Iran: Rückkehr der Frauen in die Musik

Zu den großen „Errungenschaften“ der islamischen Revolution im Iran gehörte es unter anderem, den weiblichen Gesang in der Öffentlichkeit zu verbieten, und es dauerte lange, bis die ersten Frauenstimmen wieder in den iranischen Medien zu hören waren.
Madschid Darachschani, der einige Zeit in Deutschland in Köln gelebt hatte und hier als Musiklehrer tätig war und in Europa Konzerte gab, kehrte vor ca. 10 Jahren in den Iran zurück, wo er privaten Musikunterricht auch für Frauen gab und auch eine Musikgruppe namens „Mahbanu“ gründete, die von Frauen gebildet wird. Die Frauen spielen traditionelle iranische Instrumente, traditionelle Musik und singen alte Texte. In diesem youtube-Video stammt der Text von Dschalal ad-Din Muhammad Rumi (bekannt als Moulana Rumi), der 1273 in Konya starb. Die Lieder von Rumi werden von den Derwischen gesungen, die heute im Iran ebenfalls verfolgt und inhaftiert werden.

Who will be Iran’s next supreme leader?

Senior Iranian officials (L to R) Ali Larijani, Hassan Khomeini, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Gholamali Haddadadel, Mahmoud Shahroudi and Hashemi Rafsanjani listen to a speech by Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, June 4, 2006.  (photo by REUTERS/Raheb Homavandi)

Who will be Iran’s next supreme leader?

“May God preserve the supreme leader and give him a long life,” said Hojat al-Islam Ghorbanali Dorri-Najafabadi. “However, we need to prepare for when he is gone.”

These comments, which were picked up by Shia Online, went largely unnoticed when they were made May 20. However, this is one of the most candid comments made by a member of the Assembly of Experts about their constitutional role of both choosing the next supreme leader and supervising him after Ayatollah Ali Khamenei’s reign ends. The topic came up while he was talking to reporters about the importance of the next Assembly of Experts election in February 2016.

By physical appearances, the 75-year-old Ayatollah Khamenei appears healthy. Iranian TV often shows him hiking in the mountains. He is capable of delivering long sermons and does not appear to be suffering from any mental fatigue or age-related illness. But the issue of succession is still very important for political groups in Iran.

Once the Assembly of Experts hold their election, the winners will hold the position for eight years. When that term comes to an end, the supreme leader will be 83 years old. Therefore, the possibility exists that the next elected Assembly of Experts might have to choose, or at the very least plan, a successor for Ayatollah Khamenei.

As of now, there is no official successor in place. While the previous supreme leader of Iran, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, was alive, Ayatollah Hossein Ali Montazeri was chosen as deputy supreme leader. However, Montazeri eventually opposed the direction taken by the revolution and wrote a letter to Ayatollah Khomeini criticizing the mass executions in 1988. This letter angered the supreme leader and eventually Ayatollah Montazeri was removed from his position.

No one has appointed a deputy supreme leader since, and for good reason. It appears that the practice of choosing a successor while the supreme leader is alive has not been a positive experience, with some describing it as too much like “having two kings in one kingdom.”

The quest for succession will be difficult and many groups with conflicting interests will attempt to sway the elections of the Assembly of Experts in their favor, especially the chairmanship. The official chairman of the Assembly of Experts, Mohammad Reza Mahdavi Kani, recently suffered a heart attack and is in critical condition with no hope of returning to the political arena.

Some have speculated that Ayatollah Hashemi Rafsanjani wants to retake the chairmanship. He was replaced by Mahdavi Kani in 2011 in what was viewed as a demotion for his support of the Reformists after the contested 2009 elections. Ayatollah Mahmoud Shahroudi, a prominent cleric with close ties to Ayatollah Khamenei, has been appointed acting chairman and will remain in the position until the fate of Mahdavi Kani becomes clear, or perhaps the elections.

Despite the importance of the position, there is doubt about how much weight it actually carries anymore.

Mohammad Noorizad, one of the most outspoken political dissidents in Iran, said of the election of the future supreme leader, “Neither the Assembly of Experts nor the parliament is independent. The supreme leader, the security organizations and the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps all interfere in the decisions of the assembly. There is no hope that the Assembly of Experts can choose the future supreme leader without the interference of the Guard and the intelligence organizations.”

