Sunday, October 08, 2017

NEWS))))))

According to the Iranian resistance-NCRI - Mohammad Nazari political prisoner in Gohardasht prison in Karaj is on his seventy day of hunger strike. Mohammad Nazari, by hunger strike is protesting his legal status and Iran regime’s failure to address his situation. One of his requests is to be transferred to a prison in Iranian Kurdistan province such as Mahabad or Orumiyeh. He has fallen unconscious several times during the hunger strike and the prison officials have not done anything about the prisoner's requests. Mohammad Nazari, was arrested in 1993 on the charges of having contact with Kurdish parties and was sentenced to death after false confession taken under torture. However, due to the pressure of human rights organizations, his death penalty was reduced to life imprisonment in 2007 and he was then transferred from Orumiyeh to Rajaei-Shahr prison.

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According to state-run Rokna news agency Oct. 7, Zohreh Ghasemi from Isfahan a 9th term medical student, suffocated by gas while taking shower in the dormitory of the Medical Sciences University of Shahr-e Kord, south central Iran. She died on the way to hospital.
Female students have time and again protested their living conditions in the dormitories.



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Women staged protests across from the Governor’s Office in Khorassan, northeast Iran, and the Headquarters of the Medical Sciences University of Lorestan, western Iran, on Saturday morning, October 7. In Khorassan Province, protesting women and stock owners of the Padideh Shandiz financial institute, wore white shrouds and staged a protest outside the Governor’s Office in Mashhad.
In Lorestan, Nurse’s aides held a protest outside the HQ of the Medical Sciences University in this province. The Ministry of Health has received 3.699.000 toumans ($113) tuition fee from the nurse’s aides, promising to recruit and employ them which never happened.

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According to state-run ILNA news agency an estimated 500 teachers participated in Tehran's gathering on "World Teachers's Day" on Oct. 5. Female teachers actively and extensively participated in nationwide gatherings in cities such as Tehran, Yazd, Ahwaz, Shiraz, Mashhad, Tabriz and Gilan to name a few. They demanded not only their own legitimate rights but also the release of imprisoned teachers and political prisoners. Teachers changed, “Free imprisoned teachers, workers, and students”, “a teacher’s place is not in prison”, “we want a salary of at least 4 million toumans, over the poverty line”, and “we will persevere until our demands are met.”
Mrs. Farangis Mazloum, Soheil Arabis' mother also participated in the gathering in Tehran. Soheil Arabi, is a political prisoner who has been on hunger strike for more than 40 days.

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 A number of contract teachers working in the town of Kangaver staged a protest gathering outside the Education Department on Wednesday, October 4, to protest against their unsuitable job conditions and low wages.
The majority of protesters were women.



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Three Iranian Baha'i' women were sentenced to five years  in prison each for their religious beliefs. They have been identified as Helia Moshtagh, Nava Monjazeb Ghamsari and Negar Bagheri Taregh.
They had been free on bail since 2016, but were tried on October 4, 2017, in a Revolutionary Court and sentenced to 5 years in prison each on the charge of “acting against national security.”


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Iranian civil rights activist Leila Mir-Ghaffari, who had been arrested on September 26, is being kept in inhuman conditions in a mental hospital in Tehran. The reason for her admssion to the mental hospital and under which intelligence agency and authority and under what charges is not clear.
Leila has been chained by the hands and feet to her bed. The only time the chains are off is when she needs to get out of the room to get fresh air.
Ms. MirGhaffari’s health and psychological conditions have been reported as grim and she is not able to speak due to the medications she is forced to take.
Leila Mir-Ghaffari had been previously arrested in June 2017 and released on bail after a week. She was also arrested following a gathering in front of Evin Prison in November 2015 and released on bail a month later. Leila Mir-Ghaffari was also summoned and interrogated in October 2016 for participating in Reyhaneh Jabbari’s memorial ceremony.

