Monday, September 30, 2019

News from Iran .....

Since September 23 workers at HEPCO ( Haft - Tapeh Sugar cane  ) company stopped going to work in protest against the lay off of 20 of their co workers and privatization of the company. 

Its been for almost 12 years that these workers face numerous injustices including no job security , unexpected lay off , delay in payments and so many other issues which impacts their family life so much. 

In recent years the Government chose to transfer the company to private ownership which increased the problems of the company and workers . 

Because of all these problems, the workers at Haft Tapeh made many strike and protests including one in front of the Shoosh Governor's building and their march in the city . 

In their recent protests which is still going on , the security forces summoned 40 workers for questioning and they are threatened to be expelled from work. 

The workers continue their protest as i am writing this note....
See how this regime treat the Iranian workers when they ask for their unpaid salaries ......


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Thursday, September 26, 2019

Look How Islamic Regime In Iran Assaulted On Workers in Iran .......Workers Protest For Their Unpaid Salaries And For Their Rights , What they Gets From This Regime !!!?????

Many Hepco workers rallied for their unpaid salaries and look what the regime in Iran did ?!!!
Many have been wounded or arrested and detained ...

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Poster On The Wall Calls For : Free The Students Supporter Of Workers ......Neda Naji , Marzieh Amiri and Atefeh Rangriz .....

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Wednesday, September 25, 2019

25 September 2019
Iran: Family of women’s rights activist arrested in despicable attempt to intimidate her into silence 
Iranian authorities have arrested three family members of Masih Alinejad, a prominent US-based Iranian journalist and activist as retribution for her women’s rights activism, Amnesty International revealed today. 
Masih Alinejad is founder of the White Wednesdays campaign against forced veiling laws in Iran, which has gathered widespread support among women and girls in Iran in recent years.
Masih Alinejad’s brother, Alireza Alinejad, and Hadi and Leila Lotfi, brother and sister of her former husband, Max Lotfi, were all arrested last night from their homes in Tehran and the northern city of Babol by officials from the ministry of intelligence. Like Masih, Max Lotfi is based abroad and is involved in the White Wednesdays campaign. Hadi Lotfi was released after being interrogated overnight about Masih Alinejad’s and Max Lotfi’s activities. He was told that any contact with her or “her team” is considered a criminal offence. He was also told he is banned from leaving Babol and would be summoned for more questioning.
“These arrests are a blatant attempt by the Iranian authorities to punish Masih Alinejad for her peaceful work defending women’s rights. Arresting the relatives of an activist in an attempt to intimidate her into silence is a despicable and cowardly move,” said Philip Luther, Amnesty International’s Research and Advocacy Director for the Middle East and North Africa. 
“Two weeks ago, the death of Sahar Khodayari, who set herself on fire after facing charges for trying to enter a football stadium, shocked the world and drew attention to Iran’s appalling treatment of women. Last night’s arrests are another illustration of the Iranian authorities’ chilling determination to crush women’s rights activism. The fact that they have resorted to going after the family members of an activist is an indication of just how threatened the authorities feel by the growing support for the women’s rights movement in Iran and how desperate they are to put a stop to it.
“Instead of harassing and detaining the family members of Masih Alinejad, Iran’s authorities should release them immediately and end their campaign of repression against women.”
The authorities have refused to disclose the whereabouts of Alireza Alinejad and Leila Lotfi and the reason for their arrests. Amnesty International believes that they may be at risk of torture and other ill-treatment. 
This is not the first time that the Iranian authorities have targeted 
Masih Alinejad’s family. In March 2019, the authorities summoned her elderly mother, Zarrin Badpa, for interrogation. She was questioned for two hours about her daughter’s activities while being filmed. Amnesty International has expressed concerns 
duress in future propaganda videos, given their previous record of engaging in such practices. 
Masih Alinejad has founded a series of high profile Iranian women’s rights campaigns. The White Wednesdays campaign calls on women in Iran to protest forced veiling laws by wearing white headscarves every Wednesday. 
For more information or to arrange an interview please contact: Sara Hashash, MENA Media Manager on or out of hours (0) 203 036 5566

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Wednesday, September 11, 2019

