A Female Political Prisoner Sentenced to Life in Prison


Tehran’s Revolutionary Court sentenced a woman identified as Shirin Alam-Hoyee (Ronahi Rookan) to life in prison, accusing her of Moharebeh (waging war) against the regime.

Ms. Alam-Hoyee, a Kurdish resident from the city of Maku, has been convicted of the charge through her membership in an opposition party that has taken arms against the regime, and she has been in prison since May 28, 2008. Ms. Alam-Hoyee’s trial was held in mid-September of this year in branch 15 of the Revolutionary Court, and on January 10, the sentencing was delivered to her by the same court.
A two-year jail sentence for Sorush Sabet has been approved by Court no. 36 of the Enghelab Court System, chaired by Judge Zargar. Sorush Sabet is a “starred” student and a leftist activist. He studied computer science in Sharif University of Technology. In the wake of widespread arrests of freedom- and equality-seeking students in 2007, Sorush Sabet was arrested and was kept in detention for 45 days. This November, his verdict was handed over to him by Judge Maghiseh. Despite his attaining the 1st rank in the Graduate National Entrance Exams, Sorush Sabet had been “starred”, which led to him being banned from continuing his education. His other acclaims consist of a bronze medal in the Computer Olympiad, second prize in the Kharazmi Awards, and membership in the National Elite Foundation.

Rallying for 22 Bahman protests ahead

Hundreds of students of Tehran's Sharif University of Technology staged a protest on Saturday chanting "Free all political prisoners," "Students are prepared to die but not surrender to humiliation." A number of paid agents of the regime in the university tried to break the boycott but the students persisted on their demands for the release of their detained friends.

Simultaneously, hundreds of students at Tehran's National University held a gathering calling for the release of their detained fellow students. The regime's agents tried to intimidate the students by filming their protests.

On Friday evening, students residing in a dormitory of Tehran's Amir Kabir University protested against the arrest of twelve students and summoning of over 170 of their friends by the university's repressive organ. They chanted "Allahu-akbar," "Down with dictator," and "free detained students."

During the last week, Tehran's Polytechnic University students refused to participate in their midterm examinations in protest against arrest of twelve of their classmates and attack by plainclothes agents on the university's dormitories. The move escalated daily despite threats and pressures by various suppressive organs of the Iranian regime and widespread summoning of students.

Students of School of Development in Khajeh Nasir Toosi University and School of Arts also joined the student protests in Tehran. The boycotting of exams are still continuing in many schools even though the regime has resorted to a ridiculous threat of failing them in their courses, in order to break their protests.

On Thursday, January 7, students in University of Karaj staged a protest and tore off their exam papers. They were protesting against the arrest of nine students and suspension of a number of others and heightening of suppressive measures in the university following the uprising on the holy day of Ashura, December 27.

Ferdowsi, Azad, Sajjad and Khayam universities in the city of Mashhad were also the scenes of protests in recent days. Students were protesting against brutal attacks by club wielders and plainclothes agents and arrests of their fellow students that followed Ashura uprising. On January 5 in Khayam University, students chanted “Death to dictator” and “free detained students.” The suppressive forces attacked the students and arrested 35 of them. At least seven of them are female students.

Britain’s Catherine Ashton, who took over as foreign policy chief last month from Javier Solana, said the world cannot let Iranian regime to stall for time as tensions build in the Middle East over suspicions that it is pursuing nuclear weapons.

“I think it is highly regrettable that Iran did not accept the agreement that was proposed by the International Atomic Energy Agency," Ashton said.

She addaed that "there are international rules that we have. And if the country wants to be treated as I believe its history, its geography and its people deserve to be treated, it has to work with us. And I deplore all the violations of human rights that we have seen, and of course I want to be ready for dialogue but it is not an excuse to play for time."

from NCRI

The Iraqi forces killed 11 members of the People's Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK), disabled 130, wounded some 370 others and severely beat 1,000 residents. The assailants also abducted 36 residents and held them as hostages. In addition to all these, they have confiscated properties of Ashraf residents worth a total of $2,537,000 that includes 39 vehicles among them some fuel and water tankers worth $1,177,000. These are held in an area within Ashraf under the Iraqi police control.

The inhabitants of Ashraf are currently under an inhumane siege. They have appealed a number of times to have their properties returned, especially the tankers and minibuses that are needed everyday but the Iraqi Prime Ministry committee responsible for closure of Ashraf has refused. In the past six months many of the vehicles kept under adverse weather conditions have been damaged and many of their parts stolen.

