The Day That Lost Rights for Women

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I find it interesting that March 8th is now “International Women’s Day” – not “International Women’s Rights Day”. This could be a real step forward, to the day when we don’t have “women’s” anything any more. The day when we see that we don’t need it, and that singling out one gender when we only have two is self-defeating and obvious. Imagine you had two children, a girl and a boy, would you only celebrate your daughter’s birthday?

The name may have lost its specific focus on rights now, but it does afford the opportunity to raise awareness about women who are great role models. Not all of them faced a struggle to earn their rights, yet they deserve that accolade, and many have interesting stories to share. I have no problem with them doing that all year round.

High (female) achievers aside, the fact remains that for millions of women, fighting for their rights is a daily battle. I love and respect these women every day.  Here are the posters I made to celebrate just a few of them, finding my inspiration in the original meaning of March 8th as their day to get recognition, and our day to give it.

 

And here are some closing thoughts as we bid farewell to that one day of the year dedicated to my gender

I think we can only have equality if there is also one day of every year devoted to equal rights for men – if men being denied their rights are a minority group, that only strengthens my conviction.

I wish we lived in a world where such events were not deemed necessary – I would especially not miss the ghastly rhetoric and those patronising videos featuring “songs by international artists”.

Today, as in previous years, I have read too many well-intentioned posts praising women for their physical or personal charms, as if this was a day set aside for chauvinists to thank women for submitting to being objectified by them throughout the year.

I believe, if mothers raise their children as equals,
and if teachers educate students as equals,
and never yield, relent or make excuses,
and stop cheering for every right “won” as if it was not a right at all, but a gift,
then eventually, gender equality would become a mundane reality.

News from Iran – Week 07 – 2013

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Prisoners’ News

A- Transfers

 

  • Imprisoned journalist Mohammad Davari kept in ICU after the heart attack caused by the news of his brother’s death.
  • Amir Eslami, Gonabadi Dervish lawyer, transferred from Evin 209 to Heart hospital then back to Evin after some hours.
  • Emergency transfer to hospital of imprisoned dissident cleric Arash Honarvar Shojaei.
  • Imprisoned member of the Kurdistan Green Association, Kamran Rahimi, exiled from Sanandaj to prison in Maragheh.
  • Imprisoned human rights attorney Mohammad Seifzadeh has been hospitalized.
  • Political prisoner Mostafa Tajzadeh hospitalized again suffering from various health issues due to 27months of fasting.

 

B- Arrests/Incarcerations

 

  • Fardin Eghsani, Baha’i, arrested at work in Urmiah.
  • Baha’i Taher Eskandarian sentenced to 3 years was arrested and imprisoned in Semnan.
  • Ardeshir Fanaian, Baha’i, arrested at home in Semnan.
  • Shidrokh Firoozian, Baha’i, arrested at home in Semnan.
  • Hossein Karroubi, son of opposition leader Mehdi Karroubi arrested on Monday morning; he was released the same day in the afternoon.
  • Farahnaz Moghadam, Baha’i, arrested at home in Urmiah.
  • Arrest of Zahra and Narges, daughters of opposition leader Mir Hossein Mousavi on Monday morning; they are released same day in the afternoon.
  • Yasan Mousavi, brother of Hooman (had their parents executed in the 80s) workers’ rights activist in Tehran bazar and member of Mousavi campaign, was arrested last week.
  • Journalist Mehdi Tajik went to Evin prison to serve 2-year prison sentence.
  • More than 50 Arab Iranians arrested in Ahvaz.
  • Tehran police arrested 80 people charged with being thugs and hoodlums.

 

C-Liberations

 

  • Political prisoner Bahman Sadeghi released on a 4 day furlough.
  • Arash Shaltooki, Gonabadi Dervish, released on 50 million bail.
  • Political prisoner Mohammad Ali Velayati has been released on a 3 day medical furlough.
  • Political prisoner Shahin Zeinali released on a 4 day furlough.

