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Thread: Human Rights Crisis In Iran

  1. #51
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    IN AUGUST last year, Iranian women’s rights activists launched a campaign demanding an end to the legal discrimination of women under Iranian law. The campaign, which aims to collect one million signatures to demand changes to the legal system, is a follow-up effort to a peaceful protest that took place on June 12, 2006 in Tehran’s Haft-e Tir Square.

    In recent weeks, the state has arrested several activists as part of a crackdown against the campaign. The following statement was signed by over 1000 prominent Iranian journalists, lawyers, writers, social and political activist, student movement activists, bloggers, academics and researchers in response to the arrests.

    On Monday April 2, some of the One Million Signatures Campaign members gathered in some of Tehran’s Parks with their families to gather signatures from their compatriots while they were celebrating the thirteenth day of the New Year festival. Attending in public spaces on this special day is an ancient custom that is not forbidden by any law. Gathering signatures, as the most peaceful way to conduct opinion polls of citizens, is not forbidden by any law. It is a custom that has an long record in our country.

    But, unfortunately on this day, five of the Campaign’s members who gathered in Tehran Lale Park with their families to celebrate the thirteen day of the New Year festival were arrested and transported to Vozara police station.

    On Tuesday April 3, three of the arrested activists, Sara Imanian, Homayun Nami and Saeede Amin, were released by paying collateral to the revolutionary court. Unfortunately, the other two, Nahid Keshavarz and Mahboubeh Hossein-zadeh, were transported to Evin prison.

    After 7 months since the beginning of the campaign’s work to change the discriminatory laws, Campaign members have confronted too many violent clashes. There is not any authority in our current laws to arrest the people who gathered the signatures. The arrest process of the security forces and their manner of dealing with the One Million Signatures Campaign activists shows that they are increasing the pressure against all legal and peaceful movements.

    Therefore, we, the undersigned, while protesting against the pressures, arrests and unfair and anti-human rights behaviour targeted toward civil society activists, demand the immediate and unconditional release of Nahid Keshavarz and Mahboubeh Hossein-zadeh, as activists of the women’s movement and the One Million Signatures Campaign.

    To view the list of names in Farsi, please visit:

    http://weforchange.net/spip.php?article536

    For more information on One Million Signatures Campaign in Iran, please visit:

    http://weforchange.net/english/




  2. #52
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    Iran: Arrests of peaceful demonstrators and activists continue

    Amnesty International is calling on the Iranian authorities to release immediately and unconditionally all those detained in connection with recent peaceful demonstrations by teachers, students and others, to halt all trial proceedings that could result in the imprisonment of prisoners of conscience and to cease harassment of those campaigning to uphold human rights, including trade union and political rights. The organization is concerned that such protestors have been increasingly targeted since Minister of Intelligence Gholam Hossein Mohseni Ejeie publicly accused the womens’ movement and student campaigners of being part of an enemy conspiracy for a “soft subversion” of the government in Iran on 10 April 2007.

    Teachers

    Dozens of teachers, mostly members of local Teachers’ Associations or the National Council of Teachers’ Associations, have been detained in recent weeks in connection with demonstrations which began in March 2007 by teachers demanding higher pay and working conditions. Hundreds of teachers were arrested; all were later released, but since then many more teachers have been arrested across the country after plans were announced for strikes on 15 and 16 April, and on 2 May, which is Iran’s National Teachers’ Day.
    On 7 April, 45 teachers were arrested in Hamedan, including the entire board of the Hamedan Teachers’ Association, which was subsequently banned by the authorities. Most were released shortly afterwards, but at least four are reported to remain in detention, whose surnames are Zare’i, Ghadimi, Refahiat and Gholami.

    On 12 April, three teachers in Tehran, Ali Safar Montajabi, Mohammad Taghi Fallahi and Mahmoud Bagheri were summoned to the Revolutionary Court and afterwards were transferred to Evin Prison. Three others were detained on 14 April and also taken to Evin Prison: Hamid Pourvosouq, the Deputy Head of the Iranian Teachers’ Association, Alireza Akbari Nabi and Mohammad Reza Reza’i Gorgani, members of the senior editorial committee of the weekly “Teachers’ Pen”. On the same day, four teachers, Mojtaba Abtahi, Abdolrasoul Emadi, Nourollah Barkhordar and Hamid Majiri (or Mojizi) were reportedly arrested in Homayoun Shahr; three other teachers were reportedly arrested in Kerman. On 16 April, Ali Akbar Baghani, the Head of the Iranian Teachers’ Association, was detained by three plain clothes officials in his classroom in a school in Tehran. He had previously been detained without charge or trial between 3 and 28 March 2007.

    Students

    Bizhan Sabagh, an engineering student at Mazandaran University who had previously been suspended by the university disciplinary committee for one term in connection with his student activities, was arrested on 14 April 2007 by security officials in front of the university. Some 14 students who began a sit-in protest at Bizhan Sabagh’s arrest were also detained later the same day. All, with the exception of Sayed Ziya’addin (Ziya) Nabavi, have since been released on bail or on written guarantees.

    Womens’ rights activists

    On 18 April, two women on trial for participating in a peaceful demonstration on 12 June 2006 demanding equal rights for women were sentenced to prison terms. Fariba Davoudi Mohajer was sentenced to four years’ imprisonment, of which three years were suspended, and Sussan Tahmasebi was sentenced to two years’ imprisonment, of which 18 months were suspended. The women, currently free, are expected to appeal against their sentences. Also on 18 April, Behareh Hedayat, a university student, was tried, without the presence of her lawyer, on charges of “acting against state security”, “participating in an illegal demonstration on 12 June 2006” and “disturbing public order”. Earlier, on 11 April, Azadeh Forghani, a university student, was given a two-year suspended sentence in connection with the same demonstration. Several days later, she was summoned to court where she was questioned and informed that she was facing new charges in connection with a peaceful gathering on 4 March 2007 held to protest against the prosecution of five other activists in connection with the demonstration in June 2006. On 18 April six other women reportedly attended a court session in which they were interrogated about the 4 March gathering. Parvin Ardalan, Zara Amjadian, Elnaz Ansari, Nasrin Afzali, Niloufar Golkar and Marzieh (Minoo) Mortazi Langaroudi were reportedly charged with “gathering and colluding to disturb national security”, “disturbing public order” and “disobeying the orders of officials”.

    Five women active in the “Million Signatures Campaign” were arrested on 2 April 2007 while collecting signatures in support of an end to discriminatory legislation against women in Iran. Three were released after one day in detention, but Mahboubeh Hossein Zadeh and Nahid Keshavarz were taken to Evin Prison and were released on bail on 15 April 2007. They were reportedly accused of “acting against state security through propaganda against the system”.




  3. #53
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    Human rights group Amnesty International has called on Iran to halt the execution of child offenders.

    In a new report, it says Iran is the only country to have executed child offenders so far this year.

    It lists the names of 71 other child offenders it says are known to be facing the death penalty.

    The organisation defines a "child offender" as a person convicted of crimes they committed when they were under the age of 18.

    In a report entitled Iran: the Last Executioner of Children, Amnesty says that since 1990, 24 child offenders have been executed in Iran - more than in any other country in the world.

    CHILD EXECUTIONS IN IRAN
    Two children executed so far this year
    71 other child offenders face the death penalty
    24 child offenders have been executed in Iran since 1990
    Source: Amnesty International

    Eleven of these people were still under 18 at the time of their execution, while the others were kept on death row until they reached 18 or were convicted and sentenced after reaching that age, the report says.

    "Only three other countries have executed child offenders in the past three years according to information received by Amnesty International," says Drewery Dyke of Amnesty International.

    "In three years, Iran has executed more child offenders than all those other countries combined. It's now the case that as of June 2007, Iran is the only country to have executed child offenders, having executed two in 2007."

    Unpopular

    Amnesty notes Iran denies executing children.

    But it says it is calling on the Iranian authorities to halt further executions of child offenders and amend laws so no minors who commit crimes can be sentenced to death.

    Amnesty's Drewery Dyke says public opinion in Iran is increasingly opposed to the death penalty for those who commit crimes under the age of 18.

    "Iran is isolated in this regard. And it's a tragic isolation, because it does not seem to be what defenders in Iran want, it does not seem to be entirely what a large part of the judiciary wants.

    "It's a practice that is increasingly out of step with what Iranians themselves expect from their judicial system."

    Amnesty says a draft law proposed by the judiciary in 2001 and still under consideration by the Iranian authorities could pave the way for the abolition of the death sentence for minors - or at least result in a reduction in the number of offences for which child offenders could be sentenced to death.




  4. #54
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    Iran continues to pass death sentences on child offenders

    Amnesty International (AI) is calling on the Iranian authorities to take immediate steps to end the shameful practice of executing child offenders (those convicted of crimes committed before the age of 18
    According to the report Iran: The last executioner of children, Iran has executed more child offenders than any other country in the world since 1990.

    As a state party to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) and the Convention on the Rights of the Child, Iran has committed not to execute anyone for an offence committed when they were under the age of 18.

