Irans Frauen hoffen auf bessere Zeiten (Beitrag hören)
Hohe Erwartungen nach Wahl Rohanis
Von Reinhard Baumgarten
Hassan Rohani ist im Sommer zum iranischen Präsidenten gewählt worden. Es waren vor allem Frauen, die dem Geistlichen ihre Stimme gegeben haben. Viele hoffen nun, dass sich ihre Lage verbessert.
„Ich weiß, dass die Umsetzung der Verfassung die Rettung ist. Ich werde § 3 der Verfassung über die Rechte der Bürger als Grundlage eines neuen Gesetzes dem Parlament vorlegen. Mann und Frau genießen die gleichen Bürgerrechte.“
Männer, Frauen, Gleichheit – auf allen Ebenen. Das ist es, was unzählige Frauen vom neuen iranischen Präsidenten erwarten. In großer Zahl haben sie seine Wahlveranstaltungen besucht. Sie haben den als moderat geltenden Geistlichen sagen hören:
„Unsere Regierung der Besinnung und Hoffnung hat sich eine wichtige Aufgabe gesetzt. Sie will die Leiden und Sorgen der iranischen Nation lindern, sie will Freude in das Leben der Iraner zurückbringen.“
Irans Frauen hören die Worte wohl – allein, vielen fehlt daran der Glaube. Hassan Rohanis sanfte Töne nach acht Jahren der gesellschaftlichen Polarisierung unter Präsident Mahmoud Ahmedinejad mögen gut klingen. Doch viele Iraner und vor allem Iranerinnen bleiben skeptisch, wenn der neue Präsident sagt:
„Die Menschen verlangen die Einhaltung der Bürgerrechte sowie die Wahrung der Rechte aller Minderheiten und aller Kleinkulturen, Ruhe und Rationalität bei den politischen Entscheidungen, Wahrung der gesetzmäßigen Freiheiten der Gruppen, Parteien und Personen und Wahrung der Privatsphäre aller Bürger.“ Lies den Rest dieses Beitrags
One of the most pressing concerns for ideological and totalitarian governments is the control of information. The manifestation of new internet technology has caused a temporary time out in that process. In the early days of the internet, although the number of users was very limited, and Farsi websites were not common yet, it was possible to access information online without restriction. Within a short time, the totalitarian government figured out the political danger this free space presented to their regime. The government started to filter the internet, beginning with websites with pornographic content and continuing to politically oriented sites. Later, social networks such as Facebook and Twitter were also filtered as they encouraged certain political and social developments. Internet speed has also become an instrument exploited by the government by intentionally disrupting internet access. However, these controls do not satisfy the totalitarians who are dreaming of a “national internet (intranet)” and total control of data. A couple of months ago, Reporters without Borders (RSF) released a report, labeling Iran, as well as China, Russia, Bahrain and Vietnam – the five enemy states of the internet. According to this report, Iran intends to increase its supervision on the net and create a “national” or “Halal” internet (intranet). (1)
One of the tools the Iranian government uses to control the flow of information on the net is through the passing of laws and regulations that provide a legal credence to their actions. In 2001, the High Council of Cultural Revolution passed the “directive of the general policies of computer information networks” and it was signed by the Supreme Leader of the Islamic Republic. (2) This directive established a committee which consisted of representatives from the Ministry of Intelligence, Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance, national Radio and Television, and later representatives of the Islamic Publicity Organization joined as well. The responsibility of this committee was to determine which websites needed to be blocked. The cat and mouse game between the Iranian government and the internet users began that day. The government would block websites and the users would look for ways to evade the filtration. It went so far, that according to the councilor of the Iranian Judiciary, the number of blocked websites numbered over five million. Abdolsamad Khorramabadi, a reporter from Mehr news agency stated, “The majority of these websites contain immoral and anti-social content, and are legally blocked. People spend many hours every day on various websites and this action has destructive effects. The Internet inflicts much harm to the society and planning is needed to reduce these harms that are presented by enemies. The enemies are trying to attack our religious identity by misusing the internet.” (3) The protection of Iranian religious identity is the government’s main argument used to justify controlling the net.