 

D-Other News

 

  • Prisoner of conscience Arzhang Davoodi began hunger strike to protest transfer to isolation.
  • Rafsanjani’s daughter Faezeh Hashemi is in solitary confinement.
  • Mousavi’s wife Zahra Rahnavard, accompanied by security agents was allowed to visit her mother.
  • Iranian student activist Majid Tavakoli was awarded Norway’s prestigious Student Peace Prize in absentia.
  • Shahrokh Zamani barred from face-to-face visitation and phone calls.
  • Families of journalists arrested 20 days ago were once again denied prison visits on Thursday.


News of injustice in Iran

  • Court of Appeals has upheld 5 year sentence for Jamal GhaderNezhad, the Kurdish student activist from Mahabad.
  • Mehrdad and Orang Mahdavi, Baha’is living in Karaj, sentenced to 1 year in prison each.
  • Afsaneh Majidi, Baha’i living in Karaj, sentenced to 1 year in prison.
  • Naghmeh Rezvani, Baha’i living in Karaj, sentenced to 1 year in prison.
  • Kamran Sabet, Baha’i living in Karaj, sentenced to 1 year in prison.
  • Baharak Saheli, Baha’i living in Karaj, sentenced to 1 year in prison.
  • Two executions in Arak prison on Tuesday.
  • One public execution on Tehran on Wednesday
  • One public hanging in Shiraz on Thursday.
  • One hanging in Karoon prison on Thursday.


University – Culture

  • Student activist Amir Mohammad Moghaddam expelled from Ferdowsi University of Mashhad
  • New movie from Iranian director Jafar Panahi, which defies a ban on filmmaking makes its debut at Berlin Film Festival.
  • Student activist Amir Mohammad Someeh a Mashhad Ferdowsi University mechanical engineering student has been expelled.
  • Cyber police hack into large number of e-mail accounts.
  • Music recording studio was shut down in Tehran.
  • A number of short-film and documentary filmmakers summoned and interrogated.


Protests

  • Nima Construction workers rally in Sanandaj


Iran Economics

  • U.S. pharmaceutical exports to Iran cut in half in 2012.
  • Iran has ordered a 6-month ban on pistachio exports to try and control the price of the nut, which doubled in the past month.


Politics in Iran

  • Ahmadinejad appoints the impeached labor minister as his social affairs adviser.


Iran  abroad

  • Iraq: 5 killed during attack against PMOI camp near Bagdad.
  • Iran and Hezbollah build militia networks in Syria in event that Assad falls, officials say.
  • Iran recalled its Ambassador to Bulgaria after Bulgaria accused Hezbollah of bombing the bus of Israeli tourists in Burgas.
  • Brig. Gen. Hassan Shateri, a Quds Force commander is 1st Iranian General Killed in Syria Conflict.


Miscellaneous

  • An earthquake measuring 3.6 on the Richer scale hit the city of Dehloran in Ilam province, Western Iran, on Thursday.

 

News from Iran – Week 06 – 2013

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Prisoners News

A- Transfers

 

  • Political prisoner Ahmadreza Ahmadpour suffering from multitude of illnesses hospitalized due to medicine administrated at prison.
  • Adel Naeemi transferred from Evin to Rejaei Shahr.

 

B- Arrests/Incarcerations

 

  • Two weeks after release on furlough Mahsa Amrabadi returned to Evin prison
  • Senior Reformist Feyzollah Arabsorkhi was returned to Evin from hospital before completing treatment.
  • Dr. Latif Hasani, Azari activist, arrested.
  • Graduate student Khaled Mohammadi was arrested last week, whereabouts unknown.
  • Shahram Radmehr, Azari activist, arrested.

 

C-Liberations

 

  • Ali Dehghan, journalist, released on bail.
  • Political prisoner Zahra Mansouri has been released on medical furlough, she suffers from breast cancer
  • Mohammad Tavakoli the detained member of Teachers’ Union in Kermanshah released on 50 million tomans bail.

 

D-Other News

 

  • Dervishes on hunger strike Saleh Moradi and Kasra Nouri forced to sign a letter stating health OK.
  • 3 political prisoners in Rajai Shahr denied family visit because they refused to wear a prison uniform.


News of injustice in Iran

  • Sentence reduced to 1 year + 600 Toman fine for 85 years old prisoner Mohammad Hossein Nakhaei.
  • After 7 years in prison an Afghan citizen was executed in Varamin prison.
  • 3 hangings in Isfahan’s prison on Tuesday


University – Culture

  • Iran lifted the block on Tabnak news website, close to Mohsen Rezaee.
  • Baztab site reports it has been under heavy cyber-attack.


