No Information About Jailed Artist Mehraneh Atashi


“The arrest and detention of Mehraneh Atashi and her husband are, unfortunately, typical of hundreds of other arrests where Iranian citizens have been snatched by authorities and held without information or explanation, which are tactics of a terror state” said Aaron Rhodes, a spokesperson for the Campaign.

Mehraneh Atashi (30) is a prominent and internationally acclaimed photo artist whose work has appeared in major exhibitions around the world. She has worked for numerous newspapers, magazines, and TV programs. However, in the past few years, she discontinued her job as a photojournalist and concentrated on her artistic photography.

As reported by the Campaign previously, a standing, blanket arrest warrant is being used by Iranian security agents to massively detain Iranian citizens in the absence of evidence of criminal activity and analysis of specific cases by independent judicial authorities.

“Mehraneth Atashi and all who have been arbitrarily arrested are being denied their basic right to liberty, as protected by Article 9 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, to which Iran is a state party,” Rhodes said.

The United Nations General Assembly passed a Resolution in December 2009, which called for engagement by the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detentions with regard to detained persons in the Islamic Republic.

The Campaign calls for the immediate release of Mehraneth Atashi, her husband Madjid Ghaffari, and of all who are being detained arbitrarily.

Photo from Archive:

Madjid Ghaffari and Mehraneh AtashiCase of Acclaimed Photographer is One of Hundreds Who Have “Disappeared” Into the Prison System(1 February 2010) Internationally recognized photographer Mehraneh Atashi, along with her husband Madjid Ghaffari, were arrested on 12 January 2010 in their home in Tehran and detained, apparently in solitary confinement in ward 209 of Evin prison, but authorities have released no information about charges against them, the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran reported today. Atashi and her husband have had no access to a lawyer. They have been allowed no visit by their family and only one brief telephone call they used to inform relatives they had been arrested.


The International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran denounced the arrest today of Kaveh Ghasemi Kermanshahi, a leading human rights activist, member of the Central Council of the Human Rights Organization of Kurdistan, and journalist.

“Kermanshahi is one of the most important sources of objective human rights information and analysis in Iran, and one of the few still courageously working to document, in a scientific way, the deprivation of human rights there,” stated Hadi Ghaemi, a spokesperson for the Campaign.

“Kaveh has committed no crime, and his arrest is an apparent attempt to shield the authorities from scrutiny ahead of expected protests on 11 February,” he added.

Kermanshahi was arrested in his hometown of Kermanshah in Western Iran. According to information obtained by the Campaign, seven security agents searched his home, confiscated his personal belongings, including his computer and written documents, and took him to an unknown place. The agents arrested him on the basis of a warrant that did not show the name of the authorities who issued it. No information was given to his family about where he was taken.

At twenty-five years old, Kermanshahi holds a law degree. As a human rights defender, his work is widely recognized for its quality and detail and his personal attention to political prisoners and their families. Kermanshahi was also member of the student alumni group ADVAR, and the One Million Signatures Campaign working for an end to gender discrimination.

Ejlal Ghawami, spokesperson for the Human Rights Organization of Kurdistan, told the Campaign that there is high pressure on members of the organization to close it. He said that in the past month, he had been summoned three times by security agents, who had demanded the closing of the group. The founder of the Human Rights Organization of Kurdistan, Mohammad Sadiq Kaboudvand, has been in custody since June 2007, and is serving an 10-year prison term having been convicted solely on the basis of his human rights activities.

Other human rights organizations, including the Committee of Human Rights Reporters, have come under increasing assault from government authorities and prosecutors. As reported by the Campaign, arrested members of the Committee of Human Rights Reporters are under pressure to deliver forced confessions on unfounded allegations of the Committee’s affiliation with the Mojahedin-e Khalq Organization (MKO), which could lead to their conviction as Mohareb, or “enemies of God,” a charge punishable by death.

In the past several weeks prominent human rights defenders have been detained without authorities providing any information about them. They include Emad Baghi, founder of the Association to Defend Prisoners’ Rights, as well as seven members of the Committee of Human Rights Defenders: Shiva Nazarahari, Parisa Kakaie, Mehrdad Rahimi, Kouhyar Goudarzi, Saeed Hayeri, Saeed Kalanaki, and Saeed Jalalifar.

“The Islamic Republic is egregiously violating its international obligations to protect human rights defenders, and the international governmental and civil society community should demand the immediate release of Kermanshahi and all human rights defenders who have been arbitrarily arrested,” Ghaemi said.


Shahrzad Kariman, mother of imprisoned human rights activist Shiva Nazarahari who was arrested on 20 December 2009, told the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran that her daughter’s activities with the Committee of Human Rights Reporters was completely legal and charges such as “association with MKO” are baseless. Referring to Shiva’s ailing health she said: “Shiva continues to remain in solitary confinement since the day she was arrested. I have not heard anything from her for the past ten days and I don’t know whether she is well or not. Before she was imprisoned, she had chest pains and her treatment was incomplete. We were going to take her in for treatment for her heart and to get an EKG when she was arrested and we couldn’t go. She has not called for the past ten days and when we went to visit with her today, we were not allowed to see her.”

Referring to the 2009 death of Omid Reza Mirsayafi in Evin prison, she expressed her concern about her daughter’s health and talking about her daughter’s activities, and said: “The Committee for Human Rights Reporters website was established in 2006 by a group of people, most of whom are in prison now. This is a completely independent website and is not related to any group or party, its only mission is the dissemination of information. Wherever an individual’s rights are violated, these reporters write about it. Two years ago, during the crackdown on street thugs, they strongly reported on the Kahrizak Detention Center, but nobody paid any attention to it until after the 12 June elections when the atrocities in Kahrizak took place. All the website’s activities, even the software purchased for managing the website, are in Iran and Iranian. The team that started and now maintains this website collect and report their news inside Iran. The group is not supported by anyone from anywhere else. Even so, some of the reporters now are living in hiding, because they are being pursued.”

Nazarahari’s mother denied the charges made against her daughter and other members of this human rights defenders’ group, tying them to groups outside Iran. She said: “I consider all these charges baseless, just like the baseless charges made against many other people, because nothing illegal was taking place. In our Constitution, dissemination of information, such as defending the rights of minorities, is not considered a crime. Minorities are recognized in our Constitution, therefore disseminating information about them cannot be a crime. Defending women’s rights is not a crime. Defending children’s rights is not a crime. If they are stoning someone somewhere, just as several stoning sentences were overturned during Mr. Shahroudi’s term as Head of Judiciary, talking about it is not a crime. When they can’t find any crimes, they feel they have to relate them to a group or organization which no longer has a standing in Iranian society, a group which is really dead. I don’t understand why they feel compelled to revive a dead organization without any public support base. I don’t understand what the authorities intend to achieve. I am baffled. I was closely familiar with the Committee’s work and my daughter’s activities. I never saw anything against the Iranian Constitution in their disseminated information and their statements. What is the crime according to the gentlemen, I do not know. If you know, tell me, too.”

She made requests from Iranian authorities and those responsible for Nazarahahri’s file: “My request is that authorities behave according to our Constitution. I don’t want discriminatory or illegal behavior. It is true that she is now a prisoner, but a prisoner has rights. When I went to the Prosecutor’s Office, the Prosecutor said that my daughter can have one phone call and one visit per week. But, unfortunately, this has not happened and the authorities act arbitrarily. On the weeks when they want to hurt a family, they inform them that they cannot have a visit or a telephone call. My daughter has been in solitary confinement for 40 days. What is her crime? Is working in the human rights field such a bad thing that she has had to stay in solitary confinement for 40 days? I want the authorities to hear our voices. I would very much like for my voice to be heard through the Iranian state radio and television, I mean national television. But, unfortunately, nobody hears our pleas and nobody asks us what our pain is. When we go to see the Prosecutor, he won’t let us talk, even though they have a pleasant reception. What’s the use, though? It wasn’t an insulting reception but they wouldn’t let me talk, either. He only said what he wanted to say and informed me that their experts have said that this website is affiliated with MKO. We listened to all of this, but we couldn’t get two words in to the Prosecutor, to defend ourselves, and to say that none of this is true. They say: ‘You don’t know, we know better than you.’ That’s it. I wish they would hear our words and pay attention to our pain. When we go there, they shouldn’t treat us like we have leprosy. We love our children, too. Just like they love their children and they want them to sleep in their home at night; we want our children to sleep in our homes at night, too.”

