OMCT & FIDH; Open Letter to Dr. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad

Open Letter to Dr. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad ,
President of the Islamic Republic of Iran
Your Excellency,
The Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders, a joint programme of the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) and the World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT), wishes to welcome the release on bail on January 14, 2010 of Ms. Atieh Youssefi , member of the “One Million Signatures” Campaign , Ms. Noushin Ebadi, medical lecturer at Azad University of Tehran and sister of Ms. Shirin Ebadi , and of Mr. Hassan Rasouli , Deputy Secretary General of the Cultural Foundation Baran.
Nevertheless, the Observatory deplores that Ms. Youssefi and Ms. Ebadi remain prosecuted, and calls upon the Iranian authorities to put an end to the judicial harassment against them.
Furthermore, the Observatory fears that other “One Million Signatures” Campaign members, including Ms. Bahareh Hedayat , Ms. Shiva Nazarahari , Ms. Mansoureh Shojaie , also founding member of the Campaign and of the Women’s Cultural Centre, Ms. Samieh Rashidi , Ms. Maryam Zia , Ms. Mahsa Hekmat , Ms. Parisa Kakaï , all arrested at the end of December 2009 and on January 1 and 2, 2010, as well as Ms. Bahman Ahmadi Amoui , arrested in July 2009 and sentenced on January 4 to seven years and four months’ imprisonment, remain in detention as to date, as no information to the contrary could be obtained [1] .
Additionally, the Observatory fears that Mr. Emad Baghi , journalist, founder of the Society for the Defence of Prisoners’ Rights and winner of the 2009 Martin Ennals Award, Mr. Heshmatollah Tabarzadi , student activist and former leader of a student NGO, Mr. Mashaollah Shamsolvaezine , Spokesperson for the Association for the Defence of Freedom of the Press, Mr. Alireza Beheshti , Director of the website kalameh , journalists Mostafa Izadi , Morteza Kazemian , Nasrin Vaziri , Keyvan Mehregan , Mr. Mahin Fahimi , peace activist, Mr. Mehdi Arabshahi , Adwar Tahkim NGO member, Ms. Zohreh Tonkaboni , member of the organisation Mothers for Peace, and Mr. Morteza Haji , Secretary General of Baran , also remain arbitrarily detained following their arrest in the aftermath of the December 27 demonstrations.
Accordingly, the Observatory urges the Iranian authorities to guarantee in all circumstances the physical and psychological integrity of the aforementioned human rights defenders, as well as to release them immediately and unconditionally since their detention is arbitrary as it seem to only aim at sanctioning their human rights activities.
The Observatory further calls upon the Iranian authorities to cease the repression and prosecution of all human rights defenders in Iran, and to immediately and unconditionally release those who are still detained , so as to conform with the provisions of the Declaration on Human Rights Defenders adopted by the United Nations General Assembly on December 9, 1998, with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and with international and regional human rights instruments ratified by the Islamic Republic of Iran .
We express our sincere hope that you will take these considerations and requests into account.
Yours sincerely,
Souhayr Belhassen Eric Sottas
FIDH President OMCT Secretary General


International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran: Authorities responsible for women’s rights activist Somayeh Rashidi’s case refuse to provide any information pertaining to her case. Over the past few days, her temporary detention orders have been extended and she continues to remain in solitary confinement.
Rashidi, 24, was arrested on December 19, 2009. Prior to her arrest, authorities stormed her house on December 14, 2009 at 6:00 a.m., searched the premises and confiscated several personal items belonging to her and her roommate, such as computers and hand-written notes. At the time she was served summons to attend Branch 12 of Revolutionary Courts on December 19, 2009. Upon appearing at the court, she was interrogated and read her charges, arrested, and detained.
During her detention, she has only made two contacts. The first time she contacted one of her friends and informed her that she is at Evin Prison. The second time she contacted her family briefly. Somayeh Rashidi comes from a traditional and religious family, and has been active in women’s rights in NGO’s and also at universities over the past few years. Most of her activities were concentrated on domestic violence. She had started a student organization (Iranian Women’s Language Society) around this topic and was providing training in this area. The organization’s license was later revoked.
She was studying Sociology in college and passed the nationwide university entrance exam with high scores in Women’s Studies and Cultural Studies last year. But there was a star on her report card. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad had completely denied the notion of “Starred Students” during the presidential elections debates. “Starred Students” is a term which has been in use since Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s election in 2004. Undergraduate students who engaged in political or cultural or social activities in colleges, notwithstanding their high grades, had to be “selected” by Ministry of Information; but none of the “Starred Students” were able to attend their classes even after the attended the selection sessions and signed written promises provided by intelligence authorities. She had ranked number 4 in Women’s Studies and 29 in Cultural Studies. During the months after she became a “Starred Student,” she tried all legal avenues to follow up on her case, including meeting with parliament members. She had meetings with Ministry of Science and Technology’s authorities as well, but none of these meetings could help her to change her situation.
Other than Rashidi, other Starred Students tried to alleviate their difficulties through establishing a committee named Committee to Defend the Right to Education. Some of those individuals are now in prison, facing unfounded charges. Some of these charges include “relations with Islamic Republic of Iran opposition groups such as MKO.” These students, their friends, and their families have denied these charges.
Several Starred Students have told the International Committee for Human Rights in Iran over the past few weeks that the only “crime” these students have committed has been their fight for their right to education. They said their political activities were all within the Iranian laws, but those activities have kept them from higher education. Officials refrain from acknowledging these charges.
Rashidi is also a member of the One Million Signatures for Equality Campaign and has been active in the Campaign’s Education Committee. Previously, she lost her job at a research institute because of her social activities.
At this time, women’s rights activists Mansoureh Shojaee, Shiva Nazar Ahari, Parisa Kakaee, Omid Fahimi, Zohreh Tonkaboni, Alieh Eghdamdoost, Bahareh Hedayat, Mahdiyeh Golroo, Shabnam Madadzadeh, and Maryam Zia are all in prison. Journalist Badr-ol-sadat Mofidi and political activist Azar Mansour also continue to remain in detention.
Rashidi’s family live in Mashhad and due to their physical distance from Tehran, they are unable to follow up on Somayeh’s case.






Original Polish text of intervention :

Panie Przewodniczący! Pani Baronesso! Sytuacja wewnętrzna w Iranie pogarsza się w sposób dramatyczny z dnia na dzień, z tygodnia na tydzień. Na naszych oczach brutalnie łamane są prawa człowieka, obserwujemy terror, z jakim nie mieliśmy do czynienia od dekad. Bezprecedensowa fala represji ze strony państwa próbuje stłumić tych, którzy walczą o demokratyczne reformy w Iranie. W walce ze swoimi obywatelami rząd korzysta również ze specjalnie wyszkolonych, uzbrojonych bojówek młodych ludzi Basji.

Parlament Europejski musi potępić nadmierne użycie siły przez rząd i narastające łamanie praw człowieka. Niedopuszczalne jest stosowanie kary śmierci wobec opozycji, również pod pretekstem „moharebeh”, obrazy Boga. Unia Europejska potrzebuje więc nowego podejścia do sytuacji w Iranie. Wysoki Przedstawiciel Unii Europejskiej Catherine Ashton powinna wysłać silny i jasny przekaz do obywateli Iranu potwierdzający naszą wolę obrony praw człowieka.

