Tehran hangs Afghan, Iranian drug traffickers, rapists

IRAN-AFGHANISTAN-EXECUTION - World News (EAA) - AFP
TEHRAN, Dec 29, 2012 (AFP) - Iran on Saturday hanged an Afghan drug trafficker and four Iranians, three of them convicted of rape, local media reported.
The 27-year-old Afghan from Herat, identified only by his initials MM, was sent to the gallows in the northern city of Damghan after being convicted of selling around two kilos (four pounds) of crack cocaine.
Three Iranian men convicted of rape and another of smuggling heroin and opium, were hanged in the central city of Yazd.
The Islamic republic, where murder, rape, armed robbery, drug trafficking and adultery are punishable by death, has one of the highest annual execution counts in the world, alongside China, Saudi Arabia and the United States.
Human rights watchdog Amnesty International has condemned the executions, but Tehran says the death penalty is essential to maintain law and order and that it is enforced only after exhaustive judicial proceedings.
IRAN-AFGHANISTAN-EXÉCUTION - Monde (MOA) - AFP
TEHERAN, 29 déc 2012 (AFP) - Cinq condamnés à mort, deux reconnus coupables de trafic de drogue dont un Afghan et trois Iraniens convaincus de viol, ont été pendus samedi, selon les médias iraniens.
Le ressortissant afghan, identifié par ses initiales M.M., était âgé de 27 ans et originaire d'Herat. Il a été exécuté dans la ville de Damghan (nord) après sa condamnation pour transport d'environ deux kilos de crack, un dérivé bon marché de la cocaïne aux effets dévastateurs.
A Yazd (centre), un Iranien condamné pour trafic d'héroïne et d'opium ainsi que quatre autres pour viol ont été pendus.
En vertu de la charia (loi islamique) en vigueur en Iran, le meurtre, le viol, le vol à main armée, le trafic de drogue et l'adultère y sont passibles de la peine capitale.
Les trois quarts des exécutions concernent des trafiquants de drogue, la législation iranienne en vigueur étant particulièrement sévère.
L'ONU et des organisations internationales de protection des droits de l'Homme ont condamné l'application de la peine de mort en Iran, l'un des pays qui procèdent au plus grand nombre d'exécutions dans le monde, avec la Chine, l'Arabie saoudite et les Etats-Unis.
Mais la République islamique estime que les exécutions sont essentielles pour le maintien de l'ordre, et que la sentence n'est appliquée qu'après un processus judiciaire approfondi.
Importante route de transit de la drogue vers l'Europe et le Moyen-Orient en provenance de l'Afghanistan, l'Iran en est aussi une victime directe, avec quelque deux millions de drogués dont 400.000 héroïnomanes pour une population de 75 millions d'habitants, selon des estimations officielles.



By Lisa Daftari

http://www.foxnews.com/world/2012/12/26/iran-re-arrests-pastor-nadarkhani-on-christmas-day/
FoxNews.com
Youcef Nadarkhani, an Iranian Christian pastor, now must finish the prison sentence that was commuted earlier this year.
The Iranian Christian pastor who had been imprisoned in Iran for converting from Islam to Christianity was taken into custody again on Christmas Day, according to several Iranian media sources and individuals close to the pastor and his family.
Youcef Nadarkhani, 35, had been summoned to return back to Lakan Prison in Rasht , the facility where he served time and was then released, based on the charge that he must complete the remainder of his sentence, according to several reports and confirmed by those close to Nadarkhani in Iran .
In September, the pastor was acquitted of apostasy, but the court maintained his three-year sentence for evangelizing Muslims. As he had already served close to three years, the pastor was freed after posting bail.
The court had then stated that the remainder which equaled roughly 45 days, would be served in the form of probation.
Nadarkhani, married and father of two young children, came under the regime’s radar in 2006 when he applied for his church to be registered with the state. According to sources, he was arrested at that time and then soon released.
In 2009, Nadarkhani went to local officials to complain about Islamic indoctrination in his school district, arguing that his children should not be forced to learn about Islam.
He was subsequently arrested.
Since Nadarkhani's release in September, his attorney, Mohammed Ali Dadkhah has been imprisoned and remains in Iran 's notoriously brutal Evin Prison where his health is rapidly deteriorating and is being denied proper dental care, according to his family. He has been incarcerated for advocating Nadarkhani's case and other human rights cases.
After his release, Nadarkhani wrote a public letter thanking all those who helped release him. In November, he traveled to London to speak at a national human rights conference thanking those who advocated on his behalf.
http://iranhr.net/spip.php?article2660
Iran Human Rights, December 27, 2012: Five prisoners were hanged publicly in southern Iran today December 27.
According to the state run Iranian news agency Fars five men were hanged in "Mehrvarzi" parks of Yasouj city in front of thousands of people. The prisoners who were not identified by name were convicted of rape.
So far according to official Iranian reports at least 23 people have been executed in December 2012 in Iran .
http://www.en-hrana.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=757:1&catid=14:ethnic-minorities&Itemid=9
HRANA News Agency – Younes Aghayan, ethnic prisoner sentenced to death was transferred from Mahabad prison to solitary confinement in Urmia prison, yesterday.

According to a report by Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA), Younes Aghayan, a follower of the Yari faith (Ahl-e Haq), ethnic prisoner who is sentenced to death, was transferred from Mahabad prison to solitary confinement in Urmia prison. There is fear of his execution.

Younes Aghayan is a follower of the Yari faith (Ahl-e Haq) from the village of Ooch Tappeh , near Miandoab. In October 2004, police raided Ooch Tappeh village to remove signs with religious writings of Yari faith. When villagers resisted the raid and confronted the police, Younes Aghayan, 21, and another Yari faith follower by the name of Mehdi Ghassemzadeh (Aghayan’s uncle) were arrested. In January 2005, the two men were put on trial by Branch Two of Mahabad Revolutionary Court, and were sentenced to five years in prison on charges of “carrying ammunition and arms,” and to death on charges of “armed resistence against the Islamic Republic of Iran.” After the Supreme Court confirmed the sentences, Mehdi Ghassemzadeh was executed in 2008, and Younes Aghayan has remained on death row inside Orumiyeh Prison since then. Mehdi Ghassemzadeh was executed without the knowledge of his family and his court-appointed lawyer, and according to the source, his body was never returned to his family for burial.
http://www.iranpressnews.com/english/source/139330.html
HRANA News Agency – Mona Majidi, Baha’i citizen from Sangsar was arrested with her infant to serve her six months imprisonment in Semnan Prison.
According to a report by Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA), intelligence officers arrested Mona Majidi (Ghorbani) with her nine months old infant from her home and transferred them to Semnan Prison to serve her six months imprisonment on Tuesday, December 18, 2012.
She was sentenced to 40 Million Rls fine or six month in prison, but with her arrest, the second option of her verdict was implemented.
Mona Majidi is the third Baha’i mother with her infant in Semnan prison. Taraneh Torabi and Zohreh Nik A’in are two other Baha’i mothers with their infants in Semnan prison.
http://www.en-hrana.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=752:1&catid=15:execution&Itemid=10
HRANA News Agency – reconsideration of Gholamreza Khosravi Savadjani, political prisoner who is sentenced to death, was failed and he is in danger of imminent execution.

According to a report by Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA), 31st branch of Supreme Court in Tehran announced reconsideration of Gholamreza Khosravi Savadjani, political prisoner who is sentenced to death, was failed and he is in danger of imminent execution.

Gholamreza Khosravi Savadjani was arrested in 2008 in Rafsanjan, Kerman Province , in connection with his alleged support of the pro-PMOI TV station Sima-ye Azadi (Voice of Freedom).

In 2008 he was sentenced to six years’ imprisonment, three years of which were suspended. Following an appeal by the Ministry of Intelligence, the three-year suspended sentence was implemented, bringing his total sentence to 6 years actual imprisonment. Following further legal proceedings, including two retrials, he was sentenced to death after conviction of a fresh charge of “enmity against God” (moharebeh) for his alleged ties to the PMOI, which the Supreme Court confirmed on 21 April 2012.


http://www.iheu.org/files/IHEU%20Freedom%20of%20Thought%202012.pdf

Iran
Discriminatory Laws:


There is no freedom of religion or belief in the Islamic Republic of Iran. Iranian law bars any criticism of Islam or deviation from the ruling Islamic standards. Government leaders use these laws to persecute religious minorities and dissidents.

