News from Iran – Week 31 – 2012

Bahareh Hedayat
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News of the Prisoners

A- Transfers

 

  • Mostafa Daneshjoo, lawyer of Gonabadi dervishes, transferred to Modarres hospital.
  • Amir Eslami, Gonabadi dervish, transferred to Taleghani hospital.
  • Abolfazl Ghadiani transferred to hospital after beating in prison.
  • Afshin Karampour, lawyer of Gonabadi dervishes, transferred to Milad hospital for treatment of his broken leg.
  • Esmaeel Sahabeh transferred to hospital and then back to prison without medical examination.

 

B- Arrests/Incarcerations

 

  • Abdollah Abbassi, religious activist, arrested in Kurdistan.
  • Fariba Ashtari, Fariborz Baghi, Shahram Falah, Nategh Naeemi, Iman Rostami, Baha’is arrested in Yazd.
  • Khosro Dehghani, Naghmeh Farabi, Vida Parvini, Baha’is arrested in Vila Shahr.
  • Tahereh Rezaei, Baha’i arrested in Shahin Shahr.
  • Navid Haghighi Baha’i arrested in Arak.
  • Saba Golshan, Sasan Haghiri, Shahram Eshraghi, Azar Pourkhorsand, Baha’is arrested in Isfahan.
  • Journalist and National-Religious activist Mehdi Fakhrzadeh arrested in a raid of his home and transferred to Ward 209.
  • Farhad and Farid Akbari-Fazli sent to Behbahan to serve their sentences of 9 and 7 months.
  • Afshin Ossanlou arrested again.
  • Ahmad Shojaei (Farshid), former Ministry of Intelligence employee, arrested with his son Sajjad Shojaei.

 

C-Liberations

 

Bahareh Hedayat

 

  • Naseem Ashrafi, Baha’i from Tehran released on 100 toman bail.
  • Participation Front member Mehdi Eghbal released from prison after serving 33 month sentence.
  • Journalist Mehran Faraji released after serving his 6 month sentence.
  • Political activist Mohammad Reza Hadi released from Tabriz prison after serving 2 years sentence.
  • Bahareh Hedayat released on furlough.
  • Shamis Mohajer, Baha’i from Tehran released on bail.
  • Narges Mohammadi released on 600 million Toman bail.
  • Journalist Mehdi Mahmoudian released on furlough.
  • Zhinous Rahimi, Baha’i from Tehran released on bail.
  • Journalist Ahmad Zeidabadi released on furlough.
  • Baha’i online university faculty Ramin Zibaei released on a 3 day furlough.

 

D-Other News

 

  • Political prisoner Abolfazl Ghadiani has launched a hunger strike protesting inhumane treatment in Evin.
  • Books and note-pads of Ahvazi political prisoners in Ahvaz Karoon prison confiscated.


News of injustice in Iran

  • Shamzin Ahmadnezhad, Kurdish student, sentenced to 1 year in prison.
  • Shahoo Partavi, Kurdish student, sentenced to 3 years in prison.
  • Shir-Ahmad Shirani political prisoner held in Zahedan last 3 years has been sentenced to 22 years in prison in Ardebil.
  • Verdicts issued for the bank embezzlement case:  4 received death, 2 received life in prison and the rest from 10 to 25 years.


University – Culture

  • By government order, universities are now prohibited from inviting members of the Participation Front as lecturers.
  • Professor Nima Arkani-Hamed wins prestigious physics prize.
  • Martyr Beheshti Foundation website filtered.
  • Iranian actress Leila Hatami honoured with French Ordre des Arts et Lettres – TehranTimes.


Protests

  • Protest rally in front of parliament.


Economy in Iran

  • Gold and foreign currency on the rise again in Iran: USD at 1974 Tomans Monday, 2020 Tomans on Thursday, 2106 Tomans on Friday.
  • Sparrow kebab sold in Ahvwaz.
  • 7 people arrested for stealing dry bread (crackers) from overturned trailer.
  • Shortage of wheat for bakeries expected.
  • Iran has increased import duty on some products from 45% to 90%, hurting rice exports from India and Pakistan.