Kwestia broni nuklearnej jest niezmiernie ważna. Nie powinniśmy jednak, tylko po to, aby uzyskać taktyczną przewagę w tych negocjacjach, rezygnować z obrony podstawowych wartości. Nie wolno nam, w rozmowach z Iranem, odsuwać na margines rządów prawa, wolności słowa czy prawa do informacji. Te wartości nie mogą być traktowane jako mniej istotne.

Pochodzę z Polski, gdzie ponad 20 lat temu, w 1989 roku, tyrania ustąpiła miejsca demokracji. Stało się tak dzięki pozbawionym przemocy działaniom opozycji Solidarności i pokojowemu dialogowi między rządzącymi i rządzonymi. Nie widzę w tej chwili lepszej drogi dla mieszkańców Iranu.



English translation by Google
Mr. President!
Mrs. Baronesso! Internal situation in Iran is deteriorating dramatically from day to day, from week to week. Our eyes are brutally violated human rights, seeing the terror with which we had to do for decades. The unprecedented wave of repression from the state tries to suppress those who fight for democratic reforms in Iran. In the fight against its citizens the government also uses specially trained, armed militias of young people Basji


The European Parliament has condemned the excessive use of force by the government and the increasing human rights violations.
It is unacceptable to the death penalty against the opposition, also under the pretext of "moharebeh", images of God.
The European Union therefore needs a new approach to the situation in Iran. European Union High Representative Ashton should send a strong and clear message to the people of Iran confirming our willingness to defend human rights.

The issue of nuclear weapons is extremely important.
We should not, however, just to gain a tactical advantage in these negotiations, with the defense of fundamental values.
We must not, in talks with Iran, put off to the margins of the rule of law, freedom of expression and right to information. These values can not be treated as less important.
I come from Polish, where more than 20 years ago, in 1989, has given way to the tyranny of democracy. It was so devoid of violent actions by the opposition Solidarity movement and the peace dialogue between the rulers and the ruled. I do not see at this moment better way for the people of Iran.

French text :
Monsieur le Président, l'Iran traverse sans conteste la crise la plus grave de son histoire depuis 1979, par la faute de ce régime hermétique à tout changement, qui a multiplié, depuis la farce électorale du 12 juin dernier, les assassinats ciblés d'opposants, les rafles, les emprisonnements de manifestants pacifiques, de journalistes aussi.

Mme Ashton a évoqué, en début de débat, les rapports des ONG, rapports catastrophiques, à cet égard, ceci sans parler encore des parodies de justice réservées à la Française, Clotilde Reiss, à la minorité des Baha'is – sept d'entre eux sont jugés depuis lundi dernier à Téhéran. Ils risquent la prison à vie ou pire, simplement parce que leur religion n'est pas celle du pouvoir.

Le constat est donc implacable, les élections présidentielles n'ont rien changé, ou plutôt si, elles ont radicalisé encore, si c'était possible, le régime iranien, radicalisation aussi vis-à-vis de l'extérieur, avec la volte-face de ces autorités iraniennes sur le projet d'accord nucléaire négocié en octobre 2009 à Vienne.

Quand allons-nous envisager d'évoquer – je parle d'évoquer ici – des sanctions intelligentes et ciblées, comme les évoquait Mme Lochbihler, sanctions donc à l'encontre de ce régime qui est ouvertement antioccidental et antisémite. Je sais que cette fenêtre d'opportunité est étroite, Madame la Haute représentante, mais ne pensez-vous pas que nous devons ici faire plus et mieux, aider la jeunesse iranienne, qui crie sa révolte sur Internet, dénoncer les appels récurrents à la destruction de l'État d'Israël et, surtout, soutenir cette société civile et l'opposition, ce mouvement démocratique qui défie ce président voleur de voix et ses milices?

Il faut éviter l'escalade, j'en suis très consciente, mais il faut éviter aussi la dérobade et ne pas réitérer l'erreur que nous avons commise en Afghanistan où l'Europe n'a pas su, n'a pas pu protéger le commandant Massoud. Il est de notre devoir de soutenir les dirigeants de l'opposition iranienne pour leur éviter le même sort.




English translation by Google
Mr. President, Iran undergoing undoubtedly the worst crisis of its history since 1979, becaue of this
regimes being hermetic to any change , targeted killings of 'opponents, the raids, the arrests of peaceful protesters, journalists too has grown since the sham elections of 12 June .
Ms. Ashton spoke paradox of justice reserved for the French, Clotilde Reiss, the minority of Baha'is - seven of whom have been charged last Monday in Tehran and now face life imprisonment or worse, simply because they are a minority.
The finding is relentless; presidential elections have changed nothing, let alone regime radicalization vis-à-vis the outside world, with the emboldening of Iranian authorities during nuclear agreement negotiated in October 2009 in Vienna.
When will we consider recall - I talk to mention here - the smart, targeted sanctions, such as evoked Ms. Lochbihler, then sanctions against the regime which is openly anti-Western and anti-Semitic,I know that this window of opportunity is narrow, Madam High Representative, but do not you think that here we do more and better help the Iranian youth, who shouts his rebellion on the Internet denouncing the recursive calls for the destruction State of Israel and especially support the civil society and opposition movement Democratic president who defied the robber's voice and militias?
Avoid climbing, I am very conscious, but we must also avoid evasion and not repeat the mistake we committed in Afghanistan, where Europe has failed, could not protect Commander Massoud. It is our duty to support the leaders of the Iranian opposition to them avoid the same fate.


Spanish text :
Mi primera intervención en este Parlamento, en junio del año pasado, se refirió a Irán, a raíz de una nueva serie de ejecuciones capitales. Entonces, pedí la activación de todos los instrumentos con los que contaba la Unión Europea para la protección de los derechos humanos.

Hoy nos encontramos con que la represión continúa contra la minoría religiosa bahai, contra los homosexuales –y quiero pedir especialmente la liberación de los homosexuales detenidos y, en varios casos, condenados a muerte–, contra la oposición –con más de dos mil quinientos opositores encarcelados–, contra la libertad de prensa –el lunes mismo se cerró el periódico Farhang-e-Ashti por publicar una declaración del líder opositor Musavi– y contra la minoría kurda.

Irán, sin embargo, figura en la agenda europea como un gran desafío, no solamente nuclear, a cuyo respecto la comunidad internacional ya está movilizada, sino porque Irán tiene una capacidad de influencia en prácticamente todos los ámbitos en que se está trabajando para encontrar una solución pacífica y diplomática en Oriente Próximo, así como en Iraq y en Afganistán.

Irán esta pulverizando, a golpe de represión, la oportunidad para normalizar sus relaciones exteriores, para ser acogido en la comunidad de naciones y para jugar un papel constructivo en las relaciones internacionales.

Ésta sería la situación que desearíamos los socialistas, pero solamente puede alcanzarse si Irán cumple sus compromisos internacionales, empezando por el Pacto Internacional de Derechos Civiles y Políticos, en cuyo marco debe reconocerse a los partidos políticos, a los sindicatos, a las organizaciones no gubernamentales, el derecho de asociación, la libertad de expresión, etc.

El apoyo y la solidaridad de la Unión Europea, que pido desde aquí, para quienes reclaman más derechos y para los represaliados por el régimen no deben confundirse con ningún tipo de injerencia occidental, sino con la voluntad de que Irán reúna las condiciones mínimas para negociar con el resto del mundo.



