Archiv für den Tag 26. Juli 2014

WP| Iran confirms arrest of Post correspondent

The Washington Post Iranian-American journalist Jason Rezaian, right, and his Iranian wife Yeganeh Salehi, who works for the UAE newspaper National, during a foreign ministry spokeswoman weekly press conference in Tehran, Iran, 10 September 2013. (Stringer/EPA)
Iran confirmed Friday that The Washington Post’s correspondent in Tehran has been arrested on unspecified charges.

Gholam-Hossein Esmaili, director general of the Tehran Province Justice Department, told reporters that the “Washington Post journalist has been detained for some questions and after technical investigations, the judiciary will provide details on the issue,” the official Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA) reported.

“Iranian security forces are vigilant towards all kind of enemies’ activities, the official added,” IRNA said without elaborating. The brief report did not mention The Post’s correspondent, Jason Rezaian, by name.

Rezaian, 38, a U.S.-Iranian dual national; his Iranian wife, Yeganeh Salehi; and two other U.S. citizens whose identities have not been disclosed appeared to have been detained this week in Tehran, U.S. officials and The Post said Thursday.

Speaking to reporters on the sidelines of annual “Quds Day” rallies, held to express solidarity with Palestinians and oppose Israeli control of Jerusalem, Esmaili shed no light on what prompted the arrests. He went on to denounce”the Zionist regime’s recent crimes in Gaza,” called for the trial of Israeli leaders in international courts and said that “the silence of certain international bodies and states towards Zionist crimes against Palestinians is shameful,” IRNA reported. It was unclear whether those grievances had anything to do with the arrests.

Jason Rezaian, a Washington Post reporter, at the newspaper in Washington. (Zoeann Murphy/AP)

Washington Post foreign editor Douglas Jehl said the newspaper received “credible reports” that Rezaian and Salehi were detained Tuesday evening. It was unclear who detained them.

“We are deeply troubled by this news and are concerned for the welfare of Jason, Yeganeh and two others said to have been detained with them,” Jehl said in a statement.

Jehl said that Rezaian, who has been The Post’s correspondent in Tehran since 2012, “is an experienced, knowledgeable reporter who deserves protection and whose work merits respect.”


Iran Headlines: Quds Day Rallies, Italian Investment, Jason Rezaian

Shiites hold a portrait of Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei in a parade in Baghdad, Iraq.QUDS DAY RALLIES

During a Quds Day rally in Tehran, Sadegh Larijani, head of Iran’s Judiciary was quoted by Alef News as saying, “Countries that have remained silent in the face of such Zionist atrocities, and defend this inhumane regime, are partners in crime with the Zionists.

Mehr News Agency reported that during Friday prayers in Mashaad, prayer leader Ayatollah Ahmad Alam al-Hoda called Israel a “cancerous tumor,” and that “Quds Day rallies around the world have frustrated Israel.”

Fars News Agency quoted Gholam Ali Haddad-Adel, parliamentarian and an adviser to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei during a Quds Day rally in Palestine Square in Tehran as saying, “Those who chanted the slogan ‘Neither Gaza nor Lebanon, my life for Iran,’ (during the post-2009 election protests) were inhumane.”

ISNA published photos of President Hassan Rouhani, and the Head of Iran’s Expediency Council Ayatollah Hashemi Rafsanjani participating in Quds Day rallies in Tehran today,

Mehr News Agency published a set of photos of Iranian actors and actresses that participated in Quds Day rallies in Tehran as a group.

Fars News Agency published a set of photos of former president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad as well as a number of other top government officials.


On the sidelines of Quds Day rallies in Tehran, ISNA quoted Ali Akbar Salehi, head of Iran’s Atomic Energy Agency as saying, “The Supreme Leader’s red lines are clear, and the nuclear negotiating team is working within the framework that has been determined by him.”

A hard line Raja News editorial argues that Ali Akbar Velayati, a senior adviser to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei continues to make contradicting statements regarding the ongoing nuclear negotiations. According to the writer, Velayati has on a number of occasions criticized and questioned the performance of Iran’s former nuclear negotiator Saeed Jalili, “but yet continues putting all his efforts towards supporting and defending Iran’s new negotiating team.”


On the sidelines of a Tehran Quds Day rally, Tehran chief justice of the Judiciary Gholamhossein Esmaili confirmed the arrest of Washington Post correspondent Jason Rezaian and his wife, and said their case “is still in the preliminary stages.” He added, “The security forces have the whole country under surveillance and are well aware of the enemies movements. They won’t allow our country to be used by the enemy and their agents.“


Mehr News Agency reported that President Rouhani’s chief of staff, Mohammad Nahavandian said, “Tehran and Rome are determined to develop economic cooperation and trade,” and that “of all the European countries, Italy will be the first trading partner of Iran.”  Nahavandian added that the economic climate in Iran had to improve “to create a calm business atmosphere so that diplomatic activities and foreign investors will both return to Iran.”

According to Fars News Agency while meeting with an Italian economic delegation, Valiallah Afkhami Rad, Iran’s deputy minister of Industry, Mine and Commerce said, “Iran is ready for Italians to invest in Iran’s automotive industry by offering tax breaks, entry visas, as well as other incentives.”


