Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Pic. from the photo blog of Amin Nazari

This is Iran

Lowering the poverty and protection of public from disease is not the agenda of this government. This government trys to protect itself from the growing public unrest. They spend public money to buy four dogs for 600 million Tuman ($1 canadian= 900 Tuman ) to protect the president.

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News in brief-
Wed. November 28,2007
Journalist Reza Valizadeh is arrested!
The Association of Journalists : With a complaint from the office of president, Mr. Reza Valizadeh a Kurdish journalist and blogger from the city of Sanandaj is arrested by the agents from the judiciary power.He is charged with; creating unrest in public's mind .
Reza Valizadeh has a blog known as " Istgah" meaning (Station).In his blog he writes about literature and communications.Recently he wrote an article with a title " four dogs which worth 600 million Tuman gurd Ahmadinejad".
He reported that; four dogs and each cost 150 million Tuman were bought from Germany to protect Mahmoud Ahmadinejad from explosives and bombs.Apparently everywhere he goes these dogs are brought earlier to search for explosive and bombs.
Link to this news in Farsi:

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Tuesday, November 27, 2007

News in Brief-
Nov. 24, 2007
Written by Arash Sigarchi
Subject: Journalism
The judiciary has rejected pardoning me from the remaining prison term!
In the past, i have reported in my weblog " Panjereh Eltehab" that; probably the judiciary power won't agree with my request pardoning me from the rest of my prison term and now this become a reality.
Few days ago, i have attended to the pardoning commission in Tehran's justice department to follow up the letter written by the " Association of Journalists " to the head of judiciary power requesting for an end to my remaining prison term. After a year of delay and stalling, they have told me that: " the request for pardoning you from the rest of your prison term has been rejected" , and what an interesting scene that i coulld see the drug dealers , respected swindlers and others easily using their 2nd and 3rd pardoning ! Vive liberty !
Arash Sigarchi is a journalist and blogger who was the managing editor of local " Gilan Emrooz " newspaper. In 2003 with a complaint from the Ministry of Information in Gilan he was sentenced to 14 years in prison and later the appeal court reduced the sentence to 3 years . Arash spent 16 months in " Lakan " prison located in the city of Rasht but, because of diagnosis with cancer, the doctor's recomended the sentencing to end and Arash was allowed to leav the prison for treatment. After a successful operation , Arash was doing his recuperation when found out that the judiciary power rejected pardoning him from the remaining prison term.
Is Arash who is recuperating of cancer going to be called back to the prison by the Islamic Republic's judiciary power ? This would be the most inhuman things to do.
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Picture: Zahra Kazemi - Said Mortazavi the public prosecutor
News in brief-
ISNA- Nov. 27,2007
The case file of Zahra Kazemi was sent to a qualified court!
Mr. Alireza Jamshidi the spoksperson for the judiciary power,in speaking with ISNA , on the file case of Zahra Kazemi have said:
"This file was brought up in the superior court division and the division found some problems based on the form and qualification of the court which was going to review the case,therefore , the file was sent to a qualified court for decision making."
The judiciary power in Iran must stay independent from political power and not to be bullied by the influentials.
The case of Zahra Kazemi is a clear violation in judiciary power. This case has been going on for many years. Last July 2nd division 15 of the supperior court gave its decision but neither it was announced publicly and nor given to the lawyers of the family and again last November 3 the family lawyer Mr. Seifzadeh protested to judges about dragging the case and the judges promised to finalize the case.
Finally today again Mr. Alireza Jamshidi said the case has problems, in its form and qualification of the court. He said the case is going to be given to a qualified court for decision making.
The only accused of the case is released few years ago and the family believe that there are other culprits behind the murdering ,including Judge Said Mortazavi the Tehran public prosecutor.

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Monday, November 26, 2007

Nikahang Kosar

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Saturday, November 24, 2007

A Step towards Free Elections
Shirin Ebadi - Roozonline -2007.11.24

When the Iranian constitutional movement was on its way in the early days of the 20th ‎century, the Russian revolution had not yet taken place and the Tsars ruled their empire ‎like despots. In the West and North-West of Iran too, the Ottoman khalifs ruled with ‎despotic hands. In other parts of Asia and even in Japan the democratic movement had ‎not yet been launched.‎
The Iranian nation at that time was the first one to rise up for the establishment of ‎democracy. The constitutional revolution was the culmination of their efforts. But after ‎the passage of over a hundred years, the Iranian nation has unfortunately still not ‎succeeded in establishing democracy because of domestic and foreign reasons. We are ‎still far from having free elections I Iran because the most important feature of any ‎meaningful election is that people have the freedom to vote for anyone they wish. This is ‎still a dream for Iranians. And while the first constitution that was drafted after the 1979 ‎Islamic revolution contained provisions for such elections, subsequent laws that were ‎passed denied this right to the people.‎
During the pre-revolutionary regime and even today, much has been said about free ‎elections and the demand for them has been aired. And this begs the questions as to what ‎exactly are free elections. The fact is that plenty of work needs to be done to just come up ‎with the criteria for free elections. It is generally said that the appointed Guardians ‎Council is an obstacle to free elections in the country. But the problem is larger and wider ‎than just that. For example, even if we did not have this appointed supervision by the ‎Council, candidates for public office need to enjoy equal access to public and government ‎media to communicate with the masses, which if they do not have, would preclude any ‎free elections. So there are different standards by which to judge whether elections are ‎free or not.‎
In this regard, the Kanoone Modafean Hoghoogh’e Bashar (Center for the Defense of ‎Human Rights) created a committee to study this issue based on international law, ‎including the various Human Rights conventions and declarations to which Iran has ‎adhered to, and announce the standards for holding free elections, and pursue to have ‎them implemented. The work of this group is based on the commitments that the Islamic ‎republic of Iran has towards international arrangements. In other words, it is in view of ‎these obligations that this working group will study the laws supervising elections and ‎conclude whether and which ones are being followed by the government of Iran and ‎specific government agencies involved in the process of elections.‎
Members of this group have been long-time promoters and activists of freedom and have ‎thus won the respect of the public. They have come up with election standards after ‎discussing the issue amongst themselves. The next step therefore is the announcement of ‎the degree to which Iran’s government has adhered to these standards and its ‎international obligations in this regard. The next step would be to follow up the findings ‎to implement the shortcomings.‎
Shirin Ebadi is the Nobel Peace Prize winner and a regular contributor to Rooz Online.‎
We must not forget that a mere 20+ years ago, mere talk of human rights and modern ‎values in Iran was a taboo imposed by many politicians. When these people wanted to ‎denounce someone they would call them “a liberal” or a supporter of democracy and ‎human rights (because they were Western values). Today, however, because of the ‎continuous and incessant work of human rights advocates and activists, this issue has ‎become a national virtue so that even those politicians who in practice violate the ‎principles of democracy and human rights strive to present themselves to be supporters of ‎these rights.‎
In continuation of these activities, work must continue to create the cultural foundations ‎for this so that public awareness about the requirements for free elections becomes ‎universal. ‎
And finally it should be overlooked that only through the materialization of these ‎conditions will the people of Iran be able to create the environment that would allow the ‎holding of free and fair elections, after the passage of a century of such efforts.‎

