Sunday, April 15, 2018

NEWS))))))


Isfahan’s farmers continued their protests with women’s active participation on Saturday, April 14, in Khorasgan Square of this city, in central Iran. Fearing the spread of protests, the State Security forces blocked Jay Ave. by placing curbstones and water cannons on the route. As the protesters were returning home, the special unit guards attacked, using dozens of motorcycles, sticks and batons to beat them up. At least two women were brutalized and 30 others arrested. On the same day, the State Security Force of Isfahan declared a state of emergency and banned formation of any gathering of over two persons. The state-run Sharq daily on Thursday acknowledged women’s massive participation in these protests. The farmers of Isfahan are protesting the mismanagement of water resources for their lands. Much of Iran is suffering from drought, and residents of Isfahan say officials have diverted the province's main river to neighboring Yazd Province, causing their farms to suffer. The reason for this diversion is not clear but people
suspect IRGC(Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps)'s involvement.


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Women whose properties have been plundered by the fraudulent Padideh Shandiz company in Mashhad (North East of Iran), once again wore shrouds and staged another protest. The protesters have not yet received any response on reimbursement of their properties after four years. The protest took place on Thursday, April 12, outside the Prosecutor’s Office in Mashhad, capital of Razavi Khorassan Province in northeastern Iran. The State Security Force arrested 12  protesting women and men.
One of the banners carried by the protesters read, “30,000 workers insured by the Padideh Shandiz Project have been laid off and it was the Public Prosecutor of Razavi Khorassan (Province) who caused escalation of the unemployment crisis throughout the country. Who is going to answer this oppression? Is there anyone who could help?”
Padideh Shandiz International Tourism Development Company (known as Padideh Shandiz) is an Iranian private joint-stock holding company active in restaurants, tourism and construction. In 2015, it was accused by a prosecutor in Mashhad of a fraud worth $34.3 billion.

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A group of young women and men studying at the University of Shiraz, in southern Iran, staged a protest against the expulsion of one of their professors. Female students were actively participated in this protest on Thursday, April 12. The students held placards saying “No to dismissal of brains.” Young women participated in 111 of the student protests which took place over the past year in universities across the country. They demanded their rights and

 improvement of the educational status and facilities.


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According to Women's committee of the National Council of Resistance of Iran, a young woman and ten young men were arrested Tuesday night, April 10, at a party in Abadan, the second largest city of the oil-rich province of Khuzestan in southwestern Iran. The arrested woman and men were handed over to judiciary officials. It is forbidden to have parties in Iran where men and women mix, drink and dance. Security forces systematically violate privacy of people’s homes and arrest the landlords and the guests participating in such parties. Over the past year, at least 570 women were arrested in such nightly raids on various parties. Earlier, security forces raided two big parties in Mashhad, NE Iran, and Amol, northern Iran, and made a large number of arrests.

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Despite passage of more than 40 days since her arrest, Mitra Badr-nejad Zohdi is still held in detention. The Baha’i woman residing in Ahvaz, capital of Khuzestan Province in southwestern Iran, is deprived of contacting her family or receiving any visits. She is presently under interrogation but She has not been informed of her charges. Baha'i citizens are systematically persecuted and harassed in Iran. They are deprived of equal access to education and employment. Between March 2017 to February 2018, at least 47 Baha’i women were arrested and imprisoned, and 23 female Baha'i students expelled from universities.


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Despite shortage of at least 100,000 nurses in Iran, Iranian nurses are leaving Iran for Qatar. Ibrahim Mohammadi, international relations director of the Nursing Organization, pointed out that Iranian nurses are being recruited by the private sector in Qatar. He added, “This measure is taking place based on a memorandum signed by the Islamic Republic’s attache and the private sector in Qatar, according to which Iranian nurses get hired by medical centers in this Arab country.”
Criticizing the measure, Mohammadi said, “We must not allow our professional work forces leave the country so easily, while we are short of at least 100,000 nurses.” It's noteworthy that at least 17 nurses have died in Iran due to excessive pressure at their work place. While according to international standards every nurse has to attend to one up to four patients at maximum, an Iranian nurse attends to 15 patients, in the least. Nurses staged at least 29 protests last year to demand their past due salaries, not paid from six to 11 months.