    Officials from the Iranian Government and the judiciary have repeatedly stated that Iran does not execute children. However, the facts tell a different story.

    The report states that 24 child offenders have been executed in Iran since 1990, 11 of whom were under 18 at the time of their execution. In most cases, the authorities waited until child offenders turned 18 before executing them. It is not clear whether the authorities understand that such executions still violate Iran's international obligation not to execute child offenders under the ICCPR.

    AI is aware of 71 child offenders who are currently under sentence of death in Iran. However, the lack of information available on the death penalty in the country means this number may only be a fraction of the total.

    Campaigning against the death penalty both inside and outside Iran can make -- and has made -- a difference. In some cases, death sentences have been overturned and the person has been released. In many more, stays of execution have been won.

    Campaigns have also prompted the Iranian authorities to publicly comment on cases, initiate reviews of cases, order retrials and even grant pardons or amnesties.

    Human rights defenders in Iran stress that international publicity and pressure in support of local efforts can help bring about change in the country. AI believes that campaigning can save lives and will eventually persuade the Iranian authorities to end the illegal execution of child offenders and bring their legal practices into line with their obligations under international law.

    AI opposes the death penalty for anyone, regardless of their age and the nature of the crime or the character of the condemned. Every execution is an affront to human rights and an act of premeditated cruelty that denies the right to life as enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

    AI's report calls for the abolition of the death penalty for child offenders in Iran. The Head of the Judiciary should immediately implement a moratorium on the execution of child offenders until such changes can be made law.

    The death sentences of the 71 child offenders documented in AI’s report, and any other child offenders on death row in Iran, must be commuted.

    Ending executions of child offenders in Iran, while a major objective in itself, is just one step on the road to total abolition -- but a vitally important step that should be taken without delay.




  5. #55
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    The Women and Mothers of this Land, will Not Remain Silent in the Face of Violence Against our Children


    Change for Equality: A statement of protest which was issued by women involved in the women’s movement and supported by men who identify themselves as equal rights defenders, strongly objected to the arrest and violent crackdowns against student leaders. This statement which was signed by over 1,000 persons, recounted the most recent wave of arrests which began with the arrest of 6 members of the Central Council of the Office to Foster Unity, the most active student group. The Central Council members, Bahareh Hedayat, Mohammad Hashemi, Ali Niko Nesbati, Mahdi Arabshahi, Hanif Yazdani and Ali Vaghfi, had gathered for a peaceful sit-in in front of Amir Kabir University on the 7th anniversary of the student unrest on 18th of Tir, 1378 (July 1999), which ended in violence and storming of university dormitories and wide-spread arrest of student protesters. The Central Council members staged a sit-in to protest not only in marking of the 18th of Tir, but to demonstrate their objection to continued detention of 8 of their fellow students at Amir Kabir university, Abbas Hakimzadeh, Ali Saberi, Ahmad Ghassaban, Meghdad Khalilpour, Majid Tavakoli, Pooyan Mahmoudian, Majid Sheikhpour, Ehsan Mansouri, who were arrested over 2 months ago based on false allegations of inciting public opinion, printing of inflammatory and derogatory materials and insulting state leaders.

    The statement issued by equal rights defenders further objected to the storming of security forces and police of the office of the Alumni Organization of Iran, a leading student organization, closely affiliated with the Office to Foster Unity. Security forces stormed the offices of this human rights and political organization, by firing their guns, and finally arresting members of the organization present in the office, including: Abdollah Momeni, Bahram Fayazi, Morteza Eslahchi, Mojtaba Bayat, Ezat-ollah Ghalandari, Habib Haj Heidari, Massoud Habibi, Saieed Hossein Nia, Arash Khandel and Ashkan Ghisvand. Computers and other equipment were confiscated and the offices of the Alumni Organization of Iran, which was a legally registered entity, were sealed.

    The signatories to this statement reminded authorities that the peaceful protesters in front of Amir Kabir were acting within their legal rights as citizens, based on the 27th amendment of the constitution, which allows for peaceful gatherings and protests. They further explained that Iranian women and mothers have worked hard and under difficult circumstances to raise responsible children who care for the well-being of their community at large, and who are willing to take risks to make a better future for all citizens. Addressing decision makers, the statement went further to explain that "the mothers and women of this land, will come face to face with the wave of violence created by the state, and will take whatever means necessary to protect their children and ensure their freedom."

    The statement also protested the heavy sentences issued for some women’s rights activists who are also involved in the student movement, such as Delaram Ali, who was sentenced to 2 years and 10 months in prison and 10 lashes, Azadeh Forghani, who was issued a suspended sentence of 2 years and Bahareh Hedayat, who was issued a 2 year suspended sentence.

    The statement further expressed special concern for the circumstances of Bahareh Hedayat, who is the only female student arrested in this latest crackdown against student leaders, and as such, must be enduring much more difficult circumstances, than her male counterparts. It should be noted that Bahareh Hedayat serves as the Secretary of the Women’s Commission of the Office to Foster Unity and is an active member of the women’s movement. As mentioned earlier, she has a suspended sentence of 2 years, which with this latest arrest and charges, will in all likelihood have to be served. Abdullah Momeni, spokesman for the Alumni Organization of Iran, also has a suspended sentence, and his colleagues fear that his illegal detention will serve as an excuse to implement the suspended sentence.




  6. #56
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    Change for Equality: After 5 days in detention, reports indicate that Amir Yaghoub-Ali has been transferred to the 209th Section of Evin Prison, which is administered by agents of the Ministry of Information and Security. Amir Yaghoub-Ali was arrested on July 11, 2007, while collecting signatures in support of the One Million Signatures Campaign, in Andisheh Park in Tehran. His parents and other women’s rights activists went to the Revolutionary Courts in an effort to pursue his case, on Thursday July 12. During his court hearing, Judge Jamshidi, issued a 48-hour order of arrest. A subsequent court hearing was scheduled with the security branch of the courts, for Saturday July 14, after which it was believed that Amir Yaghoub-Ali would be released on Bail. His family members followed his case on Saturday, but instead of receiving answers to his whereabouts and the status of his case, they were given the runaround, and forced to go from the court to the detention center, and back.

    Instead of releasing Amir, as promised by Judge Jamshidi, family members were reportedly informed that Amir has been transferred to the 209th Section of Evin Prison. This order was apparently issued by Judge Hadad, in the security branch of the Revolutionary Courts.

    Amir is one of a growing number of young men, involved in the One Million Signatures Campaign, and the women’s movement. Through their growing activism on behalf of equal rights for women, these young men not only forgo the rights unjustifiably accorded to them by law, but take risks and face imprisonment in an effort to ensure that women in Iran are viewed as full human beings under the law. Their commitment to human rights and equality should be met with applause and encouragement, not imprisonment.

    It should be noted that the act of collecting signatures for a petition intended for the Parliament is not defined as an illegal activity under Iranian law. To date 13 members of the One Million Signatures Campaign have been illegally arrested for involvement in this most civil and peaceful of activities.

    July 11, 2007 Amir Yaghoub-Ali Arrested while Collecting Signatures

    Change for Equality: Amir Yaghoub Ali, a member of the One Million Signatures Campaign and student activist at Allameh Tabatabi’e University, was arrested on July 11, 2007 while collecting signatures in support of the One Million Signatures Campaign at Andisheh Park, in Tehran.

    Amir was first detained by park police. He was subsequently arrested and taken to Niloofar police station No. 104. According to reports, Amir Yaghoub Ali will be taken to Tehran District court on Thursday July 12. Updates on this case will be provided on a regular basis.




  7. #57
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    As Cheney Pushes Bush to Attack Iran, U.S. and Iranian Activists Call for Peace

    http://www.democracynow.org/article..../07/16/1330225




  8. #58
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    Iran: Execution of child offender imminent

    Amnesty International has just learned that 18-year-old Sina Paymard, who was sentenced to death in Iran for a crime committed when he was just 16 years old, may be executed within the next few hours.

    "Should this execution be carried out it would be in complete violation of international law," said Malcolm Smart, Director of Amnesty International's Middle East and North Africa Programme. "It would also be a morally unjustifiable, abhorrent act carried out by a government against one of its young citizens."

    "The Iranian government must take immediate steps to halt this execution."

    Sina Paymard, a musician, was nearly executed in September last year for murder. On the gallows, Sina's last request was to play the ney (a Middle Eastern flute) for the last time. The family of the victim was so moved by his playing that they granted him a last minute reprieve. Instead, they asked for 150 million toumans (over $US 160,000) as compensation. Sina's family, however, has not been able to raise the full amount.

    Background
    Iran continues to have one of the highest rates of executions in the world. Amnesty International has recorded at least 124 executions since the beginning of 2007, suggesting that by the end of this year the total number of executions could exceed the total of 177 executions that Amnesty International recorded in 2006.

