News from Iran – Week 26 – 2012

Iran Oil Tanker Under Malta Colours [Photo: Reuters/Tim Chong]
Standard

News of the Prisoners

A- Transfers

  • Imprisoned journalist Bahman Ahmadi-Amouei was taken to court and put in solitary after return to Rejaei Shahr.
  • Political prisoner Arjang Davoodi transferred to solitary confinement.
  • Mitra Homayoun, workers’ rights activist, transferred to Rasht; she is being denied visits and contact with a lawyer.
  • National-Religious activist Saeed Madani was transferred back to Evin 209 one day after transfer to 350.
  • Journalist Mehdi Mahmoudian transferred to hospital.
  • Saeed Marzban, workers’ rights activist, transferred to Rasht; he is being denied visits and contact with a lawyer.
  • Kurdish prisoner on death row Zaniar Moradi transferred to hospital.
  • Seyyed Mostafa Tajzadeh taken to hospital for hemorrhage in one eye, then back to solitary in Evin, against doctors’ advice.


B- Arrests/Incarcerations

  • Protests following the execution of 4 Arab-Iranians in Ahvaz resulted in the arrest of at least fifteen people: Mansour, Naser and Reza Bavi, Esmaeil Dehimi, Rahim and Razi Silavi, Adel, Ali, Hakim, Hossein, Jasem, Jomeh, Kazem, Mohammad and Naser Haydari.
  • Mahmoud Bagheri, teacher and unionist, begins serving his 9 years sentence in Evin.
  • Baha’i Taher Eskandarian was arrested in a raid of his home in Semnan. Home searched, items confiscated.
  • Vahid Rastgo was arrested in Tabriz in a raid of his home, home searched, computer & items confiscated.
  • Reza Setayesh-Efza, student of Azad University in Karaj and political activist, arrested at night.
  • Arrests of cyber activists across Iran by security forces.
  • 363 people arrested during large-scale operation by security forces, to increase public safety levels in city of Mashhad.


C-Liberations

  • Javad Alikhani student activist freed after serving his time.
  • Blogger Hanieh Farshi has been released on bail on medical furlough.
  • Fereydoun Seidi-Rad on furlough for 5 days.


D-Other News

  • After 2 years, Mohammad Sadegh Kaboudvand is allowed to meet his wife in person.
  • Imprisoned blogger Ronaghi Maleki develops a kidney infection due to lack of post-surgery care. Function of his one remaining kidney is seriously impaired.
  • Number of people imprisoned in Iran grew by 100,000 over the past 5 years.


News of injustice in Iran

  • Political/civil activist journalist Rouhollah Kalantari has been exonerated of all charges by Appeals Court.
  • Political activist Dr. Hani Yazerlou has been sentenced to 1 year in prison and 15 years exile to Iranshahr.
  • Two citizens of Khorasan province in Iran are sentenced to death for repeated consumption of alcohol.
  • Two public hangings in Tehran on Thursday.


University – Culture

  • Shaghayegh Agahi, Baha’i student, expelled from Tehran University.
  • Music concert is cancelled due to organisers not segregating men and women.
  • Iran holds first contemporary art auction, which earned a total of $1.7 million.


Protests

  • 48 Khavar textile workers launched a strike against their pat being delayed for 11 months. The workers protested in front of the Gilan Province administration.


Iran Oil Tanker Under Malta Colours [Photo: Reuters/Tim Chong]

Economy in Iran

  • $1 = 1877 Tomans on Saturday, 1924 on Sunday, 1876 on Monday, 2000 on Tuesday, 2060 on Thursday – a new high
  • The price of eggs rose 10.1% in the past week.
  • Price of mineral water jumps 40%.
  • Jaber Ibn Hayyn, a pharmaceutical company, has laid off more than 90 employees because of shortage of raw materials.
  • Iranian oil tankers change names, flags as EU ban looms.
  • Japan’s Mitsubishi has renewed its contract to import oil from Iran.
  • The Indian Minister of Food has announced that if Iran were to request, India could export 3 million tons of grain to Iran and thus pay off a part of its oil debts to Iran.
  • China’s GMC truck production line launches in Iran.
  • Delays by Chinese firms in completing their projects have cost Iran $1Billion in losses.
  • Vice Président of Shomal Drilling Company, Bahman Ashtari, announced the purchase of three pieces of offshore drilling equipment from China, and the import of five additional pieces of drilling equipment for the Persian Gulf within a year-and-a-half.
  • Iranian firms cannot pay $2.5Billion in debt to Turkey.
  • Iran signs up 11 tankers to small Pacific nation of Tuvalu.
  • Over the past year, Iran exported 80 tons of shrimp to Italy and Spain.


