Archiv für den Monat Juni 2011

Statement from Austrian Foreign Ministry: Stop the violence against women in the Middle East

Original in German | Source in English

Plassnik: Stop the violence against women in the Middle East!
Special Envoy on the latest form of violence against women in Libya, Egypt and Iran

Vienna, 9 June 2011 – As far as the public at the international level is concerned, there has been great progress and a profound paradigm shift in recent years with regard to the topic of violence against women in conflict situations. A statute of the International Criminal Court, for instance, condemns the systematic deployment of rape and sexual violence as war crimes and crimes against humanity under international law.

“With this in mind, the latest cases of structural violence against women in our southern neighbourhood and in the Middle East are even more upsetting,” said Ursula Plassnik, Special Envoy for International Women’s Issues at the Foreign Ministry, at a press conference today.

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Amnesty Alert: Woman detained for human rights activism


UA: 196/11 Index: MDE 13/063/2011 Iran Date: 23 June 2011 Date: 23 June 2011



Iranian human rights activist, Mansoureh Behkish , was arrested on 12 June 2011. She is a member of the  Mourning Mothers  group , which campaigns against human rights violation ssuch as unlawful killings, arbitrary arrests, torture, and enforced disappearances She is at risk of torture or other ill-treatment.

Mansoureh Behkish, 54, was arrested by men believed to belong to the Ministry of Intelligence when they recognised her in a street in Tehran, at 8pm on 12 June 2011. She is now held in Section 209 of Evin Prison. She was able to make a short phone call to her mother two or three days after her arrest and again on 20 June, but could not talk about the conditions of her detention. Mansoureh Behkish suffers from a neurodegenerative disease called diffuse myelinoclastic sclerosis, or sometimes referred to as “Schilder’s disease”.

The ‘Mourning Mothers’ group mainly comprises women whose children have been killed, disappeared or detained in post-election violence in Iran since June 2009, but it quickly grew to include relatives of other victims of human rights violations and their supporters. Mansoureh Behkish has lost several members of her family who were executed in the 1980s; since then she has been an activist and has been detained several times before.

Mansoureh Behkish was among 33 women from the ‘Mourning Mothers’ group arrested during their weekly meeting in Laleh Park, Tehran, on 9 January 2010 and held for several days. On 17 March 2010, she was prevented from travelling to Italy to visit her children and her passport was confiscated. She remains banned from travel abroad.

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Eye on Iran – 29.Juni 2011

Top Stories

AFP: „Iran has carried out secret tests of missiles capable of delivering a nuclear payload in breach of UN resolutions, British Foreign Secretary William Hague said Wednesday. Hague’s comments came a day after Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guards said they had fired 14 missiles in an exercise, one of them a medium-range weapon capable of striking Israel or US targets in the Gulf. In a statement to lawmakers, Hague said: ‚Iran has also been carrying out covert ballistic missile tests and rocket launches, including testing missiles capable of delivering a nuclear payload in contravention of UN resolution 1929.‘ He said Iran had also announced plans to triple its capacity to produce 20 percent enriched uranium, adding: ‚These are enrichment levels far greater than is needed for peaceful nuclear energy. We will maintain and continue to increase pressure on Iran to negotiate an agreement on their nuclear programme,‘ including sanctions, he said. On Tuesday US State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said Iran was ‚bragging‘ about its assets, but did not specify whether Washington thought the tested missiles were nuclear-capable.“

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The Latest from Iran (28 June): Towards the Next Elections

1810 GMT: Khamenei’s Balancing Act? More on the statement of the Supreme Leader’s representative to the Revolutionary Guards, Mojtaba Zolnour (see 1435 GMT)….

While defending Ayatollah Khamenei’s support of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in the 2009 election, Zolnour said that the „nezam“ (system) was interrogating elements of the „deviant current“.

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Iran News Round Up – 28.Juni 2011

Mashaei accused of connection with Britain’s MI6; Iran test-fires 14 missiles, cites Israel, American bases in region as potential targets

  • Presidential Crisis:
    • Sobh-e Sadeq accuses Esfandiar Rahim-Mashaei of being connected to the British MI6.
    • According to Mashreq, Mashaei’s absence from the political scene does not mean he has resigned from politics, but is a sign of his behind the scenes machinations.
    • According to Haft-e Sobh, close to Ahmadineajd, a number of Revolutionary Guards commanders close to Tehran Mayor Mohammad-Baqer Qalibaf have resigned from their positions in order to run for parliament.
  • According to Sobh-e Sadeq, Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei had told the translator of a novel by Akram Osman, an Afghan author based in Norway, that he had read Osman’s book, which came as a surprise to the translator since the book had not yet been released in Iran.

“I Saw Prison Abuse,” Says Mohammad Nourizad


In an interview with the International Campaign with Human Rights in Iran, Mohammad Nourizad, a filmmaker, journalist and prisoner of conscience currently on furlough, provided details about his own case as well as the abuse of other prisoners. “I saw a young man who had been beaten, his lips were torn, and he had been slapped in the face numerous times. I believe what Hamzeh Karami and Abdollah Momeni said [about prison abuse] was accurate. They were badly tortured.” In separate letters from prison, political prisoners Hamzeh Karami and Abdollah Momenireported being  abused and tortured.

Eye on Iran – 27.Juni 2011

Top Stories

NYT: „Iran unveiled underground silos on Monday that would make its missiles less vulnerable to attack, marking the country’s latest show of force in the long standoff with the West over its nuclear program. State television broadcast images of an unspecified number of silos deep underground, saying they held medium- and long-range missiles ready to hit distant targets. Subterranean silos are considered harder to destroy than surface installations, and Iran hailed them as a defensive asset meant to thwart attackers. Col. Asghar Qelichkhani said the silos ‚function as a swift-reaction unit.‘ State TV quoted him as saying that the missiles were permanently in the vertical position and ‚ready to hit the predetermined targets.‘ The silos were presented as Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guards began 10 days of military exercises.“

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Die Grünen: Maryam Majd und Mahnaz Mohammadi müssen umgehend freigelassen werden

Zur Verhaftung der iranischen Fotografin Maryam Majd vor der Ausreise
zur Frauenfußball-WM und zur Verhaftung der Dokumentarfilmerin Mahnaz
Mohammadi erklärt Claudia Roth, Bundesvorsitzende von
BÜNDNIS 90/DIE GRÜNEN und Mitglied des Kuratoriums der Frauenfußball-WM:
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Griechenland: Zustände wie bei Zeus…..die Leiden der Flüchtlinge (ARD/Fakt)

Beitrag des ARD-Magazins ‚FAKT‘ vom 27. Juni 2011:

Flucht mit Hindernissen

Griechenland ist für viele Flüchtlinge aus Afrika oder Asien erste Anlaufstelle in Europa. Doch wegen der schlechten Lebensbedingungen wollen viele weiter Richtung Westen.

Dauer des Videos: 8:06 min.



Iran News Round Up – 27. Juni 2011

Lawmakers debate whether to summon Ahmadinejad to parliament for questioning; Judiciary hints arrest of more Ahmadinejad supporters; Iran purchases 78 AN-148 planes from Ukraine; Iran boosts oil and gas exploration operations

  • Presidential crisis:
  • About 100 parliamentarians had called for questioning Ahmadinejad in a parliamentary session, which could result in impeaching the president. But the parliamentary board stresses that the move is not „expedient“.
  • Judiciary Spokesman Hojjat al-Eslam Gholam-Hossein Mohseni Ezhehi says „arrest of other government officials [from the Ahmadinejad camp] may occur.“
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