Background:

Shiva Nazarahari is a human rights activist, spokesperson for the Committee of Human Rights Reporters, child labor activist, member of the One Million Signatures Campaign, journalist, blogger, and university student deprived of the right to education. She was arrested by security forces in her office during the post-elections unrest on Sunday, 14 June 2009. She was released on a $200,000 bail on 23 September 2009. She was arrested again on 20 December 2009 as she was on her way to Qom to attend Ayatollah Montazeri’s funeral procession, along with two other members of the Committee, Kouhyar Goudarzi and Saeed Haeri, in Tehran’s Enghelab Square. She went on a hunger strike from the moment she was detained. Her health deteriorated quickly thereafter and she was transferred to Evin prison’s health clinic. She is now in ward 209 of Evin prison. She has not yet had her trial for her June arrest and her new arrest is an attempt at keeping her from her human rights work until her court trial has been held and her sentence issued. She is a “Starred” student, deprived from education, who has been preparing news and reports about violations of human rights of political prisoners, women, and children for the Committee of Human Rights Reporters. Nazarahari had been arrested previously in August 2005 during a gathering of families of political prisoners in front of UN offices in Tehran and was subsequently sentenced to a year’s suspended imprisonment
In the aftermath of the student protest rally in front of the School of Law and Political Sciences in Tehran University on November 16, 2009, seven students were arrested by security agents outside the university, and their whereabouts and charges against them are unknown. Following their protest rally regarding the execution of Ehsan Fatahyan; Pakhshan Azizi, Amanj Heidari, Leila Mohammadi, Ahmad Ismaili, Sarveh Veisi are five of the Kurdish students who were arrested by the security forces and have not been released yet.

According to Amirkabir News Bulletin the arrested student names are as follows:
1 – Ahmad Ismaili, Audit student at the University of Economic Affairs
2 – Amanj Rahimi, Insurance Management student at the University of Economic Affairs
3 – Abdullah Arefi, student at the Allameh University
4 – Pakhshan Azizi, Social Assistance student at the University of Applied Science
5 – Leila Mohammadi, Physical Education student at the Al-Zahra University
6 – Sarveh Weisi, Physical Education student at the Al-Zahra University
7 – Hajhar Yousefi, Agriculture Engineering student at the University of Applied Science

Some sources have said that three female students from Tehran University with the names of Sarveh Weisi, Leila Mohammadi, and Pakhshan Azizi, who have been on hunger strike in prison for more than 8 days, have been under torture, harassment, intimidation, and threats of rape by the Ministry of Information agents.

Mourning Mothers, a group of wives and mothers who have lost their spouses or children during the post-elections protests or whose spouses or children are currently in prison, have issued a statement, objecting to executions of political protesters and execution sentences for several political prisoners, demanding revocation of death sentences for political prisoners. They have issued a warning to Islamic Republic of Iran: “Don’t allow a repeat of the 1980’s catastrophe.” They are referencing mass executions of political dissidents in 1988 during which it is said thousands were executed in Islamic Republic prisons. Islamic Republic authorities have continually maintained silence on these executions.

Mourning Mothers have also demanded release of “prisoners of conscience,” and trials of “those who were responsible for and who ordered their children’s murders.” The statement adds: “We, the Mourning Mothers, who have gathered spontaneously at Laleh Park, other parks, and public buildings over the past seven months to condemn the murders and arrests and demanding an end to these inhumane and illegal actions, are facing our own children’s executions today.” “Who has subjected the mothers to this gradual death, mourning our loved ones?…Should our children’s participation in elections lead to their arrest, torture, rape, murder, and execution?”

According to Mourning Mothers, if such violence against Iranian youth continues, public protests will also increase.
International Campaign for HR in Iran

On January 9, 2010, thirty Mourning Mothers who had gathered at Laleh Park were arrested by security forces. The arrests brought widespread condemnation of Iranian government’s opposition and critical political and human rights organizations.

Currently, many post-elections detainees, especially journalists and student activists, are spending time in prisons on charges of heretics (moharebeh), and it seems the authorities wish to intimidate dissidents with threats of execution.

Early on Thursday, January 29, 2010, Arash Rahmanipour and Mohammad Reza Alizamani who are said to have been arrested prior to elections were executed by Revolutionary Courts. The two men were accused of membership in Iran Monarchists Society and actions against national security of Islamic Republic of Iran. The two individuals’ attorneys have stated that their clients were told that if they confessed to the crimes the interrogators told them, they would be released. But their confessions brought them their deaths.
Despite cold and difficult conditions, families continued protesting illegal detention and torture of their beloved ones by Iranian authorities by gathering in front of the notorious prison, Evin.
They waited until very late . At 10 pm, so called security forces of the notorious torture centers harassed and threatened the families to disperse but they preserved and insisted on release of their children.


Clips from Freedommessenger
NCRI
Courageous uprising of Lar residents continued on Friday, February 5. People’s protest was so intense and widespread that the clerics could not hold the weekly Friday prayers in the city. A large crowd, kilometers long, gathered outside the Hosseinieh Azam mosque chanting anti-regime slogans.

On Thursday evening, the Special Guard units attacked protesters by pellet bullets injuring at least 40. The suppressive forces wounded a large number of people including children, women and elderly men when attacked the crowd with batons.

At lunchtime on Friday, angry people retaliated the suppressive forces’ aggression on the previous night and attacked the headquarters of the State Security Forces in the city. The suppressive guards had to run away in fear of people’s wrath.





Clips from Freedommessenger

Suppressive elements before escapeing the anger of the people

Bereaved mothers and families of those killed during Ashura uprising (December 27, 2009) and families of political prisoners were joined by thousands of people from Tehran to pay homage to the dead. They have gathered in sections 259, 302 and 304 of Tehran’s Behesht Zahra Cemetery since 9:00 am today to mark the fortieth day of their death.

In fear of people’s protest, agents of the Ministry of Intelligence and Security (MOIS) and State Security Force (SSF) have surrounded the cemetery. The burial sites of the martyrs are occupied by groups of seven of the agents. Despite suppressive measures, the number people attending the grave yards and laying flowers is growing.





NCRI

People of Mashhad, provincial capital of Khorasan in northeast Iran, staged a gathering and a protest on Thursday, February 4, to pay homage to the fallen victims of Ashura uprising on December 27. They particularly honored the death of a student from Mashhad University killed by suppressive forces on that day.

The regime’s forces attacked people yesterday who were chanting anti-regime slogans. The protest continued amid skirmishes in streets and a number of protesters were arrested.

NCRI

Currently, a large number of political prisoners in Iran suffer from chronic illnesses, but the regime’s torturers refuse to provide them with proper medical attention, even telling the ailing prisoners: We have not brought you here to save you; we’ve brought you here for a painful death.

The names of some of the ailing political prisoners and their state of health are as follows:

1. Ali Saremi, who has a history of infarction, is now in danger of having another stroke because of high blood pressure;
2. Dr. Mohammad Maleki, former President of Tehran University, suffers from cancer, diabetes, and high blood pressure;
3. Ali Moezi is suffering from hydronephrosis (acute kidney ailment) and is in a critical state;
4. Hamed Rouhinezhad suffers from multiple sclerosis and is losing his sight. He can hardly maintain his balance;
5. Mansour Ossanlou, suffering from variety of ailments including severe damage to his eye sight and back pain which affects his legs;
6. Mansour Radpour has severe kidney complications;
7. Misaq Yazdan-nezhad suffers from acute nervous problems;
8. Houri (Fatemeh) Ziai suffering from multiple sclerosis;
9. Behrouz Javid Tehrani’s sight has been damaged due to severe torture and violent blows to the head by heavy objects such as fire extinguisher capsule and chair;
10. Alireza Karami Kheirabadi suffering from acute hepatitis;
11. Hamid Haeri suffering from chronic heart complications;
12. Hadi (Homayoun) Abed Ba-Khoda is facing death due to lack of medical treatment in Rasht prison. He is a political prisoner from 1980s. At the time of his arrest he was shot and his spinal cord fractured. When his condition became very serious, the regime was compelled to send him to hospital for treatment under pressures by international human rights organizations;
13. Abbas Khorsandi has had an operation on his heart and is in need of attention;
14. Farhad Vakili has already suffered from a heart attack and needs special care;
15. Mohammad Hassan Fallahizadeh is suffering from hepatitis.