Article 110 of the Constitution lists all the powers granted to the Spiritual Leader (a Muslim religious and political leader), appointed by his peers for an unlimited duration. Among others, the Spiritual Leader exercises his control over the judiciary, the army, the police, the radio, the television, but also over the President and the Parliament, institutions elected by the people. Article 91 of the Constitution establishes a body known as the “Guardian Council” whose function is to examine the compatibility of all legislation enacted by the Islamic Consultative Assembly with “the criteria of Islam and the Constitution”3 and who can therefore veto any and all legislation. Half of the members of the Guardian Council are appointed by the Spiritual Leader and the other half are elected by the Islamic Consultative Assembly from among the Muslim jurists nominated by the Head of the Judicial Power (who is, himself, appointed by the Spiritual Leader).

The Guardian council exercises a double control of any draft legislation, with two different procedures:

• conformity with the Constitution (all 12 elected members vote, a simple majority recognizes the constitutionality)

• conformity with Islam (only the six religious leaders elected personally by the Spiritual leader vote, and a simple majority is required to declare the compatibility of a draft legislation with Islam).

Consequently, four religious leaders may block all draft legislation enacted by the Parliament. The Guardian Council and the Supreme Leader therefore and in practice centralize all powers in Iran .

Articles 12 and 13 of the Constitution divides citizens of the Islamic Republic of Iran into four categories: Muslims, Zoroastrians, Jews and Christians. Nonbelievers are effectively left out and aren’t afforded any rights or protections. They must declare their faith in one of the four officially recognized religions in order to be able to claim a number of legal rights, such as the possibility to apply for the general examination to enter any university in Iran . Other belief groups outside of the four recognized religions, such as Bahá'ís, also suffer from this discrimination and are actively prevented from attending university.

Only Muslims are able to take part in the Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran and to conduct public affairs at a high level. According to the Constitution, non-Muslims cannot hold the following key decision-making positions:

• President of the Islamic Republic of Iran, who must be a Shi’a Muslim (Article 1156)

• Commanders in the Islamic Army (Article 1447)

• Judges, at any level (Article 163 and law of 1983 on the selection of judges 8)

Moreover, non-Muslims are not eligible to become members of the Parliament (the Islamic Consultative Assembly) through the general elections. Finally, non-Muslims cannot become members of the very influential Guardian Council.

A study of the Penal Code of the Islamic Republic of Iran reveals that, for a number of offences, the punishment differs in function of the religion of the victim and/or the religion of the offender. The fate of Muslim victims and offenders is systematically more favorable than that of non-Muslims, showing that the life and physical integrity of Muslims is given a much higher value than that of non-Muslims.

This institutionalized discrimination is particularly blatant for the following crimes:

1. Adultery: The sanctions for adultery vary widely according to the religion of both members of the couple. A Muslim man who commits adultery with a Muslim woman is punished by 100 lashes (Article 8811). However, a non-Muslim man who commits adultery with a Muslim woman is subject to the death penalty (Article 82-c12). If a Muslim man commits adultery with a non- Muslim woman, the Penal Code does not specify any penalty.

2. Homosexuality: Likewise, homosexuality “without consummation” between two Muslim men is punished by 100 lashes (Article 12113) but if the “active party” is non-Muslim and the other Muslim, the non-Muslim is subject to the death penalty.

3. Crimes against the Deceased: Article 49418 stipulates penalties for crimes against a deceased Muslim but the Penal Code does not edict any penalties for the violation of the corpse of a non- Muslim.

Cases of discrimination:

On Jan. 17, 2012, the country’s Supreme Court confirmed the previously handed down death sentence for 35-year-old web designer and Canadian resident Saeed Malekpour. Malekpour had returned to Iran in 2008 to visit his dying father and was arrested for “insulting and desecrating Islam” for creating a computer program used by others to download pornography.

http://www.en-hrana.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=747:1&catid=15:execution&Itemid=10
HRANA News Agency – Execution verdicts of six prisoners in Salmas, convicted of drug trafficking has been confirmed by Supreme Court and they are in danger of execution.

According to a report by Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA), Habib Mamadi, Akram Mamadi, Sami Mamadi, Samad Mamadi, Karim Mamadi and Firouz Hassanzadeh, from Hablaran and Ghezel Kand villages in Salmas convicted of drug trafficking are sentenced to death.
There are two more citizens from Urmia have been arrested related to this case, but no information about their identities and verdicts.

Salmas is a city along International road and there are so many cases related to drug trafficking resulted in capital punishment.
Freedom of Expression

Iranian activists choose exile over harassment and detention
http://www.ifex.org/iran/2012/12/17/activists_fleeing_assault/
(Human Rights Watch/IFEX) - 14 December 2012 – The space in Iran for civil society has been shrinking since the crackdown following the disputed presidential election in 2009, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. Three-and-a-half years after government forces brutally suppressed largely peaceful anti-government demonstrations, hundreds of activists have sought temporary refuge and an uncertain future in neighboring Turkey and Iraqi Kurdistan in the face of harassment and detention at home.

The 62-page report, “Why They Left: Stories of Iranian Activists in Exile”, documents the experiences of dozens of rights defenders, journalists, bloggers, and lawyers whom security and intelligence forces targeted because they spoke out against the government. Some who took part in anti-government protests after the 2009 election had never been politically active before, but suddenly found themselves in the crosshairs of security and intelligence forces.

“The post-2009 crackdown has profoundly affected civil society in Iran,” said Joe Stork, deputy Middle East director at Human Rights Watch. “The images of police beating protesters mercilessly may have faded from television and computer screens, but many Iranian activists continue to make the painful choice to abandon homes and families.”

No truly independent rights organizations can openly operate in Iran's current political climate. Many prominent human rights defenders and journalists are in prison or exile, and other activists face constant harassment and arbitrary arrest.

Since 2009, there has been a noticeable increase in the number of civil society activists who have applied for asylum and resettlement to third countries. According to statistics compiled by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), Iranians filed 11,537 new asylum applications to 44 countries in 2009; 15,185 in 2010; and 18,128 in 2011.

The largest number of new asylum applications was lodged in neighboring Turkey, where there was a 72 percent increase in the number of Iranian asylum seekers between 2009 and 2011. Due to its proximity to Iran, Iraqi Kurdistan is also a significant recipient of Iranian asylum seekers, especially those from the Kurdish minority. The testimony of these activists, many of whom remain politically active as refugees in Turkey and Iraqi Kurdistan, shed light on the unprecedented pressures on civil society in Iran that began during the first term of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in 2005, Human Rights Watch said.

Many Iranian refugees and asylum seekers interviewed by Human Rights Watch described difficult conditions and long processing times for their asylum applications during their stay in Turkey and Iraqi Kurdistan. The main concerns of those in Turkey included restrictions on their freedom of movement, burdensome residency fees, their inability to acquire work permits, and lack of access to health services. Refugees and asylum seekers in Iraqi Kurdistan also expressed concern about restrictions on their movements, threats, harassment, and arbitrary regulations imposed on them by Kurdish Regional Government authorities, often because of their continued political activities.

The Turkish government has so far refused the request of Dr. Ahmed Shaheed, the UN special rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Iran, to visit the country in his official capacity to meet with and interview these asylum seekers and refugees. Dr. Shaheed's position was established under a UN Human Rights Council resolution in March 2011.

Human Rights Watch called on Ankara to immediately allow Shaheed access to the country so he can carry out his UN mandate. Human Rights Watch also called on the Turkish government to create conditions that will allow registered refugees and asylum seekers to live and work comfortably while they await resettlement to a third country.

Human Rights Watch urged the Kurdish Regional Government to protect the safety and welfare of Iranian refugees and refrain from threats or harassment against those who continue to pursue nonviolent political or rights activities during their time as refugees in Iraqi Kurdistan.

“The countries in the region need to protect the refugees from Iran and treat them with compassion and dignity,” Stork said. “Countries outside the region should offer generous resettlement opportunities for Iranian refugees who urgently need to leave the region and have no other options for durable asylum, and speedily process their claims.”


NUJ expresses growing concerns for journalist’s families in Iran
Thursday, December 20 2012
http://www.nuj.org.uk/innerPagenuj.html?docid=2747

The NUJ has expressed concern about the new wave of harassment and intimidation faced by families of BBC Persian staff living in Iran.
The Iranian authorities have stepped up their campaign against the families of BBC staff.

Security officials have attempted to arrange meetings with journalists via family members and relatives have been told their family members should stop working for BBC Persian.

The harassment has also intensified on the internet. Increasing numbers of websites are publishing derogatory stories about BBC Persian staff.

Meetings between the BBC and staff representatives have sought to help support those involved and a confidential counselling service is available.

Michelle Stanistreet, NUJ general secretary said: “The NUJ will do all it can to support and assist our members who have been targeted. No one should face intimidation because of the work they do as journalists providing vital reportage in the public interest. These are distressing threats and it is very sinister to harass journalists via their relatives and family members.”