Iran  abroad

  • Syrian president Bashar al Assad speaks on Iranian TV.
  • Head of UN observer mission in Syria meets with Iranian ambassador.
  • Head of Iran’s Red Crescent Society, Abolhasan Faqih, said that “Iran’s Red Crescent Society operates 29 medical centers in different countries and has inaugurated two new medical centers in Bolivia and Tanzania in recent weeks”.


Politics in Iran

  • Merchants who broadcast the call to prayer (azan) from their shops will get a tax break!
  • 4 people killed and 18 injured in clashes between residents of 2 villages outside of Khoy and Revolutionary Guards.
  • Four clothing stores were closed due to non-compliance with Islamic values and use of unconventional mannequins in Ghazvin.
  • Four tailor shops were closed due to use of illegal magazines and sale of prohibited item in Ghazvin.
  • Two stores for the sale of cosmetics and care products were closed in Ghazvin.


Miscellaneous

  • Anti-riot forces attack park to prevent youth from playing watergames.
  • Flood Destroys 60 Homes in Tabriz.
  • River diversion dries up Ahvazi land in Khuzestan.

#HumanTrafficking – dozens suffocated and dumped at roadside

Some of the seventy survivors. Picture: AP
Standard

Some of the seventy survivors. Picture: AP

Dozens of dead Ethiopian immigrants were dumped on the side of a road in Tanzania after suffocating in a container truck along with many others who survived, in the second fatal human trafficking incident in the country this year.

Up to 45 bodies were dumped along a busy forest highway on Tuesday, and a further 72 were found alive and taken to hospital.

“I haven’t seen anything like this … There were so many bodies lined up along the road. People in passing vehicles were shocked at the sight,” said Dodoma resident Fatuma Amir.

“When the driver discovered that there were people dying, he decided to throw them in the forest and run away with his vehicle,” deputy home affairs minister Pereira Ame Silima said.

Residents in central Dodoma were the first to report the deaths because of a foul smell. The deceased were taken to the hospital in Dodoma city.

“It is extremely sad and unfortunate that people die by using wrong and self-torturing means to illegally transport themselves to other destinations,” Silima said.

Survivors told officers that while they were locked inside the vehicle they had screamed to the driver to stop after several people passed out due to the lack of air, said police chief Zelothe Stephen.

When the driver finally stopped, he ordered the migrants to dump the corpses and clean the truck, but then sped off leaving the Ethiopians behind in a remote area.

“A manhunt is going on for the driver of the lorry that abandoned the Ethiopian immigrants by the roadside,” said Luppy Kung’alo, a Tanzanian police spokesman.

The east African country is a major transit route for migrants, used by smugglers to ferry Somalis and Ethiopians to Europe, and as believed in this case, South Africa.

The truck was probably on its way to the south-western border with Zambia and Malawi, officials said. Illegal immigrants are often smuggled by truckers from Tanzania’s commercial capital Dar es Salaam to border towns.

Many immigrants pay agents between $3,000 and $4,000 to reach South Africa. The illegal trip passes through Kenya, Tanzania, Malawi or Zambia, Zimbabwe or Botswana and then into South Africa. The shipping containers that the immigrants are crammed into can be changed several times before reaching South Africa.

In January, 20 Somali migrants suffocated to death as they were being smuggled in a cramped container truck through Tanzania. Their bodies were similarly dumped on the road.

At least 47 people thought to be illegal migrants from east Africa died when their boat capsized in a lake in neighbouring Malawi last Friday.

Hundreds of thousands of Somalis have fled the lawless Horn of Africa country since the collapse of a formal government two decades ago, while crippling drought hit both Somalia and Ethiopia last year.

Scotsman