“The Blue Girl” Who Set Herself on Fire

On Monday, September 2, a young woman set herself on fire in front of a courthouse in Tehran. After she was taken to Motahari Hospital, doctors announced that she had suffered 90 percent burns on her body. Her family, who wish to remain anonymous, have also asked for their daughter’s identity to be protected, and refer to her by the alias of “Sara,” although many people have begun to refer to her as the “Blue Girl” because of the color of the dress she was wearing when she set herself on fire.
Sara is a fan of Tehran’s Esteghlal Football Club (FC) and, in March 2019, police arrested her as she tried to enter the capital’s Azadi Stadium to watch a game between her team and the United Arab Emirates team Al Ain. Iranian women have been banned from sports stadiums for years, and they have tried everything to break the ban — from disguising themselves as men to public protests. They have paid the price, enduring beatings, arrests and jail terms.
In June 2019, FIFA’s President Gianni Infantino sent a letter to Iran’s football federation, announcing that it had until July 15, when the qualifying games for the 2022 World Cup started, “to implement FIFA’s new disciplinary codes and to provide for the presence of women in all Iranian sports stadiums.”

The Two-Faced Federation
Following the letter, Iran’s football federation announced that Azadi Stadium's doors will be open to women fans wanting to attend the national team’s match against Cambodia on October 10, but it stopped short of lifting the ban on them attending domestic matches. Iranian Pro League matches in August went ahead without any women spectators in attendance.
In the last year alone, security forces took action against women who wanted to enter stadiums five times. On August 12, Revolutionary Guards’ intelligence agents arrestedat least six women following complaints from the head of Iran’s football federation, Mehdi Taj, and his request that the Guards stop women from entering the stadiums. One of those arrested was photojournalist Forough Alayi. The first Iranian woman to win first place in the WordPress Photo awards, Alayi has regularly tackled the subject of women being banned from entering stadiums and has documented women’s illegal presence at matches. This has won her praise, but she has also faced time in jail as punishment.
But why did Sara set herself on fire? In March, police blocked her as she tried to enter Azadi Stadium. When she resisted, they arrested her. After her arrest, Sara informed her family that she had to post a bail of 50 million tomans (over $4,300) in order to be released. The family managed to post bail after a day, despite it being a difficult amount to raise. Then authorities delayed Sara’s release by a further two days.
According to Sara’s sister, who, like the rest of the family has asked to remain anonymous, Sara suffers from bipolar disorder and has been undergoing specialist treatment for the last two years. “We have a complete set of documents about my sister’s illness and gave it to the court but, unfortunately, after my sister objected to the agents’ treatment of her and called them names, the court treated her as if she was a normal person [without mental health issues],” she said. She also said the judge had sent her sister to Varamin Prison, where the prison environment had aggravated her mental condition.
“When she went to the courthouse to get back her mobile phone, by chance she heard that she had been sentenced from between six months and two years in prison. With her aggravated and difficult mental conditions, she set herself on fire and is now in critical condition at the hospital.”
A judiciary official told Rokna News Agency that Sara has also been charged with “bad hijab,” “insulting police officers” and “acting against public modesty.” The report said Sara had arrived for the first session of her hearing “but the court’s president was off on that day because a relative of his had passed away, so another date was set …  As a protest against this action, the young woman set herself on fire outside the courthouse with gasoline that she had acquired beforehand.”

How will Posterity Judge us?
Sara’s shocking act of protest reverberated across social media. “Not too long ago, our predecessors’ forced removal of hijab [Reza Shah Pahlavi banned women from wearing the Islamic hijab in January 1936] or denial of the right of our daughters to go to school astounded us and we rebuked their abhorrent and medieval way of thinking,” Masoud Shojaei, the captain of Iran’s national football team, posted on Instagram. “In the same way, there is no doubt that posterity will not comprehend why a woman was arrested because she wanted to watch a football game and has set herself on fire.”
Another national team player and the captain of Esteghlal FC, Voria Ghafouri, wrote: “We rebuke our predecessors but pay no attention to the fact that women are not allowed into stadiums during our own lifetimes. This wrong is a good reason for future generations to reprimand us. It was really painful to hear the news that a young woman has attempted suicide after she got into trouble because she wanted to enter the stadium. I wish we could unite and give women their right to enter football stadiums in a respectable way.”
As well as attacking the ban on women in stadiums, Voria Ghafouri has also criticized the arrest of environmental activists, school fires in poverty-stricken areas of Iran, and the dismal condition of the economy. His last statements on the economy, as well as those of Ali Karimi, former Persepolis and Bayern Munich footballer, prompted the Supreme Leader to issue the following rebuke and warning: “Whatever you have, you have it thanks to the regime. Remember where your security comes from.”

