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Juvenile Offender Faces Execution in Iran

Juvenile Offender Faces Execution in Iran

Iran Human Rights -  According to the Iranian state-run news agency, Rokna, a juvenile offender identified as Farshid, 22, is facing execution after he was sentenced to death at the age of 16 for the charge of murder. There is no information available at this time regarding where Farshid is detained.

Imprisoned Teachers’ Rights Activist Returned to Evin Prison After Three-Day Hospitalization

CHRI -  Esmail Abdi ended his hunger strike on June 6, 2017 after a "positive" meeting in Evin Prison, according to a statement posted by the Iranian Teachers' Trade Association (ITTA) on its Telegram channel. The statement said the meeting took place between Abdi, his lawyer Amir Salar Davoudi, assistant prosecutor Hajimoradi (first name unknown), two members of the ITTA's board of directors and Abdi's mother on June 16, 2017.

Abdulkarim Shah Bakhsh; 8 Years of Torture and Harassment in Prisons

Abdulkarim Shah BakhshHRANA News Agency – Abdulkarim Shah Bakhsh, 55, Baluch Sunni political prisoner, after eight years of imprisonment in exile in the Central Prison of Ardabil, is held without leave and medical treatment for the diseases such as; “asthma, swelling and scarring of the lungs” with coughing up blood. In his referring to the prison clinic, he was told that he had to pay “6 million IRR” for his medicines as they had to get them from outside the prison, while in the past eight years Mr. Shah Bakhsh had no income because of the imprisonment, and his family is in poverty caused by being “orphaned”.

Newly Reelected Rouhani Abandons Promise to End Six-Year House Arrest of Opposition Leaders

Newly Reelected Rouhani Abandons Promise to End Six-Year House Arrest of Opposition LeadersCHRI - In his first press conference after being declared the winner of Iran's May 19, 2017 election, President Hassan Rouhani refused to commit to ending the more than six-year extrajudicial house arrests of three opposition leaders—a pledge he made during his first presidential campaign.

Asked what he would do to free opposition leaders Mehdi Karroubi, Mir Hosseini Mousavi and Zahra Rahnavard, who have been detained for more than six years for leading the peaceful, mass protests against the disputed result of the 2009 presidential election, Rouhani suggested that a solution depended on cooperation from other branches of state.

"The country is ruled by laws and we should all submit to them," he said on May 22. "The executive, legislative and judicial branches have their own responsibilities. We are moving forward on the basis of the Constitution."

"I am responsible for the rights of every citizen, even Iranians living abroad," added Rouhani. "Wherever I see the rights of Iranians being violated, I will take action within my powers. In cases related to the judiciary, I will respond by direct communication or in joint meetings. The next government plans to implement the Charter on Citizens' Rights. In this respect, the rights of all people are important to me."

Rouhani made no reference to Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, whose adamant opposition to freeing the three detainees has kept them detained in legal limbo.

At a presidential campaign rally at Sharif University in Tehran on May 13, 2013, Rouhani said he hoped he could free the three within the first year of his presidency: "We can provide conditions such that over the next year, individuals who were imprisoned or put under house arrest for the 2009 events are released."

Amid Rouhani's virtual silence on the issue during his first term, other politicians raised it a number of times, including conservative Deputy Parliament Speaker Ali Motahari, who has repeatedly spoken of the need for a solution.

In an interview on May 8, 2017, Motahari repeated his suggestion that the issue could be resolved through negotiation.

"Some steps have been taken towards resolving the house arrests and we have to listen to the reasoning by the opposing side," he said. "We have to move towards improving the conditions in the country and prevent issues before they turn into a crisis."

Motahari has previously explained that Khamenei is the driving factor behind the continuing house arrests.

"One of the obstacles against their freedom has been the insistence by some officials that if they do not apologize and repent, it will damage the state and the supreme leader," said Motahari. "It isn't wrong to have an opinion about the 2009 incidents different than those of people in power...keeping (Mousavi, Rahnavard and Karroubi) under house arrest for six years is neither compatible with the law nor with religious teachings."