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Thursday, November 22, 2007

Islamic Republic officials are angry about the UN resolution against Iran!
Islamic Republic of Iranian officials reaction to the UN resolution on human rights against Iran !
The UN resolution didn't have a chance to get published in mainstream media in Iran,the reason: publishing this type of materials would mean anti-national security and eventually the closur of newspaper.Most Newspaper is owned by the government.The entire TV and Radio station is owned by the regime.
Mr. Mohammad Khazaei the representative of Iran in UN, tried hard the resolution not to get enough vote, but his proposal didn't pass.One of the main supporter of this resolution was Canada. The regime in Iran calls Canada as human rights violator of the " Majority of Canadian population ,particularly minorities, immigrants, foreigners and natives."

Mr. Dori Najafabadi the prosecutor general of the regime has called contries who have voted against Iran as "not the real supporter of the human rights and as the confiscators of human rights and creditless among nations." he added: " It has been years that The human socities has wittnessed unjust and politicised human rights, while in Iraq, Afghanistan and many other part of the world and Palestine and Lebanon the violation of human rights including the right to live is clear. These crimes has been theorized with the name of freedom and democracy ." Mr. Najafabadi condemned abusing human rights in UN.

The Foreign Affairs spoksperson Mr. Mohammad Ali Hosseini in reaction to this resolution, called the accusations of Canada about human rights situation in Iran as "baseless, unjust ,unfriendly and political."

It is needed to add that; three weeks ago the European parliament also in a statement expressed its regret about the violation of human rights in Iran particularly about imprisoned students and demanded for the immediate release of Emad Baghi an Iranian human rights activist.

Link to this news in Farsi:

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Dr. Abdolkarim Lahiji vice president of the International Federation of Human Rights (FIDH) in speaking with Roozonline:
UN third committee's session on Iran violating the human rights was ended with the following vote:70+ , 50- and 55 abstein.
More countries voted against Iran this year. In previous year the difference of positive and negative vote was only three votes but this year the difference is 22 vote.
This shows that the world knows more about the deteriorating situation of human rights in Iran and this is because of the efforts by the human rights advocates.
In last year, Iran had one case of stonning to death and the number of people were executed was so high, which made many to worry about the situation.
All countries that are member of the UN are also member of the third committee.
Persuasion by Canada and 40 other countries ended with a strong resolution against Islamic Republic of Iran for violating the human rights.In two weeks from now this resolution goes back to UN General Assembly for final vote.The problem of the regime in Iran is not only the nuclear energy .

Link to this news:

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Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Despite of signing the UNHRs documents to implement human rights and not to violate it but , Islamic Republic of Iran continious to violate human rights.
Visit this link to see the documents:

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IRAN WATCH CANADA: Another mysterious murder in Iranian prison!
This is the 2nd published murder in Iranian prison. The first one was the mysterious death of Iranian-Canadian photojournalist Zahra Kazemi. How many cases like this did not come to surface?

Death for the sake of Love!
Zahra Bani Ameri was a 27-year old MD who was passing her residency and practical training in the city of Hamedan. in the morning of October 12th, a day before Eid ul-Fitr (the last day of the month of Ramadan), she was arrested together with Hamid, her fiancé; by the security agents .They were walking in a park in that city. She got arrested under a pretext allegation of illegal and non-Islamic relationship. One day after Zahra’s arrest, on October 13th her body was delivered out of the Bassij station and to her family.
After Eid ui-fitr’s holiday, the students of Bo Ali Sina University who just got back to their daily classes were shock by the news of Zahra’s death: by Bassij’s account she strangled herself in her cell. The universities Internet station spread the news. Soon after this public exposure the contradictory reactions of authorities began.Journalists, social right activists and bloggers came to the front and started questioning those involved. Bassij’s and the state prosecution office’s claim of her committing suicide became a puzzle which did not match the facts.
Why was she arrested? Was the arrest legal in the first place? Under which basis Bassij kept her under arrest more than 24 hours? If it is true that she committed suicide what was her motives? Base on the forensic pathology report the time of death was at 9 pm on October 13th, but websites and bloggers report that Zahra’s brother had a telephone conversation with her, exactly 30 minutes before her time of death. Her brother says that they talked couple of times and Zahra appeared normal in all of them; there was no sign of suicide or depression on her voice. Why do the authorities’ have divided statements? Why suddenly after two weeks the forensic pathology’s report changes and declares that Zahra was a virgin contrary to the previous reports?
All these information were published by the Bo Ali University’s website and couple of other websites concentrating on women’s rights and by women’s right activists. The issue of virginity becomes a crucial concern n this case. It is important because based on some of the reports and rumors Zahra was raped while under arrest.
The latest news confirm that Shirin Ebadi, Iranian lawyer, human rights activist and the winner of Nobel Peace Prize in 2003 has accepted the case for Zahra’s family and is following the case. Dr. Zahra’s family has filed a lawsuit against the Islamic-deeds division of government security guards related to Islamic militia – Bassij. On of Zahra’s friends and coworker writes on her blog: " her arrest because of having bad Hijab (Non Islamic Outfit) and wearing too much make up is ridiculous. She always wore a long smock with closed-scarf. She was religious and very devoted. And to slur over her blood in this manner is outrageous.

