Archiv für den Tag 25. August 2011

Iran News Round Up (August 25)

Prominent religious praise singer Arzi calls for Mashaei to be killed; Ahmadinejad government plans to submit formal complaint against Arzi; Ahmadinejad receives Emir of Qatar; Basij chief pledges to ‘organize 2020 Olympics in liberated Palestine’; Iran’s deputy oil minister says petrochemicals industry in need of $50 billion investment


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The Latest from Iran (25 August): Does Tehran Face an Oil Crisis?

1625 GMT: Clerical Intervention. Grand Ayatollah Sane’i has spoken about the damage caused by „lying to spread alarm in the community„.

1315 GMT: Economy Watch. Parliament’s Research Centre has said that President Ahmadinejad’s „promise of lower prices was a lie„.

1235 GMT: Elections Watch. Mohammad Hashemi Rafsanjani, brother of former President Hashemi Rafsanjani, has said that the Kargozaran Party — fostered by Rafsanjani in the 1990s — does not intend to participate in March’s Parliamentary elections and that news reports to the contrary are false.

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Bahrain (and Iran) Feature: Nokia Siemens Accused — Again — of Assisting Regime Detention and Abuse

Some background to this story from Vernon Elgin and Ben Silver at Bloomberg….

Amidst the regime crackdown after the disputed 2009 Presidential election in Iran, the telecommunications giant Nokia Siemens was accused of providing the regime with surveillance technology which allowed it to track and dissidents. Last year, a lawsuit was filed by Mehdi Saharkhiz on behalf of his father, imprisoned journalist Isa Saharkhiz.

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Eye on Iran: Europe Accuses Iranian Force of Aiding Syrian Crackdown

Top Stories

NYT: „The European Union announced on Wednesday that it was leveling sanctions against Iran’s Al Quds military force, saying it had given technical and material support to President Bashar al-Assad of Syria in his efforts to crush the five-month-old uprising against his rule. The move adds the European Union’s imprimatur to charges that Iran has aided Mr. Assad in carrying out a brutal crackdown of pro-democracy activists that the United Nations says has killed 2,200 people since March. There was no immediate reaction from the Syrian or the Iranian governments about the sanctions, which are the first to single out Iran in connection with the Syrian uprising. The decision was welcomed by activists in Damascus, Syria, who have refused to back down in the face of the crackdown. ‚The sanctions are great and very needed,‘ said an opposition figure from Damascus who insisted on anonymity for fear of reprisal. ‚But I don’t know how much they will help us on the ground to get rid of this regime. It is going to be a long battle.‘ The European Union said in a statement published in its official journal that Al Quds, an elite unit of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps, ‚provided technical assistance, equipment and support to the Syrian security services to repress civilian protest movements.'“
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Hila Sedighi – Popular Young Poet Sentenced To Prison








On Tuesday, 16 August, Branch 26 of the Revolutionary Court, presided by Judge Pirabbasi, sentenced Hila Sedighi, a young poet whose critical and political poems are admired by many, to 4 months in prison, to be postponed for five years. A day before her court appearance, she wrote on her Facebook page: “Revolutionary Court, I, [my] heart’s belief, the Judge, accusations, the onlooking God, and your well-wishing prayers…”

The young poet who was active in Mir Hossein Mousavi’s 2009 presidential election campaign was summoned to the Intelligence Ministry after the elections unrest in December 2010, and was questioned 10 to 12 hours daily. After her interrogations, she wrote on her Facebook page that she would prefer to remain silent and wait for her court to convene.

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Death Penalty, The Ultimate Punishment (+Farsi)

Death Penalty, The Ultimate Punishment (Farsi)

Author: Amnesty International
Published: February 16, 2011
Type: Booklet

Every day, prisoners – men, women, even children – face execution. Whatever their crime, whether they are guilty or innocent, their lives are claimed by a system of justice that values retribution over rehabilitation.