Number of jailed journalists sets global record
http://www.cpj.org/reports/2012/12/imprisoned-journalists-world-record.php
Worldwide tally reaches highest point since CPJ began surveys in 1990. Governments use charges of terrorism, other anti-state offenses to silence critical voices. Turkey is the world’s worst jailer. A CPJ special report
Published December 11, 2012
Imprisonment of journalists worldwide reached a record high in 2012, driven in part by the widespread use of charges of terrorism and other anti-state offenses against critical reporters and editors, the Committee to Protect Journalists has found. In its annual census of imprisoned journalists, CPJ identified 232 individuals behind bars on December 1, an increase of 53 over its 2011 tally.
Large-scale imprisonments in Turkey, Iran, and China helped lift the global tally to its highest point since CPJ began conducting worldwide surveys in 1990, surpassing the previous record of 185 in 1996. The three nations, the world’s worst jailers of the press, each made extensive use of vague anti-state laws to silence dissenting political views, including those expressed by ethnic minorities. Worldwide, anti-state charges such as terrorism, treason, and subversion were the most common allegations brought against journalists in 2012. At least 132 journalists were being held around the world on such charges, CPJ’s census found.
……

Iran, the second-worst jailer with 45 behind bars, has sustained a crackdown that began after the disputed 2009 presidential election. The authorities have followed a pattern of freeing some detainees on six-figure bonds even as they make new arrests. The imprisoned include Zhila Bani-Yaghoub, an award-winning editor of the Iranian Women’s Club, a news website focusing on women’s issues. She began serving a one-year term in September on charges of “propagating against the regime” and “insulting the president” for articles she wrote during the 2009 election. Her husband, journalist Bahman Ahmadi Amouee, is serving a five-year prison term on anti-state charges.
….

CPJ confirmed the death of one imprisoned journalist, Iranian blogger Sattar Beheshti. Arrested in October on charges of “acting against national security,” Beheshti was dead within days. Fellow prisoners said Beheshti, 35, was beaten during interrogation, repeatedly threatened with death, and hung from his limbs from the ceiling, according to news reports.
…..

News providers decimated in 2012
Published on Wednesday 19 December 2012
http://en.rsf.org/2012-journalists-netizens-decimated-19-12-2012,43806.html


The cruel intolerance of Iran’s mullah republic

26 journalists and 17 netizens in prison

The media freedom situation deteriorated considerably in 2009 as a result of the crackdown on the protests that followed President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s disputed reelection. Ever since then, the regime has kept on jailing news providers for crossing its red lines. The state of health of some of the detainees is very worrying. In an additional punishment, the families of detainees are subject to frequent threats, harassment and reprisals if they dare to talk to the media. Some of those who are released are also victims of threats and prevented from working, their employers pressured to fire them.


Minorities’ Rights


Iran Imprisons and Abuses an American Pastor
Dec. 19, 2012
http://aclj.org/iran/iran-imprisons-abuses-american-pastor
This morning Fox News broke the story of Pastor Saeed Abedini, a U.S. citizen and Christian convert from Islam who has been seized by the Revolutionary Guard and held in Iran’s “notoriously brutal” Evin Prison, where guards and inmates have beaten him repeatedly. Pastor Saeed is formerly a leader of Iran’s small but growing house-church movement, but was in the country continuing a long-term humanitarian project (building an orphanage).
It’s tough to imagine the courage it takes to not only convert from Islam but to then lead an evangelistic house-church effort within Iran itself. Then, when confronted by the Revolutionary Guard and forced to cease evangelism, Pastor Saeed didn’t abandon Iran but continued a humanitarian effort apart from his evangelism.
Iran targets Christians because they present perhaps the greatest threat to the regime — the threat of a different, and radically better, belief system than the fundamentalist, Islamist theocracy that currently dominates the country. As history has proven again and again, it is the better idea that ultimately triumphs over totalitarianism. In this case, Iran is demonstrating that it will target Christians even when they are American citizens, and even when they comply with the regime’s demands. Not even charitable efforts are safe.
At the American Center for Law and Justice, we are representing Pastor Saeed’s family and are calling for the same kind of international diplomatic and public relations offensive that ultimately freed Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani, an Iranian pastor sentenced to death for apostasy. Suprisingly enough, a regime that can barely count itself a member of the international community can and will respond to intense pressure, properly applied.
Simply put, Iran cannot be permitted to imprison and abuse American citizens.

Health Deterioration of Iranian Imprisoned Lawyer, Houtan Kian, Rejected for Medical Examination

Thursday, 20 December 2012
http://www.en-hrana.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=741:1&catid=12:prisoners&Itemid=12



HRANA News Agency – Javid Houtan Kian Iranian lawyer, political prisoner in Tabriz Central Prison is in health deterioration due to lack of medical consideration.

According to a report by Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA), this imprisoned lawyer is suffering from Kidney and intestinal infections and is being rejected for medical examination.

Mr. Javid Houtan Kian is a lawyer who represented Mrs. Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani, when she was accused of adultery and sentenced to death by stoning in 2010. He supported her son, Sajjad Ghaderzadeh’s campaign to raise international awareness about his mother’s case.

He was arrested by members of the Ministry of Intelligence in October 2010 following her conviction, together with two German journalists and Sajjad Ghaderzadeh, Sakineh’s son. He was accused of acting against national security and sentenced to 11 years in prison following a televised confession and was barred from practising law for 5 years. The journalists and Sajjad Ghaderzadeh, who had been subjected to severe torture, were later released.

In September 2011 HRANA News Agency conducted an interview with Javid’s defence lawyer, Mr. Naghi Mahmoudi, who had been given permission to visit him. He reported that he barely recognised Javid, who had lost about half his body weight in the 6 months he had been held. He had been severely tortured and kept in solitary confinement. His nose had been broken, as had a number of his teeth and he had been burned with cigarettes many times. He had been tortured for hours at a time and passed round like a football between 20 and 25 guards. He was moved from Evin Prison to Tabriz where he has been kept on a ward designated for the insane and HIV-positive intravenous drug-users. Following the interview, Mr. Naghi Mahmoudi was denied further visits to Javid.

In March last year he managed to send an open letter from prison to important individuals and organisations round the world, setting out his case.

Reza Shahabi, Iranian Imprisoned labor Activist Begins Hunger Strike
Wednesday, 19 December 2012
http://www.en-hrana.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=740:reza-shahabi-iranian-imprisoned-labor-activist-begins-hunger-strike&catid=8:workers&Itemid=16
HRANA News Agency – Reza Shahabi, an Iranian labor leader imprisoned since June 2010, went on hunger strike on 17 Dec 2012 to protest against mistreatment by jail guards as well as prevention of his medical treatment by the judicial authorities.

According to a report by Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA), Reza Shahabi's physical conditions have deteriorated. He has announced that he will refuse taking his medication and eating food until he is allowed to be transferred to a hospital outside prison for complete treatment.

Mr. Reza Shahabi who had gone under major surgery of his neck, and according to doctors’ recommendations was in need of at least “two months rest at home”, and “incapable of withstanding any further punishment,” was sent back to Ward 350 of Evin prison on August 14, 2012. Since then, his health deteriorated significantly. In addition, his jail guards have be very insulting and he has been threatened recently by one of his guards. Reza was taken to hospital on December 15, 2012 but the jail guard accompanying him refused to allow him for proper examination and forced Reza, with threats of beating and assaulting him, to go back to prison.

Reza Shahabi is the Treasurer and Executive Board member of the Syndicate of workers of Tehran and Suburbs Bus Company, which belongs to the Municipality of Tehran and has more than seventeen thousand employees. All Executive board members of this union have been persecuted, dismissed and many were jailed since the formation of the Syndicate in 2005. He has recently been sentenced to 6 year imprisonment and five year ban on all union activities as well as 7 million Toman fine; the appeal court seems to have confirmed his sentence for four years imprisonment, five year ban on all union activities and 7 million toman penalty. Reza Shahabi's health deteriorated significantly after severe beatings and mistreatment following his arrest. The authorities of the Islamic Republic of Iran are directly responsible for any consequence resulting from continued imprisonment and mistreatment of Reza Shahabi.

Political prisoner Majid Assadi begins hunger strike
Tuesday, 18 December 2012
http://www.en-hrana.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=739:1&catid=12:prisoners&Itemid=12
HRANA News Agency –Political prisoner Majid Assadi in Ward 350 of Evin Prison began hunger strike for one week protesting the measures of the branch 15th of Iran’s Revolutionary Court by Judge Salavati.

