A Culture of Intimidation: The Islamic Republic and the Press

This short documentary provides a brief account of restrictions on the freedom of the press in Iran, particularly focusing on the period between the reform era, which began with the election of President Mohammad Khatami in 1997, and the present. The chain murders of 1990s, the banning of Salam newspaper in 1999, and mass closures of reformist newspapers by Tehran Prosecutor Saeed Mortazavi are among topics discussed in this film. The documentary also examines restrictions on the press during the presidencies of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Hassan Rouhani, and explores how Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei and the Iranian parliament have worked to cultivate a climate of fear in the domestic press in Iran. According to figures compiled by IHRDC, there are currently over fifty journalists and bloggers imprisoned in Iran.

Last month, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Islamic Republic of Iran (IRI), Javad Zarif, announced to the world that the IRI does not “jail people for their opinions”, adding that, “people who commit crimes…cannot hide behind being a journalist.” Weeks later, on Tuesday, May 26, the trial of Washington Post Tehran bureau chief Jason Rezaian commenced behind closed doors in Branch 15 of the Revolutionary Court of Tehran, a court known for issuing heavy sentences against political prisoners and prisoners of conscience with little to no supporting evidence. One of the charges against Rezaian, “disseminating propaganda against the state”, is presumably one of the crimes to which Zarif alluded. According to its definition in the IRI’s Islamic Penal Code, the charge can be applied against “[a]nyone who engages in any type of propaganda against the Islamic Republic of Iran or in support of opposition groups and associations.” This vaguely-defined charge has been employed in countless cases against journalists in recent years, yet neither Zarif nor any other official of the IRI has ever provided a coherent explanation of how its use does not infringe on the freedoms of expression and press.

Neue Schikane gegen die Frauen im Iran

Atena Farghadani

Die 28-jährige Iranerin Atena Farghadani sitzt im Gefängnis – sie hat die Unterdrückung von Frauen und Minderheiten durch das Regime kritisiert


Während die UN-Vetomächte und Deutschland stolz ihr Rahmenabkommen im Atomstreit mit dem Iran präsentieren, steht das Parlament in Teheran kurz davor, zwei neue, frauenfeindliche Gesetze zu beschließen.

Damit soll die sexistische Politik des Gottesstaates zementiert werden.


Rouhani on Freedom of Speech and Islamic Extremism

rouhani freedom islamAs we noted in our earlier posts, most Iranian leaders reacted to the Charlie Hebdo massacre accordingly: Yes, the massacre is reprehensible BUT the victims deserved it for having insulted Muslims.

Rouhani is different in that he not only understands the sensitivities of Muslims, he is acutely aware of the sensitivities of Westerners whom he feels he needs in order to allow Iran to develop and prosper.

Rouhani on Charlie

charlie 6Rouhani condemned the massacre accusing the terrorists of increasing Islamophobia with their deeds. His condemnation was tempered slightly by the content of Charlie: “A magazine which is used as a weapon of prejudice is always full of bullets of insult and certain people sow the seeds of hatred and others harvest vengeance under the name of religion but with the sickle of massacre.” Hatred in the name of religion is fuelled by hatred in the name of freedom of speech.

He went to great lengths to separate the sensitivities of Muslims who felt insulted by the satire of Charlie Hebdo from the sensitivities of Westerners who were horrified from the reactions of Muslim extremists to the freedom of speech.

A good way to understand Rouhani’s mindset on the sensitivities of this issue is to read and listen to his own words his reactions to similar issues in the past.

Rouhani on Rushdie

rushdieRouhani clearly understands that the sensitivities of Muslim regarding criticism of Islam is equaled to the sensitivities of Westerners regarding criticism of freedom of speech.

In order to understand his mindset on this issue, one should listen to Rouhani’s take on the fatwa against Salman Rushdie and the furor it created in the West: “It’s not a matter of the civil rights of a Western citizen…it is a cultural war…according to their point of view, the problem is that asentence has been issued for an individual who is a citizen of another country…Our response is that the fatwa is a religious decree…we as a government have not issued an order to assassinate this person, so it cannot be said that we have broken international laws, but we say this is the duty of Muslims. And this duty is determined by God.”

In short, he understands why the fatwa is so abhorrent to Westerners but he also understands why the fatwa had to be issued and respected.

Rouhani on “Freedom”

freedom iran 2For Rouhani, freedom has to be tempered and controlled in order to not turn into anarchy: “People (in Iran) are completely free to express their thoughts. Of course, there are laws and rules in every country. There is a court, and if anyone disobeys the law, then it is the law that deals with that person…if we don’t abide by the law, it would be a shambles. We have to distinguish between freedom and shambles“.

That is why issuing a death sentence to Iranian blogger Soheil Arabi for (re)posting a criticism of the Prophet is legitimate. According to Rouhani,  Arabi transgressed the law knowingly and therefore should be held accountable as a criminal because freedom, he believes, must be limited and controlled: “Danger is when, God forbid, there is a group that considers itself equal to Islam, a group that considers itself equal to the Revolution, a group that considers itself equal to the guardianship of the Supreme Jurisconsult and introduces [another] group against religion, against Revolution, against the guardianship of the Supreme Jurisconsult. All problems originate from this point.”

Once again, Rouhani seems to understand the upside of freedom but he warns that too much freedom leads to the unraveling of the fabrics of society in general and Islamic society in particular.