Original writing was reduced to accomodate the space
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Maryam Hosseinkhah journalist and women's human rights advocate behind the glass window in Evin prison , speaking with her family members.
Tuesday 20th of November was the day of visitation for women in Evin prison. Her family suceeded to meet her in Evin. Mr. Shahab Mirezaei the husband of Maryam said: "Tuesday's from 9:00am to 2:00pm is the time of visitation for women and fortunately we were able to meet her." About her health situation he said: " She was fine. She was telling us that; being here she forget her own pains."
Maryam's sister Hajar Hosseinkhah who also visited her said: "I told to Maryam that we will work for her release but Maryam said; we don't have 100 Million Tuman for bail and i told her everyone is trying to lower the amount of the bail ." She spoke good about other imprisoned women. She said; since my arrival they have helped me. "
Maryam's husband said : "Our monthly earning from journalism is 200,000 Tuman and it will take us 50 years to save and pay the bail. This is the price we have to pay."

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Monday, November 19, 2007

Maryam Hosseinkhah, Journalist and Member of the Campaign Arrested
Sunday 18 November 2007

Change for Equality: November 17, 2007: Maryam Hossienkhah, Journalist, member of the Women’s Cultural Center, and an active member of the One Million Signatures Campaign was arrested earlier today. A few days after the site of the Women’s Cultural Center, a leading women’s NGO, was shut down on order of the Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance and the Judiciary, Maryam Hosseinkhah, an editor of the site of this organization as well as one of the eiditors of the site of the One Million Signatures Campaign, Change for Equality, was summoned to the security branch of the Revolutionary Courts on Saturday 17th of November. She was interrogated for over 2 hours on Saturday and was told that she is charged with disruption of public opinion, propaganda against the state, and publication of lies through the publication of untrue news items on the site of the Women’s Cultural Center and the One Million Signatures Campaign. Maryam Hosseinkhah was also ordered to return to the Revolutionary Courts for more interrogation today, Sunday November 18, 2007 at 9:00am. After arriving at Court today, an order of arrest of issued for Ms. Hosseinkhah, and to our disbelief she was arrested and transferred to Evin Prison at 2:00pm.
The arrest of Maryam Hosseinkhah marks the continuation of increased harassment of women’s rights activists, especially members of the Campaign, by the Security forces. To date, over 40 individuals have been arrested in relation to their peaceful activities in support of the Campaign. Currently two other members of the Campaign besides Maryam remain in prison. Ronak Safarzadeh and Hana Abdi were both arrested in Kurdistan after collection of signatures. They remain in prison and have had not had access to their families or lawyers.

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International Support for Women’s Campaign
Saturday4 شهریور 1385
Iranian women’s rights activists are initiating a wide campaign demanding an end to discriminatory laws against women in the Iranian law. The Campaign “One Million Signatures Demanding Changes to Discriminatory Laws” is a follow-up effort to the peaceful protest of the same aim, which took place on June 12, 2006 in Haft-e Tir Square in Tehran
We the undersigned, representing international women’s groups and activists, human rights organizations and activists, university and academic centers, and social justice initiatives, would like to express our support for Iranian women in their effort to reform laws and achieve equal status within the Iranian legal system.
Background Information
Campaign Description:
Iranian law considers women to be second class citizens and promotes discrimination against them. It is noteworthy that legal discrimination of this type is being enforced in a society where women comprise over 60% of those being admitted to university. It is generally believed that laws should promote social moderation by being one step ahead of cultural norms. But in Iran the law lags behind cultural norms and women’s social position and status.
Without a doubt, women of lower socio-economic status or women from religious and ethic minority groups suffer disproportionately from legal discrimination. On the other hand, these unjust laws have promoted unhealthy and unbalanced relationships between men and women and as a result have had negative consequences on the lives of men as well.
On the other hand, the Iranian government is a signatory to several international human rights conventions, and accordingly is required to bring its legal code in line with international standards. The most important international human rights standard calls for elimination of discrimination based on gender, ethnicity, religion, etc.
The Campaign aims to collect one million signatures in support of changes to discriminatory laws against women. It will provide education on legal issues to the public and especially to women, raise public awareness, promote collaboration between groups demanding equality between men and women, and document experiences. The Campaign will be implemented through the following means:
1. Collection of signatures through door-to-door contact and dialogue with individual women;
2. Collection of signatures in places and events in which women gather, and where dialogue and discussions with groups of women can be carried out;
3. Implementation of seminars and conferences with the intent of raising the profile of the campaign, promoting dialogue, identifying supporters and collecting signatures;
4. Collection of signatures through the internet. The internet will be utilized to share information about the Campaign, including legal educational materials, and those interested in supporting this effort can sign petitions related to the Campaign.
Contact Information: • For more information on the Campaign please visit:; or write to the Campaign Organizers at:

petition - pdf version

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There are unjust laws, as there are unjust men. There can be no peace, without justice. — M.K. Gandhi
18 November 2007