    Two recent victims of the Iranian authorities' use of the death penalty were child offenders, whose alleged crimes were committed before the age of 18, and a third was a man who was stoned to death. The two child offenders -- Mohammad Mousavi and Sa'id Qanbar Zahi -- were executed in April and May respectively, in direct contravention of international law, which requires that no-one should be executed for crimes committed while under the age of 18.

    While Amnesty International recognizes the right of governments to bring to justice those suspected of serious crimes, it opposes the death penalty in all cases as a violation of the right to life and the ultimate form of cruel, inhuman and degrading punishment.

    For a full account of the Sina Paymard case and Amnesty International's concerns regarding executions of child offenders in Iran, please see:

    http://web.amnesty.org/library/index/engmde130592007

    Public Document

    ****************************************

    For more information please call Amnesty International's press office in

    London, UK, on +44 20 7413 5566

    Amnesty International, 1 Easton St., London WC1X 0DW. web:

    http://www.amnesty.org

    For latest human rights news view http://news.amnesty.org




  9. #59
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    اگر خانوادهء مقتول رضايت نداده باشند، "سينا پايمرد "صبح امروز 27 تير 1386) بايد اعدام شده باشد.

    خانوادهء مقتول در مراسم قبلى اجراى اعدام تنها شرط گذشت را دريافت 150 ميليون تومان عنوان كردند. با همين درخواست بود كه اجراى حكم براى فراهم كردن پول متوقف شد.

    پدر سينا تا عصر ديروز تنها توانسته بود 75 ميليون تومان پول نقد فراهم كند.

    نسرين ستوده، وكيل سينا چندان به پيگيرى پرونده اميدوار نيست و مي*گويد، همه چيز 50، 50 است.

    اين*كه رييس قوهء قضاييه چه رايى بدهد و مانع از اجراى حكم شود يا اين*كه خانوادهء مقتول با دريافت 75 ميليون تومان رضايت دهند.

    اعدام سينا پايمرد كه در هنگام وقوع جرم، 16 سال داشته مغاير كنوانسيون حقوق كودك است. كنوانسيونى كه ايران سال*هاست به آن پيوسته است.

    ستوده همچنين مي*گويد:,براساس بندهاى كنوانسيون حقوق كودك، *افراد زير 18 سالى كه مرتكب قتل مي*شوند نبايد به مجازات اعدام محكوم شوند. بنابراين اجراى اين حكم نقض صريح يك عهدنامهء بين*المللى را نيز به دنبال مي*آورد.,

    ,تبعات بين*المللى آن براى ايران چه*طور؟,

    ستوده مي*گويد:,دوباره موج انتقادات جهانى سرازير مي*شود، چرا كه اگر دولت ايران نمي*خواست در اين زمينه اقدام كند، نبايد اصلا به كنوانسيون مي*پيوست.,

    آسيه امينى در اين باره در وبلاگش نوشته است: ,قاضى در پاى چوبهء دار از سينا دربارهء آخرين خواسته*اش پرسيد. سينا كه از كودكى فلوت مي*زد، درخواست كرد كه فلوتش را بياورند. زمان لازم بود و شش اعدامى منتظر برآورده شدن آخرين تقاضاهايشان تا احكام اجرا شود.

    ولى قاضى با درخواست سينا موافقت كرد. فلوتش را آوردند و صدايى كه از ناى جان پسر بلند شد، حاضران را دگرگون كرد. او بداهه*نوازى مي*كرد و بعدها حتى به ياد نمي*آورد كه چه نواخته است.

    شور نواى ساز سينا به حدى بود كه يكى از خانواده*هاى اولياى دم كه براى اجراى حكم حاضر شده بودند، خون فرزندشان را به قاتلى كه طناب بر گردن داشت بخشيدند و او آزاد شد.

    آن*ها از خانوادهء مردى كه به دست سينا به قتل رسيده بود نيز خواستند كه او را ببخشند و آن*ها پذيرفتند به شرطى كه خانوادهء سينا پايمرد بتواند 150 ميليون تومان را براى آن*ها در مهلت مقرر آماده كند.

    پدر سينا خانه*اش را فروخت. اما همهء دارايى كه توانست جمع كند 70 ميليون تومان شد. او كه درگير ماجراى پسرش بود،كارش را هم از دست داد. مادر سينا هم پرستارى بيكار است.,

    با اين همه سينا صبح امروز 277 تيرماه سال 1386) اعدام شده است، اگر حمايتى از او صورت نگرفته باشد،چه قانونى و چه مالى و اگر كه خانوادهء مقتول رضايت نداده باشند.ستوده همچنين مي*گويد:,از قاضى خواستم تا پروندهء پزشكى سينا يك*بار ديگر بررسى شود كه پذيرفته نشد.سينا به افسردگى دوقطبى كه نوعى جنون محسوب مي*شود، مبتلاست.,

    ,حالا تا صبح چه مي*كنيد؟,

    ,اين جمله را شنيده*ايد كه به هر درى خواهم زد.,

    اعدام سينا پايمرد در حالى اتفاق خواهد افتاد كه مجازات اعدام در قرقيزستان و تركمنستان لغو شده و برحسب قوانين اين كشورها بيش*ترين مجازات براى مجرمان حبس ابد است.

    در ديگر جمهوري*هاى آسياى مركزى هر چند مجازات اعدام لغو نشده ولى اجرا نمي*شود.جايگزينى حبس ابد به جاى مجازات اعدام در اين كشورها با استقبال نهادهاى بين*المللى حقوق بشر مواجه شده در حالى كه بخشى از مردم اين كشورها به اين مساله با ترديد مي*نگرند.




  10. #60
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    Iran halts teenager's execution

    TEHRAN (AFP) - Iran on Wednesday halted the execution of a teenager who murdered a drug dealer while still a minor, giving his family 10 days to reach a financial settlement with the victim's kin, his lawyer said.

    Sina Paymard, 19, who suffers from manic depression, was going to be hanged at dawn on Wednesday for murdering the 32-year-old man in a fight over drugs three years ago.

    Paymard's case has drawn international attention not just over his age but also as he won a last-minute stay of execution in 2006 by moving the victim's family to tears with his flute playing seconds before he was due to be hanged.

    "(Judiciary chief) Ayatollah Mahmoud Hashemi Shahroudi halted the execution for 10 days so that we can reach a settlement with the victim's family," Paymard's lawyer Nasrin Sotudeh told AFP.

    Sotudeh said the family had now to come up with 1.5 billion rials (161,300 dollars) in blood money -- compensation asked by a victim's family -- in order to save him from the gallows.

    "They have raised half the blood money and some people have promised to make up for the rest," Sotudeh said, without specifying who the donors were.

    The official blood money, cash paid out in the case of violent death, is set at 350 million rials (37,600 dollars) for a man, and half that for a woman.

    Under Iran's Islamic law, anybody who kills another person has to pay compensation to the victim's family who can refuse it and demand the murderer be executed.

    The teenager was to be hanged in September 2006, two weeks after he turned 18. But he asked as his last wish to play his Iranian flute (ney) before the executioners put the rope round his neck.

    Touched by his playing, the victim's family agreed to demand financial compensation instead of the death penalty -- so long as Paymard could come up with the sum.

    Sotudeh said that Paymard also suffered from "bipolar disorder", commonly known as manic depression, and complained that the court did not take his condition into account.

    Rights activists have sought to raise the age of legal responsibility in Iran's Islamic law, which deems a boy punishable from the age of 15 and a girl from the age of nine.

    The European Union and international human rights groups have been pressuring Iran to stop executing those under age 18, and the UN General Assembly has adopted a non-binding resolution denouncing the practice of executing minors in Iran.

    Iran's conservative judiciary maintains that minors are not executed in the Islamic republic, but in some cases murderers have been hanged after reaching the age of 18.

    In April, a man identified only as Mohammad was reportedly hanged in the southern city of Shiraz for murdering his friend when he was 16 years old.

    A human rights group headed by Iranian Nobel peace laureate Shirin Ebadi said in a recent report that 15 people were sentenced to death in Iran in the past two years for crimes they committed as minors.

    Another case that has drawn attention is Delara Darabi, a 20-year-old artist, sentenced to death for murdering a relative during a burglary she and a friend committed at the age of 17 in the northern city of Rasht.

    She has been jailed for the past three years for the murder of her father's cousin, which she said to have initially claimed believing she would not be executed as a minor. Her death sentence has yet to be commuted.

    Iran has executed at least 118 people so far this year according to an AFP tally based on media reports.

    Capital offences in Iran include murder, rape, armed robbery, apostasy, blasphemy, serious drug trafficking, repeated sodomy, adultery or prostitution, treason and espionage.




