Absolutely no news on Mitra Ali, Sharif University student

After 20 days of Mitra Ali's detention, student of Medical engineering faculty of Sharif University faculty, there is no news of her condition and where-abouts.
With the coming of the Iranian new Year, some prisoners were released and some hat contacted family members, but Mitra has not been heard of since her arrest.
Mitra approached the security forces offices to collect her confiscated belongings and was not heard of since.

Badri AlSadat Mofidi, secretary of Iranian journalists, during a visit with her family, spoke of pressures she is facing in her interrogations.

While complaining of the rough treatment by her interrogators in prison she said : "During all these days, I have been interrogated constantly " She has been telling her family.

Her family have told HRANA, that Mrs. Mofidi has complaint of heart problems.
Reza Khanadan, member of Writers Guild and child activist, has paid a heavy sum for his bail and yet has been refused release by authorities.
Mr Khanadn was severely tortured when he was abducted from the streets in January, and was later transferred to section 350 of Evin from 209, and has not been heard of since.
Mr Khandan has been founder of the Iranian NGO "Struggle for a world fit for children" (translated from the Farsi name)

Mr. Osanlou, has been sent to solitary confinement for a week during Nowrooz New Year. He was later transferred to section 5, which is known to bear, violent inmates, killers and addicts.
Mrs. Osanloع has been in prison for the past 3 years for "instigating National insecurity" and was sentenced to 5 years imprisonment.

Deprived of all RIGHTS

According to regime laws, Article for "Prisoner separation", prison authorities are bound to keep separate prisoners who have completely different charges n their profiles. Mrs. Osanlou however, having been a political prisoner, has not been kept separate.

Mrs. Osanlou : " Mansoor has been in prison for the past 43 months. According to the official law, when a prisoner serves two third of his conviction time, he will undergo pardon or be re-assessed for a shorter period of serving, but Mansoor has not been able to exercise any of these officially recognized rights. Prison Doctors have also acknowledged that he is in a critical state and has to be treated outside prison, but there is an intentional reluctance to see to these needs"

Parvaneh Osanlou says that her husband is undergoing severe conditioned and is amongst prisoners who uses drugs non stop

She has reiterated that according to Officials, the Iranian Intelligence has refused to agree with her husband's permission to take leave for a few days for treatment.

"When he calls me, hew keeps coughing constantly and says life has become impossible among these drug addicts" says Mrs. Osalnlou

" Even when they do give permission to meet, it is regulations that women relatives visit on one day and men members of family and relatives the next, in this way , we can never see him together. They never accept books or anything else for him"

Mr Osanlou suffers from lung, heart and eye problems and has complaint of a critical nervous illness which has hampered his breathing as well as giving him skin disorders.
Hold the fireworks for Ayad Allawi, Iraq’s former prime minister, who won his country’s election by the proverbial razor-thin margin of just two seats. It’s too early to say how --or even, if -- Allawi will be able to form the secular government of reconciliation he has promised.
But we can say one thing with certainty: The election was a stunning defeat for Iran and its spymaster, Qassem Soleimani, who commands the Quds Force of the Revolutionary Guard Corps. Soleimiani had spent millions trying to stop an Allawi victory. He failed. If nothing else, that shows the resiliency of Iraqi nationalism, and anti-Iranian feeling, which the Shiite religious parties who have been governing Iraq these past five years failed to crush.
Soleimani and his Quds Force waged a broad covert-action campaign, according to U.S. military commanders and de-classified U.S. intelligence documents. Their first aim was to derail Allawi’s Iraqiya coalition, by using the Iran-backed De-Baathification Commission to disqualify as many candidates as possible. Allawi’s coalition howled about the commission’s arbitrary work, but Iraqiya quickly replaced most of those who were scratched.
Iran’s second tactic was to pressure Nouri al-Maliki, the current prime minister, to join an alliance of Shiite religious parties known as the Iraqi National Alliance. That would probably have guaranteed victory, but Maliki -- understanding that Iranian meddling was unpopular -- decided late last year to go it alone. He’s trying to join with those same Shiite parties now, in the hope of gaining the necessary 163 seats, but it’s probably too late.
The third Iranian tactic was to pump money to the two Shiite parties in the Iraqi National Alliance that it was supporting. A U.S. military commander told me in February that Iran was sending $9 million a month to the Islamic Supreme Council of Iraq and $8 million a month to the political party of radical cleric Moqtada al-Sadr.
The election result was a setback, too, for Ahmed Chalabi, former darling of the neo-conservatives in the U.S. and now one of Iran’s best friends in Iraq. According to a de-classified intelligence document I was given in February: “Iran supports de-Baathification efforts engineered by Ahmed Chalabi for the purpose of eliminating potential obstacles to Iranian influence. Chalabi is also interested in Iran’s assistance in securing the office of prime minister.”
The document noted that Chalabi met with Soleimani in Iran last November to plan strategy. I guess there won’t be any victory parties at Chalabi’s house in the Mansour district of Baghdad this weekend.
Despite its election setbacks, Iran is sure to have influence in Iraq no matter who becomes prime minister. Even Allawi is said to have made contact with Iran before the elections to assure Iranian leaders that, while he wants Iraqi sovereignty, he won’t be hostile to his neighbor

After Abdolreza Ahmadi called home a few days ago to inform his family of his detention in Evin prison, and since then, there has been no further news available [on his condition].
According to a RAHANA reporter, on March 3, 2010, intelligence agents entered the house of Ahmadi’s parents after presenting a search and arrest warrant. After conducting a thorough search and seizing Ahmadi’s personal items, the agents forced the family to lure him back to the house under the pretext that his mother was in critical condition. Upon his arrival, Ahmadi was arrested and taken to Evin prison.
In the past few weeks the family has been waiting in silence hoping for his release. Their visits and attempts to seek information from the judicial authorities have been unsuccessful.
In March 2010, a significant amount of human rights activists were arrested across Iran. Following the arrests, state media began to fabricate a case against the arrested activists and called the operation the annihilation of the cyber network.
Abdolreza Ahmadi has an open history of human rights activities and is a member of the Reporters and Human Rights Activists of Iran. He focused his work on educating human rights, an area he was particularly attentive to. There is still no information available on Ahmadi’s charges since judicial officials have not yet released any details.
Ahmadi is the author of the Farda Roozi Keh Miayad blog (translation of blog name: tomorrow will come).
Translation by: RAHANA

On March 3, 2010, blogger and independent human rights activist Hesam Firoozi was arrested and taken to Tehran’s Evin prison. He called his wife three days after the arrest to inform her of his detention in ward 209 of Evin prison.
Firoozi’s wife told a RAHANA reporter that since the date of the phone call, Firoozi has not contacted her, nor does she have any information on his mental or physical condition. The lack of information surrounding Firoozi’s situation has caused a lot of pain for his wife.
On March 3, 2010, intelligence agents arrested Hesam Firoozi after searching his house as well as his sister-in-law’s house (Alireza Firoozi’s mother). Firooz’s nephew Alireza was arrested on January 2, 2010 in Orumiyeh. He is is [also] currently detained in Evin. Blogger and journalist Alireza Firoozi was arrested three times in the course of 1388 (Persian calendar year ending March 20, 2010).
Translation by: RAHANA Additional editing by: Persian2English.com
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On March 8, 2010, political prisoner Behrooz Javid Tehrani was transferred to solitary confinement in ward 1 of Rajai Shahr prison under the orders of ward 4 head Hassan Akharian. Tehrani was assaulted by Akharian and threatened with death.
According to HRDAI (Human Rights and Democracy Activists in Iran), in the days that followed his transfer to solitary confinement, Javid Tehrani was taken to the security and protection office of the prison. It is reported that he was tortured physically and mentally by Kermani and Farjai from the security office.

Javid Tehrani has also been taken to the guards office several times, where he was harassed by Hassan Akharian. [It seems that] Akharian has a grudge against the political prisoner. last year, after first assaulting him, Akharian had Tehrani transferred to ward 1. Since then, the student activist has been incarcerated among common criminals and dangerous inmates.

The existing conditions in ward 1 are as follows: prisoners can use the washroom facilities three times a day; meals are served in meager portions and of poor quality (enough to allow the prisoners to stay alive); batons, some electrically charged, are used to torture prisoners; prisoners are only allowed to use the showers every few weeks; guards routinely cuff the prisoners’ hands and ankles, leaving them in their cells in this condition; prisoners are denied access to medical help and medicine; prisoners are completely isolated from the outside world.
Mohsen Khalesi and Mohsen Bamdad are the two individuals who torture defenseless prisoners detained in solitary confinement. According to reports, Hassan Akharian supervises the torture of prisoners and also participates in the process.