According to Mehr News Agency Massoud Soltanifar, the deputy head of Iran’s Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts and Tourism Organization announced that his organization is working with Iran’s foreign ministryto extend Iran’s tourist visa from two weeks to up to a month.   

Khabar Online published the ten duties that city municipalities across Iran must undertake in order to promote the female hejab and modesty.


Mojtaba Khamenei, son of the Supreme Leader, and Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammed Javad Zarif attend Friday prayers at Tehran University.

The Assyrian Evangelical Church in Tehran held a service condemning “terrorist crimes and atrocities in Iraq, Gaza, and Syria.”

Construction on the Mehr housing project in Tabriz began years ago under former president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and remains unfinished, and plagued with problems.

Source: Hanif Zarrabi-Kashani – Research Assistant, Center for Middle East Policy

Complaints expose abuse in Iranian schools

Iranian schoolgirls in a Tehran classroom, Nov. 29, 2008.  (photo by REUTERS/Morteza Nikoubazl)

The emergence of a series of horrifying stories about minors being sexually and physically abused by their teachers or headmasters in schools and kindergartens has once again raised public concerns about students’ security in Iranian schools, where the education system has Islamic underpinnings.

“Our son is an elementary school student. A few days ago, we realized that his behavior had changed, and we became suspicious,” read anofficial complaint filed by the parents of a young student against the headmaster of an elementary school in west Tehran. “After speaking with our son, we realized that he has been harassed by the headmaster at school.” Following these events, a warrant was issued, and the 33-year-old headmaster was arrested on May 9. The Mehr News Agency reported on his trial.

Monika Naadi, a member of the legal committee of the Society for Protecting Children’s Rights told the newspaper Shahrvand: “We have spoken to some of these kids. They say that they have seen some of their classmates being sexually assaulted by the headmaster. However, since they did not know what he was doing, they assumed that he was disciplining their classmate.”

Only a few weeks after the story appeared about the headmaster, whose name was not been released, Iranian publications ran a story about a gym teacher who had assaulted at least 14 of his students, who were 13 to 17 years old. According to a report published by Shargh, “The investigator in charge of this case found that the young students were not only beaten, but also sexually assaulted by their gym teacher. He had forced some of the students to stand naked in front of him so he could take pictures of them.”

It’s unknown how many cases similar to these are taking place in Iran. Many children are unaware of what sexual abuse is.

Shirzad Abdollahi, an education expert, told Al-Monitor: “In the educational system, there are no educational or supervisory mechanisms preventing sexual harassment. The educational system has regulations that prohibit physical punishment, but there is no mention of sexual harassment.”

Abollahi said that in many cases, parents do not file a complaint because the children are too scared to say anything to them. Even if the parents do learn of an incident involving their child, they may feel compelled to “sweep it under the rug to save face,” due to societal concerns and taboos associated with victims of sexual abuse. Abollahi also said that given the difficulty of proving such cases in court, because of the bureaucratic culture of “school staff usually supporting each other,” many parents are deterred from taking the risk.

There is also the culture of media censorship of the issue. The website Tabnak reported that security officials in the Ministry of Education had promised to help the parents of abused students in exchange for their not notifying the press about the incidents.

Deputy Minister of Education Hamidreza Kaffash is also supportive of media staying out of this issue. During an interview with Shahrvand, he harshly criticized the media for covering the issue, stating: “In the West, there are five cases of sexual harassment every day, but no one hears about them. Our country is, after all, an Islamic country.” He then asked, “Where is our national sensibility?”

Abdollahi said that part of the problem with addressing these issues is that the views of the Ministry of Education toward sexual abuse are regressive and “behind the rest of the society.” She said that a quick survey of the ministry’s websites and publications clearly shows that they are only interested in news stories portraying the ministry in a positive light.

The third case of abuse that made headlines involved the physical assault of a small child. A video posted on YouTube shows a kindergarten teacher pinning a young boy on the floor under her legs. She is seen force feeding him while holding his nose and periodically jamming the spoon into his mouth. In the secretly recorded video, other children can be seen running around and playing. The teacher then strikes the child several times on his head and torso before pulling him up by his hair and throwing him outside the camera’s range. After the child’s family lodged a complaint against the teacher, she was arrested and the kindergarten closed.

Of course, this wasn’t the first time a video of physical abuse has been posted online. The age of the child and the violence touched a nerve among many Iranians. Benyamin, a 28-year-old philosophy graduate, has seen the video. He told Al-Monitor that he had suffered from physical and psychological abuse.

“Myself and another student were taken to a room to be punished for something we had done earlier. The room was full of kids, and our teacher told the other kids to undress us,” Benyamin said. “I was so frightened by the idea of other kids undressing me that I started undressing myself. After that, our teacher scolded us for taking off our clothes. It was only then that I realized she was not really going to let the other kids undress us. She was planning to stop them if they approached us and tell them that it is wrong to undress other people.”