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According to state-run ensaf news website Oct. 3rd, Afghan girls studying in Kerman’s Zeinabiyeh primary school were collectively expelled on Monday, October 2, ten days after the beginning of the school year, without offering any explanation to the parents.
It is not clear why these children have been deprived of education, but under  Iranian regime’s laws, children who are borne in Iran from marriages between Iranian women and Afghan men, are not entitled to birth certificates and citizen rights until the child reaches 18. Afghan women and children who live in Iran are also subject to discrimination in medical treatment and other civil services. Recently Human Rights Watch released a report on the use of Afghan children for the Syrian war by the Iranian regime's Revolutionary Guards- IRGC.

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The Iranian regime's parliament or Majlis in Iran is stonewalling a bill seeking to raise the minimum age of women’s marriage. According to state-run ILNA news agency Oct. 2, Parvaneh Salahshouri the Majlis had not paid any attention to the demands of the women’s faction for one year and added, “It would be a great step, if we could place the bill on the agenda and at least, raise the age of girls’ marriage with their father’s permission from 9 to 15 years.
The agreement with (the French Oil Company) Total is quickly taken to the floor but the issues of children have to wait for a long time.”
“According to the laws of Iran, women are deprived of the right to divorce; they need their husband or father’s approval to travel. The custody of children over seven years of age is granted to the father. Altogether, these rules which give open hand to men and fathers to decide about every aspect of their children’s lives end up in phenomena such as child marriages.”

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The State-run Tasnim news agency affiliated with the Quds force belonging to the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps, or IRGC reported on Oct. 5 that Heydar Asiabi the Secretary of Semnan Province’s Staff in charge of Promoting Virtue and Forbidding Vice announced that 2400 agents are tasked in this province, alone, with cracking down on women to impose the compulsory veil. He added that they had increased the number of their female agents to 2000 who act on different levels. They also include teenage girls of 14-15 years of age. “Promoting virtue and forbidding vice should spread in society and turn into a general culture institutionalized among people,” Heydar Asiabi stressed. It's worth mentioning that 26 state agencies are already tasked with enforcing the compulsory veil on Iranian women in every private and public place.

Sunday, October 01, 2017

NEWS))))))

​According to Edmonton's police Sunday Oct. 1, a man who stabbed a police officer with a knife and deliberately plowed into pedestrians on Edmonton's busiest downtown strip is being investigated for "acts of terrorism".
A 30-year-old man is in custody following a high-speed chase just before midnight through streets filled with bar patrons and football fans. The chase ended only after a white U-Haul van the man was driving struck four pedestrians and flipped on its side. A black ISIS flag was seized from a car where the police officer was attacked. Justin Trudeau has condemned this terrorist attack.

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According to Reuters, Canada which has been accused of sharing intelligence that led to the torture of prisoners abroad, on Monday Sept. 25 issued rules to prevent its security agencies from disclosing or requesting information from other countries if it would result in mistreatment. The rules also prohibit Canada’s spy agency, border services agents and federal police from using information likely obtained through torture, unless it is necessary to prevent death or significant injuries. The directions replace 2011 rules put in place by the previous Conservative government that was replaced by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s Liberals in 2015. Reuters added: The Liberals appear to have publicized the rules to repair the government’s reputation, according to experts who noted that it is unusual for a country to publicly disclose such guidelines. The Conservative government in 2007 apologized and paid C$10.5 million to compensate Maher Arar, who was deported to Syria by U.S. agents after Canadian police mistakenly labeled him an Islamic extremist.
Earlier this year, Canada apologized to three Canadian men of Arab descent who said they had been tortured in Syria and blamed Canadian secret services for their ordeal.

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Voting started on Monday Sept. 25 in an independence referendum organized by the Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) in northern Iraq. The people of Kurdistan-Iraq voted in favour of independence in high numbers. Iranians in Kurdistan-Iran in different cities celebrated the referendum in Iraq but faced attack and arrest by the security forces. as such a woman named Ronak Aghaii was arrested for hoisting the flag of Kurdistan in a gathering in Mahabad. Her family have no news of her fate. The United States is not recognizing Kurdistan's referendum and tension is high for the Iranian regime, Turkey and other neighbors were against the referendum from the beginning. According to the Green Party of Iran statement Sept. 24, the Kurdistan region of Iraq has practically been autonomous and separated from the chaos in Iraq. Making the independence official by holding a referendum is a way for Kurdistan to continue its tranquility, economic growth, and prosperity. It also serves as a defense mechanism against the perils of the Shiite groups created by the Quds Force(belonging to Iranian regime) and the central government of Iraq. Iraq is a country under the influence of the Iranian mullahs.