Ministry of Intelligence interrogators order the torture and transfer of prisoners to solitary. Their orders are then executed by warden Ali Haj Kazem, deputy warden Ali Mohammadi, prison security head Kermani, and prisonn security deputy head Faraji.
Behrooz Javid Tehrani was transferred to Rajai Shahr prison in June 2005 where he is to serve a seven-year prison sentence.

Currently, a number of political prisoners including Mansour Osanloo, Ahmad Zaidabadi, and Masoud Bastani are detained in various wards of Rajai Shahr prison. They are held with violent inmates.

Translation by: RAHANA Additional editing by: Persian2English.com

Report by HRW

Human Rights Watch: (New York) -The Iranian government should immediately release ailing political prisoner Behrooz Javid-Tehrani, a human rights activist first arrested during 1999 nationwide student protests, and ensure he has access to adequate medical care, Human Rights Watch said today. Javid-Tehrani, who has been continually detained since 2005, is on hunger strike and suffers from health problems caused by prolonged torture.
A student activist and leading defender of the rights of political prisoners and their families, Javid-Tehrani has spent the last 10 years in and out ofprison. He is currently held in the "doghouse" section of the infamous Gohar Dasht prison in Karaj city, north of Tehran, with his hands and feet cuffed.
"Behrooz Javid-Tehrani, who is critically ill, is in prison for his peaceful political dissent and his human rights advocacy," said Sarah Leah Whitson, Middle East director at Human Rights Watch. "He should never have been imprisoned in the first place and he should be released at once or he will likely die in prison."
Javid-Tehrani, 29, has never had access to a lawyer, and has had limited access to his family since his 2005 arrest. Despite an independent medical examination in 2006 that confirmed he had been tortured while in prison, Javid-Tehrani has been refused release to obtain needed medical care. Amongst his current known ailments are fresh bruises and wounds to his body as well as the loss of 50 percent of his eyesight due to head injuries inflicted by his interrogators in prison. In addition, authorities have not provided adequate medical care during his 18-day hunger strike, according to his friend Kianoosh Sanjari, a human rights activist who was a fellow inmate during part of Javid-Tehrani's term inEvin prison in Tehran.
Iranian officials first detained Javid-Tehrani on July 9, 1999, when he was 19, as he participated in student demonstrations that spread across Iran. He was sentenced to eight years in prison on charges of "acting against national security." Four years into his sentence, his sister phoned him to say their mother had passed away but the Iranian Judiciary refused to let him attend his mother's burial. His sentence was later commuted and he was released in late 2003.
In 2004, he was detained twice, both times for demonstrating for the rights of political prisoners and their families in front of the United Nations offices in Tehran. Prison officials interrogated and tortured him in Section 209 of Evin prison in Tehran, Kianoosh Sanjari told Human Rights Watch. Sanjari became aware of Javid-Tehrani's torture in Evin because of the close proximity of their cells and the fact that they shared the same interrogator, an official who goes by the name of Saeed Sheikhan.
In 2005, ahead of the presidential elections won by Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Javid-Tehrani and others in an organization called Jebhe-ye Democratic-e Iran(the Iranian Democratic Front), organized activities such as putting up posters, distributing fliers, and writing political graffiti to protest the lack of transparency and lack of democracy in Iranian elections. The group also raised funds to help families of political prisoners and made short films interviewing the families.
After Javid-Tehrani interviewed political prisoner Akbar Mohammadi during the latter's temporary release and shortly before Mohammadi's death under suspicious circumstances during a hungerstrike in prison, he was again arrested in 2005. According to Sanjari, that interview was of special interest to prison officials, who raised it repeatedly during their interrogations of both friends.
The head judge at Branch 26 of the Revolutionary Court in Tehran, Judge Hasan Zare Dehnavi, known as Judge Hadad, sentenced Javid-Tehrani to four years in prison for membership in an "illegal" organization (the Iranian DemocraticFront) that "acts against state security," 40 lashes for "insulting the leadership and the state," and three-and-a-half years on charges of belonging to the Mojahedin'e Khalgh Organization (MKO). According to Sanjari, this charge was fabricated by the interrogator Sheikhan and furthered by a personal conflict with Judge Hadad, the judge who later sentenced Iranian-American journalist Roxana Saberi to eight years for espionage.
An appeals court reduced the sentence on the MKO charge by six months. Javid-Tehrani has now served more than half his 2005 sentence. Most prisoners in Iran are eligible for release after serving half of their sentence, but he has not been granted even one day of customary temporary release since 2005.
Human Rights Watch is concerned that Javid-Tehrani's life is in immediate danger, in light of the suspicious deaths of political prisoners at Gohar Dasht prison (also known as Rajayi Shahr), most recently that of Amir Heshmat Saran in March 2009. Gohar Dasht was one of the main sites of the 1988 mass summary executions of political prisoners which killed thousands.
"Amongst Iran's political prisoners, Gohar Dasht prison is known as the ‘doghouse' because prisoners are sent there to die," said Whitson. "The Iranian government is legally bound to ensure safety and provide healthcare for all its prisoners. But it has consistently failed to do so for political prisoners, with deadly results."
Human Rights Watch urged Iranian authorities to release Javid-Tehrani immediately and end its persecution of peaceful critics and dissidents.
Posted by Iranian Political Prisoners Association - انجمن زندانیان سیاسی at 9:56 PM 139 comments Links to this post


European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso warned on Friday that Iranian regime will face new sanctions if it continues to ignore international concerns about its nuclear program .
“The EU stands squarely by international non-proliferation efforts. That is why we will not hesitate to support a new round of sanctions against Iran if It continues to ignore international concerns,” he told the Brussels Forum 2010 on Friday.
“I hope we can find common ground with Russia on Iran,” he said.
Brussels Forum is an annual high-level meeting of the most influential North American and European political, corporate, and intellectual leaders to address pressing challenges currently facing both sides of the Atlantic.

ITU Radio Regulations Board urges Iran to end satellite jamming

Geneva, 26 March 2010 - The ITU Radio Regulations Board concluded its week-long deliberations today. Among the issues discussed was that of interference with radio signals from satellite networks operated by the European Satellite Organization, EUTELSAT.
The Administration of France, on behalf of the EUTELSAT satellite operator, notified the Radio Regulations Board (RRB) of the interference emanating from the territory of the Islamic Republic of Iran. While also considering correspondence from the Administration of Iran, the RRB determined that EUTELSAT satellite networks, operating in the orbital positions at 9E, 13E, 21.5E and 25.5E are receiving harmful interference. The Board noted that "the interfering signals appear to be of a nature that is prohibited under Radio Regulations No. 15.1".
The Radio Regulations Board concluded that the interference appeared to be emanating from the territory of Iran "based on measurements provided by the Administration of France, and having confidence in the measurement techniques and technologies used, because they are recognized in the ITU-R Handbook on Spectrum Monitoring".
The interference is reported to have persisted for some time, adversely affecting the operation of several EUTELSAT satellite transponders and channels. The Radio Regulations Board urged the Administration of Iran to continue its effort in locating the source of interference and to eliminate it as a matter of the highest priority.
The Administration of France and the ITU Radiocommunication Bureau have been called upon to assist the Administration of Iran in identifying the source of the interference
Saeed Malekpour was arrested October 2008. He has been detained in Evin prison since.
Malekpour was born in May 1975. He graduated from Sharif University of Technology with a metrology engineering degree. He has worked as an expert in Iran Khodro (Iran’s biggest car manufacturer) and as an inspector in Garma Felez corporation. He has also worked for the Razi Research Centre. Last year, he was admitted to a master’s program at the University of Victoria (in the province of British Columbia, Canada).

Saeed Malekpour was arrested in October 2008 upon returning to Iran. He had been working as a website designer in Canada since 2005.

This political prisoner was arrested in relation to a case of Internet offences. The case was titled “Mozzelin 2″ (The Strayed 2). In winter 2009, a report was published by a group that introduced itself as part of the IRGC. In this report, it was alleged that certain individuals were responsible for being part of a “network of decadence on the Internet.”

A similar scenario was repeated in winter 2010 during the time widespread arrests of human rights activists across Iran were taking place. This time, two reports were published with the titles “Cyber Fights of the Revolutionary Guards against Destabilizing Groups,” and “The Arrest of American Cyber War Network Members.” The state media also aired reports regarding these reports.