At the May 22 press conference, the newly reelected president was also asked about his policies on protecting the rights of the artistic community, particularly those in the music and film industries.

"One of the outcomes of this year's elections was that everyone was at peace with music," responded Rouhani. "However, we are not too fond of cheap music. Some say that's fine as well, but in any case, I am certain our new government will give more support to the cultural community."

"The situation did improve for music and cinema in our previous four years, but we will make greater efforts in the next four," he added.

Since 2013, when Rouhani was voted into office promising a more open society, numerous state-sanctioned musicians, including the popular musical artists Alireza Ghorbani and Sirvan Khosravi, saw their concerts canceled at the last moment.

Religious conservatives have justified their attacks on musicians by quoting vague statements and decrees by senior religious leaders. Khamenei has himself often warned about the alleged dangers of music, saying it will "lead people away from the path of God."

Rouhani also said his government would adopt proposals based on educational guidelines provided by the UN 2030 Agenda—vehemently opposed by conservatives—that do not violate Islamic principles.

"The ministers of foreign affairs, science and education wrote to the supreme leader explaining to His Excellency at length that the Islamic Republic of Iran has reserved the right to ignore parts of agenda 2030 that do not conform with our culture and national values," said Rouhani.

On the issue of women in the workforce, Rouhani said his government would do more to increase women's employment prospects.

"It's wrong to think that men have a higher status or that they are more capable than women," he said.

At the same time, Rouhani echoed Khamenei's sexist views by claiming certain jobs are more suitable for men than women.

"It's wrong to think that men have a higher status or that they are more capable than women," he said at the same press conference. "Of course men are better at some professions and women are better at others. (God) has given both their own special qualities."

"But women are not lower than men and keeping them inside the house does not make sense from social or legal standpoints," he added.

Arash Sadeghi in Critical Health Condition in Evin Prison

Arash SadeghiHRANA New Agency – Arash Sadeghi, imprisoned civil activist in ward 350 of Evin prison, has advanced stomach bleeding, so that he is “no longer able to eat solid food”. This prisoner, who is suffering from aspiratory chronic inflammation disease (asthma), stomach bleeding and intestinal colitis, caused by long term hunger strike, is still in prison and being deprived of treatment, due to opposing by the Iranian Revolutionary Guards.

Ahead of Iranian elections, international rights groups denounce targeting of activists

Ahead of Iranian elections, international rights groups denounce targeting of activistsIRAN HUMAN RIGHTS -  In advance of the Iranian Presidential elections on 19 May, which will take place in a largely restrictive environment, we, the undersigned organisations, urge that the Iranian government fulfill its international human rights obligations and cease the systematic targeting of human rights defenders (HRDs).

Iranian Judiciary Forbids Campaigners From Printing Rouhani's Criticism of Revolutionary Guard

 

CHRI - Hardliners Working to Suppress Reformist Leader's Endorsement of Rouhani


Rouhani's supporters campaigning for him at Tehran's Vali Asr street on Thursday
(photo by Islamic Republic News Agency)

Since reformist leader Mohammad Khatami endorsed incumbent President Hassan Rouhani's second-term election campaign, hardliners have been working to suppress the message, as well as Rouhani's criticism of his powerful, hardline opponents, the Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI) has learned.

Most recently, the judiciary has forbidden Rouhani's election campaign staff from publishing remarks by Rouhani that have been critical of judicial officials or the security and military forces, an informed source told the Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI) on May 17.

"We like the Revolutionary Guard and the Basij militia. All we are asking is to carry out the wishes of the imam (the leader of the 1979 revolution, Ruhollah Khomeini), who said that the military and security forces should not interfere with any political party or organization," said Rouhani on May 17 during his final campaign speech in the city of Mashhad.

The president was implying that the paramilitary forces have been interfering in Iran's politics, which Khomeini-who created the forces after the 1979 revolution-explicitly forbade them from doing.

Rouhani's campaign media advisers have been summoned and forced to sign a written pledge saying they would not promote the comments, an informed source told CHRI.