He said the entire ordeal and the lesson the teacher was trying to teach caused him terrible anxiety, which he carries to this day, although he said he was never sexually assaulted by a teacher or headmaster. Nonetheless, Benyamin and other students who spoke to Al-Monitor said that many of them have heard of rapes and sexual assaults in boys’ schools. They all said that the issue of the sexual abuse of minors was never been properly discussed in Iran.

Unfortunately, the emergence of sexual abuse cases involving school officials has not prompted a discussion of the issue on social media or the press. Kaffash said that the Ministry of Education plans to implement sexual education courses for teachers, but only for those who are married. Some believe that sex education for unmarried individuals would be controversial in that it could lead to sexual corruption. Critics such as Abdollahi contend that even this measure will not be addressed by the school system.

Source: al-monitor

PEN Deutschland| Iran: Journalistin an unbekanntem Ort festgehalten; Sorge um ihre Sicherheit

Die Journalistin Saba Azarpeik, die seit dem 28. Mai 2014 festgehalten wird, erschien am 21. und 22. Juli zu ihrer Gerichtsverhandlung und befand sich Berichten zufolge in schlechter physischer und psychischer Verfassung. Deshalb gibt es ernsthafte Sorgen um ihre Sicherheit. Der internationale PEN ruft zu ihrer sofortigen und bedingungslosen Freilassung auf. Außerdem fordert er die Freilassung aller Schriftsteller, die momentan im Iran einzig wegen der friedlichen Ausübung ihres Rechts auf Meinungsfreiheit inhaftiert sind.

Saba Azarpeik. Quelle: PEN International









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Bitte senden Sie Beschwerden:

  • Drücken Sie ihre ernstliche Sorge um das Wohlergehen und die Sicherheit der Journalistin Saba Azarpeik aus, die an einem unbekannten Ort festgehalten wird und dem Risiko von Folterungen und anderen Misshandlungen ausgesetzt ist;
  • Fordern Sie den direkten Kontakt zu ihrer Familie und einem Anwalt sowie die Sicherstellung einer notwendigen medizinischen Versorgung;
  • Rufen Sie zu ihrer sofortigen und unmittelbaren Freilassung auf und zu der Freilassung aller momentan ähnlich inhaftierten Schriftsteller im Iran, die im Zusammenhang mit der friedlichen Ausübung ihres Rechts auf Meinungs- und Versammlungsfreiheit inhaftiert sind. Machen Sie auf Artikel 19 des internationalen Pakts bürgerlicher und politischer Rechte aufmerksam, dem der Iran als Unterzeichner angehört (cm/sf).

Schreiben Sie an:

S.E. den Botschafter der Islamischen Republik Iran
Herrn Ali Reza Sheikh Attar
Botschaft der Islamischen Republik Iran
Podbielskiallee 67
14195 Berlin

Leader of the Islamic Republic
Ayatollah Sayed ‘Ali Khamenei
The Office of the Supreme Leader
Islamic Republic Street — End of Shahid
Keshvar Doust Street,
Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran
Twitter: @khamenei_ir

Hintergrund (bereitgestellt vom internationalen PEN)

Saba Azarpeik, a leading independent journalist and political correspondent for the newspaperEtemaad and other reformist publications, has been detained at an undisclosed location since 28 May 2014, possibly in a detention centre in East Tehran. She was arrested during a raid on the office of the Tehran-based weekly Tejarat-e Farda, for which Azarpeik is a correspondent, but no formal charges against her have been made known.  Since her arrest, she has been allowed to contact her family on only one occasion.

On 21 and 22 July 2014 she appeared in Branch 26 of the Revolutionary court under Judge Moghiseh, and was said to be in a poor physical and psychological condition, having lost a lot of weight. There are reports that she has needed treatment for severe back pain.

According to her lawyer, the hearing this week is related to a separate case which he is not involved with. She is still believed to be under interrogation and held without charge in her current case. By law, if the two cases contain similar charges, they should be merged.

MP Ali Motaheri, in an interview with Iran Wire, said that according to his enquiries, it appeared Azarpeik was being held by the Office of the Prosecutor of the Media and Culture Court.

Prior to her arrest, Azarpeik had reportedly written a series of articles accusing the hardline movement of trying to undermine the government of President Hassan Rouhani. Azarpeik was particularly outspoken on her Facebook page, which has been taken offline since she was detained. She had also been very active in covering the case of Sattar Beheshti, a blogger whose death in custody at the hands of the cyber police in 2012 highlighted torture and detention conditions in Iran.

Azarpeik was previously arrested in January 2013 amid a wave of arrests of at least 20 reformist journalists between January and March 2013. She spent some weeks in Evin prison.

Well over 20 writers are currently detained in Iran for the peaceful expression of their opinions and recent weeks have seen several journalists and filmmakers arrested and/or imprisoned, including journalist Marzieh Rasouli, journalist Serajeddin Mirdamadi, filmmaker Mahnaz Mohammadi,11 staff members of Pat Shargh Govashir, a company that owns the popular Iranian technology news website Narenji and its sister sites, Nardebaan and Negahbaan, blogger Mehdi Khazali and journalist Reyhaneh Tabatabaei.


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