The following is Saeed Malekpour’s letter. He has spent more than 17 months in Evin prison. His family has been informed the next court date will be on April 18th and 19th.

My name is Saeed Malekpour. I was arrested on October 4th, 2008, near Vanak Square (in northern Tehran) by plainclothes agents who did not present an arrest warrant or identification. The arrest resembled an abduction. Afterwards, I was handcuffed, blindfolded and placed at the back of a Sedan. A heavy-set agent leaned his weight on me by positioning his elbow on my neck, and forcing my head down throughout the ride. They transferred me to an undisclosed location which they called the “technical office.” When we arrived, a few agents physically beat me severely and verbally abused me, while I remained handcuffed and blindfolded, They forced me to sign a few forms, but I was not able to read the contents. As a result of the physical assault, my neck was aching for several days and my face was swollen from the punches, slaps, and kicks I received. That night, I was transferred to ward 2-A of Evin prison. I was placed in a solitary cell 2m X 1.7m (6′2″ X 5′8″). I was only allowed to leave the cell twice a day at specified times for a break of fresh air. However, during the times I left the cell, I was blindfolded. The only time I was allowed to remove the blindfold was in my cell.

I spent 320 days (from October 4, 2008 to August 16, 2009) in solitary confinement without access to books, newspapers, or any contact with the outside world. In the cell, there was only a copy of the Qur’an, a water bottle, three blankets, and a “mohr” [Shiites perform their daily prayers on a piece of clay called "mohr" in Iran]. Until December 21, 2009, I spent 124 days in the general ward of 2-A. I was never granted weekly visits with my family during my detention. During the 444 days of my detention in ward 2-A. I was allowed a few restricted visits with my family, while a Revolutionary Guards officer listened in. The agents were always present during the visits. I was never granted the right to make weekly calls. Prison staff and interrogators listened in on any call I was able to make. Anytime I discussed the content of my case with my family, the calls were disconnected. During the 444 days I spent in ward 2-A, my life was under constant threat, and I never felt safe.

On December 21, 2009, I was transferred once again to solitary confinement, this time in ward 240 of Evin prison. I spent another 48 days (until February 8, 2010) in solitude and without the right to access the outside world. Since February 8th, I have been detained in the general wards of Evin, first in ward 7 and then ward 350. So far, 12 months of the total 17 months of my detention have been spent in solitary confinement, and not once was I allowed to visit my lawyer. During this time, and particularly in the first months, I was subject to various forms of physical and psychological torture by the “Revolutionary Guards Cyber Counterattack” team. Some of the torture procedures were performed in the presence of Mr. Moussavi, the magistrate of the case. A large portion of my confession was extracted under pressure, physical and psychological torture, threats to myself and my family, and false promises of immediate release upon giving a false confession to whatever the interrogators dictated.

I have to add that the confession in front of the magistrate was extracted with the presence of interrogators. To prevent me from informing the magistrate that my confession was received under pressure, the interrogators threatened that the torture would worsen. Sometimes they threatened that they would arrest my wife and torture her in front of me. In the first few months following my arrest, I would be interrogated various hours both during the day and night. The interrogations also included severe beatings. The tortures were carried out either in the “technical office” outside the prison or in the interrogations office in ward 2-A.

Most of the time the tortures were performed by a group. While I remained blindfolded and handcuffed, several individuals armed with cables, batons, and their fists struck and punched me. At times, they would flog my head and neck. Such mistreatment was aimed at forcing me to write what the interrogators were dictating, and to compel me to play a role in front of the camera based on their scenarios. Sometimes, they used extremely painful electrical shock that would paralyze me temporarily. Once in October 2008, the interrogators stripped me while I was blindfolded and threatened to rape me with a bottle of water.

One of those very days, as a result of being kicked, punched, and lashed with cables on my head and face, my face became very swollen. I lost consciousness several times, but each time they would wake me up by splashing water on my face [and continued with the torture]. That night, they returned me to my cell. At the end of the night, I realized my ear was bleeding. I banged on the door of my cell, but nobody came. The next day, while half of my body was paralyzed, and I was unable to move, they took me to Evin prison’s clinic. The doctor, after seeing my condition, emphasized that I should be transferred to a hospital. However, I was returned to my cell instead, and I was left on my own until 9:00pm. Three guards eventually transferred me to Baghiatollah hospital. On our way to the hospital, the guards told me I was not allowed to give my real name, and ordered me to use the alias Mohammad Saeedi. They threatened me with severe torture if I did not follow their orders.

Before I was able to be examined by the doctor, one of the guards met with the doctor on duty in the emergency room, then I entered a few minutes later. The doctor without performing any examinations, radiography, or tests simply stated that my problem was stress related. He wrote his diagnosis on the medical report and prescribed a few pills. When I asked him to at least wash my ear the doctor said it was not necessary. I was returned to the detention centre with the blood clot remaining in my ear. For 20 days, the left side of my body was paralyzed, and I had little control over my left arm and leg muscles. I also had difficulty walking.

On January 24, 2009, after being subject to severe beatings, one of the interrogators threatened to pull out my tooth with a pair of tongs. One of my tooth broke and my jaw was displaced after I was kicked in the face by him. However, the physical tortures were nothing compared to the psychological torments. I endured long solitary confinement time (totalling to more than one year) without phone calls or the possibility of visiting my loved ones, constant threats to arrest and torture my wife and family if I did not cooperate, threats to kill me. They also provided me with false news of arresting my wife. My mental health was severely threatened. I had no acces to any books or journals in the solitary cells, and at times, I would not speak to anybody for days.
Restrictions and psychological pressures on me and my family grew so much that after my father’s passing on March 16, 2009, and despite the fact that the officials were aware of his death, kept the news from me for approximately 40 days. When I had a five minute (supervised) phone call with home, I learned of my father’s death.

Masoud, one of the interrogators, burst into laughter and mocked me once he saw me crying about the news of my father’s death. Despite my pleas, they did not allow me to attend my father’s memorial service. In addition to the psychological tortures, the Revolutionary Guards interrogation team illegally, and contrary to religious principles, withdrew some funds from my credit card account. They also have my Paypal account. I am not sure what they have done with it.

Another example of psychological torture involved forcing me to perform scenarios dictated by the Revolutionary Guards interrogators in front of the camera. Although the interrogation team had promised me these films would never be aired on TV, and they would only be shown to regime officials to receive a larger budget for their “Gerdaab” project. However, I found out later on that the films were shown numerous times on state television during the seventh day funeral service for my father. This resulted in severe emotional pain for my family. My mother suffered from a heart attack after seeing my picture and false confessions on television. Some of the confession they forced me to make were so ridiculous and far-fetched that they are not even possible.

For example, they asked me to falsely confess to purchasing software from the UK and then posting on my website for sale. I was forced to add that when somebody visited my website, the software would be, without his/her knowledge, installed on their computer and would take control of their webcam, even when their webcam is turned off. Although I told them that what they were suggesting was impossible from a technological point of view, they responded that I should not concern myself with such things.

I was promised in the presence of the magistrate assigned to the case that if I participate in their false televised confession, they would release me conditionally or on bail until the court date. They also promised that I will enjoy the maximum leniancy in the prosecution case. I was promised I would receive a maximum of two years in prison. These promises were repeated many times, however, after the end of the filming sessions, they did not honour any of their promises.

Based on the above information, I have been subject to various forms of psychological and physical torture in violation of sections 1-9, 14-17 and article 1 of the “Ban the Torture Act.” [The act] was passed by parliament in 2004. According to article 4 of the act, the confessions I made are not admissible, and I made the majority of the confessions to alleviate the pressure on my family and friends.

After 17 months of “temporary” detention, I am still in a state of limbo. I have never been allowed to meet with my lawyer. Given the size of the case, and the nature of the accusations against me, I need a computer expert trusted by the judiciary with access to my lawyer. I also need a place equipped with technical facilities (such as internet) to prepare my defense. Therefore, I would like to ask that my request regarding release on bail or bond be granted, and that I will be provided with the above-mentioned facilities.

