Blog-Archive

Iran official says satellite jamming can cause cancer

An Iranian Sunni Kurd woman stands behind a satellite dish on her home’s rooftop at Palangan village in Kurdistan province, southwest of Tehran, May 11, 2011. (photo by REUTERS/Morteza Nikoubazl)

An official with Iran’s Department of Environment has said that jamming satellites can cause cancer and that the agency recommends eliminating jamming efforts by the Iranian government.

Saeed Motassadi, an official with the Department of Environment, said, “A committee was formed in cooperation between the Department of Environment and the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology to address the situation of jamming.” Motassadi told Islamic Republic News Agency, which is managed by the administration of President Hassan Rouhani, that the meetings reached the minister level and that resolutions have been approved.

“The topic of jamming causing cancer was studied many times, and the possibility exists of this illness coming about in individuals as a result from the effects of jamming,” Motassadi said.

Iran has longed jammed foreign satellite channels coming into Iran, particularly Persian-language news channels or ones that conservative authorities believe may influence the culture of younger Iranians in an un-Islamic direction.

Iran has faced sanctions for these jamming efforts and is now believed to be conducting “local jamming,” in which satellite dishes on the rooftops of private houses are targeted. Satellite dishes are ubiquitous inIran’s large cities such as Tehran and even in villages.

Motassadi said, “The recommendation of the Department of Environment is to completely eliminate jamming.” On the concern of conservatives, he said, “If actions are to be taken to confront the cultural invasion and protect detriment to the country, it is better to take other paths.” Motassadi did not say which “other paths” he meant, but in recent years, Iranian police have made efforts to collect and destroyrooftop satellite dishes. These efforts, which have been highly publicized in the media, have been largely ineffective.

According the Motassadi, the joint committee’s investigation is ongoing and will present its final results and solutions. However, he said that they needed more agencies involved.

Cancer is one of leading causes of death in Iran, and conflicting reports and statements have been made by various officials about the effects of jamming.

On Sept. 27, Mohammad Hossein Ghorbani, spokesman for the parliament’s health care committee, warned about the rise of cancer, saying it is “a serious alarm for the country.” He blamed a variety of factors for the increase in cancer cases, such as waste, poor gasoline quality, poor quality of food, poor inspection standards in automobiles and unhealthy water.

In February, Iran’s health minister, Dr. Seyyed Hassan Ghazizadeh Hashemi, announced a special committee to research the health effects of jamming. Dr. Hashemi said that the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology and the Atomic Energy Organization were a part of this committee. It is not clear whether this committee works with the Department of Environment.

In October 2012, the head of Sarem Cell Research Center said that jamming of satellite stations was causing an increase in miscarriages. The Health Ministry denied the claim.

In August 2012, the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology under President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad denied even knowing what body was conducting the jamming.

Source: AL-Monitor

Sozialgericht Lüneburg: Absenkung der Leistungen des AsylbLG unter keinem rechtlichen Gesichtspunkt zulässig

So lautet es im Beschluss vom 13.Dezember 2012 Sozialgericht Lüneburg – S 26 AY 26/12 ER-

Die Leistungen in der vom BVerfG ausgesprochenen Höhe entsprechen dem soziokulturellen Existenzminimum. Eine Unterschreitung dieses Existenzminimums verletzt den Antragsteller in seinen Grundrechten und insbesondere die in Artikel 1 GG garantierte Menschenwürde. Die Menschenwürde des Antragstellers ist gemäß Artikel 1 Absatz 1 Satz 1 GG unantastbar und darf durch staatliches Handeln nicht verletzt werden.

