News from Iran – Week 09 – 2012

Standard

Several new arrests and some released prisoners in this week, where the good news of an Oscar win was quickly overshadowed by the parliamentary elections in Iran and the increasing impact of sanctions.

News of Prisoners

A-Transfers

  • On day 51 of his hunger strike, Dr. Mehdi Khazali was moved Mon from Ward 350 to high security Ward 209(Intel).
  • Saeed Sangar, sentenced to life time in prison, transferred from Sanandaj prison to an unknown location.

B- Arrests/Incarcerations

  • Mojtaba Babakarami, Mehdi Cheghakaboodi, Shirin Ghanbari, among 13 Christians from Kermanshah, arrested in a raid on a home church last Tuesday. Azadeh Sharifi, also arrested last Tuesday, was released on bail.
  • Meysam Mashayekh, a reformist activist and blogger from Noshahar arrested.
  • Photojournalist Tahmineh Monzavi was arrested 2/18 at her studio, computer and personal items seized from studio and home.
  • Hooman Zarei, Baha’i arrested at his work place in Shiraz.

C-Liberations

  • Sadegh Akhoondi, University Professor, released on bail.
  • Journalist Sahamedin Bourghani has been released on bail.
  • Parastoo Dokoohakhi, journalist, released on bail.
  • Nama Jafari, writer, released on 80 million Toman bail.
  • National Front member Dr. Ali Rashidi has been released.
  • Journalist Marzieh Rasouli was released on 300 million Toman bail.
  • Women’s rights activist Manizheh Sadeghi has been released from Sanandaj prison after finishing her 91 days term.
  • Mohammad Saeed Zakeri, editor in chief of Ninth day, released.

D-Other News

  • Blogger Davood Bahman Abadi on hunger strike.
  • Music forum campaigning for release of jailed Iranian musician Arya Aramnejad.
  • Wife of opposition leader Mehdi Karroubi, under house arrest, has no information regarding his situation.
  • Daughter and son-in-law of imprisoned Reformist Tajzadeh have been summoned to court and banned from leaving the country.


News of injustice in Iran

  • Despite finishing his one year sentence, senior Reformist Abolfazl Ghadiani has not been released and has been sentenced to additional three years.
  • Human Rights Activist Kouhyar Goudarzi has been sentenced to 6 Years in prison.
  • 3 years sentence for Saeed Jalilafar confirmed by Appeals.
  • Shahram Karimi lashed 74 times in Evin.
  • Student and human rights activist Mokhtar Zarei has been sentenced to one year in prison by court in Sanandaj.


University  - Culture

  • Bamdad daily banned for publishing letter of clerical students to Mullah Hawzah in Qom complaining about Larijani.
  • “]Deutsch: Asghar Farhadi präsentiert als Gast d...‘A Séparation’ film by Asghar Farhadi received Independent Spirit Award from The Hollywood Reporter for Best Foreign Film.
  • ‘A Séparation’, Oscar winner 2012  Asghar Farhadi: I proudly offer this award to the people of my country.
  • Former President Khatami congratulated Asghar Farhadi for winning the 1st Iranian Oscar.
  • Sarat news, Beebak news & 598 news have been filtered & Managing Directors summoned by Judiciary
  • Power show to control Azad University after the brother of Research Ministry was imposed by force. Rafsanjani, heading managing committee of Azad University foundation is still trying to resist.
  • 1st Triennial Iranian Studies Conference in Oslo.
  • Police raided neighbourhoods in East Tehran confiscating satellite dishes and threatening people who protested with arrest.
  • University security reportedly summoned students at Shahr-e-Kurd university for building a snowman decorated with a green scarf.
  • Yasmin Fanaeian, Baha’i student in Payam e Noor in Sari, and Shahin Mousavi, Baha’i student of Civil Engineering at the non-profit Tabri University in Babol, have been expelled,
  • Ministry of Education has issued a directive to the country’s schools, to identify and report to the Ministry any Bahai pupils at their schools.
  • Schools are allegedly requiring students to go to voting booths and get a stamp mark + photo evidence of voting.


