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Female Head Of Iran's Polo Federation Fired Over Private Photos

RFL/RE - Iran's sports federation has fired Golnar Vakil Gilani, the head of the Polo Federation, over leaked private photos. Gilani told Iranian news agencies that she had not received any letter in this regard but the sports authorities had appointed another woman as temporary president for the federation.


Former head of Iran's Polo Federation, Golnar Vakili Gilani
Read related article by Shahrvand daily

Defying the decision, Gilani said she will continue her job as president until the last day. She told Iranian media that she had been under pressure by the sports federation to resign for months.

"They threatened me several times and used some unfair tools against me, but I refused to resign," she said in an interview with the Iranian newspaper Sharhvand. She did not provide any explanation about the nature of the dispute.

According to some reports, Gilani's opponents had come into possession of her private photos and apparently threatened to publish them.

Iranian law requires women to wear hijab in public. Leaked private photos or videos of famous figures showing them without Islamic covering have caused them trouble in the past. Iranian actress Fatemeh Motamed Arya faced a temporary ban due a leaked photo showing her unveiled while attending an international film festival.

"Certainly, Iran would face consequences by the Federation of International Polo if I am fired," Gilani said in an interview about the recent incident.

... Payvand News - 09/28/17 ... --

Political Prisoner Atena Daemi Denied Major Surgery After Authorities Insist on Keeping Her Cuffed

CHRI - Imprisoned children's rights activist Atena Daemi has been denied a major operation after demanding that the authorities fulfill their promise to allow her to receive the surgery without handcuffs and with a family member in attendance.


"According to the doctors, she needs to be operated on immediately," her mother, Masoumeh Nemati, told the Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI). "I can't understand why the authorities think that a prisoner of conscience might escape her hospital bed? Where is she going to escape to?"

Daemi was due for a scheduled gallbladder operation on September 25, 2017 at Imam Khomeini Hospital in Tehran. She has been held in Evin Prison since 2014 after being arrested for engaging in peaceful human rights activism.

"The prison authorities told us that we could schedule the operation only at Imam Khomeini Hospital, and that's what we did," said Nemati. "This morning [September 25], Atena was brought to the hospital, but during the admittance process we realized that the prison director [Ali] Chaharmahali had ordered that she be cuffed on her hands and legs while in the hospital."

"Atena said she was a prisoner of conscience and will not run away and was there just to get an operation," added Nemati. "But the authorities said they had to carry out their orders. Atena refused and so they took her back to the prison."

Nemati told CHRI that her daughter was particularly upset because the previous day a judicial official had pledged she would not be cuffed and could have family members with her in the hospital.

She said, "On Sunday [September 24], Atena's father went to see the Assistant Tehran Prosecutor Mr. Hajmoradi, who made a verbal promise that she would not be hospitalized with hand and leg cuffs and she could even have visitors and chaperones."

After the incident, Atena's father went back to the prosecutor's office to complain, but he was told the prison director's order could not be rescinded.

Since November 2016, Daemi, 30, has been serving a seven-year prison sentence for meeting the families of political prisoners, criticizing the Islamic Republic of Iran on Facebook, and condemning the mass executions of political prisoners in Iran in 1988.

In August 2017, Evin Prison Director Chaharmahali filed a lawsuit against Daemi, accusing her of feigning sickness and insulting the prison clinic staff after she was told nothing was wrong with her.

Her waning health worsened after she went on hunger strike for nearly two months to protest a preliminary court's ruling against her and her two sisters, Onsieh and Hanieh, for allegedly "insulting" agents of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and resisting arrest.

Daemi ended her hunger strike on June 3, 2017 after they were all acquitted of the charges upon appeal.

On July 8, 2017, Daemi and fellow political prisoner Golrokh Ebrahimi Iraee wrote a joint letter describing their experiences in Evin Prison after foreign ambassadors were given a staged tour of certain sections of the facility.

"Did they tell you about unsanitary conditions and women's health? Or about the conditions inside the clinic where they prescribe wrong medications? Or about using sanctions and budget cuts as an excuse for the lack of disinfectants and cleaning material?" wrote the activists.

