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At a Glance

Violation of Human Rights in Iran during a Week


29 August 2010

Violation of Immigration’s Rights

Iraqi forces block one street in Ashraf and severely beat two residents

Wednesday, 25 August 2010

http://ncr-iran.org/content/view/8760/1/

NCRI - The Iraqi forces, in an unlawful and hostile act, have


blocked one of the streets inside Camp Ashraf since
Tuesday, August 24, and are preventing the residents
commuting through this street. Upon the order of the
committee within the Iraqi Prime Minister’s office that is
responsible for suppression of Ashraf residents, a number of
armed forces and armored vehicles have been stationed in
that street which has been used by the residents for the past
25 years.

On Wednesday, August 25, 2010, two Iraqi Army Intelligence officers by the names of
Naqib Ahmad Hassan Khodheir and Lieutenant Heidar Azab Mashi, stopped a vehicle
inside Ashraf and forced at gun point the driver and the passenger off the vehicle and beat
them up severely. The two Ashraf residents; Rahman Mohammadian and Hossein
Kaghazian, were insulted and threatened to be arrested, killed and forcibly expelled.

These are part of series of aggressions by the Iraqi forces against the residents of Ashraf
since the US forces, and subsequently the UN monitoring team, left Ashraf. The Iraqi
suppressive forces by resorting to such unlawful measures at the behest of the Iranian
regime are setting the stage for another attack on Ashraf and murder of its residents.
Among these measures are the presence of the Iraqi armed forces in Ashraf main streets
and their offensive and provocative behaviors. In another incident on August 4, a number
of Iraqi forces attacked defenseless residents of Ashraf and beat and wounded nine of
them.

These acts are being carried out at the time when, for almost seven months, agents of the
Iranian Ministry of Intelligence and Security (MOIS) have camped at the main gate of

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Ashraf and are psychologically torturing the residents particularly the patients in nearby
hospital. With the full backing of the Iraqi forces, they are using 34 powerful
loudspeakers to create deafening and disturbing sounds.

The Iranian Resistance draws the attention of the US government and the American
forces as well as the United Nations Secretary General and his Special Representative for
Iraq to such suppressive acts by the Iraqi government and their dangerous consequences,
and calls on the American forces to guarantee protection of the camp residents. It also
calls for redeployment of the UNAMI team inside Ashraf and respect for the residents’
rights as protected persons under the Fourth Geneva Convention.

Stoning to Death

Iran: Stoning against a Backdrop of multiple hangings


27 August 2010

http://www.fidh.org/IRAN-Stoning-against-a-backdrop-of-expeditive

The International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) and the Iranian League for the
Defence of Human Rights (LDDHI) condemn the stoning of Sakineh Mohammadi
Ashtiani and the alleged secret and massive executions of prisoners in the Vakil Abad
Prison in Mashad. They call upon the Islamic Republic of Iran to immediately cease
using the death penalty as an instrument of terror and repression.
FIDH and LDDHI support both international and Iranian mobilisations calling for the
Iranian authorities to halt the execution of Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani, after a revised
conviction was handed down on 11 August.

The decision, which corresponds to one of the most barbaric practices condemned under
international law puts Iran in violation of its international obligations under the
International Covenant for Civil and Political Rights, which prohibits the use of death
penalty for convictions of adultery (article 6), condemns strongly any form of torture and
barbaric practices such as stoning (article 7), and rejects any conviction where the
convicted’s confession has been abstracted under torture. Both FIDH and LDDHI repeat
their call to the Iranian authorities to repeal the law on the use of stoning, which was
repeatedly asked by the United Nations’ Human rights committee. [1]

This decision comes against a backdrop of a series of expeditive and massive hangings
which would have been carried out over the past week under full secrecy. Reports from
human rights activists and ex-inmates of the Vakil Abad Prison disclose that Iranian
judicial authorities would have ordered the hanging of over one hundred individuals
inside the prison walls, 68 of which are said to have been carried out last Wednesday, 18
August 2010. There are allegedly hundreds more individuals on death row in Wards 101,
102, 103 and 104, set to be executed in the coming weeks. Not only would these

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sentences have been carried out under a veil of utmost secrecy, but the sentences
themselves and the collective nature of the executions would violate international law.

The number of executions taking place in Iran are continually on the rise. In 2007, 317
persons were officially executed, which increased to 346 in 2008 and 338 in 2009. These
official statistics are flagrant underestimates since the Iranian government continues to
flout United Nations resolutions and recommendations by shrouding executions in
secrecy and reporting only a small percentage of those that take place. The date and often
the executions themselves are hidden from prisoners’ family members, lawyers and the
general public. While FIDH and LDDHI oppose the death penalty in all circumstances,
the manner in which the Mashad prison executions are reportedly carried out is
particularly abhorrent.

France urges EU to threaten Iran sanctions over stoning

August 27, 2010

http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5if_qC9njgPlvRMBJeNUkEIdlY
Y7w

By Jean-Louis de la Vaissiere

PARIS — France urged the European Union on Friday to threaten Iran with new
sanctions over the case of a woman sentenced to death by stoning, despite Tehran's
warning to the West not to interfere.

Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner wrote to European Union foreign policy chief
Catherine Ashton to call for all 27 member states to warn Tehran not to execute 43-year-
old Sakineh Mohammadi-Ashtiani, in a letter seen by AFP.

"A joint letter from all EU member states to the Iranian authorities has become necessary,
in my view, if we want to save this young woman," Kouchner wrote, in a copy of
Wednesday's letter released to AFP.

"We must engage the Union in new initiatives to remind Iranian authorities that, just as in
the nuclear matter, their isolationist and closed stance will have a cost for them," he
wrote.

Mohammadi-Ashtiani, a mother of two, was sentenced to death by stoning in 2006 by an


Iranian Islamic court. Iranian officials claim she is guilty of adultery and was an
accomplice in the murder of her husband.

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The sentence has "provoked a revolt from all those in Europe who do not accept
barbarity," Kouchner wrote.

The execution has been put on hold, amid a mounting international outcry over the
sentence, but Iranian officials have insisted that justice will run its course.

Kouchner said that Iran should only escape new measures if it "chooses a more
responsible course that lives up to its international human rights commitments."

When EU foreign ministers meet on September 10, "I would like the European council to
re-start its work on these matters to take new measures against all those in Iran who have
organised repression," he said.

Kouchner was referring in particular to deadly crackdowns waged by Iranian authorities


in response to protests that broke out after the contested re-election of President Mahmud
Ahmadinejad in June 2009.

Western countries accuse the regime of abusing human rights and stifling the media.

They also suspect it of seeking to produce nuclear weapons, but Tehran denies this and
has not bowed to four sets of UN sanctions aimed at curbing its nuclear activities.

Iran last week told Western nations to stay out of the case.

"Independent nations do not allow other countries to interfere in their judicial affairs,"
Iranian foreign ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast told a news conference.

"Western nations must not pressurise and hype it up," he added. "Judicial cases have
precise procedures, especially when it concerns murder.

A spokesman for Ashton in Brussels said she had received Kouchner's letter and would
study the proposals before responding.

French President Nicolas Sarkozy on Wednesday threw his weight behind efforts to
prevent the stoning, which he called a "medieval" practice.

Iran stonings 'practices of another age': Ashton


27 August 2010

http://www.eubusiness.com/news-eu/iran-excecution.5xg

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(BRUSSELS) - The European Union's foreign policy chief said Friday the EU was about
to reject "practices of another age", after a woman was sentenced to death by stoning in
Iran.

France urged the European Union earlier Friday to threaten Iran with new sanctions over
the case of 43-year-old Sakineh Mohammadi-Ashtiani, despite Tehran's warning to the
West not to interfere.

Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner wrote to foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton to
call for all 27 member states to warn Tehran not to execute her, in a letter seen by AFP.

"Your concerns over the human rights situation in Iran exactly reflect mine," Ashton said
in a letter to Kouchner, of which AFP obtained a copy.

"As for the case of Mrs Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani, who was sentenced to stoning, I
think, as you do, that the moment has come for the European Union to collectively
express its rejection of practices of another age," she said.

Ashton said the EU was undertaking "discreet" steps in Tehran.

"If they do not yield convincing results, I would only see advantages in EU members
sending a collective letter to the Iranian authorities quickly."

Execution

Urgent action

Iranian teenager facing execution

20 August 2010

http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/asset/MDE13/084/2010/en/f7689b18-9866-420e-
8b40-cdb8e009a37d/mde130842010en.html

Juvenile offender Ebrahim Hamidi, now aged 18, has been sentenced to death for
allegedly sexually assaulting a man two years ago, when he was 16. He has retracted
his “confession”, saying he made it under coercion. He is at risk of execution and
currently without a lawyer.

Ebrahim Hamidi had been involved in a fight, in the suburbs of Tabriz, in East
Azerbaijan Province. He and three friends were arrested afterwards, and charged with

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committing a sexual assault on one of the men they had been fighting. Hamidi confessed
to the crime after three days in detention, during which he said he was tortured. The other
three were promised that they would be freed if they testified against Ebrahim Hamidi.
All four were initially sentenced to death but during a third trial, the other three
defendants were acquitted while Ebrahim Hamidi was again sentenced to death for lavat,
or “sodomy”. The alleged victim admitted in a recorded statement to police on 7 July
2010 that he had been under pressure from his parents to make false accusations.

The Supreme Court has rejected the East Azerbaijan provincial court’s verdict twice and
has ordered a re-examination of the case, but the provincial court apparently intends to
proceed with the execution.

Ebrahim Hamidi now has no legal representation. He had been represented by prominent
human rights lawyer Mohammad Mostafaei, who was forced to flee the country for fear
for his safety in early August 2010 possibly in relation to the role he played in drawing
international attention to the case of a woman, Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani, who was
sentenced to death by stoning for adultery. Mohammad Mostafaei had written an open
letter about Ebrahim Hamidi’s case in July 2010 in order to highlight the issue of
execution in Iran of juvenile offenders – those convicted of having committed a crime
which took place when they were under 18. .