Für eine Absenkung der Leistungen des AsylbLG unter das vom BVerfG gebilligte Grundniveau existiert unter keinem rechtlichen Gesichtspunkt eine Rechtfertigung, die mit der Verfassung im Einklang stehen würde. Eine fehlende Mitwirkung bei der Passbeschaffung – wobei offen bleiben kann, ob sie vorliegend tatsächlich gegeben ist – kann in keinem Fall zum Anlass genommen werden, das Existenzminimum des Antragstellers zu beschneiden, um ein bestimmtes Verhalten zu erreichen bzw. zu erzwingen. Denn der Antragsgegner ist als staatliches Organ der Exekutive gemäß Artikel 20 Absatz 3 GG an die verfassungsmäßige Ordnung gebunden und daran gehindert, eine gesetzliche Regelung, soweit sie verfassungswidrig ist, umzusetzen. Dass das Unterschreiten des Existenzminimums nicht damit gerechtfertigt werden kann, dass der Betroffene nicht seinen ausländerrechtlichen Mitwirkungspflichten nachkommt, hat das SG Altenburg mit Beschluss vom 11. Oktober 2012 (S 21 AY 3362/12 ER) zutreffend erkannt und eine verfassungskonforme Auslegung vorgenommen. Eine andere Sichtweise würde zu der unerträglichen Folge führen, dass die Gewährung eines menschenwürdigen Existenzminimums als Druckmittel in die Dispositionsfreiheit des Leistungsträgers gestellt werden und der Betroffene somit zum Objekt staatlichen Handelns würde. Anders als im Falle von Sanktionen nach § 31 Sozialgesetzbuch Zweites Buch (SGB 11) – Grundsicherung für Arbeitssuchende – hat der Betroffene keinen Anspruch auf Erteilung von Wertgutscheinen, um zumindest den Grundbedarf an Nahrungsmitteln decken zu können. Zudem sieht die Gewährung gekürzter Leistungen keine Befristung vor und erscheint überdies im vorliegenden Sachverhalt als unverhältnismäßig, weil sie dauerhaft seit dem Jahre 2004 erfolgt.

HRW: Why They Left

Why They Left

Stories of Iranian Activists in Exile

Summary
Recommendations
Methodology
I. Background
  • The Rise of Civil Society in the Khatami Era
  • Targeting of Civil Society Activists During Ahmadinejad’s First Term..
  • Crackdown on Protest and Civil Society After the June 2009 Election
II. Attacks on Civil Society
  • The “Iran Proxy” Affair and Local Rights Groups
  • Minority Rights Activists
  • Women’s Rights Activists
  • Student Activists
  • Journalists and Bloggers
  • Human Rights Lawyers
III. Refugees’ Stories
  • Protesters
  • Minority Rights Activists
  • Student Activists
  • Journalists and Bloggers
  • Others
IV. Their Lives as Refugees
  • Turkey
  • Iraq (Iraqi Kurdistan)
  • Acknowledgments

Map of Iran

Summary

Security forces arrested Rebin Rahmani on November 19, 2006, in Kermanshah, the capital of the western Iranian province of the same name. He had been researching the prevalence of drug addiction and HIV infections in Iran’s Kurdish-majority areas. Rahmani spent two months in detention facilities run by the Intelligence Ministry, and was interrogated by intelligence agents in both Kermanshah and Sanandaj, the main city in the adjacent Iranian province of Kurdistan. During his time in detention, he was subjected to several rounds of interrogation accompanied by physical and psychological torture. In January 2007, a revolutionary court sentenced Rahmani to five years in prison on charges of “acting against national security” and “propaganda against the state.” The sentence was handed down after a 15-minute trial during which Rahmani had no access to a lawyer.

Upon his release from prison in the latter part 2008, Rahmani learned that he had been dismissed from university and could no longer continue his education. He became active with a local rights group, but was forced to leave the country in 2011 and apply for refugee status in Iraqi Kurdistan due to mounting pressure against him and his family.

Rahmani is one of scores of journalists, bloggers, human rights activists, and lawyers who have fled Iran since the government embarked on a major campaign of repression following the widespread popular demonstrations against alleged vote-rigging in the June 2009 presidential election, which handed a second term of office to President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. The government’s repression has involved a range of serious and intensifying human rights violations that include extra-judicial killings, torture, arbitrary arrest and detention, and widespread infringements of Iranians’ rights to freedom of assembly and expression.

This report gathers evidence of this campaign of repression from some of its principal victims: Iranian civil society activists. Because Human Rights Watch is unable to work in Iran, most of documentation presented in the report is based on interviews with activists like Rahmani who fled the country to seek refugee status in neighboring Turkey and Iraqi Kurdistan following the 2009 post-election crackdown. The report focuses on four groups: human rights activists, journalists and bloggers, human rights lawyers, and protesters or persons who volunteered for the presidential campaigns of opposition members Mir Hossein Mousavi and Mehdi Karroubi and were targeted by security and intelligence forces. This report discusses why they left and some of the challenges they face in Turkey and Iraqi Kurdistan as asylum seekers and refugees.