"Have they told you that for religious reasons, male prison doctors do not check female prisoners or give them injections and blood pressure tests? Have they told you there is not even one female nurse to carry out these tasks? Do you know how many hundreds or thousands of inmates suffer from kidney problems because of the prison's unhealthy water?" asked the political prisoners.

Iranian Judge Refuses to Take Action Against Father Suspected of Sexually Abusing Daughter

CHRI - Grandmother Detained For Defending Child in Court

A family court judge in Iran has refused to put a restraining order on a father suspected of sexually abusing his young daughter despite confirmations by five state psychologists that the child displayed signs of sexual abuse.

Free Iranian Dual National Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe

CHRI - Iranian-British dual national Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe was sentenced to 5 YEARS in prison in Tehran in a secret trial without due process. This is her story.

Iranian VP for Women’s Affairs Calls Ban on Females in Sports Stadiums “Discrimination”

CHRI - Three days after Iranian women were barred from entering a stadium in Tehran to watch an international soccer match, President Hassan Rouhani's top female adviser described the ban as discriminatory.

Child marriage in Iran forces girls into a life of oppression

Kinderehe Amnesty International (Getty Images/G.Bouys)DW- Girls in rural Iran are often forced into marriage at a young age. Protected under Iranian law, the practice is leading to broken families and a generation of children lacking prospects or perspective.

Iran-Syria soccer game surrounded by major controversy

SyrianAl-Monitor - Iranian authorities' move to stop Iranian women from entering the Tehran stadium where the Sept. 5 soccer match between Iran and Syria was held has stirred controversy as Syrian women were let in to enjoy the game.


On Sept. 2, when ticket sales began on a website for the Iran-Syria 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifier, a new choice was available — women as well as men were allowed to buy tickets.

This caused a stir as women in Iran aren't allowed to enter soccer stadiums to watch games; some officials say that cursing and a number of other possible "immoral" actions by male fans may offend women.

Meanwhile, Iran's Soccer Federation said there was no plan for allowing women to enter the stadium. Despite this statement, many women had apparently bought tickets to watch their national team.

On Sept. 5, hours before the match started, it was reported that a group of Iranian women had gathered in front of Tehran's Azadi stadium to try to attend the game. While this didn't happen, Syrian women who had bought tickets were allowed to enter the stadium without any attempts from stadium officials to stop them.

Many social network activists described this as humiliating and insulting to Iranian women as they could see Syrian women entering the stadium freely. There were also reports that a number of Iranian women tried to deceive the security forces by disguising themselves as Syrian women and waving the Syrian flag.

A few minutes before the beginning of the match, Peyman Yousefi, the state TV sportscaster, expressed his disappointment over the lack of presence of Iranian women at the stadium; this complaint, which was practically unprecedented, attracted much attention.

A group of female members of the Iranian parliament who back the right of Iranian women to attend soccer matches demanded that the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports give the legislators permission to attend the game. Three female lawmakers were indeed granted such permission.

Tayyebeh Siavoshi, a female member of parliament, making reference to how Syrian women easily entered the Azadi stadium, said Sept. 5, "If the law [says] that women must not enter stadiums, then no woman should be exempt [from this law]." Moreover, Parvane Salahshouri, another female member of parliament, said Sept. 5 that she wouldn't attend the match in protest against the decision to permit only a few women lawmakers to attend the game and not all Iranian women.

Shahindokht Mowlaverdi, a female aide to moderate president Hassan Rouhani on citizens' rights, tweeted Sept. 5, "Based on Article 89 of the Citizens' Rights Charter, it is the right of all citizens, especially women, to have access to all sports and educational facilities ... and to attend [events at] the national and international sports arenas while protecting their Iranian and Islamic culture."

Iranian media closely covered the controversy. On Sept. 6, the Reformist daily Vaghaye Etefaghie published a picture of Syrian women on its front page and described them as the only winner of the match, which ended in a 2-2 tie. Furthermore, the Reformist newspaper Bahar ran the headline "Iranian paradox," protesting the refusal to allow Iranian women to enter the stadium while Syrian women were free to do so.

Meanwhile, moderate Grand Ayatollah Hassan Sanei said Sept. 6 that there is no issue with the presence of women at sports stadiums. Mohsen Gharavian, a senior Reformist cleric, told a local media outlet that the government should prepare the grounds for letting women into stadiums by taking values, ethics and security issues into account. "Just as the government managed to pave the way for the presence of women at volleyball matches, the same thing can happen for soccer [matches]," Gharavian said Sept. 6.