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The father of hunger striking political prisoner Golrokh Iraee got to visit his daughter on Sunday, April 8, under heavy security presence. Ms. Iraee has been hospitalized in the Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) Baghyatollah Hospital in Tehran after some 70 days of wet and dry hunger strike and losing 22 kilograms. She keeps fainting and her life is at risk. She is in the same hospital that Zahra Kazemi Iranian-Canadian photo journalist died under torture. Golrokh is still on hunger strike and demands to return to Evin from Qarchak prison with  her inmate Atena Daemi. On the other hand the physical condition of political prisoner Atena Daemi has been reported as alarming. “After being transferred to Qarchak Prison, Atena has had various physical and nervous problems due to bad prison conditions and tremendous psychological pressure,” a source close to Daemi family announced on Friday, April 13. A large number of political prisoners from Gohardasht Prison in Karaj and the Central Prison of Orumiyeh in northwestern Iran, have sent messages of solidarity to Golrokh Iraee and praised her firm will and determination to insist on her rightful demands to be returned to Evin prison. Qarchak Women’s Prison is made of 7 warehouses that is holding approximately 2000 women and a few children. These buildings were used as avicultures and turned into prison for women. Female prisoners are held  together, disregarding the rules of segregation of prisoners by age and crime.

Sunday, April 08, 2018

NEWS))))))


The Iranian government affiliated newspaper ‘Etemad’ described
protests in Khuzestan province as being far beyond and against a TV show. The paper wrote: 'Apparently the real reason for these unrest are issues such as unemployment, low living conditions, and poor distribution of goods, and many other issues that plague the people.' The demonstrations by Arab Iranians against the regime, started on the 8 days of Nowruz March 28, entered in its second week. The Iranian-Canadians during their weekly protests in front of the Parliament hill and across from Prime Minister's office here in Ottawa stood in solidarity with the people of Khuzestan and the political prisoner Golrokh Iraee. They also commemorated the 35 members of People's Mojahedin Organization of Iran PMOI/MEK who were killed by Iraqi forces in Camp Ashraf in 2011.

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On April 7th after the gathering of people and farmers in Khaju Bridge in Isfahan- Iran, they rallied in protest of the interruption of their water rights. The repressive security forces attacked the farmers to disperse them but farmers clashed with them.






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After more than 60 days of hunger strike, political prisoner Golrokh Iraee went in coma and transferred to a hospital but the prison officials refused to tell her family which hospital. Golrokh's family finally found her and could talk with her for a few minutes. The human rights activists in the past week during their numerous storm tweet called for Golrokh's return to Evin prison from Qarchak prison after treatment. Maryam Akbari Monfared who's sentenced to 15 years in jailed because of her sibling political activities declared 3 days of hunger strike on Wed. in solidarity with Golrokh. Also Shabnam Maddazadeh former political prisoner who spent 5 years in jail, started a 3 day hunger strike as well. Golrokh Ebrahimi Iraee and Atena Daemi were unlawfully transferred to Qarchak Prison on January 24, 2018, after being brutalized because they had resisted against interrogation based on a new case fabricated against them. They were exiled to the notorious prison in Varamin with substandard and deplorable living conditions to endure more pressure and physical and psychological torture.

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The Iranian regime in fear of the spread of anti-regime protests, is to create 40 new police station in the Capital. Tehran's police chief Hossein Rahimi said Tehran needs 40 new police stations and a meeting has been held with the governorate to increase the number of stations. According to the Iranian regime's Security Council's decision, 40 police stations in Tehran should be added.


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Kurdish activist, Ronak Aghaii, was taken to the Prison of Mahabad (Iranian Kurdistan) to serve her jail sentence. Ms Ronak Aghaii was arrested by intelligence forces in September 2017 and taken to Orumiyeh on the charge of “hoisting the flag of Kurdistan” in the gatherings of Mahabad residents in support of the referendum on independence of the Iraqi Kurdistan. She was subsequently sentenced to six months’ imprisonment.


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A TV series broadcast during Nowruz-Iranian New Year-holidays  has been widely criticized by children’s rights activists in Iran for promoting marriage of girl children.
The series called, “Paytakht” or the capital, which is a comedy making fun of the marriage of two teenage girls, 12 or 13 years old, has created great concern among children’s rights advocates.
According to children’s rights advocates, the TV series which makes fun of early marriage has already violated many children’s rights in the form of teasing and dialogues between the characters and the producers must account for them. The bill proposing increasing the age of marriage for girls has been pending for years in the Iranian parliament and opposed by male members of the parliament.
According to Farshid Yazdani, social researcher and executive director of the Children’s Rights Association, nearly 13,000 girl children had become widows because of divorce in 2015, alone. The number of girl children who have married under 15 years of age in Iran, increased from 33,000 in 2006 to 43,000 in 2009, 30 per cent in only three years. (The state-run Khabar Online website - April 1, 2018). Shahrbanou Imami, member of Tehran’s City Council and former member of parliament has asserted that there are 15,000 widows in Iran under 15 years of age. (The state-run ILNA news agency – March 8, 2018). Zahra Ayatollahi, head of the Social-Cultural Council of Women and Family at the Supreme Cultural Revolutionary Council, also asserted in a television interview that based on the statistics of the National Statistics Center, there were 36,422 marriages of girls under 15 years of age last year (March 2016-March 2017). (The state-run ISNA news agency – March 10, 2018). An NGO announced that 1,200 girl children under 14 years of age had turned widows in 2015 and that there were 2,000 child widows between 9 and 12 years old.