  11. #61
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    اطلاعيه ى دبيرخانه بين المللى حزب سوسياليست فرانسه درباره حقوق بشر و سنگسارهاى قضايى در ايران



    تجاوزات به حقوق بشر در ايران به حد غير قابل تحملى رسيده اند. سرکوب تنها متوجه نيروهاى سياسى اپوزيسيون، روزنامه نگاران، روشنفکران، دانشجويان اصلاح طلب و متعهد نمى شود، بلکه شامل حال زنانى نيز مى گردد که براى لغو قوانين ناعادلانه ى ضد زن مبارزه مى کنند و همچنين کارگران، سنديکاليست ها و فعالينى را در بر مى گيرد که گهگاه به خاطر برگزارى روز جهانى کار (اول ماه مه) به چندين سال حبس محکوم مى شوند.
    اين سياست سرکوب در ايران، اخيرا،ً با از سر گرفتن سنگسارهاى قضايى که خلاف تعهد دولت ايران در سال 2002 مبنى بر تعليق اين عمل غير قابل پذيرش در عصر ما ست، همراه شده است.

    انجمن دفاع از حقوق بشردر ايران به رياست خانم شيرين عبادي، برنده ى جايزه نوبل، با انتشار ليست طولانى قربانيان سرکوب طى 4 ماه اخير، موج اخير سرکوب ها را افشا نموده است.

    حزب سوسياليست فرانسه انزجار خود را نسبت به نقض مداوم حقوق بشر در ايران و بويژه ازسرگرفتن سنگسارها اعلام ميدارد. حزب سوسياليست مجدداً از اتحاديه اروپا ومقدمتاً ا از مقامات فرانسوى مى خواهد که بر مقامات ايرانى فشار آورند تا به اين اعمال غير قابل قبول پايان دهند.

    پاريس
    16 ژوييه 2007 - 25 تير 1386




  12. #62
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    Iran: Further information on fear of imminent execution

    PUBLIC AI Index: MDE 13/094/2007

    19 July 2007


    Further Information on UA 220/05 (MDE 13/047/2005, 24 August 2005) and
    follow-ups (MDE 13/122/2006, 26 October 2006; MDE 13/008/2007, 26 January 2007)
    – Fear of imminent execution

    IRAN Sina Paymard (m), aged 18, musician
    Mostafa (surname unknown) (m), aged 18 or 19

    Sina Paymard was scheduled to be executed at dawn on 18 July. At the last
    minute, he was granted a 10-day stay of execution, to allow time for his family
    and the family of the murder victim to reach a financial settlement. Amnesty
    International has learnt that, following donations, Sina Paymard’s family may
    now have managed to raise the diyeh (blood money) demanded by the family in
    order to pardon him.

    Sina Paymard, a musician, was sentenced to qesas (retribution) for the 2004
    murder of a drug dealer during a fight. His death sentence was upheld by Branch
    33 of the Supreme Court, and his execution was scheduled for 20 September 2006,
    two weeks after his 18th birthday.

    That day, he was taken to the gallows to be hanged. His last request was to
    play the ney, a Middle Eastern flute. Relatives of the murder victim, who were
    there to witness the hanging, were so moved by his playing that they granted
    him a last-minute reprieve, and agreed to accept payment of diyeh instead of
    retribution by death. His execution was postponed for two months, while it was
    referred to conciliation in order to allow both families to negotiate over the
    payment of diyeh.

    In January, the Head of the Judiciary granted Sina Paymard a stay of execution
    while negotiations continued between his and the victim’s families. The victim’
    s family demanded diyeh of more than US$160,000. Sina Paymard’s family managed
    to raise US$70,000, which they offered to the victim’s family in April, but the
    victim’s family reportedly refused to accept it as insufficient.

    On 17 July, Sina Paymard’s lawyer, human rights defender Nasrin Sotudeh,
    reported that he had been transferred from Reja’i Shahr prison in Karaj to
    Tehran’s Evin prison, for his execution to be carried out. It was feared that
    he could be executed that day. Sina Paymard’s family had been unable to raise
    the full amount of the diyeh. Sina Paymard’s father reportedly said that he had
    sold everything in order to raise US$70,000, under half of the demanded amount.

    A 19 July article in the newspaper Sarmayeh described the scene outside Evin
    prison at the time Sina Paymard was scheduled to hang. His family and a group
    of human rights activists had gathered outside Evin prison, in an attempt to
    persuade the family of the victim to pardon Sina and stop the execution taking
    place. At 3.45am, the victim’s family arrived, and members of the group of
    human rights activists sought, unsuccessfully, to persuade them to pardon Sina
    Paymard. A few minutes before execution was to begin, Sina Paymard’s mother
    fainted. At around 4am, a prison guard came out of the prison and announced
    that the death sentence would not be carried out for 10 days.

    The 10-day stay of execution was ordered by Ayatollah Shahroudi, the Head of
    the Judiciary, to allow time for Sina Paymard’s family to reach a financial
    settlement with the victim’s family. It is understood that if Sina Paymard’s
    family do not manage to raise the full US$160,000 demanded, the family of the
    victim will ask for the death sentence to be carried out.

    Sarmayeh also reported that, following donations from human rights activists
    and others inside Iran, notably a substantial donation from a university
    lecturer, the remaining US$90,000 had been raised. It said that the necessary
    administrative work for payment of the diyeh would be completed on 21 July.

    BACKGROUND INFORMATION

    International law strictly prohibits the use of the death penalty against child
    offenders: people who are under 18 at the time their alleged crimes are
    committed. As a state party to the International Covenant on Civil and
    Political Rights (ICCPR) and the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC),
    Iran has undertaken not to execute child offenders. However, since 1990, Iran
    has executed at least 24 child offenders. At least 71 child offenders are
    currently on death row in Iran.

    For more information about Amnesty International's concerns regarding
    executions of child offenders in Iran, please see: please see: Iran: The last
    executioner of children (MDE 13/059/2007, June 2007)
    http://web.amnesty.org/library/index/engmde130592007




  13. #63
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    Iran: Further informatiion on fear of torture / possible prisoner of conscience: Mohammad Sadiq Kabudvand (m)
    PUBLIC AI Index: MDE 13/091/2007
    19 July 2007

    Further information on UA 171/07 (MDE 13/081/2007, 4 July 2007) Fear of
    torture/Possible prisoner of conscience

    IRAN Mohammad Sadiq Kabudvand (m), human rights defender and journalist

    Iranian Kurdish journalist and human rights defender Mohammad Sadiq Kabudvand
    was reportedly allowed a short telephone call to his family on 17 July, in
    which he confirmed that he was detained in Section 209 of Evin Prison, and said
    that he was being accused of "acting against national security", "propaganda
    against the system" and "cooperating with groups opposed to the system". He
    reportedly said that whenever he was interrogated he was blindfolded and bound
    hand and foot, and complained about the poor conditions he was held in.

    He was arrested on 1 July at his place of work in Tehran by security officers
    in plain clothes, the day the publication ban on his newspaper Payam-e Mardom-e
    Kurdestan (Kurdistan People’s Message) reportedly expired. He is facing a
    one-year prison sentence in connection with articles published in this
    newspaper, but his current detention does not appear to be connected with this.
    His lawyer has not been allowed to meet him and has complained about suspicious
    phone calls from people claiming to be members of the Intelligence Ministry
    received by Mohammad Sadiq Kabudvand’s family. Amnesty International is
    concerned that he may be at risk of torture and ill-treatment and believes he
    is very likely to be a prisoner of conscience, detained solely for the peaceful
    exercise of his rights to freedom of expression and association.

    BACKGROUND INFORMATION
    Kurds, who are one of Iran’s many ethnic groups, live mainly in the west and
    north-west of the country, in the province of Kurdistan and neighbouring
    provinces bordering Kurdish areas of Turkey and Iraq. For many years, Kurdish
    organizations such as the Kurdistan People’s Democratic Party (KDPI) and Komala
    carried out armed opposition to the Islamic Republic of Iran, although more
    recently they have abandoned armed opposition in favour of a federal solution.
    Iran continues to face armed opposition mainly from the Kurdistan Independent
    Life Party (PJAK), which reportedly began operations in 2004, and is affiliated
    to the Turkey-based Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK). Iran has accused foreign
    governments of fomenting unrest among its ethnic minorities.

    Other Kurdish human rights defenders have also been detained recently. Ajlal
    Qavami, a member of the RMMK board and former journalist of Payam-e Mardom-e
    Kurdestan and member of the editorial board of the bilingual weekly Didgah
    (Viewpoint), was arrested on or around 9 July after being summoned to the
    Revolutionary Court in Sanandaj. He had previously been sentenced to three
    years' imprisonment by Branch 1 of the Revolutionary Court in Sanadaj for
    organizing a demonstration in July 2005 in protest at the killing of a Kurd,
    Showan Qaderi, by the security forces. He had appealed against this sentence
    but his appeal is reported to have been rejected, although neither Ajlal Qavami
    nor his lawyer was told this before he was arrested.