The Iranian Resistance calls on all international authorities, particularly the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights and the UN special rapporteur on torture and working group on arbitrary detentions, as well as physicians’ associations and syndicates to adopt urgent measures to investigate the situation of political prisoners in Iran, especially those who suffer from serious and chronic illnesses.

NCRI

Navy Colonel Alborz Ghasemi, a 51-year-old political prisoner, died on January 19, 2010, after spending 20 months in the medieval prisons of the mullahs’ regime under the most brutal forms of torture. He suffered from chronic pain as a result of stomach cancer and died at Tehran’s notorious Evin prison. The regime’s henchmen deprived him of hospitalization and receiving proper medical treatment by specialists. Ghasemi was a former commander of the Center for Expert Naval Training in the city of Rasht and an instructor at one of the Army’s Naval Forces universities.

Ghasemi was arrested on May 12, 2008, and accused of transferring intelligence to the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK). His brother, Hamid Ghasemi, a Canadian resident, was also arrested after returning to Iran. The two political prisoners were sentenced to death after preliminary hearings on charges of moharebeh (waging war against God). An appeals court later reduced their sentence to life imprisonment.

Ghasemi spent his prison term in solitary confinement at the Army’s intelligence protection detention center as well as Evin’s Ward 240. He was kept in Ward 350 of Evin prison for the past two months. Ghasemi was subjected to cruel torture during his imprisonment.

The regime’s callous henchmen refused to grant Ghasemi the bare minimum medical attention even though he was suffering from intolerable pain as a result of stomach cancer, effects of torture and the excruciating circumstances in solitary confinement.

Hamid Qasemi is currently held in ward 350 of Evin prison under appalling conditions. Like his brother, he has been incarcerated for 20 months, undergone torture and held in solitary confinement.

EU protests planned Iran executions

Associated Press
The European Union has urged Iran to stop the planned executions of nine people accused of involvement in post-election turmoil.
EU foreign affairs chief Catherine Ashton says the announcement this week of the executions "is part of a disturbing trend to intimidate opposition protesters."
She said in a statement Friday the EU opposes "capital punishment under all circumstances and calls on Iran to institute an immediate moratorium on executions."
Iran carried out on Jan. 28 the first two executions to result from a mass trial that began in August of more than 100 opposition activists.
The opposition has accused authorities of using the hangings to frighten its supporters ahead of the Feb. 11 anniversary of the 1979 Islamic Revolution.
Ehsan Mir Sayidi, a member of Amir Kabir University's School of Computer Student Affairs Council was arrested after answering a summons to the Ministry of Intelligence. (Amir Kabir Newsletter – Feb. 4, 2010)
Three civil rights activists were arrested in Yasuj.
Reza Akvanian, Mohammad Akvanian and Hassan Akvanian were arrested on Tuesday in their home by security forces and taken to an unknown location.
Their family does not know where they were taken or why they were arrested. (Amir Kabir Newsletter – Feb. 4, 2010)
According to reports, in the past few days, the telephone calls of a number of political prisoners with their families have been cut off and their interrogations have once again started. The pressure and threats against their families has also increased.
According to a number of released prisoners, Ashura (Dec. 27, 2009) detainees who had been recently transferred from ward 209 to ward 7 have been recently brought back to 209 for interrogations and torture. These interrogations sometimes go on for the whole day.
Recently released prisoners say that in the first two days of their arrest they were kept in secret detention centers. When they first entered these detention centers they were forced to go through a tunnel made up of security forces with clubs. When they passed through the tunnel, they were beaten with electric clubs and whoever fell on the ground or fainted was tortured even more. Most of the detainees had injuries, wounds and bruised bodies as a result. (Human Rights and Democracy Activists in Iran – Feb. 4, 2010)
Student activist Mahdieh Golro's sister said after her last visit with Mahdieh that she was in poor physical condition.
According to the sister of this jailed activist, she has become much thinner from her last visit two weeks ago. She also complained of the sanitation and medication condition in prison and said that it has been 10 days that she was suffering from intestine infection but the lack of facilities in prison especially after Ashura is so grave that even antibiotics is hard to come by.
This member of the Council in Defense of the Right to Education also said that the heating system in prison is broken and the severe cold in the past few days in Evin has led to the spread of the flu among a large number of prisoners including herself. Mahdieh also said regarding her husband that her interrogators had claimed that they would release Vahid Lalipour if she cooperated with them but despite the fact that his temporary detention order has expired, they still keep him in prison. She is under pressure to accept charges such as having had communications with the People's Mojahedin Organization of Iran but has not accepted any of the charges. (Human Rights Activists in Iran – Feb. 4, 2010)
Kazem Rezayi, Shiraz University student was trialed 3 months after he was jailed. According to eyewitness reports, this student activist who has been detained in the Shiraz Detention Center for more than 3 months was in court on Saturday with evident torture signs on his body. These eyewitnesses said that he came to court in a disheveled appearance and had become very thin. Numerous torture signs were evident on his back and stomach. According to reports from various sources, a number of other Shiraz University detainees had seen torture signs on his hands and especially his fingers.
Rezayi was brutally arrested with the cooperation of the university's Protection Department while being severely beaten and broke his nose as a result. Because of his resistance during his incarceration, security forces put severe mental and physical pressure on him. (Roshangari Website – Feb. 4, 2010)

Iran News Agency – On the morning of Thursday February 4, 2010, there was a large protest [gathering] in Lar, and it continued until past 2:30am.
A local authority ordered all shop owners to open their doors to business A large majority of the people in Lar protested loudly [to this order] by chanting slogans.
Some of the chants were:
Death to the Compromiser; Peace be upon Muhammad, everyone has made noise; Worthless leaders resign, resign; Lar has to become a province; We are all in this together.”

The start of riots in Lar :

Street Fighting s in Lar

Gathering with people shouting anti-government slogans

Clashes and people defending

"This is the document of the Crimes of this Government "


On the night of February 2, 2010, security forces arrested numerous students from the University of Tehran, most of whom were women. Some of them were arrested at their homes.
This morning (February 3, 2010), Nazanin Hassania and Sahar Ghaseminejad were arrested. According to Jaras, around 4:00am today, regime agents went to the homes of the two women and arrested them. The agents also confiscated personal belongings including their laptops and books.
Sahar Ghaseminejad was born in 1983 [or 1984, depending on her birthday]. Her father was executed in the 1980’s [by the current regime]. These two women are not part of any organization [any organization considered an opposition by the regime]. They were present at a few demonstrations [in the past months].
The wave of student activist arrests grew last night. This demonstrates the worry that security forces have of the people’s presence on February 11, 2010*.
*Editor’s Note: Since Iran’s post-election uprising began in June 2009, there has been a huge amount of student arrests. Universities have become demonstration spots for students to collectively vocalize their opinions on the current government. The students who take part in the university demonstrations (in all known cases) act peacefully, and as a result, participation increases each time.
Since the first protests, regime agents have shown signs of following consistent trends in behaviour and action. Right before a main protest occurs, security and Basij forces tighten the security at universities and crack down more harshly on students and arrest large numbers of them. Currently, a number of students are facing the charge of Moharebeh [enemy of God]. Since the Moharebeh charge can carry the death penalty, the Iranian government has issued more of it to inflict fear among students and other members of society.

Photo from Archive in honor of those who stand firm
Translation by: MaryamPersian2English.com

Persian2English.com

On February 1, 2010 the police announced that they will “utilize the benefits of their power and will be prepared” for the 22 Bahman marches.