English translation by google
My first speech in Parliament in June last year, referred to Iran, following a new series of executions. So I asked for the activation of all the instruments that told the European Union for the protection of human rights.
Today we find that repression continues against the Baha'i religious minority, against homosexuals, "and I ask especially the release of prisoners and homosexuals, in several cases, death row, against the opposition over two thousand five hundred opponents prison ', anti-freedom of the press on Monday it closed the newspaper Farhang-e-Ashti by issuing a statement of opposition leader Musavi-and against the Kurdish minority.
Iran, however, is on the European agenda as a major challenge, not only nuclear, on which the international community is mobilized, but because Iran has a capacity of influence in virtually all areas where work is underway to find a peaceful and diplomatic solution in the Middle East and in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Iran is spraying, by force of repression, the opportunity to normalize its external relations, to be welcomed into the community of nations and to play a constructive role in international relations.
This would be the situation we would like the Socialists, but can only be achieved if Iran meets its international commitments, starting with the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, under which should be recognized political parties, trade unions, NGOs The right of association, freedom of expression, etc..
The support and solidarity of the European Union, I ask here, for those who are calling for more rights and repressed by the regime should not be confused with any Western interference, but with the intention of Iran to meet the minimum conditions to negotiate with the rest of the world.

Spanish MEP, María MUÑIZ DE URQUIZA , demand Iran to fulfill International treaties



Finish Text of intervention by MEP Sari Essayah:

Arvoisa puhemies, arvoisa komission jäsen, Iranin nykyhallinto rikkoo räikeällä tavalla ihmisoikeuksia ja polkee kansalaistensa perusvapauksia. Viimeisimpänä näyttönä tästä on Ashuran tapahtuman yhteydessä kahdeksan ihmisen surmaaminen, ja viittä opposition edustajaa odottaa tällä hetkellä kuolemantuomio.

Iranin nykyhallinto on suurin uhka maailmanrauhalle. On aivan käsittämätöntä, että kansainvälinen yhteisö katselee sivusta, kuinka Iranin hallinto on kaikessa rauhassa saanut kehittää sotilaallista ydinaseohjelmaa ja olla piittaamatta IAEA:n kannoista. Maan nykyjohto saa julkisesti uhkailla hävittävänsä toisen YK:n jäsenvaltion, Israelin, ja tukee Libanonissa ja Syyriassa toimivaa Hizbollah-terroristiryhmää.

Jollakin tavalla nämä tapahtumat nostavat mieleen 60 vuoden takaiset hetket. Meidän ei tarvitse miettiä, mitä olisimme tehneet historiassa toisin, jotta olisimme voineet silloin estää ihmisvihan ilmenemisen. Me voimme tänä päivänä tehokkaalla toiminnalla estää vastaavan tapahtumasta.

Iranin hallintoa kohtaan on aloitettava kohdennetut talouspakotteet mitä pikimmiten. Tilanteen ollessa tämä, on parempi, että EU:n Iran-delegaation matka estyi, koska matkaa oltaisiin käytetty vain mullahien propagandatarkoituksiin. Muistakaamme tässäkin tapauksessa: ongelma ei ole niinkään pahan paljous vaan hyvän hiljaisuus.



Translation in to English through Google
Mr President, Commissioner, Iran's current administration flagrant violation of human rights and tramples on citizens' basic freedoms.
The most recent evidence of this is the event Ashuran killing eight people, five opposition figures and is currently awaiting the death penalty.
Iran's current regime is the biggest threat to world peace. It is quite inconceivable that the international community looking on,how the Iranian regime has quietly been developing a military nuclear program and to ignore the IAEA's positions. The current leadership can publicly threaten to lose another UN member, Israel, and supports Lebanon and Syria and Hezbollah, a terrorist working group.
In some ways, these events remind us of moments that happened 60 years ago . We do not have to think about what we would have done otherwise in history, if we could prevent the occurrence of human hatred .We're here today, effective action to prevent the same incident.
Iran's regime has initiated targeted economic sanctions as soon as possible.
This being the case, it is preferable that the EU delegation to Iran, travel was inhibited, because the trips were to use only the mullahs' propaganda purposes. Let us remember, in this case too: the problem is not so much the quantity of evil but the silence of good.


Polish Text
Panie Przewodniczący! Pod koniec ubiegłego roku w Iranie doszło do protestów opozycji, największych od czasów manifestacji po czerwcowych wyborach prezydenckich, których zwycięzcą ogłoszono dotychczasowego prezydenta. W starciach z siłami bezpieczeństwa zginęło 8 osób, setki odniosło obrażenia, setki zatrzymano. Atakowano popierających opozycję studentów na terenie uniwersytetu, co wywołało reakcję 88 profesorów uniwersytetu w postaci apelu do ajatollaha Alego Chamenei o zaniechanie stosowania przemocy wobec demonstrantów.

Sytuacja w Iranie budzi rosnące zaniepokojenie, także na forum międzynarodowym. Zastosowanie sankcji wobec rządu w Teheranie rozważają Niemcy, których kanclerz Andrea Merkel stwierdziła, że Iran nie odpowiedział na wysuniętą przez Zachód propozycję współpracy dotyczącej wstrzymania programu nuklearnego. O wprowadzenie ostrych międzynarodowych sankcji przeciw Iranowi zaapelował także premier Izraela, którego zdaniem reżim, który tyranizuje własne społeczeństwo wkrótce może stworzyć zagrożenie dla całego świata.

Szanując suwerenność Iranu, trzeba wyraźnie podkreślić spoczywający na władzach tego kraju obowiązek poszanowania praw człowieka, praw politycznych i obywatelskich oraz fakt, że korzystając z przysługujących mu praw do rozwijania własnego programu nuklearnego Iran nie może jednocześnie stwarzać zagrożenia dla międzynarodowego bezpieczeństwa. Cierpliwość, jaką wykazała się do tej pory społeczność międzynarodowa w prowadzeniu dialogu z Teheranem, obecnie dobiegła końca. Świat nie może być zakładnikiem wojowniczej i prowokacyjnej polityki obecnego kierownictwa politycznego w Iranie. Prezydencja hiszpańska oraz pani Ashton, szefowa dyplomacji, powinny podjąć rozmowy na ten temat z Rosją, by włączyć Moskwę do wspólnej polityki nacisku na Iran.




English Text
Translation through google
Mr. President!
At the end of last year in Iran came to opposition protests, the biggest demonstrations since the June presidential elections, which the former president declared the winner. In clashes with security forces killed 8 people, hundreds injured, hundreds arrested

Opposition supporters attacked students at the university, which caused a reaction 88 university professors in the form of an appeal to Ayatollah Ali Khamenei to discontinue the use of violence against demonstrators.
The situation in Iran of growing concern, in the international arena.
Apply sanctions against the Tehran government is considering Germany, whose Chancellor Andrea Merkel said that Iran has not responded to the proposal put forward by the West for cooperation on nuclear program is stopped.
The introduction of sharp international sanctions against Iran has urged the Prime Minister of Israel, which believes that a regime that tyranizuje own society may soon pose a threat to the whole world.

Respecting the sovereignty of Iran, must be stressed is incumbent upon the authorities of that country to respect human rights, political and civil rights and the fact that using asserting their rights to develop its nuclear program while Iran can not pose a threat to international security.

Patience, which has demonstrated so far by the international community in dialogue with Tehran, now come to an end. World can not be held hostage to an aggressive and provocative policy of the current political leadership in Iran
Spanish Presidency and Mrs. Ashton, chief executive of diplomacy, should hold discussions on this issue with Russia to turn Moscow into a common policy focus on Iran.