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A group of women staged a protest on Sunday, April 1, in the streets of Shadegan (southwestern Iran) chanting in Arabic, “I give my life for Ahvaz.” The protest took place in step with the protests and demonstrations of thousands of Arab Iranians since Wednesday, March 28, against an offensive program insulting Iran’s Arab citizens broadcast by the state television in Nowruz holidays. 400 people have been arrested so far in Khuzestan province, many of the are youths.
The protests have continued until late Sunday night, April 1, in Ahvaz and other cities and villages of Khuzistan. Security forces have been dispatched from other cities and stationed in Khuzistan cities on Monday, April 2, to quell any outbreak of protests during this traditional Persian holiday on the 13th day of the New Year, called Sizdebedar. Reports from Ahvaz, Abadan, Khorramshahr, Mahshahr and other cities indicate a de facto state of curfew in most of Khuzestan cities.
At least two women have been identified among those arrested during the protests in Ahvaz on Friday, March 30, 2018.

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In an interview published by the state media, Ali Bagherzadeh, deputy Minister of Education and head of the Literacy Movement Organization, announced, “There are some 2.7 million illiterates between 10 and 49 years of age in Iran, nearly 1.8 million of whom are women.” The official said there is an equal number of illiterates in Iranian cities and villages, however, the correlation of illiterate women in villages is higher than the cities. (The state-run ILNA news agency, March 31, 2018)
In some Iranian provinces, the per centage of illiteracy is over 30 per cent and a considerable number of children under 17 do not have the opportunity to continue their education. The parents of most of these children are illiterate, themselves, and there is a meaningful correlation between the level of education of parents and children who drop out of school.
The number of girls dropping out of school in western Khuzistan and other cities on the Iran-Iraq border is alarming. The provinces of Sistan and Baluchistan, Khuzistan, West Azerbaijan and East Azerbaijan top the list with regards to illiteracy of girl children.
Poverty of families and not affording to pay for their children’s education, children’s participation in the family’s economic activities, cultural problems, seasonal immigrations, not having a registered birth certificate, are among the reasons children are deprived of going to school. These reasons are more acceptable among families when it gets to girls.
In some provinces, early marriages prevent girls from continuing their education and many families need their daughters to help them in earning the family’s income.
Mixed-gender high school classes are also among the reasons girls have to quit school in some regions. According to a report published in 2015 by the presidential Directorate on Women and Family Affairs, the illiteracy of women and girls in Iran is alarming and the situation is critical in some 40 cities. According to Principle 30 of the Iranian Constitution, “The government is obliged to provide free elementary and high school education for all members of the nation and facilitate free higher education for all until the country is self-sufficient.” 


Sunday, April 01, 2018

NEWS)))))) 


Thousands of people continued their protests in Khuzistan on
Friday, March 30, against the state television program offending the Arab-Iranians in the oil-rich province in southwestern Iran. At least two women, Ayeshe and Khadijeh Neassi were among the 40 people who have been arrested. The peaceful protests took place in various cities and regions including Mahshahr, Shadegan and Ahvaz. Instead of apologizing to the Arab people, the Iranian regime dispatched its State Security Force (SSF) and anti-riot units. Security forces attacked the peaceful protesters using tear gas and fire arms where dozens were wounded.  The ongoing protest of Arab-Iranians continued yesterday Saturday till early Sunday morning. Their protests began on March 28 after the repeated insults by the Iranian regime's state television. This time during a children’s program, the presenter placed dolls with different folkloric costumes on the map of Iran where they belonged. But for southwestern Iran and Ahvaz, he placed a doll which did not have the Arab costume.
Iranian-Canadians in Ottawa yesterday Sat. gathered in front of the Parliament Hill and across from Prime Minister's office, in support of the Arab-Iranian protesters and also in support of the political prisoners particularly Golrokh Iraee who's been on hunger strike for nearly 2 months in Qarchak prison. She's been sentenced to 6 years imprisonment for her unpublished story about stoning in Iran. She's protesting hers and Atena Daemi's unlawful transfer from Evin prison to Qarchak prison.