In the meantime, the semi-official ISNA news agency reported Sept. 6 that a group of hackers had taken over the Azadi stadium's website to show their anger at the decision to discriminate against Iranian women when it came to the Iran-Syria match.

In reaction to the protests, Minister of Youth Affairs and Sports Masoud Soltanifar said Sept. 6 that he would work to pave the way for Iranian women to be able to attend games at stadiums.

Iran Columnist Serving 10 Years Protests Illegal Prison Sentence Extension

CHRI - Imprisoned newspaper columnist Afarin Chitsaz has gone on hunger strike to protest the illegal extension of her two-year prison sentence that was scheduled to end this month, the Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI) has learned.

Elderly Political Prisoner in Critical Health Condition in Women’s Ward of Evin Prison

Nooshin Dokht Mir AbdulbaqiHRANA News Agency – Nooshin Dokht Mir Abdulbaqi, 64, prisoner in women’s ward of Evin prison, in addition to aging and suffering from several physical and mental diseases, has got developed Alzheimer’s and her intolerance of serving imprisonment has been certified by a doctor. She has been sentenced to 34 years and 9 months imprisonment. In addition to multiple charges of insulting the head and founder of Iranian regime, she has been accused of “demonizing women’s condition and life in Iran.”


According to the report of Human Rights Activists News Agency in Iran (HRANA), Noshin Dokht Mir Abdulbaqi, born in 1952, suffers from Alzheimer’s disease and schizophrenia. In the winter of 2014, she was arrested by the Ministry of Intelligence and after about a month of interrogations and solitary confinement in ward 209 of Evin Prison, she was transferred to the women’s ward of this prison on March 19, 2015.

In May 2015, she was released on the bail of 2 billion IRR. Ms. Mir Abdulbaqi was tried by Judge Ahmedzadeh and was sentenced to 34 years and 9 months imprisonment in 2015.

The charges listed in the warrant for this prisoner, are as follow: 1. Insulting the Supreme Leader, 2. insulting the Islamic Republic’s founder, 3. Blasphemy, 4. Assembly and collusion against internal and external security, 5. Propaganda against the regime, 6. Insulting senior officials of the regime through cyberspace, 7. Demonizing the status of women and their life in Iran, 8. Publicizing materials which led to ethnic conflicts and 9. Supporting the anti-revolutionary Kurdish groups.

Ms. Mir Abdulbaqi’s appeal court was held in Branch 54 of Tehran Revolutionary Court, headed by judge Pourarab and the verdict was precisely upheld. She defended herself without a lawyer, and never received a summons for execution of the verdict.

After receiving the warrant of confiscating the prisoner’s collateral property, she attended the Law-enforcement office of Shahid Moghadas Court in Evin, in October 2016. On the same day, she was informed by Nasirpour, Judge of Law-enforcement Office at Evin prison that the appeals court had confirmed her sentence and she was immediately arrested and transferred to Evin prison.

A source close to Ms. Abdulbaqi’s family told HRANA’s reporter: “She usually forgets her medication. She has told other prisoners that she saw faces on the wall moving their lips, wanted to talk to her but she did not know what they said. Sometimes she forgets where she is and when she realizes that she is in jail, she does not remember the reason. The sentence of 34 years and 9 months imprisonment has been stated in her prison paper. Confirmation of her Alzheimer’s disease and schizophrenia are in her file.”

This informed source added: “Her medical record since 2003 is in her file. According to available medical records and examinations conducted by infirmary and forensic doctors of Evin prison, she is entitled of “intolerance to enduring imprisonment sentence”. Despite the medical commission and confirmation of intolerance to endure imprisonment sentence, still nothing has happened regarding this prisoner’s freedom”.

The source close to Mir Abdulbaqi family, at the end said: “She suffers from confusion, tremor particularly in maxillofacial and takes antidepressants, anti-illusion, comforting and heart palpitations medication. Ms. Mir Abdulbaqi had to double her medications after the execution of imprisonment sentence and because of the prison conditions and lack of medical care.”

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