Juvenile offender's execution scheduled

Date: 05 July 2010

http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/asset/MDE13/072/2010/en/96a9716b-7b98-4e58-
992c-69936ea26833/mde130722010en.html

The execution of Mohammad Reza Haddadi has been scheduled again in the city of
Shiraz, southern Iran, and could take place as soon as 7 July. He is sentenced to
death for a crime he allegedly committed while under the age of 18.

On 4 July 2010, the family of Mohammad Reza Haddadi were informed by judicial
officials that they should visit their son for the last time before his execution takes place
in the early hours of 7 July in Adelabad prison, Shiraz, in southern Iran. However, by 5
July, Mohammad Reza Haddadi’s lawyer had not been officially informed of any
scheduled execution and says that he was told that he would not be executed on 7 July.
Nonetheless, he believes there is a significant risk his client may be executed in the very
near future. Juvenile offenders have previously been executed without prior warning to
their lawyers, though under Iranian law his lawyer should receive 48 hours' notice.

Mohammad Reza Haddadi was sentenced to death in 2004 for a murder he allegedly
committed when he was 15. He is now around 22 years old. His death sentence was

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confirmed by the Supreme Court in July 2005. He was first scheduled for execution in
October 2008, but it was stayed on the order of the Head of the Judiciary. His execution
was then scheduled again on 27 May 2009 and 16 July 2009. There were further
unconfirmed reports that he would be executed on 9 December 2009.

There is no further news of Naser Qasemi, who was also sentenced to death for a crime
allegedly committed when he was under 18. Another juvenile offender, Reza Hejazi, was
hanged in Esfahan prison on 19 August 2008.

Iran hangs three drug traffickers: report


Monday, 23 Aug, 2010
http://www.dawn.com/wps/wcm/connect/dawn-content-library/dawn/news/world/14-
iran-hangs-three-drug-traffickers-report-zj-03

TEHRAN: Iran has hanged three men, including an Afghan, convicted of drug
trafficking in the central city of Isfahan, a newspaper reported on Monday.

The Iranian men, identified as Akbar Z., 33, and Hamid Reza H., 28, and the Afghan
Shah S., 38, were hanged on Sunday in a prison in Isfahan, hardline newspaper Kayhan
said.

The latest hangings bring the number of executions in Iran to at least 108 so far this year,
according to an AFP count based on media reports. Last year, at least 270 people were
hanged.

Iran says the death penalty is essential to maintain public security and is applied only
after exhaustive judicial proceedings.

Murder, rape, armed robbery, drug trafficking and adultery are all punishable by death in
the Islamic republic. —AFP

Reliable Source Reports Of Group Executions Inside Mashad’s Vakil


Abad Prison

24th August 2010

http://www.iranhumanrights.org/2010/08/reliable-source-reports-of-group-executions-
inside-mashads-vakil-abad-prison/

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An informed source told the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran that over
the past few months, the Iranian judicial authorities have ordered the hanging of over one
hundred individuals inside Mashad’s Vakil Abad Prison. According to this source, most
of those executed were sentenced based on drug-related charges and the executions
continue. “Last Wednesday 68, people were hung and over the coming weeks the
executions with continue,” said the source.

The source stated that the number of individuals on the death row inside Vakil Abad
Prison’s Wards 101, 102, 103, and 104 as well as the Quarantine Ward is “in the
hundreds.” The Campaign refrains from publishing the reported statistics pending
confirmation from other sources. The Campaign asks the Iranian judicial authorities to be
accountable regarding news about the weekly group executions of drug-related convicts
and to provide exact statistics about events taking place inside Mashad’s Vakil Abad
Prison.

Sadegh Larijani recently wrote a letter to Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Khamenei,
asking him for directions about what to do with the convicts, the source told the
International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran.

In order to verify the accuracy of the reports about the executions of drug-related
criminals in Mashad, we asked Ahmad Ghabel, a theological researcher and a student of
the late Ayatollah Hossein Ali Montazeri. Ghabel was arrested immediately after Mr.
Montazeri’s death on 20 December 2009, and served 170 days in prison before he was
released on bail. The Campaign asked Mr. Ghabel whether he was aware of similar
executions during his imprisonment at Vakil Abad Prison. “I never saw any of these
prisoners up close. I never tried to see outside my cell through the door or the window,
but I heard the news. Soldiers are people just like you and me and they transfer news. I
learned through news I received during fresh air breaks that 50 people were executed
during the 170 days I was there,” said Ahmad Ghabel. He told the Campaign that though
he doesn’t have direct information about the executions of individuals under the age of
18, he does remember hearing the prison guards talking about two youths under 18
among those executed.

“Inside our ward, Ward 6/1, in addition to cells where prisoners would serve their long
prison terms, there were also suites where those on the death row would be brought a few
hours before the execution. The situation would change so drastically, everyone would
know a death-row inmate was inside the ward. All doors would close and if this was
during the times when prisoners could make telephone calls, the lines would be
disconnected. Even other prison authorities could not move about at this time, because
Ward 6/1 was directly managed by the prison Intelligence Unit,” added the theological
researcher.