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Sunday, November 18, 2007

Afghanistan: Caught between extremes
Malalai Joya: Afghan woman parliamentarian speaks out
Friday November 16th, 2007
Malalai Joya, 29, is the youngest member of the Afghan Parliament. She was elected to the Wolesi Jirga in September 2005, winning the second highest vote in Farah province. She has received international recognition and been the target of numerous death threats due to her outspoken criticism of warlords and drug lords in the central government

Iran: IAEA report sparks controversy
Aijaz Ahmad: New IAEA report says Iran has not lied;
US demands new sanctions, China says no view

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Thursday, November 15, 2007

News in brief-
Wednesday November 14,2007

Association of Iranian Women: The website of " Zanestan" is banned for the 7th time by an order from Ministry of the Guidance-internet division !
Prosecutor from Ministry of the Guidance warned companies that are dealing with " Zanestan" and asked them not to provide their services to " Zanestan".
" Zanestan" is a women internet journal that publishes the women issues and their activities. In the past this website was filtered for six times.

Link to " Zanestan":

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News in brief-
Thursday November 15, 2007

Prison for journalists from Gilan province !

According to a news reported by Ms. Shirin Karimi in Roozonline, several journalists from the northern province of Gilan were sentenced to different prison term. These journalists name and charges has been released and they are : Mr. Arash Bahmani the editor of the " Weekly Better Gilan " . He was also member of the central council of " Advare Tahkime Vahdat"- an
student organization- Gilan branch. He has been charged of "insulting the 12th imam" and "publication of lies" . He is sentenced to 16 months imprisonment. Mr. Babak Mehdizadeh , journalist and member of the central council of same student organization- Gilan branch . Mr. Kuhzad Esmaili another member of the central council of same organization are sentenced to four months imprisonment for allegedly publishing lies.

In the past, they were also arrested when Ahmadinejad visited Gilan.

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Three More Arrests, another Prison Sentence
President's Latest Visit to a University
‎President Ahmadinejad's latest visit to a university was - once again - accompanied by new ‎arrests and judicial sentences. At least three student activists were arrested and another was ‎sentenced to 15 months imprisonment following Ahmadinejad's visit to the Iran’s Science and ‎Technology University [Daneshgah Elm va San'at]. Earlier last week, two other students were ‎arrested at the same institution. ‎
The names of the three detained students have not been publicly released, though several ‎websites reported that they were members of the Islamic Student Association at Khaje Nasir and ‎Amir Kabir universities. The student who was sentenced to 15 months imprisonment is Keyvan ‎Rafii, director of the Human Rights Activists organization in Iran. Yesterday, coinciding with ‎President Ahmadinejad's visit to the Science and Technology University, the Revolutionary ‎Court sentenced Rafii to 15 months suspended imprisonment. ‎
Rafii was arrested last summer and has spent more than 17 months in prison. He was charged ‎for his participation in a student demonstration in 2005 and the May Day rally in 2006. ‎
Raffi's sentence was announced yesterday as Ahmadinejad was delivering a speech at the ‎University: "I love students from the bottom of my heart… For me, when I spend time at the ‎university, I feel like a fish that has returned fresh ocean water… They say that SAVAK [Shah's ‎infamous spy agency] installed microphones even on the university trees… We have to thank ‎God that we are here right now." ‎
Ahmadinejad's previous visits to Tehran and Amir Kabir universities were marred by student ‎protests. Once again, even though Basiji students filled the meeting hall from 6am, ‎Ahmadinejad was not able to fully escape criticism from the students. He was interrupted ‎several times during his speech by dissident students. ‎
The state-owned television network broadcasted a censored version of Ahmadinejad's speech, ‎during which Basiji students chanted, "Ahmadinejad, we support you." ‎
However, several students who were able to enter the meeting hall were harassed and beaten by ‎Basiji students when they tried to show placards bearing the names of three detained Amir Kabir ‎University students.‎
According to one student, "No advertising was done for this event and students were not aware ‎of the event. Only Basiji students received special badges to enter the meeting hall." ‎
Another student, who was present at the meeting, told the Norooz website, "From all of the ‎attendees, around 2,000 students, 70 percent were Basijis from other universities, 20 percent ‎were Basijis from the Science and Technology University, and 3 or 4 were independent students, ‎who were assaulted right off the bat and thrown out of the building." ‎
The university's student association and publication editors protested the manner of ‎Ahmadinejad's visit and called on the university president to explain the controversial visit. ‎

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Monday, November 12, 2007

TEHRAN, Nov 11 (Reuters) -
Police hold 180 in Iran religious clash-report
Police detained 180 people in a western Iranian city after unrest involving Sufi Muslims, the semi-official Fars News Agency reported on Sunday.Details about Saturday night's incident were unclear and could not be independently confirmed.Sufi Muslims have in the past clashed with the authorities in predominantly Shi'ite Muslim Iran. Sufism, a form of mystical Islam, is tolerated in Iran but some of its religious leaders have called for a clampdown on the group.Fars News Agency said the trouble began when Sufis attacked a mosque in Boroujerd, about 320 km (200 miles) southwest of Tehran, prompting scuffles between Sufis and their opponents."The region's security forces strove to prevent the tension from escalating and, to this end, 180 people were also detained and handed over to the judicial authorities," Fars reported, as monitored by the BBC.It quoted a senior provincial governor as saying about 80 people were hurt but said most injuries were light.Around 1,000 Sufis were arrested last year during clashes with authorities over the closure of a Sufi prayer house in the holy city of Qom. Fifty-two of them were sentenced to a year in jail, 74 lashes, and fines on various charges.Although Sufis are tolerated, their belief in the mystical path to God through dance and music can rankle some within the religious establishment of the Islamic Republic. Some religious leaders have called Sufis a "danger to Islam".Sufism is best known in the West for its "whirling dervish" dances and for the mystical poetry of 13th-century Persian poet Jalal ad-din Rumi whose works have been bestsellers in the United States. (Writing by Edmund Blair; Editing by Charles Dick)