Noorizad believes that the Revolutionary Guard will attempt to put forward a candidate who has general popularity in society but who is also loyal to the corps and its financial and foreign policy interests.

A cleric in Qom who spoke to Al-Monitor on condition of anonymity said that Ayatollah Shahroudi is someone the security organizations in Iran would accept as supreme leader. Shahroudi, who served as the chief justice of Iran for 10 years, is an influential Shiite marja. He was born in Iraq and is an Iraqi citizen. Shahroudi once led the Supreme Council of the Islamic Revolution of Iraq and was also a member of the Dawa Party in Iraq.

But the cleric believes that Shahroudi does not have the necessary charisma and oratory skills to be the supreme leader. Noorizad also believes that the supreme leader needs to be an internationally acceptable figure, while Shahroudi is not popular inside Iran and has no international prestige, either.

The Qom cleric believes that after the supreme leader’s death, politicians close to Rafsanjani, who is currently the chairman of the Expediency Discernment Council, will push for electing Hassan Khomeini, the grandson of Ayatollah Khomeini, as the next supreme leader of Iran. He said, “The seminary in Qom has accepted the religious authority of Hassan Khomeini. He has shown flexibility toward the Revolutionary Guard and therefore it is possible that members of the Revolutionary Guard and the Assembly of Experts would view his candidacy in a positive manner.”

Hassan Khomeini, a middle-aged cleric, is more popular than the older, more traditional clerics. He is a soccer fan and has stated in a TV program that he follows the European soccer league. He is a relative of Mohammad Khatami, the popular former Reformist president of Iran, and after the start of the Green Movement, maintained his relationship with its leaders, Mir-Hossein Mousavi and Mehdi Karroubi.

But his closeness with Reformists, which makes him popular among some in society, will pose a problem for the Revolutionary Guard, which views Reformists with suspicion. Noorizad believes that the promotion of Khomeini is not possible because he has not been able to stand on his own on issues that matter. “The political system has not facilitated the growth of independent individuals,” he said. “Throughout the years, Hassan Khomeini has been unable to protest against the hardships inflicted on people and thus has not been able to gain people’s trust.”

There is of course the possibility that a replacement may not be appointed immediately. Analyst Mohammad Javad Akbarein told Al-Monitor in an interview that it will be difficult for any individual to be picked to become the next supreme leader. “I predict that members of a council will take over the duties of the supreme leader” until the factions settle their differences, he said.

According to the constitution, the supreme leader should be a high-ranking jurist who can also manage political affairs. A very limited number of grand ayatollahs with the status of marja can manage the political affairs of the country. Others have tried to use the model of Ayatollah Khamenei’s own promotion to discern how the next one will be chosen, but many believe that his selection took place in a unique era in Iran, with the ending of a devastating eight-year war with Iraq and the passing of the Islamic Republic’s founder. That time, they say, is not comparable to the relatively stable conditions which Iran finds itself in today.

On concerns that the next supreme leader could be one of the more hard-line figures, Akbarein believes that when necessary, the Principlist members of the Assembly of Experts will support a supreme leader who is close Rafsanjani or other moderates. “Members of this faction believe that the actions of the radical Principlists, such as [Ayatollah Mohammad Taghi] Mesbah Yazdi, are not beneficial for the country and might result in the destruction of the religious government in Iran,” he said.

He believes that the members of the Assembly of Experts will not succumb to the Revolutionary Guard’s pressure due to their own desire for self-preservation — unless, of course, the Revolutionary Guard finds a cleric with the necessary charisma and general approval of various institutions.

Source: AL-Monitor

Iranian Child Brides = Socialized Slavery

child brides 2Within 9 months, roughly 31,000 girls under 15 were married in Iran. That’s about 36% of the new marriages. What’s worse is that the marriages of girls under 10 (!) is growing as well.

It’s time to put a stop to what seems to be a legal from of slavery in which small children find themselves at the will of their husbands and their families before they have even  found their own identities.

