News from Iran – Week 20 – 2013


Prisoners’ News


  • Ayoub Asadi, Kurdish political activist, transferred to Kashmar to serve his 20 year sentence.
  • Emergency transfer of Dervish lawyer Amir Eslami to hospital after heart attack.
  • Fakhroldin Faraji, Kurdish political activist, transferred to Tabas to serve his 30 year sentence.
  • Chengiz Ghadem-Kheiri , Kurdish political activist, transferred to Masjede-Soleiman to serve his 40 year sentence.
  • Kurdish activist on death row, Habibollah Golparipour, transferred to Urmiah prison from Semnan.
  • Namegh Mahmoudi, 62 years old political prisoner of Rejaei Shahr, transferred to hospital.
  • Mohammad-Hossein Rezaei, Kurdish political activist, transferred to Minoab to serve his 30 year sentence.



  • Javad Abou-Ali and Mohammad Danaei arrested in Behbahan.
  • Civil activist Behnam Bagheri arrested in a raid of his toy store in Maku.
  • Gonabadi dervish, Seyed Ebrahim Bahrami, arrested in Kavar.
  • Hamid-Reza Rezaei, vice-admiral in charge of special marine commandos in Sirjan arrested.
  • Abdollah Sadoughi, environmentalist, arrested at home in Tabriz.
  • Masoud Shamsnejad, law professor at Payam-e-Noor and Azad Universities of Urmia, and lawyer of death row prisoner Habibillah Golparipour, arrested.
  • Activist/poet, law student Jahanbakhsh Soltanzadeh (Salour) arrested in a raid of his home
  • Temporary detention order for Human Rights activists/journalists Masoud and Khosro Kordpour has been extended another 2 months – At the urging of his family Khosro Kurdpour ended his hunger strike after 25 days.



  • Ali Azad, workers’ rights activist, released on bail.
  • Shohreh Azami-Kassaei freed after serving her sentence.
  • Mahmoud Dordkeshan freed after serving 1 year in prison.
  • Political prisoner Pouria Ebrahimi released from Evin after completing 1 year sentence.
  • Workers’ Rights activist, Ghaleb Hosseini, arrested 19 March, released on 150 million toman bail.
  • Zhinous Nourani freed after serving her sentence.

D-Other News

  • Shirin Ebadi accepts Golden Lily of Florence on behalf of Nasrin Sotoudeh.
  • Imprisoned journalist, Rahman Ghahremanpour, denied transfer to hospital for refusing to wear prison uniform.
  • Mostafa Nili, political prisoner of Rejaei Shahr, not allowed furlough to attend his father’s funeral.
  • Prominent Iranian union leader, Mansour Osanlou, says he left country after death threats.
  • Political prisoners in Zahedan central prison launched a hunger strike to protest their continued illegal imprisonment and prevention of their basic rights.
  • Mohammad-Reza Ahmadi-Nia, member of Pen club, sentenced to 3 years in prison + 1 year suspended.
  • Court overturns the exile sentence of Mokhtar Asadi, member of Teacher’s Union.
  • Mohsen Ghashghaeizadeh sentenced to 2 years.
  • Sirwan and Shirzad Hossein Panahi, Kurdish civil activists sentenced to 6 months each.


News of injustice in Iran

  • One hanging in Kermanshah on Sunday.
  • Three hangings in Rajaei-Shahr on Wednesday.
  • One public hanging in Noshahr.
  • Seven hangings in Rasht prison.


University – Culture

  • 8 booths closed and 883 books withdrawn at Tehran International Book Fair.
  • Mohammad-Rezā Lotfi’s concert canceled by ministry of Culture and Guidance.



  • Khatoon Abad Copper strikers attacked by the guards.
  • “Bouazizi of Ahwaz”, Mehdi Hadi Mojadam, dies of burns injuries.
  • 400 building workers protest in Seyyed Alshohada mosque in Shariati Street of Tehranpars.
  • Taxi drivers are on strike in Sanandaj
  • Journalists of Shahrvand go on strike.
  • 150 bus drivers of Tehran protest in front of Tehran Town Hall.


Iran abroad

  • Afghanistan says nine migrants killed by Iranian border guards.
  • Lotfollah Forouzandeh, Iranian Vice President, meets Head of Turkish Parliament in Ankara.
  • Iranian convicted over Nigeria arms.
  • US to block sales of gold to Iran in sanctions pressure.
  • First group of 14 Iraqi members of MKO moved to Albania.
  • Minister of Industry, Mines and Trade leaves for Vietnam.
  • Two Iranian diplomats declared “personae non grata” by Bosnia and Herzegovina’s Security Ministry.