Rouhani on the future of Iran

iranRouhani first and foremost has a clear understanding of the power of diplomacy: Diplomacy, is the art ofunderstanding a region…estimatingits strength and position, and finding opportunities critical to exploit.” But more importantly, Rouhani has a vision for the future of Iran: “In 20 years, our dominant discourse should be “progress and development” – if the dominant discourse is security, then the economy, and science and technology, cannot be the first priorities“.

This form of development is dependent on foreign investment which shies away from Tehran’s traditional focus on security and arrogant attitude of self-sufficiency: “Our difficulty with foreign investment is that the world sees our country as a security risk. We have paid a very high price economically.” In his mind, the future of Iran is dependent on de-isolation and foreign investment and not on self-sufficiency as Khamenei arrogantly tries to portray.

But Rouhani is also a devout Muslim who believes in Iran’s role in leading Islam: “The leader of the Islamic movement is Islamic Iran…the Imam’s (Khomeini) line, path, and thought rules over the hearts of all free Muslims and movements. The eminent leader of the Revolution, his eminence Ayatullah Khamenei…is the leader of the world of Islam today. His message, his words, his cries, his line, his path is the guiding direction for Islamic movements.” Iran’s future is not only in development but in leading Islam globally.

In a way, Rouhani symbolizes the crux of the problems that Iran is going through: his head is facing toward the West but his heart is in Islamic rule.

Quelle: Iran2407

Iran Journalists to Rouhani: Stop Lying!

With so many journalists jailed in Iran, including the Washington Post’s Jason Rezaian, reporters inside the country and out denounce the president’s smiling sophistry.
In a letter to President Hassan Rouhani, 135 Iranian reporters, editors and media workers from inside and outside Iran urged the president not to insult them by lying about the persecution of journalists in Iran.

The letter, published in Persian on IranWire, criticized Rouhani for recent comments he made during an interview with CNN’s Christiane Amanpour.

During the interview, which took place while Rouhani was in the United States to attend a the United Nations General Assembly, Amanpour asked the president to comment on the case of Jason Rezaian, the jailed Washington Post journalist.

„I really don’t believe the fact at all,” he said. “I do not believe that an individual would be detained or put in prison for being a journalist.”

Technically, Rouhani is right, but the reality is very different. Most of those in prison are not charged with activities related to journalism. Instead, it’s “endangering the security of the nation,” “spreading propaganda,” “insulting the Supreme Leader.” In some cases, journalists are held on charges of “promoting corruption” or “prostitution.”

According to research conducted by IranWire, there are 65 professional and citizen journalists currently in prison in Iran. All of them were arrested because of their reporting. Since the disputed presidential election in 2009, almost 300 journalists have been arrested. Iran has the highest number of women journalists in prison, and hundreds of Iranian journalists are forced to live in exile.

In their letter to Rouhani, which to date has 135 signatories, journalists asked him to honor his election promises: greater freedom for journalists, and a safer and more secure working environment. The letter is published in English below:

President Hassan Rouhani of Iran:

Your Excellency,

When you came to power in June 2013, you promised that you would create a more secure working environment for journalists and the media in our country.

Once again, in February 2014, you reminded the citizens of Iran of your election promises, stating that journalists should be entitled to greater security while doing their jobs. You said that shutting down a newspaper is not the right way to warn those who may have infringed on the law.

We, the undersigned, hoped you would take serious and practical measures to fulfill your promises. Yet more than a year after resuming office, the demands and expectations of journalists have not been realized. In fact, in an interview with CNN’s Christiane Amanpour, you denied that there was anyone in jail in Iran for their work as a journalist.

You were once critical of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s administration and its habit of concealing and denying the truth. Your recent denial that a problem even exists echoes this sentiment, and reminds us of its impact.

We, the undersigned journalists, believe that it is unethical, unprofessional and insulting to deny the fact that, today, many journalists remain in prison in Iran for doing their jobs. Moreover, a number of journalists have been imprisoned during your presidency.

In our country, security agents regularly imprison journalists, denying them their basic rights simply for carrying out their duty: to inform the public. As the head of the executive branch, and as the second highest official of the land, whose responsibility includes supervising the execution of the constitution by different branches of the government, it is your duty to improve the situation of Iranian journalists.

At the very least, we expect you to correct your false statement concerning imprisoned journalists in Iran. But we hope for more, and we ask you to fulfill your promises to create a more secure environment for journalists in our country.