Iran abroad

  • Syria has expanded chemical weapons supply with Iran’s help, documents show.
  • 2 Iranian sailors released from detention in Qatar return to Iran.
  • Syrian FM comes to Iran for unscheduled visit, meets with leaders.
  • Indian Police: people responsible for February bombing are directly linked to IRGC.
  • Foreign Ministry Spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast on an official visit to China.
  • Armed men in Benghazi, Libya kidnapped 7 Red Crescent Society workers from Iran.
  • Egypt’s Morsi has decided not to attend Tehran NAM conference.


Politics in Iran

  • Release of Green Movement leaders precondition for 2013 elections, says Khatami.
  • Court cancels appointment of Kahrizak judge Saeed Mortazavi as head of Social Security.
  • Senior IRGC commander admits growing economic instability, fears renewal of mass protests.
  • Court case filed against Javad Larijani for usurping land in Javad Abad in Tehran province.
  • Saeed Mortazavi attends official cabinet meeting despite dissolution of his appointment.
  • Iranian forces in Ramadan crackdown on Arab villages (arresting 15 for becoming Sunni).
  • Administration, Parliament clash again over Mortazavi.


Miscellaneous

  • Police seize over 2 tons of opium in Southern Iran.
  • Rosa Gharachorloo professor of law, member of the Bar Association Commission on Human Rights, has died.
  • 3 dead, 15 injured in fire at Iran’s biggest petrochemical complex – 9 in critical condition.
  • Bronze medal for Iran weightlifter Kianoush Ramezani.

 

News from Iran – Week 30 – 2012

Narges Mohammadi
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News of the Prisoners

A- Transfers

Narges Mohammadi

  • On day 56 of hunger strike Human Rights activist Mohammad Sedigh Kaboudvand was admitted to hospital for 2 hours then returned to Evin.
  • Narges Mohammadi is back in prison.
  • Vahid Rastgoo transferred to methadone ward in Tabriz prison.

 

B- Arrests/Incarcerations

  • Mitra Aali was transferred to Evin 350 to start serving her 1 year prison term.
  • Ashkan Alhayari begins serving his 1 year sentence in Evin.
  • Goudarz Beidaghi Baha’i from Semnan begins serving his 1 year sentence
  • Human Rights activist, Dr Ehsam Firouzi started his 18 Month prison sentence in Evin.
  • Habib Halefi, political Arab activist, arrested at home.
  • Abtin Jahanian, begins serving his 3 year sentence in Evin.
  • Adibeh Kalantari, Kurdish student, arrested.
  • Ali Mola Haji, student in Ghazvine University, begins serving his 3 year sentence in Evin.
  • Shamim Naeemi, Baha’i, arrested after summon in Tehran.
  • Mansour Naghipour, human rights activist, begins serving his 7 year sentence in Evin.
  • Zohreh Nikaeen, mother of a five month-old baby, begins serving her 23 month sentence.
  • Baha’i Aziz Samandari jailed in Iran for 5 years.
  • Ahmad Shariat the regime supporter blogger arrested.
  • Taraneh Torabi, mother of a one month baby, summoned to serve her 23 month sentence .
  • Nahid Zahraei, Baha’i, arrested at home in Tehran.

 

C-Liberations

  • Hasan Asadi-Zeidabadi, Advar member, released on bail on furlough.
  • Mojtaba Karimi, Esfahan University student activist, released on bail.
  • Ali Malihi, Advar member, released on bail on furlough.
  • Civil activist Hashem Mirzaei has been released on bail from Tabriz prison.
  • Erfan Mohammadi, Esfahan University student activist, released on bail.
  • Farahnaz Naeemi, Baha’i, released on bail.
  • Bakhtiar and Farin Rasekhi, Baha’is, released on bail.
  • Amin Zargarnezhad freed on bail.

 

D-Other News

  • Syrian-born Kurdish political prisoner Ramezan Ahmad Kamal serving 10-year sentence, on hunger strike.
  • Kurdish journalist/Human Rights activist Mohammad Sedigh Kaboudvand has ended his hunger strike.