  14. #64
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    گزارشگران بدون مرز : گزارشگران بدون مرز نگرانى عميق خود را از صدور حکم اعدام برای دو روزنامه نگار کرد عدنان حسن پور و عبدالواحد بوتيمار، توسط دادگاه انقلاب اسلامى مريوان اعلام مى کند.
    " صدور اين احکام مرگ اقدامى شرم آور و فضاحت بار است. همزمان هم نشانگر بى توجهى جمهوری اسلامى ايران به موازين جهانى بشر دوستانه و هم استفاده از هر وسيله ای برای به سکوت وادار کردن روزنامه نگاران منتقد و مدافعان حقوق بشر است. ما جامعه ی جهانى را فرا مى خوانيم تا از ايران بخواهند در تصميم خود تجديدنظر و از اعدام اين دو روزنامه نگار که تنها جرم شان انجام وظيفه ی اطلاع رسانى ست، صرف نظر کند. ايران با ۹ روزنامه نگار زندانى در حال تبديل شدن به بزرگترين زندان روزنامه نگاران در جهان است."
    عدنان حسن پور روزنامه نگار هفته نامه توقيف شده آسو توسط دادگاه انقلاب اسلامى مريوان به اعدام محکوم شده است. اين روزنامه نگار در تاريخ ٢٢ خرداد در دادگاهى غير علنى و بدون حضور وکيل خود به اتهام "اقدام عليه امنيت ملى"، " جاسوسى" و "محاربه" محاکمه و در تاريخ ٢٦ تيرماه حکم صادره به خانواده و يکى از وکلايش آقای سيروان هوشمندی ابلاع شده است. از جمله اتهامات عدنان حسن پور مصاحبه با راديو صدای امريکا بوده است.
    عبدالواحد (هيوا) بوتيمار همکار نشريه آسو و عضو فعال انجمن غير دولتى سبزچيا نيز توسط دادگاه انقلاب اسلامى مريوان به مجازات اعدام محکوم شده است.
    عدنان حسن پور و عبدالواحد (هيوا) بوتيمار از تاريخ ٢۹ تيرماه به زندان اطلاعات سنندج انتقال يافته اند.
    گزارشگران بدون مرز دستگيری آکو کردنسب روزنامه نگار هفته نامه کرفتو را در روز ٣٠ تيرماه توسط ماموران وزارت اطلاعات در دفتر اين نشريه محکوم مى کند. اين روزنامه نگار که علت دستگيری اش هنوز اعلام نشده است، پس از تفهيم اتهام در شعبه چهار دادگاه سنندج به زندان اطلاعات اين شهر انتقال يافته است.




  15. #65
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    Families claim Iranian student activists were tortured in prison

    Fears that Iran is systematically mistreating political prisoners and dissidents have been further fuelled after the parents of three detained student activists claimed their sons had been tortured.
    In a letter to the country's judiciary chief, Ayatollah Mahmoud Hashemi Shahroudi, the parents alleged that the students have suffered physical and psychological abuses since being incarcerated in Tehran's Evin prison in May.

    The students - Majid Tavakoli, Ahmad Ghasaban and Ehsan Mansouri - were among eight from Amir Kabir University arrested for allegedly publishing anti-Islamic articles. The arrests followed a series of crackdowns on activists at the university, where students staged angry protests last December against president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

    The arrested students claim the articles were forgeries aimed at discrediting pro-democracy activists. But their parents say they have been pressured to make false confessions and have called on Mr Shahroudi to secure their release.
    The letter - published on some opposition websites - claims the students have been subjected to prolonged interrogations, severe beatings, sleep deprivation and threats against their families while in the prison's notorious Section 209, where political detainees are held under the supervision of the intelligence ministry. It lists 15 separate counts of physical abuse, including being forced to stand on one leg for prolonged periods, being struck on their handcuffs to cause severe swelling and being lashed with cables.

    Interrogators are also said to have falsely told the students that their relatives had suffered heart attacks or lost their jobs due to their imprisonment.

    "How much tolerance does a 22-year-old person have in the face of this torment?" the letter asks. "What has happened is far removed from constitutional, legal and civil rights, and from moral and religious principles. Whatever is forced out of our children under the title of 'confession' has happened under the most severe psychological and physical pressures."

    The letter's claims are apparently based on the testimony of five students who were released. It says the students have been alternately held in cramped one-person cells and forced to share with dangerous criminals. Iranian officials have denied the claims and insist torture is not practised in the country's prisons.

    The accusations come amid rising concerns over human rights in the face of government claims that opposition elements are trying to topple the Islamic system in a US-backed "soft revolution".

    Last week state television aired a programme in which two American-Iranian academics, Haleh Esfandiari and Kian Tajbakhsh, appeared to acknowledge taking part in activities aimed at undermining the system. The pair, specialists with two US-based thinktanks, have been in prison for two months. Iran's intelligence minister, Gholamhossein Mohseni Ezhei, announced that further arrests had been carried out in connection with the case.

    However, campaigners say the supposed threat is a fig leaf to justify a general clampdown, which this week took the form of stepped-up police patrols to catch women whose dress and head-covering is deemed insufficiently Islamic. Authorities also announced that 12 kidnappers, rapists and drug traffickers had been hanged.

    "We have no crime called a soft or velvet revolution in our legal code," Shirin Ebadi, the Nobel peace prize-winning human rights lawyer, said. "The freedom to gather in public is much less than before, there are tougher restrictions on NGOs and there are students who have been in solitary confinement for 60 days. These are all human rights violations and things are getting worse."




  16. #66
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    Iran: Jailed Students Abused to Obtain Forced Confessions

    The Iranian government should immediately release 19 students and activists arrested in May and June on apparently politically motivated charges, Human Rights Watch said today. Human Rights Watch expressed concern that the authorities have been subjecting them to abuse to coerce confessions.
    On July 24, the families of detained students Majid Tavakoli, Ahmad Ghasaban, and Ehsan Mansouri sent an open letter to Ayatollah Shahrudi, head of the Judiciary, about the physical and psychological abuse of their sons in section 209 of Tehran’s Evin prison, a security section of the prison where Human Rights Watch has documented many cases of prisoner abuse, including torture to coerce confessions.

    Following two visits with their sons, the families alleged that authorities have subjected them to 24-hour interrogation sessions, sleep deprivation, and threats of harming the prisoners and their families. The families also said that the detainees had been confined in cells with dangerous convicted prisoners, beaten with cables and fists, and forced to remain standing for long periods of time.

    “Reports that Iranian authorities have beaten and threatened these students to obtain confessions are all too consistent with accounts we have collected in the past,” said Joe Stork, deputy Middle East and North Africa director at Human Rights Watch. “The government should release these 19 students and activists immediately.”

    The three students were among eight whom agents of the Ministry of Intelligence arrested in May on charges of “insulting state leaders,” “inciting public opinion,” and “printing inflammatory and derogatory materials” in student publications. The students consistently maintained that the publications were forged and that they had no role in producing them. On July 18, five of the students were released on bail.

    Six additional students were arrested on July 9 during a peaceful demonstration to protest the detentions outside the main gate of Amir Kabir University. They were holding a sit-in at the university to commemorate the anniversary of extensive student protests in July 1999 that the government violently suppressed. According to reports from activists, police and plainclothes security agents beat and arrested the six students and transferred them to Evin section 209.

    Later that day, at 11:30 a.m, plainclothes officers arrived at the Office of the Alumni Association of Iran. They fired in the air before forcefully entering the premises and arresting 10 students and activists. The police then closed down the offices.

    The Office of the Alumni Association of Iran is legally registered in accordance with amendment 10 of the Law of Political Parties. According to Iranian law, written notices and court appearances are required for shutting down legally registered organizations.

    On July 10, Alireza Jamshidi, the official spokesperson for the Iranian Judiciary, confirmed these arrests. He denied that any of the detainees were students and said that the charges against them related to “security issues,” including “gathering illegally” and “colluding to act illegally.”

    Since the July 9 arrests, security officials stormed the homes of seven of the detainees and confiscated their personal belongings.

    On July 18, security agents ransacked the home of Abdollah Momeni, bringing him along from prison in handcuffs. According to activists who met with Momeni’s family following the search, Momeni’s face and body showed visible signs of beatings, and he appeared to have lost a considerable amount of weight during his nine days in custody. Security agents reportedly conducted the other home searches in a similar fashion.

    According to sources in Iran who have been in touch with Momeni’s family, security agents have been attempting to force him to confess to acts he has not committed, such as being connected to forces outside the country who are attempting to implement a “soft revolution.”

    International human rights law protects detainees from mistreatment, including forced “confessions.” The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, to which Iran is a party, protects the right of every person “[n]ot to be compelled to testify against himself or to confess guilt.”

    Human Rights Watch is also concerned about the well-being of 19-year-old Amir Yaghoub Ali, a student supporter of the One Million Signatures Campaign, which aims to eliminate discriminatory laws against women.

    On the evening of July 11, Yaghoub Ali was collecting signatures at Tehran’s Andishe Park on Shariati Street. Park security officers, after detaining him in the park’s security headquarters, transferred him to the 104th police station in Niloufar Square, where he spent the night. The next morning, authorities transferred him to the Revolutionary Court on Moallem Street, where Judge Sobhani ordered that he continue to be held pending completion of investigations into his case. His mother and sister were not able to obtain information about their son either at the police station or the courthouse on July 11. Upon their return to the court on July 12, Judge Sobhani informed them that he had ordered Yaghoub Ali’s transfer to Evin section 209.