( The MOVEMENT is waiting for you...COME to US babe)


HRANA: According to BBC, on the occasion of Dahe Fajr*, the commander of the Mohammad Rasoul Allah Sepah [Abdollah Araghi] (responsible for maintaining the security of the capital), requested to make 22 Bahman (February 11) of this year the day “to pass the riots.” [Editor's note: the term "to pass" in this context is a euphemism for "to eliminate."]
Nonetheless, the opposition has announced their intention to hold protest marches on the anniversary of the Islam Republic’s Revolution.
Opposition leaders Mir Hossein Mousavi and Mehdi Karoubi have [also] released statements asking people to attend 22 Bahman marches in vast numbers. Abdollah Araghi told the government’s official news agency that his forces will not act until “rioters enter the scene.”
Following the last [large opposition] protests on the day of Ashura, police and security officials warned that they will not allow the opposition to flaunt their power in the streets anymore.
The chief of police (Esmail Ahmadi Moghaddam) announced that almost 500 people were arrested on Ashura (unofficial sources indicate that the real number of arrests are much higher). Three days after Ashura, Moghaddam stated, “This time we will behave differently.” He also warned those who attack police forces and chant harsh slogans that “in the future, the police will not tolerate attacks and will react more harshly.”
Two days after Ashura, the Army of the Guardians of the Islamic Republic stated, “The new wave of riots has come to its end.”
In the most recent Friday Prayer sermon, Ayatollah Jannti, the secretary of the Guardian Council, called protesters “corruptions on Earth.” He also asked officials to show no mercy on them.
Additionally, two prisoners accused of [Moharebeh] for the post-election unrest, Mohammad Reza Ali Zamani and Arash Rahmanipour were hanged on Thursday January 28, 2010. Their families and lawyers were not informed of the executions. It is believed that the two prisoners were executed to create fear among the [Iranian] people.


28, 2010. Their families and lawyers were not informed of the executions. It is believed that the two prisoners were executed to create fear among the [Iranian] people.
*12 Bahman marks the day Imam Khomeini returned to Iran after his exile in France. 22 Bahman is the day that the Shah’s regime was overthrown by a revolution that created the Islamic Republic. The ten days leading to the date of the Islamic Republic revolution are known as Dahe Fajr (In Farsi, “dah” is ten and “fajr is dawn).
Photo from ARCHIVE
Translation by: Mana S.
INA-

Writing slogans against the [government] system is no longer a covert phenomenon [in Iran], as indignation toward the regime has become more widespread. The result has been more open reactions from the public.
In the past seven months, slogan writing has been an indirect action taken [by the people] against the Islamic Republic regime. The [words and images] are seen on walls, on pedestrian bridges, and boulevards in cites [across Iran].

Although most slogans are written discretely, a growing number of frustrated individuals are beginning to openly write over the regime’s 22 Bahman propaganda slogans. On Wednesday afternoon, the man in the [left] picture was spotted writing “Death to the Dictator” under a propaganda billboard on Keshavarz Boulevard, toward Vali Asr Square.
According to a recent report by the International Committee Against Executions (ICAE), the Islamic Republic prevents the names of political prisoners at risk of execution from being released. According to the research team of the ICAE, 56 political prisoners are currently at risk of execution by the Islamic Republic.
The list includes 21 people from Kurdistan, 12 people from Sistan and Baluchestan, 12 people from Ahvaz, and 11 people from Tehran.
The ICAE ask the families and supporters of political prisoners to send any additional information and details of political prisoners sentenced to death.
Contact addresses are as follows:

E-mail: farshadhoseini@gmail.com OR MinaAhadi@aol.com
Phone: Farshad Hosseini: 0031681285184 0031681285184 OR Mina Ahadi: 00491775692413 00491775692413

The ICAE calls on all institutions, political parties, and human rights organizations around the world to stand firm against executions in Iran and to protest by various means.

Names of political prisoners sentenced to death are as follows:

From Kurdistan:
1. Zeinab Jalalian- from Maku – Kermanshah Prison
2. Shirkooh Moarefi – from Baneh – Saghez Prison
3. Habib Latifi – from Sanandaj – Sanandaj Prison
4. Sami Hosseini – from Salmas – Orumiyeh Prison
5. Jamal Mohammadi – from Salmas – Orumiyeh Prison
6. Rostam Arkia
7. Rashid Akhkandi
8. Hossein Khezri – from Orumiyeh – Orumiyeh Prison
9. Farzad Kamangar – from Kamyaran – Evin Prison, Tehran
10. Ali Heidarian – from Sanandaj – Evin Prison, Tehran
11. Farhad Vakili – from Sanandaj – Evin Prison, Tehran
12. Mostafa Salimi – from Saghez – Saghez Prison
13. Anwar Rostami
14. Iraj Mohammadi – from Miandoab – Orumiyeh Prison
15. Mohammad Amin Agooshi – from Piranshahr – Orumiyeh Prison
16. Ahmad Poladkhani – from Piranshahr – Orumiyeh Prison
17. Hassan Talei – from Maku
18. Shirin Alam Hooli – from Maku – Evin Prison, Tehran
19. Mohammad Amin Abdollahi – Mirabad in Bukan
20. Ghader Mohammadzadeh – Mirabad in Bukan
21. Aziz Mohammadzadeh – Saghez Prison


From Tehran:
22. Ali Saremi
23. Ayun Porkar
24. Ahmad Karimi
25. Nasser Abdolhosseini
26. Reza Khademi
27. Amir Reza Arefi
28. Alireza Rami Kheirabadi
29. Khaled Hardani
30. Saeed Shah Ghalei
31. Abbas Deldar
32. Farhad Vakili

From Sistan and Baluchestan:

33. Abdolrahman Narooie
34. Abed Gehram Zahi
35. Abdoljalil Rigi
36. Nasser Shebakhshi
37. Mohammad Rigi
38. Ali Sa’edi
39. Valid Nisi
40. Mahed Faradipour
41. Daer Mahavi
42. Ahmad Sa’edi
43. Yousef Loftepour

From Ahvaz:
44. Avdeh Afravi
45. Ali Reza Salmandalafi
46. Ali Halafi
47. Moslem Alhaei
48. Abdolreza Navasari
49. Yahiyeh Nasseri
50. Abdolayeman Za’eri
51. Nazem Berihi
52. Abdolreza Halichi
53. Zamal Bavi
54. Reysan Savari
55. Leyla Kabi


From US Amnesty International :

Iranian authorities have committed horrific abuses in the aftermath of the disputed presidential elections last June. Several months later, human rights in Iran remain under attack and the level of repression reaches a breaking point.


Several important events in the Iranian political calendar from the end of January through late March make this threat imminent, most notably the “Victory of the Revolution” day on February 11, 2010, marking the 31st anniversary of the fall of the Iranian monarchy and the return of Ayatollah Khomeini from exile in France in 1979.


Given the importance of February 11th for Iranians, we are calling on our members and the public to unite in the blogosphere to show support and solidarity for those suppressed voices in Iran. During our “Unite for Human Rights in Iran” bloggers day, we are encouraging everyone to publicize the ongoing dire human rights situation in Iran and call for the protection of those arrested or detained from torture or other ill-treatment. Moreover, we urge you to highlight the need to release prisoners of conscience and those convicted after unfair trials.


Opposition leaders are calling for supporters to peacefully demonstrate on February 11th. The Iranian authorities attempt to thwart protests has already led to the expedited executions of Mohammad Reza Ali-Zamani and Arash Rahmanipour, convicted of moharebeh or “enmity against God” and for being members of a banned anti-revolutionary political group last week.


It is also expected that nine other protesters sentenced to death for their participation in the post-presidential election protests will be swiftly executed prior to February 11th day in order to further intimidate and silence the opposition



The executions are clearly a sign of the government’s frustration to end the
protests. There are fears that the government might engage in the kind of
cleansing that it did between 1980 and 1988, when it executed more than 3,000
political prisoners
.



We are calling for strong international condemnation of human rights violations in Iran. As the United Nation’s prepares for its Universal Periodic Review in mid-February, focusing attention on the need for a strong report condemning human rights abuses in Iran by the Human Rights Council is also critical.
Help us raise the voices of those calling for freedom and justice inside Iran. Stand with the people of Iran on February 11th!












Hanover Solidarity Center: According to latest reports from Iran, nine detainees are expected to be executed today and tomorrow in Enghelab Square.
Iranian government had announced plans for executing the nine detainees on February 2, 2010.
More information on this news to be followed.

British woman on trial in Iran for attending protests

Telegraph

A 24-year-old British woman has appeared in an Iranian court on charges of "moral corruption" after she participated in anti-government protests last December.

The unidentified woman, who holds both British and Iranian passports, admitted that she had attended an opposition demonstration, called to coincide with the Shia religious festival of Ashura, on Dec 27.