According to a report by Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA), Political prisoner Majid Assadi in Ward 350 of Evin Prison began hunger strike for one week protesting the measures of the branch 15th of Iran’s Revolutionary Court by Judge Salavati toward two political prisoners in Ward 350 in Tehran’s Evin Prison. These two prisoners are Ali Moezi and Vahid Asghari, who were transferred to solitary confinement and banned from any visits.

By this action, he wants to attract the attention of world community to consider the situation of Political Prisoners who are banned of visiting their families.

Majid Assadi is a graduated Economic student at Allameh University in Tehran. He was arrested on Thursday, July 3, 2008 and passed 78 days in Solitary Confinement.

He was sentenced to four year in prison in May 2010. He was summoned to Evin prison to serve his sentence on Wednesday, October 5, 2011.

Furthermore, for the second consecutive week Gholamreza Khosravi refused to meet with his family in protest to Ali Moezi and Vahid Asghar being banned from any visits.

Jailed lawyer transferred to hospital
Thu, 12/20/2012
http://www.radiozamaneh.com/english/content/jailed-lawyer-transferred-hospital
Abdolfattah Soltani, a jailed Iranian human rights lawyer, has reportedly been transferred to Sinai Hospital in Tehran for treatment of complications in his digestive system.
The Kaleme Website reports that Soltani has been in Sinai Hospital since Tuesday December 18, and so far the cause of his problems has not been determined by the medical team.
Abdolfattah Soltani, a prominent human rights lawyer, was jailed for the charge of “propaganda against the regime, establishing the Defenders of Human Rights Centre in Iran, assembly and collusion against the regime and acquiring pelf.”
After the election protests of 2009, independent organizations such as the Defenders of Human Rights in Iran became targets of a severe crackdown, and many members of the outlawed NGO are currently serving stiff sentences in prison.




Political Activist Asal Esmaeilzadeh Returns to Prison
December 16, 2012
http://persian2english.com/?p=24342
Persian2English – Asal Esmaeilzadeh, political activist, turned herself in to Evin Prison this morning to endure the remainder of her prison sentence. She was sentenced on January 7, 2011 by Judge PirAbassi in branch 26 of the Tehran Revolutionary Court to four months imprisonment and eight months *suspended imprisonment. Her charges include, “Propaganda against the regime” and “Gathering and Colluding…”
Esmaeilzadeh was first arrested by plainclothes agents at her home in May 2011. She endured 31 days in solitary confinement in ward 209 of Evin prison before she was released on a $100 thousand [USD] bail on June 1, 2011.
*A suspended imprisonment sentence means that the sentence will not be implemented, unless the person is found guilty on another charge. There is usually a time limit associated with the suspension.

Behnam Ebrahimzadeh, Iranian Labor Activist Transferred to Solitary Confinement
Thursday, 20 December 2012
http://www.en-hrana.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=742:1&catid=8:workers&Itemid=16

HRANA News Agency – Behnam (As'ad) Ebrahimzadeh, imprisoned labor activist in Ward 350 of Evin Prison was transferred to Solitary Confinement in Ward 240.

According to a report by Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA), Behnam (As'ad) Ebrahimzadeh, imprisoned labor activist in Ward 350 of Evin Prison was transferred to Solitary Confinement in Ward 240 on Tuesday, December 18, 2012.

There is no information about the reason of his transformation to solitary confinement.

Behnam Ebrahimzadeh, an employee of a piping company in Shahr-e-Rey, is one of the most well-known activists against child labor and protecting the rights of street children. He is also a member of the Committee to Facilitate Creation of Free Labor Organizations.

During his arrest, Ebrahimzadeh was brutally beaten by police forces. Two of his ribs were broken and his chest was badly wounded. Following the physical abuse, he was sent to Evin prison.

2009: arrested during May Day rally at Laleh Park
12 June 2010: brutally arrested in Tehran - sent to Evin clinic
Serious injuries sustained in prison then to block 7
5 Oct 2010: Still in solitary 290 begins a hunger strike to protest his condition
3 Jan 2011: Sentenced to 20 years: 10 yrs in Evin and 10 yrs in Rajaee Shahr
27 Apr 2011: Supreme Court overturned the sentence and ordered the case sent back to branch 28 of Revl Court for review
21 Jun 2011: Beginning of Appeals trial - still waiting for furlough
05 Jul 2011: Sentenced reduced by Appeals to 5 years

Political Prisoner Afshin Baymani Begins Hunger Strike
Sunday, 23 December 2012
http://www.en-hrana.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=748:1&catid=12:prisoners&Itemid=12
HRANA News Agency – Afshin Baymani, political prisoner in Rajai Shahr Prison began hunger strike for five days, protesting his inhuman condition.

According to a report by Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA), Afshin Baymani, political prisoner in Rajai Shahr Prison, who has passed 12 years in prison, began hunger strike on Saturday, 22 December 2012 for five days, protesting his inhuman condition and lack of medical consideration.

Afshin Baymani, suffering from heart disease, was arrested on Tuesday, September 5, 2000 convicted of helping his brother to flee the country. He was sentenced to death and his verdict was confirmed in Supreme Court. But six years later, his verdict was changed to life sentence.
Iran hangs six drug smugglers, rapist: report

http://www.france24.com/en/20121220-iran-hangs-six-drug-smugglers-rapist-report

An Iranian policeman guards opium seized from drug smugglers during a ceremony in Iran's southeastern city of Zahedan on May 20, 2009. Iran has hanged seven men, six of them for drug trafficking and another for rape, in prison in the central province of Isfahan, Kayhan newspaper reported on Thursday.
AFP - Iran has hanged seven men, six of them for drug trafficking and another for rape, in prison in the central province of Isfahan, Kayhan newspaper reported on Thursday.
The seven, aged 25 to 45, were executed on Wednesday, the province's public prosecutor, Mohammad Reza Habibi, said in the report.
"One of the smugglers was charged with armed trafficking of more than 300 kilograms (660 pounds) of opium," Habibi said. "The others were in possession of crack and heroin (weighing) between one and 65 kilograms."
The Islamic state, where murder, rape, armed robbery, drug trafficking and adultery are punishable by death, has one of the highest annual number of executions in the world, alongside China, Saudi Arabia and the United States.
Amnesty International has condemned the executions, but Tehran says the death penalty is essential to maintain law and order and that is is enforced only after exhaustive judicial proceedings.

One prisoner was hanged in central Iran
http://iranhr.net/spip.php?article2656
Iran Human Rights, December 17, 2012: One prisoner was hanged in Kashan (central Iran) today, reported the Iranian state media.
The Iranian state broadcasting reported a prisoner convicted of smuggling and trafficking narcotics was hanged in Kashan prison early this morning. Quoting the deputy commander of the Isfahan security forces "Karmi",the report said: "The prisoner was arrested in 2009 and charged with possessing and selling 681 grams of crack".
The prisoner was not identified by name in the report.


Six Capital Punishments Confirmed in Salmas, Iran
Saturday, 22 December 2012
http://www.en-hrana.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=747:1&catid=15:execution&Itemid=10
HRANA News Agency – Execution verdicts of six prisoners in Salmas, convicted of drug trafficking has been confirmed by Supreme Court and they are in danger of execution.

According to a report by Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA), Habib Mamadi, Akram Mamadi, Sami Mamadi, Samad Mamadi, Karim Mamadi and Firouz Hassanzadeh, from Hablaran and Ghezel Kand villages in Salmas convicted of drug trafficking are sentenced to death.
There are two more citizens from Urmia have been arrested related to this case, but no information about their identities and verdicts.