Iran Economics

  • Kohgiluyeh and Boyer-Ahmad’s Road Department workers have not received their salaries for 6 months.


Politics in Iran

  • Ahmadinejad appointed General Mohammad Hassan Nami as acting Minister of Communications and Information Technology.
  • Reformists will participate in presidential election says former minister.
  • The Parliament impeached Ahmadenejad’s Labor Minister with, 56 against, 24 abstained & 192 yes votes
  • Mortazavi arrested on Monday for corruption and released on Tuesday.
  • On supreme leader’s orders, Justice Minister, Sadegh Larijani, gives up suing Ahmadinejad for defamation.


Iran  abroad

  • Bank melli ex manager Mahmoud Reza Khavari wanted by Interpol for fraud.
  • Salehi, in separate meetings, held talks with UN Special Envoy for Syria, Lakhdar Brahimi, Lebanese Prime Minister Najib Mikati and Syrian opposition leader, Mouaz Al-Khatib.
  • Egypt’s Morsi greets Iranian president upon his arrival in Cairo for historic visit.
  • European Union court ruled that EU should lift sanctions it imposed on one of Iran’s largest banks, Bank Saderat
  • In a unilateral decision, Foreign Minister Salehi announced Egyptian citizens visiting Iran will no longer require a visa.


Miscellaneous

  • $40m oil rig being built for Iran by an Australian crew sank and disappeared into the deep.

 

News from Iran – Week 05 – 2013

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Prisoners’ News

A- Transfers

 

  • Student activist Amir Chamani moved to workshop section from the quarantine ward in Central prison, Tabriz.
  • Pan-Iranist member Milad Deghan [43 days of interrogation in solitary ] moved to Ward 8 in Karoon Prison
  • Political prisoner Reza Sharifi Boukani was moved from RajaeiShahr, Karaj to ward 209 in Evin in Tehran.

 

B- Arrests/Incarcerations

 

  • Sasan Aghaie, journalist, arrested.
  • Pouria Alemi, journalist, arrested.
  • Emily Amraee, journalist, arrested.
  • Saba Azarpeik, Journalist, arrested
  • Javad Daliri, journalist, arrested.
  • Soran Daneshvar, Kurdish student, arrested in Marivan.
  • Ali Dehghan, journalist in Bahar newspaper, arrested.
  • Milad Fadaei Asl, head of the political section of ILNA news agency, arrested.
  • Taher Faghih, student of Ayatollah Dastgheib, arrested in Shiraz.
  • Davar Ghasemi, Kurdish student, arrested in Marivan.
  • Narges Joodeki, journalist, arrested.
  • Saman Mahmoudi, Kurdish student, arrested in Marivan.
  • Keyvan Mehregan, journalist arrested.
  • Journalist Soleiman Mohammadi arrested.
  • Zana Moeini, Kurdish student, arrested in Marivan.
  • Ali-Akbar Montajebi, journalist, arrested.
  • Pezhman Mousavi, journalist, arrested.
  • Fatemeh Sagharchi, journalist, arrested.
  • Motahereh Shafiei, journalist, arrested and released the day after.
  • Arash Shaltooki, dervish Gonabadi, arrested in Isfahan and sent to Evin.
  • Reyhaneh Tabatabaie, journalist, arrested.
  • Nasrin Takhiri, journalist, arrested.
  • Hossein Yaghchi, journalist, arrested.

 

C-Liberations

 

  • Popular singer Arya Aramnejad released from Babol prison after serving out his sentence.
  • Imprisoned Freedom Movement of Iran member Jafar Ganji granted a prison furlough to attend mother’s funeral.
  • Editor-in-Chief of Maghreb, Mohammad Mehdi Emami-Naseri, released after 120 days.
  • Participation Front member, journalist Mehdi Mahmoudian has been released on furlough.
  • Didar Raufi freed from Rajaei Shahr at the end of his sentence

 

D-Other News

 

  • Gonabadi Dervish, Hamid Moradi was beaten severely in ward 209 of Evin.
  • Imprisoned Zoroastrian citizen Abolfazl (Pouria) Shahpari denied furlough to visit mother undergoing chemotherapy.