“I have not conducted my own research on this, and I have been following the media
news about it. Unfortunately, I have no access to my ex-cellmates, either. All I know is
that the families of those executed read the number [of those executed] on the forms
when they came to take the bodies. I think it is fair to say that these facts are undeniable.

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Prison guards and other prisoners are also members of the society and people like to talk
about events like this, spreading the news. Especially as events like this are not
unprecedented in our country,” said Ahmad Ghabel about news of 70 executions over the
past few days.

The Campaign asked Ahmad Ghabel whether it is conceivable for such a large number of
prisoners to have death sentences. “It is quite customary to have people with death
sentences remain in prison for a long time,” Ghabel replied.

“People convicted of murder get the death penalty, but their families are given time to
seek the forgiveness of the victims’ families and to attempt swapping the death penalty
with diya [blood money]. Also, there are people who are sentenced to death because of
carrying illegal arms, but they also have a prison sentence which they must serve prior to
the execution. As we speak, there are hundreds of people inside prisons who received
their death sentences several years ago. Even inside Ward 1/6 where I was serving, there
was an individual who had been in prison for 13 years for illegally carrying. He had a
death sentence, too. Another case is another suspect I was handcuffed to one time when
returning from the court. His charge was possession of 70 kilograms of crystal meth and
while serving a long prison term, he had also received a death sentence,” he added.

The source who provided the Campaign with detailed information about the group
executions of Vakil Abad Prison said that the death row convicts are held inside Ward 6
of the pPrison which is under the oversight of the prison’s Intelligence Unit. Each month
there are two sets of executions and in each set between 30 to 40 individuals are hung at
once. “For example, between September 2009 and May 2010, almost 150 people were
executed, but there was only one public announcement about the executions of five
people on 3 April 2010. But on that date 35 people were executed, eight of whom were
women,” said the source.

Other information received by the Campaign indicates that the frequency of mass
executions has increased from twice per month to four during the recent month. Sources
say total number of people executed is between 60 and 70. “There are hundreds of people
on the death row inside Mashad’s Vakil Abad Prison,” another source said.

According to the said source, on the days when group executions are to take place, Vakil
Abad Prison’s telephone lines are cut off. Ward 6/1 does not have public telephones and
prisoners are only allowed short telephone calls once or twice per week.

The International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran expresses its deep concern about
the ambiguous conditions and statistics of executions offered by various sources and their
discrepancies with the numbers announced by officials. The Campaign demands
accountability and clear information about the group executions inside Vakil Abad Prison
and other prisons in the country.

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“2,100 Individuals on Death Row in Mashad, 300 Secretly Executed,”
Says Source

25th August 2010

http://www.iranhumanrights.org/2010/08/2100-indiv-death-row/

A Mashad human rights activist told the International Campaign for Human Rights in
Iran of the secret group executions of hundreds of prisoners inside Mashad’s Vakil Abad
Prison without the knowledge of their families or lawyers. According to the activist,
there are some 2,100 prisoners on death row at this prison who might face abrupt secret
group executions at any moment.

Following publication of the news about Vakil Abad’s group executions, a Mashad
human rights activist who has spoken with families of some of those executed, as well as
some released prisoners, shared his knowledge of the situation with the Campaign.

Arbitrary Arrests

Hassan Asadi Zeidabadi and Ali Jamali Detained

22 August, 2010
http://www.rahana.org/en/?p=6603

The security forces have detained Hassan Asadi Zeidabadi and Ali Jamali, two members
of Advare Tahkim Vahdat (Office for Consolidating Unity), this afternoon.

RAHANA: Hassan Asadi Zeidabadi was detained at his house by the


security forces. Ali Jamali was arrested at his work.

According to Adavar News, there is no information as to the reason


for their arrests.

Hassan Asadi Zeidabadi was detained in September of last year and was released after 40
days of detention. Judge Moghiseh of the 28th branch of the Revolutionary Court presided
over his case.

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Ali Jamali had been threatened after being summoned to the Security organizations in the
recent weeks. Ahmad Zeidbadi, the head of Advare Tahkim, Abdollah Momeni, the
spokesperson, and Ali Malihi, head of the Office of Public Relations are other members
of Advare Tahkim that are currently held in prison.

Two Kurdish Citizens Reportedly in Detention Following 20 Days of


Disappearance

25 August, 2010
http://www.rahana.org/en/?p=6611

Following the government’s policy of arbitrary detention and the exertion of pressure on
the Kurdish citizens of Iran, the security forces have detained 2 Kurdish young men.

RAHANA: Saghez citizen Dalir Roozgard (Geology graduate of Tabriz University), and
Ghiyas Naderzadeh (graduated with a Bachelors degree from Tabriz University), who is a
Paveh citizen, have been detained by the Intelligence Agents of the Province of
Kurdistan.

According to the Human Rights Committee, after 20 days of disappearance, it turned out
that the 2 Kurdish citizens have been in detention after a telephone contact. Last week,
the security authorities went to Dalir Roozgar’s house and confiscated some of his
personal belongings and books.

The two individuals have founded the Zagros Committee in Tabriz University.