Iran Economics

  • Akhshan seat-belt factory closure in Shiraz leaves 500 unemployed.
  • Iran banned luxury car imports (Benz + Porsche).
  • South Korea cut crude imports from Iran by half in April.
  • Sharp decline in IRI Shipping Lines revenues.


Iran Politics

  • A total of 686 hopefuls have registered for Iran’s presidential election.
  • 35 reformist candidates disqualified in municipal elections.
  • Guardian Council extends deadline to announce final list of Iran presidential candidates to May 21.
  • 100 Majlis deputies ask Gardians Council not to approve candidacy of Rafsanjani and Mashaei.
  • 2 sites close to candidate Rahim Mashaei filtered.
  • Vice President Rahimi withdraws presidential candidacy.
  • Foreign Minister Spokesman resigns amid presidential bid.
  • Ayatollah Sistani deems that being a candidate at the presidential election is a duty for Rafsanjani.
  • The Reformists Advisory Council and The Participation Front have officially endorsed Hashemi Rafsanjani.
  • The manager of Keyhan newspaper threatens Rafsanjani of clashes with Hezbollah and Supreme Guide support.
  • Young Reformists supporters of Rafsanjani were prevented from holding a pre-approved meeting in Rasht.



  • Earthquake of magnitude 6.2 hits Southern Iran near Minab.
  • Ban on the Reuters bureau in Tehran lifted.

News from Iran – Week 19 – 2013


Prisoners’ News


  • Saeed Abedini stops hunger strike after his return to 350. – Transferred to Modarres hospital for stomach bleeding then back to Evin.
  • Abolfazl Abedini Nasr, Kamran Ayazi, Mohammad and Pouria Ebrahimi, Siamak Ghaderi, Amir Khosro Dalirsani, Saeed Madani, Abdollah Momeni and Mohamad-Hassan Yousefpour-Seifi stopped hunger strike after return to 350.


  • Mohammad Ehiaee workers’ rights activist, arrested at his work place
  • Fardin Ghaderi, Hamed Mahmoudinejad, Shahpour Hosseini, Jalil Mohammadi and Aram Zandi workers’ rights activists arrested in Sanandaj.
  • Mohammad Ghasem-Khani Bahram Saeedi, all workers at Iran Khodro, arrested at work.
  • Baztab news site managing director Ali Ghazali has been reported arrested.
  • Idris Karimi, Adel Moradi and Naaman Manouchehri arrested in Ravansar.
  • Eilghar Moazzenzadeh Azeri poet arrested with his brother Ehsan at their home in Meshkin-Shahr and transferred to Ardebil Intelligence detention center.
  • Baha’i Parisa Shahidi was arrested in a raid of her home. Her husband is imprisoned in Rajaei Shahr.


  • Ali Azad, workers’ rights activist, released on bail.
  • Shohreh Azami-Kasaei was freed at the end of her 8 month sentence.
  • Zhinoos Nourani was freed at the end of her 1 year sentence.

Other News

  • Saeed Abedini, Abolfazl Abedini Nasr, Kamran Ayazi, Mohammad Ebrahimi, Pouria Ebrahimi, Siamak Ghaderi, Amir Khosro Dalirsani, Saeed Madani, Abdollah Momeni and Mohamad-Hassan Yousefpour-Seifi launched a hunger strike to protest detention in Evin prison solitary after they protested against repressive conditions in Ward 350.

News of injustice in Iran

  • Davoud Alijani, Ahvaz pastor Farhad Sabok-Rouh and Naser Zamen-Dezfouli summoned to serve 1 year sentences in Sepidar prison.
  • Akbar Amini has been sentenced to 5 years in prison and 5 year ban from any political activity.
  • Mohammad Parsi and Pejman Zafarmand both sentenced to 3 years in prison and 5 years ban from any political activity.
  • Ayat Mehrali-Biglou, Shahram Radmehr, Mahmoud Fazli, Behboud Gholizadeh and Latif Hassani, Azeri political activists, sentenced to 9 years in prison.
  • Shahnaz Jayzan, wife of Pastor Sabok-Rouh, summoned to serve her 1 year sentence.
  • Gonabadi Dervish, Mehran Rahbari sentenced to 2 years in prison.
  • 3 public executions in Kermanshah on Monday.
  • 3 executions in Isfahan prison.
  • Flogging sentence carried out in public in Abiek.
  • 3 hangings in Shahroud on Thursday.
  • One hanging in Semnan on Thursday.