The statement also included a pledge to abide by the ban on printing images and statements by reformist leader Mohammad Khatami, and detained opposition leaders Mir Hossein Mousavi and Mehdi Karroubi, who have been under extrajudicial house arrest since February 2011 for peacefully disputing the result of the 2009 presidential election.


The search results for Khatami's video message endorsing Rouhani
showing irrelevant info on a search engine on Iran's domestic internet.

Meanwhile, several Rouhani campaign offices have been attacked by police and plainclothes agents, who used tear gas and "beat up" staff and supporters.

An eyewitness who works for the Rouhani campaign in Tehran said the attacks took place against offices in several cities from the evening of May 16 until the late evening of May 17.

"On Wednesday evening, the police and plainclothes agents from an unknown agency showed up at Hassan Rouhani's campaign offices in several cities, including the Sadr headquarters in Tehran, and would not allow supporters to distribute campaign material such as posters and banners among the people," said the eyewitness, who requested anonymity for security reasons.

"At some campaign office locations, staff were beaten and kicked by the plainclothes agents, but no one was arrested," added the source.

On May 16, a Rouhani supporter tweeted: "Just now, Rouhani's campaign office in Valiasr [Sq. in Tehran] was attacked with tear gas, and people and staff scattered! Everyone removed their purple wristbands fearing they might get identified."

Purple is the Rouhani campaign's official color.

A Rouhani campaign worker confirmed the incident to CHRI, adding that the attacks were coming from supporters of Rouhani's main rival, Ebraim Raisi.

"Agents related to the Revolutionary Guard and Raisi's supporters attacked Hassan Rouhani's campaign offices throughout Tehran hoping to dampen the people's election fervor," said the source. "It seems they are reacting to the knowledge that they are going to lose."

Another witness told CHRI: "The plainclothes agents trashed the office, beat up the staff and tore up Rouhani's posters. They dispersed the crowds and threw tear gas at the entrance to the headquarters. At this point, the police did not get involved anymore, but they did divert traffic. They told us to evacuate and stop distributing posters."

Iranians will go to the polls to vote for their next president and local councils on May 19, 2017. Campaigning is officially banned after midnight on May 18, 2017.

Suppressing Khatami's Message

The intimidation of Rouhani's media advisers came a few days after judicial authorities contacted several Iran-based website administrators by phone to demand the removal of Khatami's video message endorsing Rouhani. 

"We started on a path with Mr. Rouhani and we are at the halfway point," said Khatami in a video message released on May 14. "Repeat your vote for the dear Mr. Rouhani to strengthen hope and a better future."


Khatami's video message endorsing Rouhani eliminated from Aparat's website.

The influential former president (1997-2005) posted his message online because Iranian media outlets have been banned from mentioning him.

"I can attest that Mr. Rouhani's government has been a successful one," he said, referring to the final nuclear deal signed in 2015 and decreasing inflation. "With all the limitations, problems and high expectations, the government has served the revolution, the people and the country very well."

A source at the Rouhani campaign headquarters told CHRI: "After the Khatami video in support of Rouhani was published, we received a call from the prosecutor's office threatening us with arrest if we did not delete the video from our website."

Iran's domestic version of YouTube, Aparat, has also removed a copy of Khatami's video endorsement from its site without explanation. 

When Aparat removed a video from Khatami backing reformist parliamentary candidates in the February 2016 elections, it posted a note explaining that it had been ordered to do so by Iran's principal online filtering body, the Taskforce to Determine Instances of Criminal Content.

... Payvand News - 05/18/17 ... --

IRAN: FURTHER INFORMATION: HEALTH FEARS FOR JAILED IRANIAN TEACHER IST: ESMAIL ABDI

IRAN: FURTHER INFORMATION: HEALTH FEARS FOR JAILED IRANIAN TEACHER IST: ESMAIL ABDIAmensty - The health of jailed trade ist Esmail Abdi has deteriorated following a hunger strike he started on 30 April in protest at the criminalization of peaceful trade ists. He is a prisoner of conscience serving a six-year sentence in Tehran's Evin prison.