There has been no report as to their charges or their condition and the security authorities
have not disclosed anything in regards to their condition.

Kurdish Poet and Author Behzad Kurdestani Detained

25 August, 2010
http://www.rahana.org/en/?p=6631

Kurdish poet Behzad Kurdestani, was detained yesterday near his Marivan home by the
security forces.

RAHANA: Kurdish author Behzad Kurdestani had previously


been summoned and interrogated by the Marivan Intelligence
Ministry several times.

According to Ravanews, he is a well known civil rights activist


in the city of Marivan. He was also an activist for environmental causes and was involved
in containing the recent fires in Kurdistan.

There has been no information as to the alleged charges or the reason for his arrest.

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Prisoners of Conscience

Iran sentences opposition leader's aide to 5 years

Fri Aug 27, 2010

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20100827/ap_on_re_mi_ea/ml_iran_opposition

TEHRAN, Iran – An Iranian reformist website says a top aide to the country's opposition
leader has been convicted and sentenced to five years in prison.

Friday's report by Kaleme website didn't specify the charges against Qorban
Behzadiannejad, who was the campaign manager for Mir Hossein Mousavi in June 2009
presidential election.

The report says Behzadiannejad was also ordered to pay a fine of 1 million rials ($100)
for insulting President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

Iran has sentenced more than 80 opposition figures from among over a 100 who were put
on a mass trial following the disputed 2009 vote, which the opposition says Ahmadinejad
won through massive vote fraud.

Ten death sentences have been handed down so far. Other sentences range from six
months to 15 years in prison.

Violation of Freedom of Expression

Urgent action

Journalist may face death penalty

23 August 2010

http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/asset/MDE13/086/2010/en/fb1e8acd-6f0a-45f2-a47a-
8ab049ccad53/mde130862010en.html

Journalist and human rights defender Shiva Nazar Ahari appears to have been
charged with moharebeh (enmity with God), which can carry the death penalty. Her

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next hearing is scheduled for 4 September 2010. She is a prisoner of conscience, held
solely for the peaceful exercise of her rights to freedom of expression and
association.

Shiva Nazar Ahari, who is a member of the Iranian organization, the Committee of
Human Rights Reporters (CHRR), has been detained since 20 December 2009.
Apparently charged with of moharebeh, under Article 186 of the Iranian Penal Code, she
has also been charged with "assembly and collusion to commit a crime" (Article 610) and
"propaganda against the Regime" (Article 500). Amnesty International fears that such
vague charges do not amount to a recognizably criminal offence. She is being tried in
Branch 26 of the Revolutionary Court in Tehran. Judicial officials and pro-government
news agencies have publicly accused the CHRR and Shiva Nazar Ahari of contacting a
banned group, the People's Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI) , The CHRR and
Shiva Nazar Ahari have strenuously denied these accusations. According to her mother,
in April 2010, Shiva Nazar Ahari was charged with "causing unease in the public mind
through writing on the CHRR's website and other sites" and "acting against national
security by participating in [anti-government] demonstrations on 4 November 2009 and 7
December 2009.". Shiva Nazar Ahari denied attending the demonstrations, saying that
she had been at work on those days.

She has been in solitary confinement for much of the time. In February 2010 she told her
family by phone that she had been placed in a "cage-like" solitary confinement cell where
she could not move her arms and legs. She has had only limited access to her family.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE


Iranian Human Rights Activist in Danger of Execution
Washington, August 24, 2010
http://www.freedomhouse.org/template.cfm?page=70&release=1228

Freedom House is deeply concerned for the life of Iranian human rights activist, Shiva
Nazar Ahari, who is scheduled to be tried on fraudulent charges before the Revolutionary
Court in Iran on September 4, and demands the Iranian government release her
immediately.

Nazar Ahari, spokesperson for the Committee of Human Rights Reporters (CHRR), has
been charged with mohareb, or rebellion against God, “anti-regime propaganda,” and
“acts contrary to national security,” all of which she has categorically denied. Of greater
concern are reports by state-run website Rajanews, accusing Shiva of working for the
Mojahideen-e Khalq (MeK,) a foreign terrorist organization. Nazar Ahari, a human rights
defender who has never practiced nor advocated violence, has been fighting for human

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rights in Iran since she was a teenager. She was arrested at 17 for attending a candlelight
vigil for the victims of 9/11 and has been harassed by authorities ever since.

“An accusation of terrorist involvement in Iran is often used by the government as a


justification for execution, and we greatly fear that this may be the outcome for Ms.
Nazar Ahari,” said Paula Schriefer, advocacy director at Freedom House. “We demand
the Iranian government drop the charges against her and release her immediately without
harm.”

The Revolutionary Court is notorious for non-transparent procedures and for handing
down death sentences, particularly in cases involving alleged terrorism. On May 9, 2010,
the Iranian regime executed five prisoners in secret, four of whom were ethnic Kurds
accused of being connected to a Kurdish terrorist organization. Nazar Ahari is among
hundreds of political prisoners, including more than 30 writers, bloggers, and journalists,
being held in Evin prison.