The Italian MEP, rejects appeasement and soft conduct with the repressive regime who kills juveniles despite International obligations, and welcomes direct talk with opposition forces at hand such as Maryam Rajavi

Italian text ;
Signor Presidente, onorevoli colleghi, io vorrei evitare di continuare ad elencare le ragioni del nostro dissenso con il governo iraniano.

Mi permetto solo di sottolineare, non essendo stato citato qui, il fatto tra i più gravi nella violazione dei diritti civili, che è quello nei confronti dei giovani, avendo il governo iraniano firmato anche il trattato delle Nazioni Unite a difesa del fanciullo, proseguendo invece in pene capitali nei confronti dei minori.

Io vorrei che dopo questo dibattito, da un lato la baronessa Ashton assuma l'impegno di indicare una linea comune di tutta l'Europa e di tutto il Parlamento europeo sulle vicende dell'Iran e dall'altro che la commissione interparlamentare con il governo dell'Iran prenda atto che va cambiata linea di marcia.

Io ho partecipato con gli amici Scurria e Tatarella alla protesta che noi avevamo formulato nei confronti della Commissione che comunque, anche con un comunicato ufficiale, dichiarava di voler andare in Iran, avendo chiesto invece in maniera perentoria che ci fosse la possibilità di incontrare l'opposizione e di dialogare con essa. Io vorrei che da questo momento la Commissione volti pagina e abbia rapporti di aiuto, di sostegno e di confronto con i rappresentanti dell'opposizione che sono in esilio, non ultima la signora Myriam Rajavi che rappresenta questa realtà. Questo dovrebbe fare la Comunità europea piuttosto che le sanzioni.


Translation to English:(apologies to friends for poor translation using google)

Mr President, ladies and gentlemen, I would like to continue to avoid listing the reasons for our disagreement with the Iranian government.
I would just like to point out, having not been mentioned here, the fact of the most serious violation of civil rights, which is against young people, by the Iranian government which has also signed the UN treaty to protect the child's Rights, continuing instead in capital punishment against minors.

I wish that after this debate, Baroness Ashton assumes the commitment to indicate a common line throughout Europe and around the European Parliament that would changed line of march about Iran and be taken note by the Parliamentary Committee with the Government of 'Iran.
I attended with friends and Scurria Tatarella the protest that we had made against the Commission in any case, even with an official statement, saying that it wants to go to Iran, instead of demanding in a resolute way for a meeting and dialogue with the opposition.
I wish that the Commission now faces page and has a relationship of help, support a discussion with representatives of the opposition who are in exile, not least Mrs. Myriam Rajavi representing this reality (Opposition to regime). This should make the European Community rather than sanctions.

Estonian MEP,Tunne KELAM, from Christian Democrats speaks on the EP to help the Iranian people to concentrate in gaining what is theirs ; Democracy
Mr.Kelam's speech:

Mr President, I have to say to Mrs Ashton that our hopes of convincing the Iranian regime of our concerns will, I am afraid, be in vain.

In fact we are dealing with a dictatorship of yesterday and what is needed now is to concentrate on the opportunity for change. The regime is coming apart at the seams, and the Iranian people have courageously shown, since last June, that they do not trust and do not support this deceitful and aggressive dictatorship. Why should we continue to do so?

We need seriously to support civil society and the democratic opposition, including the Council of National Resistance, which is the only organisation that has come out with a very clear democratic programme for a nuclear-free Iran.

Text in German:
Herr Präsident! Die Süddeutsche Zeitung von heute berichtet, dass in Teheran am gestrigen Montag die Staatsanwaltschaft für fünf Oppositionelle die Todesstrafe gefordert hat. Es handelt sich bei diesen fünf Oppositionellen laut Amnesty International um den siebzehnjährigen Ali Mehrnia, den 54-jährigen Parviz Varmazyari sowie Majid Rezaii, Alireza Mabavi und Ali Massoumi. Wenn ein Regime, wie das in Teheran, das nicht nur anachronistisch ist, sondern gegen seine eigene Bevölkerung mit der Todessstrafe, mit Steinigungen und anderen Mitteln vorgeht, und wir als Europäische Union nicht die nötigen Schritte unternehmen, dann machen wir uns vor allen Dingen an denjenigen schuldig, die dort eine vernünftige Gesellschaft aufbauen sollen, an den Kindern, die dann unter Bedingungen groß werden, die alles andere sind als das, was wir uns – im Einklang mit dem Kollegen, der leider nicht mehr da ist – für eine zukünftige Gesellschaft wünschen würden. Ich würde mir an dieser Stelle harte und deutliche Worte der Hohen Repräsentantin für Außen- und Sicherheitspolitik wünschen, und dass wir Sanktionen gegenüber dem Iran nicht nur fordern, sondern auch durchsetzen.


Translation in English:

Mr. President, The Sueddeutsche Zeitung reported today that the prosecutor of (regime) has requested, in Tehran on last Monday, for the death penalty of five opponents.
According to Amnesty International these five opposition activists are; Mehrnia Ali, the 54-year-old Parviz Varmazyari and Majid Rezaii, Alireza Mabavi and Ali Massoumi.

When a regime like the one in Tehran, which is not only anachronistic, but is continuing against its own people through the death penalty, stoning and other means , and we do not take the necessary steps as the European Union, then we make ourselves first and foremost to blame for those who are there (with the wish) to build a rational society..- and hope for a future society.

I would like at this point hard and strong words by the High Representative for foreign and security policy, about the sanctions against Iran,not that we only demand but enforce .

MEP Ulrike LUNACEK ,from Austrian Greens & European Free Alliance party, speaks of a second chance for the Iran delegation to go to Iran, despite much controversy and dissatisfaction from Iranian activists who condemned any foreign visit to Iran as a lending of legitimacy to a regime which has issued the death sentence for peaceful protesters.

Mr President, I think it is clear to all of us here that the Iranian regime is a dictatorial and criminal regime. The question is: how to deal with it?

I would like to state very clearly my support for the delegation that would have gone to Iran from this Parliament. The delegation would have met, for one whole day, members of the opposition and dissidents. It would have strengthened them. They wanted that. So I really feel very sorry that this delegation visit could not take place.

I have one very concrete question to you, Baroness Ashton. Several Members here have talked about sanctions. From the experience I have as a member of the national parliament and talking with many people for a long time, I would really be in favour of smart sanctions – targeted, for example, at specific members of the Revolutionary Guard, putting them on a veto list for visits, or at other specific persons.

I am very much against imposing sanctions on the whole country as that would probably strengthen the Government, because then poverty would increase – they would not have access, for example, to petrol – and that would help to support the regime instead of weakening it.

As Activists inside Iran and outside get ready for another protest which will definitely endanger their lives, It is shocking to see such outspoken support for compromise and aid to a regime which has already answered its opposition with bullets, rape, torture, disaapearance and the ovious and legaly established death penalty.

Question posed to MEP Ulrike LUNACEK:

Dear MEP. would perhaps like to clarify as how to guaranteed not to be mocked in a staged trip to visit Iranian partners who each have own chronology of killings and suppression during the past 28 years and who take every advantage of a foreign lenience as a weakness point to blow on the opposition?




MEP Stevenson clarified the support of the EP for the Iranian uprising as support of elected members of the European people supporting the people on the streets who are striving for Freedom.

Mr President, I want to agree with Tunne Kelam and Mr Alvaro. The day of dialogue and engagement with Iran has long since passed.

People are dying in the streets almost every day in protests against this fascist regime. Only yesterday, as you have heard, a kangaroo court in Tehran called for the death penalty against five protesters arrested during the Ashura riots on 27 December.