While reminding the Articles 52-53 of The Hague Conventions and Article 55 of the Fourth Geneva Convention; and emphasizing the fact that denial of Ashraf residents of their rights to their properties is a clear violation of international law and the fundamental rights specified in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights; the Iranian Resistance calls on the United Nations Secretary General (UNSG), the UN Security Council, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, UNSG's Special Representative for Iraq and UNAMI (United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq) to take immediate measures for return of confiscated and stolen properties of Ashraf residents.
By Lord Peter Archer and R. Bruce McColm

The Washington Times

On Dec. 27, during one of Shi'ite Islam's holiest occasions, Ashura, millions of Iranians poured out onto the streets of Tehran and other Iranian cities, defying warnings and a brutal crackdown by the security forces, to call for the overthrow of the now increasingly vulnerable theocracy. Who could have thought that a theocratic regime like Tehran would murder its opponents in bright daylight on such a day? Welcome to the Iran of today.

The remarkable developments on Ashura showed that the harsh measures taken by the authorities during the previous protests have done little to intimidate the millions whose cry is freedom and who appear to be led by Iranian women. Their message to the outside world has been loud and clear: 'We will not give in to the regime that easily, and neither should you.'

The question now is what Europe and the United States are going to do?

Let's face it: the choice of the international community on both sides of the Atlantic on Iran is clear: To stand with the oppressors or the oppressed.

That being said, there should be no doubt that Europe and United States are entitled to march to the tune of their own interests. Last year at this time, the international community was eagerly hoping for a new U.S. president. His message was engagement.

President Obama genuinely hoped that a strong diplomatic overture to the Iranian leadership could, in the end, convince them to give up their nuclear weapons program. America's European allies clung on to that hope for a long time. But, not only has Iran refused to desist, it has now taken steps to expand its program tenfold.

Why? The answer lies not so much in our intentions but in the Iranian leadership's strategic calculations inspired by profound domestic threats. Recently, in an unprecedented act, young Iranians burned photos of the Iranian regime's founder Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini and walked on his life-sized portraits in Tehran. "Death to Khamenei" (Ayatollah Ali Khamenei) is now the leading slogan in Iranian streets, as the activists are protesting against the entire system, not only the fraudulent election. Such actions brought the spontaneous street protesters more in line with the main Iranian opposition group, the Mujahedin-e Khalq (PMOI/MEK), which had long questioned the legitimacy of the Islamic Republic.

That is why as Iran's Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Khamenei desperately needs nuclear weapons to guarantee the regime's permanence in the face of mounting protests.

To achieve that goal, the ayatollah uses negotiations to buy more time for his nuclear program. Clearly, further concessions to Tehran would not only be construed as weakness by Iran's rulers but would also empower them. It would enable them to fund their terrorist activities, speed up their nuclear program, and consolidate power by cracking down on dissent. This is extremely perilous for the interests of America and its allies on the other side of the Atlantic.

Nevertheless the United States cannot engage in a military conflict with Iran, the risks of which would far outweigh its benefits. Instead, America and Europe should reach out to millions of Iranians who seek democratic change, a nuclear-free Iran, and a peaceful nation. This is where our interests converge with the Iranian people's democratic aspirations.

As a practical step on this track, the United States should lift the terrorist designation of Iran's principle opposition group. The Mujahedin-e Khalq was listed by the State Department as a "terrorist" entity in 1997 as a goodwill gesture to the Iranian government. Britain and Europe followed America's lead in listing the PMOI but were forced to reverse their decisions on the orders of their highest courts. These courts reviewed all the evidence pertaining to the PMOI and concluded that there is not a shred of evidence linking the organization to terrorism.

The terrorist designation of the group, however, was incredibly controversial to the extent that in the final days of the Bush administration, even the State Department's top counterterrorism official, Dell Dailey, strongly advised the department to undo the blunder. He was overruled by then-Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, however, due to political considerations.

There is also a humanitarian issue involved here. Both Iran and Iraq have used the PMOI's terrorist designation to crack down on its members and sympathizers. At least 11 were killed last summer when Iraqi security forces launched an attack on Camp Ashraf, PMOI's headquarters in Iraq. And in early January, the Iranian judiciary announced that it has charged five protesters whom it described as members of "the counterrevolutionary terrorist group," the PMOI, with Moharebeh (waging war on God), for taking part in antigovernment demonstrations on Ashura. Moharebeh, carries the automatic death penalty.