Saeed Malekpour
March 13, 2010
Special thanks to Siavosh J. for translation Persian2English.com

Committee of Human Rights Reporters
Hossein Haghi, a teenager sentenced to death on February 8, 2004 by the Criminal Court, was spared from execution by the victim´s family.
Hossein Haghi was accused of murder in August 2003. His lawyer Mohammad Mostafaei stated:
On August 12, 2003 at 7:40pm, police officers from precinct 108 while on their daily patrolling duty witnessed two young men running away by a group of people chasing them.
The officers arrested the two young men Hossein Haghi and Amrollah T. Another friend was also arrested by one of the business owners in the neighbourhood. The officers discovered that there was a clash between the arrested young men and a group of people. A man by the name of Mehdi Khalili had been hit with a sharp object in the chest, and as a result, he was killed.
On February 8, 2004, the court sentenced Hossein Haghi to Qesas (death penalty) for the murder of Mehdi Khalili. Branch 27 of the Supreme Court upheld the sentence on June 25, 2004.
Later, Hossein Haghi and his lawyer appealed the sentence. On February 9, 2009, Branch 71 of Tehran’s Criminal Court sentenced Hossein to death and the sentence was once again upheld by the Supreme court.
Eventually, however, Mehdi Khalili’s family (the vicitm) forgave Hossein in retun for the purchase of a house that will be used as a Hosseinieh.
(Translator’s note: According to Islamic law practiced in Iran, the family of the victim of murder or voluntary manslaughter has the right to either Qesas, execution, or to forgive the victim in return for blood money or some other type of compensation).
In a statement, Human Rights Watch protested the death penalty for individuals who commit a crime under 18 years of age. Part of the statement states:
The death penalty for juvenile offenders who commit a crime while under the age of 18 is against international law and the ban is absolute.
The Convention on the Rights of the Child and the Convention on Political and Civil Rights have specifically banned execution for those who commit a crime under the age of 18. These laws reflect the fact that children and juveniles are different from adults since they lack experience, judgement, maturity, and other adult discretions. Iran approved the Convention on the Rights of the Child and the Convention on Political and Civil Rights in 1994 and 1975 respectively.
Translation by: Sia Bala Persian2English.com

Letter to Navid Khanjani: “Come Back, This is Only the Beginning”

A Letter for Navid Khanjani from *Shayan Vahdati
Not my hand, but my heart shivers as I write your name.
It was moments after damn twelve o’clock when they said they have taken Navid. Take you? You were not the type to be taken.
What is one to do with fear? They probably came to visit you armed, although they most likely hid the weapon from you. They also didn’t have the courage to bring handcuffs. For days they were waiting for this moment. They were so happy when they saw you visit your parents after being a away for so long. So happy that…Let’s move on…
I feel the pain from my red worn out eyes to the tips of my toes. I felt the pain of loneliness, anxiety, and confusion when Hesam and Sepehr also left. Like they say, three is a charm…Odd!
What kind of friendship is this that you live this way and we watch?
I swallowed my thoughts and desires so I don’t recreate more trouble from the pain of loneliness. The night somehow became day and my angry eyes became redder.
Across from the court of injustice I saw your brother, who if given the slightest opportunity, would have redder and naturally sadder eyes than me.
I was strolling around the court of injustice. I glanced at the entrance and noticed the uneven scales of justice; it made me sick. I was hopeful that you would come out eventually. I paced back and forth. Finally, from afar, I saw two people accompanying you. You were coming and I was running.
I called out for you, and before turning, you already knew what was happening. You laughed. What a guy you are!
Never did **Shirin take Farhad into her arms this way, or Farhad take Shirin; although that’s not important. It is important that I felt the pain of all those longing for you as you hugged me.
You asked about my red eyes. You put me right after God as your source of hope while I was still baffled by your nodding and smiling, let alone what you said in my ear.
Too bad it was time for you to go, and the scene I witnessed surpassed the film of Neda’s death for me a thousand fold. Only the pure and righteous hands of a suffering father could strike at your escort [regime official accompanying Navid] and ask, where are you taking my son?
The world fell apart right there in front of me. You should have seen your father’s hands and the hidden fury that he has learned to accept. I have seen it a thousand times and continue to see it. I will also show it to others one day.
I admire you for your fight for freedom so that others will realize their rights. I admire you not only for defending the youth banned from education, but fighting for those who deserve to be in the best colleges and all the imprisoned free-thinking individuals.
Believe me that prior to you I had not seen anyone feel the pain of those close to them as much as you. Everyone is sick and tired of repression, yet you still laugh.
Maybe it has been years since I joined you on the path that has yet to be completed. You saved me from the cold and bitter silence that many of us have fallen victim to.
You listen to the complaints of those who are silent with all your heart, you fight for their freedom and rights, and you still smile.
Your smile is a bandage to the injured earth. We will wait for your freedom. You are not the type to be taken, we all know. I also await to bring your gift, the smile of freedom, to your family and friends.
Come back, this is just the beginning. Our celebrations are still to come. There are streets where we have yet to stroll. There are topics we must discuss. There still remains a lot to learn from you.
This path of freedom, equality, and realizing the rights of all persons is calling for you just as we are. You can be certain that this beginning can not exist without its trunk and medicine!
We will be watching the clock. We will wait for you dear friend.
* Shayan Vahdati is Navid Khanjani’s friend.
** Shirin and Farhad (or Khosrow) is a story of Persian origin which is found in Shahnameh poems based on a true story further romanticized by Persian poets.
Translation by: Ramin Joubin Persian2English.com

Can Iran's mothers achieve what sanctions can't?

Every Saturday since last June, Farzaneh Zeinali met with a group of mothers at Laleh Park in Tehran.
The women dress entirely in black and silently make their way along pathways by candlelight. In their hands, they carry photos of their children – all political dissidents either killed or imprisoned in the aftermath of last year’s disputed presidential election.

This group is known as the Mourning Mothers of Iran. But Zeinali doesn’t march with them anymore.

In January, she was one of 32 arrested by the Revolutionary Guard. While most of the others have since been released, it is believed Zeinali remains in the notorious Evin Prison – a place synonymous with years of torture and abuse.

This is just one example of the human rights abuse carried out by the government of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and the Revolutionary Guard. Iran has well-known history of jailing political dissidents, putting down protests with violence and enforcing oppressive laws through the religious police.

It should be pointed out this occurs without the help of a nuclear bomb. Yet it is proliferation over human rights that produces countless rounds of diplomatic talks and tops meeting agendas at the United Nations.

There’s no doubt that Ahmadinejad’s nuclear ambitions are a concern across the political spectrum. But while treaties, sanctions (even military action) have been put forth as possible solutions, it’s what we’re overlooking that could be the greatest threat to Ahmadinejad’s regime - the years of human rights violations committed against his own people.

“Every time that [the Mourning Mothers] gather they are beaten up and attacked by the police,” said Shirin Ebadi, the 2003 Nobel Peace Prize winner and human rights activist in a speech at the Asia Society in New York. “Therefore if you want to see what lies ahead, what lies in the future of Iran, you can rest assured that it is the Mourning Mothers that will bring democracy to Iran.”

Since last June’s disputed presidential elections, mass protests have challenged the legitimacy of the Ahmadinejad regime. The Revolutionary Guard successfully blocked demonstrations planned on the 31st anniversary of the Revolution in February. Ayatollah Ali Khamenei even went as far as to mock the “futile efforts to subjugate” Iran.

Futile may be an understatement.

The government had to flood Tehran with security forces and impose what U.S. President Barack Obama called a “near-total information blockade” in order to stop the demonstration. Still, Iranian dissidents continue their calls for democracy over the blogosphere and protestors keep the movement alive in the streets.

While Ahmadinejad does control Iran, his legitimacy is being challenged on a near-daily basis. By not putting the human rights violations at the forefront, we’re missing the opportunity to stabilize and secure the nation

This is not unlike Eastern Europe at the end of the Cold War. In 1984 Hungary, George Soros’ Open Society Institute injected millions of dollars into the democratic opposition and independent media. As these institutions grew, they in turn weakened the existing political structures.

Today though, the United States is looking to impose sanctions to curb Iran’s nuclear ambitions. But, as seen in North Korea, Iraq and even Iran itself, these measures rarely succeed in reversing hostile behavior.

What does consistently guarantee a more peaceful, stable world is the emergence of open, democratic nations with populations free from abuse by their governments.

This is exactly what growing numbers of Iranian citizens around the world are calling for. In doing so, they are weakening Ahmadinejad’s legitimacy.

By now shifting our focus to the current human rights abuses taking place in the streets of Tehran, we may just ease our proliferation concerns. In securing a more peaceful future for the people of Iran, we might just secure a more peaceful future for the world.