News of injustice in Iran

  • Pastor Saeed Abedini has been sentenced to 8 years in prison.
  • Gonabadi Dervish, Ali Moazami, sentenced to 2 years in prison by the judge Salavati in Tehran.
  • Amputation carried out in Sari prison – Four fingers were amputated.
  • 6 executions in Esfahan prison on Sunday of which 2 women.
  • One man hanged in Myaneh prison on Monday.
  • One man hanged in Tabriz prison on Tuesday.
  • 5 executions in Kerman prison on Wednesday.


University – Culture

  • Hamed Malek Abadi, Azari activist, sentenced to 6 months in prison.
  • Sama and Sirus Sabeti expelled from Babol University because they are Baha’i.
  • Tabnak news website, close to conservative Mohsen Rezaei, blocked by Iranian Authorities.
  • Iran authorities have blocked Baztab Emrooz and Iranian History websites.
  • Offices of Reformist newspapers Etemad, Bahar, Aseman  and Shargh raided by security forces.
  • Iranian cyberattacks target Radio Farda journalists.


Protests

  • A group of sugar cane cutters of the Karun Agro-industrial Complex in Shushtar have held a protest rally outside the President’s office in Tehran for 7 consecutive day.


Iran Economics

  • $1 = from 3800 to 3900 Toman – Euro 1 = from 5200 to 5300 toman on Wednesday.
  • $1 = above Toman – Euro 1 = 5500 toman on Thursday.


Politics in Iran

  • Iranian Guardian Council approves watered-down election law.
  • Accused former prosecutor Saeed Mortazavi removed from position.


Iran  abroad

  • Omar Hakim, President of the Islamic Supreme Council of Iraq, arrived in Iran.
  • Hossein Amir Abdollahian, Deputy Foreign Minister for Arab and African Affairs, traveled to Jordan.
  • Large arms shipment intercepted off Yemen, Iran eyed as source.
  • India to open cultural center in Iran
  • Academic delegation from China visits Iran.
  • Europe’s highest court annuls EU sanctions against Bank Mellat.


Miscellaneous

  • Explosion at Fordow nuclear facility -trapped 240 workers in underground ; Iran authorities deny same.
  • Iran sends a monkey into space.
  • Iran’s one and only Geopark dropped from UNESCO list.

 

 

News from Iran – Week 03 – 2013

Nasrin Sotoudeh
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Prisoners’ News

A- Transfers

 

  • Senior Reformist Abolfazl Ghadiani was transferred to Ghezel Hesar.
  • Asadollah Hadi, political prisoner transferred to hospital for heart surgery.
  • Samkoo Khelghati Kurdish political prisoner, transferred from Evin to Rejaei Shahr.
  • 7 Gonabadi Dervish transferred to solitary in ward 209 from ward 350 of Evin prison.

 

B- Arrests/Incarcerations

 

  • Lawyer Manizheh Bohlouli arrested in Miyaneh without an arrest warrant.
  • Student activist Amir Chamani arrested to serve his 7 months sentence – 40 lashes sentence enforced in Tabriz prison.
  • Medical furlough extension was denied for cleric blogger Mohammad Hossein Honarvar, he returned to prison
  • Activist Mohammad Khatibi arrested in a raid of his home and taken to Intel detention in Tabriz.
  • Dr. Foad Moghadam, a Baha’i on-line university official reported to Evin to start serving his 5 years sentence.
  • BIHE (Bahai Virtual University) professor Shahin Negari arrested.
  • Azad Rasoolnezhad, teacher and student in international law, arrested in Oshnavieh.
  • Member of Teachers Union, civil activist Mohammad Tavakoli summoned and arrested by Intel in Kermanshah.
  • Baha’i Shakiba Vahdat has been arrested in Tabriz. She was in Intel detention in Babolsar for 2 days earlier this week.