“No Date on our Tombstones”
Mohammad Rashid Mazaheri, the goalkeeper for both Tractor Sazi FC and Team Melli, the national football team, had a similar view. “We must make sure that no date is carved on our tombstones,” he wrote on Instagram. “This way, posterity will not know that at this juncture in history, we were the inept ones.”
The news of Sara’s protest also led to prominent figures in Iranian cinema to share their views. “Forgive us that while you are in the hospital, we have a parade of women in the presence of FIFA officials,” wrote TV and movie actor Pouria Poursorkh on Instagram. “I swear that as long as I live I shall not step into the stadium that you [endured] burns for [because of] wanting to see it.”
Parvaneh Salahshouri, a reformist member of the parliament, said: “I keep asking myself: Couldn’t the footballers themselves resist and, for instance, say that they are not going to play? I have no idea whether this is possible or not but, in the end, people must take some action…At the very least, doesn’t this self-immolation send the message that ‘as a woman, I want something that the society refuses to grant me’? And it is not a strange demand. Women across the world enjoy this right.”
On the other hand, Masoumeh Ebtekar, Vice President of Iran for Women and Family Affairs, had a lackluster response to the tragedy. “We are following her situation,” she said. “We hope she gets better.”

A “Security Case”?
Meanwhile, the journalist Elaheh Mohammadi reported: “The hospital guards forcefully ejected a reporter who wanted to meet Sara, and told the reporter that it was a ‘security case.’” No reporter, photographer or person who has not been approved by agents of the Intelligence Ministry has been allowed to meet Sara or her family.
“The motto of the National Olympic Committee is the freedom of humankind,” Dariush Mostafavi, a former national team footballer and the former chairman of the Iranian Football Federation, told the newspaper Iran. “If FIFA’s Infantino, his colleagues and officials of the Asian Football Confederation learn about this, what will they think about our country? How will they act toward the federation?”
But it does not appear as though FIFA plans to take any specific action. The history of relations between Gianni Infantino and Mehdi Taj, the president of the Iranian Football Federation, shows that FIFA is firmly behind the Iranian federation and only takes action if feels that the Iranian government is interfering in the management of the federation for political reasons.

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Tuesday, September 10, 2019

For Immediate Release 

Iran: Draconian Sentences for Rights Defenders 
Judiciary Instrumental in Crackdown on Dissent 

(Beirut, September 10, 2019) – Iran’s judiciary is dramatically increasing the costs of peaceful dissent in Iran, Human Rights Watch said today. Since July 31, 2019 alone, revolutionary courts have sentenced at least 13 activists to prison sentences of more than a decade for peaceful dissent.

“Again and again, Iranian revolutionary court judges have been ensuring that anyone who dares challenge the authorities will pay a draconian price,” said Michael Page, deputy Middle East director at Human Rights Watch. “When activists who raise issues that concern many Iranians are crushed with such harsh sentences, the judiciary’s promise of combating wrongdoing becomes a mockery of justice.”

In just the most recent cases, on September 7, a revolutionary court sentenced six labor rights activists to sentences ranging from 14 to 19 years. On August 27, the lawyer for a 22-year-old woman who had protested compulsory hijab announced that she had been sentenced to a total of 24 years. On July 31, a revolutionary court sentenced three other women detained for protesting compulsory hijab laws to sentenced ranging from 11 to 18 years.

On August 24, the lawyer for Kioomars Marzban, a satirist who has been in pretrial detention for a year, tweeted that his client has been sentenced to 23 years. Similarly over the past two weeks, a journalist and an activist arrested during a peaceful May day protest have been sentenced to more than 10 and 11 years in prison, respectively.

In each case, if the sentence is upheld, the person will have to serve the harshest sentence among the charges for which they have been convicted.

The campaign to support the prisoners of Haft Tappeh (sugar cane company) reported the September 7 sentences, including for Ismael Bakhshi, a prominent labor rights activist sentenced to 14 years, and Sepideh Gholian, a journalist and labor rights activist, sentenced to 19 years and 6 months. Both have been held since January 20. The charges, as cited by Human Rights Activists News Agency, HRANA, were all for nonviolent acts, including “assembly and collusion to act against national security,” “membership in an illegal group of Gam,” an online publication, “propaganda against the state,” and “publishing false news.”

