

    Inwards 1 to 4 of this jail more than 166 individuals are currently on death row. All the while this may not be the latest numbers.

    Wards 1 and 2 of this prison, specified for mentally disturbed inmates, eight individuals are on death row. Ward 12 is also home to three death row inmates.

    The so-called youth ward houses six individuals condemned to execution.

    Ward 15, known as the drug offenses ward, six individuals are known to be on death row.

    Zahedan Central Prison

    According to the latest list of names rounded up in March, 145 inmates are on death row. Some of which have been held in the horrendous conditions of this jail for years awaiting their execution. Drug criminals and a number of political prisoners are seen among the death row inmates.

    24 individuals in ward 4 of this prison are on death row, mostly for drug-related charges, murders or affiliation to political groups.

    Wards 1 and 3 of this prison houses another 21 death row inmates.

    Dastgerd Prison of Isfahan

    This prison has around 20 death row inmates, charged with murder and drug offenses.

    Death-row prisoners’ conditions

     The 17th World Day Against the Death Penalty aims at raising awareness on the inhumane living conditions of people sentenced to death.

    Death row prisoners in Iran linger in catastrophic conditions from solitary confinement to the medieval tortures inflicted on them. The living conditions tend to dehumanize death-row prisoners and take away their dignity.

    In many cases where people were sentenced to death or executed, the proceedings did not meet international standards of the due process of law. This includes the extraction of “confessions” through torture or other ill-treatment.

    The tortures some death row prisoners were reportedly subjected to follow:

    1. Completely stripping the prisoners and pouring boiling hot water on them;
    2. Pushing needles into their genitals;
    3. Hanging prisoners upside down from their feet;
    4. Hanging prisoners by their wrists;
    5. Pulling out the prisoners’ nails;
    6. Leaving the prisoners in absolute darkness for about forty days. Some prisoners lose part of their eyesight;
    7. Depriving prisoners of bathing for two months;
    8. Restricting prisoners’ use of restroom to only once in every 24 hours;
    9. Giving prisoners food rations the size of the palm of a hand;
    10. Forcing prisoners to eat in the same unwashed plate for three months;
    11. Flogging prisoners while eating their food.

    Many spend prolonged periods on death row, sometimes for more than a decade. On numerous occasions, prisoners are sent to the gallows, then returned to the cell. Sometimes, they inform prisoners of scheduled hanging but postpone its implementation. In this way, death-row prisoners have to endure additional pain and suffering.

    Sometimes, the families are not informed of the execution of their loved ones adequately in advance and not given the chance to say goodbye.

    A commonplace in many Iranian prisons is to force the families of execution victims to pay for the noose used to hang their loved ones, or the bullet used to shoot them. The victim’s body is not delivered to the family until the money is paid.

    2018 reports included cases of authorities refusing to deliver the body of execution victims to their families or burying them without the families’ permission.

    Download the names and identifications of the victims of executions in 2018:

    Download PDF

     
  • Masoud Dalvand 9:40 pm on 8 Oct 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , Iran,   

    High education fees threaten the future of Iran’s children 

    In Iran, high cost of education and stationery will deprive many students from going to school

    In Iran, high cost of education and stationery will deprive many students from going to school

    In Iran, high education fees and prices of stationery will deprive many students of going to school. Many students will be eliminated from the cycle of education very soon as their families cannot afford the costs.

    Ali Khodaei, an Iranian regime’s official in labor affairs, admitted: “The prices of all necessary items for families have suddenly escalated, and in this situation, school fees can lead to dangerous consequences.” Khodaie told state-run news agency ILNA on September 22, “Red alerts are on, for months; it will not be unexpected many students and especially girls to drop out of school if the government does not allocate enough budget for education of labor-class families.”

    This pressure on families for paying school fees appears after the denial of the Ministry of Education from providing the schools’ budget. Moreover, people are struggling with the rising price of stationery.

    People are crying out for the high cost of living

    In a video clip widely distributed in social media, a lady talks about the high cost of stationery: “I went to buy some stationery yesterday and it cost me 8,000,000 rials. I was shocked! School books cost me 200,000 rials! Stationery cost me 3,000,000 rials and a backpack 3,000,000 rials. This is the situation in our country.” She also added, “Some notebooks, pens and color pencils cost 3,000,000 rials, and some school books 1,200,000 rials.”

    In recent times, prices have increased by 100 percent and families cannot afford the costs. Purchasing items from the market decreased by 50 percent and if a family could but 10 notebooks last year, they just can buy 5 this year.

    On September 14, state-run news agency Tasnim aired a report about the unexpected cost of stationery in the northern province of Mazandaran. In this report, a buyer talks about the inability of people to buy goods: “The ability of people has decreased and the prices have increased; so families cannot provide necessities for their children.” “The price of stationery has increased by 100 percent, however, it cannot be found in the market” the buyer added. “There is no foreign-made stationery at all, and the domestic goods are of low quality. However domestic goods are resuming an ascending trend. We were selling a pencil for 5,000 rials, but now we have to buy it for 7,000!” a shopkeeper complains.

    People in Gilan province, northern Iran, are crying out for the same reason. Highlighting the increasing prices compared to the last year, a buyer described the situation as saying: “There is a blatant difference between the prices year on year. We could buy the same items at half the price. They (governmental officials) told us that we can find proper prices in the state-run market, but the prices there were also doubled.”