 

News of injustice in Iran

  • Naser Behjati sentenced to 1.5 years in prison in Mahabad.
  • Ali Borna sentenced to 3 years in prison in Mahabad.
  • Soleiman Cheragh-Manan sentenced to 4 years in prison in Mahabad.
  • Mohammad Ebrahimzadeh sentenced to 1 year in prison in Mahabad.
  • Baha’i Ehsan Erfani has been sentenced to 1 year in prison by the Revolutionary Court in Semnan.
  • Akbar Gavili, Kurdish environmentalist, sentenced to 2 years in Sanandaj.
  • Osman Ghadernezhad sentenced to 4 years in prison in Mahabad.
  • Mohammad-Amin Ghaderzadehsentenced to 5 years in prison in Mahabad.
  • Zanyar Ghaderzadeh sentenced to 3 years in prison in Mahabad.
  • Esmail Hamzehpour sentenced to 5 years in prison in Mahabad.
  • Morad Hasanzadeh sentenced to 1 year in prison in Mahabad.
  • Political/civil activist Roozbeh Khanpayeh has been sentenced to 4,5 years in prison + 8 months suspended sentence.
  • Gholamreza Khosravi Savadjani to be executed August 11.
  • Veria Khosravi, Kurdish environmentalist, sentenced to 4 years in Sanandaj.
  • Former MP and Participation Front member Rajabali Mazrouie has been sentenced to 18 months in prison + 5 year ban on journalism.
  • Ali and Chia Molanezhad sentenced to 5 years in prison each in Mahabad.
  • Osman Molanezhad sentenced to 10 years in prison in Mahabad.
  • Samkoo Osmani sentenced to 18 months in prison in Mahabad.
  • Human Rights activist Dr.Yousef Pourseifi sentenced to 5 years and 6 months in prison.
  • Ghasem Rahimi sentenced to 1 year in prison in Mahabad.
  • Kamran Rahimi, Kurdish environmentalist, sentenced to 3 years in Sanandaj.
  • Soleiman Rahimzadeh, and brothers Kaveh and Loghman Saleki sentenced to 4 years in prison in Mahabad.
  • Davoud Shiri, environmentalist, sentenced to 4 months in Tabriz.
  • Naser Tarighi sentenced to 5 years in prison in Mahabad.
  • Anwar and Mohammad Yazid-Doost sentenced to 2 years in prison each in Mahabad.
  • 22 years old man convicted of cutting off a finger of another man during a fight is sentenced to hand amputation as retribution.
  • Siyasat Rooz magazine was exonerated of charges of publishing lies.
  • 17 years old receives the death penalty for committing murder when 15.
  • A man was hanged in Ilam on Tuesday.

 

University – Culture

  • Police continue with raiding the homes and collecting satellite dishes, this time in Bukan.
  • Ershad Ministry has banned billboards for foreign travel, except for pilgrimage.
  • Parviz Piran, prominent professor of Sociology expelled from Allameh Tabatabaie University.

 

Protests

  • First protest during 2012 against economic conditions in Nishapur, north-eastern Iran.

 

Economy in Iran

  • Iran introduces 3-tiered foreign exchange rate: USD at 1226, 1500, and 1910 tomans.
  • Iran to import 20,000 tons of frozen chicken from Brazil.
  • Food prices in Iran up 37% since last year’s Ramadan.
  • Workers owed 4 month wages at Ziviea Dam project.
  • Iran to import wheat from Pakistan in exchange for chemical fertilizers
  • Iran Khodro says it can live without PSA.
  • Ahvaz Pipe Factory workers have not been paid for 20 months.
  • Iran stops selling subsidized foreign currency to Iranians traveling abroad.

 

Iranabroad

  • New diplomatic crisis: Yemen officials have threatened to expel all Iran embassy diplomats.
  • India bars 3 Iranian banks on security fears.
  • Iran denies news reports of death in Damascus, Syria, of IRGC’s Ghassem Soleimani, a commander of the Ghods Force.
  • Inaugural Elizabeth Taylor Award given to Arash and Kamran Alaei for their work on HIV/AIDS in Iran.
  • Iran builds 1st tanker for Venezuela.
  • Ali Saeedlou, vice president for foreign affairs, received Syria‘s deputy prime minister in Tehran, and called for expansion of trade between the two countries.
  • Student bassiji protest against Bahrain presence in non-aligned meeting to be held in Tehran.

 

Politics in Iran

  • Iran began leasing agricultural land to Qatar as of 8 months ago.
  • Mojtaba Vahedi breaks ties to Karroubi, so he can pursue overthrow of regime.
  • Brother of Quds Force commander Ghassem Soleimani, Sohrab Soleimani – Director General of Tehran Province prisons – dismissed on charges of embezzlement and corruption and arrested; he was stealing prisoners’ and guards’ food rations.
  • Illegal residents being processed by the thousands: official.
  • Iran province of Kohgiluyeh and Boyer-Ahmad bans transport of chicken across state lines.