    Activists in Iran told Human Rights Watch that authorities are particularly vindictive toward male supporters of campaigns for women’s rights. A witness to the peaceful women’s protest of March 8, 2006 in Tehran’s Daneshjoo Park told Human Rights Watch that when security and police forces attacked the gathering with batons in order to disperse the crowds, they severely beat the men who were present.

    The names of the students arrested on July 9 in front of the main gate of Amir Kabir University are:

    1. Bahareh Hedayat
    2. Mohammad Hashemi
    3. Ali Niko-Nesbati
    4. Mehdi Arabshahi
    5. Hanif Yazdani
    6. Ali Veghfi

    The names of the students and activists arrested on July 9 at the Office of the Alumni Association are:

    1. Abdollah Momeni
    2. Bahram Fayazi
    3. Morteza Eslahchi
    4. Mojtaba Bayat
    5. Habib Haji-Heidari
    6. Massoud Habibi
    7. Saieed Hosseinia
    8. Arash Khandel
    9. Ashkan Gheysvandi
    10. Ezatollah Ghalandari
    11. Mohammad Hossein Mehrzad

    Activists who have been in contact with the detainees’ families have confirmed to Human Rights Watch that at least eight persons detained on July 9 are being held in solitary confinement. They are:

    1. Bahareh Hedayat
    2. Mojtaba Bayat
    3. Abdollah Momeni
    4. Ali Niko-Nesbati
    5. Hanif Yazdani
    6. Ali Veghfi
    7. Mehdi Arabshahi
    8. Mohammad Hashemi




  17. #67
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    One Million Signatures to End Discrimination

    These days, when most people talk about Iran, the focus is on its nuclear program. But for a group of determined Iranian women, there’s a more pressing issue at hand. Since June 2006, human rights activists have been campaigning tirelessly for something that continues to elude Iranian women: equal rights.

    The One Million Signatures Campaign or Change for Equality, started as a grassroots movement to collect a million signatures demanding the Iranian government change laws that discriminate against women. Among the women’s many complaints: under Iranian law a 9-year-old girl can be tried for an adult crime, whereas the age for a boy is 15; a man can serve as a witness to a crime while a woman cannot; women are prohibited to be financial guardians of their children while men are free to practice polygamy and divorce their wives at will; and the legal age for a father to marry off his daughter is 13, although he can seek permission from courts if he wants her to marry earlier.

    The situation for women in Iran is somewhat paradoxical and has changed throughout its history. Currently, although women’s rights are constricted, many women have also been afforded high levels of education and professional opportunity. Nobel Prize winner Shirin Ebadi wrote in a recent article, “One of the most impressive facets of Iranian social life is that women comprise 65% of university students, making Iranian women more educated than their male compatriots. With their high level of education, it is no surprise that Iranian women are dissatisfied with the subjugation of their rights.”

    The Iranian women’s movement has been active for many years, but on June 12th, 2005, the seeds of the current campaign took root. A large demonstration for legal equality took place outside of Tehran University with more than a thousand protesters. The women vowed to push ahead if the government remained unresponsive. A year later, on June 12, 2006, an anniversary demonstration was held, reiterating calls for equal legal rights in marriage, divorce, child custody, inheritance, and other areas. Police broke up this protest with pepper gas and batons and many of the women activists were beaten and arrested. Refusing to back down, they officially began the One Million Signatures Campaign.

    The campaign began as an organic movement of women activists taking to the streets and approaching strangers with information and a petition. “They go almost door to door and wherever women are gathered,” says Mahnaz Afkhami, President of the Women's Learning Partnership for Rights, Development, and Peace in Washington, DC. Afkhami, who was also a minister in the Iranian government prior to the 1979 revolution, explains that the campaign is unique because it not only includes elements of advocacy, but also education and sharing of experience. “Where women sign on, it’s fine, but if they don’t sign on, they still are given the information so they will be familiar with the goals and have a chance to think about it and possibly to consider supporting.”

    From its home-grown beginnings, the movement evolved into a more mobilized, international effort with an official website where people from all over the world can receive updates and sign the petition. Activists also tapped into support from the large Iranian diaspora. Afkhami says that it was agreed “the movement would be first launched inside and allowed to completely gain the trust of the people and then there will be the support of the international community so that the government could not just go ahead and say that this was a Western plot or anything like that.” She also notes that it is helpful that international support comes from the Global South and not just the West.

    However, while activists have been successful in getting their campaign off the ground, the domestic climate has become increasingly difficult for them to operate within. In recent months, there has been a widespread crackdown against civil society, and scores of women activists have been arrested and interrogated. Hadi Ghaemi from Human Rights Watch says, “The government is definitely coming out much more forcefully against independent activists in the past couple of months. It seems to be an attempt by President Ahmadinejad to silence dissent and criticism of his administration, and to consolidate power.” In addition to pressuring activists, the government also recently detained a high profile Iranian-American scholar, Dr. Haleh Esfandiari, director of the Woodrow Wilson Center’s Middle East Program, and is increasingly pressuring women who deviate from the conservative Islamic style of dress. Sources told the Washington Post, it is “one of the toughest crackdowns since the 1979 revolution.”

    Meanwhile, in a controversial move, a year ago the Bush administration announced a $75 million fund to support civil society organizations within Iran, which many think is actually contributing to the crackdown. Afkhami and Ghaemi agree that no money has actually reached any organizations within Iran. Afkami explains that it is not even possible to transfer money from the U.S within Iran and she referred to the move as “a matter of propaganda and loud mouthed-sloganeering” on the part of the Bush administration. Ghaemi comments that it has been the “perfect justification for the government’s policies.”

    Even though climate for activism has become constricted, there still may be reason for optimism. Since the campaign’s launch in August 2006, activists have collected an estimated 500,000 signatures. Ghaemi says he thinks the increased pressure will actually inspire them to fight harder. “Because the issues they have put on the table are of such critical importance to Iranian women, we are actually seeing support for them broaden among the political ruling elite,” he says. For her part, Afkhami acknowledges that the goals will be difficult to achieve due to the need for major overhaul in the Iranian legal structure, and although the recent government pressure may increase solidarity, it could also be a problem. “As far as courage and steadfastness go, the women certainly have it,” she says, “But if brute force gets to a certain level, then it will make it very difficult to continue.”




  18. #68
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    Iran: Prisoner of conscience/Fear of torture: Amir Yaghoub-Ali (m)
    PUBLIC AI Index: MDE 13/096/2007
    30 July 2007

    UA 195/07 Prisoner of conscience/Fear of torture

    IRAN Amir Yaghoub-Ali (m), aged 20, student and advocate of equal rights
    for women

    Amir Yaghoub-Ali, an active member of the men's committee of the Campaign for
    Equality, was arrested on 11 July in Tehran. He had been collecting signatures
    in support of the Campaign, which aims to collect one million signatures from
    Iranians in support of an end to legalised discrimination against women.
    Amnesty International considers him a prisoner of conscience, detained solely
    for the peaceful exercise of his right to freedom of expression. Since his
    arrest he has been permitted to telephone his relatives once.

    Amir Yaghoub-Ali is a student at Tehran's Allameh Tabataba’i University, but
    was suspended from his studies at the time of his arrest, because of his
    student activism.

    On 12 July, his 20th birthday, a Revolutionary Court judge issued a 48-hour
    detention order. He should have been released on 14 July, but remained in
    custody; on 15 July he was transferred to Section 209 of Evin Prison in Tehran,
    which is run by the Ministry of Intelligence.

    The Campaign website (http://www.wechange.info/english/spip.php?article110 )
    quoted Ali’s mother as saying, "Mr Sobhani, the judge, informed us that there
    are 11 charges against Ali, and that he would have to remain in Evin prison
    until these charges are investigated. I asked the judge what exactly these
    charges were. My daughter asked what illegal activity has he engaged in? Is
    collection of signatures illegal?"

    The judge reportedly replied, "We are not concerned with its legal or illegal
    nature. We have to see what the 'leaning' and intent of his activities were.
    Amir is a man, why has he concerned himself with the activities of women? He
    should go and focus on his studies."

    BACKGROUND INFORMATION
    The Campaign for Equality was launched in August 2006. So far, 13 of its
    members have been arrested while collecting signatures, an activity which is
    not forbidden under Iranian law.

    Several students who have recently been released from Section 209 of Evin
    Prison have alleged that they were tortured or ill-treated there. This included
    severe beatings, solitary confinement in confined spaces, food and sleep
    deprivation, and being forced to stand or do strenuous exercise for long
    periods.




  19. #69
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    TEHRAN, Iran - Iran publicly hanged seven men Wednesday in the second round of collective executions in 10 days, state media reported.



    "These people were hanged on charges of rape, kidnapping and robbery," the Web site of the state's broadcasting company reported, quoting an unnamed prosecutor.

    Five of the men were hanged in one execution in the center of Mashad, a town 620 miles northwest of Tehran, the capital, state media said.