Although most of the hundreds of thousands who took to the streets to protest the June 2009 presidential election result had not been political or civil society activists, they nonetheless found themselves targets of security and intelligence forces.  After public protests came to an end, the authorities continued their relentless assault on all forms of dissent, targeting civil society groups and activists who had little if any connection to the protests themselves but whom they deemed to be supporters of a “velvet revolution” working to undermine the foundations of the Islamic Republic.

Along with members of the political opposition, human rights activists, journalists and bloggers, and rights lawyers bore the brunt of these attacks. Security forces arrested and detained scores of activists, including those advocating on behalf of ethnic minorities, women, and students, and subjected many to trials that did not meet international fair trial standards. Dozens remain in prison on charges of speech crimes such as “acting against the national security,” “propaganda against the state,” or “membership in illegal groups or organizations.”

In addition to the several show trials that authorities convened before television cameras where civil society activists and members of the opposition were indicted for attempting to bring about a “velvet revolution,” one of several landmark events which cast a chilling shadow over Iranian civil society in the months following the June 2009 election was the so called “Iran Proxy” affair. In March 2010, the public prosecutor announced they had arrested 30 or so persons involved in what the authorities said was a plot by the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) to destabilize the government. The prosecutor accused those arrested of implementing a plot code-named “Iran Proxy” under the cover of several local non-governmental organizations (NGOs). Revolutionary courts tried, convicted, and sentenced to lengthy prison sentences several of those arrested on national security charged based largely on forced confessions.

The post-2009 crackdown has had a profound impact on civil society in Iran. No truly independent rights organizations can openly operate in the country in the current political climate. Many of the most prominent human rights defenders and journalists are in prison or exile, and other activists are subjected to constant harassment and arbitrary arrest. An indication of the lengths to which the government has gone to stifle civil society and dissent is its targeting of lawyers who have chosen to defend activists and dissidents arrested and charged by the authorities. In recent years, the pressure on rights lawyers defending activists has been unprecedented. Several prominent lawyers, like Nobel Peace Laureate Shirin Ebadi, traveled to European countries and stayed there after it became clear they could not go back without facing harassment, arrest or imprisonment on politically motivated charges.

Others, like Mohammad Mostafaei and Mohammad Olyaeifard, sought refuge abroad. Mostafaei fled Iran after authorities repeatedly summoned him for questioning and detained his wife, father-in-law, and brother-in-law. He is currently residing in Norway. More recently, Olyaeifard, another prominent Iranian lawyer who represented many high profile cases before Iran’s civil and revolutionary courts, was forced to leave the country after serving a one year prison sentence for “propaganda against the state,” imposed by the authorities because he spoke out against the execution of one of his clients during interviews with international media.

The targeting of civil society began well before 2009. The election of Ahmadinejad to his first term as president in 2005 signaled the rise of a populist conservative force, headed by Revolutionary Guards and the associated Basij forces (a paramilitary volunteer militia closely linked with the Revolutionary Guards), with the blessing of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and his allies.

Under Ahmadinejad’s presidency, the attitude of the government shifted from the cautious encouragement of NGOs that had characterized the approach under Ahmadinejad’s predecessor, Mohamed Khatami, to one of suspicion and open hostility. The government increasingly applied a “security framework” in its approach to NGOs, often accusing them of being “tools of foreign agendas.” Authorities also suppressed the work of activists by denying permits to NGOs to operate, often refusing to provide written explanations when rejecting applications, as required by Iranian law.

The increased pressures on civil society activists under Ahmadinejad led some to seek refuge abroad. Since 2009, there has been a noticeable increase in the number of civil society activists who have applied for asylum and resettlement to third countries. According to statistics compiled by the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) from 44 industrialized countries that conduct individual asylum procedures, there were 11, 537 new asylum applications from Iranians to these 44 countries in 2009; 15,185 in 2010; and 18,128 in 2011. The largest number of new asylum applications was lodged in neighboring Turkey, which saw a 72 percent increase in the number of Iranian asylum seekers between 2009 and 2011.