But she defiantly told the court that she saw nothing criminal about her actions

"I do not think taking to the streets means spreading corruption," she was quoted as saying by Iranian news agencies.
The woman was among 16 defendants on trial for joining the protests, during which at least eight people were killed in clashes with police.
It was the worst violence since Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Iran's president, won re-election last June in a poll whose disputed income sparked months of unrest in the Islamic state.
According to reports, the woman was born in Manchester to a British mother who later converted to Islam.
Prosecutors claimed that she had sent at least 40 text messages from her mobile telephone calling on friends to attend the December protests.
They also said she had been charged with espionage, immoral relations with foreigners, drinking alcohol and insulting high-ranking officials.
The prosecutors attempted to link her to two German diplomats who have been identified by Iran as spies with the codenames of "Yogi" and "Ingo".
Iran maintains the two, who have now left the country, orchestrated the December protests as part of a German plot to bring down the regime.
The woman was regularly seen at parties held by the two diplomats, the prosecutors alleged, where she purportedly engaged in unseemly behaviour.
Five of the other defendants were told they faced the death sentence after they were charged with being "enemies of God".
Last week Iran hanged two men who were accused of joining anti-government demonstrations and several others are awaiting execution.
According to observers, the executions mark a new phase in the repression of the opposition that is primarily intended to deter future protests.
Both Mr Ahmadinejad's government and the inner circle of Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Iran's supreme leader, are increasingly anxious about a new round of opposition protests called for Feb 11, when Iran marks the 31st anniversary of its Islamic Revolution.
Sensing the regime's growing unpopularity following the passage of unpopular economic legislation, opposition leaders have issued unusually bold calls to their followers to turn out in force.
Some Iranian exiles claim next week's showdown could even mark the beginning of the end for the Ahmadinejad government.
An official in the Tehran police has said that from now on (units) called moral security patrols will patrol the areas around Tehran shopping centers because of the public's sensitivity to (the names) of the (former units called) 'Guidance Patrols'.
This official said that moral security was one of the duties of State Security Forces and was part of their daily routine. He also said that the activities of this SSF department cannot be ceased. (Human Rights Activists in Iran – Feb. 3, 2010)
A number of students who were mostly girls were arrested by security forces last night.
Some of the arrestees were Tehran University students and were arrested in their homes.
Nazanin Hassan Nia and Sahar Qasemi, 26, were arrested in this regard in the morning. Sahar Qasemi father was executed in the massacre of political prisoners in the 80's. (Jaras Website – Feb. 3, 2010)
According to reports, Farzaneh Zinali, a supporter of the Mourning Mothers was abducted by security forces more than four weeks ago and there is no information on her whereabouts and condition.
Zinali, 53, is married with two children and supports the Mourning Mothers. On January 9, 2009 after she left her home and on her way to join the protest of Mourning Mothers in Laleh Park, she was attacked and abducted by intelligence agents. From that time on, there has been no information on her condition and even where she is being detained.
Her family constantly goes to the Revolutionary Court and Evin Prison to pursue her condition and the location of her detention but (officials) refrain from answering their questions. They only told this family once that she is in a detention center near Qom but did not give them the exact address of the prison.
This family is under pressure and threats by intelligence agents that if they tell human rights activists and the media that Mrs. Zinali has been arrested and that they have no information on her whereabouts, Mrs. Zinali and her family will have to face the consequences. (Human Rights and Democracy Activists in Iran – Feb. 3, 2010)
In a trial held on Wednesday which was the fourth trial for those arrested on Ashura (Dec. 27, 2009) five defendants were put on trial.
Tehran's Prosecutor , Farahani, charged a 20-year-old Damghan University student to 'moharebeh (enmity with God), being corrupt on earth, gathering and conspiring to commit crimes against national security, spreading propaganda against the government and insulting senior officials', in the indictment.
According to the laws of the Islamic Republic, the charges of 'corruption on earth' and 'enmity with God' are punishable by death. (Committee of Human Rights Reporters – Feb. 3, 2010)
According to reports, political prisoner Mehdi Islamian has been sentenced to death for giving financial aid to his younger brother, Mohsen Islamian (who was hanged before this).
Mehdi Islamian, 30, was arrested on May 3, 2008 and was taken to an Intelligence Agency detention center in Shiraz in the Artesh Square. He was violently physically and mentally tortured for 14 consecutive days. After 14 days, he was transferred to ward 209 in Evin Prison and was kept in solitary for 6 months.
He was once again tortured in Evin Prison by intelligence agents. These interrogators flogged the soles of his feet, back and other parts of his body for a long period of time, tied him to a chair and punched and kicked him in the face, head, chest, stomach and other sensitive parts of his body, tortured him with electric clubs, forcefully injected mind altering drugs and force fed him mind altering pills, and insulted and abused him. His shoulder and nose broke as a result but interrogators not only denied him medical attention, but brutalized him even more.
The purpose of these violent tortures was to force him to confess that he was linked to the Shiraz Rahpuyane Vesal bombing and to announce that he financially aided his brother for political reasons.
His case was referred for trial to the 15th branch of the Revolutionary Court headed by Salavati. Salvati sentenced him to death on bogus charges such as, 'moharebeh (enmity with God), acting against national security by assisting bomb attacks, being corrupt on earth, attempting to overthrow the Islamic Republic, being a member of a monarchist association, and effectively giving financial aid to anti-revolutionary groups'.
Islamian and his lawyer appealed this sentence and his case is currently being reviewed in a court of review. His brother, Mohsen Islamian, 21, was executed on March 22, 2009 along with two other prisoners. (Human Rights and Democracy Activists in Iran – Feb. 3, 2010)


The Photo shows Mohsen Islamian, supposedly on the left, with 2 other youth accused on forced confessions to have carried out the bombings at holy place in Shiraz in 2008. All three were hanged at the time.

Iran: Iranian student leader sentenced


Further information on UA: 341/09 Index: MDE 13/ /015/2010 Iran Date: 02 February 2010

URGENT ACTION

Iranian STUDENT LEADER sentenced

Iranian student leader Majid Tavakkoli, held since 7 December 2009 after a demonstration, has been sentenced to eight years and six months imprisonment after an unfair trial. He is believed to be appealing against his conviction and sentence. He is a prisoner of conscience, held solely for the peaceful exercise of his right to freedom of expression, association and assembly.
Majid Tavakkoli’s trial before the Branch 15 of the Revolutionary Court in Tehran began on 6 January 2010 and his lawyer was not permitted to attend. He met his lawyer for the first time on 11 January. Majid Tavakkoli has only been allowed to contact his family once by phone, after his trial concluded, when he told them he was held in Evin Prison, Tehran. He has not been permitted any family visits. He has been convicted of several offences, including participating in an illegal gathering, propaganda against the system and insulting officials. As well as receiving a prison sentence, Majid Tavakkoli was banned for five years from political activities and from leaving the country..
Majid Tavakkoli was beaten as he was arrested leaving Amir Kabir University of Technology in Tehran on 7 December. He had just given a speech at a student demonstration marking Student Day in Iran, held on the Persian date of 16 Azar, the anniversary of the killing of three students by security forces in 1953. Dozens of students and others were arrested around the time of the 7 December protests, which took place in cities across the country. Many have been released, but some remain in detention. The day after his arrest, pictures of Majid Tavakkoli wearing women's clothing were circulated, apparently intended to humiliate him.
PLEASE WRITE IMMEDIATELY in Persian, Arabic, English, French or your own language:
Calling on the Iranian authorities to immediately and unconditionally release Majid Tavakkoli, and any others detained around the 7 December demonstrations who are held solely for the peaceful exercise of their rights to freedom of expression, association and assembly;
Expressing concern that Majid Tavakkoli’s trial was unfair as he did not have access to a lawyer and urging that his appeal be heard swiftly, with a view to facilitating his immediate release;
In the meantime, calling on the authorities to grant him immediate and regular access to his family, his lawyer and any medical treatment he may require;
Asking them to investigate promptly and impartially the reports that Majid Tavakkoli was beaten during his arrest.