29 Members of EU Parliament Urge Iran to Release Detained Journalists and Activists Ahead of 2017 Elections

 

29 Members of EU Parliament Urge Iran to Release Detained Journalists and Activists Ahead of 2017 ElectionsCHRI - Ahead of Iran's elections on May 19 for president and local councils, 29 members of the European Parliament have written a letter to Federica Mogherini, the representative of the European for foreign affairs and security policy and vice-president of the European Commission, urging the EU to call on the Iranian government to stop the pre-election intimidation campaign against journalists and activists and ensure a free and fair vote.



artwork by Kayvan Varessi, Iranian daily Ghanoon
 

Letter to High Representative Mogherini

13 May 2017
Brussels, 12 May 2017

Honourable High Representative, Federica,

We, the undersigned Members of European Parliament supported the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action as well as the ongoing development of a broad agenda for EU-Iran relations. We recognise the leadership by the EU in facilitating the JCPOA negotiations, as well as in seeking ways to make sure the lifting of sanctions benefits the population in Iran. Their rights and wellbeing have always been at the core of our concern, and remain so today.

On May 19th, the Presidential elections are scheduled to take place in the Islamic Republic of Iran. The outcome of these elections will have a profound impact on the future of the Islamic Republic, and as a consequence on EU-Iran relations as well. It is essential that these elections are free and fair, and that they are monitored by independent observers.

Already, there is additional repression taking place in the run up to the elections. There have been numerous summons and arrests of journalists, activists and students. Intimidation also occurs. Activists have expressed fears of an intensification of the current crackdown, with the blocking of means of communications and filtering of online platforms. Recently, journalists and administrators of twelve groups on Telegram were arrested by the Revolutionary Guards Intelligence Organization and the Intelligence Ministry. After that, Telegram's Voice Call Service has been shut down. Despite systematic restrictions to speech, and to accessing the open internet, social media channels have remained important means for people to connect with each other. The unjustly detained journalists, political prisoners and Telegram group administrators should be released from detention.

The Iranian authorities should protect journalists and civil society actors and must allow full access to the internet and social media platforms, in line with the use by the leadership of the Islamic Republic itself, which is fervently communicating online. The authorities of the Islamic Republic of Iran should institute all necessary measures to respect their international and domestic obligations to guarantee free and fair elections.

We call on you to convey to your counterparts and to the other relevant authorities in the Islamic Republic of Iran that further development of the relationship between the EU and Iran can only be successful when accompanied by respect for the rights and wellbeing of people in Iran.

Sincerely,

Marietje Schaake (ALDE)
Ana Gomes (S&D)
Barbara Lochbihler (GREENS/EFA)
Tunne Kelam (EPP)
Helga Stevens (ECR)
Damiano Zoffoli (S&D)
Nathalie Griesbeck (ALDE)
Ana Fotyga (ECR)
Julie Ward (S&D)
Kati Piri (S&D)
Sophie in 't Veld (ALDE)
Renate Weber (ALDE)
Jytte Guteland (S&D)
Brando Benifei (S&D)
Robert Rochefort (ALDE)
Boris Zala (S&D)
Gerard Deprez (ALDE)
Julie Girling (ECR)
Frederique Ries (ALDE)
Csaba Sogor (EPP)
Marian Harkin (ALDE)
Nessa Childers (S&D)
Beatriz Becerra (ALDE)
Dietmar Koster (S&D)
Jordi Sole (GREENS/EFA)
Javier Nart (ALDE)
Ivan Stefanec (EPP)
Norica Nicolai (ALDE)
Hilde Vautmans (ALDE)

... Payvand News - 05/13/17 ... --

IRAN: FURTHER INFORMATION: JAILED HUMAN RIGHTS DEFENDER IN POOR HEALTH: ATENA DAEMI

Amnesty - Following 31 days of hunger strike in Tehran's Evin prison, Iranian human rights defender Atena Daemi is in poor health, and requires immediate hospitalization. She has been unjustly imprisoned for her human rights activities since November 2016.


Download report:

 

Mehrangiz Kar: My Husband Was Tortured and Forced to Confess by Presidential Candidate Ghalibaf’s Police

CHRI - Presidential candidate Mohammad Bagher Ghalibaf played a key role in major human rights violations as commander-in-chief of the Iranian police, Mehrangiz Kar, a lawyer who defended human rights in the Islamic Republic, told the Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI).