The majority of Iranian activists fleeing persecution or the threat of persecution registered refugee claims with the offices of UNHCR in Turkey or Iraqi Kurdistan. The Turkish government has only been willing to provide temporary asylum to Iranian refugees, contingent on UNHCR’s commitment to try to resettle them in third countries. Some activists, especially members of the Kurdish minority, have sought refuge in neighboring Iraqi Kurdistan. Many Iranian refugees there said they did not feel fully secure and were desperate to resettle to a third country as soon as possible.

Human Rights Watch calls on Iran to end its repression of protesters and civil society activists. Iranian activists, government critics, and dissidents should not face the stark choice of risking imprisonment or abandoning their country because they chose to exercise their rights to free speech, peaceful assembly, or association.

Human Rights Watch calls on the Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) to protect the safety and welfare of Iranian refugees and refrain from threats or harassment against those who continue to pursue nonviolent political or rights activities during their time as refugees, and the Turkish government to create conditions that will allow registered refugees and asylum seekers to live and work comfortably while they are waiting for resettlement to a third country. Turkey should also allow Dr. Ahmed Shaheed, the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Iran, access to the country in his official capacity so that he may meet with Iranian refugees and document cases of rights abuses per his mandate.

Finally, Human Rights Watch calls on countries outside the region to speedily process claims of Iranian refugees who urgently need to leave the region and to offer generous numbers of resettlement places for refugees with no other options for durable asylum.

ABOUT THIS REPORT

Dr. Ahmed Shaheed presents report on situation of human rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran

Iran Human Rights Documentation Center

 

—      Member states welcome Dr. Ahmed Shaheed’s latest report, criticize challenges placed in his way by not being permitted to travel freely in Iran

—      Member states express concern with violations of the freedom of expression, freedom of assembly and restrictions on access to information

—      Member states alarmed by rate of executions in Iran

—      Criticism by other states of continued „politicization“ of the UN Special Rapporteur’s mandate

NEW HAVEN — On Wednesday, October 24, 2012 the UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran (IRI), Dr. Ahmed Shaheed, introduced his latest report to the eighth meeting of the third committee of the General Assembly. Dr. Shaheed registered concerns of a „deeply troubling“ state of affairs, noting the imprisonment of over 40 journalists and at least 32 lawyers and human rights defenders, along with continued repression of religious and ethnic minorities. Dr. Shaheed’s full report can be read here and a brief summary of the report’s findings by the Iran Human Rights Documentation Center can be read here.

Dr. Shaheed’s presentation was welcomed by several member states in the dialogue that followed, with support from the United States, the European Union (EU), and the United Kingdom, among others. The report received praise for its breadth despite the IRI’s continued refusal to allow Dr. Shaheed to visit the country. Member states shared concerns regarding the status of political prisoners (Norway), human rights defenders (Czech Republic), and imprisoned attorneys (UK). Dr. Shaheed was „deeply concerned“ about the situation of imprisoned attorney Nasrin Sotoudeh, who has been on hunger strike since October 17 due to denials of visitation with her family and the travel ban on her 13-year old daughter. Brazil called for the IRI to view cooperation with the UN Special Rapporteur as a confidence-building measure.

Several member states including Brazil, Norway, the UK and the Czech Republic joined Dr. Shaheed in expressing concern regarding the conditions faced by human rights defenders. The delegation from the Czech Republic highlighted the intimidation of family members and friends of human rights defenders as a particular source of concern and argued that legislation inconsistent with Iran’s human rights obligations, widespread impunity and insufficient adherence to the rule of law contributed to the dire human rights situation. The UK also decried the IRI’s failure to implement the 123 accepted suggestions from its Universal Periodic Review, reiterating its criticisms from the UN Human Rights Council’s 19th session.

Canada, meanwhile, also welcomed the report and further inquiry into human rights violations in Iran, emphasizing the opacity and restrictiveness of the electoral process in the IRI. In his response, the UN Special Rapporteur underscored the vetting of candidates by unelected officials, the persecution of journalists, the gender ban on women running for president and other indirect causes as contributing to the obstacles to free and fair elections in Iran.

The Canadian delegation also criticized the treatment of religious minority communities and violations of the right to education, especially with regards to recent discrimination against women in higher education and the criminalization of education for Baha’i youth.