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Scores hurt as Iran militia clashes with Sufis: report
18 hours ago
TEHRAN (AFP) — Scores of people were injured and more than 100 arrested when security forces stormed a Sufi lodge in western Iran after clashes between the Muslim mystics and Shiite worshippers, the Jomhuri Eslami newspaper reported on Monday.
According to the report, the unrest broke out on Saturday in the city of Borujerd in Lorestan province following "the desecration of the al-Nabi mosque by Sufis of the deviant Gonabadi order".
"In the intensive clashes, about 80 people from the two sides were injured and 25 motorcycles belonging to the Sufis were burnt," it said.
The hardline daily said that Basij militiamen had later joined residents in destroying the Sufi lodge.
The major of Borujerd, Mohammad Ali Tohidi, told the Fars news agency: "All the wrongdoers have been arrested. Around 180 people have been handed to the judiciary," he said.
The news agency reported that the Sufis had thrown stones at the al-Nabi mosque, breaking windows while prayers were being held inside, drawing an angry reaction from worshippers.
It gave little explanation for the Sufis' action, saying only that they were "dissatisfied with cultural actions in the mosque".
"Five people taken hostage by these people (the Sufis) have been freed by the security forces and hospitalised due to deep injuries," the news agency quoted the mosque's Friday prayers leader, Abdolrahim Biranvand, as saying.
Sufi worship is not illegal in Iran but the practice is frowned upon by many conservative clerics who regard it as an affront to Islam.
The Islamic mysticism followed by an array of Sufi orders since the early centuries of the faith has always aroused suspicion among orthodox Muslims, whether Shiite or Sunni.
In Shiite Islam, some Sufi orders have been further tarnished by the accusation of heresy because of their association with the unorthodox Alevi faith practised in parts of Syria and Turkey.
In late May, the Iranian press reported the arrest of the leader and several members of one of the largest Sufi sects in the northeast of the country.
Clashes pitting Sufis against the security forces and hardline supporters of the official brand of Shiite Islam in the clerical capital of Qom in February last year saw several dozen Sufi mystics sentenced to the lash and a year in jail for public disorder.

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Sunday, November 11, 2007

9 November 2007
Supreme Court upholds death sentence for Kurdish journalist; decision
should be "taken very seriously," says RSF
SOURCE: Reporters sans frontières (RSF), Paris
**Updates IFEX alerts on the Hassanpour case of 7 September, 14 and 1
August, 23 July, 15 March and 30 January 2007; updates Botimar (Butimar)
alerts of 7 September, 14 and 1 August and 23 July 2007**
(RSF/IFEX) - Reporters Without Borders has condemned the Supreme Court's
decision to uphold the death sentence for Kurdish-Iranian journalist Adnan
Hassanpour for "spying." The ruling was issued on 22 October 2007, but was
not revealed until this week.
The court quashed the conviction of another journalist convicted in the
same case, Abdolvahed "Hiva" Botimar, on the grounds of procedural
irregularity. Botimar had also been under sentence of death.
"We have been waiting for more than six months for the Supreme Court to
decide whether to reopen the case against Iranian-Canadian journalist Zahra
Kazemi's alleged murderers, but it took the court only a few weeks to
uphold Hassanpour's death sentence, so the judicial system clearly
continues to have a pro-government bias," Reporters Without Borders said.
"We appeal to the international community to take every possible action to
get this journalist released," the press freedom organisation added. "This
sentence should be taken very seriously as Iran has already executed more
than 300 people since the start of the year."
Saleh Nikbakht, one of the lawyers representing the two journalists, was
notified on 5 November of the court's decision although he was not given
the details of the ruling. He said Hassanpour had been found guilty of
"espionage" because he had allegedly "revealed the location of military
sites and established contacts with the US foreign affairs ministry."
He added that the court overturned Botimar's conviction on the grounds of a
"procedural irregularity," and sent his case back to the same revolutionary
court in Marivan (in the Kurdish northwest of Iran) that convicted him and
Hassanpour on 16 July on charges of spying, "subversive activity against
national security" and "separatist propaganda."
Nikbakht told Reporters Without Borders: "This sentence is not only
contrary to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the international
conventions ratified by Iran, but is also contrary to Islamic law and the
laws of the Islamic Republic."
Hassanpour, 27, and Botimar, 29, used to work for the weekly "Asou",
covering the sensitive Kurdish issue, until the newspaper was banned by the
Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance in August 2005. Hassanpour also
worked for foreign news media including Voice of America and Radio Farda.
An ardent advocate of Kurdish cultural rights, Hassanpour was arrested
outside his home on 25 January and was taken to Mahabad, where he was not
allowed to receive visits from his family or his lawyer. Botimar, an active
member of the environmental NGO Sabzchia, was arrested on 25 December.
For the past several months, Hassanpour and Botimar have been held in
Sanandaj prison, where their lawyers have not been allowed to meet with
them in private in order to inform them of the Supreme Court's decision.