On Dec. 27, faced with chants of "death to the dictator," Iranian security forces and government officials retorted by shouting "death to the hypocrites," a prerogative term the regime uses to undermine the PMOI in Iran. If President Obama were to decide to issue an executive order to remove the unwarranted terrorist label from the PMOI, he would certainly grab Tehran's attention while demonstrating to the Iranian people that America would no longer block Iranian opposition groups from working to bring democracy to Iran. But, time is running out and Washington's options are severely limited.

Seeing a democratic Iran could and should be our New Year resolution.

Lord Peter Archer is former solicitor general of the United Kingdom. R. Bruce McColm is the president of the Institute for Democratic Strategies (IDS) and former executive director of Freedom House.

“To all freedom-loving people wherever they may live.” – A Conversation with the Mother of Farzad Kamangar, a Kurdish Activist on Death Row.

By Mohammad-Amin Kamangar

On Monday, January the 11th, 10:00 am Iran time, Farzad Kamangar contacted his family. This is the conversation they had.

Farzad: Hi mom, I hope you are well.

Farzad’s Mother: Yes dear, I am very well and I am proud of you. Believe me I am doing well, as always.

Farzad: Mom, how are the kids (Farzad’s students) doing? What do they say? What are they up to? What is the media saying?

His mother’s response to these questions is brief and the phone is then suddenly disconnected.

Farzad’s mother wishes to deliver the following message:

“Please send my best wishes to Mina Ahadi and tell her that she should send a message to all mothers who have lost loved ones and those whose loved ones are imprisoned like mine that we should do something for them ourselves.

“All the youngsters who have been executed, are being executed, and those in detention, are all my brothers and sisters, just as my Farzad is a son to countless others. I have said this many times: He belongs to all people. Human beings are not different from each other, be they Persian, Kurd, Arab or Turk. We are all human beings and we want freedom and dignity. But who do we talk to? Where? How?

“My message to mothers in the same situation is this: my dear sisters and my dear daughters, wherever we are, whatever our ideas and opinions, we need to join hands, stay in touch and protest in a unified manner. We need to rise together. What are they going to do to us? Execute us? Let us be executed so that we may never see the deaths of our children. Dear mothers, please let us join hands to free our young people. I know that these gentlemen (regime officials) are listening to these words. Let them hear me. Let them execute me. I will sooner set myself on fire than silence myself. Have they not seen what happened to the Shah? Have they not seen what happened to Saddam? They should not continue on this path or they will meet the same fate.

“What do the youth want besides freedom? What crime has Farzad committed except seeking freedom? He has spent 4 years in prison. Lately his lawyer wanted to review his file and they have told him that the file is lost! His lawyer has suffered a stroke because of the stress caused by Farzad’s case and the tens of other similar cases, and is now hospitalized.

“I am pleading with the Human Rights Commission, all political parties and organizations that are for humanity and all people who fight for human dignity. The situation is very dangerous. They are executing youngsters everyday.

If anyone can do anything, please do. Do not let them execute youngsters en masse. You and all the world shall be my defense. Please let the world hear my message.”

Translation: Tour Irani

Atieh Yousefi, an activist for the One Million Signatures Campaign in Rasht and former member of the Central Strenghtening Unity Council in Gilan, was arrested during the Ashura protests. She was released from Lakan prison in Rasht after posting 20 million toman bail (approx. $20,000 USD).
On Ashura, Atieh was attempting to help a young man who was injured by plainclothes forces. She was arrested and taken to Lakan prison.

Translated by: Hossein, Persian2English

n the memory of God
Salute to all those who lost their lives for freedom.
Hello to all freedom-loving, democratic, and benevolent humans in the world, and reaffirmation of my pact with all Iranian republican democrats and secularists.

I announce to all my fellow countrymen that I was the prison inmate of Hojat Zamani, who lost his life for the freedom of our country.

In the winter of the year that I was serving my exile term in the central prison of Bandar Abbas in the Hormozgan province, which corresponded to the Ashura period, I was shocked to hear the news of the unjust hanging of this 27 year old youth.

Now, in the winter of 2010, again corresponding to Ashura, I was notified that the 62 year old Mr. Ali Saremi, another one of my prison inmates in the Rajaei Shahr prison in section 4, has been sentenced to death by the 15th branch of the Revolutionary Court under Judge Salvati.

In addition to condemning such cruel verdicts from the courts of the regime, I will emphasize that solitary confinement, imprisonment, torture, exile, and even execution, has never had and will never have any effect on the strong will of those fighting for freedom and democracy in all countries that have been under the rule of a dictatorship.