Shiva 's mother in an interview with Kalame had expressed surprised that her family was allowed to visit Shiva for the first time since her arrest.
She could also provide her with a few books.
Her mother had descried her daughter as highly spirited and resistant.
Ravanews Website
There is still no news on the whereabouts of a Kurd member of the Mir Hossein Moussavi's election staff who suddenly disappeared 8 months ago in Orumieh.
Mansour Miri Kalaniki, who has a master's degree in geopolitics, suddenly disappeared on July 17, 2009 and there is absolutely no news on his whereabouts. After the disappearance of this Kurd civil rights activist, his father Ali Miri Kalaniki was arrested by the Ministry of Intelligence and is currently in the Public Orumieh Prison.
Human Rights and Democracy Activists in Iran
According to reports, the severe contamination of drinking water in Gohardasht Prison in Karaj has caused a large number of political and ordinary prisoners to become sick.
Close to 40 percent of prisoners in section 4 of Gohardasht Prison are sick. Ill political prisoners include Saleh Kohandel, Hood Yazerlu, Misaq Yazdan Nejad and Reza Jushan. They have come down with side effects such as diarrhea, severe headaches, weakness and influenza like conditions.
The prison infirmary only treats urgent cases saying that it is closed for the new years and refrains from treating these prisoners. This has led to the deterioration of their condition and more prisoners have become sick. Despite the constant water outage and the severe contamination of the water in the past few weeks, the reason behind this issue has still not been announced to the prisoners. Reports say that the reason is because sewage water has entered the prisoner's drinking water.

We have learned in school that "information is power." In some countries, information and spreading the truth among the people means saving lives and alleviating the suffering of those who are in pain. That's why many of activists, bloggers and journalists, who are aggressively trying to stop the tragic human rights violations in Iran by gathering and spreading information about current events, believe that providing internet access for the Iranian people, and other people in the world in similar conditions, is not a political, but a moral act. There is a direct, and positive connection between free access to Internet-information, and the quality of people's lives.
I've talked to many of my friends -- bloggers, journalists and those who have difficulties to even send a simple email or chat on Yahoo messenger over the past eight months. Almost all of them believe that any kind of support to give Iranians more access to the Internet is supporting human rights and democracy in the country, supporting security in the Persian Gulf region, and most importantly saving the lives of many people who are threatened by restrictions on information that allow the Iranian government to operate behind closed doors as it violates their basic rights.
Almost all of them believe that it's a form of moral support. It should not be seen or used as a means to pursue hidden political purposes, but as promoting human rights as defined by international standards. Providing internet access for Iranians should not be seen as a part of a possible regime change plan in Iran, because it is up to the Iranian people to decide what to do with their freedom.
Some might say Iranians' obstacles to have access to the internet is Tehran's domestic issue. But it's not. It concerns a country stuck between other countries that either suffer from radicalism or that export terrorists to the rest of the world, a country between two major sources of conflict in the region, Iraq and Afghanistan. That's why such support is directly related to the security of the region and the world in a long run.
We should not forget that if it were not for the internet, we would have the same picture of the Iranian government that we had 9 months ago. And if it were not for the limited access to internet that exists, God knows how many more people would have been killed or tortured inside prisons in Iran.
The United States and some European countries have shown interest in supporting Iranians to fight against internet censorship and provide more access to information via the internet. But they should not forget the importance of applying standards in a balanced -- not political -- way. Not only Iran, but also numerous other countries, violate the right to access the internet, and the United States and European countries should support compliance across the board. Otherwise, the charge of holding double standards will stick.
But what should be done? Here is a list of actions, policy shifts, and issues that are essential to giving Iranians more access to information and helping them fight against the Tehran's strong censorship:
Modifying the U.S. sanctions on IranCertain sanctions or interpretations of the sanctions have seriously damaged the ability of Iranians to access the Internet and need to be modified.

1) Software download is blocked to IPs from Iran: Many major companies such as Google and Microsoft block downloads to people in Iran in fear of sanctions. For example, Google Talk or Google Chrome, one of the safest web browsers, is not available for download to Iranian users. All mass-market software that is useful for publishing, communications, and education should be exempted from the sanctions.
2) Online advertising is not allowed for Persian websites: Many companies such as Google or Facebook do not include Persian (Farsi) as a supported language for online advertising websites or allow targeting users with such a language. This is problematic when activists want to use such advertising tools to reach out to Iranians in Iran. It also prevents many of the human rights activist websites from making small amounts of money on advertising that can help them to pay for their server costs.
3) Iranians are not allowed to pay for domain purchases and related issues. In result, Iranian government-sponsored hackers stole many of the domains belonging to Iranian human rights activists because such activists have difficulties registering such domains under their names and have to do this through proxies. But, there is no way to verify their location or identity when their web domains are stolen. Just in the past few months, a few hundred domains registered on Godaddy have been stolen by the Iranian government and there is no way to get them back because the original owners were not allowed to buy those domains legally on Godaddy in the first place.
4) Funding is needed to hire a limited number of web developers in Iran. Many of the small activist groups need to hire developers to build their websites. The number of web developers with a command of the Persian language outside of Iran is very few. These groups need to be allowed to hire web developers in Iran. The amount of payments could be capped to $10000 per year to make sure such a solution is not abused for other purposes.
5) Online access and advertising should be exempted from the current sanction regime via a categorical order. Without a categorical order, such a problem cannot be solved. The reason is that the Iranian market is very small and many of the US-based Internet companies prefer to stay away from it instead of spending tens of thousands of dollars on legal fees to apply for an export license.
6) European companies who still sell surveillance or censorship technology to the Iranian government need to be exposed and face sanctions. A number of large European countries have provided Iranian government with technologies to monitor SMS and communications between Iranians. Without the pressure from the European Parliament and U.S. government, taking actions against these companies would be impossible.
Internet access and Security:1) Giving VPN accounts to the activists and journalists in Iran: VPN provides the best security and functionality compared to any other solution. VPN accounts would need to be bought from different VPN providers and distributed to the activists through different online websites. Each major human rights or pro-democracy website would be given between 100-500 VPN accounts. They would distribute them to trusted activists in Iran they know. [Virtual Private Network- VPN gives extremely secure connections between private networks linked through the internet. It allows remote computers to act as though they were on the same secure, local network]
2) Purchasing Skype credits for activists in Iran: Using Skype credits, activists in Iran can make secure international calls. Skype's encryption is one of the best among all the voice services.
3) Anti-jamming for satellite broadcasts: The Iranian government sends jamming signals to commercial satellites. Many of the commercial carriers are reluctant to broadcast independent or reform-oriented Iranian TV content because the Iranian government can blind their satellite. Commercial satellites can be jammed because the upload and download signal is the same and the upload signal is a fixed frequency. However, military satellites are built to resist such jamming. For Iranian broadcasts, the US government could dedicate a specific satellite, which is hardened against jamming using technologies similar to military satellites.
4) Provide Iranians with free satellite internet: The technology for internet access is not cheap but considering the importance of internet access in Iran, it is worth investing on this issue. There are technologies for one-way delivery of content or two-way interactive internet access. Providing such services free of charge to the Iranian people can go a long way in breaking the monopoly of the Iranian government on the dissemination of information in Iran.
5) Email security: Unfortunately, no secure free email provider exists. Yahoo is particularly insecure, while Gmail provides more security but is still vulnerable to key loggers. For activists, there is a need for an email service to have security as high as PayPal accounts or bank accounts. For example, the login process should be resistant against keyloggers. This can be achieved by showing images or other techniques.
6) PC security: One idea is to provide the activists with free security software and anti-virus software.
Collaborating with the human rights community
Finally, private companies and initiatives can provide resources to support the development of technology designed to combat internet censorship including those technologies that surpass filters. There are a number of professionals and companies that are focused on developing software that provide such technologies for Iranian users that could be supported.
Satellite TODAY 03-25-10] European Union (EU) foreign ministers have called on Iran to cease censorship and jamming activities directed at satellite broadcasts coming from Europe, the EU announced March 24 at a meeting in Brussels. The EU claims that Iran violated an international treaty and has been jamming satellite broadcasts from the BBC and VOA and restricting Iranian customer access to the Internet since late 2009.Internet search engine Google redirected its search engine traffic in China to Hong Kong March 22 after it filed censorship and hacking complaints with the Chinese government. The EU said it has not made a decision on punitive action. “We have not yet moved further forward in terms of what further actions to take. As you know, we remain very concerned about what is happening in Iran, and we remain very concerned to ensure the Security Council debate is able to take forward the issues more broadly of what needs to happen next,” EU spokeswoman Catherine Ashton said in a statement.