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Local and state security forces raided the Hafttappeh sugarcane company at 1 pm on Sat March 31, arresting a number of workers who had previously been summoned. Saeid Mansuri and Habib Chanani, are among the detainees. Foad Hejazi's brother has been arrested instead of him. Iranian Regime's agents are attacking the workers' homes, in order to arrest the rest of them. Arrests still continue in Hafttappeh and surrounding workers' residential districts.


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Golrokh Iraee’s health is in an alarming condition after 55 days of hunger strike. Political prisoner and human rights defender Golrokh Iraee has been on hunger strike since February 3, in protest to hers and Atena Daemi's unlawful transfer from Evin prison to Qarchak Prison. She has lost more than 20 kilograms- more than 44 pounds and suffers from plummeting blood pressure, dryness of the tongue, and inflammation in her legs. She is not able to walk. Her husband Arash Sadeghi is also in prison for his civil activist. Mrs. Iraee has refused serum injections, saying previous promises by prison officials to follow up her case have not been delivered and she would not accept any more serum injections. Golrokh is sentenced to endure 6 years of imprisonment for her unpublished story about stoning in Iran.
On the other hand, political prisoner Atena Daemi has caught a severe cold and suffers from high fever. One side of her face is numb and she has been told by prison doctors that she might have suffered a blow or shock during their violent transfer to the mothers’ ward on March 12, 2018, which has led to the paralysis of the nerves on one side of her face.
In another development, officials of the Greater Tehran Prison prevented Ms. Farangis Mazloum from visiting her son, Soheil Arabi.
Monday, March 26, 2018, Ms. Mazloum went to visit her son in the Greater Tehran’s Prison for the first time in the New Persian Year, but was not allowed to do so.
Political prisoner Soheil Arabi ended his hunger strike after 55 days, on March 20, 2018, upon the request of his mother and mothers of other prisoners. His health condition has been reported critical and he does not receive any medical care. 

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Amnesty International issued an Urgent Action on March 29, condemning the arbitrary arrest and ill-treatment of 11 women from Gonabadi Dervish religious minority. The statement reads in part: At least 11 women from Iran’s Gonabadi Dervish religious minority have been arbitrarily detained in inhumane conditions, without access to their lawyers, since 20 February following the violent dispersal of a protest held by Gonabadi Dervishes in Tehran. Some urgently need medical care for injuries sustained from beatings at the time of their arrest. Several hundred Gonabadi Dervishes, both men and women, gathered outside the residence of their spiritual leader, Noor Ali Tabandeh, in an area of Tehran known as Golestan Haftom on the night of 19 February to protest against the authorities’ intensified persecution of their community and to prevent the possible arrest of their leader. Those present at the protest reported that police and plain-clothes Basiji forces resorted to beatings with batons, electric cables and sharp objects, and the use of tear gas, water cannons and live ammunition to disperse the crowd, arresting over 300 people, including 60 women.

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Fatemeh Daneshvar, a children’s rights activist, said in an interview on Wednesday, March 28: “We face numerous legal problems with regards to child marriages. We have not been able to pass any bills to raise the age of marriage. The age of marriage for girls is 13, but this still depends on the verdicts issued by judges. This means that a girl under 13 years of age can still be wed. Social activists seek to change the law so that marriages under 13 years of age are totally abolished. Presently, however, we do not have any laws which would absolutely ban child marriages, since the law depends on a judge’s decision on the maturity of the child in question in which case, the parents are allowed to force their daughter into marriage. She added: For example, we have had child marriages of girls as young as seven, something that is neither moral nor right.”
Daneshvar also made comments on the sale of infants by their addicted mothers and said, “Hearing the news of selling infants for only 50,000 toumans ($13) is really tragic. No doubt, our laws are weak with regards to children. Those who sell their infants are mostly addicted mothers. The existing laws are not clear and transparent in preventing addicted mothers from keeping their children.” (The state-run Borna New website, March 28, 2018)

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Maryam Shariatmadari 32 and a computer science student at Tehran's Amir Kabir universtiy has been sentenced to one year in jail on the charge of “encouraging corruption through removing her veil.” She was pushed off a telecoms box by a State Security Force officer and hurt her knee on February 23, when she was protesting the compulsory veiling or Hijab by removing her shawl.
In another news Roya Saghiri, 24 was tried and sentenced to nearly two years’ imprisonment along with seven other protesters who had also participated in the December 2017 through January 2018 Iran uprising were put on trial simultaneously. Ms. Saghiri and another protester, Nariman Validokht, were sentenced to 23 months in jail for disseminating propaganda against the regime and insulting the  leader. Ms. Saghiri is also accused of “appearing in public without the religious Hijab (veil) by removing her scarf on the street.” The Women's committee of the National Council of Resistance of Iran have condemned both cases of women's abuses by the regime of Iran and called for the release of all women who are detained and mistreated for removing their veil or shawl.