Economy in Iran

  • A bicycle factory in Ghuchan has not paid its workers in four months.
  • Workers from the Bahman Polymer Company have not been paid for three months.
  • Sam Cable Company of Tehran owes between four and five million Tomans to its workers.
  • The brick factory of Rasekh in Bandar Abbas was closed due to a lack of natural gas.
  • Majlis Economic Committee member: Decision to stop crude supplies to Greece is  a positive action that serves national interests.
  • Iran buys US wheat despite nuclear tensions.
  • Shell purchases 1.5 million barrels of oil from Iran despite sanctions.


Protests

  • Workers from the Ardebil metal company gathered inside the company to protest not being paid for five months and a lack of raw material.
  • On Monday February 6th, workers of Artavil Tires in Ardebil protested in front of the factory against the decision of the owner to close the factory.
  • A large crown reportedly set Iran Majlis election posters on fire in Sari.


Iran  abroad

  • German government calls for the release of Yousef Nadarkhani, Iranian priest sentenced to death.
  • Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi left Tehran to participate in the 19th session of the Human Rights Council, which will be held in Geneva from February 27 to March 23.
  • Azeri Ambassador summoned over arms deal with Israel.
  • Russian bank shuts down Iranian embassy accounts.
  • Clinton: Latin American drug cartels’ links to Iran, Hezbollah a concern.
  • Azerbaijani television hacked from Iran.
  • Iran has sent USD 3.5 million to Zimbabwe to complete tractor assembly plant.


Politics in Iran

  • The committee of Iranian Free Teachers asked all Iranians and teachers around the country to protest the sham election.
  • Candidates in election have to go through screening process. So far, 1200 have been disqualified including 36 serving MPs.
  • Mojtaba Khamenei allegedly met with Moussavi to ask for his collaboration, “given the country’s critical situation” - Mousavi refused to reply to Mojtaba and asked for a direct, private conversation with Khamenei.
  • Position of Sunni leaders on the election; We are not supporting any candidates.
  • Mesbah Yazdi and IRGC form coalition against Mahdavi Kani’s United Principalist Front in parliamentary elections.
  • Iranian Kurdish groups call for boycott of elections.
  • Iranian Opposition demands federalism for Kurdistan.
  • Hundreds of foreign reporters have beeninvited to cover Iran’s parliamentary elections. Foreign journalists allowed to cover Iranian elections are bussed to chosen pooling stations and back to their hotel with no opportunity to meet real people; reports showing mainly elderly people when 65 % of the population in under 30.
  • Election Commission official – 10 foreign “saboteurs” try to disrupt elections arrested.
  • The electoral commission extended polling station opening for 5 hours.
  • The election commission has asked election workers to let people vote, even without ID cards.
  • 530 irregularities noted since electoral lists constitution in Tehran region.
  • Main lists:
    • United Front of Conservatives (Jebheh Mottahed-e Osoolgaraayaan): rather pro-Khamenei but also some pro-Ahmadinejad aussi
    • Resistance Front of Islamic Républic (Jebheh Paaydaari-e Enghlelab-e Eslami): main figure, ayatollah Mesbah-Yazdi, spiritual mentor of Ahmadinejad
    • Front of People’s Voice (Jebheh Sedaa-ye Mellat): refused from two above-mentionned lists
    • Defense Front of Islamic Républic (Jebheh Eistaadegi Enghelab-e Eslami): supporters of Rezaï, previous IRGC commandor – Mahmoud Alavi, member of Council of Experts who wanted to be part of this list, was barred from candidacy
    • Democratic Front (Jebheh Democrat): réformists wanting to take part in elections.


Miscellaneous

  • Tehran – Zahedan train derailed by sandstorms. Several hours delay but no serious  injuries.
  • In the past 4 years, child marriages reported to have increased by 45 percent.
  • Tehran police shut down 15 clothing stores for selling ‘vulgar dress’.
  • In the past month, five school students and two teachers were reported killed, and dozens injured, in (basiji) rahian-e-noor camps.
  • An outlet of Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) has opened in the Iranian city of Karaj. The owners claim it is “100% Iranian”
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