Internet and Politics
Currently, the filtration of websites can be triggered by publicizing content incompatible with Islamic values, opposing the constitution, insulting the Supreme Leader, causing pessimism and disappointment in people regarding the legitimacy and efficiency of the Islamic regime and publicizing and propaganda for illegal parties. The filtration increases during specific political events. The government even tries to limit the flow of information by reducing internet connection speeds.
For instance, a short time before the 2009 Iranian presidential election, Facebook, the most popular social network in Iran, was blocked. Even G-mail and Yahoo email could not be accessed in Iran at times when protesters planned to hold demonstrations against the disputed outcome of the elections. In March 2012, Alef website reported that “access to e-mail services has slowed down last week too. This triggered protests from the users and the media, but neither communications officials nor security officials offered any response to the problem. Considering the fact that more and more businesses use e-mail, disconnecting the services without prior notice causes vast troubles. Apparently those engaged in cutting e-mail services do not know much about the dimensions of the anti-security outcomes and how much descent their actions cause among the intelligence specialists; and have no regard for public opinion and the Iranian people.” (4)
Fighting back against filtering
Iranian internet users have tried to fight back in two ways. The first method is through letter writing campaigns and protests to try and have their voices heard by the authorities. The second method is to try and create ways to go around the filtering to access websites. Some designers of these proxies such as Hossein Ronaghi Maleki have been sentenced to imprisonment.
In one instance, more than a hundred people active in the media signed a statement which objected to the actions of the “filtering committee” that had limited certain news agencies and news websites. The statement partly read, “One of the most important problems for the media to act in this area is the plurality of the decision making centers on the issue. It has adverse and costly effects when any of those decision making centers gain practical powers to enforce their view points in the media without having to offer any acceptable reasons or excuses or without any legal process. A nonrelated authority calling an official outlet and asking them to either omit some material from their page or face filtration, has become a trend that has been on going in the past year.” (5)
There are groups who try to provide people with anti-filter software and proxies so that they can surf the internet freely. For example, the Deutsche Welle Persian website has tried to open the path for its readers through this technique. (6) Another example of this would be the Committee against Censorship in Iran, or Iran Proxy which tries to teach ways of escaping filtration by creating different blogs. Hossein Ronaghi Maleki, an official of this committee who worked under the pseudonym Babak Khorramdin, was arrested and sentenced to 15 years of Tazir (calculated by Islamic metrics), after his real identity was discovered. (7)
The National Internet Project
When the Iranian government was faced with a wave of anti-filter software allowing users to get around the government sponsored filters, they decided to increase their control over cyber space through a new idea. BBC Persian reports that the Iranian government has proposed the idea of a “national internet” as a solution to the problem of internet connections and threats of cyber attacks. However, research by the BBC shows that the result of this project is a network only seen in North Korea. Observers warn that “Iran might give up walking on the information superhighway by cutting away from the internet and be satisfied with walking the alleys of an intranet, separated from the outside world.” (8)
The news of the efforts by the government to start the “national internet” and cut the connections to the global network has evoked fear in Iranian users. In reality, it is a step that if taken, Iranian users would be put on a separated island and would lose the ability to freely access information forever. Although this dream of the government and nightmare of the people has not yet been realized, many Iranian youth fear that the final phase of this project will soon be announced.
Free access to information: a basic right
According to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, free access to information is a basic human right and no government can infringe on this clear right. The 19th Article of the declaration reads: “Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.” However, the Iranian government has infringed on this right by passing laws, filtering internet websites, keeping internet speed low and disrupting the internet on specific days. If finalized, the project of a national internet would not leave any opportunity to access and distribute information freely.
Lastly, we can consider the free flow of information as a right which when violated, leads to the violation of other rights, because the people who can access information freely, can recognize their rights and can express the violation of their human rights to other citizens and people all around the world.