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After 20 days of detention in the Department of Intelligence of Sanandaj, Shetaw Faroughi, from Marivan, was transferred to the Central Prison of Sanandaj, capital of the Iranian Kurdistan Province, on Saturday, March 24. Mrs. Faroughi was arrested along with her two children on March 3, by intelligence agents at Tabriz Airport, upon her return from Istanbul- Turkey where she had visited her husband. They were taken to the detention center of the Department of Intelligence in Sanandaj. Barzan Faroughi, Shetaw's husband is a Sunni Kurdish activist who left Iran and took refuge in Turkey two years ago due to pressures and harassment of security agencies. Mrs. Faroughi has to provide a bail bond of 200 million toumans or 5200 US dollars to be temporarily released.

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A high-ranking mullah in the Iranian regime declared, “Dealing with those who oppose the Hijab (veil) must be different from others.” Naser Makarm Shirazi said on March 24, that Hijab is not a secondary Islamic decree but has turned into a sign of Islam. He added, “Dealing with this issue if undermined, will deal a blow to the Islamic nature of the regime and undercut the Islamic aspect of the Islamic Republic; then the country will turn into a republic without Islam.” To solve the regime’s predicament in dealing with the opponents of the compulsory veil, he said, “Negative debates over the compulsory nature of Hijab must be replaced by legal obligation.” “Every law brings about an obligation. Hijab is also an Islamic law emphasized in various verses (of the Quran). This law and obligation must be observed and overlooking it would have consequences similar to the breaching of any other law" said Makerm Shirazi.   

Sunday, March 25, 2018

NEWS)))))) 

After 50 days of hunger strike, physical condition of political prisoners Golrokh Iraee has badly deteriorated in Qarchak Prison in Varamin, Tehran Province. Golrokh has lost 20 kilograms and she's suffering from various symptoms of hunger strike including kidney dysfunction and swelling of her legs. Golrokh Iraee has been on hunger strike since February 3, 2018, in protest to her unlawful exile from Evin Prison to Qarchak Prison, in violation of the principle of separation of prisoners of different categories, on January 24. Four UN experts issued a statement on March 19, calling for immediate release of political prisoners Atena Daemi and Golrokh Iraee. Also on March 15, Chair of the Human Rights Subcommittee (DROI) of the European Parliament, expressed alarm by the detention of two women human rights defenders in Iran.

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The state-run Salamat News March 22 reported that according to Mohammad Sahrifi, Vice-President of the Nursing Organization in Iran, Twenty-eight nurses were physically beaten up last year in Iran. He added: “Nurses continue to suffer from injustice in the country’s health system and they believe they have been deprived of their rights… This is while nurses do the greatest service to patients in medical centers.”
Sharifi believes “the nursing community shoulders the main burden of the country’s health system and is at the forefront for responding to patients. As a result, they are exposed to many dangers. Nurses are threatened by dangers due to their job such as skeletal and muscular problems, problems due to chemotherapy and the issue of beating of nurses which unfortunately, has been on the rise.”  The state-run Salamat News cited the Minister of Health as saying that the Nursing Services Tarrif Act, passed 10 years ago but not implemented since, has not been validated and no budget considered for it. Homayoun Hashemi, member of the parliamentary Health Committee, also announced that Iran faces a shortage of 100,000 nurses, while 1,000 nurses immigrate from Iran every year.

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Women and men residing in Sarpol-e Zahab, the center of earthquake in western Iran, protested a visit by Rouhani’s deputy heading the Planning and Budget Organization to this city. They called the government “liar” and made Nobakht and his accompanying delegation including the governor of Kermanshah, leave the scene. The suffering people of Sarpol-e Zahab have been living in tents, four months after the earthquake. Their living conditions are unsanitary and very difficult as they are living among the rubble, garbage and sewage. The freezing cold weather in Kermanshah Province led to the deaths of a number people in this area, including a number of children and infants.

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A young woman singing for a traditional Persian music group was prevented from singing on March 17, at a concert in Karaj. The young woman was singing when agents of the State Security Force entered the hall and ordered the group’s leader to stop the woman from singing otherwise they will not be permitted to perform their concert. A woman among the audience protested the audience and everyone present in the scene who did not show appropriate reaction in defense of the young woman singer.
Women in Iran are banned from singing and performing in public and on many occasions, concerts have been cancelled or female members of the orchestra ordered to leave the stage befor starting the concert.