University – Culture

  • Internet proxies no longer effective in Iran.
  • Book of former President Rafsanjani banned at Tehran Book Fair.


  • The protest movement started by Kurdish men posting photographs of themselves dressed in women’s clothing in a Facebook campaignBeingawomanisnothumiliatingandshouldnotbeconsideredpunishment – started after police paraded a convicted criminal through the city of Marivan dressed in traditional Kurdish women’s clothing – continues to gain international media attention.

Iran abroad

  • Kenya jails two Iranians for life for plotting attacks.
  • Kuwait upheld a life sentence against 2 Iranians for their role in a pro-Iran espionage network.
  • Houtan Kian receives Dutch Lawyers for Lawyers’ award.
  • FM Salehi meets Bashar al-Assad in Damascus.
  • Yusuf Bin Alawi, Omani foreign minister arrives in Tehran.

Iran Economics

  • Iran cuts bread subsidies.
  • Statistical center reports show record inflation in March/April at 38.7%, and inflation over past 12 months at 29.8%.
  • Osve Iran factory closes; 24 workers fired.

Iran Politics

  • Head of the Pharmaceutical Division in the Food and Drug Organization resigns due to shortage of vital drugs, accuses Ahmadinejad government of managerial failure.
  • Raziyeh Omidvar is the first woman in the history of the Islamic Republic of Iran to stand as a candidate in the 11th presidential elections..


  • Islamic Dress Code: Compulsory staff uniforms for female employees of Tehran University.
  • Ali Parvin receives AFC Distinguished Service Award.
  • Earthquake strikes port in Hormozgan province.
  • Iran plunges 62 places in quality of life ranking in comparison with other countries over the past five years.

News from Iran – Week 27 – 2012


News of the Prisoners

A- Transfers

  • After 3 months in Intel detention, cultural activist Jabar Yebari has been moved to Karoon prison in Ahvaz.
  • Amin Zargarnezhad transferred to solitary in Tabriz prison.

B- Arrests/Incarcerations

  • Idris Kaveh, Bohran Keyvanpour, Hamid Parhizkar, Kurdish villagers, arrested in Nei, and Shamzin Ahmadnezhad, Shahoo Partavi, Mohammad-Amin Salimi , Mohammad Savarkar, Asad Soleimannezhad, Khalil Zibaei recently arrested in Mahabad.
  • After 3 days on medical leave Baha’i professor Farhad Sadeghi returned to prison.
  • Student activist Navid Gorgin was arrested in Esfahan last week.
  • Ahmad Hashemi former president Khatami’s Inspector General at the Interior Ministry started serving 5 years sentence.
  • Greens supporter journalist Ali Moslehi was arrested in Kashan.


  • Journalist/civil activist Aref Darvish was released from prison after completing 1 year sentence.
  • Cyrus Fatehi, workers’ rights activist, released on bail.
  • Mitra Homayouni, workers’ rights activist, released on bail.
  • Journalist Nazanin Khosravani released for one week after posting bail.
  • Blogger/Human Rights activist Hossein Ronaghi Maleki has been released on bail on medical furlough.
  • Saeed Marzban, workers’ rights activist, released on bail.
  • Labor activist Maziar Mehrpour has been released on bail.
  • Farhad Sadeghi released from Rejaei Shahr on medical furlough.
  • Temporary release of imprisoned Christian convert Mehrdad Sajjadi on high bail.
  • Masoud Salimpour, workers’ rights activist, released on bail.

D-Other News

  • Cleric blogger Arash Honarvar Shojaei has started a hunger strike upon return to Evin after expiry of Medical furlough. He fell unconscious on the 4th day and was transferred to clinic.
  • In protest against transfer from ward 12 to ward 10 in Rajaei Shahr prison, 53 prisoners refuse food rations; 40 announce hunger strike

News of injustice in Iran

  • Samin Ehsani, Baha’i children’s rights activist, sentenced to 5 years in prison.
  • Semnan Court of Appeals has sentenced Elham Roozbehei to 24 months in prison.
  • Court of Appeals in Semnan has sentenced Baha’i Taraneh Torabi to 20 months in prison.
  • The two men sentenced to death following their two previous convictions for alcohol consumption have had their death sentences commuted and each received 80 lashes.
  • One public hanging in Ahar on Sunday.
  • 4 hangings on Monday, 1 publicly and 3 in Semnan.