While there were calls by Dr. Shaheed and the delegation from the EU for the IRI not to view the UN Special Rapporteur’s mandate as a punitive measure, comments from the IRI and China during the dialogue with Dr. Shaheed indicate that obstacles to cooperation from the IRI persist.

The IRI and the People’s Republic of China (PRC) criticized the process. The IRI expressed the belief that the UN Special Rapporteur’s mandate was motivated by the political goals „of the United States and its European allies“ and that the report lacked independence and objectivity. It complained that its substantive responses to the report had not been adequately registered.

Furthermore the IRI disputed the report’s depiction of internet restrictions in Iran, countering that the IRI’s recent „cybersecurity measures“ were not an attack on the freedom of expression, as the report and several member states suggest. The IRI’s representative did not respond directly to paragraph 17 of the report, which points out that the IRI has 19 netizens in prison and four on death row.

The representative of the PRC rejected the use of country-specific mandates on the grounds that it politicized the UNSR system, and supported the IRI’s response while the Maldives joined the IRI in urging the UN Special Rapporteur to examine the impact of recent sanctions on the human rights situation in Iran. Dr. Shaheed once again expressed a willingness to do so, but explained that such a study would require a different methodology–the Special Rapporteur currently focuses on witness testimony, and an analysis of the impact of sanctions would require broader sets of data–and would require cooperation from the IRI, which has not as of yet been forthcoming.

The delegation from the EU also expressed interest in learning whether or not the IRI’s recently revised Islamic Penal Code eliminated the most violent punishments, as claimed by the IRI, and drew attention to the recent executions of 10 prisoners for drug-related crimes and the frequency of executions in the IRI.

For more on the issues raised in Dr. Shaheed’s report and by member states at the third committee of the General Assembly, see:

Abuses against human rights defenders:

On the Margins: Arrest, Imprisonment and Execution of Kurdish Activists in Iran Today

Abuses against members of religious minority groups:

The witness statement of Danial Shahri

Crimes Against Humanity: The Islamic Republic’s Attacks on the Bahá’ís

Restrictions on access to information:

The witness statement of Sara

Forced Confessions: Targeting Iran’s Cyber-Journalists

Restrictions on the rights to free assembly and expression:

Violent Aftermath: The 2009 Election and Suppression of Dissent in Iran

Executions:

IHRDC’s Chart of Executions to date in 2012

URGENT: Mass Arrest of 60 Iranian Labour Activists in Karaj

On Friday 15th of June at 12 noon 60 members of the Coordinating Committee to Help Forming Workers‘ Organizations and a number of labour activists were arrested by the intelligence forces in Karaj, a city near Tehran. The detainees were transferred to Rajai Shahr prison in Karaj and until now no further news is available.

According to the committee, 9 of detainees are still in custody but the rests were released by bail. The name of 9 detainees are: Mitra Homayooni, Reyhaneh Ansari Cyrus FathiAlireza AsgariMaziar MehrpourFaramarz Fetrat NejadJalil MohammadiSaeed MarzbanMasoud Salimpour and Maziar Mehrpour.

Iran must not execute five Arab minority prisoners: Amnesty International

Source: Amnesty International

The Iranian authorities must immediately overturn the death sentences of five members of Iran’s Ahwazi Arab minority who were tried unfairly and may face imminent public execution, Amnesty International said after the prisoners were moved to an unknown location at the weekend.

The men were transferred out of the general section of Karoun Prison in the south-western city of Ahvaz on Saturday, prompting concerns their death sentences may be about to be carried out.

The group includes three brothers, Abd al-Rahman Heidari, Taha Heidari and Jamshid Heidari, their cousin Mansour Heidari and Amir Muawi.

All five were arrested in April 2011 amid unrest in Khuzestan province – where most of Iran’s Ahwazi Arab minority lives – and were later convicted of moharebeh (“enmity against God”) for killing a law enforcement official.

“Iran must urgently halt any plans to execute these five Ahwazi men. The death sentences of all who languish on death row in Iranian prisons should be overturned or commuted,” said Ann Harrison, Deputy Middle East and North Africa Programme Director at Amnesty International.

“Their families must be informed immediately of their whereabouts and fate, and they should be allowed access to lawyers of their choice. While held, they must be protected from all forms of torture or other ill-treatment and granted all necessary medical care.”