Reports of 181 human rights violations in Kurdistan

In the past 3 months, violations of human rights has increased more than ever in Kurdistan. Arrests, prosecutions, imprisonments, unjust executions and executions of political prisoners have been common practice [by the Iranian regime]. There have also been numerous reports on suspicious deaths of political prisoners, contributing to the systematic and continuous violations of human rights that exist to this day in Kurdistan.
According to Kurdestan-o Kurd News Agency, this past winter, at least 25 people in Kurdistan lost their lives due to the violation of human rights by the government. 21 of these cases were reported to be of people that lived and owned trading businesses at the border.
This report also clarifies that the execution of Kurdish political prisoner Fasih Yasamani, on January 6, 2010, was ordered in a unofficial and brief trial. Three other Kurdish political prisoners have suspiciously died while serving their time in prison.
Accordingly, 110 Kurdish students that were studying in Kurdistan universities were arrested by the disciplinary police. 22 of them were temporarily suspended from school, while others were permanently expelled. 27 other Kurdish student activists were imprisoned.
This report further demonstrates that 143 other cases of prosecution have been reported. 29 cases were referred to court, where defendants were sentenced from 22 months to 6 years of imprisonment.
It should be mentioned that currently, there are 17 Kurdish political prisoners who are waiting to be executed.
Translation by: Talieh Persian2Englihs.com

Committee of Human Rights Reporters

After 20 days since the arrest of Navid Khanjani, his family has been unsuccessful in tracking [any information] from [court] judges or [officials at] Evin prison.
Additionally, the officials at Sadegh Larijani’s office have refused a letter Navid’s family wrote to the judiciary (editor’s note- Sadegh Larijani is the head of the judicial system in Iran). In reply to Navid’s family, the officials for Larijani’s office stated that Baha’is do not have “the right to a plea (I.e. a lawsuit).”
Navid Khanjani is currently detained in a solitary confinement cell reserved for members of the IRGC. He is under great pressure and interrogation. Navid’s current condition has caused his family to worry.
At the start of the new year (a new year in Iran begins on the first day of spring), Navid Khanjani’s family demanded the “freedom of Navid and all the innocent people who have tried to regain basic human rights for all.”
Navid Khanjani, a member of the Committee of Human Rights Reporters and one of the founders of the Population of Combat against Educational Discrimination, was banned from attending university for his belief in the Baha’i faith. In the past years, Navid has played a significant role [in raising awareness] on educational discrimination.

Translation by: Maneli M. Persian2English.com
from a reador S>A

"as the most enduring political coalition in Iranian history, the National
Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) has a clear and publicly declared political
platform, bringing into focus a clear prospect for the Iranian people and also
for the international community."
"Sanctions (against Iranian regime) are
necessary but not sufficient. Sanctions must be coupled with a change of
policy towards the Iranian Resistance. Thus far, the policy of western countries
has prevented the Iranian Resistance from being able to harness all its
potentials to bring about change. The time has come for the NCRI to be

Read more

March 20, [2010] marks the start of the Iranian New Year 1389. On this occasion, the Network of Iranian Labor Unions (NILU) salutes the Iranian working class and their allies, as well as the international labor movement, in solidarity with their struggle. Several unions in Iran have issued communiques on the occasion of the new year.

Free Assembly of Iranian Workers Message on the Occasion ofthe New Year

As 1388 comes to a close and a new year begins, millions of Iranians who realize ideals of humanity have demanded [for their rights] while [remaining] determined, hopeful, and full of excitement.

This year, Norooz approaches differently than previous years. Iranians are unwavering in their pursuit to break the oppression and tyranny of 1388. [Examples of conditions endured in 1388 that carry over to the new year]: wages below the poverty line ($303.00 USD for workers), subsidies cut in the coming year, the increase of unemployment figures, continuous non-payment of sub-poverty wages, and thousands of resisting (laborers and other social movement leaders and activists) imprisoned.

The Free Assembly of the Iranian Workers greets the Iranian people and salutes all the freedom-loving citizens who are imprisoned. [We] congratulate them and their loved ones on the new year. In the early moments of the new year we call for the immediate and unconditional release of imprisoned workers and everyone who seeks an Iran free of injustice, discrimination, and repression.

Happy New Year

Free Assembly of Iranian Workers
March 20, 2010

Norooz Greeting by Haft Tapeh Sugar Refinery Workers Syndicate

On Norooz, Haft Tapeh Sugar Refinery Workers Syndicate congratulates all Iranian people, especially the noble and hard-working masses. We hope that no one is terminated [from their job] or imprisoned in the new year for pursuing their rights. This is our deepest aspiration.

Hail Norooz,

Haft Tapeh Sugar Refinery Workers Syndicate
March 20, 2010

[Also:] Tehran and Municipality Vahed Bus Workers Syndicate also wished for the release of imprisoned labor activists in their Norooz greeting.

Translation by: Iran Labor Report | Additional editing by: Persian2English.com

Parents of Martyr Ramin Ramezani talk to CNN

Zahra Assadpour Gorji's physical situation is critical and Doctors at the prison clinic have asked for her released for immediate surgery's, Gorji, 51, suffers from heart problems. She has been waiting to be allowed an operation since before the New Iranian year. Her release has been postponed and delayed intentionally by prison officials.
Ms.Gorji, was arrested by the RG Intelligence and taken to section 8of Intelligence and tortured for several months. Ms. Gorji and her son had previously been arrested and detained for 16 months in Karaj for seeing her family in Ashraf. She was tortured by "Mohebi".

Reza Joshan,25, Ms.Gorji's son, has been kept in solitary confinement of section 2of Gohardasht and transferred to section 4 of Gohardsht prison.

last month they were charged by Assef Hoseein, head of section1 of the so called revolutionary court.
Jaras Website

Sina Golchin, a student who was released on a very heavy bail to spend the new years with his family was once again summoned and jailed for refusing to cooperate with the Ministry of Intelligence to confess on radio and for not cooperating with security forces while on the new years leave.
According to informed sources, this 20 year old student who was arrested after Ashura (December 27, 2009) was initially charged with being a mohareb (enemy of God) and sentenced to death, but was later sentenced to 8 years of prisoner after judicial officials claimed that he was subject to 'Islamic clemency'.
Kurdistan Human Rights Organization

Three members of a family from Orumieh were sentenced to death for social crimes in a Mahabad Court.
A Kurd mother and her two children who were arrested for social related crimes were sentenced to death by the Revolutionary Court in Mahabad.
These prisoners are Jazieh Darvish Zadeh and her two children Afsaneh Darvish Zadeh, 19 and Fatollah Darvish Zadeh, 21. They are currently detained in Mahabad Prison.
Jaras Website

Mohsen Barzegar, a student activist in the Nonshirvani Industrial University in Babol who is jailed in this prison in this city was beaten by a number of other prisoners on Sunday and then hospitalized.
This is while the officer in charge of the section who was present in the scene ignored the beating. Barzegar is currently hospitalized in the Babol Prison Infirmary.
He was arrested in the protests after the presidential elections and was sentenced to 10 months of prison and a one year suspension from education

Orumiyeh prisoners celebrate Norouz

Mukrian News AgencyPolitical prisoners in Section 12 of Orumiyeh prison celebrated Norouz yesterday, March 20, 2010 at 5pm. The prisoners sang songs, lit fire and danced to welcome the [Iranian] new year.

Prison’s special forces dispersed the prisoners, and more than 15 prisoners were sent to quarantine in Orumiyeh’s central prison.

According to the latest reports, a number of the quarantined prisoners were returned to the prison’s general section after a few hours.

Translation by: Arash Azizi

Sharif University of Technology student Mehdi Kalari was released from Evin prison on March 19, 2010.

On December 7, 2009 Mehdi Kalari was arrested at the University and transferred to Evin prison. Kalari was sentence to two and a half years in prison.

Last week, over 2000 students at Sharif University of Technology demanded the release of their peers Mehdi Kalari, Tara Sepehrifar, and Kouhyar Goodarzi. Kalari and Sepehrifar have been released, but Goodarzi’s sentence was extended two months.

Translation by: Teni K. | Persian2English.com

Committee of Human Rights Reporters
On Thursday March 18, 2010, Amir Hossein Kazemi, a blogger and member of the youth division of the political organization Nehzat Azadi (Freedom Movement), met with his family in Evin prison.

The political activist informed his family in the meeting that he had been charged with “acting against national security.” Kazemi was taken into custody on March 6, 2010, after he was summoned to the Ministry of Intelligence.