– Aida Ghajar

– Ahmad Rafat

– Alieh Motalebzadeh

– Ali Asghar Ramezanpour

– Ali Shirazi

– Ali Mazrouei

– Alireza Latifian

– Amirhossein Mossala

– Arash Bahmani

– Arash Ashourinia

– Arash Azizi

– Behdad Bordbar

– Behrouz Samadbeygi

– Bijan Farhoudi

– Darioush Memar

– Delbar Tavakoli

– Ehsan Mehrabi

– Elnaz Mohammadi

– Ershad Alijani

– Fatemeh Jamalpour

– Farshad Ghorbanpour

– Fereshte Ghazi

– Farshid Faryabi

– Farahmand Alipour

– Fariborz Soroush

– Farid Haeinejad

– Farideh Ghaeb

– Firouzeh Ramezanzadeh

– Hamid Eslami

– Hamidreza Ebrahimzadeh

– Hanif Mazrouei

– Homayoun Kheiri

– Hossein Alavi

– Javad Heidarian

– Isa Saharkhiz

– Kamyar Behrang

– Kaveh Ghoreishi

– Khatereh Vatankhah

– Ladan Salami

– Lida Ayaz

– Lida Hosseininejad

– Leila Sa’adati

– Leili Nikounazar

– Maziar Bahari

– Maziar Khosravi

– Mana Neyestani

– Mani Tehrani

– Mahrokh Gholamhosseinpour

– Mojtaba Najafi

– Majid Saeedi

– Mohammad Aghazadeh

– Mohammad Tangestani

– Mohammad Hossein Nejati

– Mohammad Rahbar

– Mohammad Ghadamali

– Mohammad Kassaeizadeh

– Mohammadreza Nassababdollahi

– Mahmoud Farjami

– Morteza Kazemian

– Marjan Tabatabaei

– Maryam Amiri

– Maryam Jafari

– Maryam Shahsamandi

– Maryam Majd

– Mazdak Alinazari

– Masoud Behnoud

– Masoud Safiri

– Masoud Kazemi

– Masoud Lavasani

– Mostafa Khalaji

– Maliheh Mohammadi

– Mansoureh Farahani

– Mahdi Tajik

– Mehdi Jami

– Mehdi Ghadimi

– Mehdi Mahmoudian

– Mehdi Vazirbani

– Mehdi Mohseni

– Mehran Faraji

– Mehraveh Kharazmi

– Mehrad Abolghassemi

– Mehrdad Hojati

– Mehrdad Mashayekhi

– Mitra Khalatbari

– Meisam Youssefi

– Milad Beheshti

– Minou Momeni

– Nazanin Kazemi

– Nazanin Matin’nia

– Nasrin Zahiri

– Naeimeh Doustdar

– Negin Behkam

– Noushabeh Amiri

– Noushin Pirouz

– Nikahang Kowsar

– Nima Dehghani

– Niousha Saremi

– Omid Montazeri

– Parvaneh Vahidmanesh

– Panah Farhadbahman

– Pourya Souri

– Reza Ansarirad

– Reza Haghighatnejad

– Reza Rafiei

– Reza Shokrollahi

– Rouzbeh Mirebrahimi

– Roya Maleki

– Reihaneh Mazaheri

– Sara Damavandan

– Saghi Laghaei

– Sam Mahmoudi Sarabi

– Sanaz Ghazizadeh

– Sepideh Behkam

– Sahar Bayati

– Soroush Farhadian

– Saeid Shams

– Saeideh Amin

– Soulmaz Eikder

– Siamak Ghaderi

– Seyyed Mojtaba Vahedi

– Sina Shahbaba

– Shabnam Shabani

– Shahram Rafizadeh

– Shahrzad Hemati

– Shohreh Asemi

– Shirzad Abdollahi

– Shirin Famili

– Shima Shahrabi

– Saba Sherdoust

– Sadra Mohaghegh

– Tahereh Rahimi

– Tara Bonyad

– Taraneh Baniyaghoub

– Touka Neyestani

– Youssef Azizi Banitorof


This article was republished from IranWire.

Appendix: Partial List of Political Prisoners in Iran

Source: The Campaign to Free Political Prisoners (CFPPI)