Iran is ranked Not Free in Freedom in the World 2010, Freedom House's survey of
political rights and civil liberties, and Not Free in Freedom of the Press 2010

Iran Launches New Crackdown On Universities


August 26, 2010
http://www.rferl.org/content/Iran_Launches_New_Crackdown_On_Universities/2138387
.html
The Iranian government says it will restrict the number of students admitted to
humanities programs at universities, RFE/RL's Radio Farda reports.

The announcement was made on August 25 by Abolfazl Hassani, the director of the
government's Office of Development of Higher Education.

It follows criticism of humanities studies last year by Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah
Ali Khamenei. He called the humanities a field of study that "promotes skepticism and
doubt in religious principles and beliefs," and that it was worrying that almost two-thirds
of university students in Iran were seeking degrees in the humanities.

It also comes as, in the past three months, nearly 20 university deans have been sacked by
Science Minister Kamran Daneshjou, most recently Yosef Sobouti of the Graduate
University of Zanjan.

Daneshjou was in charge of the Interior Ministry's election headquarters in the contested
presidential vote last year.

Saeed Peyvandi, a Paris-based expert on education, says that that the Science Ministry

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has started a coordinated, centralized policy to monitor and control universities, including
students, professors, chancellors, and curriculums.

Peyvandi adds that as a result of such policies, "independence of universities" will make
no sense in Iran anymore.

Daneshjou said in March that only academics who had "practical commitment" to the
principle of "velayat-e faqih, or the rule of the supreme leader, could teach at universities.

U.S.-based sociologist Majid Mohammadi says that the new policy of the Iranian
establishment reflects its totalitarian attitude, which has become even more conspicuous
during the past year.

Mohammadi says that dismissing university professors, forcing them to retire or resign,
and replacing them with those committed to the supreme leader shows that a cultural
revolution is still continuing in the country.

Khamenei had previously called universities arenas of "soft war," described students as
"young soldiers" and professors as "commanders" who should confront soft war.

Jailed Iranian journalist Goudarzi receives NPC award

August 26, 2010


http://cpj.org/blog/2010/08/jailed-iranian-journalist-goudarzi-receives-npc-aw.php

The National Press Club has announced the recipients of the 2010 John
Aubuchon Freedom of the Press Award, which is given each year to
individuals who have contributed to the cause of press freedom and open
government. This year, the international recipient is Iranian blogger
Kouhyar Goudarzi, who is being held in Tehran's Evin Prison--notorious
for its torture of detainees. CPJ wrote earlier this month about a hunger
strike in Evin in which several political prisoners, including at least five
journalists, protested their inhumane treatment. Goudarzi was one of the protesters.
Arrested in December 2009, Goudzari, a former editor of Committee of Human Rights
Reporters, has been charged with heresy, propagating against the regime, and
participating in illegal gatherings.

Violation of Women’s Rights

Mahdiyeh Golrou’s One-year Suspended Imprisonment Term Begins

15
22 August , 2010

http://www.rahana.org/en/?p=6596

The one year suspended imprisonment sentence of student activist Mahdiyeh Golrou
which was served to her last December, has begun.

RAHANA: Mahdiyeh Golrou has to serve a 2 year prison sentence


which was upheld in the 54th branch of the Revolutionary Court and her
one year suspended imprisonment. They add up to 3 years of
imprisonment.

Her one year prison term was for her activities in the Committee to
Defend Education Rights regarding her education rights and the education rights of the
other students. She was served with the one year prison sentence before her detainment.
She was later sentenced to 2 years and 4 months in prison which was reduced to 2 years
of imprisonment by the appeals court.

Controversial 'Family Bill' Returns To Iranian Parliament's Agenda


August 24, 2010
By Golnaz Esfandiari
http://www.rferl.org/content/Controversial_Family_Bill_Returns_To_Iranian_Parliament
s_Agenda/2136632.html

Iran's parliament is preparing to discuss a bill this week that would allow men to marry
additional wives without the consent of their first wife, and would tax dowries.

It is called the Family Protection Bill, but it is better-known as the antifamily bill.

Women's rights activists say the bill, first proposed by President Mahmud Ahmadinejad's
cabinet in 2007, would pave the way for polygamy, harm the family structure, and set
back the battle against discriminatory laws in the Islamic republic, where women have
second-class legal status.

Activists say the bill gives men a free hand to abuse the system and deprive women from
any right within the family.

Supporters say the bill is intended to reinforce Islamic principles, with legislator
Mohammad Dehghan arguing that it would defend the rights of women and girls who for
some reason cannot have an exclusive marriage.

16
Under Islamic law as applied in Iran, men can take up to four wives. However, polygamy
is not widespread in Iran, and many citizens condemn the practice.

In 2008, parliament was due to vote on the bill, but following widespread protests and
criticism by a large coalition of activists, it was sent to the parliament's legal committee
for more work.

Victory Becomes Defeat

This was seen as a victory for Iranian women's rights activists, but one that may prove to
be short-lived. This time around, the conservative-dominated parliament may face much
less opposition -- many of the bill's most ardent critics are now in jail or out of the
country -- and activists say few changes have been made to the original legislation, and
that on some points it has been made more discriminatory.