PLEASE SEND APPEALS BEFORE 16 MARCH 2010 TO:
Head of the Provincial Judiciary in Tehran
Ali Reza Avaei
Karimkhan Zand Avenue
Sana’i Avenue, Corner of Alley 17, No. 152
Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran
Email: avaei@Dadgostary-tehran.ir
Salutation: Dear Mr Avaei






Head of the Judiciary
Ayatollah Sadeqh Larijani
Howzeh Riyasat-e Qoveh Qazaiyeh (Office of the Head of the Judiciary)
Pasteur St., Vali Asr Ave., south of Serah-e Jomhouri, Tehran, 1316814737
Islamic Republic of Iran
Email: Via website: http://www.dadiran.ir/tabid/75/Default.aspxFirst starred box: your given name; second starred box: your family name; third: your email address
Salutation: Your Excellency
And copies to:
Director, Human Rights Headquarters
Mohammad Javad Larijani
Howzeh Riassat-e Ghoveh Ghazaiyeh
Pasteur St, Vali Asr Ave., south of Serah-e Jomhuri
Tehran 1316814737
Islamic Republic of Iran
Fax: +98 21 3390 4986
Email: bia.judi@yahoo.com (In subject line: FAO Mohammad Javad Larijani)
Salutation: Dear Mr Larijan
Also send copies to diplomatic representatives accredited to your country. Please check with your section office if sending appeals after the above date. This is the first update to UA 341/09 (MDE 13/131/2009). Further information: www.amnesty.org/en/library/info/MDE13/131/2009/en

Letter written by death row political prisoner Shirin Alam Hovi from the women's ward in Evin Prison dated Jan. 18, 2010 – I was arrested in Tehran in 2008 by a number of plainclothes agents and was taken directly to a Revolutionary Guards Force base. They started beating me the moment I got there without even asking any question. I was there for 25 days. The interrogators who were all men tied me with handcuffs to a bed. They would beat me in the face, head and the soles of my feet with electric clubs, cables, fists and kicks. In that time, I could not even speak or understand fluent Farsi. When they did not receive any answers for their questions, the beatings would start again until I passed out…
One day in the interrogations, they kicked me in the stomach so hard that I immediately started to bleed and lost a lot of blood. Another day, one of the interrogators came to the room. He was the only interrogator I saw because the rest of the times I had on blindfolds. He asked me irrelevant questions. When he did not get an answer, he slapped me in the face and put a gun that he carried on his belt to my head.
"Answer the questions I ask", he said.
"I know that you are a member of the PJAK (Party of Free Life of Kurdistan) and you’re a terrorist. It doesn’t make a difference if you talk or not girl, we're happy to have a member of PJAK in our hands".
One day, I was sitting with blindfolds in a chair and I was being interrogated. The interrogator used my hand to put out his cigarette and on another day, the interrogator pressed so hard with his shoes on my feet that my nails turned black and fell off. Or sometimes they would force me to stand all day in the interrogation room without asking any questions. The interrogators would just sit in front of me and do puzzles. They did whatever they could (to torture me)…
After I got back from the hospital, they decided to take me to ward 209. But because of my poor physical condition and the fact that I could not even walk, 209 was not willing to accept me and I was kept in that condition the whole day outside of 209 until they finally took me to the medical clinic… (Iran Press News Website – Jan. 31, 2010)

The head of the judiciary said, "The Judiciary will deal severely with mohareb (enemies of God) grouplets and those who try in vain to disrupt the security of the country and weaken the Islamic Republic of Iran and will never back down from this issue
There are reportedly ongoing efforts to publicly carry out the sentences of 5 Ashura offenders who were sentenced to death by Judge Salavati.
The sentences for five Ashura offenders were issued by Judge Salavati , the head of the 15th branch of the revolutionary court sentencing them to the capital punishment.
Among these five, in addition to the 3 people whose trial was shown in part by Seda and Sima (Iran state-run tv) regarding going to Camp Ashraf and filming the protests, there is a man and a woman who are above 50 years old.
Apparently the child of this couple is in Camp Ashraf and the brothers of the man were executed in the beginning of the revolution for being members of the terrorist Mojahedin Khalq Organization.
There are reportedly efforts in progress to carry out the execution of these five before February 11 (anniversary of the revolution that overthrew the Shah) in Tehran especially in Enqelab and Azadi Streets. It is up to the head of the Judiciary to accept or oppose this issue. (Ayandeh state-run Website – Jan. 30, 2010)

Activists from the Women’s Movement in prison

6 out of the 23 Activists from the Women’s Movement, Women Journalists and Civil Activists have been Released


Feminist School: During the past few days after the incidents of Ashura, large number of activists such as Mansoureh Shojaee, Zohreh Tanekaboni, Badarolssadat Mofid, Mahin Fahimi, Leyla Tavassoli, Noushin Ebadi, Nasrin Vaziri, Nilofar Hashemi Azar, Atiyeh Yousefi, Bahareh Hedayat, Nafiseh Asghari, Maryam Ziya, Mahsa Hekmat, Parisa Kakayi, Forough Mirzayie, Sara Tavsoli, Parvaneh Rad, Zoya Hassani, Negin Derakhshan, Sulmaz Alimoradi, Mehrane Atashi, Somaye Alemi, Lili Farhadpour and many others have been arrested.
Women activists who were arrested before the Ashura are Shiva Nazarahari, Azar Mansouri, Somayeh Rashidi, Zahra Jabari, Kobra Zaghe Doust, Atefeh Nabavi, Shabnam Madadzadeh, Mahdiyeh Golrou are still in prison.



The released six are Atiyeh Yousefi, Noushin Ebadi, Zoya Hassani, Nasrin Vaziri and Mansoureh Shojaee, Sulmaz Alimoradi



Parisa Kakaee, the women activist and a member of the Committee for Human Rights Reporters, was arrested on January 1, after responding to a telephone summons and appearing at the office of the Intelligence Ministry. Currently seven members of the Committee are being detained in Ward 209 of Evin prison, and other members have been threatened and summoned


In the following interview, we spoke with Parisa Kakaee’s mother.
Q:What was Parisa like as a young girl?
A:She was always a kind girl. She especially showed kindness to those who were younger and more vulnerable than she was. When she was in kindergarten at the age of five, she took care of the younger children. When I came to pick her up from school, her teacher told me that Parisa helped prepare the younger children’s snacks and milk. She made sure that the kids were fed first.
Her love and generosity towards others continued over the years, through grade school and on. She helped children who had less money and support, children who came from single-parent families. She would save her allowance and buy presents for children who earned good grades. She would buy them socks, notebooks, and pencils. She was very popular with the otherchildren. As she grew older, she would talk to the mothers about their children and offer them support and advice. In high school, she studied the natural sciences, then decided to switch majors so that she could study psychology because she wanted to learn more about the social sciences and human behavior. She felt that she could contribute more to society through her work as a psychologist.
At the university, she continued to help others and volunteered at many organizations, such as the Ameneh Orphanage, the White Cane Center for the Blind, and numerous children’s organizations which helped serve underprivileged children. She helped their mothers enter training programs to enable them to work and support their children. She loved to hike and often took other children, who normally wouldn’t have the opportunity to go, with her. She visited homes for the elderly and later, she was hired at UNICEF Iran and traveled to disparity provinces such as Sistan and Baluchistan.
She was always very independent. From a very young age, she would say that women should be independent and not be afraid.
Q: How did you learn of her arrest?
A:Parisa told me that someone from the Ministry of Intelligence called and told her that she had to be taken in. I told her not to go. But she told me not to worry. She said that she had done nothing wrong, was not affiliated with any political groups. Her work was to report on human rights.
Q: Have you had contact with her since her detainment?
Since she’s been taken in, she’s called about 3 times, with her interrogator nearby. Her father, brother, and I have been able to visit her twice for 20 minutes where we speak to her over the phone with a glass dividing us. She was in good spirits and said that she had not been treated badly. I had given her money and she used it to buy shampoo, soap, and clothes, since she did not have permission to accept clothes from home. She has access to her heart medication and when she caught a cold, was taken to the prison clinic and treated right away.
Q:Have the authorities mentioned the possibility of releasing Parisa on the condition of putting up bail?
A:No, we haven’t heard anything. But we wouldn’t be able to offer anything since we rent our apartment and have nothing to offer.
Q:How are you holding up?
A:I’m having a difficult time. I don’t understand why they arrested her. She has always done good for her community and has tried to help and empower others. She doesn’t deserve this.
I cry everywhere, people stop me in public and ask me what’s wrong. I can’t sleep. I worked for 32 years at the Ministry of Education and have received numerous honors for my teaching services. Parisa’s father was a high ranking officer in the air force, who’s now retired. He doesn’t leave the house, he’s so sick with worry. He waits for her phone call to hear her voice. When he does leave, he’s distracted. He almost got hit by a bus recently, he was so distracted, when he was crossing the street.
We were never political. We never got involved in political activities. We just want her to come home.