Name Age Prison City Sentence Charges Ailment Arrest Date
Mohammad-Reza Pourshajri 53 Central Prison Karaj 4 years Acting against national security
Insulting Islam
Insulting the Supreme Leader
Diabetes, kidney stones, heart attack, enlarged prostate 2010
Dr. Sayed Madani Central Prison Bandar Abbas 6 years Acting against national security
Civil rights activist
Sociology Research
Gallbladder stones 2011
Dr. Nader Babai Evin, ward 350 Tehran 74 lashes and 6 years suspended sentence Social and civil activist arrested during the 2009 protests for helping his student Omid Dana.
war vet for Iran/Iraq war
2 strokes
internal bleeding
Vahid Roohbakhsh Evin, ward 350 Tehran 18 months suspended sentence he was arrested during the 2009 protests on charges of protesting/gathering and propagating propaganda against the regime due to severe beatings during torture he has lost 70% of his hearing and needs a hearing aid 2010
Dr. Haani Yazloo 59 Evin, ward 350 Tehran 6 years propaganda against the regime
he was previously arrested and sentenced to 1 year in prison and 15 years in exile
He has had 2 open heart surgeries and suffers from extremely high blood pressure. 2012
Pajman Abdodlhossein Zade Evin, ward 350 Tehran Held for 1 year Green movement activist from 2009 and arrested before and this year again Broken arm during arrest 2012
Mehdi Khodai Evin, ward 350 Tehran 7 years human rights activist
acting against national security
Injured jaw and gums (due to beatings) 2012
Zaniar Moradi Rajai Shahr Karaj Death-hanging enemy of God
alleged killing of the son of an Imam
Broken spine and unbearable pain as result of routine torture, paralysis 2008
Loghman Moradi Rajai Shahr Karaj Death-hanging enemy of God
alleged killing of the son of an Imam
Broken spine and unbearable pain as result of routine torture 2008
Yashar Daralshafa Evin Tehran 5.5 years acting against national security
insulting the President
Problems with spine and disc 2009
Saeed MatinPour 38 Evin Tehran 8 years acting against national security
contacting with foreigners
Extreme back pain and numb legs 1997
Ahmad Doneshpour Evin Tehran Death Supporter of the MEK Crohn’s and intestinal bleeding 2009
Ayatollah Hossein Boroujerdi 54 Evin Tehran One year in Tehran and 10 years exile Accused of acting against national security, holding lectures and public incitement against the regime and Islamic Constitution Due to torture he is suffering from Parkinson’s diseases, heart disease, kidney failure, pulmonary edema, edema of the legs, diabetes, high blood pressure, 90% loss of vision in the right eye and many other ailments 2006
Rasool Badaghi Rajai Shahr Karaj In prison 6 years Teachers Union board member Severe debilitating headaches 2009
Reza Shahabi Evin ward 350 Tehran 4 years prison and 5 years ban on union activities, 70 million Tomans fine Union worker activist member of imprisoned workers union high blood pressure and neck and low back pain 2010
Mohammad Jarahi Tabriz Prison Tabriz 5 years Workers Union member Thyroid gland tumor which has developed to cancer 2011
Mohammad Ali Taheri 54 Evin ward 209 Tehran 7 years prison, 900 million Tomans fine and 64 lashes Apostasy, violating national security establishment of a spiritual center( Erfan-e Halghe) Has been on hunger strike 9 times and has serious infection of the mouth and jaw
Hamid Navid Evin ward 350 Tehran Death Lymphatic cancer
Ali Alaee Evin Tehran 7 years Collaboration with a hostile enemy government Heart disease and spinal cord pain/injury
Mostafa Daneshjoo Evin — intelligence /security section Tehran in prison without sentencing part of the Dervish Gonabadi group Lung disease, difficulty breathing 2011
Reza Entesary Evin Tehran Webmaster, blogger (blog: Majzobane Noor) Injury to left arm 2011
Assadollah Hadi Evin Tehran 5 years Ex-political prisoner in ’80s
acting against national security
Severe heart disease along with problems with the meniscus of the knee 2009
Asghar Ghattan Evin ward 350 Tehran 5.5 years Ex-political prisoner in 80’s
connection to MEK organization
Kidney and heart problems along with prostate issues 2010
Mohmmad Salemi 64 Evin ward 350 Tehran 3 years Ex-political prisoner in 80’s
connection to MEK organization
enemy of God
Heart disease and spinal sciatica and kidney problems 2009
Mohammad Sadigh Kabodavand Evin Tehran 10.5 years establishing a human rights organization and acting against national security Prostate problems 1997
Kamyar Sabeti Evin Tehran 5 years spying Heart disease
Sina Azeemi Evin Tehran 5 years spying Problems breathing/lung issues
Mohsen Daneshpour 67 Evin Tehran Death acting against national security
enemy of God
connection to MEK organization
Heart and prostate disease 2009
Hassan Faraji Evin ward 350 Tehran 7 years spying Heart disease, spinal cord injury, intestinal disease 2009
Alireza Ahmadi 30 Evin ward 350 Tehran Collaborating with enemy Broken legs during interrogation as a result of being kicked 2012
Tasavor Taghipour Evin ward 350 Tehran 7 years member of human rights organization and thus propaganda against the regime Jaw and gum problems 2012
Mohammad Davari 41 Evin ward 350 Tehran 5 years Acting against national security Knee and lower back joint problems along with mouth and teeth injuries 2009
Amir Khoram 51 Evin Tehran 8 years Member of the Freedom Movement – conspiring against national security Jaw and gum injuries 2009
Amir Eslami Evin ward 350 Tehran No sentence arrested in 2011 Member of Darvish Gonabadi and webmaster, blogger (blog: Majzobane Noor) Severe heart and intestinal pain 2011
Rahman Ghahermanpour Evin ward 350 Tehran 3.5 years spying Spinal cord pain, nose, ear and throat issues 2011
Esmael Barzagari Evin ward 350 Tehran No sentence arrested 2011 Acting against national security Gum and jaw issues 2011
Nader Jani Evin ward 350 Tehran 3.5 years Assembly and collusion against national security Spinal cord, heart lung problems 2012
Saeed Mohammad Ebrahimi Evin ward 350 Tehran 5 years insulting the Supreme Leader
Acting against national security
involvement in a soft Coup
Asthma and intestinal issues plus lower back Joint problem – herniated disc 2010
Hamid Reza Moradi Evin ward 209 Tehran No sentence Member of Darvish Gonabadi
acting against national security
spreading lies and propaganda