    Rising education fees have forced some families to send just one of their children to the school as they cannot afford the cost of education for all of their family.

    Moving figures of dropouts from education

    The regime’s corrupt policies and rising prices are forcing students to drop out or school at an accelerating pace.

    Jahan-e San’at state-run newspaper issued shocking figures on September 23, 2018: “The number of children deprived of education is approximately 7 million in Iran.” The report added, “Out of every 3 Iranian youth aged 6-18, one has either quit education or has not enrolled at all.”

    This is while many children in far-off regions have no access to any schools, in addition to above mentioned problems.

    This is how the poor Iranian children who are deprived of their right to education, end up into street peddling, child labor or become street children with no right to livelihoods and dignity, and drowned in social crisis.

    Poverty and child labor Poverty and child labor

    Under the Iranian regime, the rights of children can’t be compared with what the Convention on the Rights of the Child states

    What Iranian children are enjoying is in total contrast to what they’re entitled to according to the Convention on the Rights of the Child.

    Article 28

    1. States Parties recognize the right of the child to education, and with a view to achieving this right progressively and on the basis of equal opportunity, they shall, in particular:

    (a) Make primary education compulsory and available free to all;

    (b) Encourage the development of different forms of secondary education, including general and vocational education, make them available and accessible to every child, and take appropriate measures such as the introduction of free education and offering financial assistance in case of need;

    (c) Make higher education accessible to all on the basis of capacity by every appropriate means;

    (d) Make educational and vocational information and guidance available and accessible to all children;

    (e) Take measures to encourage regular attendance at schools and the reduction of drop-out rates.

    2. States Parties shall take all appropriate measures to ensure that school discipline is administered in a manner consistent with the child’s human dignity and in conformity with the present Convention.

    3. States Parties shall promote and encourage international cooperation in matters relating to education, in particular with a view to contributing to the elimination of ignorance and illiteracy throughout the world and facilitating access to scientific and technical knowledge and modern teaching methods. In this regard, particular account shall be taken of the needs of developing countries.

    Article 29

    1. States Parties agree that the education of the child shall be directed to:

    (a) The development of the child’s personality, talents and mental and physical abilities to their fullest potential;

    (b) The development of respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms, and for the principles enshrined in the Charter of the United Nations;

    (c) The development of respect for the child’s parents, his or her own cultural identity, language, and values, for the national values of the country in which the child is living, the country from which he or she may originate, and for civilizations different from his or her own;

    (d) The preparation of the child for responsible life in a free society, in the spirit of understanding, peace, tolerance, equality of sexes, and friendship among all peoples, ethnic, national and religious groups and persons of indigenous origin;

    (e) The development of respect for the natural environment.

    2. No part of the present article or article 28 shall be construed so as to interfere with the liberty of individuals and bodies to establish and direct educational institutions, subject always to the observance of the principle set forth in paragraph 1 of the present article and to the requirements that the education given in such institutions shall conform to such minimum standards as may be laid down by the State.

    It goes without saying that the condition of 7 million children mentioned in Jahan-e San’at, is the exact opposite of what the two articles mention.

    It is worth mentioning that, according to the 30th principle of the Iranian regime’s own constitution, education in Iran must be free for all below the university level.

    However, the fact is that the regime has left no right for the Iranian people including children. The regime is neither committed to its own constitution nor to international conventions.

    All these happen while Tehran allocates billions of dollars to its proxies in Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, and Africa to export terrorism and fundamentalism. Meanwhile, Iran’s future generations lack schools, education, and their most basic needs.

     

     

     
    • bluemoone 10:27 pm on 8 Oct 2018 Permalink

      This is a great piece Masoud! I love how you tie it up at the end with the statues that show the children are supposed to be getting an education. Great work and, as always, so important.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Masoud Dalvand 7:08 am on 9 Oct 2018 Permalink

      Thank you Danielle for kind words, I think all children in the world not only in my country must have these rights as basic rights. Thanks again for your valuable support as a poet and author who writes for children, for human being and for love.

      Like

    • bluemoone 7:18 am on 9 Oct 2018 Permalink

      Wow! Best compliment of the day! Thank you Masoud. I know you support children’s education everywhere. I made that comment for those who would be reading it. Sometimes when we see an article about something in another state or country we feel that it’s their situation, not ours. It’s just human nature to think things are too far to touch us so I wanted to say something to make it more personal because things like education, clean water, good food and good medical care are everyone’s problem. These problems will only be solved by the will and efforts of the people, not their governments.

      Like

    • Masoud Dalvand 7:24 am on 9 Oct 2018 Permalink

      Exactly right! I agree with you Danielle. Thanks again.

      Like

    • wizzymedpower 8:21 pm on 9 Oct 2018 Permalink

      Thanks Dalvand for this wonderful piece.. Well written and presentable.. Iran will experience more peace and low cost of education in Jesus name

      Liked by 1 person

    • Masoud Dalvand 9:17 pm on 10 Oct 2018 Permalink

      Thank you my friend Israel for kind words, God bless you.

      Like

    • wizzymedpower 7:07 am on 11 Oct 2018 Permalink

      You’re welcome Dalvand

      Liked by 1 person

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