Prisoners released from Evin prison today say they have seen Alireza Firoozi & Sourena Hashemi inside EvinRAHANA Prisoners’ Rights Unit- Eyewitnesses have seen Alireza Firooozi & Sourena Hashemi inside an Evin ward in the last few days. Both student activists had disappeared since December 2nd, 2009 while on a trip to Tabriz and all signs pointed to an arrest by authorities.According to several prisoners who were released today, the 2 student activists were in an Evin ward 10 days ago but were moved to an unknown location later. This new development comes as their families had been told by Evin and Court officials in the past that their sons were not detained in Evin.Alireza’s family went to Evin prison last night hoping to get information from prisoners who were being released. Upon seeing the photographs of the 2 students, 8 released prisoners positively identified Sourena Hashemi. Although the freed prisoners did not have any information about Alireza Firoozi, it is quite likely that he is detained in Evin as well since the 2 activists were arrested while travelling together.It is not clear at this point whether the 2 activists are detained at Evin or another prison. Earlier on, officers of the Tehran Police force concluded that Alireza was in Tehran by tracking his cell phone signal.Alireza & Sourena have not contacted their families since their arrest more than a month ago. During this time agents from the intelligence ministry have used their email information to check the contents of their accounts and chat online with their friends and families.Alireza & Sourena were expelled from Zanjan University and detained, after exposing a University official for sexual abuse.Sourena Hashemi is a member of a Liberal student organization and Alireza Firoozi is blogger-journalist and human rights activist.
Iran’s continued unrest, now extending through the 30th anniversary of the revolution that toppled the Shah, raises the question of whether the Islamic Republic is about to fall. As in 1979, millions of Iranians have taken to the streets, this time to protest electoral fraud in the presidential vote last June.
The cheated presidential candidates, both veterans of the revolution, instinctively thought of a replay of history. Mir Hossein Moussavi saw the green symbols of the demonstrators as representing the color of the House of the Prophet, and urged his supporters to continue their nightly rooftop chants of “God is Great!” Thus, the first slogan of the opposition invoked the religious credo of the 1979 revolutionaries. More recently, protesters chanted it during the funeral demonstrations for Grand Ayatollah Hussein Ali Montazeri in the closing days of 2009.
And yet we risk being led astray by memories of 1979. It is far too soon to predict another revolution. But t he divide between Iran’s society and its government is much greater today than it was under the Shah 30 years ago. Change seems just as inevitable.
Technological advances greatly favor the 2009 protesters. Text messages, Twitter, and the Web are infinitely superior to the smuggled cassettes of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini’s speeches that fueled the opposition in 1979. What’s missing this time, however, is a charismatic leader comparable to Khomeini. Indeed, the striking feature of the Iranian opposition movement is the lack of effective leadership, despite the astonishing persistence of protests. As Moussavi has readily acknowledged, neither he nor the other presidential candidate, Ahmad Karroubi, feels in charge by now.
The greatest difference between 2009 and 1979 was created by the revolution itself. R evolutions give birth to a new political class, and Iran’s Islamic revolution was no exception. The Iranian leadership formed after the revolution consisted of a narrow ruling stratum and a much broader supporting group that was given charge of administration and political mobilization.
In the 20 years since Khomeini’s death, the composition of this political class has changed drastically. The clerical elite has gradually lost power to the military-security groups, from whose ranks President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad emerged. Bureaucratic and security services dominated by the Revolutionary Guards and its militia, the Basij (Mobilization Corps), are now firmly in command.
The leader of the Islamic Republic, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, blessed the Revolutionary Guards’ decision to steal the presidential election. By identifying squarely with the military-security apparatus headed by Ahmadinejad, Khamenei has alienated an important segment of the ruling clerical elite. He has also reduced his own status as the ultimate arbiter in Iranian society, a role that was central to Khomeini’s dominance of the system. As a result, he has produced a rupture between the two pillars of the revolutionary regime: the clerical elite and military-security structure.
The growth of Khamenei’s personal, extra-constitutional power introduces a strong element of uncertainty into Iran’s future. Political regimes that rely on personal power, commonly known as dictatorships, prove to be fragile in crisis. This was the weakness of the Shah’s regime, which collapsed as he became paralyzed in his decision-making. There was nothing behind him supporting the system.
Khamenei’s backing of the June 2009 putsch now appears to be a costly mistake. With this single error, he has undermined what had appeared to be a robust post-revolutionary course for the first and only theocracy in modern history. The cries of “God is Great!” have now been overtaken by chants of “Death to the Dictator!” in recent demonstrations in Tehran, Tabriz, Shiraz, and other Iranian cities.
The Iranian regime is now critically dependent on decisions made by one man, the Leader. For that reason, it is demonstrating a degree of fragility that is comparable to the Shah’s regime in the latter part of the 1970’s.
Most spokespersons of the Green protest movement advocate civil disobedience instead of revolution. Earlier this month, Ezattolah Sahabi, who was a member of the revolutionary provisional government in 1979, issued a statement in Tehran stating categorically that “a revolution in today’s Iran is neither possible nor desirable.” At roughly the same time, five prominent opposition intellectuals living in exile released a reformist, not revolutionary, manifesto directed against the “despotic guardians.”
But there is little chance that these children of the Islamic revolution – now graying reformists – will remain in control of the Green movement, which now reflects the aspirations of a post-revolutionary generation of young women and men and students.
The ayatollah-dictator and the Revolutionary Guards have tried their best to discredit their opponents by concocting, through forced confessions at show trials, a conspiracy of regime change based on a “velvet revolution” produced by “Western social sciences.”
Deep down, they know there is no conspiracy. Their fear is grounded in what they see in front of them: the forward march of history.
Nine more dissidents will be executed soon, a senior member of Iran's judiciary declared today, as the regime stepped up its efforts to deter another huge opposition rally planned for next week.
The regime is sufficiently worried that it has ordered state television not to broadcast the usual historic television footage of insurrection on the anniversary of the 1979 Islamic revolution that toppled the Shah, lest the scenes incite today's opposition to follow suit.
Last Thursday it hanged two men for allegedly plotting against the regime - a move condemned internationally but praised by Ayatollah Ahmad Janati, a hardline cleric , during Friday prayers in Tehran. "May God not have mercy on those who are lenient with the corrupt on earth," he said. "There is no room for clemency. It is time for severity."
On Saturday the regime broadcast the trial of 16 opposition supporters, two of them women, for allegedly plotting against the Islamic Republic and conspiring with its foreign enemies.
Today Ebrahim Raisi, a senior member of the judiciary, announced that nine more alleged members of "anti-revolutionary" groups would be hanged soon. "They had participated in riots with the aim of creating disunity and toppling the system," he said.
Mir Hossein Mousavi, leader of the so-called Green movement, showed no sign of backing down, however. To the contrary, the man defeated in last June's hotly-contested presidential election has today published one of his strongest attacks on the regime to date, accusing it of perpetuating the "tyranny and dictatorship" of the Shah's era and saying the Islamic revolution of 1979 had failed.
Unusually Mr Mousavi and Mehdi Karoubi, the other main opposition leader, have publicly urged their supporters to take to the streets next Thursday, the 31st anniversary of the fall of the Shah, setting the scene for one of the biggest and potentially most explosive confrontations yet between a rattled regime and an increasingly bold opposition.
Analysts said the regime was clearly trying to deter opposition supporters from taking to the streets on February 11, but Mr Mousavi, whose nephew was one of a dozen people killed during the last big opposition demonstrations on December 27, appears to be growing increasingly defiant and outspoken.
In a statement published on his website the former prime minister, who played a prominent role in the overthrow of the Shah, seemed determined to undermine the regime's claims to be the guardian of the revolution - and to claim that mantle for the opposition - ahead of next week's anniversary.
"Stiffling the media, filling the prisons and brutally killing people who peacefully demand their rights in the streets indicate that the roots of tyranny and dictatorship remain from the monarchist era," he declared. "I don't believe that the revolution achieved it goals."
He went on: "Dictatorship in the name of religion is the worst kind. The most evident manifestation of a continued tyrannical attitude is the abuse of parliament and the judiciary. We have completely lost hope in the judiciary." He also suggested the regime was rigging elections just as the Shah did.
Despite that, Mr Mousavi promised that the Green movement "will not abandon its peaceful fight...until people's rights are restored". He called Ayatollah Janati "heartless", and continued: "He is unaware of the power of innocent blood and does not know that the blood of martyrs destroyed the Shah's regime."
The opposition has proved adept at hijacking state-sponsored rallies that the regime cannot cancel without huge loss of face, and will attempt to do the same next Thursday.
The regime has made clear that it will deal harshly with any demonstrations. "Anyone breaking ranks with the Iranian people will be considered a n agent of foreigners," said Bigadier General Hossein Hamedani, Tehran's Revolutionary guard commanders. "Any voice or colour other than the voice of the Islamic revolution will be pushed aside, and if a minority makes such an attempt it will be firmly confronted."