Enough is enough. No more talk; no more appeasement. We need tough sanctions. That is the only way that we will show the ordinary people of Iran that we back their protests.







Mariya Nedelcheva a Europan MP fromt he Christian Democratic Party of Bulgaria , spoke in French as she defended the basic rights of women, men and youth who seek Democratic values.

Intervention by MEP
Nedelcheva
Monsieur le Président, Madame la Vice-présidente de la Commission, la mort et la disparition du corps de Seyyed Ali Moussavi, neveu du leader de l'opposition iranienne, est un exemple tragique parmi tant d'autres qui montrent le mal-être dans lequel se trouve actuellement la République islamique d'Iran.

La légitimité du régime iranien issu d'élections plus que douteuses au mois de juin dernier est pour le moins critiquable. Ainsi, notre tâche est de soutenir autant que faire se peut la société civile iranienne dans son mouvement de résistance. Madame Ashton, vous pouvez être assurée du plein soutien que notre Parlement vous apportera pour désapprouver ce type d'agissement.

Je tiens à souligner que ce n'est pas en continuant à nier le rôle de l'opposition que le régime iranien pourra nous convaincre de sa volonté d'agir pour le bien-être du peuple iranien. Le droit d'existence de l'opposition et son droit à une libre compétition entre partis permettant de représenter la pluralité des opinions dans la société iranienne sont des signes positifs que nous attendons depuis longtemps. Or, nous sommes loin d'observer cela en Iran.

Certes, à présent, pour beaucoup, il ne tient qu'au régime iranien d'entendre les appels des manifestants ainsi que les vœux de la communauté internationale pour effectuer une transition démocratique. L'Europe doit être le principal témoin de ce qu'est l'État de droit.

Iran launched 'the most widespread crackdown' in a decade after its disputed presidential election in June, Human Rights Watch said on Wednesday. 'Following the disputed June 12 presidential election and the massive protests it provoked, the government unleashed the most widespread crackdown in a decade,' HRW said in its 2009 report.

President Mahmoud Ahamdinejad's June re-election has triggered a string of protests over the past seven months, with OPPOSITION demonstrators defying official warnings to stay off the streets. 'Security forces were responsible for at least 30 deaths, according to official sources,' said the New York-based HRW, adding that more than 4,000 people had been detained, mostly in largely peaceful street demonstrations. Dozens of leading government critics, including human rights lawyers, had also been rounded up, with many held without charge in solitary confinement.

The organisation documented 'at least 26 cases in which detainees were subjected to torture and/or coerced to make false confessions,' with the use of beatings, sleep deprivation and fake executions. They were forced 'to confess that they instigated post-election riots and were plotting a 'velvet coup,'' it said. HRW also said the Islamic republic's government had staged a series of 'show trials,' and jailed journalists and editors for publishing critical views, while imposing strict curbs on the domestic and foreign media. At least two journalists working with foreign outlets were detained.

In a protest on July 9, Iranian police fired tear gas as thousands of demonstrators defied government warnings and staged a march to commemorate the anniversary of bloody student unrest in 1999. The march was to mark the 10th anniversary of violence in which at least one student was killed when hardline vigilantes stormed student dormitories, according to an official toll. HRW said Iran carries out more executions on an annual basis than any other country except China, and also leads the world in the execution of juvenile offenders. 'As of October, Iran had executed three juvenile offenders in 2009,' it said, noting the country's law allows death sentences for persons who have reached puberty, defined as age nine for girls and 15 for boys. At least 130 other juvenile offenders are currently on death row, it said. On the minorites front, HRW said Tehran continued to deny freedom of religion to members of the Bahai faith. In May 2008, authorities arrested seven Bahai leaders 'based on fabricated security-related accusations.' (AFP - Jan 20, 2010)
The Center of Lawyers is looking into the arrest of 8 members of this center during the arrests after Ashura (December 27).
This issue was brought up in a session of this center on Tuesday. The Center of Lawyer has still not announced the names of these eight lawyers but according to reports, a number of them were arrested in Tehran while some others were arrested by security forces in their homes and offices in other cities. (Advar News – Jan. 20, 2010)
The Special Guards forces in Orumieh Prison stormed the political prisoner's ward and beat them.
The Special Guards forces and Protection Forces stormed ward 12 where political prisoners are kept with the presence of Fathi, the head of prison and Bahreini, the head of the Protection Department, and beat political prisoner with clubs, electric clubs and electric shockers. They also destroyed and broke the prisoner's personal belongings and took Ali Ahmad Soleiman, a citizen of Turkey to an unknown location.
It is not clear why these political prisoners were beaten and there is also no information on where Ali Ahmad Soleiman was taken. Mr. Soleiman who is in poor health because of his first degree burns, has been sentenced to 5 years of prison for being a member of an opposition Turkish party. (Human Rights Activists in Iran – Jan. 20, 2010)
The Special Guards forces in Orumieh Prison stormed the political prisoner's ward and beat them.
The Special Guards forces and Protection Forces stormed ward 12 where political prisoners are kept with the presence of Fathi, the head of prison and Bahreini, the head of the Protection Department, and beat political prisoner with clubs, electric clubs and electric shockers. They also destroyed and broke the prisoner's personal belongings and took Ali Ahmad Soleiman, a citizen of Turkey to an unknown location.
It is not clear why these political prisoners were beaten and there is also no information on where Ali Ahmad Soleiman was taken. Mr. Soleiman who is in poor health because of his first degree burns, has been sentenced to 5 years of prison for being a member of an opposition Turkish party. (Human Rights Activists in Iran – Jan. 20, 2010)
Two Kurd political prisoners identified as Mohammad Amin Abdollahi and Qader Mohamamd-Zadeh from Mirabad in Bukan were sentenced to death by the Orumieh Court of Review.
These two prisoners were arrested on charges of cooperation with Kurd opposition parties and were detained to the Bukan Intelligence Agency. They were subsequently transferred to the Orumieh Central Prison.
Mohammad Amin Abdollahi, 25, was sentenced to 20 years of prison in his first trial and after a court of review in January 16, was sentenced to death on charges of acting against national security and Moharabeh (enmity with God). On the other hand, Qader Mohammad Zadeh, 32, was initially sentenced to 32 years of prison and was later sentenced to death on the same charges in the court of review. (Kurd Human Rights Organization – Jan. 20, 2010)
A 26-year-old year old man named Allah Nazar Shahli Bar was hanged in Khash Prison in the morning. According to reports, there are rumors that he was executed on charges of murder. But it not clear if the person who was murdered was an ordinary person or a person affiliated with the government. (Association of Baluchistan Human Rights Activists – Jan. 20, 2010)
According to reports, the abusive treatment of police with the people in Tehran has increased.
On Wednesday evening in Haft Tir Square, a number of traffic police attacked the people standing in taxi and bus lines and clashed with taxi drivers. The people on the scene protested their abusive behavior but these traffic police forced a taxi driver out of his car and beat him, threatening that they would impound his car and told him to leave the area. (Iran News Agency – Jan. 21, 2010)
On Thursday January 21, a large number of families went to Evin Prison to visit their jailed loved ones in ward 209.
Interrogators of the Intelligence Agency have shortened visiting hours to put pressure on these prisoners and their families. Visiting hours are from 9 am to 2 pm and despite the fact that visits have been shortened from 20 minutes to 10 minutes, some families were not able to visit their loved ones in this timeframe.
The detainees have said in phone calls to their families that their names were read out for visits and that they were taken to the prison exits but prison guards mocked them to put mental pressure on them and told them (at the last minute) that they were banned from visits.
Intelligence agents interrogate Ashura prisoners day and night while mentally and physically torturing them. The interrogations sometimes go on for 9 consecutive hours. (Human Rights and Democracy Activists in Iran – Jan. 21, 2010)