 

Miscellaneous

  • 65% of Lake Urmia has dried up.
  • Iran nuclear energy facility hit with malware that plays AC/DC at full volume.
  • 143 traditional tea and coffee houses closed in Karaj.

 

#Mauritania: On The Edge

Harsh Desert Conditions
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Update of an article which originally appeared in Zenith Online in April 2012, when it seemed that all Mauritania’s sources of discontent were erupting at once. But protests are nothing new in this land where a coup has been the answer to every political ill, whether real or imagined, for decades.

Operating in a Constitutional Vacuum

General Aziz

The coup in which the Aziz regime seized power in 2008 created a wave of protest, which continued despite General Aziz switching to civilian garb and claiming a democratic victory in the 2009 presidential election. After a year in which they failed to complete national registration, failed to maintain dialogue with the opposition, and postponed legislative, parliamentary and municipal elections indefinitely, the Aziz government is no longer teetering on the brink of legitimacy: it fell off that precipice back in November 2011 when the mandate of the government expired. The only legally elected official in Mauritania is now the president, Mohammed Ould Abdel Aziz. Many of those who accused the junta of merely paying lip-service to democracy in order to add a veneer of respectability and secure regional and international acceptance (and funding) are now feeling fully vindicated.

Anti-government protests which resurfaced last year gradually increased since February 2012 to become a daily occurrence in Nouakchott, Nouadhibou and other towns further afield. Incidents of strikes have also increased, with actions by fishermen, mining workers, teachers, college professors and students. Even a group of administrators for the national registration programme threatened a strike over pay and conditions. Throughout all this, the junta continues to impose constitutional and legislative changes, and to enter into financial and trade agreements with foreign investors, lenders, and trade partners.

Neighbourhood Watch

Mauritania map

Geographically, Mauritania is a foreign invention. The uncomfortably angular shape of Mauritania’s north eastern borders were decided long ago by colonial powers in London and Paris. There are few links with London now, although last October, William Hague did become the first the British Foreign Secretary to visit. But deep ties with France persist, and many are watching to see how Hollande’s victory in the French presidential election will impact the country. The neighbours who inhabit the other side of those awkward borders are also subject to the vagaries of Mauritania’s fickle nature. Western Sahara lost it’s southern region to Morocco when Mauritania decided to withdraw from occupation after being outclassed by the POLISARIO rebel force in 1979. This land that only time remembers, and which the world tries to ignore, now presses in awkward silence against the north-western border, a permanent reminder of Mauritania’s humiliating defeat, tribal hegemony and political naivety.

During the relatively brief 1989 conflict with Senegal, tens of thousands were forcibly expelled or repatriated between the two countries. The enmity was eventually resolved, but there is no great bond between them, as the April2012 crackdown on Senegalese workers and residents in Nouadhibou demonstrates. While Mauritania worked with the UN HCR to repatriate some of the Senegal refugees, a process which was declared complete only in March 2012, those in Mali were never even counted. In a peculiarly schizophrenic episode, tens of thousands of refugees displaced by the unrest in Mali are now being sheltered in Mauritania. In Mali’s case, there is an almost total lack of respect for its sovereignty: Mauritania maintains close associations with the MNLA (Mouvement National pour la Libération de l’Azawad) and conducts frequent military sorties supposedly targeting AQIM (Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb) – even if those targets turn out to be civilians. With the introduction in May 2012 of a new residency tax for all foreign nationals of 30,000 MRO per person, including children, Mauritania now appears to be in breach of two clauses of its 1963 accord with Mali, which prohibits both taxation on citizens and uninvited military presence.

As a member of the Arab League, Mauritania has always had close relations with the Gulf States, although we are encouraged by unreliable media sources to consider some, for example Saudi Arabia or Kuwait, as being closer than others. Once deeply indebted to Muammar Gaddafi’s patronage, Mauritania was an unexpected choice as chair of the African Union’s special committee on Libya during the 2011 uprising. It was also one of the last of the Arab states to officially recognize the National Transitional Council, and entertained visitors from both sides during last year’s conflict.  This year finds Mauritania playing host to former Libyan intelligence chief Abdullah al-Senussi, after an improbable arrest (which France claimed to have a hand with) and showing no signs of releasing him from “detention” any time soon.