Death row prisoners are generally transferred to solitary confinement shortly before their executions take place. Lies den Rest dieses Beitrags

Iran:Taxifahrerstreik in iranisch-Kurdistan

90 Taxifahrer in iranisch-Kurdistan, die regelmäßig auf der Strecke zwischenSanandadsch und Mariwanfahren, haben ihre Arbeit niedergelegt. Es ist für sie kein wirtschaftliches Überleben mehr möglich, seit die Benzin, Öl und andere Kostenfaktoren stark im Preis gestiegen sind, ohne dass die staatlich regulierten Fahrpreise ebenfalls angehoben wurden.

Auf einer Kundgebung vor dem Gouverneursgebäude von Sanandasch forderten sie die Erhöhung der Fahrpreise in einer Größenordnung, die den gestiegenen Kosten entspricht. Falls dieses Problem in den nächsten Tagen nicht gelöst würde, würden sich auch die etwa 60 Minibusfahrer der Strecke an dem Streik beteiligen.

Source: Ali Schirasi

Iran Moves to Bolster Iraq’s Beleaguered Premier Maliki

Press Roundup provides a selected summary of news from the Farsi and Arabic press and excerpts where the source is in English. 

MalikiAndKhamenei.jpg

6:15 a.m. IRDT, 17 Khordad/June 6 Amid a surge of bombings and assassinations in Iraq carried out by Sunni militants and moves to hold a no-confidence vote in parliament that could unseat Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, Iran has been taking steps to support his embattled administration. (In the accompanying photo, taken in Tehran in April, Maliki is seen between Iranian First Vice President Mohammad Reza Rahimi and Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.) The Associated Press reports,

On Monday, one of the linchpin partners in al-Maliki’s government, Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, traveled to Iran for talks, government officials said. A day earlier, al-Sadr urged al-Maliki to „do the right thing“ and resign, but it remains unclear whether al-Sadr will bow to Iranian pressure in the end. […]In April, al-Maliki was given a red carpet welcome during a visit to Tehran, where he had spent some time as an anti-Saddam activist. Iran delivered an even bigger reward to al-Maliki in May: bringing the nuclear talks with world powers to Baghdad as a symbol of the city’s slow rebound from war and as a showcase of Iran’s close ties. […]

„There is some Iranian pressure on [Iraqi] President [Jalal Talabani] not to send the letter to parliament [requesting the no-confidence vote] and to support al-Maliki,“ said a lawmaker of al-Maliki’s political bloc, speaking on condition of anonymity because he was not permitted to discuss sensitive political dealings with reporters.

Hamid al-Mutlaq, a Sunni lawmaker from the Iraqiya bloc, was more blunt: „The Iranian interference annoys us a lot. […] Iran is a big player in Iraqi politics.“ Lies den Rest dieses Beitrags

UNHCR-Richtlinien zur Beurteilung internationaler Schutzbedürftigkeit von Asylsuchenden aus dem Irak

31.05.2012 – UN High Commissioner for Refugees  Quellenbeschreibung anzeigen

Irak

UNHCR-Richtlinien zur Beurteilung internationaler Schutzbedürftigkeit von Asylsuchenden aus dem Irak (Hintergrundinformationen; wichtigste Urheber von Verfolgung und Gewalt; gefährdete Gruppen; sicherheitsrelevante Vorfälle und zivile Opfer; interne Fluchtalternative / Relokation; Ausschlussgründe) [ID 218425]

Dokument öffnen Gutachten oder Position: UNHCR Eligibility Guidelines for Assessing the International Protection Needs of Asylum-Seekers from Iraq

Arab Prisoners Expose Press TV’s Role in Extracting Confessions Under Torture

Justice for Iran: The first trail session of the 13 Arab political prisoners of Khalaf Abad (Ramshir) met this morning at the second branch of the Revolutionary Court in Ahvaz. Five months ago, the Iranian English speaking satellite stations, Press TV, introduced Hadi Rashedi and Hashem Sa’bani, two of the 13 individuals, as terrorists and members of armed groups. The TV station broadcast the images and names of the individuals while in todays session, the two called all the accusations lies and announced that they were forced to make the confessions under severe torture.