Salmas is a city along International road and there are so many cases related to drug trafficking resulted in capital punishment.
Canada Again Leads UN Condemnation of Iran
http://www.international.gc.ca/media/aff/news-communiques/2012/12/20a.aspx?lang=eng&view=d
December 20, 2012 - Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird today issued the following statement:
“Today, the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Canada-led resolution on the situation of human rights in Iran.
“We are proud of the substantial support that this resolution garnered at the United Nations. The community of nations spoke with clarity of view and purpose to acknowledge what the regime in Tehran consistently denies: its widespread, systematic and egregious human rights violations. This is a clear signal that these violations will not be tolerated.
“The resolution is also important because it reminds courageous individuals and their families, as well as victims of human rights violations, that they have not been forgotten by the international community.
“Canada will not stay silent on these issues. We will continue to express serious concern about the ongoing and pervasive human rights violations in Iran, including the persecution of religious minorities.
“Canada is a vigorous defender of freedom, democracy, human rights and the rule of law around the world, and we will continue to urge the regime in Tehran to uphold its obligations and respect the human rights and fundamental freedoms of all people in Iran.”
Today, the Honourable Vic Toews, Canada’s Minister of Public Safety, announced that the Government of Canada has made changes to the Criminal Code list of terrorist entities to now include the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps’ Qods Force. For more information, please visit Minister of Public Safety announces changes to Criminal Code list of terrorist entities.
A backgrounder follows.
For further information, media representatives may contact:
Foreign Affairs Media Relations Office
Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada
613-995-1874
Follow us on Twitter: @DFAIT_MAECI

Backgrounder - United Nations Resolution on Situation of Human Rights in Iran
Canada has consistently taken a prominent position on the global stage as a diligent, vocal promoter of human rights and as a strong defender of those whose human rights are under threat.
This has been particularly noticeable at the United Nations General Assembly, where Canada has been a lead sponsor, in solidarity with many like-minded countries, of important resolutions against the ongoing abuse of human rights in Iran.
This year, for the 10th consecutive year, Canada led in sponsoring a resolution in the General Assembly condemning human rights abuses in Iran. The resolution again condemned the use of cruel and inhuman punishments in Iran and deplored a dramatic increase in executions, as well as discrimination and human rights violations against women and ethnic and religious minorities.
This year’s resolution was co-sponsored by 44 countries. The Third Committee of the General Assembly approved the resolution on November 27, 2012, with 83 countries voting to support it and 32 countries voting against. It was subsequently adopted by the General Assembly plenary session on December 20, with 86 countries voting in support and 32 countries voting against.
Through these resolutions, Canada has consistently focused the world’s attention on the egregious and long-standing violations of human rights by Iranian authorities. These human rights violations run an appalling gamut and target women, girls, and ethnic and religious minorities.

U.N. condemns rights abuses in Iran, North Korea and Syria

http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/12/20/us-syria-iran-northkorea-un-idUSBRE8BJ16J20121220
(Reuters) - The U.N. General Assembly condemned North Korea, Iran and Syria on Thursday for widespread human rights abuses and all three countries rejected the separate resolutions adopted by the 193-member world body, slamming them as politicized.
The resolution on Syria, which was co-sponsored by Qatar, Saudi Arabia, the United States, Britain, France and other Arab and Western states, received 135 votes in favor, 12 against and 36 abstentions.
The resolution on Iran, which was drafted by Canada and co-sponsored by other Western countries, passed in an 86-32 vote with 65 abstentions. The North Korea resolution was adopted by consensus.
Resolutions on Iran, North Korea and Myanmar - and, since last year, Syria - have become an annual ritual. A General Assembly vote on a draft resolution on Myanmar, which was passed by consensus by the U.N.'s Third Committee on human rights last month, has been delayed while budget implications are assessed.
The resolutions deepen international pressure and further isolate Iran, North Korea and Syria but have no legal consequences. All three countries lobby hard against the adoption of the resolutions.
"We wonder if any member of this universal body can claim perfection in human rights situation within its territory and should be beyond the international scrutiny," Iranian U.N. Ambassador Mohammad Khazaee told the General Assembly.
"It is a regret that the present system of human rights monitoring opens doors for a selective, arbitrary, partial and unproductive treatment," he said.
The resolution on Iran voiced "deep concern at serious ongoing and recurring human rights violations in the Islamic Republic of Iran relating to, inter alia, torture and cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, including flogging and amputations."

HINDRANCE
The Syria resolution "strongly condemns the continued widespread and systematic gross violations of human rights and fundamental freedoms by the Syrian authorities and the Government-controlled 'shabiha' militia."
A representative of Syria's U.N. mission described the resolution as politicized and said it "hinders peaceful solutions the crisis in Syria." About 40,000 people have been killed during a 20-month civil war in Syria.
"The sponsors of this draft resolution, namely Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Morocco, are not renowned for their desire to protect and promote human rights in Syria," the Syrian diplomat said.
"Quite to the contrary they are a major part of the problem, they are the main instigator for ongoing violence and an escalation of violence in my country," she said.
Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Morocco have repeatedly denied the allegations.
The North Korea resolution voiced "very serious concern at the persistence of continuing reports of systematic, widespread and grave violations of civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights."
It said such violations included torture, the existence of prison camps and limitations on the freedom of movement of North Korean citizens, including the punishment of those who attempt to travel abroad.
A representative of North Korea's U.N. mission rejected the resolution "as a document of political plot and fabrication (of the human rights situation)."
"This resolution has nothing to do with ... human rights, but rather it creates confrontation and blocks potential dialogue and cooperation," he said.
North Korea is under U.N. Security Council sanctions for nuclear tests in 2006 and 2009.

UK condemns regime harassment of Iranian blogger’s family
https://www.gov.uk/government/news/uk-condemns-regime-harassment-of-iranian-blogger-s-family
Foreign Office calls for end to impunity of Security Forces in Iran following death in custody of Sattar Beheshti.
Sattar Beheshti, a young Iranian citizen, died in detention in early November. Mr Beheshti’s only crime appears to have been using the internet to advocate the defence of human rights. Commenting on reports that Iranian security forces disrupted a family ceremony mourning his death, a Foreign Office Spokesperson said:
We are dismayed by the Iranian security forces’ harassment of the family of blogger Sattar Beheshti during the mourning ceremony on 13th December to mark his death. Mr Beheshti died in suspicious circumstances while in custody. This is not the first time the family of a victim of the regime has received such treatment, which is completely unacceptable. Iran must respect the family’s right to mourn their loss in peace, as well as make serious attempts to bring those responsible for Mr Beheshti’s death to justice. The impunity enjoyed by agents of the state must end. We reiterate our condolences to Mr Beheshti’s family.

Iran must uphold the rights and freedoms of its citizens
https://www.gov.uk/government/news/iran-must-uphold-the-rights-and-freedoms-of-its-citizens
The Foreign Secretary William Hague has reaffirmed UK support for imprisoned Human Rights defender Nasrin Sotoudeh.
To mark the United Nations vote on the human right situation in Iran, the Foreign Secretary has released a video. He said:
The basic freedoms of ordinary Iranians are being denied. Many citizens live in constant fear of arbitrary arrest, false imprisonment and, in some cases, death. There is undeniable evidence of abuse: the recent death in custody of blogger Sattar Beheshti is one tragic example.
The Foreign Secretary also spoke about Nasrin Sotoudeh, who recently ended a 49-day hunger strike in protest against the harassment of her family.
Addressing Ms Sotoudeh directly, the Foreign Secretary said:
You have sacrificed your own freedom, family life and health in order to help others. I want you to know that we are following your case closely. And that I echo the many calls upon Iran for your immediate release. Be assured that we will continue to hold the Iranian government to account for your terrible treatment. We will not forget you.
The regime hopes to silence those who call for basic human rights in Iran. I want to make clear that the promotion and protection of human rights is at the heart of UK foreign policy. And we are committed to supporting and protecting those who defend human rights and work tirelessly to advance personal freedoms, often at great personal risk.

The seven countries where the state can execute you for being atheist
http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/worldviews/wp/2012/12/10/the-seven-countries-where-the-state-can-execute-you-for-being-atheist/

Data source: International Humanist and Ethical Union (Max Fisher/Washington Post)
The annual “freedom of thought” report from the International Humanist and Ethical Union, an advocacy umbrella group that represents and seeks to protect non-religious people, details laws and practices around the world that punish or restrict atheism. The group presented the report to the United Nations today.
The report tracks, among other things, which countries have laws explicitly targeting atheists. There are not many, but the states that forbid non-religiousness – typically as part of “anti-blasphemy” legislation – include seven nations where atheism is punishable by death. All seven establish Islam as the state religion. Though that list includes some dictatorships, the country that appears to most frequently condemn atheists to death for their beliefs is actually a democracy, if a frail one: Pakistan. Others include Saudi Arabia, Iran, Afghanistan, Sudan, the West African state of Mauritania, and the Maldives, an island nation in the Indian Ocean. These countries are colored red on the above map.
Earlier this year, a 23-year-old Saudi man named Hamza Kashgari tweeted in commemoration of the Prophet Mohammed’s birthday that, while he found the Islamic holy man inspirational, he did not believe in his divinity. When Kashgari was accused of blasphemy, he attempted to flee the country for his life, it turns out rightly. He was arrested while changing flights in Malaysia, deported back to Saudi Arabia, and is now awaiting charges that could include his execution for blasphemy and atheism.
Though atheists are rarely handed death sentences in these countries, the threat of punishment can stifle religious freedom. As this interview with an atheist in Saudi Arabia showed, the laws have a chilling effect, enforcing cultural taboos against atheism and pushing non-religious citizens to keep their beliefs secret out of fear of retaliation.