Time| Despite a Crackdown, Iranian Fashion Keeps Pushing Boundaries

Iranian fashion

Tehran fashion houses are pushing boundaries in TehranATTA KENARE/AFP/Getty Images

In the latest case of Iranian authorities cracking down on fashion they deem “un-Islamic,” a famous clothing design institute called “Khaneh Mode” or Mode House was shut down last week in Tehran. The fashion designer had caused a controversy last month when it held a show with models wearing coats which appeared to be made of the Iranian flag—minus its religious symbols. Nor did it help that the show had allowed men among its audience, which violates conservative Islamic taboos.

This was followed by intense reaction from conservative politicians and religious groups, who cited the show as yet another violation of Islamic mores and traditions, which in turn forced the government to react. “This fashion show did not match the regulations of the Fashion and Clothes Management Workgroup and therefore we havetaken legal action,” said Hamid Ghobadi, the workgroup’s secretary according to the official ISNA news agency. “The Khaneh Mode institute has been shut down until further notice.”

The workgroup, which was created by an enactment of parliament, is tasked with organizing Iran’s emerging fashion industry and making it compatible with Islamic standards. It is headed by a deputy minister of Iran’s Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance and its members are mostly government officials, with a handful of representatives from the fashion industry. Pictures of the show first emerged on Iranian websites in late June and showed men among the audience—until recently was unheard of in the Islamic Republic. The young female models, who wore white leggings, sported loose coats in the green, white and red tricolor of the Iranian national flag.

Iran’s fledgling fashion industry has begun to evolve in recent years, with shows on the rise. Most of these shows have permissions from the authorities but also underground shows are on the rise which depict more risqué dresses and even lingerie. However, until recently all shows for female clothes were held behind closed doors with no men allowed inside. The audience was also not permitted to take pictures or film.

Following the furor of religious and conservative groups the designers, Khaneh Mode immediately tried to do damage control with a statement on their website apologizing for having inadvertently offended anyone and reaffirming their commitment to “National and Islamic values.” Nonetheless, the authorities acted a few days later and shut them down.

Javid Shirazi, the director of the fashion house, told TIME in Tehran that that “we are completely committed to working within Iran’s native and Islamic framework and we tried to observe these in our show. Inviting men to view shows is permitted since last year so long as the clothes completely cover the body of models and models do not catwalk but walk in a normal and modest manner.”

The shutting down of the fashion house is just the latest instance of an endless tug of war between authorities and women in Iran, one that has been fought since an Islamic dress code was enforced in the aftermath of the 1979 revolution. This clash comes to the forefront every summer, when the latest female attire trends pick up with a tendency towards shorter and skimpier coats and ever tighter legwear, which has been epitomized this year in leggings.

The authorities react every year by escalating their “Morality Patrols.” The outcome is a cat and mouse game between more fashionably dressed women and the authorities. The results can be bizarre—women sporting trendy attire will sometimes take taxis from one side to the other side of squares and junctions just to bypass the morality police.

But over time the will of Iranian women has slowly but surely prevailed, with acceptable dress these days now far beyond the harsh codes of the first years of the revolution, when practically no makeup was tolerated and anything less than a chador—a loose robe that covers the body from head to toe—was frowned upon. And with the election of the more moderate Hassan Rouhani as president last year, many hope that the authorities will relax their strict stance on what women can wear in public.

Officially there has been no relaxation, in fact the authorities have tried everything they could think of to counter it. But in practice it’s a losing battle.

Full Article

An exploration and critique of the use of mental health information within refugee status determination proceedings in the United Kingdom

This study seeks to understand the composition, use and cultural orientation of mental health evidence within the UK’s refugee status determination (RSD) process, focusing specifically on mental health evidence provided in the form of a medico-legal report (MLR). By exploring those themes, this paper also strives to provide insight into what constitutes “valid” medical evidence in the context of RSD. Employing a constructivist paradigm, the study is based on 14 interviews with individuals involved in the production of mental health evidence, analysis of documents providing guidance about the production of MLRs, and analysis of MLRs themselves. It is argued that the “validity” of an MLR is based on the one hand on the perceived credibility of MLRs, and on the other hand on the perceived veracity of the mental health information it contains. The perception that evidence is “valid” can be seen as proportionate to the extent to which the report author is considered to be credible and able to frame and articulate information in a “neutral and objective way”. However, this “objectivity” is an expression of a particular, culturally specific conception of mental health; one that is framed within a Western, biomedical paradigm. As such, the MLR author has a de facto role of structuring and channelling a range of cross-cultural information into a particular, culturally specific model.