Islamic in Moderation

One of only four Islamic Republics in the world, Mauritania might be expected to enjoy close relations with Iran, Afghanistan and Pakistan, but this is not the case. Relations with Iran did seem warm last September, when they received Ahmadinejad and his entourage on the way to and from the UN General Assembly in New York, then seemed to have cooled by March, when Mauritania voted in favour of extending the UN Human Rights Special Rapporteur’s mandate. But by early April, Iran had “repatriated” former Al Qaeda strategist Mahfouz Ould al Walid aka Abu Hafs al Mauritani, who arrived to join his family, already returned from Iran. For company, they have one of Osama bin Laden’s former wives and her children, while Mali is fast becoming the Al Qaeda time-share capital of Africa.

Mauritania is reportedly keeping al Walid in detention and there are unconfirmed reports that he has refused visits and food in protest at being pressured to meet with delegations from “foreign powers”. Such reports have all the hallmarks of a smokescreen intended to dampen observers’ inclinations to link his presence in Mauritania with reports of increasing AQIM activity in the Sahel, or indeed with the recent spate of allegedly successful US drone attacks on Al Qaeda leadership figures. By all accounts, Mauritania is firmly against terrorism, and its preferred brand of moderate Islam is jihad-free. In fact the government has carved out a cosy niche as a player in the global war on terror, with its lucrative funding opportunities. This might get a boost due to the level of hysteria about Mali. For development funding, the EU remains an important source of funds and is joined by Japan, Spain, China and others. All of these donors surely know that their funds are being sieved through a mesh of corruption but they seem unperturbed.

Not Just Desert

Harsh Desert Conditions

Despite it’s massive land area of over 1 million km2, the majority of Mauritania’s population – which is roughly the same as that of Berlin – is concentrated in the capital Nouakchott, and the port of Nouadhibou. These cities lie on the West coast where the Sahara desert meets Mauritania’s vast fishing grounds in the Atlantic ocean. While the sea provides a wealth of fish, not much reaches land: most of it is destined for export after processing in huge factory ships. The European Union recently ordered its fleet to cease fishing in the waters, as the quota has been reached and their agreement expires in July 2012. Meanwhile, China has moved in as another pelagic fishing partner in a deal that was denounced as unfavourable and suspect.

The vast desert, though inhospitable, is also rich in natural resources such as iron, copper, gold and gypsum. One of the major criticisms levelled at the government concerns mining rights sold to foreign companies, such as Canada’s Kinross, on terms which fail to provide a reasonable return. Mining workers appear to be trapped in a cycle of industrial action and broken or half-kept promises, although an unprecedented and costly 5-day strike by 1500 Kinross workers in early June appears to have improved their situation.

Decades of desertification and increasing frequency of severe drought have pushed people from a life of humble self-sufficiency as smallholders in rural villages to the cities. It’s a race for survival, with the edge of Africa as the finishing line. But there are few opportunities for skilled workers or university graduates in the cities, fewer still for semi-nomadic herdsmen and farmers with only a rudimentary education. The towns were not built to cope with such dramatic increase: essential support infrastructure is lacking, and plans to create or improve it are failing to keep pace. This situation is the basis for a raft of social issues – unemployment, poverty, homelessness, healthcare, education, social welfare – a constant source of domestic tension. Another source of social friction is racial discrimination, inescapable in a country with such a mixture of “white” and “black” Moors as well as black Africans and all possible variants. Racial division is a “hot button” and the regime is highly skilled at applying pressure whenever it suits.

Sowing Division, Reaping Chaos

In April 2011, when the new population census and biometric registration programme was launched, there was an outcry over allegations of racial prejudice against citizens of black African heredity.  This year, it was the turn of slavery to grab headlines.  Recent media focus on slavery actually garnered little attention inside the country until a Saudi cleric suggested Muslims could seek atonement by purchasing the freedom of slaves, who he said  were readily-available in Mauritania. This was followed by a comment from the cleric Cheikh Dedew, who is also the patron of the Islamist party, Tewassoul. Dedew made a statement along the lines of “slavery does not exist in Mauritania”. In turn, this provoked Biram Ould Abeid, president of anti-slavery group “IRA” to hold his own Friday prayer meeting on 27 April, and afterwards burn several volumes by Islamic scholars which he said condone slavery through Islam.