Spinal stenosis 2011
Hossein Zarrini Evin ward 350 Tehran 4 years Assembly and collusion against national security epilepsy 2010
Behnam Ebrahim Zade Evin ward 350 Tehran 5 years Workers Union Activist Arthritis in the neck and ear, jaw and kidney pain 2010
Saeed Abedeeni Evin ward 350 Tehran 8 years Establishing and running a church from his home Bleeding from stomach and bladder 2012
Farzad Rohi Evin Tehran 3.5 years Propaganda against the regime and insulting Islam Sinusitis 2010
Assadollah Assadi Evin ward 350 Tehran 10 years Collaborating with enemy Lung problems/disease 2010
Gholamreza Hosseini Evin ward 209 Tehran 10 years Collaborating with enemy The destruction of the hip joint, and leg – gum issues 2010
Majid Assadi Evin ward 350 Tehran 4 years Assembly and collusion against national security Anxiety and severe headaches 2008
Nader Karbassi 58 Evin Tehran No sentence Communicating with opposition groups Joint problem – herniated disc 2011
Mohammad Banazade Amir-Kheezi 68 Evin ward 209 Tehran 5 years Communicating with MEK organization History of surgery and has severe bone pain 2010
Mushallah Hatteri 61 Rajai Shahr Karaj 15 years Ex-political prisoner in the 80s
protesting in 2009 demonstrations
Has had heart surgery and suffers from brain hemorrhage 2009
Riazollah Sobhani 68 Rajai Shahr Karaj 4 years Professor of online Baha’i school, member of the Baha’i faith History of heart surgery. arthritis in hands and feet 2011
Jamal Khanjani 80 Evin Tehran 20 years Member of the Baha’i faith
Accused of spying for Israel
Old age 2008
Mohammad Saifzadeh 66 Evin ward 350 Tehran 8 years Establishing human rights organization and acting against the regime Stroke, numbness of hands and feet. Severe chest pains 2011
Farhad Sadaghi 67 Rajai Shahr Karaj 4 years Professor of online Baha’i school and member of Baha’i faith Kidney stones, gall bladder stones and cataracts 2011
Kayvan Samimi 65 Rajai Shahr Karaj 6 years Questioning the 2009 election results and calling the results fraudulent Severe heart disease – joint problems – need for internal operations 2009
Sharokh Tanef 64 Rajai Shahr Karaj 4 years Being a member of the Baha’i faith Joint pain 2008
Karim Ma’rof Aziz 70 Rajai Shahr Karaj Life in prison spying Diabetes – old age 1995
Behrooz Azizi Tavakoli 62 Rajai Shahr Karaj 20 years Member of Baha’i faith
Spying for Israel
Coronary Heart – Arthritis and herniated disc 1997
Fariba Kamal Abadi (female) Evin Tehran 20 years Member of Baha’i faith
Spying for Israel
Osteoporosis 2007
Mahvash Shahriyari (female) Evin Tehran 20 years Member of Baha’i faith
Spying for Israel
Osteoporosis and depression 2008
Hassan Fatali Ashtiani 64 Rajai Shahr Karaj 15 years Communication with MEK organization Joint pain 2007
Kamran Mortezai 61 Rajai Shahr Karaj 5 years Member of Baha’i faith
Spying for Israel
Severe back and knee pain 2011
Amonollah Mostaghim
Rajai Shahr Karaj 5 years Member of Baha’i faith
And a teacher of the faith online
Diabetic, heart disease and history of open heart surgery 2010
Favad Moghadam 62 Rajai Shahr Karaj 5 years Member of Baha’i faith
And a teacher of the faith online
Swelling of the arteries and herniated disc 2011
Adelle Naemi 61 Rajai Shahr Karaj 11 years Member of Baha’i faith
Spying for Israel
Heart disease, diabetic and past gall bladder and intestine surgery 2011
Neymat Rashidi 21 Evin Tehran No sentence Member of the minority group of Kurdistan
communications with opposition groups
Pain from injuries caused by torture 2011
Ali Ma’ezi 59 Central prison Karaj One year in prison – suspended Enemy of God and supporter of MEK organization bladder cancer 2011
Reza Joshan 27 2.5 years in prison and 3 years exile Enemy of God Vision and heart problems and increased blood platelet count 2010
Mijagh Bozdannejad 27 Rajai Shahr Karaj 13 years Communication with MEK
And paying tribute to those executed in 1988
depression 2007
Mohammad Ali Mansouri 53 Rajai Shahr Karaj 18 years Communication with MEK 2007
Saeed Maasoori 48 Gohardasht Karaj Life Communication with MEK Heart disease painful gums,, back pain 2000
Shahram Radmehr Rajai Shahr Karaj 9 years Propaganda against the regime and insulting Islam
Behnoud Gholizadeh Rajai Shahr Karaj 9 years Propaganda against the regime and insulting Islam
Sedigheh Moradi 54 9 years
Motahareh Bahrami 60 Evin Tehran 10 years Enemy of god and connection with MEK 2009
Kobra Bannazadeh Amirkhizi 62 Evin Tehran 5 years Enemy of god and connection with MEK
Peyman KasNezhad Evin Tehran 3 years Connection with Israel
Davoud Asadi 78 Kianoush Sabouri
Omid Shahmoradi Sanandaji Evin Tehran 3 years Acting against national security 2011
Mahdi Sajedifar 35 Evin Tehran Connection with foreign government 2011
Amir Moladoust
Morteza Rahim Tayefeh
Majid Mohammadi Moien Evin Tehran 4 years Connection with foreign government 2012
Afshin Karampour
MohammadHossein Yousefpour Evin Tehran 5.5 years Propaganda against the regime and apostasy 2009
Abdollah Momeni 36 Evin Tehran Propaganda against the regime and apostasy 2009
Alireza Ousivand Karimi
Omid Kokabee 31 Evin Tehran 10 years communicating with a hostile government kidney problems some stomach issues 2011
Zeynab Jalalian 33 Dizel-Abad Kermanshah Life enmity against God (moharebeh) losing eye sight 2007
Hossein ronaghi 28 Evin Tehran 15 years Acting against national security Kidny disease, stomach bleeding, several hunger strikes in prison 2009
Sakhi Rigi Karoon Ahvaz 20 years Acting against national security, Webmaster, blogger, Jondollah supporter Issue with his Thyroid gland
Ebrahim Rigi Karoon Ahvaz 11 years Acting against national security and Jondollah supporter Bladder, Kidney and urine tract
Esmael Vafavi Karoon Ahvaa 25 years Acting against national security and Jondollah supporter Seizures, severe headache and deformed in the region of the scalp due to lashing
Syed Zia Navabi Karoon Ahvaa 10 years Acting against national security, Support for right of education Gum and tooth infection
Majid Doori Karoon Ahvaa 6 years Acting against national security, Support for Right ofEducation Gum and tooth infection
Yousef Fotuhi Karoon Ahvaa 9 years Connection with PEJAK Suspicious painful lump between his shoulder
Kazem Khosh Namak Karoon Ahvaa 10 years Collaborating with enemy Extreme weakness of vision