Amir Hossein Kazemi, the author of the Bamardum blog, has been repeatedly threatened by security agents.

Currently Emad Bahavar (head of the youth division of Nehzat Azadi), Farid Taheri (executive member), and several other members of Nehzat Azadi are in detention.

Tara Sepehrifar was arrested on February 9, 2010 for the second time during the past 12 months. She was transferred to Evin prison and spent 35 days in detention.

According to a RAHANA reporter, Tara Sepehrifar was released from Evin on Tuesday night around 9:00pm. Previously, she was arrested on June 30, 2009 and detained in Evin for one month.

Last week, over 2000 students at Sharif University of Technology signed a petition and demanded the release of Tara Sepehrifar, Kouhyar Goodarzi and Mehdi Kalari, three detained students who attend this university.

Translation by: RAHANA
Yadollah Rahmani 60, former political prisoner, who had been already tortured in Chubin prison of Ghazvin, from 1982 to 1986,is once again sentenced to prison,
His charges are that he has been travelling to see his children in a refugee Camp called Ashraf in Iraq.
He had been travelling legally with a passport, but was arrested and sentenced.

According to news, the regime has been arresting families of Ashraf refugees, to exert pressure on them to forced political submission.
Committee of Human Rights Reporters
Somayeh Farid, a women's rights activist was arrested outside Evin Prison today as she was going to follow up the condition of her political prisoner husband, Hojat Montazeri.
She was directly taken to Evin Prison after her arrest. Her husband was arrested on March 4, 2010 and is currently in Evin Prison.
ILNA state-run news agency
The lawyer of Azar Mansouri, the political deputy of the Participation Front, said that his client was sentenced to 3 years of prison by the 28th branch of the Tehran Revolutionary Court.
"After initial investigations and after the bill of indictment was issued for my client, her case was sent to the 28th branch of the Revolutionary Court and after seeing to her charges, she was sentenced to 3 years or prison", Mohammad-Reza Faqihi said.
He said that she was charged with disrupting pubic order by attending gatherings, spreading propaganda against the government, publishing lies with the intention of creating anxiety for the public and assembling and conspiring to disrupt national security.
ISNA state-run News Agency Jaber Baneshi, the Shiraz Public Prosecutor said, "Seriously dealing with elements that make and distribute flammable and dangerous material is one of the serious issues of the judicial system and it has been underlined for State Security Forces to deal firmly and legally with these kinds of issues".
He also announced that a special court branch would be allocated to see to the transgressions and crimes related to Chaharshanbeh Soori (Fire Festival) in the Shiraz Revolutionary Court and said, "There will be a judge present in this branch at all times to see to Chaharshanbeh Soori cases outside the usual schedules".
Baneshi also said that no group has the right to use this ceremony for their own political ends.
AP Eutelsat has lodged two complaints in the past nine months for Iran's 'deliberate jamming operations' targeting Persian broadcasts by the BBC and the Voice of America, the satellite provider said Wednesday.
France-based Eutelsat said the two broadcasters Farsi-language services are the target of 'repeated and deliberate jamming operations.' However, both have been transmitted 'without disruption or jamming' since the start of the month.
Last month, Voice of America, the BBC and Deutsche Welle condemned what they said was the illegal jamming of broadcasts.
The disruptions appear linked to political turmoil in Iran. Some Iranians have complained that Tehran authorities have tried to stop international broadcasts in a bid to isolate citizens amid unrest that began after last June's contested presidential elections…
Eutelsat said in a statement that it lodged a complaint in May 2009 with the National Agency of French Frequencies and lodged a second complaint in February 2010, this time aimed at getting the Radio Regulations Board of the International Telecommunication Union 'to give priority to address the matter' at its March 22-26 board meeting.
It noted that the foreign ministers of France, Britain and Germany have asked European Union members to denounce jamming at a March 22 meeting of the Foreign Affairs Council.
Eutelsat's Hot Bird satellite transmits the broadcasts to Iran, and Eutelsat said it 'continually carries out technical operations' to maintain transmission. It also has relied on other satellites 'more resistant to jamming from Iran'.
Iran Press News WebsiteAccording to reports from Sanandaj, the Kurdistan Revolutionary Court presided over by Mostafa Tayari issued another 17-year-prison term for political prisoner Farhad Mirzayi.
Farhad Haji Mirzayi was temporarily released on a heavy bail after two years of torture in the Kurdistan Intelligence Agency, Evin Prison and Qezel Hesar Prison. Farhad was sentenced to ten years and six months of prison the first time in a show trial in Tehran.
His 17 year prison term was issued for him in his absence and it has been stated in his sentence that the case of Farhad Haji Mirzayi is open for investigation and trial.
Human Rights and Democracy Activists in Iran
According to reports, severe water pollution in Gohardasht Prison has led to the spread of various illnesses which seriously threatens the lives of prisoners.
From March 11, the drinking water of section 1 and 4 in Gohardasht Prison in Karaj became extremely polluted which has rendered the water undrinkable. The color of the water is a turbid greenish color with a very bad odor and because of the high amount of chlorine in the water, it tastes and smells very bad and is unusable. Defenseless prisoners are forced to use this water because it has been polluted for a long time which has led to various illnesses. A number of prisoners suffer from headaches and stomach aches and other digestive problems.
The water in the pipes of various sections in prison is so polluted that those who use it to bathe have come down with side effects such as rashes and severe itches.
From three days ago, the water was cut off in these sections and prisoners only have water for 1 or 2 hours a day and have been deprived of even the polluted water.
Committee of Human Rights Reporters
Navid Khanjani, a member of the Committee of Human Rights Reporters is detained in a solitary cell which is controlled by the Revolutionary Guards Corps in Evin Prison.
This student activist has only had a few phone calls with his family and there is no information on the charges against him and why he was arrested.
Khanjani only said in his phone call with his family that he was being kept in a solitary cell controlled by the Revolutionary Guards Corps
and that he was not kept in section 209 in this prison, which has raised concerns for his condition.
This student activist was arrested in his home in Isfahan on the night of March 2 and was then transferred to Evin Prison in Tehran
Human Rights Activists in Iran
Dr. Vahid Ahmad Fakhroddin, a lawyer in Ahwaz, was arrested on Wednesday March 10 by the intelligence agency in this city.
The reason behind the arrest of this young lawyer in Khuzestan who was responsible for the legal cases of labor and media activists in this southern Iranian province is still not clear.
He was the lawyer of members of the Board of Directors of the Haft Tapeh Sugar Cane Factory Syndicate and human rights activist Abolfazl Abedini.
Mohsen Abdi, an archeologist major at the Bu-Ali Sina University in Hamedan who was arrested after Ashura on December 27, 2009 in Tehran told his mother in his first visit with her that he was physically tortured to confess to participating in the 'seditions'.
This jailed student activist is currently held in Evin Prison's Public Section and was trialed in a court in this prison before this. His lawyer, Mohammad Oliyayi Far, who was recently arrested, was not able to go to court to pursue his case because the court was inside the prison.
Al-Arabieh TV
Urgent News: According to reports, a protester was killed in Bukan in Iran.

Free HR Activists !!

As reported by the the antivir producer McAfee, hackers are currently sending e-mails with contaminated attachments. In these e-mails, facebook users are informed that their password has been reset. They are told to click on the attachment of the e-mail in order to get new login data . If users open the attachment, several malware programs will install themselves on their computers, that can extract passwords and other sensitive data.

There have been repeated attacks on facebook users, mostly via the internal news service of this internet platform. Now, hackers for the first time use the private e-mail accounts of the users to spread spam mails.

A Facebook spokesperson did not comment on this particular case, however, he referred to an announcement published on the websites of the users on Wednesday. Facebook in this announcement warned its members to not open the e-mails and delete them. According to McAfee, the hackers could contaminate millions of computers.

The New York Times
At a time when the Obama administration is pressing for harsher sanctions against Iran for its nuclear program, democracy advocates in Iran have been celebrating the recent decision by the United States to lift sanctions on various online services, which they say only helped Tehran to suppress the opposition.

But it is still a long way from the activists’ goal of lifting all restrictions on trade in Internet services, which opposition leaders say is vital to maintaining the open communications that have underpinned the protests that erupted last summer after the disputed presidential election. In recent months the government has carried out cyberwarfare against the opposition, eliminating virtually all sources of independent news and information and shutting down social networking services.