Some countries, according to the report, also codify possible prison sentences for atheists (these countries are indicated in orange on the map). These laws, however, can be difficult to distinguish from restrictions against “religious incitement,” which are common in much of the world, including in atheist-friendly Western Europe. But the report indicates that, in countries such as Egypt or Indonesia, the laws appear to be used to specifically target citizens who, for example, publicly profess their own atheism.
Other countries, colored yellow on the map, restrict rights for atheists, for example by limiting marriage rights or public service.
The United Nations special rapporteur on freedom of religion or belief Heiner Bielefeldt accepted the report, according to Reuters, noting that there is little global awareness that atheism is protected by international human rights law.

A Global Report on Discrimination Against Humanists, and the Nonreligious International Humanist and Ethical Union Atheists

http://www.iheu.org/files/IHEU%20Freedom%20of%20Thought%202012.pdf


Iran
Discriminatory Laws:


There is no freedom of religion or belief in the Islamic Republic of Iran. Iranian law bars any criticism of Islam or deviation from the ruling Islamic standards. Government leaders use these laws to persecute religious minorities and dissidents.

Article 110 of the Constitution lists all the powers granted to the Spiritual Leader (a Muslim religious and political leader), appointed by his peers for an unlimited duration. Among others, the Spiritual Leader exercises his control over the judiciary, the army, the police, the radio, the television, but also over the President and the Parliament, institutions elected by the people. Article 91 of the Constitution establishes a body known as the “Guardian Council” whose function is to examine the compatibility of all legislation enacted by the Islamic Consultative Assembly with “the criteria of Islam and the Constitution”3 and who can therefore veto any and all legislation. Half of the members of the Guardian Council are appointed by the Spiritual Leader and the other half are elected by the Islamic Consultative Assembly from among the Muslim jurists nominated by the Head of the Judicial Power (who is, himself, appointed by the Spiritual Leader).

The Guardian council exercises a double control of any draft legislation, with two different procedures:

• conformity with the Constitution (all 12 elected members vote, a simple majority recognizes the constitutionality)

• conformity with Islam (only the six religious leaders elected personally by the Spiritual leader vote, and a simple majority is required to declare the compatibility of a draft legislation with Islam).

Consequently, four religious leaders may block all draft legislation enacted by the Parliament. The Guardian Council and the Supreme Leader therefore and in practice centralize all powers in Iran.

Articles 12 and 13 of the Constitution divides citizens of the Islamic Republic of Iran into four categories: Muslims, Zoroastrians, Jews and Christians. Nonbelievers are effectively left out and aren’t afforded any rights or protections. They must declare their faith in one of the four officially recognized religions in order to be able to claim a number of legal rights, such as the possibility to apply for the general examination to enter any university in Iran. Other belief groups outside of the four recognized religions, such as Bahá'ís, also suffer from this discrimination and are actively prevented from attending university.

Only Muslims are able to take part in the Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran and to conduct public affairs at a high level. According to the Constitution, non-Muslims cannot hold the following key decision-making positions:

• President of the Islamic Republic of Iran, who must be a Shi’a Muslim (Article 1156)

• Commanders in the Islamic Army (Article 1447)

• Judges, at any level (Article 163 and law of 1983 on the selection of judges 8)

Moreover, non-Muslims are not eligible to become members of the Parliament (the Islamic Consultative Assembly) through the general elections. Finally, non-Muslims cannot become members of the very influential Guardian Council.

A study of the Penal Code of the Islamic Republic of Iran reveals that, for a number of offences, the punishment differs in function of the religion of the victim and/or the religion of the offender. The fate of Muslim victims and offenders is systematically more favorable than that of non-Muslims, showing that the life and physical integrity of Muslims is given a much higher value than that of non-Muslims.

This institutionalized discrimination is particularly blatant for the following crimes:

1. Adultery: The sanctions for adultery vary widely according to the religion of both members of the couple. A Muslim man who commits adultery with a Muslim woman is punished by 100 lashes (Article 8811). However, a non-Muslim man who commits adultery with a Muslim woman is subject to the death penalty (Article 82-c12). If a Muslim man commits adultery with a non- Muslim woman, the Penal Code does not specify any penalty.

2. Homosexuality: Likewise, homosexuality “without consummation” between two Muslim men is punished by 100 lashes (Article 12113) but if the “active party” is non-Muslim and the other Muslim, the non-Muslim is subject to the death penalty.

3. Crimes against the Deceased: Article 49418 stipulates penalties for crimes against a deceased Muslim but the Penal Code does not edict any penalties for the violation of the corpse of a non- Muslim.

Cases of discrimination:

On Jan. 17, 2012, the country’s Supreme Court confirmed the previously handed down death sentence for 35-year-old web designer and Canadian resident Saeed Malekpour. Malekpour had returned to Iran in 2008 to visit his dying father and was arrested for “insulting and desecrating Islam” for creating a computer program used by others to download pornography.



UN hits out at Syria, Iran, N. Korea over rights

AFP :
The UN General Assembly on Thursday voted overwhelmingly to rebuke Syria, Iran and North Korea for human rights abuses.
With Syria's conflict worsening by the day, a resolution condemning the Syrian government and its allied militias came as a diplomatic blow for President Bashar al-Assad.
The 193-state assembly passed the resolution slamming "grave" and "systematic" abuses with 135 votes in favor, 12 against, including Russia and China, and 36 abstentions.
A similar resolution last year gained 122 votes against Syria.
The Assad government has been accused of detaining thousands of opponents, often in secret, torturing many. The government has refused to allow a UN human rights council investigation into the country.
The UN called for an end to all "violations" of human rights and for all sides to end the 21-month old conflict in which activists say more than 44,000 people have died.
A Syrian diplomat at the vote hit out at Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Morocco, accusing them of causing "an escalation" in the conflict. "Their backing for terrorists has caused the death of thousands of Syrians," the diplomat said.
A vote against Iran was passed with 86 votes in favor, the same as last year, 32 against and 65 abstentions. India, Lebanon, Sudan and North Korea were among countries voting against. Many oppose the resolutions because they are against UN attacks on individual countries.
The resolution condemned the use of torture in Iran and the use of the death penalty without recognized "international guarantees" on the justice system. It also condemned Iran's practice of executing minors.
The UN motion attacked the growing targeting of journalists and human rights defenders in Iran and called for the release of people held for taking part in "peaceful" protests.
Iran's UN ambassador, Mohammed Khazaee, called the vote an "abusive exploitation" of the General Assembly's powers and said it did not reflect conditions in Iran. Khazaee particularly criticized Canada and the United States, which have been major backers of the annual vote.
A resolution against North Korea was adopted by consensus for the first time.
A North Korean diplomat called the vote "political propaganda," which "escalates the confrontation" between his country and the international community.
HRANA News Agency :

Javid Houtan Kian Iranian lawyer, political prisoner in Tabriz Central Prison is in health deterioration due to lack of medical consideration.

According to a report by Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA), this imprisoned lawyer is suffering from Kidney and intestinal infections and is being rejected for medical examination.

Mr. Javid Houtan Kian is a lawyer who represented Mrs. Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani, when she was accused of adultery and sentenced to death by stoning in 2010. He supported her son, Sajjad Ghaderzadeh’s campaign to raise international awareness about his mother’s case.

He was arrested by members of the Ministry of Intelligence in October 2010 following her conviction, together with two German journalists and Sajjad Ghaderzadeh, Sakineh’s son. He was accused of acting against national security and sentenced to 11 years in prison following a televised confession and was barred from practising law for 5 years. The journalists and Sajjad Ghaderzadeh, who had been subjected to severe torture, were later released.

In September 2011 HRANA News Agency conducted an interview with Javid’s defence lawyer, Mr. Naghi Mahmoudi, who had been given permission to visit him. He reported that he barely recognised Javid, who had lost about half his body weight in the 6 months he had been held. He had been severely tortured and kept in solitary confinement. His nose had been broken, as had a number of his teeth and he had been burned with cigarettes many times. He had been tortured for hours at a time and passed round like a football between 20 and 25 guards. He was moved from Evin Prison to Tabriz where he has been kept on a ward designated for the insane and HIV-positive intravenous drug-users. Following the interview, Mr. Naghi Mahmoudi was denied further visits to Javid.

In March last year he managed to send an open letter from prison to important individuals and organisations round the world, setting out his case.
HRANA News Agency :
Reza Shahabi, an Iranian labor leader imprisoned since June 2010, went on hunger strike on 17 Dec 2012 to protest against mistreatment by jail guards as well as prevention of his medical treatment by the judicial authorities.