Aziz goes Trad

The response was immediate and significant, some might even say orchestrated. Angry protesters marched to the Presidential palace the next day, and president Aziz came out to meet them in full traditional dress instead of the usual couture suit, promising to defend Islam. Biram Ould Abeid and 9 of his associates were arrested that evening. Protests against Biram’s act continued for a time, with demands ranging from an apology to expulsion, and even execution for apostasy. Mauritania does include some precepts of Islamic “Sharia” law, but has not actually executed anyone for many years. Whether knowingly or not, Biram Ould Abeid’s attempt to demonstrate a link between Islam and slavery provided a golden opportunity for Aziz to stifle the slavery debate and restore his flagging reputation by championing the one thing all people in Mauritania have in common: Islam.

As the indignation began to wane, regular Saturday protests by supporters of Biram and his fellow-prisoners began, and were immediately and repeatedly repressed by police with customary violence. Biram’s wife Leyla was attacked several times, and on one occasion shot in the face with a tear gas grenade. On 9 June 2012, a young man – who was not part of the protest, but a shopkeeper on one of the roads where police were clashing with the unarmed protesters – died from tear gas suffocation. As has been the case with previous incidents, officials denied any wrongdoing and claimed the youth died from a pre-existing medical complaint. Biram has in fact published an apology but he and six others, including a journalist, remain in custody.

Now Mauritania appears to be entering a new phase in its ever-evolving struggle. Last week there was a visit from the UN representative for West Africa, fresh from talks with ECOWAS* about the situation in Mali. He met with leaders of the the political opposition coalition for about half an hour before meeting with Aziz. Former transitional leader Ely Ould Mohammed Vall, a cousin of Aziz, provided some distraction by allowing himself to be quoted making outlandish and insulting comments about the 1989 atrocities. This got the abolitionists and anti-racists nicely worked up, while Massoud Ould Belkhair, leader of the more compliant opposition, worked on COD leaders by making overtures about dialogue. For the hat-trick, the failed group which was created last year to call for a national unity government was brought out of cold storage.

Former Chief Justice Ould Ghilani

In the background, the illegal Aziz government pressed on with its agenda. Unqualified diplomats have been dispatched to various international locations. Unqualified candidates have been assigned to a new Electoral Commission, and the former Chief Justice Ould Ghilani was removed from his post and replaced by a very junior and inexperienced jurist. Legislative elections are still not scheduled, but the country’s jurists are forming a union of sorts, just to keep themselves occupied. Next for the arbitrary chop could be the Chief of the Bar Association, Ould Boubehna, who is talking far too much sense these days, echoing constitutional law expert Lo Gormo’s 3 March pronouncement on the government’s  lack of legitimacy.

Eventually, all these issues must be resolved. It is not possible to continue like this indefinitely. The lack of comment or concern over this constitutional imbroglio from international partners, and their willingness to enter into legal agreements, provide aid, and accept and extend invitations to a government which has remained in power through a “coup by default” is at best puzzling and at worst hypocritical.

*Mauritania is not a member of ECOWAS.

News from Iran – Week 23 – 2012

Mehdi Karroubi, political opposition leader under house arrest in Iran since January 2011, on a rare visit with family
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News of the Prisoners

Mohammad Sedigh Kaboudvand

A- Transfers

  • Javad Alikhani transferred to hospital for too little time to allow proper treatment, and then back to prison.
  • Jailed Kurdish rights activist, Mohammad Sadegh Kaboudvand, in critical condition after embarking on hunger strike, transferred to prison clinic.
  • On day 8 of hunger strike, Hossein Ronaghi Maleki, in dire health was taken to Hasheminejad hospital, and back to Evin 3 hours later on Saturday; he was back in hospital on Sunday night. On Monday, Sepah stormed his hospital room, threatened his family, removed his visitation rights and transferred him to another room. To protest, he began a dry hunger strike but changed back on Thursday to a fluids-only strike.

B- Arrests/Incarcerations

  • Amir Alavi political activist from Zanjan arrested by intelligence ministry.
  • Ghazanfar Alivand, Gonabadi dervish, arrested in Gerash, Fars province.
  • Saeed Azimi, Baha’i, arrested in Nashtrood.
  • Shirollah Dargahi (80), Grandfather of jailed student activist Arash Sadeghi, arrested.
  • Participation Front member Mehdi Eghbal released on medical furlough last week, is back in Evin.
  • Ahmad and Farhad Esmaili, and Ezzat and Omid Rahimi, Gonabadi dervishes, arrested in Gerash, Fars province.
  • National-Religious activist Mohammad Robin and son Tohid arrested at Hoda Sober’s graveside memorial. Son was released later
  • Amir Seif, sentenced to 5 years prison and 74 lashes, summoned to serve his sentence.