Freedom of the Press? Not Under Rouhani.


Imagine a group of people. They look just like you. They have families, lives, interests, hobbies, everything you know from your own life. The only thing that is different in their lives than those of yours is the job they chose to do: They elected to be journalists in the Islamic Republic of Iran. So now they’re in jail, and no one knows when they will be set free again.

It wasn’t supposed to be like that. Upon his election, Hassan Rouhani was perceived as being a great hope in that aspect. In fact, as early as his first speech in office, Rouhani said “The government that takes its legitimacy from its people does not fear the free media; we will seek help from their constructive criticism.”

Well, apparently that’s over with; Washington post’s Tehran’s correspondent Jason Rezaian (along with his wife Yeganeh Salehi), has been arrested in July. Since then, there have been numerous calls for his release, but the president has remained silent, and has done nothing to aid in that cause, nor has his foreign minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif.

Rezaian’s story is a sign of the perils of trying to become a reporter in today’s Iran: “The two have been held for more than eight weeks without explanation or charges. They have not been permitted to meet with their lawyer”, says Douglas Jehl, the Washington post’s foreign editor.

Rezaian is the face of an alarmingly growing epidemic in Iran, reports the committee to protect journalists, in an article that states that journalists have been arrested by the dozen in the country.

This raises the question about the connections between the Iranian president and those kidnaps, but Mr. Zarif’s recent admission, about not even knowing all of the charges that Rezaian was tagged with, brings to mind the question of control in Iran – and it seems that no one in the government really knows what’s going on inside those Journalists’ prisons cell.


Suleimani – The Second Most Powerful Man in Tehran


The most interesting Iranian person in the world right now isn’t sitting in Vienna to talk about the nuclear agreement, and isn’t dishing out quirky or alarming quotes from Tehran. He is probably on a plane, flying to and from Beirut, Damascus, Baghdad etc…helping to increase Tehran’s military and political influence.

Meet Qassam Suleimani, commander of the IRGC’s „external“ operations units, better known as the Qods Force. A former CIA chief, John Maguire calls him, „the single most powerful operative in the Middle East today„. Or you can call him by his nickname: Keiser Soze.

Suleimani in Iran

On the outside, he leads a „regular life“. He is 57 years old. He wakes up every day at 4:00 and goes to sleep early at 21:30. He has five children. He takes his wife on some of his many „business“ trips. He suffers from back aches. He never raises his voice (in fact he is silent most of the time) but is gifted with an „understated charisma that makes people pay attention to him.

He is also a decorated war hero from the Iran-Iraq war and is connected all the way up to the Supreme Leader Khamenei himself who has referred to Suleimani as “a living martyr of the revolution.”

Rumours have it that Suleimani recently attempted a coup against Rouhani which was blocked at the last moment by Khamenei himself.“

Running the War in Damascus

In Syria, Suleimani has worked as the liaison between the leaders in Tehran, the Hezbollah chiefs and Bashar al-Assad for the past 3 years. He has built up Assad’s army from the inside after once exclaiming „The Syrian army is useless! Give me one brigade of the Basij, and I would conquer the whole country“.

He works in Damascus from a fortified nondescript building together with a large array of officers: Syrian military commanders, a Hezbollah commander, a coordinator of Iraqi Shiite militias and a close comrade of his, the Basij former deputy commander Brigadier General Hossein Hamedani.

Once Suleimani got settled in, an immediate sharp increase in Iranian supply flights into the Damascus airport carrying weapons and ammunition was noticed. Thousands of Quds operatives suddenly turned up within the Syrian army and in Assad’s special security service.

Working Behind the Scenes in Baghdad

But, as the ISIS crisis got into Iraq, Suleimani flew out repeatedly to Baghdad. The Guardian says – „Experts agree that it is hard to overestimate Suleimani’s role in Iraq. „At times of crisis Suleimani is the supreme puppeteer…He is everywhere and he’s nowhere. Suleimani is doing in Baghdad what he did in Damascus“ – this time with Maliki instead of Assad.

Under his guidance, Tehran began by supplying Maliki with weapons and militia men as well as flying out drones and jet fighters into Iraq. Judging from Suleimani’s experience in Damascus, one can only expect Suleiman to set up a similar force in Baghdad as well.

In any case, it would be worthwhile to keep an eye out on him at all times…trouble is never far away from him.


Source: Iran 24/07

Welt| Die iranische Angst vor der Verhütung

Irans Führung hat Angst vor einer Überalterung des Landes – mit einer Kehrtwende will sie das verhindern. Gelder für kostenfreie Verhütung werden gekürzt, dauerhafte Sterilisation zur Straftat.

Iranische Kinder in Teheran – die Gesichter bemalt in den Farben der Islamischen Republik

Foto: picture alliance / dpaIranische Kinder in Teheran – die Gesichter bemalt in den Farben der Islamischen Republik

Jahrelang wurden im Iran Kondome, die Pille und andere Verhütungsmittel von Staat bezuschusst, Eheleute wurden aufgeklärt und Sterilisationen staatlich unterstützt. Damit ist es jetzt vorbei. Ein neues Gesetz soll künftig chirurgische Eingriffe, die Frauen oder Männer unfruchtbar machen, zu einer Straftat erklären, die mit zwei bis fünf Jahren Haft geahndet werden kann. Auch Werbung für Verhütung wird durch die Gesetzesvorlage, die am 24. Juni in der ersten Lesung vom Parlament verabschiedet wurde, strafbar. Denn die Führung des Landes will mehr Kinder, weil der Anteil der älteren Bevölkerung rapide anzusteigen droht.