The sanctions against online services — provided through free software like Google Chat or Yahoo Messenger — were intended to restrict Iran’s ability to develop nuclear technology, but democracy advocates say they ended up helping the government repress its people. “The policies were contradictory,” said Ali Akbar Moussavi Khoini, a former member of Parliament who now lives in Washington, where he pressed for the change.

The new measure will enable users in Iran to download the latest circumvention software to help defeat the government’s efforts to block Web sites, and to stop relying on pirated copies that can be far more easily hacked by the government.
But the government’s opponents say they need still more help in getting around the government’s information roadblocks.

“The Islamic Republic is very efficient in limiting people’s access to these sources, and Iranian people need major help,” said Mehdi Yahyanejad, the founder of one of the largest Persian-language social networking Web sites, the United States-based Balatarin. “We need some 50 percent of people to be able to access independent news sources other than the state-controlled media.”
Web sites, social networking and satellite television became major sources of news and tools for organizing and mobilizing people. The opposition posted news about the demonstrations and videos of the security forces’ use of violence against protesters. A video of her final moments turned Neda Agha Soltan, the 26-year-old woman who was shot by government forces, into an international symbol.

But the authorities came to realize the significance of the networking tools and began efforts to eliminate them. In December its “cyberarmy” attacked Twitter, which was a major communications tool for the opposition. The hackers redirected Twitter users to a page in English that read, “This page has been hacked by the Iranian cyberarmy.”

In recent months the government slowed the Internet to a crawl, so that users were unable to perform the simplest operations, like opening Gmail or Yahoo accounts. It has become impossible to post a video, and opposition Web sites have been blocked. The government has also jammed opposition and news satellite channels, including Persian-language Voice of America television and BBC Persian, which were watched by millions.

The government has jailed many cyberexperts in recent months, charging some with “waging war against God,” potentially a capital crime, for sending political e-mail messages. This month Parliament announced a $500 million budget for cyberwarfare, the Fars news agency recently reported.
The opposition tried to fight back with software designed to circumvent the restrictions, but that became a losing battle after Internet service was slowed.
Opposition leaders say they would like to have access to Internet hardware — any products made by Cisco Systems, for example, are subject to sanctions — and high-speed satellite Internet service, which experts say is generally harder to jam than broadcasts. That service is available from the American company Hughes Global Services, in Europe and the Middle East, and could be used by Iranians. But Payam Herischi, senior director at Hughes, said that the company was reluctant to allow its satellites to provide service to Iran until sanctions are lifted.
Iran, which has no communications satellites of its own, is dependent on foreign companies for broadcasting all its local channels as well as English, Persian and Arabic channels. Its jamming of BBC Persian and Voice of America violated international regulations.

“What Iran is doing can cause serious chaos in the international satellite order,” said Sadeq Saba, the director of Persian-language BBC television. “If other countries begin to retaliate and jam Iran’s channels, there will be serious chaos.”
After Iranian jamming last December of the Voice of America and the BBC, the French company Eutelsat duplicated the services, which were on one of its popular Hot Bird satellites, on a more advanced satellite that is resistant to jamming. But that required Iranians to purchase new equipment, which is illegal and hard to find.
While most in the opposition focused on the tactical battle with the government, some saw the struggle in broader terms.
“This is not about the opposition Green Movement in Iran now,” said Mr. Khoini, a visiting scholar at Stanford. “This is about democracy and the fact that when people have access to information, they can make wise choices. No one, even the current leaders of the opposition, can hijack the movement like the way the Islamists did in the 1979 revolution if people can have access to free information.”
The Gaezzet

The European Union will announce plans on Monday to take steps against Iran’s jamming of foreign satellite broadcasts, a move that shows a willingness to take firm unilateral measures against Tehran.
The initiative is separate to U.S.-led efforts to secure another round of U.N. sanctions against Iran’s nuclear programme, but it is an indication that the EU would be prepared to act on its own against Iran if a U.N. resolution fails.
The draft of an EU foreign ministers’ declaration to be issued on Monday expresses "grave concern" at measures taken by the Iranian authorities to block citizens’ access to foreign TV and radio satellite broadcasts and to the Internet.
"The EU is determined to pursue these issues and to act with a view to put an end to this unacceptable situation," reads the draft, obtained by Reuters. Diplomats said the intention was to take concrete action, not just issue a verbal warning.
It is not clear what steps EU member states could take to stop the jamming, which involves Iran’s blocking of transmissions by French satellite operator Eutelsat and affects the BBC and Deutsche Welle, among other broadcasters.
But French newspaper Le Figaro reported last week it could include blocking the export of equipment made by companies such as Siemens and Nokia that makes it possible to intercept email and mobile phone conversations.
In that respect, the EU’s move would constitute a testing of the waters of how further, deeper sanctions could be imposed against Iran’s uranium enrichment programme by the West if U.N.-backed sanctions were to fail.
"U.N. sanctions on Iran are a separate issue, but you could see this (the EU move on Iranian jamming) as part of overall efforts to lay the ground for tighter sanctions going forward," a senior EU diplomat said.
Winning U.N. Security Council backing for a fourth round of sanctions remains the priority for the United States, Britain, France and Germany – the four countries driving the effort to secure a resolution.
But the originally hoped-for February deadline for getting a deal has passed, with China remaining adamantly opposed and Russia also reluctant, if more amenable than Beijing.
French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner said last week it may now take until June to get backing from all five permanent Security Council members and even then he said he wasn’t sure a deal could be reached.
With the clock ticking – the United States referred to the need for "crippling" sanctions at the start of the year – EU officials are increasingly talking about "autonomous" action, which means the European Union, the United States and their allies imposing unilateral measures on Tehran.
Finland’s foreign minister, Alexander Stubb, said last week a Security Council resolution remained the goal, "but failing that, we’ll just have to do it unilaterally and by unilateral I mean the EU directly on Iran".
"Time is running out," he added, saying he believed there was "consensus enough" within the European Union for autonomous measures, which would likely target Iranian banks and insurance companies and specific members of the Revolutionary Guard.
Officially no discussion of any unilateral EU-U.S. measures will be discussed until it is clear a Security Council resolution is not going to be possible. But informally those conversations are already going on, EU diplomatic sources say, and companies that do business in Iran have taken note.
Siemens, with annual sales of 500 million euros ($680 million U.S.) in Iran, said in January it would not accept any new orders from Tehran, and two large German insurance companies – Munich Re and Allianz – said last month they would also wind up business there as pressure for sanctions grows.Read more

Committee of Human Rights Reporters
After the last meeting with CHRR member Koohyar Goodarzi, his mother reported that his sentence has been extended two months.

Kooyhar Goodarzi is reportedly under continuous pressure to reveal the passwords to his email account and the CHRR website. According to Article 38 of the Iranian constitution: “All forms of torture for the purpose of extracting confession or acquiring information are forbidden. Compulsion of individuals to testify, confess, or take an oath is not permissible; and any testimony, confession, or oath obtained under duress is devoid of value and credence. Violation of this article is liable to punishment in accordance with the law.”

While 90 days have passed since the arrest of Kooyhar Goodarzi, many other prisoners of conscience have been released in recent days.

Journalist and human rights activist Kooyhar Goodarzi was arrested on December 20, 2009, along with Shiva Nazar Ahari and Saeed Haeri. Also, with pressures from security forces, Koohyar Goodarzi was expelled from Sharif University of Technology.

Translation by: Teni K. Persian2English.com

Majid Tavakoli’s brother, Ali Tavakoli, sends Norooz Message: ”Our hearts are imprisoned in the solitary cells of Evin”

I do not know what Majid has done that has caused him to be held in solitary confinement and be deprived from the right to visit or contact his family, even though his trial was held and a sentence was issued.

Why should the agents in ward 240 be reprimanded for allowing you [Majid Tavakoli] to call home on January 6th?

There is no justice for you and your family in Iran. Nobody responds to the cry of your mother. This year, too, you are not around to share your smile and tranquility with us.

I remember the last New Year’s day you were at home. Although the university was closed for the holidays, you came home late. I asked where you were, and you replied that some of your friends were detained, and you and others waited until they were released. Nothing is more painful than to wait to see a loved one arrive at the haftsin table (the traditional decorative setup for Norooz).

But Majid, this year, despite the fact that your empty place pains us all, and I know that your absence will make mother sob and father be burdened with a deep grief, I will set up a haftsin table as large as your courage and resilience. Mother put it well, “Our bodies are free, but our hearts are trapped in the solitary cells of Evin prison.”

Translation by: Siavosh J. | Persian2English.com