Issuing sentences like these only sadly reinforces the righteousness of all those who fight for freedom, and in our country, too, only further disgraces the regime of the Supreme Leader.

Despite this, in view of the current situation of the country, with the regime facing various political, economic, social, and cultural crises, and the lack of internal and international validity of the regime, I fear that the logic which led to the dark decade of the 80’s, which started with scattered executions and ended with mass murder of the political prisoners in the summer of ‘89, is again being used by the power-stricken clergies. The plan to kill political prisoners, social and cultural activists, especially the youth and students, both inside and outside of the country, is very likely.

Thus I hold out my hopeful hands from the Rajaei Shahr prison to all freedom-loving and democratic people in the world and all international organizations of human rights. The respected Secretary-General of the United Nations is especially expected to think of a solution before another disaster strikes in this dangerous situation.

He who
defends the flowers
with the loudest voice
is greater than
to die with death
in the pool of his own burning blood

Arjang Davood, teacher, poet, writer, political prisoner
Rajaei Shahr Prison

Translation: Banafsheh B., Persian2English.co
from Persian2English

The full text of the Special Parliamentary committee to review the condition of those arrested after the election.

Mohammad Mostafaei’s comments: Today the full text was read in Parliament, but the truth is that whenever those who form a committee move away from justice and become partial, their reports will not be worthy of anything and will not convince anybody. It seems that the goal of producing this report has been mostly to set out a claim against two candidates of the presidential elections.
Read it and judge for yourself.

Formation of the committee and executed tasks:
After the events surrounding the presidential elections, the honourable speaker of the Islamic parliament, Mr. Larijani, initiated a committee to follow up on affairs relating to those arrested and the turbulence that occurred. This included members of National Security, Judicial, Health and Treatment, Education, and Research commissions

In the first part of this report we shall note that before this committee was formed on June 14, two days after the presidential elections, the honourable speaker of the parliament had initiated a committee headed by Mr. Abotorabi, the Parliament’s deputy speaker, around the events that happened in Tehran University’s dormitory area. Reporting on the accidents of the dormitory is thus the task of that committee. This committee has not entered the affairs relating to the dormitory accidents.

Please read from original

From: Persian2English
Following the assassination of a researcher in Tehran, Iran announced it holds USA and Israel accountable for the attack. According to state-owned television, those countries are now pursuing a strategy to eliminate Iran’s nuclear experts. The USA rejected these allegations as “absurd”.

By Ulrich Pick, ARD radio studio Istanbul

There is differing information about the death of Massoud Ali-Mohammadi. What seems certain is that the professor of nuclear physics was killed in a bombing attack. A bomb was detonated nearby his house in the North of Tehran, killing the 50 year old scientist. It is still not known whether there are other victims, and how many.

Pro-government or pro-opposition?
Conflicting information is being spread about Ali Mohammadi’s political stance: Iran’s prosecutor describes him as loyal and committed to the government. An oppositional website, however, claims that the physicist was a supporter of opposition leader Mir Hossein Moussavi.

Moreover, it is still unclear whether he was involved in the nuclear program of the Islamic Republic. In his publications he mainly focused on cosmology, high-energy physics, and quantum physics.

“USA and Israel seek to eliminate nuclear experts”
Government representatives in Tehran spoke of a “terrorist attack by anti revolutionary forces” initiated bythe USA or Israel. Accordingly, Iran’s official television announced: “America and the Zionist regime have changed their strategy on Iran’s nuclear program. Both countries are disappointed by the effects of their threats and attractive promises made in the negotiations with Iran about the nuclear program, and now seek to pursue a strategy to eliminate our experts.”

State-run television announced that agents of CIA and Mossad have killed an outstanding professor of nuclear physics: “Massoud Ali-Mohammadi, a renowned nuclear expert, was martyred in Northern Tehran by a bomb that had been placed inside a motorcycle.”

USA rejects Iran’s allegations
Meanwhile, Washington responded to the allegations from Tehran, calling them “absurd.” The Iranian organization of the People’s Mojahedeen are said to also have rejected any accountability for the attack.

The attack happened one day after US-General David Petraeus, who is responsible for the Middle East, announced that Washington had “emergency plans” for starting military strikes against Iranian nuclear facilities. He did not provide any details.

In response, the leadership in Tehran accused the US government to make attempts to further escalate the conflict about the nuclear program of the Islamic Republic. A spokesman of the Iranian Foreign Ministry said, Washington’s statements are the opposite of a new policy, and a return to former mistakes of the USA.