Für diesen Kindersegen soll das neue Gesetz sorgen, für das 106 Abgeordnete mit „Ja“ und 72 mit „Nein“ gestimmt haben. Präsident Hassan Ruhani gefällt das nicht, er sprach sich dagegen aus.

Das Sterilisationsverbot, dem der Wächterrat noch zustimmen muss, ist eine absolute Kehrtwende in der Familienpolitik des Landes, die sich in den letzten Jahren der Amtszeit Mahmud Ahmadinedschads langsam abzeichnete. Seit vergangenem Juli steckt die Regierung das Geld nicht mehr in Aufklärung und kostenlose Verhütungsmittel, sondern in eine Verlängerung der Mutterschaftszeit von sechs auf neun Monate und einen zweiwöchigen Vaterschaftsurlaub. Sogar über Goldmünzen als Belohnung für Neugeborene wurde Medienberichten zufolge diskutiert.

Angst vor Überalterung

Vollständiger Artikel

Bericht zur politischen Lage (politische Geschichte; Struktur des Regimes, Stabilität und Opposition; Menschenrechtspraxis; Massenvernichtungsprogramme; terroristische Gruppen; Regimewechsel) [ID 271516]

Congressional Research Service  Quellenbeschreibung anzeigen


Bericht zur politischen Lage (politische Geschichte; Struktur des Regimes, Stabilität und Opposition; Menschenrechtspraxis; Massenvernichtungsprogramme; terroristische Gruppen; Regimewechsel) [ID 271516]

Dokument öffnen Spezieller Bericht oder Analyse: Iran: U.S. Concerns and Policy Responses

ORF| Rouhanis Reformen als leere Versprechen

Atomprogramm: Iran bleibt vertragstreu

Kaum Hoffnung auf mehr Freiheit

Seit einem halben Jahr ist Hassan Rouhani Präsident des Iran. Bei seinem Amtsantritt hatte er Hoffnungen geweckt, das abgeschottete Land nach außen hin wieder zu öffnen. Das begann damit, dass er etwa via Twitter allen Juden zum jüdischen Neujahrsfest gratulierte. Eine Charmeoffensive begann, die sich in den folgenden Monaten fortsetzte. Doch was seither innerhalb des Iran passierte, hat mit Offenheit nichts zu tun.

Denn Menschenrechtler und die Vereinten Nationen (UNO) sehen die Situation weiter äußerst problematisch bzw. als „Gegenstand enrster Sorge“. Hinrichtungen, Steinigungen und Repressionen sind nach wie vor alltäglich. Einige Beobachter waren davor ausgegangen, dass sich die Situation nach dem Amtsaustritt von Ex-Präsident Mahmud Ahmadinedschad zumindest vereinzelt bessern könnte – entsprechende Reformankündigungen Rouhanis ließen diese Hoffnungen weiter steigen.

Zahl der Exekutionen gestiegen

Doch die bestätigten Fakten sind ernüchternd – denn sie geben Anlass, vom Gegenteil auszugehen: Im Jahr 2014 sind laut UNO bis dato 176 Menschen gehängt worden. Zuvor hatte bereits die Iranische Exilopposition, der Nationale Widerstandsrat Iran (NWRI) Alarm geschlagen. Damit ist ein deutlicher Anstieg der Hinrichtungen zum Vergleichszeitraum des Vorjahres belegt. Nach NWRI-Angaben seien 2013 insgesamt mindestens 660 Hinrichtungen gezählt worden, davon zwei Drittel, also 430, seit der Wahl Rouhanis am 14. Juni, hieß es. Die UNO dokumentierte 500 Hinrichtungen für das Jahr 2013, 57 davon öffentlich.

Laut Amnesty International (AI) werden viele Urteile von Revolutionsgerichten hinter verschlossenen Türen gesprochen. Die meisten Todesurteile werden gegen Drogenhändler verhängt – der Iran versucht auf diese Weise, den Schmuggel von Drogen etwa aus Afghanistan einzudämmen. Viele Todesurteile werden zudem weiterhin aus politisch-religiösen Motiven gesprochen, wie die Exekution des Dichters Haschem Schabani im Jänner zeigt. Bereits Anfang 2011 war er zusammen mit vier weiteren Männern arabisch-ahwasischer Abstammung unter dem Vorwurf, gegen den Iran gerichtete arabische Kultur zu verbreiten, festgenommen worden.

„Feindschaft gegen Gott und seinen Propheten“

AI warf der iranischen Regierung im Vorfeld der Exekution vor, dass die Verhaftung lediglich aufgrund kultureller, nicht aber politischer Aktivitäten vorgenommen worden sei. Begründet wurde das Todesurteil gegen den Literaten schließlich mit „Muharaba“ (übersetzt etwa „Feindschaft gegen Gott und seinen Propheten“), „Mofsed fil-ars“ („Verbreitung von Korruption auf Erden“) sowie angeblichen Aktivitäten gegen die nationale Sicherheit und Verbreitung von Propaganda gegen die Islamische Republik.

Die UNO machte zuletzt auf einen besonders gravierenden Unrechtsfall aufmerksam – dabei ging es um die Hinrichtung einer Frau, die unter zweifelhaften Umständen zunächst gestanden, dann aber widerrufen hatte, vor sechs Jahren ihren Ehemann ermordet zu haben. Farsaneh Moradi, die am 4. März gehängt wurde, war laut UNO-Darstellung im Alter von 15 Jahren zwangsverheiratet worden. In ihrem Widerruf habe sie geltend gemacht, sie sei vom tatsächlichen Mörder überredet worden, die Tat auf sich zu nehmen, da man im Iran keine junge Mutter hinrichten würde. Das Gericht habe jedoch eine Revision des Verfahrens verweigert.

