28 November 2009

Worst Human Rights Abuser in the World

Iranian regime

Comments in English
Warning: Graphic content!!

We all want to know who is responsible

- for the arrests, torture and killings

A collection of tweets from the last 24 hours by a Twitter activist.

  • Kianoush Asa's family has written to Parliaments's Fact Finding Commission requesting answers re his death. Kianoush participated in the mass peaceful protest of June 15. Eyewitness says he was shot once in his side. For nine days Kianoush's family tried to find his whereabouts. They contacted Evin and all possible places he could be. Kianoush's body had been turned over to coroner's office on 6/18. His family identified him on 6/24. The family says Kianoush had also been shot in his neck and his mouth was full of blood. Not only Kianoush's family wants to know, we all want to know, where was he shot again, and who shot him? We all want to know why while his body was at the coroners office, his family wasn't notified?
  • We all want to know who was responsible for so many murders and why have they not been arrested.
  • We all want to know why this regime continues to arrest journalists, students and activists.
  • We all want to know who tortured and killed Amir Javadifar in Kahrizak.
  • We all want to know who tortured and killed Mohsen Rooholamini in Kahrizak.
  • We all want to know who is responsible for the death of the Kahrizak doctor. His parents say he wasn't suicidal.
  • We all want to know why a death sentence was given to a 27 year old kurdish activist after a short trial.
  • We want you to know, regime, that life has value and is given to us by God and that you have no right to take it away so easily.

25 November 2009

Maziar Bahari: Witness

CBS, 60 minutes, November 22, 2009

Recently freed after four months of interrogation and torture in Evin prison, Iran, Newsweek reporter Maziar Bahari tells his story to Bob Simon, including his forced TV-confession, and videos from the post-election protest.

Link to CBS.news video

About the revolutionary guards:
"These guys are in charge of your life, and they are stupid!"

22 November 2009

Maziar Bahari explains his detention in Evin prison

- with Fareed Zakari on GPS (CNN)

CNN interview with Maziar Bahari who spent 118 days in Evin prison, in solitary confinement:

Part 1:

Part 2:

Also read Bahari’s article in Newsweek

118 Days, 12 Hours, 54 Minutes

- in Evin prison

On June 21, reporter Maziar Bahari was rousted out of bed and taken to Tehran's notorious Evin prison—accused of being a spy for the CIA, MI6, Mossad…and NEWSWEEK. This is the story of his captivity—and of an Iran whose rampant paranoia underpins an ever more fractured regime.

"Evin Prison, June 21, 2009 (around 10 a.m.)
The interrogator sat me in a wooden chair. It had a writing arm, like the chair I'd had in primary school. He ordered me to look down, even though I was already blindfolded: "Never look up, Mr. Bahari. While you are here—and we don't know how long you're going to be here—never look up." All I could see from under the blindfold was the interrogator's black leather slippers. They worried me. He had settled in for a long session."

Read his story about his Iranian captivity in Newsweek.

A letter from a bahai’ prisoner

Haleh Rouhi (English + farsi)

In May 2006, a group of over 80 dedicated individuals were arrested in and around the city of Shiraz. They were involved in a teaching project benefiting underprivileged children of several neighborhoods. The volunteers taught the children basic personal hygiene, moral principles and kind ways to interact with others, including parents and siblings. At first children came only slowly to the volunteers, some with their pocket knives ready! Their attitude soon changed. They even started getting up early on the days of their class to tidy the open field, clearing away the garbage and debris, sprinkling water to reduce the dust in their gathering area and generally preparing the field for their class.
The volunteers had obtained permission from the Islamic authorities of the city to conduct their activities. Muslim members of the group were immediately released. However, 54 Bahais were detained for a few days, but later released on bail. In August 2007, these Bahais were tried by Branch 1 of the Revolutionary Court. They were charged with offences relating to state security.
Three of them, namely, Raha Sabet, Haleh Rouhi and Sasan Taqva, were sentenced to four years imprisonment for organizing illegal groups and propaganda on behalf of groups that are opposed to the Islamic regime. The other Bahais in the group received a one year suspended sentence provided they participate in a three year Islamic studies course, much of which consists of anti-Bahai propaganda, to which students are not allowed to respond.The essay below is written by Haleh Rouhi, one of the three Bahais sentenced to 4 years of imprisonment.

Mohammad Ali Abtahi was released this morning

- on a $700.000 dollar bail

Former Vice President Mohammad Ali Abtahi was released this morning on a $700.000 bail (about €470.000 or £425.000) after 160 days in prison. This is not a permanent release. He now has 20 days to submit his appeal, and may still face six years in prison.

"Mohammad Ali Abtahi is the most senior reformer to face imprisonment following the disputed presidential election in June. Abtahi was vice president for parliamentary and legal affairs during the 1997-2005 presidency of Mohammad Khatami.
Abtahi made televised confessions after his arrest in which he admitted provoking people to riot. His family and fellow reformers said the confessions were obtained under duress. Abtahi was a top adviser to pro-reform cleric Mehdi Karoubi, who finished fourth in the presidential elections." (Guardian UK)

This is the first picture taken of Abtahi after his release:

Abtahi has also posted on his blog. http://webneveshteha.ir/ He says he will soon return to updating the blog on a daily basis and thanked everyone for their support.
But as soon as he had updated his blog it was hacked.