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9 November 2007
One journalist imprisoned, two publications suspended
SOURCE: Reporters sans frontières (RSF), Paris
(RSF/IFEX) - Reporters Without Borders regrets that Iran continues to snub
appeals from the international community on human rights, as one journalist
was imprisoned and two publications suspended.
"Less than a week after the European Parliament passed a resolution urging
Iran to respect its "obligations in line with international norms and
instruments on human rights", Yaghoub Salaki Nia was imprisoned at Evin
jail in Tehran. His arrest on 31 October 2007 brought to ten the number of
journalists imprisoned in the country," the worldwide press freedom
organisation said.
"Iran remains deaf to appeals from the international community aimed at
establishing a real dialogue on human rights," the organisation said.
"Journalists are being held in custody without charge in defiance of the
most basic rights. Some of them are suffering as a result of their prison
conditions and need medical attention which has been denied to them," it
On 31 October, Intelligence ministry agents arrested freelance journalist
Yaghub Salaki Nia, a contributor to several banned media, including
"Shamesse Tabriz", "Ahrar" and "Omid Zanjan". His house was searched and
his work equipment and papers were seized. The journalist has also founded
an organisation dedicated to the defence of political prisoners in the
Iranian province of Azerbaijan. He was taken to Evin jail and it is not
known what charges he faces. His family was able to visit him on 5
November, in the presence of prison warders and on the condition they did
not discuss the issue of his imprisonment.
Elsewhere, the Authorisation and Surveillance Commission of the Press on 23
September, suspended political monthly "Dilmaj", founded in 2004, but no
reason was given. The quarterly "Madresseh" was suspended on 5 November for
"apostasy". The philosophical review had published an interview in its
latest edition with an intellectual cleric, Mohammad Mojtahed Shabestari,
who carries out research into the Koran. Iranian leaders took the view that
his remarks were "insulting of sacred texts".
The European Parliament voted a resolution on 25 October condemning Iranian
human rights violations. The European Union (EU) recognised that "the
situation in the Islamic Republic in relation to civil rights and political
freedoms has deteriorated in the last two years, particularly since
presidential elections in June 2005", the date on which Mahmud Ahmadinejad
came to power. The EU also called for the "unconditional release of
prisoners of conscience, particularly journalists Emadoldin Baghi, Ako
Kurdnasab, Ejlal Ghavami, Mohammad Sadegh Kabovand, Said Matinpour, Adnan
Hassanpour, Abdolvahed Botimar, Kaveh Javanmard and Mohammad Hassan
Ten journalists are currently in jail in Iran. Among them Said Matinpour, a
contributor to the weekly Azeri-language "Yarpagh" who is being held at the
intelligence services prison in his home city of Zanjan, 330 kilometres
north-west of the capital, where he is waiting to learn what he is accused
of. He was previously held at Evin prison but was transferred closer to his
family. Since his arrest on 28 May, the journalist, who has been held in
solitary confinement, has only been able to see his parents twice. His wife
and his lawyer have so far been refused the right to visit him. His wife,
Atieh Hidary, told Reporters Without Borders that she was "very worried
about his health".
Mohammad Sadegh Kabovand, editor of the weekly "Payam-e mardom-e
Kurdestan", is suffering from kidney and digestive problems and has to make
a written request to the prison authorities to be allowed to use the
toilet. Reporters Without Borders has obtained information that he has been
put under huge pressure to deny reports published by the Human Rights
Organisation of Kurdistan, of which he is a founding member. Mohammad
Sadegh Kabovand is facing trial for "acting against national security".
Emadoldin Baghi, journalist and human rights activist, also held at Evin
prison, since 14 October has been able to receive visits from his family.
They have reported that the journalist, who is in solitary confinement, is
being subjected to "brutal interrogation" by intelligence ministry agents.
Emadoldin Baghi has so far refused to respond to their questions and has
demanded to be tried by a popular jury. He is accused of "publishing secret
government documents with the help of detained prisoners to damage security
in special establishments".
Iran is in 166th place out of 169 countries on Reporters Without Borders'
latest world press freedom rankings of October 2007.
For further information contact Hajar Smouni, RSF, 47, rue Vivienne, 75002
Paris, France, tel: +33 1 44 83 84 84, fax: +33 1 45 23 11 51, e-mail:, Internet:
The information contained in this alert is the sole responsibility of RSF.
In citing this material for broadcast or publication, please credit RSF.
555 Richmond St. West, # 1101, PO Box 407
Toronto, Ontario, Canada M5V 3B1
tel: +1 416 515 9622 fax: +1 416 515 7879
alerts e-mail: general e-mail:
Internet site:

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El Baradei and Iran’s nuclear ambition
Aijaz Ahmad: Can the U.S. hear El Baradei over the noise they are making about Iran? view

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Thursday, November 08, 2007

News in brief-
Amirkabir newsletter- AUT News
Thursday November 9,2007
Mr. Ali Nikunesbati , member of the central council of " Daftare Tahkime Vahdat" has been arrested!
According to Amirkabir Newsletter , this afternoon at around 2:00pm the security agents have attended to Mr. Nikunesbati's family home and after searching the house, they arrested him. The agents also took away with them his personal belonging.
Mr. Nikunesbati was arrested and detained before together with five other members of this council. He was released on bail.
Last week the security agents have arrested Mr. Ali Azizi the deputy and member of the council, in the same way.
Link to this news in Farsi:

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News in brief-
Kabarnameh Amirkabir ( Amirkabir newsletter)-
Thursday Nov.8,2007

After two week of no news , Ms. Masumeh Mansuri contacted her brother from prison.
Ms. Masumeh Mansuri is a detained student from Amirkabir University. After two weeks in detention, last night she has contacted with her brother and said : she is fine.
She said the investigator has told her that ; next week ,she will be released.
Ms. Mansuri was following her detained father case ( Mr. Mohammad Ali Mansuri) and was arrested after several threat by Tehran's court of revolution. It is needed to say that; after more than two months imprisonment ,there are still no news from her father .