According to local sources, in 2010, Hadi Rashedi and Hashem Sha’bani were under severe torture in order to give information. The sources told JFI that the family of the accused were able to meet with them a few minutes before the court convened and said that Rashedi, who suffers from an ailment, suffered heavily from torture. His hip bone is shattered. Hadi Rashedi is a 38 year old chemistry instructor at Khalaf Abad (Ramshisr) High School.

Hashem Sha’bani, a 31 year old father of one girl, is a masters student of political science. He was tortured with boiling water and is in critical condition. When Press TV introduced Sha’bani and Rashedi as members of armed terrorist groups, the two individuals had not yet been tried anywhere. Under Iranian law, membership in armed terrorist groups carries a death penalty. Therefore, Press TV effectively issued the death sentence for the two individuals before they were even tried.

In its new announcement, Amnesty International expressed concern regarding the danger of execution for the 13 individuals tried today, including Rashedi and Sha’bani. Four other of the individuals are Mohammad Ali Amouri (weblogger), Rahman Assakereh (high school teacher), and two brothers by the names of Jaber and Seyyed Mokhtar Alboshoukeh. After months of detention at the Ministry of intelligence’s detention center, the aforementioned are being held at Ahvaz’s Karoun Prison. Amnesty International has requested immediate medical attention for the detainees. Local sources say that Jaber Alboshoukeh’s jaw and a few teeth are broken as a result of torture and he has lost 10 kilos of weight. As a result of torture, Mokhtar Alboshoukeh is suffering from memory loss.

One family members of the detainees told JFI, “The attorneys of these six individuals have not been permitted to visit with their client or read the case file.” This is while Press TV recorded and broadcast the confession of the detainees while they were in Intelligence Ministry’s detention center and had no access to their family or their attorneys. Prior to this, JFI issued “Cut! Take Press TV Off the Air,” a report that demonstrates how Press TV satellite station records confession acquired under torture from prisoners with the collaboration of Ministry of Intelligence and Sepah Intelligence Office. None of the video confessions documented in the report were broadcast from Press TV with the verbal or written permission of the prisoner. Majority of the time the prisoner was coerced with promise of release and told that the video taping is done for internal or research use only never to be broadcast. This is while, according to Islamic Republic Law, the media do not have the right to broadcast the image and names of individuals accused of any crimes prior to their conviction and violators will be penalized.

In April 2005, a letter was released allegedly written by Mohammad Ali Abtahi, Secretary of the president of the time. It discussed choosing a policy regarding changing the population demographic of the Arab residing areas in the south of Iran. Widespread protest spread through the Arab residing areas of the south to be continuously and violently crushed by the Iranian government. A large number of Arab activists, including women, have been arrested since; numerous cases of lengthy imprisonment terms for women, along with their young children, have been reported. In one such case, Fahimeh Badavi, a 26 year old elementary school teacher, was 8 months pregnant when she was arrested on February 26, 2006 along with her husband Ali Matouri Zadeh. After her husband was executed, she was sentences to 15 years’ imprisonment and is now serving her sentence in exile at Yasouj prison. Hoda Hashemi who was herself detained at the Intelligence Office’s detention center along with her 16 month old son, told JFI, “Without being transported to prison or given any equipments or assistance, Fahimeh Badavi delivered her daughter in her cell at the Ministry of Intelligence’s detention center, a fully male dominated location.”

As a result of the new wave of arrests in the city of Shush and Ahvaz during last winter, at least two detainees names Naser Alboshoukeh Dorafshan and Mohammad Ka’abi were killed in detention. In March 2011, Reza Maghamesi was killed under torture in Dezful Prison. So far, no information has been given to the family members of the three about the individuals responsible for their death.

What the Arab detainees spoke of in prison regarding being tortured for the purpose of extracting false confessions once more proves collaboration of Press TV with the offices in charge of violating the rights of the political prisoners through recording and broadcasting the confessions.

Read more about this:

Justice For Iran Call-to-Action for Identifying those Responsible for the Murder of the Detainees in Khuzistan

http://justiceforiran.org/call-for-action/ahvaz/?lang=en

Press TV Violates the Rights of the Detainees in Khuzistan

http://justiceforiran.org/reports/presstv-khuzestan/?lang=en

Cut! Take Press TV off the Air

http://justiceforiran.org/reports/english-cut-take-press-tv-off-the-air/?lang=en

 

 

 

Source: Justice for Iran

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