On August 19 opposition figure Zahra Rahnavard called on parliament to scrap the bill
from its agenda for the sake of "families' durability." Rahnavard, the wife of opposition
leader Mir Hossein Musavi, has said that Koranic references to polygamy have been
misinterpreted in the bill.

One of the bill's most contested articles, Article 23, states: "Marriage to a subsequent
permanent wife should depend on court authorization upon ascertainment of the man's
financial capability and commitment to uphold justice among his wives."

Increasing Discrimination

Norway-based Iranian women's rights activist Asieh Amini says that some 10 conditions
have been added to Article 23, which she says makes the legislation even more
discriminatory.

Under the changes, a man would be able to take a new wife if his first wife were to
become addicted to something to the point that it would harm her family, if she were to
contract a terminal disease, if she were away from home for six months, or if she were to
become sterile.

Amini says all the articles in the bill reinforce legal inequalities that effectively
discriminate against women in Iran.

"The question is, what if a man is addicted, what happens then to the family? Why is the
law silent about that?" Amini asks. "What if a man is sterile or doesn't have sexual ability
and desire and if a man leaves his house -- what happens to his wife and children?"

In fact, she says all the bill's articles are written in favor of "sexual and moral
submissiveness to the family's man."

Iranian Nobel Peace Prize winner and lawyer Shirin Ebadi, who along with other activists

17
fought against the bill in 2008, says it reinforces unequal divorce law and encourages
polygamy.

"It forces a woman to share her marriage and her feelings with another woman and she is
not even being given the possibility to divorce her husband. This was one of the aspects
that Iranian women united opposed," Ebadi says.

Activists have opposed other aspects of the bill, too, including the suggestion that
women's dowries would be taxed and removing conditions for the registration of
temporary marriages, instead of banning those types of marriages.

Opposition Brushed Aside

The bill has been reintroduced as a number of activists who opposed the bill are now
either in jail, free on bail, or in exile, including Ebadi and Amini.

Tehran-based women's rights activist Fatemeh Govarayi believes that's exactly why the
bill is again on the parliament's agenda.

She says that a year after the highly disputed presidential election, "a very harsh
repression" is ruling over Iranian society.

"Blood has been spilled and washed away," Govarayi says, and that parliament and the
Iranian establishment as a whole have seen it as an opportunity, "judging that the
opposition to the bill will not be as widespread and organized as it was in 2008, they're
aiming at passing the bill with maybe [some minor changes]."

Human rights lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh, who is also based in Tehran, says Iranian women
inside the country and also those outside will not remain silent about the bill, which she
says will take them many steps back.

She believes that in the past year the presence of women in demonstrations, particularly
the postelection street protests, has been even more pronounced than men's.

"If Iranian officials use intelligence, they would never not add up the anger that has been
accumulated in Iranian women's hearts for years," Sotoudeh says.

Tehran sociologist Shala Ezazi, who describes the bill as an attempt by the authorities to
have greater control over Iranian women, believes that in practice it will be rejected by
women, but also men.

"I predict that it cannot be applied in practice, the conditions are such that even such
threats will not force women to sit at home and accept a series of inopportune demands,"
Ezazi says.

Activists have called on men and women who seek justice to oppose the bill.

18
Violation of Minorities’ Rights

COMMITTEE ON ELIMINATION OF RACIAL DISCRIMINATION


CONCLUDES ITS SEVENTY-SEVENTH SESSION

http://www.unog.ch/unog/website/news_media.nsf/%28httpNewsByYear_en%29/16D52
D1CBC685E5BC125778C00319870?OpenDocument

August 27, 2010

Iran

After a review of the combined eighteenth and nineteenth periodic reports of Iran, the
Committee noted with appreciation the various developments which had taken place in
the State party, including: the approval of the Law on Citizenry Rights in 2005; the
ratification of the amendment to article 8 of the Convention by the State party on 7
November 2005, adopted on 15 January 1992 at the fourteenth meeting of States parties
to the Convention and endorsed by the General Assembly in its resolution 47/111 of 16
December 1992, concerning the financing of the Committee; the update on the progress
being made by the State party in the establishment of a National Human Rights
Institution in accordance with the Paris Principles; the amendment of the fourth
Development Plan which allowed budget allocations and a percentage of oil and gas
revenues for the development of less developed provinces, particularly inhabited by
disadvantaged ethnic groups; and Iran’s active engagement with the international
community on human rights issues, such as its initiative on promoting a dialogue among
civilizations. The Committee commended the State Party’s continued hosting of a large
population of refugees from neighboring countries such as Afghanistan and Iraq.