Source: Iran Human Rights Voice
Photos by Mehr News Agency photographers
In many Iranian cities, supporters of various presidential candidates have taken to the streets to campaign for their favorite candidate. These photos show the people in Tehran on Wednesday engaged in the lively campaign.
I Will Vote
Campaigning for the presidency and for City Council positions ended at 8 AM today, Thursday June 13, and candidates are no longer allowed to engage in any form of advertisement. According to elections laws, advertising must end 24 hours prior to the actual elections. The elections are set for Friday, June 14.
Eight men were approved by the Guardian Council to run for president, out of which two have dropped out of the race.
Iranian elections are highly unpredictable due to the number of candidates and short campaigns. Polls for the 2013 presidential race were initially all over the map. But some polls now indicate that the two leading candidates are Hassan Rouhani and Mohammad-Baqer Qalibaf. The other four are Mohammad Gharazi, Saeed Jalili, Mohsen Rezaei and Ali Akbar Velayati. Not all of the polls conducted in Iran are uniform in methodology. These are sample polls taken during the last two weeks of the campaign by Mehr News Agency in Iran and the U.S.-based Information and Public Opinion Solutions. About 50 million Iranians are eligible to vote on June 14.
IPOS: Rouhani Soars, Voters Begin to Decide
Mehr: Qalibaf Slips
By Golnaz Esfandiari, RFE/RL
Pro-reform Iranians have long complained about Iran’s filtering of the Internet and crackdown on online journalists and bloggers. Reformist and independent media have been the main target of the establishment’s Internet-control efforts that aim at disrupting the free flow of information.
Yet reports in recent months suggest that conservative media, including blogs and news websites, have also been increasingly targeted by censors. The censorship has increased in the run-up to the June 14 presidential election.
The actions have led to a rare protest by more than 100 media activists — said to be involved in managing semiofficial news agencies and conservative websites — who have criticized the increased pressure against online media.
The activists write in their statement, issued over the weekend by the semiofficial Mehr news agency, that one of the bodies in charge of media work has in recent months taken „tough“ and „unexpected“ measures against the country’s „known and official media.“
The statement adds that „multiple centers of decision making“ in cyberspace is one of the main problems media face in their online activities.
It says that for official media, being contacted by an unrelated body and ordered to remove some content or face filtering has become a „trend“ in the past year.
The signatories of the statement warn that the actions damage Iranian society’s mental health and commitment to the principle of news dissemination.
Mehr says the activists are protesting against the actions of the so-called filtering committee, which is in charge of identifying online content that should be blocked according to its criteria.
The committee has in recent weeks ordered the blocking of a number of websites, including several websites associated with Esfandiar Rahim Mashaei, the top aide to President Mahmud Ahmadinejad whose application to run in the presidential race was rejected.
The committee is only one of several entities involved in Iran’s broader efforts to control online activities and enforce censorship. The main one is the Supreme Council of Cyberspace, which is an oversight body in charge of policy making.
For more on the different bodies involved in Iran’s Internet censorship, check out this graph by the Iran media program at the University of Pennsylvania’s Annenberg School for Communication.
Source: Human Rights Watch
Law Permits Execution of Child Offenders, Other Abusive Practices
(Beirut) – Iran’s judiciary should not implement provisions of the new penal code that violate basic rights, including execution by stoning. The Guardian Council, composed of 12 religious jurists, reinserted the stoning provision into a previous version of the draft law which had omitted stoning to death as the explicit penalty for adultery.
No official statistics are available, but human rights groups estimate thatthe Iranian authorities currently hold at least 10 women and men who face possible execution by stoning on adultery charges. At least 70 people have been executed by stoning in Iran since 1980. The last known execution by stoning was in 2009.
“Stoning to death is an abhorrent punishment that has no place in any country’s penal code,” saidSarah Leah Whitson, Middle East director at Human Rights Watch. “By insisting on keeping stoning in the penal code, Iranian authorities are providing proof positive that they preside over a criminal justice system based on fear, torture and injustice.”