Link to this news in Farsi:,08,0005760

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News in brief-
Democracy & Human Rights Activists

On September 2nd , four security agents entered in our house. They introduced themselves as the drug agents, which they lied. After searching the house they took personal properties of our family including the laptop, computer, birth certificate , passport and financial documents . They arrested our father Mr. Mohammad Ali Mansuri ( son of Ali) and took him with themselves. They took picture from all over our house and were not allowing our sister and grandfather who were present at home
to move. They have threatened our sister not to report about this incident to anyone , othervise the family members will face severe consequences.Those four agents told us that, soon they will contact us and will tell us about our father's situation.But now it is 51 days that they didn't make just a call. then our family did everything and went everywhere to get news about our father. Finally l the court of revolution called us and told that our father is in Evin prison.But now after 51 days we do not have any news from our father's situation..........They have told us that our father allegedly charged with " Action against national security" . They told us that; this charge is more worse than murdering several people.They have told us that, we are not allowed to visit our father until his case file is reviewed. At one instance they threatened our brother and told him that ,he will be next to be arrested......It is now close to two months that , we do not have news about our father. They also threatening us for arrest and they do not allow the lawyers to read the file.
Our father was arrested because he had participated in "Khavaran" ( the place where thousands of political prisoners are buried ) for respect to these victims.
We request from the UN Human Rights high commissioner and other human rights organization to follow our fathers case for his immediately release.

Childeren of Mr. Mansuri
October 25,2007

The above report was sent to :
1- Amnesty International
2-UN Human Rights Council
3-UN High Commissioner for Human Rights
4-Human Rights Watch

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Wednesday, November 07, 2007

2. PEN Canada in association with Rights & Democracy Present:

Discussion with Akbar Ganji of Iran and Anna Maria Tremonti, host of CBC Radio’s The Current

“Freedom of Expression and Association in Iran: A Struggle for Democracy”

Monday, November 26, 2007
6:00pm - 7:30pm
George Ignatieff Theatre
Trinity College, 15 Devonshire Place
(1 block east of St. George St, south of Bloor Street)

In collaboration with The Munk Centre for International Studies

Akbar Ganji is the recipient of the 2007 John Humphrey Freedom Award presented by Rights and Democracy.

Ganji is an emblematic figure of dissent in Iran. Well-known journalist and author, Akbar Ganji spent six years in prison for exposing rights abuses committed by Iran’s fundamentalist regime. The charges stemmed from a series of investigative articles exposing the complicity of then President Rafsanjani and other leading members of the conservative clergy in the murders of political dissidents and intellectuals in 1998. During his time in prison, Mr. Ganji endured solitary confinement and went on a hunger strike that lasted from May to August 2005. He also continued to write, producing a series of influential political manifestos and open letters calling for Iran’s secularization and the establishment of democracy through mass civil disobedience. The works were smuggled out of Evin prison and published on the Internet. Mr. Ganji’s work has appeared in pro-democracy newspapers across Iran, most of which the government has since shut down. He has also written many books, including the bestselling The Dungeon of Ghosts (1999) and The Red Eminence and The Grey Eminence (2000).

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Joya denounces Afghan corruption & foreign mission
Raw feed of Afghanistan's youngest parliamentarian speaking to the media in Toronto
Malalai Joy was expelled from the Afghan Parliament on May 21, 2007 following an interview in which she publicly criticized the human rights abuses of her co-parliamentarians. In a press conference in Toronto on November 7, Malalai discussed her recent expulsion and the current situation on the ground in Afghanistan.
Malalai Joy, 29, is the youngest member of the Afghan Parliament. She was elected to the Wolesi Jirga in September 2005, winning the second highest vote in Farah province.

She has been the target of numerous death threats because of her outspoken criticism of warlords and drug lords in the central government

Watch the video clip:

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Shahrudi Can Stop Delaram Ali’s Prison Sentence
Shirin Ebadi in Interview with Rooz: - 2007.11.06
Nobel Laureate Shirin Ebadi, the defense attorney for Delaram Ali, the woman human ‎rights activist who was arrested at a women’s rally on June 12, 2006 and sentenced to 2 ‎years and six months imprisonment and must present herself to prison authorities told ‎Rooz Online, “This judgment must be executed unless ayatollah Shahrudi, the head of ‎Iran’s judiciary branch of government, orders a stay of the execution of the order, ‎something that has already been requested from him.”‎
Delaram Ali was arrested at a peaceful rally and physically attacked by the police. But ‎she failed in her efforts, despite the documents she presented to the judge, to hold those ‎who violated her to any legal responsibility. The judgment against Delaram is the ‎harshest punishment given to any person participating in a peaceful demonstration in ‎recent years. Shirin Ebadi described her case in these words, ”Delaram Ali was attached ‎and brutally beaten up by law enforcement officers on the day she participated in a ‎peaceful and legal demonstration. They broke her arm and I filed a suit against the police ‎on her behalf. But even though we had rock solid evidence and documentation against ‎her violators, the prosecutor issued an order stopping the case. Then a revolutionary court ‎in sentenced her imprisonment.”‎
On her own website, Delaram Ali engaged in a dialog with her violators and wrote the ‎following to them: “Do you remember June 12, 2006? I know you will erase it from your ‎memory with a little effort, but I remember it every second, every moment and with ‎every phone ring my brother. Do you know why? Because on that day you went home to ‎your family and I went to Evin prison. You ate a warm dinner in your own hose, while I ‎was the guest of the interrogators. Because the scale of justice brought you an acquittal ‎but a 2 year plus 10 month prison sentence for me, and 10 slashes.”‎
According to Ebadi, the charges against Delaram were activities against state security and ‎propaganda against the regime by participation in the June 12 demonstration. “The ‎court’s judgment went to the appellate court and ended with the 2 year plus six month ‎prison sentence. They merely reduced the punishment by a few months and the slashes. ‎In her case, the court judgment was never submitted to the attorneys, who were not ‎allowed to participate in the trial, or any step in the civil procedure leading to the ‎sentence. On Sunday, they informed Delaram of the court’s sentence, and so she must ‎present herself to the judiciary officials to serve her term. And to show that she is not ‎shaken by the court judgment which will not effect her convictions or commitment to ‎fight for women’s rights, Delaram announced that while the judgment was illegal and ‎unfair, she would, like Socrates, present herself to prison authorities,” Ebadi said. “It is ‎clear that the punishment is out of proportion to my client’s activism and her behavior is ‎not a violation of any law. Because the constitution allows individuals to participate in ‎legal demonstrations which do not require a permit. Furthermore, on June 12, before ‎people had even gathered for the rally and while no one had given any talk at the place, ‎the police attached those who were present and violently dispersed them. The charges of ‎engaging in propaganda against the state is in fact Delaram’s activism to demonstrate to ‎the gender discriminatory laws to the public. I do not understand how does reading a law ‎in public and saying ‘this is the law’, constitute propaganda against the regime. If the ‎state believes that these laws are so unfair that they must not be read in public, and if they ‎are then this constitutes an activity against the state, then why does it not do anything to ‎reform these laws.”‎
Regarding the immunity that some individuals enjoy because of their connections to the ‎judiciary or the police while they have had clear responsibilities in many cases ranging ‎from what are known as the ‘serial murders’ to Zahra Kazemi’s murder in prison, Ebadi ‎said, “This is what I and all defenders of human rights activists [in Iran] are protesting ‎against. Unfortunately, the judiciary behaves in a manner that makes the implementation ‎of justice an impossible feat in many cases.”‎
Ebadi once stressed that she would use all domestic and international resources to defend ‎the rights of her clients. On whether this sentence was intended to send a message to the ‎civil society and women’s rights activists, Ebadi said, “The judiciary must be asked about ‎the message. But I can say on behalf of my clients that not only will these sentences not ‎cause them to stop demanding their rights, but will in fact make them more resolute in ‎their pursuit of their human rights.”‎

