Crime and Punishment in Kahrizak prison

Before all this, the word Kahrizak reminded Iranian people of a retirement house in the southern part of Tehran. However in recent years, this word has been associated with the horrors of the illegal detention facility known as Kahrizak Detention Center or Kahrizak Salon. Although the detention center was built before 2009, it gained international fame after the 2009 post-presidential election protests. On July 9th, 2009 a number of protesters to the outcome of the election were arrested and transferred to the detention center by the order of Judge Mortazavi. The poor conditions in the facility and the torture and harassment of the detainees resulted very quickly in three deaths. Mehdi Karrubi, one of the presidential candidates, later reported that a number of the detainees had also been raped and the physician of the detention facility later died under suspicious circumstances. Although the Supreme Leader ordered the facility to be shut down, the public was waiting for the punishment of those responsible for the tragedies. Public opinion considered Judge Mortazavi as a key figure in the event. Although he stood trial, the verdict, which was recentl.

Karizak Detention Center

This detention center was first built when Mohammad Bagher Ghalibaf was the police chief. It was initially used to detain convicts that the Iranian government labeled “gangsters and thugs.” The living conditions inside the center and the way these prisoners were treated were horrific. However, since these kinds of criminals are not connected with the media and human rights activists, before 2009, no news stories were published about this facility. Then between July 9th, when a number of the detainees were transferred there and July 27th, when the center was ordered shut, accounts of rapes, torture murders occurring at the center were made public. Mohammad Kamrani, Amir Javadifar and Mohsen Rouholamini are the three people who according to official sources are the victims of the Kahrizak detention facility. Lies den Rest dieses Beitrags

IRI authorities responsible for human rights and sexual abuse of women among presidential candidates

50x70 feet print

In anticipation of the June 14 presidential election Justice for Iran (JFI) held an international symposium to mark the completion of a project documenting more than three decades of cases involving sexual torture of women. The symposium held in London on Saturday 8 June entitled “When Sleeping Women Wake, Mountains Move“, featured talks by prominent human rights advocates and victims of genocide, mass murder, rape and sexual torture in Rwanda, the Sudan and Iran. In this light, JFI presented its policy brief “Raped out of Paradise: Women in Prisons of the Islamic Republic of Iran” based on its two-volume report “Crime and Impunity: Sexual Torture of Women in Islamic Republic Prisons” detailing torture and sexual violence against women in Iran since 1979.

Keynote speaker, Dr. Ahmed Shaheed, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Iran, provided statistics on the violation of women’s rights, including the widespread use of mental and sexual torture, and noted the absence of Iranian women in the top echelons of the national political system, including the presidential election. He discussed abuse, especially against women’s rights activists, by referring to the existence of harassment, arrest, torture, and ban from foreign travel. Furthermore, Dr. Shaheed noted the importance of JFI’s efforts in documenting the abuses against women in Iran with the aim of including such information in future truth commissions or tribunals. Lies den Rest dieses Beitrags

Iran Presidential Vote Under Way

Source: RFE/RL

The voting is under way in Iran in an election to choose a replacement for President Mahmud Ahmadinejad.

Opinion surveys have suggested a close race between moderate cleric and former nuclear negotiator Hassan Rohani, who is backed by pro-reform elements, and conservative candidate Mohammad Baqer Qalibaf, the current mayor of Tehran and a former security official. Lies den Rest dieses Beitrags

Latest on the Race: Final Polls – and Shifts

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



tagesschau| Freude über das Ende einer Ära

Iranische Frau hält die Nationalflagge vor ihr Gesicht

Heute wählen die Iraner den Nachfolger von Präsident Ahmadinedschad. Viele sind froh, dass dessen Ära endet, sie machen ihn für ihre schlechte Lage verantwortlich. Auf kleine Veränderungen können sie hoffen, sagt Iran-Korrespondent Martin Weiss im Interview mit Wie erleben Sie in diesen Tagen Teheran, welche Rolle spielt die Wahl?

Martin Weiss: Die Wahl spielt hier eine große Rolle – alle, mit denen man hier spricht, sind froh, dass die Ära Ahmadinedschad vorbei ist. Das politische Lager spielt dabei keine Rolle. Dass es jetzt endlich losgeht, sieht man auch an den zahlreichen und gut besuchten Wahlparties, die hier stattfinden. Also: Man fiebert schon auf diese Wahl hin. Sie sagen, die Menschen seien froh, Ahmadinedschad loszuwerden. Wie kommt das?