Iran’s semi-official Mehr News Agency reported on April 27, 2013, that the Guardian Council had finished reviewing and making changes to the draft penal code and that the law would soon be implemented. The Guardian Council is an unelected body empowered to vet all legislation to ensure its compatibility with Iran’s constitution and Sharia, or Islamic law. It had approved an earlier version of the draft penal code but then withdrew its approval in late 2012 to amend it further before implementation. Lies den Rest dieses Beitrags
The Middle East Program at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars offers the latest news on the 2013 Iranian presidential election, based on a selection of Iranian news sources. The Iran Election Update is a daily summary of up-to-date information with links to news in both English and Farsi.
- During a campaign speech in Tehran over the weekend, presidential candidate Hassan Rouhani faced a raucous crowd of supporters who boldly chanted the name of detained opposition leader Mir Hussain Mousavi and vocalized other concerns as well. A photo of the event also reveals Rouhani supporters holding pictures of Mousavi alongside Rouhani. During the event, Rouhani held a purple ribbon (campaign color) and a symbolic key and called it the “Key of wisdom and hope.” A video clip of the event was posted on Rouhani’s Twitter account as well with English subtitles. Multiple people were arrested at the event including Saeid Allah Badashti, who is Rouhani’s Youth Campaign Manager. The Rouhani Youth Campaign Facebook page posted a video clip of the arrested campaign manager prior to his arrest as he gives a speech (in Farsi) to the audience and explains why he supports Rouhani. Also posted on the Facebook page was a clip of two young poets reciting poems to the crowd, with one poet exclaiming, “There is no sedition (term used by government to describe the Green Movement), except what’s in our hearts and minds which is our love for our country!”
- Fars News Agency posts two sets of photos of presidential candidate Hassan Rounhani speaking to a large group of supporters in the Southwestern city of Ahvaz with femalesupporters on hand as well.
- Mehr News provides a survey in which they claim 22,000 people voted for their choice of presidential candidates. Qalibaf led with 34.18%, followed by Jalili with 27.31% and Velayati with 11.77%. Rouhani and Aref were listed towards the bottom with 7.9% and 6.5% respectively. Website AsrIran conducts its own poll and interestingly asks it readers, “Regardless of who you think will win, who will you vote for?” As of Monday afternoon over 14,000 people have voted, and Rezaei led all candidates with 32%, followed by Rouhani with 23% and Aref with 22%, respectively.
- Mehr News posts photos of presidential candidate Mohammed Bagher-Qalibaf visiting Tabriz and speaking to a large audience in a packed field house. There were many female supporters on hand as well holding posters and cheering.
- ISNA News posts photos of presidential candidate Saeed Jalili making a campaign stop at the University of Tehran to speak to a large audience of students. There were many femalesupporters on hand, two of them who had their faces covered wrote messages on her hand that read, “Progress” and “Resistance is the password.” A video clip of the event reveals a female Jalili supporter asking the presidential candidate to swear to the Quran that she holds in her hand that he will sacrifice his life for Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei. Jalili responds to her by saying, “God-willing we are.” She then hands the Quran to Jalili who kisses the holy book to the delight of the crowd.
- Mehr News posts photos of presidential candidate Mohammed Aref taking the public metro on his way to Tehran’s Grand Bazaar in order to do some face-to-face campaigning. While speaking to riders on the metro Aref brought up the current conflict in Syria and said, “Confronting Syria is the beginning of confronting Hezbollah, and next is confronting Iran.” The rider than says, “So you are one of these types of presidents?” To which Aref responds, “We can’t govern timidly.”
- Presidential candidate Ali-Akbar Velayati made a campaign stop at the ISNA headquarters to speak with reporters and to declare, “I have a long history in foreign policy, in fact I am one of the founders of Islamic Republic foreign policy.” Mehr News also posts pictures of Velayati speaking to gathering of state lawyers in Tehran.