According to a report by Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA), Reza Shahabi's physical conditions have deteriorated. He has announced that he will refuse taking his medication and eating food until he is allowed to be transferred to a hospital outside prison for complete treatment.

Mr. Reza Shahabi who had gone under major surgery of his neck, and according to doctors’ recommendations was in need of at least “two months rest at home”, and “incapable of withstanding any further punishment,” was sent back to Ward 350 of Evin prison on August 14, 2012. Since then, his health deteriorated significantly. In addition, his jail guards have be very insulting and he has been threatened recently by one of his guards. Reza was taken to hospital on December 15, 2012 but the jail guard accompanying him refused to allow him for proper examination and forced Reza, with threats of beating and assaulting him, to go back to prison.

Reza Shahabi is the Treasurer and Executive Board member of the Syndicate of workers of Tehran and Suburbs Bus Company, which belongs to the Municipality of Tehran and has more than seventeen thousand employees. All Executive board members of this union have been persecuted, dismissed and many were jailed since the formation of the Syndicate in 2005. He has recently been sentenced to 6 year imprisonment and five year ban on all union activities as well as 7 million Toman fine; the appeal court seems to have confirmed his sentence for four years imprisonment, five year ban on all union activities and 7 million toman penalty. Reza Shahabi's health deteriorated significantly after severe beatings and mistreatment following his arrest. The authorities of the Islamic Republic of Iran are directly responsible for any consequence resulting from continued imprisonment and mistreatment of Reza Shahabi.
HRANA News Agency :
Political prisoner Majid Assadi in Ward 350 of Evin Prison began hunger strike for one week protesting the measures of the branch 15th of Iran’s Revolutionary Court by Judge Salavati.

According to a report by Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA), Political prisoner Majid Assadi in Ward 350 of Evin Prison began hunger strike for one week protesting the measures of the branch 15th of Iran’s Revolutionary Court by Judge Salavati toward two political prisoners in Ward 350 in Tehran’s Evin Prison. These two prisoners are Ali Moezi and Vahid Asghari, who were transferred to solitary confinement and banned from any visits.

By this action, he wants to attract the attention of world community to consider the situation of Political Prisoners who are banned of visiting their families.

Majid Assadi is a graduated Economic student at Allameh University in Tehran. He was arrested on Thursday, July 3, 2008 and passed 78 days in Solitary Confinement.

He was sentenced to four year in prison in May 2010. He was summoned to Evin prison to serve his sentence on Wednesday, October 5, 2011.

Furthermore, for the second consecutive week Gholamreza Khosravi refused to meet with his family in protest to Ali Moezi and Vahid Asghar being banned from any visits.
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اين نوشته از وب لاگ جعفر رضايي ميباشد و براي تسهيل كردن و دردسترس قراردادن مطلب آن توسط دختران آفتاب نيز ياد آوري ميشود.
HRANA News Agency – Dr. Assadollah Assadi, a political prisoner in Evin is in grave danger due to continuing his hunger strike in protest of his situation.
According to a report by Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA), This political activist is in hunger strike from Friday, November 16, 2012 in protest of his medical leave rejection by prison's authorities.
 Political prisoner Dr. Assadollah Assadi’s attempted suicide two times, once on Sunday March 11, 2012 failed due to prompt action by his cellmates in Ward 350 of Evin prison.
خبرگزاري هرانا - مسئولان زندان رجايي شهر کرج در ارسال پرونده پزشکي صالح کهندل زنداني سياسي مشکوک به سرطان به دادستاني کارشکني مي‌کنند.
بنا‌به اطلاع گزارشگران هرانا، ارگان خبري مجموعه فعالان حقوق‌بشر در ايران، صالح کهندل زنداني سياسي که به تشخيص پزشکان زندان، احتمالاً به سرطان خون مبتلا مي‌باشد، با کارشکني مسئولان زندان رجايي شهر براي ارسال پرونده پزشکي‌اش به دادستاني روبه‌رو شده است.
مسئولان زندان هم‌چنين به وي اعلام کرده‌اند، پرونده پزشکي‌اش مفقود گرديده است.
صالح کهندل که با افت و خيز پلاکت خون روبه‌روست، مي‌بايست ۱۱ آزمايش مختلف جهت تشخيص بيماري از وي به‌عمل مي‌آمد که با وجود گذشت بيش از ۸ ماه تنها سه آزمايش از وي گرفته شده و از ۲۰ خرداد ماه ديگر دادستان اجازه خروج وي را به خارج از زندان صادر نکرده است.
گفتني است، براي اعزام زندانيان سياسي به بيمارستان، نياز به اجازه دادستاني مي‌باشد و با اين شيوه عملاً انتقال اين زنداني سياسي به بيمارستان جهت انجام آزمايشات ضروري منتفي شده است. صالح کهندل محکوم به تحمل ۱۰ سال حبس به اتهام هواداري از سازمان مجاهدين مي‌باشد.
AI Public Statement 
 
Amnesty International is calling on the Iranian authorities to act decisively to end the continuing confusion surrounding the cause of the death in custody of blogger, Sattar Beheshti and to establish the truth of what happened.
The Supreme Leader must ensure that a thorough and impartial investigation is carried out into this and all other deaths in custody. These should be conducted in a manner that complies with international standards for such investigations.
HRANA News Agency – It's one year that Shabnam and Farzad Madadzadeh, brother and sister in Evin and Rajaishahr prisons are banned from visiting each other.

According to a report by Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA), Shabnam and Farzad Madadzadeh with five-year sentences can visit each other in the frame of Iranian Prisons' Law, but it's one year that they are banned from visiting by the judiciary authorities.


Shabnam Madadzadeh and her brother Farzad Madadzadeh were arrested in February , 2009 and after one year of temporary arrests were sentenced to five years in prison in Evin and Rajaei Shahr Prisons.

Shabnam Madadzadeh is a member of Tahkim Vahdat, the union for Islamic associations of university students across the country. It is the largest student-dependent organization critical of the [Iranian] government.
HRANA News Agency – Dr. Assadollah Assadi, a political prisoner in Evin is in grave danger due to continuing his hunger strike in protest of his situation.
According to a report by Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA), This political activist is in hunger strike from Friday, November 16, 2012 in protest of his medical leave rejection by prison's authorities.
 Political prisoner Dr. Assadollah Assadi’s attempted suicide two times, once on Sunday March 11, 2012 failed due to prompt action by his cellmates in Ward 350 of Evin prison.
radiozamane:
Jailed Iranian human rights lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh, who has been on a hunger strike for more than a month, is now in critical condition, her husband Reza Khandan reports.

International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH)
Iranian League for the Defence of Human Rights (LDDH)

Joint Press Release

UN strongly condemns human rights violations in Iran in face of increasing repression of human rights defenders


Paris, Tuesday, 27 November 2012 - The International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) and the Iranian League for the Defence of Human Rights (LDDH) welcome the passing today of the resolution on the situation of human rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran by a resounding majority in the Social, Humanitarian and Cultural Affairs Committee of the UN General Assembly. 
Amnesty International

Behrouz Ghobadi, brother of internationally acclaimed Iranian film maker, Bahman Ghobadi, was arrested on 4 November 2012 by men in plain clothes, believed to belong to the Ministry of Intelligence. He is reportedly being held in a Ministry of Intelligence detention centre, placing him at risk of torture or other ill-treatment. Behrouz Ghobadi, father of a newborn baby boy and a member of the Kurdish minority in Iran , was arrested in the early hours of the morning of 4 November. He was in a taxi driving from Sanandaj, the capital of the north-western Kordestan province, to a Tehran airport. Plain-clothes men, who were reportedly following him, stopped his car and arrested him around 15 kilometres outside Sanandaj. Judicial officials claim that they had an arrest warrant but the reasons for his arrest do not appear to have been disclosed to his family or lawyer. 