Weiss: Ahmadinedschad hat es sich zum einem mit Revolutionsführer Ali Chamenei verdorben – und das ist ja der wichtigste Mann im Staat, der die Geschicke des Landes – sei es in der Außenpolitik, sei es in Sachen Atomprogramm – lenkt. Gleichzeitig werfen die Iraner Ahmadinedschad vor, dass er das Land vom Westen isoliert hat – eben durch seine Hartnäckigkeit in den Atomverhandlungen oder durch provokante Äußerungen Richtung Israel und USA. Viele meinen: Seit Ahmadinedschad an der Macht ist, geht es uns von Jahr zu Jahr schlechter. Lies den Rest dieses Beitrags

Old War Haunts New Election

by Garrett Nada and Helia Ighani

A quarter century later, the Iran-Iraq War looms over Iran’s presidential election as if it happened yesterday. All six candidates participated in the grizzliest modern Middle East conflict as fighters, commanders or officials. Over the past month, the campaign has evolved into a feisty competition over who sacrificed and served the most in the eight-year war.
A leading candidate lost a leg. Another candidate commanded the Revolutionary Guards. A third liberated an oil-rich frontline city. A fourth brokered the dramatic ceasefire.

            During the final debate on June 7, candidates invoked their wartime experience during the “Holy Defense,” as it is officially dubbed in Iran, as a top credential for taking office. It clearly shaped the worldviews of all six, despite their disparate political affiliations as reformists, hardliners or independents.
            But experience during the 1980-1988 war is also emerging as an unspoken credential in facing the future, specifically a confrontation with the outside world over Iran’s controversial nuclear program. The debate resonated with language of resistance that echoed from the war, which claimed up to 1 million casualties.
            Iran’s presidential contest illustrates how the war generation is now competing to take over the leadership from the first generation of revolutionaries. Four out of the six candidates were connected to the Revolutionary Guards, Iran’s most powerful military organization. Over the past decade, the Guards have also played an increasing role in the economy and politics. Veterans won nearly a fifth of parliament’s 290 seats in 2004.
            The six candidates had vastly different roles. Lies den Rest dieses Beitrags

Latest on the Race: Debate on Culture, Women

Garrett Nada

            Iran’s eight presidential candidates clashed on issues of culture, personal freedoms and women’s rights at the June 5 debate. Hassan Rouhani and Mohammed Reza Aref repeatedly criticized government censorship of the internet, press and academia. They argued that censorship had prevented Iranian artists from creating quality productions and led people to watch foreign television shows and movies. Rouhani and Aref opposed the confiscation of satellites dishes and interference in people’s private lives. Even two conservative candidates ―Mohammad-Baqer Qalibaf (below in black) and Ali Akbar Velayati― challenged government filtering.

      But Gholam Ali Haddad-Adel and Saeed Jalili defended state social controls. Jalili claimed that movies like “Argo” and “Lincoln” have furthered U.S. policy goals. He called for the production of movies to promote the Islamic revolution.
      Candidates also took opposing positions on the rights and role of women. Rouhani (left) promised to establish a ministry of women’s affairs if elected. “We must give women equal rights and equal pay,” he said. But Jalili argued that women should fulfill their family role at home. His campaign seemed to temper his statement with a tweet pointing out that his wife, a doctor, is a working woman. The following is a rundown of remarks and points made by each candidate during the debate.

Iran News Round Up (6 JUNE 2013)

Qalibaf emphasizes Iran-Iraq War credentials to defend his image; Velayati publishes detailed cyber space platform; Iranian Telecommunications Company denies responsibility for reported internet disruptions