 

C-Liberations

Nasrin Sotoudeh

Nasrin Sotoudeh reunited with her children after more than 2 years in prison without leave

 

  • Former Deputy Foreign Minister Mohsen Aminzadeh released on furlough after 10 months hospitalization.
  • Nazanin Dehimi was released from Evin after serving out her 4 months sentence.
  • After 3 years imprisonment political prisoner Hossein Faraji released on a 3 day furlough.
  • Student activist and Advar member Bahareh Hedayat has been released on 700 million toman bail on furlough.
  • Journalist Mohammad Kimiaei released on bail.
  • Student activist Arash Mohammadi has been released on probation from Tabriz prison.
  • Members of Gonabadi Dervishes Kasra Nouri and Saleh Moradi have launched a hunger strike in Adelabad prison in Shiraz.
  • Human rights attorney Nasrin Sotoudeh has been released on a 3 day furlough on 300 million toman bail.

 

D-Other News

 

  • Political prisoner Esmail Barzegari has started a hunger strike.
  • Imprisoned senior Reformist Abolfazl Ghadiani has been banned from visits.
  • Detained Green leader Mehdi Karoubi’s 10 year old granddaughter has been banned from traveling abroad, passport confiscated.
  • Political prisoner Shir-Ahmad Shirani [who is already very ill with kidney disease] has started a hunger strike.


News of injustice in Iran

 

  • Volunteers of Sarand Camp helping earthquake victims, were sentenced
    • Behrooz Alavi, 2 years and 3 months imprisonment
    • Mohammad Arjomandirad, 6 months imprisonment
    • Morteza Esmailpour, 6 months imprisonment
    • Danial Hasani, 6 months imprisonment
    • Vahed Kholosi, 2 years imprisonment
    • Ali Mohammadi, 6 months imprisonment
    • Hamid Reza Mosibian, 2 years and 6 months imprisonment
    • Milad Panahipour, 6 months imprisonment
    • Farid Rohani, 6 months imprisonment
    • Seyed Hassan Ronaghi Maleki, 6 months imprisonment
    • Seyed Hossein Ronaghi Maleki, 2 years imprisonment
    • Amir Ronasi, 6 months imprisonment
    • Sepehrdad Saheban, 6 months imprisonment
    • Mohammad Amin Salehi, 6 months imprisonment
    • Mohsen Samei, 6 months imprisonment
    • Bahram Shojaei, 2 years imprisonment
    • Mohammad Esmail Soleimanpour, 6 months imprisonment
    • Hooman Taheri, 6 months imprisonment
    • Masoud Vafabakhsh, 6 months imprisonment
    • Shayan Vahdati, 6 months imprisonment.
  • Sentence to execution for young Kurdish activist Reza Mollazadeh confirmed by Supreme Court.
  • One man hanged in Shahrekord on Sunday.
  • One man hanged in Mashhad on Wednesday.
  • One man hanged in public in Sabzevar on Wednesday.
  • Two persons were publicly flogged in Eivanaki on Wednesday.
  • 2 executions in Semnan on Wednesday.
  • 3 public executions in Pakdasht on Thursday.


University – Culture

  • Shokoofeh Derakhshanian, Baha’i, expelled from Tabari University in Babol.
  • Maryam Mirzakhani awarded 2013 Satter Prize in mathematics by American Mathematical Society.
  • Czech Republic rejects Masters students from Iran because of UN nuclear sanctions.


Protests

  • Workers from the Khamana textile plant demonstrated in front of the Majlis .


Iran Economics

  • Iran imports 897,000 tons of rice in 9 months.
  • Maserati and Lamborghini pull out of Iran.


Politics in Iran

  • Members of Parliament’s National Security and Foreign Policy Committee will visit Evin and Rejaei Shahr prisons.
  • Grand Ayatollah Sobhani proposes election of president through parliamentary system.
  • Women enter Iran Riot Police.
  • Special units guards and police have surrounded the venue where Gonabadi Dervishes were holding services in Shahrekord.


Iran  abroad

  • KLM to cease flights to Iran in April.
  • Arrests in Spain linked to Iran’s nuclear program.
  • Iranian escalating role in Yemen concerns USA.
  • Canada will resettle up to 5,000 displaced Iraqi and Iranian refugees currently in Turkey by 2018.
  • Syria PM meets Ahmadinejad and other Iranian officials in Tehran.