Seyed Morteza Mardiha, a philosophy professor at Alameh Tabatabayi University in Tehran was banned from continuing his work at this university.
He was transferred from the school of law and political science to the literature department after pressure by the head of the university Sadrodin Shariat in 2007 and has now been banned from teaching after tolerating severe pressure. (Amir Kabir Newsletter – Jan. 21, 2010)

Saba Vasefi, researcher, human rights activist and women's right activist who had been teaching at the Beheshti University in Tehran since 2006 was banned from teaching and expelled from this university on January 20.
Vasefi is the third women's right activist who has been fired from her job in the past few months. (Amir Kabir Newsletter – Jan. 21, 2010)

Three weeks after the arrest of at least 10 students of the Science and Industry University, none of them have still been released.
According to reports, six students were arrested on Ashura (December 27) while the rest were arrested on Tuesday December 29 after an organized attack by plainclothes agents and Bassij forces against the students in this university.

On December 29 and 30, plainclothes agents with the cooperation of the Protection Department of the Science and Industry University beat and arrested a number of students after identifying them. These forces also arrested a large number of students outside the university. (Amir Kabir Newsletter – Jan. 21, 2010)

Photo from archive

6 poltical activists arrested in Kohgilouye and Boyr Ahmad province

Citizens’ Rights, Thoughts and Speech: Six central members of the reformist parties in the State of Kohgiluyeh and Boyer-Ahmad were arrested.


The Thoughts and Speech unit of HRA reports that following the protest of the reformist parties of the State of Kohgiluyeh and Boyer-Ahmad to a speech given by Roohollah Hosseinian prior to the Friday Prayer of Yasooj, and after repeated interrogations in the Information Unit of the State's Intelligence Office, three officers and three members of the central board of the parties were arrested today, Wednesday, January 20th, after a meeting in the Revolutionary Court.


Mrs Sayyed Zia’oddin Reza Toghifi, director of the State’s Mojahedeen of the Islamic Revolution, Sayyed Reza Askari, head of the Participation Front of Islamic Iran, and Ali Khajooy, director of the State’s Islamic Association of Teachers, along with Ghasem Yazdani, Latif Rastad and Hajir Tashakori, members of the Participation Front of Islamic Iran, were arrested on Wednesday afternoon after the launching of a complaint by Roohollah Hosseinian.
HRANA – Citizen’s Rights, Thoughts and Speech: Mehdi Jalil-Khani, writer, literary critic and freelance journalist from Zanjan was arrested on the morning of Monday, January 18th , after a raid by Ministry of Intelligence agents, and transferred to the Intelligence Office of the City of Zanjan.


The Thoughts and Speech unit of HRA reports that Mehdi Jalil-Khani, experienced journalist working with a number of newspapers and publications in Zanjan, was arrested after a raid by Intelligence Ministry agents who searched his house and confiscated his personal belongings. He was transferred to the Intelligence Office of Zanjan blind-folded and in handcuffs.


While in detention and after 24 hours of interrogation for charges of insulting the supreme leadership and agitation and unsettling of public opinion, he was formally charged in Investigation Branch # 4 of the Revolutionary Court of Zanjan and freed after pledging bail.


It should be noted that Mehdi Jalil-Khani, is the former editor of the Literature and Culture unit of the suspended weekly Mehre Zanjan, former chief editor of the banned magazine Ashragh and former member of the Board of Directors of the Literary Association of Ashragh, Zanjan. He is also the son of Gholam Hossein Jalil-Khani, a representative of the people of Zanjan in the Fifth Islamic Parliament.
risoners’ Rights: The prison’s Special Guards and security forces raided the ward holding political prisoners in Oroomiyeh prison.


The Prisoners’ unit of HRA reports that members of the prison’s Special Guards and security forces raided Ward 12, which is the holding place for political prisoners, in the presence of Fathi, the prison’s warden, and under the leadership of Bahraini, head of security, and while indiscriminately beating the prisoners with batons, electric batons and electric shockers, also vastly damaged their belongings. After the incident, the assailants removed political prisoner “Ali Ahmad Soleiman”, a citizen of Turkey, and took him to an unknown location.


The reasons for this violent assault on political prisoners are unclear and there is no information about the fate of Ali Ahmad Soleiman after his removal. Mr. Soleiman who is in poor physical condition due to severe burns, has been sentenced to five years in prison for charges of membership in a Kurdish organization opposing the Turkish government.
JARAS- Saba Vasefi, researcher, human rights and women’s rights activist who worked at Shahid Beheshti University since 2006, was dismissed from her position and banned from teaching at the university.

According to Kalameh website, Saba Vasefi is the third women’s rights activist who has been dismissed from her workplace during the last few months.

A new wave of dismissing civil rights activists from work has spread in recent months.

On Nov 19, 2009, Narges Mohammadi, a member of the Centre for Human Rights Defenders and a women’s rights activist, was dismissed from work.

Samira Sadri, a member of the Policy-Making Council of Advare Tahkim Vahdat and a women’s rights activist, was also suspended from her position as a school teacher. She was permanently terminated from her workplace in December 2009, seven years after teaching.
Translation by: Aliyar T. and Neda Shayesteh
By Amnesty

22 January 2010
The Iranian authorities must not execute a Kurdish man on death row whose transfer to solitary confinement last week raises fears that his execution could be imminent, said Amnesty International.

Habibollah Latifi was sentenced to death in July 2008 after he was convicted of moharebeh (enmity against God) in connection with his membership of and activities on behalf of the Kurdish Independent Life Party (PJAK), a banned armed group.

He was transferred to solitary confinement at Sanandaj prison, Kordestan province, north-western Iran on 16 January.

Another man, Sherko Moarefi, was arrested in October 2008 and subsequently sentenced to death and remains on death row in Saqqez prison.

At least 18 other Kurds - 16 men and two women - are believed to be on death row in connection with their links to banned Kurdish organizations.

In October, fears were raised that Habibollah Latifi, Sherko Moarefi and Ehsan Fattahian were at imminent risk of execution after a judge in Sanandaj, the provincial capital, received orders to carry our their executions. Ehsan Fattahian was executed on 11 November 2009.

Habibollah Latifi was arrested on 23 October 2007 in Sanandaj. His trial was held behind closed doors and neither his family, nor his lawyer, were allowed to attend. His death sentence was upheld by the Appeal Court in Sanandaj on 18 February 2009.

His lawyer is not known to have been notified of a scheduled execution as is required by law, although in some cases – such as that of fellow Kurd Fasih Yasmini, who was executed for moharebeh on 6 January 2010 - executions have taken place without this notification being issued. His family has not been notified that he will be executed but fear that he is at imminent risk of execution.

The scope of capital crimes in Iran is broad, and includes moharebeh, which is often imposed for armed opposition to the state, but can include other national security offences such as espionage.

Amnesty International has called on the Iranian authorities to commute the death sentences of Habibollah Latifi and Sherko Moarefi and any others imposed for political offences.

One of Iran's many minority groups, Kurds experience religious, economic and cultural discrimination. For many years, several Kurdish organizations conducted armed opposition against the Islamic Republic of Iran. Formed in 2004, PJAK continues to carry out armed attacks against Iranian security forces.