C-Liberations

  • Political activist Hamzeh Karami has been released on furlough.
  • Mohammad Moradi released on bail.
  • Journalist Ahmad Reza Yousefi was released from Evin after completion of 2 years sentence.

Mehdi Karroubi, political opposition leader under house arrest in Iran since January 2011, on a rare visit with family

D-Other News

  • Kurdish political prisoner Jafar Afshari has been on hunger strike since June 4 protesting his sentence.
  • Iran opposition leader Karroubi returned home for 3 hours, met family.
  • Temporary detention order for Tabriz University of Agriculture student Afsaneh Toghir has been extended for 2 weeks.
  • Death of a Kurdish political prisoner due to neglect in Rajai Shahr Prison Seyyed Mohammad-Mehdi Zalieh-Naghshbandian

News of injustice in Iran

  • Mohammad Ahadi, Mehrdad Karami, Ebrahim Rashidi, Rouzbeh Saadati, Afshin Shahbazi, Azeri activists, sentenced to six months in prison plus six months suspended.
  • Banned from education, Baha’i Vahed Kholousi has been sentenced to 5 years.
  • The bodies of three Afghans, recently executed, returned to families in Afghanistan.
  • 5 people hanged publicly in Shiraz on Thursday.
  • 3 people hanged in Rejaei-Shahr prison in Karaj on Thursday.

University – Culture

  • The head of the Administrative Justice Court overturned the decision to shut down the Cinema House.
  • Iranian government revokes publishing license of Cheshmeh, one of the biggest publishers in Iran.

Protests

  • Preschool teachers gathered in protest in front of parliament.
  • Villagers from Takab gathered to protest against the destruction of the environment and government confiscated lands by the miners.

Economy in Iran

  • 1,000 workers from Seymareh dam in Ilam have not been paid for six months.
  • 67 workers from Chodan Pars Company did not have their contracts renewed and lost their jobs.
  • Iran is the destination for 80% of Turkey’s gold exports.
  • Turkish company to carry out a project to transfer water from Araz River into Lake Urmia.
  • Bank Melli sues another local lender, Bank Saderat, over $2.6 billion over fraud allegations.
  • Iran, Armenia reach agreement on hydroelectric power plant.

Iran abroad

  • IRI sends food to Assad’s regime in an effort to help its survival.
  • Fast-growing Iran mobile-phone network managed to obtain sophisticated US computer equipment despite sanctions.
  • Salehi, Foreign Minister, meets Pakistan president.
  • Anti-Iran protest around Tehran’s Embassy in Kabul.
  • Foreign Ministers of USA and France object to Iran’s attendance of international conference on Syria.

Politics in Iran

  • In Oroumieh, revoking the driver’s license of women with inadequate Hijab is a new form of pressure on women.
  • Nazi propaganda website starts operation in Iran, government censors do nothing.
  • Relatives of Radio Farda employees who live in Iran interrogated by security forces and forced to contact their relatives and ask them to stop their activity with Radio Farda.
  • Graveside memorial service of Hoda Sober was attacked by forces and a number of people arrested.

Miscellaneous

  • Ahvaz hit by sand storm again.
  • Iran confiscates 150 hectares (370 acres) of Ahwazi land in Ma’shoor, 110-km south of Ahwaz city.
  • Morality police forbid sharing of wedding films.
  • Since March 2012, Congo fever killed 7 in Iran.

Al-Qaeda’s deputy chief in Afghanistan, a Saudi, reportedly killed

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Kabul: Al Qaeda’s second in command in Afghanistan and one other unnamed militant had been killed in an air strike near the Pakistani border, NATO said on Tuesday 29 May 2012.

According to media reports quoting International Security Assistance Force (ISAF),Saudi-born Sakhr al-Taifi, also known as Mushtaq and Nasim, commanded foreign fighters and directed attacks on NATO and Afghan troops.

The North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) described him as al Qaeda’s “second highest leader in Afghanistan”, saying he frequently travelled between Afghanistan and Pakistan, “carrying out commands from senior al Qaeda leadership”.

News Tribe