While commending the efforts undertaken by the State party to empower women, the
Committee was concerned that women of minority origin may be at risk of facing double
discrimination. The Committee noted the efforts undertaken by the State party to combat
racist discourse in the media by applying sanctions to newspapers whose publications
included racist discourse. However, the Committee was concerned at continued reports of
racial discrimination directed against Azeri communities in the media, including
stereotyped and demeaning portrayals of those peoples and communities. The Committee
was also concerned at the reports of racial discrimination in everyday life and statements
of racial discrimination and incitement to hatred by government officials. While the
Committee noted that, according to the State party, measures were being taken to
promote minority languages and the teaching of minority languages and literature in
schools was permitted, it expressed concern over the lack of sufficient measures to enable

19
persons belonging to minorities to have adequate opportunities to learn their mother
tongue and to have it used as a medium of instruction. The Committee expressed concern
at the limited enjoyment of political, economic, social and cultural rights by Arab, Azeri,
Balochi, Kurdish communities and some communities of non-citizens, in particular with
regard to housing, education, freedom of expression and religion, health and
employment, despite the economic growth in the State party. It noted information that the
provinces where many of them lived were the poorest in the country.

Among other things, the Committee recommended that the Government continue its
efforts to empower women and promote their rights, paying particular attention to women
belonging to minorities. The Committee recommended that the State party take
appropriate steps to combat manifestations in the media, as well as in everyday life, of
racial prejudice that could lead to racial discrimination. The Committee also
recommended that, in the area of information, the State party promote understanding,
tolerance and friendship among the various racial and ethnic groups in the State party,
especially on the part of public officials, and including through the adoption of a media
code of ethics that would commit the media to showing respect for the identity and
culture of all communities in the State party, taking into account the possible intersection
of racial and religious discrimination. The Committee recommended that the State party
continue its efforts to implement measures to enable persons belonging to minorities to
have adequate opportunities to learn their mother tongue and to have it used as a medium
of instruction. It requested the State party to provide more information on the literacy
levels of ethnic minorities. The Committee urged Iran to take the necessary steps to
achieve effective protection from discrimination against Arab, Azeri, Balochi and
Kurdish communities and some communities of non-citizens in various domains, in
particular, employment, housing, health, education and freedom of expression and
religion.

Christian Citizen Detained in Rasht

22 August, 2010
http://www.rahana.org/en/?p=6592

Hamed Pishkar, a Christian resident of Rasht, has been detained for observing his
religious rituals.

RAHANA: Hamed Pishkar who is a Christian resident of Rasht was


detained at his house on August 15th for observing his religious rituals.
The security authorities searched his house and took him to an
undisclosed location.

20
The pressure has exacerbated on the Christian residents of the city of Rasht. Davoud
Nejat-Sabet and Shahin Taghizadeh, two members of the Rasht Church, have been
sentenced to a year in prison. Their sentence could be executed in the next 5 years.
Yousef Nodrkhani who has been detained since September is held in the Lakan Prison of
Rasht and is still awaiting his sentence.

Baha’i Citizen and His Lawyer Detained

25 August, 2010
http://www.rahana.org/en/?p=6607

Hossein Shayegan, a Baha’i citizen of Karaj, has been detained along with his lawyer and
has been transferred to the Karaj Gohardasht Prison.

RAHANA: The home of Hossein Shayegan, a well-known merchant


of the Shahin Vila Bazar, had been searched in February of 2009 by
the Intelligence Ministry agents.

According to the RAHANA reporter, his store was also shut down in
May of 2010 without prior notification.

The authorities had asked him to refer to the court with the documents of his store so he
would be permitted to open the place. Shayegan and his lawyer were detained and
transferred to the Gohardasht Prison after appearing in court.

Five Gonabad Dervishes Detained in Sarvestan

25 August, 2010

http://www.rahana.org/en/?p=6642

Five Dervishes of the Nematollahi-Gonabadi order, who are residents of the city of
Sarvestan, have been transferred to the Intelligence Ministry Prison after 5 hours of
interrogations.

RAHANA: On August 25th, Esmaeil(Hadi) Rahmanian, Farzad Darvish-Sarvestani, Ali


Akbar Ebrahimzadeh, Heydar Esparjani, and Keramatollah Mohit referred to the
Judiciary along with their attorneys, Farshid Yadollahi Farsi, Amir Eslami (2 members of
the Human Rights Committee of the Bar Association), and Davoud Montazeri after being
summoned on August 22nd.

21
According to the “Majzooban” website, the interrogations began at 9:30 am in order to
investigate their charges of blasphemy, disturbing public order by gathering in front of
the Governor’s Office, and damaging public property. The interrogations were in the first
branch of the Sarvestan revolutionary Court presided by Alireza Asadi. The authorities
announced that the investigation will be held in private and prevented the lawyers from
attending. The attorneys and the defendants objected to the decision in writing. Three
detainees failed to respond to any questions in order to object to this decision.

The report further stated that after the interrogations and the presentation of the final
defense, the lawyers were allowed to defend their cases. The authorities issued a bond for
two of the individuals and temporary detention orders for the other three. Keramatollah
Mohit was issued an order to stay in that location. After the attorneys objected to the
orders, the authorities changed the temporary detention orders to a 70 million
Tooman($70,000) bail. The individuals refused to provide the bail or bond. They were
transferred to prison after 5 hours of interrogation.

At 2:30 PM, a number of Intelligence Ministry authorities appeared in the court and held
a meeting. The five dervishes were transferred to the Intelligence Ministry after the
meeting.

22