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International Bill of Human Rights

Working with the United Nations Human Rights Programme , A Handbook for Civil Society

Author: Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights
Published: December 10, 2008
Type: Booklet

The Story of Human Rights

Author: G. Robertson
Publisher: New York Press
Published: 1999
Type: Book chapter


„Establish the Rights of Man; enthrone equality… let there be no privileges, no distinctions of birth, no monopolies; make safe the liberty of industry and trade, the equal distribution of family inheritances.“

Thomas Paine[1]


Any system of law – including the first written Hammurabi code, several thousand years before Christ – inferentially confers „rights“ on the citizens to whom it applies, at least in the negative and residual sense of entitling them to behave in any manner which it does not specifically prohibit. The ancient code of the Greek city states and of imperial Rome conferred such „rights“, but went on to bestow positive powers on certain classes of citizens, over and distinct from other classes. Religions, similarly, enforced within theocratic communities rules and taboos from which positive entitlements might be deduced. Christianity goes further and applies its rules to all living persons, irrespective of status or nationality: from the commandment „Thou shalt not steal“, for example, one might infer a moral right for everybody to enjoy private property. But the closest the lawyers of the ancient world came to the idea that some special rights were universal was in the Roman concept of jus gentium, those rules which they discovered to be common to all civilized societies, and which might therefore be catalogued specially as a kind of international law. Laws were thus categorized, not because of their intrinsic or self-evident merit or validity, but simply because they were in service in every civilized society.

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Terror in Buenos Aires : The Islamic Republic’s Forgotten Crime Against Humanity

Author: Abdorrahman Boroumand Foundation
Publisher: Abdorrahman Boroumand Foundation
Published: July 18, 2009
Type: Report 


Executive Summary

On July 18, 1994, a van carrying 275 kilograms of explosives rammed into and detonated at the headquarters of theAsociación Mutual Israelita Argentina („AMIA“) in Buenos Aires, Argentina. The blast demolished the building and surrounding areas, killing 85 people who were inside the building or walking nearby. 151 others were injured. AMIA, a Jewish mutual aid society, was at the heart of Jewish life in Buenos Aires, and the bombing marked the single largest attack on Jewish civilians since 1945. The bombing was not just a terrible act of murder or terrorism; it was a crime against humanity under international law. First utilized against German and Japanese military and political officials at the Nuremberg and Tokyo trials that followed World War II, crimes against humanity has become an essential element of the global fight against human rights atrocities. The concept is particularly valuable in a case which does not rise to the level of genocide or is not conducted in wartime, but whose systematic nature distinguishes it from a random or isolated act of brutality. The AMIA bombing was exactly such a case, with the resources and security apparatus of a powerful state engaged in the methodical killing of dozens of innocent civilians.

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The Massacre of Political Prisoners in Iran, 1988, Report Of An Inquiry

Author: Geoffrey Robertson
Publisher: Abdorrahman Boroumand Foundation
Published: April 18, 2011
Type: Report




Late in July 1988, as the war with Iraq was ending in a truculent truce, prisons in Iran crammed with government opponents suddenly went into lockdown. All family visits were cancelled, televisions and radios switched off and newspapers discontinued; prisoners were kept in their cells, disallowed exercise or trips to the infirmary. The only permitted visitation was from a delegation, turbaned and bearded, which came in black government BMWs or by helicopter to outlying jails: a religious judge, a public prosecutor, and an intelligence chief. Before them were paraded, briefly and individually, almost every prisoner (and there were thousands of them) who had been jailed for adherence to the Mojahedin Khalq Organisation – the MKO. This was a movement which had taken its politics from Karl Marx, its theology from Islam, and its guerrilla tactics from Che Guevara: it had fought the Shah and supported the Revolution that brought Ayatollah Khomeini to power, but later broke with his theocratic state and took up arms against it, in support (or so it now says) of democracy. The delegation had but one question for these young men and women (most of them detained since 1981 merely for taking part in street protests or possession of „political‘ reading material), and although they did not know it, on the answer their life would depend. Those who by that answer evinced any continuing affiliation with the Mojahedin were blindfolded and ordered to join a conga-line that led straight to the gallows. They were hung from cranes, four at a time, or in groups of six from ropes hanging from the front of the stage in an assembly hall; some were taken to army barracks at night, directed to make their wills and then shot by firing squad. Their bodies were doused with disinfectant, packed in refrigerated trucks and buried by night in mass graves. Months later their families, desperate for information about their children or their partners, would be handed a plastic bag with their few possessions. They would be refused any information about the location of the graves and ordered never to mourn them in public. By mid-August 1988, thousands of prisoners had been killed in this manner by the state – without trial, without appeal and utterly without mercy.

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