No group has claimed responsibility for the spate of assassinations and attempted assassinations in Kordestan, which targeted mainly religious figures and judges between 9 and 19 September 2009.

The authorities have variously blamed PJAK and "hard-line Sunni fundamentalists" linked to foreign intelligence services. According to Iranian media on 28 September 2009, several of those believed to have been responsible for the attacks were arrested at the scene of another attack in which two others were killed.

On 18 January 2010, Vali Haji Gholizadeh, the prosecutor in the north-western city of Khoy, was shot dead. Four suspects were arrested. The Iranian authorities blamed PJAK for the killing although PJAK later denied responsibility.

Amnesty International condemned without reservation attacks on civilians, which include judges, clerics and locally or nationally elected officials, as attacking civilians violates fundamental principles of international humanitarian law.

The organization said that these principles prohibit absolutely attacks on civilians as well as indiscriminate and disproportionate attacks. Such attacks cannot be justified under any circumstances.

Last week Iranian activist Abed Tavancheh was sentenced to one year in prison for giving an interview to SPIEGEL about student protests. His lawyer Naser Zarafshan says his client doesn't regret speaking out.

SPIEGEL: Your client Abed Tavancheh was supposed to have been arrested last Tuesday. What do the authorities in Iran accuse him of having done?

Naser Zarafshan: Abed Tavancheh fights for freedom of expression and democracy. He had already been arrested four times and sentenced to eight months' imprisonment. A part of the current allegations against him relate to these activities. The primary charge, though, has to do with an interview he did with SPIEGEL in September about the tense atmosphere in the universities. The state prosecutor says that by doing this he spread "propaganda against the holy order of the Islamic Republic" and that he "incited unrest."

SPIEGEL: How did the authorities become aware of the interview?

Zarafshan: Immediately after the publication of the interview, a "special report" was published in a large, extremely conservative daily newspaper. The report labeled SPIEGEL a "Zionist magazine" and Tavancheh was harshly attacked as a "US-oriented left winger." Subsequently the state prosecutor summoned him.

SPIEGEL: Did the case go to trial?

Zarafshan: The interrogation was followed by three hearings before a revolutionary tribunal. I was even not summoned to two of the hearings. One cannot hope for justice there. We cited the right to freedom of expression which is guaranteed in our constitution. Nevertheless the court considered the interview to be a "violation of national security." For this, Tavancheh got a new prison sentence of one year.

SPIEGEL: Did your client accept the verdict?

Zarafshan: No, we don't recognize this verdict, which wasn't even given to us in writing. Because my client assumed he would be arrested, he quickly left the courtroom.

SPIEGEL: Now the authorities are looking for Tavancheh. Does he now regret having given the interview?

Zarafshan: My client knew what he was getting into. He stands by every sentence.
HRANA – Prisoners’ Rights: The death of a political prisoner sentenced to life in prison was confirmed by Evin prison’s clinic this morning.

The Prisoners unit of HRA reports that Alborz Ghasemi, a political prisoner charged with Moharebeh (waging war on God) for his membership in a political organization and suffering from advanced stomach cancer, was transferred to Evin prison’s clinic yesterday due to the deterioration of his physical condition which was caused by his long term deprivation from medical care and denial of his medical leave; his death was confirmed this morning.

It is reported that in the last few days this prisoner, who was being held in Ward 350 of Evin prison with his brother “Hamid Ghasemi”, did not even have the energy to move and had lost control of his bladder. Despite the efforts of other prisoners and his family, the clinic and the relevant authorities in Evin prison refused to provide medical care to this prisoner until yesterday and only after persistent follow-ups transferred this prisoner to Evin prison’s clinic, even though his illness and medical treatment necessitated his admittance to a specialized medical facility.

It should be noted that Alborz and Hamid Ghasemi were charged with Moharebeh (waging war on God) for their membership in a political organization and sentenced to execution by the trial court, which sentence was reduced to life in prison by the appellate court. There is more or less no information about the date and details of their case; a complete report on this story will be published later

There Is No Information about Political Prisoner Hassan Ahmadian Who Was Detained in Ward 209 by the Intelligence Ministry.

HRANA – Prisoners’ Rights: There is no news about the fate of political prisoner Sayyed Hassan Ahmadian who was earlier held in Ward 209 of Evin prison under temporary detention by the Intelligence Ministry.

The Prisoners unit of HRA reports that Mr. Sayyed Hassan Ahmadian, head of the Public Committee of Mir Hossein Mousavi’s office, who was arrested on September 9 on charges of collaboration with the Truth Finding Committee and requires medical treatment outside of prison for kidney disease, disappeared from Evin prison yesterday morning and prison officials claim to have no information about his fate.

In an interview with HRA, one of his family members explained that he went to Evin prison this morning in order to obtain information about and have a visit with Mr. Ahmadian, at which time prison guards informed him that Mr. Ahmadian's name was not included on the list of prisoners held in Ward 209. At the same time, other prison officials also expressed their lack of knowledge about this prisoner’s fate.

It should be noted that the aforementioned, who in addition to kidney disease also suffers from nerve damage sustained during his service in the Iran-Iraq war, had previously informed his family of his possible transfer to Atiyeh Hospital for surgery on Saturday, January 23rd, in a telephonic conversation. His family’s follow-ups with hospitals such as Baghiyeh-o-Allah, Khatam Al-Anbiya and Atiyeh have also been fruitless and has caused a great deal of anxiety for this political prisoner’s family.

It should be noted that with the deterioration of this political activist’s physical condition, his family had submitted a request for his temporary release, which was denied by the judicial authorities. In addition, despite the conclusion of his trial proceedings, the office of the prosecutor of Tehran had also opposed the revision of Sayyed Hasan Ahmadian’s detention order to allow his release on bail.
HRANA – Citizen’s Rights, Thoughts and Speech: Mehdi Jalil-Khani, writer, literary critic and freelance journalist from Zanjan was arrested on the morning of Monday, January 18th , after a raid by Ministry of Intelligence agents, and transferred to the Intelligence Office of the City of Zanjan.


The Thoughts and Speech unit of HRA reports that Mehdi Jalil-Khani, experienced journalist working with a number of newspapers and publications in Zanjan, was arrested after a raid by Intelligence Ministry agents who searched his house and confiscated his personal belongings. He was transferred to the Intelligence Office of Zanjan blind-folded and in handcuffs.


While in detention and after 24 hours of interrogation for charges of insulting the supreme leadership and agitation and unsettling of public opinion, he was formally charged in Investigation Branch # 4 of the Revolutionary Court of Zanjan and freed after pledging bail.


It should be noted that Mehdi Jalil-Khani, is the former editor of the Literature and Culture unit of the suspended weekly Mehre Zanjan, former chief editor of the banned magazine Ashragh and former member of the Board of Directors of the Literary Association of Ashragh, Zanjan. He is also the son of Gholam Hossein Jalil-Khani, a representative of the people of Zanjan in the Fifth Islamic Parliament
Pir Abbassi ,head of the so called 26th revolutionary court in Iran received 5 years imprisonment for having contacted her uncle in a refugee cam called Ashraf (known to be base to PMOI political activists)
She had been suffering from breathing difficulty which has become chronicle and she is prevented from recieveing her medicien from her family out of prison.
Monireh Rabii , 33 , chemical engineer, was summoned to the prosecutors office by a notorious BEIGI, and was interrogated for having replied her uncle's call from Camp Ashraf. She was tortured and interrogated for 20 days in solitary confinement of Evin.
She was tortured and insulted as a woman by a torturer nick named Alavi.
After a sham dossier was made under her name she was transferred to be interrogated by a notorious prosecutor called "Pir Abbasi " in the 26th Branch of the courts. This person has already sentenced many families of former political prisoners in staged Courts to long prison terms.
Sadegh Hosseini was arrested at his home for having Internet activities . He was a student from he technical faculty of Tehran University .