University – Culture

  • The Jameh Mosque and Gonbad-e Qabus Tower have been approved as World Heritage sites.
  • Filmmaker Asghar Farhadi has been invited to join the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
  • 1070 satellite dishes seized in Northern Iran.
  • Tehran International puppet theater festival kicks off.
  • Modernist Iranian painter Mansureh Hosseini dies at 86.
  • Mahmoud Dowlatabadi ‘s “The Colonel” just published in the US.
  • Police raided and disrupted the Pen Society meeting held by Dr. Khazali and prevented Mohammad Nourizad from entering the meeting.
  • Another concert cancelled because men and women were not separated.
  • Misagh Afshar, Student in Beheshti University expelled because he is Baha’i.


  • Activists protest in support of Abr Forest.
  • Families of detained workers’ rights activists meet to protest
  • Disabled people demonstrated in front of the General Health Organization of Iran’s offices to protest the non-payment of disability benefits.
  • Telecom workers to strike and protest working conditions in Shiraz.

Economy in Iran

  • Ministry of industry and mines raises interest rates on loans to industry from 11% to 21%.
  • Iran discovers 6 billion barrels of new oil reserves.
  • Iran automobile production drops 40% this year.
  • 4,000 Iranian brick workers lose jobs after plant closure.
  • No Iranian crude imports for Japan in July.
  • Sanctions cut Iran’s July oil exports to near 1 million barrels per day.

Iran  abroad

Iranian nationals Sayed Mansour Mousavi, left, and Ahmad Abolfathi Mohammad, right, are seen in this June 27, 2012 file photo in the Nairobi magistrates court in Nairobi, Kenya. (Khalil Senosi/AP)

  • Salehi, Iran Foreign Minister briefly detained by Lanarca airport security last week in Cyprus.
  • U.N. publishes report on Iran arms trade with Syria.
  • Iran calls for extraordinary OPEC meeting.
  • Qatar frees 8 jailed Iran fishermen.
  • Saudi Arabia has not resumed issuing visas to Iranian pilgrims following the suspension on the death of the Crown Prince
  • Iran summons Afghan diplomat.
  • Saudi decided not to execute Iranian prisoners. Sentences commuted to 15 years in jail.
  • Iran proposes opening of bank branch in Mumbai, India.
  • The 2 Iranians arrested in Kenya with 15 kgs of explosives are members of IRGC Qods force which executes terror attacks against targets outside Iran.
  • Iran arrests two men on charges of spying for Azerbaijan; Iranian ambassador to Baku recalled.
  • Frankfurt prosecutor office: Iran’s Vice Consulate is accused of sexually molesting children.
  • Iran invites Egypt’s new Islamist president to non-aligned summit in Tehran in August.

Politics in Iran

  • Iranian authorities ban selling food and transport services 2 foreign (read Afghan) citizens without residence permit.
  • Foreign Ministry rejects anti-Semitic remarks of first Vice President Rahimi.
  • The government retreats from implementing the second phase of targeted subsides.
  • Iran dismisses militia commanders involved in the British embassy attack.
  • Speaker of Syrian parliament to visit Iran.
  • Tehran to host conference on ‘women and Islamic awakening’ next week.
  • Reza Taghipour, Minister of Communications, admitted surveillance and illegally intercepting citizens’ conversations.


  • One hour “temporary marriage” (Islamic prostitution contract) in Iran at $35-$50/hour.
  • 63% of Iranians vote to stop Uranium-enrichment in online poll on Iran’s national TV’s website.

This Week in Corruption – Oxford University Press and World Bank education projects in Africa


Children in a classroom in Kenya. Two Oxford press units have been debarred for bribing government officials to win tenders and contracts for World Bank-financed education projects in East Africa. Photo by: Curt Carnemark / World Bank / CC BY-NC

Oxford University Press has acknowledged the “misconduct” of its two subsidiaries that bribed government officials to win tenders and contracts to supply text books to two World Bank-financed education projects in East Africa, according to a press release.

World Bank debarred Oxford University Press East Africa Ltd. and Oxford University Press Tanzania Tuesday (July 3) following OUP’s acknowledgment. This means both units will not be eligible for World Bank-financed projects for three years. They are also in danger of being blacklisted by other multilateral development banks under a 2010 cross-debarment agreement.

The publishing company, meanwhile, has decided to contribute 2 million pounds ($3.13 million) for teacher training and other education-related programs in sub-Saharan Africa, apart from agreeing to pay the World Bank $500,000 for its subsidiaries’ misdeeds.