    The report said the two other convicts, both 24, were hanged in a different neighborhood of Mashad, close to where they were accused of having raped a woman in 2005.

    Earlier in July authorities hanged 12 criminals convicted on similar charges in Tehran.

    Rape, armed robbery and drug trafficking are among capital offenses in Iran.




  20. #70
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    Iran: Further infromation on Fear for safety/ Fear of torture and ill-treatment

    PUBLIC AI Index: MDE 13/098/2007
    1 August 2007

    Further Information on UA 113/07 (MDE 13/054/2007, 15 May 2007) and follow-up
    (MDE 13/077/2007, 22 June 2007) – Fear for safety/Fear of torture and
    ill-treatment/Medical concern

    IRAN Ahmad Qasaban (m) (spelling corrected) ]
    Moqdad Khalilpour (m) ]
    Pooyan Mahmoudian (m) ] Students at Amir Kabir
    Majid Tavakkoli (m) ] University, Tehran
    Majid Sheikhpour (m) ]
    Ehsan Mansouri (m) ]
    Abbas Hakimzadeh (m) ]
    Ali Saberi (m) ]

    Five of the students named above were released on bail on 18 July. Ahmad
    Qasaban, Majid Tavakkoli and Ehsan Mansouri have reportedly begun a hunger
    strike in protest at their continuing detention. They are reportedly being
    subjected to torture.

    The families of the three remaining detained students have reportedly been able
    to visit them twice since their arrest. On 24 July the families wrote an open
    letter to the Head of the Judiciary, Ayatollah Mahmoud Hashemi Shahroudi, in
    which they describe publicly for the first time the torture and ill-treatment
    of the students. The three students reportedly told their families that seven
    of their interrogators simultaneously had beaten them severely with cables and
    whips. Their interrogation sessions sometimes lasted up to 24 hours or would
    take place in the middle of the night. They were kicked in the arms, chest and
    back and punched in the face and on the head, so that they fell off their
    chairs and were then thrown against the walls. They have been forced to remain
    standing for up to 48 hours and forced to stand on one leg for up to 18 hours.
    They have been prevented from receiving medical care. Interrogators also told
    them, falsely, that members of their families had been arrested, beaten or
    harassed, or were ill.

    The families had previously written three times to Ayatollah Shahroudi
    expressing concern that their children were being physically and
    psychologically ill-treated to make them confess to crimes they had not
    committed, and asking him to take action to halt this.

    Abbas Hakimzadeh and Ali Saberi, who are six months from finishing their
    studies at Amir Kabir University in Tehran, have reportedly been suspended for
    two terms and banned from entering university premises.

    BACKGROUND INFORMATION
    The crisis at Amir Kabir University started on 30 April 2007 with the
    publication of student newsletters carrying articles which university officials
    deemed insulting to Islam.

    These newsletters, bearing the names and logos of four student publications,
    were distributed throughout the campus. They contained three controversial
    articles and two caricatures which could have been perceived as critical of the
    Iranian regime and insulting to Islam. Distribution of the publications took
    place one week before the annual elections to a student union, the Islamic
    Students’ Association (ISA).

    One article questioned the infallibility of the Prophet Mohammad, the first Shi’
    a Imam, Ali and the place of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. Another
    criticised the government's crackdown on women’s clothing, and a third
    ridiculed Islamic women’s attire.




  21. #71
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    Iran Human Rights Violations, US Policy Criticized at NIAC Conference


    Washington DC - "I am incensed by what has happened to Haleh Esfandiari," said Congressmen James Moran (D-VA) addressing a packed room on Capitol Hill last Thursday. Moran, an outspoken critic of human rights violators, was just one of the many distinguished panelists who spoke at NIAC's second major Capitol Hill policy conference of the year. The arrest of Dr. Esfandiari and other Iranian Americans, the Virginia lawmaker continued, was an indication of the "utter lack of courage and conscience on the part of the current Iranian leadership. It's inexcusable and it shows how isolated Tehran has become."



    Jim Moran (D-VA)But while Moran argued for an end to US calls for regime change and sanctions policies, and instead argued for engagement to address the human rights violations, Congressman Tom Tancredo (R-CO) called for tougher actions. "I do believe that perhaps a more aggressive posture on the part of the United States is warranted considering Iran's actions," Tancredo said while casting doubt on the State Department's ability to negotiate.

    Sponsored by the Kenbe Foundation, the Pluralism Fund, the Ploughshares Fund and Amnesty International, the panel on "Human Rights in Iran and US Policy Options" attracted a diverse crowd consisting of republican and democratic lawmakers, congressional staffers, journalists, and scholars of international affairs. In addition to lawmakers Moran and Tancredo, panelists included former New York Times Op-Ed page staff editor, Laura Secor; Deputy Director for the Middle East and North Africa division of Human Rights Watch, Joe Stork; and executive director of the MIT Center for International Studies, John Tirman, Congressman Michael Honda (D-CA) and Alexandra Arriaga, Director of Government Relations at Amnesty International.

    David Denehy, Senior Advisor at the State Department could not participate in the panel, citing a scheduling conflict. He had been invited to present the Administration's perspective.

    The intent of the conference was to bring to light Iran's deteriorating human rights situation and to discuss the potential role of US policy in reversing that decline.



    A. Arriaga (Amnesty)In its 28 year history, Iran has gained worldwide notoriety for its human rights violations. Recent events, however, including the arrests of several Iranian American scholars under charges of espionage as well as the harassment and detention of women's rights activists constitute what Arriaga refers to as a "crackdown." "The right to peaceful protest, the right to freedom of expression, the freedom of association; these are basic, fundamental human rights," said Arriaga.

    Arriaga's analysis of the situation focused on four major areas: 1) abuses against political prisoners and human rights defenders, 2) the crackdown on women's human rights activists, 3) violations against ethnic and religious minorities, and 4) the use of the death penalty, especially in the areas mentioned above. Though these kinds of abuses are not unique in Iran's recent history, Arriaga identified in them "a pattern that seems to be intensifying."

    One impetus for the trend seems to be a fear of foreign intervention in Iranian civil society. In 2006, Iran's Ministry of the Interior was reported to be preparing measures to restrict the activities of nongovernmental organizations that allegedly received finance from what he termed ‘problematic internal and external sources aimed at overthrowing the system.' According to Arriaga, this determination by the Iranian government became "a blanket cover in order to be able to arrest anyone who was dissenting or who was challenging the regime."



    Joe Stork (HRW)The ‘problematic external force' to which the Interior Minister refers is believed to be the US State Department and its $75 million budget for democracy promotion programs in Iran. Joe Stork of Human Rights Watch broke down the $75 million figure (which was part of a 2006 supplemental budget request by the Bush administration) into three parts: $55 million for electronic media and US government broadcasting efforts, $5 million for student and other international exchanges, and $15 million to "empower local activists and... support alternative political centers of gravity," in the words of Under Secretary of State R. Nicholas Burns.

    According to Stork, this $15 million appropriation specifically targeting Iranian civil society "amounts to nothing less than reckless endangerment of the very people the administration purports to support." The problem, says Stork, is not with the funding itself necessarily but with the context in which it is presented. Because these funds for democratic development come along side threats of regime change, they are seen as highly suspect. "Is it any wonder that Iranian activists, the presumed beneficiaries of this largesse, have described this program as painting a target on their backs?"



    John Tirman (MIT)John Tirman of MIT shared similar concerns. "I worry much less about the famous, or infamous, $75 million for civil society ....than I do about the threats of regime change by force that is often muttered under the breath of several US officials and indeed many Democratic Party politicians too. Bashing Iran is a free card in American politics, and everyone feels entitled to play. But words have consequences," said Tirman.

    According to Tirman, a new approach is needed. "We need to recognize that the 28-year policies of strangulation and intimidation have not worked. The withholding of good will and normal relations, for many who are in power in Iran, is not a penalty but a blessing: rapprochement itself is suspect because the accommodationism of the Khatami years...brought nothing but sanctions and 'axis of evil' rhetoric."

    Tirman made the case that the insularity this isolation has bred makes the "hardest of a hardliners" impervious to the sticks and carrots used by the international community. To remedy this, he proposes working to bring Iran into the international community by talking to them directly on nuclear and security issues, ending the threat of war, and taking tangible steps toward ending sanctions.



    Laura SecorLike Tirman and Stork, panelist Laura Secor identified the threat of US-imposed regime change as one of the most counterproductive policies in the US diplomatic tool kit. "As one exasperated Iranian recently said to me, the best way to bring about regime change in Iran is to stop talking about regime change. An Iranian activist I met with in Tehran implored me to bring the following message home to my government: Please stop declaring your solidarity with us."

    Secor emphasized that Iran's own secular, democratic opposition movement is in the best position to bring about real change in political landscape because of its "deep, indigenous roots and widespread popular support." These factors give it legitimacy among the Iranian people that foreign or ex-patriot groups could never achieve. For this reason, she suggested, the best course of action might well be no action at all.