The authorities had arrested Bakhshi and Gholian after they alleged that they had been tortured when they were detained in the aftermath of sugarcane factory labor protests in November 2018.

The campaign’s Twitter account also reported that Amir Amirgholi, Sanaz Allahyari, Asal Mohammadi, and Amir Hossein Mohammadifar, members of the editorial board of the online publication Gam and who have also been detained since January, have been sentenced to 18 years each in prison on similar charges. If the verdicts are upheld, each of the six labor rights defenders has to spend seven years in prison.

On August 31, HRANA reported that Branch 28 of Tehran’s revolutionary court had sentenced Atefeh Rangriz, a labor rights activist detained in Qarchak prison near Tehran since May 1, to 11 years and 6 months in prison and 74 lashes on charges that include “assembly and collusion to act against national security,” “propaganda against the state,” and “disrupting public order.”

On August 24, the family of Marizeh Amiri, a journalist with the Shargh daily paper who was also arrested on May 1, reported that Branch 28 of the revolutionary court had sentenced her to 10 years and 6 months in prison and 148 lashes. HRANA reported that Amiri faced charges that include “assembly and collusion to act against national security,” “propaganda against the state,” and “disrupting public order.” If the sentences are upheld, Rangriz and Amiri must serve 7.5 and 6 years in prison respectively.

On August 27, Hossein Taj, tweeted that his client Saba Kordafshari, a 22-year-old-woman who was arrested for protesting compulsory hijab, has been sentenced to 15 years in prison for “encouraging and providing for [moral] corruption and prostitution,” seven and a half years for “assembly and collusion to act against national security,” and one and half years for “propaganda against the state.” If the sentences are upheld, she will have to serve 15 years.

On July 31, Branch 31 of Tehran’s revolutionary court sentenced Yasman Ariani, her mother Monireh Arabshahi, and Mojgan Keshavarz (who were all arrested for protesting compulsory hijab laws) to 5 years for “assembly and collusion to act against national security,” one year for “propaganda against the state,” and 10 years for “encouraging and providing for [moral] corruption and prostitution.” The court sentenced Keshavarz to an additional seven and a half years for “insulting the sacred.” If these sentences are upheld on appeal, each woman would serve 10 years.

On August 24, Mohammadhossein Aghasi tweeted that branch 15 of Tehran’s revolutionary court had sentenced Marzban, a 26-year-old satirist, to 23 years in prison. Aghasi said that Marzban, who worked with multiple news websites when he lived outside the country before returning to Iran in 2017, had been convicted of charges including “cooperating with an enemy state.” Marzan has also been convicted of insulting authorities and sacred beliefs. If his sentence is upheld, he will serve 11 years.

On September 8, Mizan News, the judiciary’s news agency, reported that Ayatollah Raeesi, the head of the judiciary, ordered that “some of the recent cases will be tried fairly at the appeals level.” It appears that the order was communicated with regards to the conviction of the labor activists, but the judiciary has not shared any more details.

Earlier this year, on March 11, authorities sentenced Nasrin Sotudeh, a prominent human rights lawyer to 33 years in prison and 148 lashes for her peaceful activism including defending women who protested compulsory hijab laws. On April 23, the court of appeal upheld the sentence. Sotoudeh, who has been detained since June 2018, has to serve 12 years in prison.

Iran’s labor law does not recognize the right to create labor unions independent of government-sanctioned groups such as the Islamic Labor Council. Since 2005, authorities have repeatedly harassed, summoned, arrested, convicted, and sentenced workers affiliated with independent trade unions.

Article 22 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) and Article 8 of the International Covenant on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights (ICESCR) protect the right to form and join labor unions. Iran is a party to both treaties. Iran is also a member of the International Labour Organization (ILO).

For more Human Rights Watch reporting on Iran, please visit:

For more information, please contact:
In Washington, DC, Tara Sepehri Far (English, Farsi): +1-617-893-0375 (mobile); or Twitter: @sepehrifar
In New York, Michael Page (English, Arabic): +1-617-453-8063 (WhatsApp/Signal); or Twitter: @MichaelARPage
In North Africa, Ahmed Benchemsi (English, French, Arabic): + 212-664-82-06-93 (mobile); or Twitter: @AhmedBenchemsi


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