More information

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).

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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.


Generalanwältin beim EuGH zur Prüfung der sexuellen Orientierung im Asylverfahren

Die Generalanwältin am Europäischen Gerichtshof (EuGH) hat am 17. Juli 2014 ein Rechtsgutachten vorgelegt, in dem sie strenge Voraussetzungen für die Überprüfung der sexuellen Orientierung von Asylsuchenden fordert. Hintergrund ist das beim EuGH anhängige Verfahren “A, B, C gegen die Niederlande” (C-148/13, C-149/13, C-150/13).

In dem zugrunde liegenden Fall hatten die niederländischen Behörden die Asylanträge von drei Männern abgelehnt. Sie hatten angegeben, wegen ihrer Homosexualität in ihren jeweiligen Herkunftsländern verfolgt zu werden. Die Behörden lehnten die Anträge mit der Begründung ab, die drei Kläger hätten ihre Homosexualität nicht glaubhaft belegen können.

Der niederländische Raad van State, bei dem die drei Männer Rechtsmittel gegen die Entscheidungen eingelegt hatten, stellte fest, dass die Prüfung, ob ein Antragsteller wegen seiner sexuellen Ausrichtung zu einer bestimmten sozialen Gruppe gehöre, möglicherweise komplexer sei als die Prüfung anderer Verfolgungsgründe. Die sogenannte Qualifikationsrichtlinie der EU gebe keine Hinweise darauf, inwiefern die Mitgliedstaaten die behauptete sexuelle Ausrichtung in Frage stellen könnten, ob es Grenzen gebe und, falls ja, ob diese Grenzen die gleichen seien wie für Asylanträge aus anderen Gründen. Der Raad van State hat daher den Gerichtshof gefragt, ob das Unionsrecht dem Handeln der Mitgliedstaaten Grenzen setzt, wenn in Fällen, in denen Antragsteller die Anerkennung als Flüchtling aufgrund ihrer sexuellen Ausrichtung beantragen, die Glaubhaftigkeit des Vorbringens überprüft wird.

In ihren Schlussanträgen vom 17. Juli 2014 führt Generalanwältin Eleanor Sharpston aus, dass es keine objektive Methode gebe, die von einer Person behauptete sexuelle Ausrichtung mit Bestimmtheit zu beweisen. Die persönliche Autonomie sei ein wichtiger Bestandteil des Rechts auf Privatleben, das durch die Charta der Grundrechte der Europäischen Union geschützt sei. Daher müssten die Angaben des Asylsuchenden zu seiner sexuellen Orientierung immer den Ausgangspunkt der Prüfung bilden.

Untersuchungs- oder Befragungsmethoden, die die Würde oder die körperliche Unversehrtheit der Antragsteller verletzten, müssten ausgeschlossen sein. Verletzt würden die Rechte auf körperliche und geistige Unversehrtheit und auf Privatleben durch eingriffsintensive und erniedrigende Methoden wie beispielsweise medizinische oder pseudo-medizinische Untersuchungen. Auch zudringliche Befragungen verletzten diese Rechte. Eine zudringliche Befragung sei nicht nur gegeben, wenn der Betreffende zur Vorlage von Foto- oder Videobeweisen für sexuelle Praktiken aufgefordert wird, sondern auch, wenn er zur Vorlage solchen Materials ermuntert oder die Vorlage zugelassen wird.

Da derartige Methoden nicht zulässig seien, müsse sich die Beurteilung, ob die Flüchtlingseigenschaft zuerkannt werden soll, auf die Frage konzentrieren, ob die Angaben der Antragsteller glaubhaft seien.

Die Schlussanträge der Generalanwälte beim EuGH sind für den Gerichtshof nicht bindend. Aufgabe der Generalanwälte ist es, dem Gerichtshof einen Entscheidungsvorschlag für die betreffende Rechtssache zu unterbreiten. Den Schlussanträgen kommt aber besonderes Gewicht zu, weil der Gerichtshof ihnen in seinen Urteilen nicht selten gefolgt ist. Das Urteil ergeht zu einem späteren Zeitpunkt.

Die Pressemitteilung des Europäischen Gerichtshofs zu den Schlussanträgen ist hier abrufbar (enthalten ist auch ein Link zum Volltext der Schlussanträge):


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