Mir Hossein Moussavi, the Iranian opposition leader and symbol of anti-government fervor, lashed out against Iran's Islamic Republic Tuesday, saying remnants of the "tyranny" and "dictatorship" that prevailed under the toppled Shah of Iran's regime persist today.
"In the early years of the Islamic Revolution, most people were convinced that the structure of the revolution would destroy the past political situation of tyranny and dictatorship, and I was one of them who believed that," said Moussavi, a former prime minister.
But now, he said, that's not true anymore.
"The current political situation in Iran indicates the presence of the remaining roots of tyranny and dictatorship of the Shah," whose regime was overthrown in 1979 and replaced by an Islamic republic led by Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini.
"I don't believe that the revolution achieved its goals," said Moussavi, speaking out forcefully as the tensions over Iranian politics continue.
The regime is marking the anniversary of the shah's overthrow with a series of events that began this week and culminate on February 11. Moussavi and Mehdi Karrubi, another Iranian opposition leader, have urged supporters to demonstrate.
Those celebrations coincide with Iranian trials and executions of street protesters who demonstrate against the June 12 presidential election victory of incumbent Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. In the final results Ahmadinejad was declared the winner over Moussavi, a result seen by many Iranians as questionable or rigged.
The initial protests broke out last summer and have persisted. In late December, at least seven people were killed and hundreds arrested, witnesses said, as they took to the streets on Ashura, a Muslim holy day which occurred on December 27. Moussavi's nephew was among those killed during those protests.

The Iranian government has denied that its security forces killed anyone and has blamed reformists for the violence.
Police have arrested 4,000 people in the post-election crackdown.
Moussavi, who made his Web site comments in a question and answer format, said an Iranian government that reflects "dictatorship in the name of religion is the worst kind" and he added he has lost hope "that the revolution had removed all those structures which could lead to totalitarianism and dictatorship."
"The most evident manifestation of a continued tyrannical attitude is the abuse of parliament and judiciary. We have completely lost hope in the judiciary," he said.
"Stifling the media, filling the prisons and brutally killing people who peacefully demand their rights in the streets indicate the roots of tyranny and dictatorship remain from the monarchist era."
The semi-official Fars news agency reported Tuesday that Iran will soon execute nine more people in connection with the country's post-election riots. The nine are among 11 who were sentenced to death by Tehran's Revolutionary Court last month.
Iran vows to execute protesters
Two were hanged last week, and a senior judiciary official was quoted as saying "the two people who were executed as well as the other nine who will soon be executed had certainly been arrested during the recent riots.
"Each had belonged to an anti-revolutionary group, had aspired to sow dissent and to uproot the regime," the official said.
Moussavi also praised the grass-roots Green opposition movement. But he said while protesters should vent their opinions, they should follow law and not overstep legal bounds. Any law-breaking would hurt the reform movement, he said.
"The ultimate goal is to move toward an independent, free and united Iran. Women and men of all cultures, classes and ideas should have opportunities," he said. "The Green movement stands for human dignity, open ideas, diversity and freedom of expression."
Moussavi hasn't been arrested since the protests began, but he is facing the wrath of an establishment targeting reformers like him. At the same time the regime is risking even further civil unrest if it takes him into custody.
Recently, Iran's parliament asked authorities to arrest "the main instigators and directors" of violent anti-government protests, the state-run Islamic Republic News Agency reported Wednesday, the same day massive pro-government rallies were held in Tehran and other cities.
Legislator Hassan Noroozi named three people he said "must be arrested" -- Moussavi, Karrubi, and Fa'ezeh Hashemi, daughter of the former reformist president, Ayatollah Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani.
"They must not remain on the sidelines and be safe," Noroozi said. "Those who issue statements and invite people to create chaos in the streets and attack one another must be dealt with according to Islamic laws."
Pro-government crowds demonstrating in Tehran have chanted "Death to America," "Death to Israel," and "Death to Moussavi."
Noting the pressure and threats in the highly-charged political environment, Moussavi has said on his Facebook page that he is ready for "martyrdom."

Today, people from the city of Lar clashed with anti-riot police forces and attacked Melli and Mellat banks and a police station. The clashes were a result of the people’s discontent over the decision to make Gerash, one of the nearby villages into a city.
Some windows were smashed and people were arrested and injured. Anti-riot police used tear gas and fired shots to disperse [the crowd]. The people reacted by fighting back. Consequently, a number of people were injured and were sent to Imam Reza hospital, the only hospital in the city.
There were many arrests, but only 16 have been transferred to Shiraz so far. From yesterday and today, the [police force] has arrested 120 people, and ten of them have been released since. People are banned from traveling and anti-riot police are remaining in the streets. [City officials] have promised that a group from Tehran would be arriving today at 3:00pm to investigate the people’s claims. The people believe that this is a lie. Additionally, according to reports, strikes are being planned that will result in shops in the city closing their doors until the people receive their rights.


Translation by: Tour Irani

A family of one of the three members of Committee of Human Rights Reporters (CHRR) has refused allegations of ‘Moharebeh’ (waging war against God).

Green Path Movement (Jaras): Mehrdad Rahimi, Shiva Nazar Ahari, and Saeed Haeri, three detained members of CHRR have been charged with ‘Moharebeh’. In a conversation with Jaras, one of their family members has denied the allegations and the TV confessions.

Editor’s Note: According to Islamic law, ‘Moharebeh’ carries a sentence of execution. The three CHRR members were arrested in events following the June 2009 Presidential elections.

Amnesty International and the Human Rights Commission, two organizations supporting human rights around the world, have issued statements condemning the possible death sentences against prisoners. The two organizations have expressed concern and have asked Iranian officials to respect the rights of the arrested and the protesters.

Committee of Human Rights Reporters (CHRR) -

Prison officials did not let Somayeh Rashidi’s family visit her on Thursday, January 28, 2010, even though she stated in a phone call that the interrogators had given permission for a visit.

Rashidi’s family lives in Mashhad, and they had traveled a long way [to Tehran] to visit their daughter. Judicial authorities have refused to grant the family visitation rights since Somayeh Rashidi’s arrest 40 days ago. Rashidi’s lawyers, Afrooz Maghzi and Zohreh Arzani, have not been able to visit their client either, even though they have submitted an official request to do so.

Somayeh Rashidi was summoned to the Revolutionary Court on December 20, 2009, following a thorough search of her house. She was arrested in the court and sent to Evin prison.

Somayeh Rashidi is an activist from the One Million Signatures Campaign. Earlier this year, she was also banned from continuing her education at the graduate level in women’s studies.
HRANA:
More than 70 University of Isfahan students have been summoned for their involvement in 16 and 17 Azar (December 7th and 8th) demonstrations. More than 20 the students have been deprived of their studies.

According to Amirkabir newsletter, Ali Ojaghi and Maziar Masoumi were sentenced to a three-term suspension. Last academic year, university officials prohibited Maziar Masoumi from writing his exams.

20 students from the university’s medical science branch have also faced deprivation of education sentences.


By Atefeh Eghbal : eyewitness

Today like every year on January 31, the Islamic Republic’s Embassy in France held a banquet commemorating the day that Khomeini left France for Iran from Neuphle-le- Chateau. On the street, in front of the meeting place, Iranian protesters held signs and chanted slogans such as, “Death to the dictator,” and “Free the political prisoners.”

When the bus of the ambassador arrived the protesters increased their chanting. The French police had taken positions amongst the protesters to avoid any incidents. The Ambassador, Mehdi Amir Abu Taleb, had acquired the Paris post in September of last year. Angered by the slogans, he attacked one of the protesters as though he were on Iranian soil where you can meet peaceful protesters with violence.



The police interfered and the angry Ambassador punched the police officer trying to restrain him in the chest. That act was enough to bring down the wrath of the police who beat his “Excellency” and were about to handcuff him when the personnel of the Embassy interceded and informed the police that it was the Ambassador that they were holding and that he enjoyed diplomatic immunity.


top