This afternooen he also received a vist from former president Mohammad Khatami.



All this money! 425.000 pounds! In which pockets do they end up?

21 November 2009

Worldwide Video Messages of Support for Iranian Students

We are countless!!

Nazanin Afshin-Jam on Human Rights in Iran

From HumanRightsUN on YouTube

Nazanin Afshin-Jam, co-founder and President of Stop Child Execution, speaks at the UN Watch event on the current human rights situation in Iran. 12th Regular Session of the U.N. Human Rights Council, Geneva, September 15, 2009.

Please watch and listen!!

Part 1:

Part 2:

Mohammad Ali Abtahi sentenced to six years in prison

According to english.mowjcamp.com:

(Quoting full article)

Iran’s former vice-president Mohammad Ali Abtahi has been sentenced to 6 years in prison.

In an interview with ayandenews website, the daughter of Iran’s former Vice
-president has denied previous reports about her father’s release. Fatemeh Sadat Abtahi told ayandenews that this morning, Mr Abtahi had gone back to his house accompanied by 5 individuals who conducted a search of the house and then went to court afterwards where he was informed that he would be facing a six year prison sentence for his alleged role in the aftermath of the rigged elections in June.

Following the court appearance, Abtahi was then moved back into the notorious Evin Prison where he has been held since mid-June when he was arrested. Mr Abtahi’s lawyer hopes to secure his client’s release on bail tomorrow.

Abtahi was one of the well-known political figures who were forced to make false confessions in the first round of show trials that were held following the election turmoil.

The senior reformist politician is being investigated for charges that include acting against internal security, advertising against the Islamic Republic of Iran, insulting the President, disrupting public order by taking part in illegal gatherings and withholding classified documents.

Update 22 November:

The news about Abtahi’s sentence was reported by several news agencies today:

8 November 2009

Update on Mohammad Ali Abtahi

Still in prison despite TV-confession

Mohammad Ali Abtahi has not been released from prison despite giving a televised confession. Abtahi, a cleric, was one of Iran's most prominent political bloggers. He was also a member of Assoc. of Combatant Clergy, and a senior adviser to Karroubi and Khatami. Before his TV confession (in August), Abtahi had been fed false news, for example with fake newspapers. But he has since been able to get a clearer picture of developments in the country. He is now resisting interrogators and refusing to update his blog with info fed by the regime. It is reported that this is the reason for his continued detention. The regime also fears he will say he confessed and posted on his blog under duress if he is freed.

By @homylafayette on Twitter 6 November

Mehdi Karroubi on the 13 Aban protests

- and the current political situation

13 Aban - or 4 November - is the annual commemoration day of the takeover of the American Embassy in 1979. The green movement had long planned to hit the streets on this day, and they were met with brutality, violence, tear gas and arrests.

In this video Mehdi Karroubi, one of the opposition leaders, tells of his own experience trying to take part in the protests and comments on the current situation in general. He ends his comments with these words directed at the Iranian regime:

“I feel that these policies would create problems for the situation of our people, and it looks like the government is lost and does not know what to do. And I understand this to be my responsibility to clarify things even if they bring repercussions, for which I do not care. This dual policy is going to erode people’s trust and tomorrow, they will not believe our words. They should not.”

The video has English subtitles

Link to full English translation (Enduring America blog)

5 November 2009

The opposition movement is very much alive

4 November: Iran continues to stand firm against the forces of dictatorship

This video was made by two Twitter activists.

4 November 2009

BBC Newsnight report on the protests 4 November

The opposition movement is far from being crushed

After weeks of relative silence the protests flared up again all over Iran on 4 November. Hundreds of protesters were arrested or beaten up in the streets. The opposition movement is still very much alive!

From the video: The opposition leaders are following the crowd. They are not leading the people.

1 November 2009

Iran criticizes West for human rights violations

From: Iran's state television network, 31 October 2009

This is what Iran's state TV broadcasts when young protesters and political prisoners are tortured and killed in Iranian prisons. As one Twitter activist said: "
Want to get mad? Read this!!"

(The article is quoted in full. I’m sure they don’t mind.)

“Iran has criticized the US, Canada and the EU for human rights violations before the General Assembly's Third Committee at UN Headquarters in New York.

“Racial and religious prejudice have increased in the EU countries in the past few years,” IRNA quoted the Iranian delegation as saying on Friday.

“Muslims and religious minorities are verbally and physically attacked and are often barred from job opportunities,” the delegation added.

According to the Iranian delegation, Muslims are even deprived of performing their religious rituals in public places and are prevented from following the Islamic dress code.

The Iranians went on to say that police in the EU countries have "resorted to torture and violence which have been mentioned in various UN committees.”

The delegation also referred to the human rights violations in Canada, saying that native Canadians face "severe prejudice with a lower standard of living in comparison with others.”

“Native women are the victims of police violence and rape. They are kept in mixed prisons in which they are inevitably bothered by either their cellmates or prison staff,” they added.

Referring to cases of human rights violations in the United States, the Iranian delegation said “according to UN reports, ethnic minorities and residents who are originally from Africa or Latin America are the victims of prejudice and deprived of human rights.”

The Iranian delegation also touched upon Israeli atrocities committed against Palestinians and deplored Washington's unconditional support for Tel Aviv.

“The US government fully supports Israel's brutal actions, murders, tragic tortures and inhuman behavior against the Palestinians,” they concluded.”