Gleichzeitig berichtete die Nachrichtenagentur ISNA unlängst von Amnestieerlässen mit starker politischer Prägung. Dem Bericht zufolge seien 15 bereits zum Tode Verurteilte freigesprochen worden, in einem Fall wurde die Todesstrafe in eine 15-jährige Haftstrafe umgewandelt. Die Bedingung war ein Auswendiglernen des Koran – was die Verurteilten im Zuge einer Zeremonie vor Tausenden Mitgefangenen und Wärtern im Gefängnis von Isfahan glaubhaft zu belegen hatten. ISNA berief sich dabei auf den Chef für Stiftungen und Wohltätigkeitsorganisationen der Provinz Isfahan.

Haarsträubende Praktiken

Die Gewähr einer solchen Amnestie ist völlig willkürlich und gründet auch nicht auf geltendes Recht im Iran. De facto hängt eine Amnestie von mehreren Faktoren ab, maßgeblich sind die Art des Verbrechens und der Wille der Behörden. Weniger Chancen haben politische Saboteure. Mehr Chancen werden offenbar Verurteilten eingeräumt, deren Delikt keine Nähe zu einem politischen Motiv aufweist – unabhängig, ob es sich dabei um Mord, Diebstahl, Missbrauch, Drogenhandel, bewaffneten Raub, Entführung, Terrorismus oder Verrat handelt. Doch generell sind Amnestien die absolute Ausnahme.

Für weltweite Aufregung hatte ein Hinrichtungsfall im vergangenen Herbst gesorgt. Ein zum Tode verurteilter Drogenhändler hatte seine Hinrichtung mit schweren Hirnschäden überlebt. Ein Arzt hatte zwar zunächst seinen Tod festgestellt, als Familienangehörige die Leiche zur Beerdigung abholen wollen, stellte sich heraus, dass der vermeintlich Tote noch lebte. Der iranische Justizchef Sadegh Laridschani entschied danach, den Mann nicht erneut zu hängen. „Er hat de facto dem Tod ins Auge gesehen, aber da er die Hinrichtung überlebt hat, sollte ihm nun Amnestie gewährt werden“, sagte Laridschani damals.

Gesamtes Kapital für Außenpolitik verbraucht?

Während die UNO Teheran erneut auffordert, Rechtsverstöße im Zusammenhang mit Drogen nicht mehr als Kapitalverbrechen zu ahnden und ein Moratorium für alle Hinrichtungen zu erlassen, werden in Teheran weiterhin Journalisten und politische Aktivisten im berüchtigten Ewin-Gefängnis festgehalten, Internetcafes geschlossen und Millionen Websites gesperrt. Die Ankündigung Rouhanis, die Sozialen Netzwerke Facebook und Twitter sowie YouTube zu legalisieren und der jungen iranischen Bevölkerung mehr Freiheiten im Alltag zu gewähren, wurde bisher ebenso wenig umgesetzt wie die versprochene Bürgerrechtscharta.

Kritiker werfen Rouhanis Regierung vor, beim obersten geistlichen Führer, Ajatollah Ali Chamenei, der in allen Belangen das letzte Wort hat, außenpolitisch sein gesamtes politisches Kapital verbraucht zu haben. Durch die Unterstützung Chameneis beim Kuschelkurs der Regierung mit dem Westen sei der Präsident innenpolitisch an die kurze Leine gezwungen worden, so der Vorwurf. Die Iraner jedenfalls warten ungeduldig darauf, dass sich auch im Inneren des Landes maßgeblich etwas ändert: wirtschaftlich, politisch und die Lockerung der Zensur betreffend.

UNO forderte konkrete Schritte

Auch die UNO forderte Teheran angesichts mangelnder Fortschritte bei den Menschenrechten unlängst zu konkreten Schritten auf: So seien die beiden Oppositionspolitiker Mehdi Karubi und Mir-Hossein Mussawi „sofort“ freizulassen, „dringend benötigte und angemessene medizinische Hilfe“ müsse man ihren umgehend zukommen lassen, schrieb Ban in einem Bericht zuletzt.

Der frühere Ministerpräsident Mussawi und der ehemalige Parlamentspräsident Karubi waren bei der Präsidentschaftswahl 2009 offiziell dem Amtsinhaber Mahmud Ahmadinedschad unterlegen. Wie auch viele Wähler warfen sie den Behörden aber Fälschung vor und weigerten sich, die Ergebnisse anzuerkennen. Die Massenproteste nach der Wahl wurden letztlich aber blutig niedergeschlagen. Mussawi und Karubi stehen seit Februar 2011 unter Hausarrest.

UNO-Bericht als „Lüge“ zurückgewiesen

Justizchef Laridschani hatte Ende des Vorjahres einen Bericht der UNO-Menschenrechtskommission über die Verschlechterung der Menschenrechtslage im Iran als „Lüge“ und „einseitig“ zurückgewiesen. Zur Kritik an der Todesstrafe hatte er gesagt, wer gegen diese Strafe sei, widersetze sich „den Geboten des Islam“. Laut NWRI gibt es Tausende Todeskandidaten im Iran. Um die Hinrichtungen zu beschleunigen, habe das Regime Galgen mit einer Kapazität für zwölf Personen anfertigen lassen – das öffentliche Hängen mittels Kränen ist noch immer die Regel.


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