News from Iran – Week 27 – 2012

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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.

C-Liberations

  • 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.


Protests

  • 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.


Miscellaneous

  • 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.
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News from Iran – Week 26 – 2012

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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.

Execution Timeline – 9 May 2010 #Iran Executed 5 Prisoners of Conscience

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Execution Timeline - 9 May 2010 #Iran Executed 5 Prisoners of Conscience

On this day in 2010, Iran executed five political prisoners: four Kurdish political activists and another Iranian man, all convicted of “moharebeh” (enmity against God).

The four Kurds – Farzad Kamangar, Ali Heydarian, Farhad Vakili, Shirin Alam-Houli – along with Mehdi Eslamian, were hanged on Sunday, 9 May at Evin prison in Tehran.

Click on the image to read a poem by one of the five, Farzad Kamangar, a primary school teacher, written to his mother from prison.

The five were accused of “enmity against God” for carrying out “terrorist acts” and convicted of this vaguely worded charge which can carry the death penalty and is usually applied to those who take up arms against the state.

News from Iran – Week 09 – 2012

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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”