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Iran's Politics Color Ramadan Prayer Dispute

Mohammad Reza Shajarian fell out of favor after he made comments that were sympathetic to reformist critics of Iran's disputed 2009 presidential election.RFL/RE - A debate over the potential return of one of Iran's greatest classical singers for a prayer recitation has provided a fresh test of the hard-line domination of state TV nearly a decade after unrest that roiled the country's establishment.

Iran: Women Face Bias in the Workplace

Iran: Women Face Bias in the WorkplaceHRW  – Laws and policies that discriminate against women interfere with Iranian women's right to work, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. Women confront an array of restrictions, such as on their ability to travel, prohibitions on entering certain jobs, and an absence of basic legal protections.

Pro-Rouhani Editor Arrested Ahead of May 2017 Elections Remains Detained Without Charge

CHRI - The family of Tahereh Riahi, an editor who has been detained since December 2016 without charge, is calling on President Hassan Rouhani to "keep his word on individual liberties and the rights of citizens" and facilitate Riahi's release, an informed source told the Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI).

Reformist Journalist: Hardliners Working to Sabotage Rouhani Campaign With Intimidation Tactics

CHRI - By preventing speeches in favor of President Hassan Rouhani and blocking his campaigners from reaching voters, hardliners are trying to weaken the incumbent president ahead of the May 19, 2017 election, a reformist journalist told the Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI)

Rohani Campaign Suffers as Pro-Administration Journalists are Detained

Rohani Campaign Suffers as Pro-Administration Journalists are DetainedRadiozamaneh - The recent arrest of a number of administrators of Telegram social networking Channels continues to fuel tensions between Iran’s administration and the judiciary.

Telegram is a cloud-based instant messaging application popular in Iran in which Channels are used as a group platform where members can receive content from.

A total of 12 administrators that were running pro Rohani and pro reformist Telegram Channels were arrested in March 2017 and their Channels which were to become election advertising platforms were deleted.

Most presidential candidates in Iran are running their advertisements on Telegram and Rohani’s campaign has suffered multiple blows as a result of these arrests.

Among those arrested one person, Heydar Valizadeh was released on bail on 17 April.

The Rohani administration challenges the arrests while the judiciary has gone as far as accusing members of the Rohani cabinet of involvement in the alleged charges brought against the detainees – which include charges of acting against Iran’s national security.

The spokesman for the judiciary hardline cleric Mohammad Hossein Mohseni Ejei told a press conference that the Minister of Intelligence is not in a position to comment on the arrest of the Telegram site organizers implying that the minister himself is under suspicion for certain charges in this regard.

Gholamhossein Mohseni Ejei

The intelligence minister Mahmoud Alavi responded briefly saying he is certain no offences were committed by the Telegram administrators.

Mohseni Ejei said last week that the government has been opposed to the arrest since the beginning adding that the Minister of Intelligence is not the appropriate source to determine whether an individual has committed an offence or not. “In connection with a specific file there are certain issues facing the minister of intelligence which means he cannot be the one investigating and reporting on the matter.”

The president’s office commented on the top judiciary official’s statements saying he should refrain from attacking the ministry of intelligence and maintain the appearance of unity in the branches of government in the best interests of the Islamic Republic regime.

The Rohani government has spoken out against the arrest of the Telegram administrators for the past weeks but the judiciary insists that the arrests have been carried out according to the law.

Mohseni Ejei claimed: “The detainees are facing security charges as well as charges of offending public morality and publishing obscene content.”

Prosecutor General Mohammad Jafar Montazeri had stated earlier that the arrests arise from “actions against national security”. He confirmed that certain government officials and MPs have demanded their release.

Later a group of progressive MPs called on the Minister of Intelligence to report to parliament on the reasons for the arrest of these individuals.

With the approach of the presidential elections in Iran, reformists and supporters of the Rohani administration are finding it difficult to run their campaign and reach out to the public with hardliners presenting obstacles against them at every turn.

In the last elections, reportedly the Rohani campaign was highly successful in using social networking sites to rally their supporters to get out and vote and the conservative factions are wary of similar trends in social media in the lead up to the coming presidential elections.

Rouhani government criticizes IRGC arrests of journalists

Rouhani government criticizes IRGC arrests of journalistsAl-monitor - Members of President Hassan Rouhani's Cabinet have publicly criticized the recent arrests of Reformist journalists and online activists on the threshold of a presidential election.

The European Parliament calls for an "urgent action" and for the immediate release of Hengameh Shahidi

IOPHR - Today the European Parliament issued a statement calling for an “urgent action” and for the Islamic Republic of Iran to immediately release Hengameh Shahidi, a journalist, women's rights activist and the Advisor to Sheikh Hojjatoleslam Mehdi Karroubi in the women's Affairs.

Reformist Editor Arrested by Security Agents Amid Pre-Election Crackdown - Amid a widening crackdown on journalists and activists in Iran ahead of the country's May 2017 presidential election, security agents arrested Morad Saghafi, the reformist editor-in-chief of Goftegoo (Conversation) magazine, on March 15, 2017.

Press Release of International Organisation to Preserve Human Rights.

Geneva – During the recent meeting of the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva, Mr Garib Abadi of Iran's ruling regime, in response to United Nation's criticism of Iran's Human Rights violations, stated that the actions of the Iran's judiciary are based on 'religion and custom' of the country, and are not based on Western secular-liberal principles and therefore any criticism based on Western principles is irrelevant.

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