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Sunday, November 04, 2007

News allert -
Etemad newspaper- Monday Oct. 5, 2007
Save "Somayeh" from the galows !
Upto now Somayeh has spent two years in prison. She is now 26 years old. She was 24 when she commited the crime by killed a young man with knife. She is in the list of women who must pay the "Dieh" an islamic term for blood money he/she must pay to the victimes immediate family inorder to scape the gallows.
Somayeh's father and mother are worried for her. Her father says : Haven't you seen my somayeh ? she was supposed to work in Tehran and help me with the daily expenses. she has promised me to buy medications for my feet pain ..........
In her trial, she told to five member judges: for awhile I was friend with Amir-hossain, and at the begining he liked me,and was saying he is going to get marry with me.and because of this i was interested with him too. Amirhossain knew that i was from a poor family and i'm paying all my expenses by working. I was alone in Tehran and didn't have anyone , so i became dependent to him, until one day Amirhossain told me that he doesn't want to continue this relationship and is planning to marry with another girle.
Our relation has gone so far that i couldn't retreat. He also knew this problem , but he was telling me you must solve this problem yourself,and it is not my business. I begged him but without result.Until we decided to see and speak with each other for one last time. That day my sister bought me some fruits and she gave me a knife and my brother inlaw picked me up with his car . on our way we picked Amirhossain too and while in the car , i started to peel an apple to make our relation work but at this time he argued with me and i dont know what happened , i lost control and hit the knife to his side . I didnt want to kill him . After i saw the blood , i learned what i have done , and together with my brother inlaw , we brought him to the hospital , but he died later.
The court together with the victims family requested for maximum punishment and that in Islamic Republic's judiciary system means " Ghesas" meaning blood for blood but later the victims family reduced " Ghesas " to " Dieh" meaning blood money.
Mr. Abdolsamad Khoramshahi the lawyer of Somayeh thanked the victims family and said: unfortunately all the assets of Somayeh's family is a mud built house in a village in Lahijan a city in the north of Iran and the family put the house for sale and she need financial help from the public .And if the public will not help her , this young woman will die while she is young.
Somayeh was an employee of a hospital in Tehran and her sallary was spent mostly for buying her mother and father's medication.The lawyer is asking the Iranian inside and outside Iran to help her.
In another but good news the young Sina who plays flute paid the blood money and was saved from " ghesas " or the death.

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News in brief-
Roozonline- Sunday November 4/2007

The Iranian-French director goes to the court !
BBC's report on the situation of Ms. Mehrnoush Soluki

Ms. Soluki is an Iranian origin director and citizen of France and since 2003 she lived in Montreal Canada . She is going to be tried in a closed door court in Iran on November 17 /2007.

She is 38 years old and is educated in a university in Quebec. Her family members and even the people are not allowed to attend in the court. She was arrested after an interview with a family member of an oppsition leader in Tehran and spent one month in the notorious Evin prison.

Ms. Soluki emigrated from France to Canada in 2003 and had recieved a permission from the Iranian authority to make a film about the event after the Iran - Iraq war.

After release from prison Ms. Soluki has been banned from leaving Iran. The Iranian officials has confiscated her notes and recorded film. She has a French passport and about her imprisonment she said: The action of the regime to arrest me is " very strange" . Because her film has not been made yet and there are no advertisement for it .

RSF and Amnesty International are following her case . RSF Said that : Her family in France have mortgaged their home to bail her out in March. Ms. Soluki has spent one month in solitary confinement in Evin prison and she was released when her family paid the $116,000 bail.

Ms. Soluki have said : Why they won't let me leave Iran? Is it because i'm a French citizen? Or because of living in Montreal ? Or may be it is because of being an independent film maker. ?
in 2003 the Iranian authorities arrested and killed Iranian- Canadian photojournalist Zahra Kazemi for taking picture outside the Evin prison.Her crime was because of " disclosing the secrets" during students uprising.

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Saturday, November 03, 2007

The Burmese junta has cut the internet again in the country this morning around 9 am local time (after yesterday's Buddhist monks protests in central Burma).

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