British grandfather begins seventh year in notorious Iran jail

Kamal Foroughitelegraph -A British-Iranian grandfather will be entering his seventh year in prison for alleged espionage charges in Iran, his family said.

 

Kamal Foroughi, a 77-year-old oil and gas company consultant, was detained in 2011 before being convicted of espionage and possessing alcohol two years later.

Friday marks six years since the detention of Mr Foroughi, who strenuously maintains his innocence.

The family of the dual national have long campaigned for his release from Evin prison in Tehran - the same jail where another dual national, Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, is being held.

Earlier this year, to mark six years since Mr Foroughi last saw his family, his son Kamran delivered a letter to Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson calling for his release. It was signed by 219 MPs and a number of peers.

The Foreign Office has said it has raised the pair's individual cases with the Iranian government "and will continue to do so at every opportunity".

Kamran Foroughi said the 72 months and 2,193 days his father has been in jail felt "like a lifetime".

He said his father had been taken to hospital five times for tests in the recent months, adding "We, his family, are very worried he will die in prison".

Mr Foroughi has had no visitors in over 2,000 days, he said.

A Change.org petition calling for his release, directed at leaders in Britain, Iran and the EU, been signed by more than 200,000 supporters.

    Shirin Ebadi: Iran’s 2017 Presidential Hopefuls Have Unacceptable Human Rights Records

    CHRI - Not one of the candidates running for Iran's presidency has an acceptable human rights record, Iranian Nobel Peace laureate Shirin Ebadi told the Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI) in a recent interview .

    The Iranian presidential candidate accused of executing thousands

    Al-Arabia - Iranian presidential candidate Ebrahim Raisi approved executing thousands of prisoners in 1988 when he was member of the commission of death that was tasked with eliminating political prisoners who opposed the regime.

    IRAN: MAN ARRESTED AT 15 FACES IMMINENT EXECUTION: PEYMAN BARANDAH

    IRAN: MAN ARRESTED AT 15 FACES IMMINENT EXECUTION: PEYMAN BARANDAH

    Amnesty - Peyman Barandah, who was 15 years old at the time of his arrest, is due to be executed on 10 May in Shiraz's Adel Abad prison, Fars Province, Iran. He was sentenced to death after a grossly unfair trial which violated principles of juvenile justice. He was detained in prolonged solitary confinement during which he said he was repeatedly beaten.

    Family: Iran Rejects Detained British-Iranian Woman's Appeal

    Family: Iran Rejects Detained British-Iranian Woman's AppealVOA - A British-Iranian woman detained in Iran while on a trip with her toddler daughter has exhausted all chance of having her five-year prison sentence overturned in court, her family said on Monday.

    Rights Activist Atena Daemi Hunger Strikes Against IRGC-Related Additional Sentence

    Iranhumanrights.org - Imprisoned civil rights advocate Atena Daemi has started a wet hunger strike to protest new sentences issued against her and her two sisters for allegedly insulting agents of Iran's Revolutionary Guards.

    Iran's Judiciary Chief Forbids Election Protests Ahead of May Vote

    Iran's Judiciary Chief Forbids Election Protests Ahead of May VoteIranhumanrights.org - A little over a month before Iranians head to the polls on May 19, 2017, Judiciary Chief Sadegh Larijani has warned that a repeat of the protests against the disputed result of the 2009 presidential election would not be tolerated.

    Political Prisoner Serving Seven Years Gets Additional 91 Days for IRGC Charges

    Iranhumanrights.org - An additional 91 days were added to civil rights activist Atena Daemi's seven-year prison sentence for her peaceful activism. The sentence was issued to Daemi and her two sisters after the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) responded to her complaint about their use of excessive force with a complaint of their own.

    Iran: Medieval-like death sentences for expression of Opinion

    Iran: Medieval-like death sentences for expression of OpinionIran Human Rights - Iranian courts have sentenced three individuals, including a woman, to death for the expression of their opinion.

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