    Though the discussion did not provide any easy solutions to the human rights crisis in Iran, it did help to identify some of the problems. The panelists agreed that current US policies are hurting the Iranian human rights movement more than they are helping it. "For the moment," said Stork of Human Rights Watch, "let's go back to first principles: do no harm."




  22. #72
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    بيانيه نزدیک به 800 تن از مدافعان حقوق برابر، درباره وضعيت بهاره هدايت و امير يعقوبعلي
    چهار شنبه10 مرداد 1386



    در زماني که، دفاع از حقوق زنان و تلاش براي تغيير مناسبات تبعيض آميز جنسيتي، به يکي از ريشه اي ترين حرکت هاي مسالمت آميز کنشگران جنبش هاي اجتماعي ايران بدل شده است؛ و در شرايطي که متاثر از اين تلاش ها، خوشبختانه بخش هايي از جناح هاي مختلف حاکميت، هم راي شده اند تا قوانين ناعادلانه اي چون ديه، ارث و شهادت را اصلاح کنند؛ متاسفانه هنوز، جرياناتي خشونت گرا وجود دارند که تحمل مواجه شدن با واقعيت هاي اجتماعي را ندارند. جرياناتي که اوليه ترين حقوق انساني را ناديده گرفته و پايمال مي کنند. فشارها و برخوردهاي غيرقانوني و خشونت آميز يک ماهه اخير، از قبيلِ دستگيري و بازداشتِ غيرقانوني فعالان جنبش هاي زنان، دانشجويي، سنديکايي و معلمان، و صدور احکام سنگين حبس و شلاق براي فعالان جامعه مدني (همچون عاليه اقدام دوست، دلارام علي، مريم ضيا و... براي شرکت در تجمع مسالمت آميز 22 خرداد ميدان هفت تير و...)، صدور احکام اعدام براي فعالان مدني (همچون عدنان حسن پور و هيوا بوتيمار که در کردستان به فعاليت هاي مدني و مسالمت آميز مشغول بودند)، گسترش فضاي امنيتي بر شهر به بهانه پوشش زنان، پخش برنامه هاي اعتراف تلويزيوني، توقيف مطبوعات، و محدود ساختن گردش آزاد اطلاعات ، موجِ جديدي از ناامني را هشدار مي دهند.

    به نظر مي رسد اين بار، هدف و کانونِِ فشارها، نقاط وصل جنبش هاي اجتماعي هستند. کنشگراني که با ايجاد وحدت ميان جنبش ها به فعاليت اجتماعي مي پردازند، مورد کينه قرار گرفته اند. امير يعقوبعلي و بهاره هدايت هر دو از فعالان جنبش زنان و جنبش دانشجويي هستند که بيش از سه هفته است در بازداشت به سر مي برند و از وضعيت آنها خبري نيست. بهاره هدايت، عضو شوراي مرکزي تحکيم وحدت، و از فعالان جنبش زنان، در روز 18 تيرماه در تحصن شش نفره اي که به منظور درخواست آزادي براي دانشجويان بازداشت شده اميرکبير انجام گرفته بود، دستگير شد و اکنون در سلول انفرادي بند 209 زندان اوين بسر مي برد. و امير يعقوبعلي، از اعضاي جوان کمپين يک ميليون امضاء و عضو انجمن منتخب دانشگاه علامه طباطبايي، از آنجايي که به عنوان يک مرد توانسته است گفتمان برابري جنسيتي را فراتر از جداسازي هاي نظام مردسالار با مردم در ميان گذارد، در روز 20 تيرماه هنگام جمع آوري امضاء در پارک انديشه بازداشت شد و در حال حاضر در زندان اوين بسر مي برد. علاوه بر دستگيري و بازداشت ناموجه اين دو تن؛ عدم امکان ارتباط و ملاقات آنها با خانواده و وکلايشان، و همچنين احتمال وجود فشارهاي ديگري در داخل زندان، نگراني درباره وضعيت آنها را دوچندان مي کند.

    ما امضاء کنندگان اين بيانيه، ضمن اعتراض نسبت به بازداشت اين دو فعال جنبش زنان و رفتارهاي غيرقانوني و خشونت آميز با آنان؛ خواستار آزادي هرچه سريعتر امير يعقوبعلي و بهاره هدايت و ديگر دانشجويان بازداشت شده، و نيز لغو احکام سنگين، از جمله لغو احکام اعدام هاي اخير براي فعالان مدني کشور هستيم.





  23. #73
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    Iran: Further information on prisoner of conscience / fear of torture: Amir Yaghoub-Ali (m)
    PUBLIC AI Index: MDE 13/102/2007
    09 August 2007

    Further Information on UA 195/07 (MDE 13/096/2007, 30 July 2007) – Prisoner of
    Conscience/Fear of torture

    IRAN Amir Yaghoub-Ali (m) aged 20, student and advocate of equal rights
    for women

    Amir Yaghoub-Ali was released on 8 August on bail of 20 million toumans (around
    US$21,500). He had spent four weeks in custody.

    He was arrested on 11 July while collecting signatures in support of the
    Campaign for Equality (www.wechange.info), which aims to collect one million
    signatures from Iranians in support of an end to legalised discrimination
    against women. Amnesty International considered him a prisoner of conscience,
    detained solely for the peaceful exercise of his right to freedom of
    expression. He is likely to face prosecution in the future.

    No further action is requested from the UA network at present. Amnesty
    International will continue to monitor Amir Yaghoub-Ali's situation, and take
    further campaigning action as necessary.




  24. #74
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    Change for Equality: The first court case related to collection of signatures in support of the One Million Signatures Campaign was held and a sentence issued. Nasim Sarabandi and Fatemeh Dehdashti appeared in court and were sentenced on August 12, 2007. Both Nasim and Fatemeh were charged with actions against the state through spread of propaganda and received a suspended sentence of six months for the period of 2 years.

    These two activists involved in the One Million Signatures Campaign were arrested on the Metro in January while collecting signatures in support of the Campaign’s petition which asks the legislature to reverse discriminatory laws against women. Nasim and Fatemeh spent 24 hours in detention. At first it appeared that their case was closed and no charges would be brought. But the two were later called into court where they were charged with actions against the state through spreading of propaganda—charges which the two denied. This sentence was issued despite the fact that the collection of signatures is not identified as a crime in Iranian law, and is one of the most civil and peaceful approaches for expression of demands.




  25. #75
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    Iran detains two reformist journalists

    TEHRAN (AFP) - Iran on Wednesday confirmed it was holding two reformist journalists behind bars for spreading propaganda against its Islamic system and disclosing information to foreign news websites.

    Judiciary spokesman Alireza Jamshidi told reporters that journalist Soheil Asefi is "in detention and is being investigated."

    Fellow journalist Farshad Ghorbanpour is also being detained and bail of 1.5 billion rials (around 160,000 dollars) has been set for his release, said Jamshidi.

    "There has been a plea for a lower bail sum and we are working on this so he can be released on a lighter bail," he added.

    Both are accused of "spreading lies and material against the system and giving news to foreign websites," he said.

    According to press freedom watchdog Reporters Without Borders (RSF), Asefi was arrested on August 4 while Ghorbanpour was detained on July 31. Both are being held in Tehran's Evin prison.

    Jamshidi's comments were the first time their arrest has been officially confirmed by the authorities.

    Judiciary officials said there was no information suggesting that another journalist, Masood Bastani, was also being detained.

    There has been growing pressure from conservatives on the reformist press in Iran and moderate dailies Shargh (East) and Ham Mihan (Compatriot) have both been banned by the authorities over the past month.

    Culture Minister Mohammad Hossein Saffar Harandi has denounced a "creeping coup in the press" while the authorities last month also banned the moderate labour news agency ILNA.

    Iran's moderate press enjoyed a brief flowering during the rule of reformist president Mohammad Khatami but this was later constrained by a spate of closures and arrests, a trend continued under his successor Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

    Shargh's closure leaves the dailies Etemad Melli (National Confidence), Etemad (Confidence) and the economic daily Sarmayeh (Capital) as the chief remaining voices of moderates in the press.

    Jamshidi also said that the sentencing to death last month of two Kurdish journalists for being "enemies of God" had nothing to do with their work as writers.

    The death sentence sparked condemnation in Europe, prompting Iran's foreign ministry to say that the matter was an internal issue.

    Adnan Hassanpour and Abdolvahed "Hiva" Botimar were sentenced to death on July 16 by a revolutionary court in Marivan, in Iran's northeastern Kordestan province.

    According to Reporters Without Borders, the two journalists wrote for the magazine Aso (Horizons), before it was banned in August 2005.

    "Definitely the accusation is nothing to do with reporting. The main accusation is they have been an enemy of God by fighting against the system," said Jamshidi.

    "In a search in one of their houses we found 57 rockets used for rocket propelled grenades and other munitions. They also have as an accusation an illegal exit from Iran and cooperation with a enemy group."

    However Jamshidi emphasised the death sentence was not final.

    "They have been sentenced to hanging but they had 20 days to appeal since the verdict was announced to them so this verdict is not the final verdict," he said.




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