Political prisoners Loqman and Zaniar Moradi who are awaiting their execution, wrote a letter regarding the contradictory remarks of the Marivan Friday Prayer Imam from Gohardasht [Rajayi Shahr] Prison in Karaj.
This letter reads in part:

European Parliaments’ Plenary Session Human rights

Executions in Iran
“Excerps of the EP report “ by DL:

http://www.europarl.europa.eu/news/en/pressroom/content/20121116IPR55721/html/Human-rights-migrants%27-security-in-Libya-executions-in-Iran-violence-in-Burma

The European Parliament expressed grave concerns about the human rights situation of refugees and migrants in Libya, mass executions in Iran, and the resurgence of ethnic violence in Burma, in resolutions passed in Strasbourg on Thursday.
….
Iran: mass executions and recent death of Sattar Behesthi
Parliament voices serious concern about the steadily deteriorating human rights situation in Iran, citing the growing number of political prisoners and prisoners of conscience, the high number of executions, including of juveniles, widespread torture, unfair trials and heavy restrictions on freedom of information, expression, assembly, religion, education and movement. MEPs are also deeply concerned about the death in prison of blogger Sattar Behesthi. and urge the Iranian authorities to conduct a thorough enquiry into the case.
Parliament also urges Iran to release all political prisoners and prisoners of conscience, including 2012 Sakharov Prize winner Nasrin Sotoudeh and cites concerns that she is being held in conditions detrimental to her health. It calls upon the Iranian authorities to allow both Nasrin Sotoudeh and Jafar Panahi to collect their Sakharov prize in December 2012 in Strasbourg.
:سايت راديو فردا

متن خبر: «هفته‌نامه بريتانيايي «اکونوميست» در شماره تازه خود جدولي را منتشر کرده که در آن «بهترين» کشورها براي آغاز زندگي کودکان در سال ۲۰۱۳ فهرست شده‌اند؛ در اين جدول، ايران از ميان ۸۰ کشور در جايگاه ۵۸ام قرار گرفته است.
در اين جدول که تحت عنوان «جهان در سال ۲۰۱۳» منتشر شده دورنماي زندگي کودکاني که در سال جديد ميلادي در کشورهاي مختلف به‌دنيا مي‌آيند تا سال ۲۰۳۰ بررسي شده که بر اساس داده‌هاي اين بررسي، کشور سوئيس «بهترين کشور براي به دنيا آمدن در سال ۲۰۱۳» توصيف شده‌است.
در صدر جدول پس از سوئيس، به ترتيب استراليا، نروژ، سوئد، دانمارک، و سنگاپور قرار گرفته‌اند. ايالات متحده و آلمان هر دو در رتبه شانزدهم، امارات متحده در رتبه هجدهم، عربستان سي‌وهشتم و ترکيه در جايگاه پنجاه‌ويکم قرار گرفته‌اند.
نيمي از ده کشور صدر جدول از کشورهاي اروپايي هستند، اما در ميان ده کشور نخست، در حوزه يورو تنها کشور هلند (با رتبه هشتم) ديده مي‌شود.
پس از ايران که در جايگاه ۵۸ام قرار گرفته به ترتيب کشورهاي تونس، مصر، بلغارستان، ال‌سالوادور، فيليپين، و سري‌لانکا قرار دارند. سه کشور قعر اين جدول به ترتيب اوکراين، کنيا و نيجريه هستند.
شاخصهاي مورد محاسبه در اين بررسي، عواملي چون کيفيت زندگي، ميزان ابراز رضايت در نظرسنجي‌ها، اقليم و جغرافيا، چشم‌انداز اقتصادي، شيوه کشورداري حکومت، آزاديهاي سياسي، امنيت، انسجام اجتماعي و شمار زيادي از عوامل ديگر هستند.
جدول يادشده از سوي «واحد اطلاعاتي اکونوميست» منتشر شده که يک شرکت مستقر در لندن و وابسته به نشريه «اکونوميست» است؛ اين شرکت در بيش از ۴۰ کشور شعبه دارد و در حدود ۶۵۰ کارشناس و تحليلگر امور کشورها را در استخدام خود دارد.
اين شرکت جدول مشابهي نيز در سال ۱۹۸۸ منتشر کرده‌بود که در آن، ايران در جايگاه ۴۸ام قرار داشت. با اين حساب، با وجود آن که در آن سال کشور ايران هشت سال جنگ با عراق را پشت سر گذاشته‌بود، جايگاه آن هنوز ۱۰ رتبه بالاتر از رتبه کنوني قرار داشت.
در سال ۱۹۸۸ به ترتيب، ايالات متحده، فرانسه، آلمان، و ايتاليا در صدر کشورهايي بودند که دورنماي زندگي براي کودکاني که در آن سال در اين کشورها به‌دنيا آمدند بهتر از ديگر کودکان جهان بود.
ماه گذشته مؤسسه پژوهشي لگاتوم شاخص رفاه جهاني سال ۲۰۱۲ را منتشر کرد که در آن ايران در ميان ۱۴۲ کشور در رتبه صد و دوم قرار دارد.
در آن پژوهش نيز، همانند تحقيقات «واحد اطلاعاتي اکونوميست»، عامل انسجام اجتماعي يکي از شاخصهاي مورد محاسبه در رتبه‌بندي کشورها بود که در اين زمينه، ايران در خاورميانه در رتبه بدترينها قرار داشت و طي نظرسنجي‌ها بيش از ۴۰ درصد از ايرانيان گفته‌اند که نمي‌توانند به بستگان و دوستان خود اعتماد کنند.

http://ireport.cnn.com/docs/DOC-885428

Good afternoon.

I would like to first of all offer my thanks to the governments of Germany, Sweden, and Norway for unconditionally accepting my request to conduct my latest fact-finding mission in their countries. The mission has been very successful, as I was able to collect a wealth of valuable information on subjects relevant to my mandate in Berlin, Stockholm, and Oslo.

Over the past twelve days, I have met and spoken with several dozen individuals of Iranian origin, human rights workers, government officials, and academic experts. I would like to thank everyone who took time to share information with me, particularly those who were able and willing to offer first-hand witness testimony related to the situation of human rights in Iran.
I have and will continue to apply rigorous standards in assessing the credibility of every individual account and piece of testimony I encounter. With that said, the credible testimonies I did receive on this trip have largely confirmed patterns I had previously encountered, and paint a very concerning picture of the human rights situation in Iran.

I speak at a time when the execution rate in Iran seems to have accelerated to an alarming pace in recent weeks and months. There are credible reports, in many cases corroborated by the government itself, that the number of executions carried out in just the past two weeks is at least 32, and possibly as high as 81. In October, the government executed 10 individuals, including Mr. Saeed Sedighi, despite impassioned calls from the international community to halt the executions in light of serious concerns regarding due process. I am extremely alarmed by this apparent spike in executions, and I reiterate my call on the government of Iran to adhere to its own international legal obligations in guaranteeing due process and ceasing the use of the capital punishment, except in cases narrowly defined as acceptable by the UN Human Rights Committee for the ICCPR.

I am troubled by the treatment of various minority groups in the country, who all too often bear the brunt of repressive policies. These include unrecognized religious minorities like the Baha’i and Yarsan, as well as recognized but increasingly suppressed religious communities like Christians and certain Sunni Muslim communities. I am also deeply concerned about ethnic minorities, including the Baluch, Kurdish, Ahwazi Arab, Turkmen, and Azerbaijani peoples, whose plights are often compounded by linguistic and cultural subjugation, in additional to political repression.

The situation for women in Iran has worsened in recent months, as new segregationist education policies have been implemented, and women’s rights activists are being harassed and sometimes arrested for various forms of free expression, including for the defense of women’s rights or for educational or cultural expression. A new bill, currently in the Parliament, would extend the age required for women to obtain the consent of a parental guardian for a passport to 40.

The situation for sexual minorities in Iran is also extremely alarming, as the government tightly controls all forms of consensual relations.

The Iranian government continues to harass, detain, and imprison human rights defenders, who are often themselves lawyers, raising serious concerns about the independence of lawyers and of the judiciary in the country. While I was pleased that the government released Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani in September, I was disappointed that only days later, authorities summoned his lawyer, Mohammad Ali Dadkhah, to serve a prison sentence for spurious charges. Ms. Nasrin Sotoudeh, another lawyer and human rights defender currently in prison, is on a hunger strike related to the authorities’ treatment of her family, and I am worried about her condition.

Of course, I am extremely troubled by reports that Mr. Sattar Beheshti, a blogger imprisoned for exercising his legitimate right to free expression, died while in custody, possibly because of injuries sustained from torture. I expect the Iranian government to conduct a comprehensive, impartial, and transparent investigation into his death, to make the methodology and results of that investigation public, and to punish anyone responsible and compensate his family appropriately. I also once again extend this call for investigations to cases dealt with by previous mandate holders, and to the events following the 2009 presidential elections. In this regard I echo the concluding observations made by the Human Rights Committee in their review of Iran last year.

Unfortunately, it appears that the space is narrowing for any independent thought or expression that

Iranian government authorities do not approve of, for any reason, in contravention of Iran’s international legal obligations and, indeed, some of its own laws.
I remain hopeful that the government of Iran will substantively engage the specific findings that I have outlined today, and in more detail in my reports, and that we can work together to reverse these trends and promote respect for human rights, freedom, and rule of law.

I would now be happy to answer any questions you might have.
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