Sadegh is the 13th student detained from this faculty after Ashura protests.
From Green-B

1. The following 15 newspaper have been threatened with suspension for inappropriate material, Tehran Emrooz, Bahar, Tose’e, Rouzan, Jahan-e Eqtesad, Ettelaat, Etemaad, Asrar, Jahan-e San’at, Mardomsalari, Arman-e Ravabet-e Omumi, Jomhouri, Poul, Farhikhtegan, and Afarinesh.

2. The fight over the future of former Tehran Prosecutor General and Ahmadinejad aide Saeed Mortazavi continues. The Ahmadinejad has expressed determination to defend Mortazavi against accusations of responsibility for detainee abuses.

3. The Tehran Prosecutor-General, Abbas Jafari Doulatabadi, has declared that anyone who associates with the Committee for Human Right Reporters is a “criminal”.

4. The reformist Mohajedin of Islamic Revolution have issued a protest against the arrests of political activists, journalists, and students and the attacks on valuable members of the Islamic Republic for pseudo-offences, demanding their immediate release.

5. Two of the Allameh Tabatabei University professors who have been banned from teaching are prominent political philosopher Seyed Morteza Mardiha and women’s rights activist Saba Vasefi.
By Rhonda Spivak


Twenty-nine year old Sayah Hassan, an Iranian pro-democracy activist and criminal lawyer living in Toronto, told a student conference here that “Iranian people are no longer satisfied with reforming [Iran’s] existing Islamic regime, but want regime change entirely.”

She said that this is the case, notwithstanding that main stream media has often tried to paint Mir Hossein Mousavi, [ the rival to Iranian President Ahmadinejad] as a ‘reformer.’

Hassan, noted that all Iranian presidential candidates, including Mousavi, were “hand picked by the Guardian Council and the Supreme Leader [of Iran],” and would not have been approved if they had been advocating “for real change in Iran”, including “entire regime change.”

Hassan spoke at a conference organized by the Jewish Federation of Winnipeg, as part of Raul Wallenberg day, with high school students from the Gray Academy, St John’s Ravenscourt, and Grant Park.

n Hassan’s view, if he were to come to power in place of Ahmadinejad “Mousavi will just extend the life of the Islamic regime but not lead to real reform,” which would mean the formation of a democratic republic of Iran.

Hassan noted that Mousavi himself was the prime minister of Iran “when 10,000 political prisoners were summarily executed in the summer of 1988.”

In her view, “The Islamic Regime with its history of 30 years of gross human rights violations is not capable of reform. Complete regime change is necessary.’

Hassan told the Winnipeg Jewish Report that by openly calling for Iranian regime change in Canada, and writing on her blog, shiro-khorshid-forever, has “received a lot of threatening anonymous email from people associated with the Iranian regime.” The mail says, “if you don’t shut up, we’ll shut you up.”

Hassan told students “In the recent times even main stream media have started writing about the fact that people no longer want reform, they want regime change.”

Hassan added it is often difficult for journalists reporting from Iran to speak about the desire for “regime change, “ as the reporter could “be thrown out” of Iran.

Hassan, who left Iran with her family to live in Turkey when she was 7 since her father was “a political activist who had to leave,” said that it “was good I left Iran, otherwise I’d be in prison now.”

In her talk, Hassan said that from being in contact with activists in Iran and seeing slogans on youtube videos from inside Iran, it is clear that people are directly “attacking the foundation of the Islamic regime”. Slogans such as “Mousavi is an excuse the entire regime is targeted,” “Down with the Islamic Regime,” “Death to Khamenei”, ‘‘Death to the Guardian Council,” all make this point. 


Additionally, Hassan noted that the people have been calling for “independence, freedom, Iranian republic,” rather “than saying Islamic Republic.”

She also noted that “for the first time “in Iranian universities “students have raised Iran’s flag … without the Islamic Regime sign in the middle.”

She added that activists in numerous cities including Shiraz, Tehran and Karaj have also raised “the green, white and red Iranian flag which has the symbol of a lion and sun in the middle. The “Lion and Sun flag,” was the national flag before the [1979] revolution [when the Shaw of Iran was overthrown].”

Hassan explained that the appearance of Lion and Sun flag indicates people are not wanting reform of the existing regime, but are harkening back to days when Iran wasn’t controlled by an Islamic regime at all.

Hassan noted that “religious minorities including Bahai’s, Christians and Jews are systematically oppressed and abused by the Islamic Regime. ”

When asked by the Winnipeg Jewish Report who she thought might be able to form a democratic Iran, in the event regime change were to occur, Hassan answered “There are many different political parties and groups abroad, numerous monarchist groups, communist groups and the Mojahedin, but those are just a few…the Shah's son [son of former Shaw of Iran] is one of the opposition abroad. In my opinion if there is a revolution and people are able to participate in a free and democratic election a secular and democratic leader may rise from inside Iran. That would be impossible at this point because any opposition will be jailed and eliminated immediately.”

When asked about U.S. President Obama’s approach of dialoging with Iran, Hassan said, “I think it’s terrible. By saying let’s have a dialogue he is accepting the legitimacy of the regime. Many countries, including those in the European Union have been dialoging with Iran for years and nothing has happened.”

When asked about Iran having nuclear capabilities, Hassan queried “What’s to stop them if they have it [the bomb].”

KURDISH DISSENT
Hassan also spoke of Kurdish dissent in Iran saying “Since November 11, 2009 two Kurdish political activists have been executed by the Islamic Regime. Currently there are at least 17 known Kurdish political activists who are on death row.”
Why don’t we hear a lot about what’s happening to the Kurdish people? Hassan asked the students.

She explained that not only is it the case that the Iranian government censors this subject, but “ most mainstream media, such as CBC, and CNN, have reporters in Tehran…it is harder to get to Kurdistan because of the military presence, it’s not so safe and it’s not where reporters are based, so they don’t get there.”

Hassan, who is in close contact with dissidents inside Iran, also said she supports economic sanctions against Iran. “I know a lot of people in Iran who support this because it shows that the international community is watching … and it gives them hope.’

[To read Hassan’s blog go to www.shiro-khorshid-forever.blogspot.com]

SHIMON FOGEL OF CIC URGES STUDENTS TO TAKE ACTION ON IRAN
Shimon Fogel, director of the Canada-Israel Committee [CIC], also addressed the students, telling them “that a society that is not safe for Jews, is not safe for democracy.”

He added “What started off as a threat to Israel and the Jewish world has extended into every single segment of Iranian society.”

He told them that the conference would be a failure unless they walked away taking some action, including signing a petition, or posting something on line about Iran’s threat to Israel, its state sponsored terror, and ongoing human rights abuses. He suggested that a group of students could go to talk to a member of Parliament.

“If you begin to start something on your blog, or twitter of facebook about this, and track it for two months you’ll see the impact it will have,” he said.
“You [young people] have an edge over most of us-you understand modern technology,” he said.

He said “If there is one thing that we have learned from history, it’s this: in the absence of meaningful action to confront or defeat a threat, you become the enablers of it.”
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