  • Former Tehran Mayor Mohammad Bagher Qalibaf heavily criticized opponents who label him as a technocrat and said, “I do not have the time to answer some people’s claims, but I believe that a person is a technocrat [if they have] not seen the color of the front [during the Iran-Iraq war].”
  • Presidential candidate Gholam Ali Haddad Adel said, “Their eight year militarily imposed war [Iran-Iraq war] did not achieve any results; therefore, it is possible that they have planned an eight-year imposed economic war. Our path is that just as the nation resisted in the Imposed War, economic resistance will maintain the country in the economically imposed war. We have no other way except this [path].” Haddad Adel also revealed that his cyber space platform is to follow the strategic directives of the Supreme Cyber Space Council.
  • Presidential candidate Mohsen Rezai said he would alleviate international concerns regarding the nuclear program but would not abandon “national interests and the values of the revolution.” He added that he would form a 5+3 international group to politically resolve the Syrian crisis. The group would consist of Syrian neighbors Turkey, Iraq, Jordan, Palestine and Lebanon, in addition to Iran, Saudi Arabia and Egypt.
  • Ali Akbar Velayati’s Cyber Space Committee Headquarters published the candidate’s platform regarding cyber space. The three main points are: “An opportunistic perspective instead of a threatened [perspective] towards cyber space; Ethics and partial immunity instead of limitation in cyber space, and; alignment with the Supreme Leader’s policies in establishing the Supreme Cyber Space Council.” His proposed policies also include establishing security operation centers in all sensitive parts of the country and supporting the indigenous development and construction of internet infrastructures.
  • According to Kurdistan Press Agency, two Ahl-e Haq religious minority Kurds, Hassan Razavi and Nikmard Taheri, self-immolated to protest Islamic Republic security forces arrest and abuse of coreligionist Kiumars Tamnak and his religious beliefs during an interrogation.
  • Alef News Agency reports that the Ministry of Islamic Culture and Guidance sent an approximately 120 member group to Lebanon two weeks ago without any official announcements. The article questions the reasons and the financier of the trip, since the minister is reportedly known to be frugal regarding international travel and the ministry has recently had to cancel cultural events due to budget constraints. The group reportedly consisted of artists, poets and cultural officials, and the article notes that it used a conservative estimation based on oral reports so the group may have included as many as 200 individuals. The author attributed the trip to potential government abuse and waste. Lies den Rest dieses Beitrags

Who Will Iran’s Quds Force Commander Vote For?

By Golnaz Esfandiari, RFE/RL

While many Iranians remain undecided about who they will vote for in the June 14 presidential election, one of the country’s most powerful military commanders has apparently made up his mind.

Iranian Brigadier General Qassem Soleimani, commander of the IRGC’s Quds Force

Last week, Ayatollah Yahya Jafari, who is Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei’s representative in Kerman and Kerman’s Friday Prayer leader, said during a meeting with one of the eight presidential candidates that the candidate had already earned the vote of the commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps‘ (IRGC) Quds force, Qassem Soleimani.

Jafari told the former IRGC air-force commander and ex-Tehran Mayor Mohammad Baqer Qalibaf that Soleimani would vote for him, before echoing the sentiment himself.

„One night I was with Haj Qassem Soleimani and I asked him, ‚Who will you vote for?‘ Haj Qassem Suleimani said, ‚Qalibaf.‘ I also said I would vote for Qalibaf,“ Jafari said. Lies den Rest dieses Beitrags

Konservative entdecken Twitter

Kandidaten nutzen soziale Netzwerke – die eigentlich blockiert sind.

Twitter, Facebook und YouTube galten nach den Wahlen 2009 als Revier der Protestbewegung. Jener jungen Iraner, die gegen den angeblichen Wahlbetrug der Konservativen demonstrierten. Dort formierten sie sich, dort verbreiteten sie Bilder von Verletzten und Toten, dort machten sie die Welt auf die Gewalt aufmerksam, die von den Mächtigen im Land ausging.

Seitdem sind die sozialen Netzwerke im Iran blockiert. Doch – und das weiß jeder – man kann sie immer aufrufen, wenn man die Internetsperre umgeht. So macht das auch einer der Kandidaten, die dem Ayatollah Ali Khamenei nahestehen. Mit dem Hashtag#WhyVote4Jalili meldet sich seit einigen Tagen der erzkonservative iranische Atom-Unterhändler Said Dschalili zu Wort. Auch der Oberste Geistliche Führer Khamenei hat ein Twitter-Konto. Ob die jungen Iraner so für die Wahlen mobilisiert werden, bleibt dahingestellt.

Geht man nach einem Teil der iranischen Medien, dann kommt es bei der Präsidentschaftswahl am 14. Juni zu einem Kopf-an-Kopf-Rennen zwischen Ex-Präsident Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsandjani und Esfandiar Rahim Mashaei, einem Günstling von Staatschef Ahmadinejad. Aber auch die von Khamenei unterstützten Kandidaten werden mitmischen: Ex-Außenminister Ali Velayati, der Teheraner Bürgermeister Mohammad Bagher Ghalibaf und Dschalili.



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