- Fars News Agency General Director Abas Aslani used his Twitter account to tweet an interesting image comparing a female Hassan Rouhani supporter to a female Saeed Jalili supporter.
Im Süden Teherans leben keine reichen Leute. Die sind nur im Norden der iranischen Hauptstadt zu finden. Wer hier lebt und arbeitet, dem bleibt nichts übrig, als sich Tag für Tag durchzukämpfen, bei rasant steigenden Preisen. Wer Medikamente braucht oder einen guten Arzt, findet an einer ungewöhnlichen Adresse Hilfe: im jüdischen Krankenhaus unweit des Großen Basars.
„Du Sollst Deinen Nächsten lieben wie Dich selbst“, steht auf Hebräisch und auf Persisch über dem Eingang des Krankenhauses geschrieben. June Hamamis Ambulanz im Erdgeschoß wird jeden Vormittag von Patienten belagert. Denn er gilt als einer der besten Ärzte der Stadt. Hamami ist Jude, seine Patienten so gut wie ausschließlich Muslime. Menschen, die sich niemals ein Privatspital leisten könnten, bekommen hier gratis eine gleichwertige Behandlung.
Weil das jüdische Krankenhaus auf private Spenden angewiesen ist und die Kosten steigen, müssen Hamami und seine Kolleginnen oft monatelang auf ihr Gehalt warten. „Patienten, die schon länger herkommen, wissen natürlich, dass ich Jude bin. Aber das stört sie nicht. Im Gegenteil. Manche sagen, sie hätten gehört, dass jüdische Ärzte hier einen guten Ruf haben“, erzählt Hamami.
Immer mehr Patienten aus der Mittelschicht
Seit neuestem mischen sich unter die Armen auch immer mehr Patienten aus der Mittelschicht. Hier zahlen sie weit weniger als anderswo. Würde Hamami in einem Privatspital nicht viel mehr verdienen? „Ja, das Drei- oder Vierfache“, sagt er: „Ich habe als junger Arzt hier vor 20 Jahren angefangen und ich will auch weiterhin hier in diesem wohltätigen Krankenhaus arbeiten.“
Mehrmals im Jahr lässt die iranische Führung gegen den jüdischen Staat aufmarschieren. „Nieder mit Israel und Tod dem Zionismus!“, lauten dann die Parolen. Gegen iranische Juden wie Hamami werden allerdings keine Parolen gerufen. Sie sollen im Land bleiben und nicht nach Israel auswandern. Das war einst der Wunsch des Revolutionsführers Ruhollah Chomeini, und der ist seinen Anhängern bis heute heilig.
Nischen für Nicht-Muslime
Und doch blieben für Nicht-Muslime nur einige wenige Nischen übrig, vor allem im Kleinhandel. Wer eine gute Ausbildung vorweisen konnte oder genügend Startkapital hatte, der versuchte sich nach der Revolution anderswo ein neues Leben aufzubauen. Lies den Rest dieses Beitrags
von Walter Posch
Je nach dem, welche Wahrnehmung überwiegt, führt dies zu zwei gegenteiligen Beurteilungen der Islamischen Republik: der Behauptung, ihre Politik sei von religiösem Irrationalismus dominiert, der in Kombination mit dem iranischen Nuklearprogramm eine globale Bedrohung darstelle, weshalb die internationale Gemeinschaft diesem Programm wiederum energisch entgegentreten müsse; und der gegenteiligen Auffassung, nach der die Ideologie nur schmückendes Beiwerk eines rational und interessengeleitet handelnden Nationalstaats ist. Betrachtet man die Schwerpunkte der iranischen Außenpolitik genauer, so ist für sich gesehen keine der beiden Positionen haltbar.
CIVIL STATUS Single
EDUCATION college education
OCCUPATION university student
AFFILIATION no political affiliation
DATE OF EXECUTION June 20, 2009
LOCATION Tehran, Iran
MODE OF EXECUTION extrajudicial-shooting
CHARGES Unknown charge