The two subsidiaries operate in Kenya, Burundi, Malawi, Rwanda, Sudan and Uganda, Reuters reports. Oxford Publishing Ltd., OUP’s publishing arm, has also agreed to pay the United Kingdom’s Serious Fraud Office 1.9 million pounds in relation to the case.

Apart from the payments, OUP will take “disciplinary action” against those involved, according to a press release.

This is not the first time a publishing company has been subjected to debarment by the World Bank. In 2010, the bank also debarred Macmillan Ltd. after the U.K. publishing group admitted to engaging in bribery in an education project funded through the Sudan Multidonor Trust Fund. The World Bank manages the trust fund.

Read more:


Thousands still flee #Somalia every month


 A year after troubled Somalia was ravaged by the worst drought in decades, no end seems in sight to more than two decades of suffering and Somalis continue to flee their country to escape conflict, human rights abuses and adverse weather conditions.

In the first four months of this year, some 20,000 Somalis sought refuge in neighbouring Kenya, Ethiopia, Djibouti and Yemen. Although the levels are lower, they are significant. On average 40,000 Somalis fled their homeland each month between June and September of 2011.

In May, the Dollo Ado camps in eastern Ethiopia, which were already hosting more than 150,000 refugees, saw a significant increase in new arrivals, from less than 980 in the first half of May to more than 2,000 in the second half.

The newcomers say they are fleeing increased physical insecurity and dwindling food resources. Specifically, they cite fear of being caught in military operations, forced recruitment, poor rains and crop destruction by caterpillars as reasons for leaving Somalia. “We are working with the Ethiopian authorities to identify a site for a sixth camp in this already crowded and environmentally fragile area,” Andrej Mahecic, a UNHCR spokesman, said in Geneva.

Meanwhile, at Dadaab in north-east Kenya, more than 460,000 refugees continue to live in a precarious security environment. The threat of improvised explosive devices, shootings, kidnapping and banditry remains high. Deliveries of assistance and activities in the camps are continuing regardless.

Mahecic explained that the priority and toughest challenge for UNHCR and its partners throughout the past year has been to reduce the unprecedented mortality and malnutrition rates among Somali arrivals.

“Despite life-saving medical care and therapeutic feeding programmes in the Dadaab and Dollo Ado refugee camps, many of the newly arriving children have been beyond help – dying within hours or days of arrival. At the peak of the influx last summer, the estimated death toll was as high as 17 deaths per 10,000 people every day,” he noted.

At the onset of last year’s crisis, UNHCR and its partners set up critical nutrition programmes in reception and transit centres and in the camps. “Combined with mass vaccinations and other public health measures, these massive efforts saved lives over the past 12 months,” Mahecic said. “Mortality and malnutrition rates began to drop from record highs in September last year, but it took another six months before they fell below the levels usually seen in an emergency – less than one per 10,000 per day,” he added.

Today, Ethiopia’s Dollo Ado camps are reporting an average crude mortality rate of 0.8 per 1,000 per month and an under-five mortality rate of 2.2 per 1,000 per month. In Kenya’s Dadaab refugee complex the crude mortality rate is 0.2 per 1,000 per month, and 0.6 per 1,000 per month for children under five years of age.

“Another vital achievement has been the reduction in the high malnutrition rates, unseen in decades,” Mahecic said. Malnutrition was especially alarming among refugee children – in June and July last year, more than half of Somali children arriving in Ethiopia were acutely malnourished. That rate was somewhat lower among those arriving in Kenya, but equally disturbing – between 30 and 40 per cent.

Mahecic said the results of the most recent mass screenings show a sharp reduction of malnutrition among under fives in Dadaab (seven per cent). In Dollo Ado, the malnutrition levels among children also stabilized with all camps showing a positive trend. In the older Melkadida and Bokolomayo camps, acute malnutrition rates have fallen to 15 per cent. UNHCR is currently preparing a follow-up survey in the newer Kobe and Hilaweyn camps and expects to see significantly reduced levels of general acute malnutrition.

Massive water, sanitation and hygiene programmes went hand-in-hand with these efforts and were integral to the vast improvements in the health conditions of the Somali refugee population.

Meanwhile, neighbouring countries have been bearing the brunt of the Somali displacement and they continue to need international support. Some 300,000 people fled Somalia last year alone. Today, more than 980,000 Somalis live as refugees in Kenya, Ethiopia, Yemen and Djibouti.