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Reuters reported on Oct. 1, that the White House said on Saturday it had ordered that Iran, Venezuela and four African nations be added to a US list of countries accused of failing to crack down on human trafficking, a step that further isolates them from the United States.
The White House said it also was increasing restrictions on North Korea, Eritrea, Russia and Syria, which already were on the list, by constraining them from engaging in educational or cultural exchange programs with the United States.
In addition, President Donald Trump’s administration instructed the U.S. executive director of the International Monetary Fund and U.S. executive directors at other multilateral development banks to vote against extending loans or other funds to North Korea, Russia and Iran for fiscal year 2018, which begins today. Under a 2000 U.S. law called the Trafficking Victims Protection Act, the United States does not provide non-humanitarian, non-trade-related foreign assistance to any country that fails to comply with minimum standards for eliminating trafficking and is not making efforts to do so.
The White House said in a notice that Iran, Venezuela, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Equatorial Guinea, South Sudan and Sudan had been added to the list of countries subject to these restrictions for the new fiscal year. The move came six days after Trump included Venezuela and Iran on a list of eight countries targeted for travel restrictions to the United States. The restrictions on Venezuela focused on government officials who the Trump administration blamed for the country’s slide into economic disarray. The travel ban on Iranians was broader.
That travel ban list lifted previous restrictions on citizens from Sudan.

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A number of female students of Hamedan’s Bou-Ali Sina University in Iran staged a gathering on September 24, to protest the deficient state of the girls’ dormitories. Female students said their living conditions were below the minimum standards and in a temporary state. The girls' dormitories of Kowsar and Shabnam are among the places whose conditions have caused protest in Bou-Ali Sina University.

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Iranian regime's Security forces arrested Leila Mirghafari on Tuesday, September 26, and transferred this civil rights activist to an unknown location. Ms. Mir-Ghaffari had been arrested earlier this year in May. She was also arrested in 2015 along with several other civil activists following a protest rally outside Evin Prison. They were first transferred to the Prosecutor’s Office at Evin and subsequently to the notorious Qarchak Prison in Varamin. She was also summoned and interrogated in October 2016 for participating in the memorial ceremony for Reyhaneh Jabbari held in Behesht-e Zahra Cemetery.

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Women actively participated in protest gathering in Tehran-Iran on the morning of September 27, in support of imprisoned unionist Reza Shahabi, head of the Syndicate of the Bus Company of Tehran and Suburbs. The protesters demanded his immediate release. Reza Shahabi has been on hunger strike for more than 40 days in protest to prison conditions.



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Students of Jondishapur School of Dentistry in Ahwaz-Iran held a protest rally on Tuesday, September 26. This was the second time the female students in this university were protesting the lack of educational space. The protest was held in front of the central building of the university.







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Women staged simultaneous protest rallies in seven cities of Tehran, Mashhad, Shiraz, Isfahan, Ahwaz, Bushehr and Malayer in Iran on Tuesday, September 26.
The protesters have lost their property looted by government financial institutions. The protesters in Mashhad were confronted by the State Security forces. They continued their gatherings and refused to stop the protest.

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Saudi King Salman on Tuesday ordered that women be allowed to drive cars, state media said. Saudi Arabia has been widely criticized for being the only country in the world that bans women from driving, despite ambitious government targets to increase their public role, especially in the workforce.
The royal decree ordered the formation of a ministerial body to give advice within 30 days and then implement the order by June 2018, according to state news agency SPA. Also women in Saudi Arabia are allowed to enter sport stadiums in the country as well.

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Iranian regime's Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) has
recruited Afghan immigrant children living in Iran to fight in Syria, Human Rights Watch said today Oct. 1, 2017. Afghan children as young as 14 have fought in the Fatemiyoun division, an exclusively Afghan armed group supported by Iran that fights alongside government forces in the Syrian conflict. Under international law, recruiting children under the age of 15 to participate actively in hostilities is a war crime. Human Rights Watch researchers reviewed photographs of tombstones in Iranian cemeteries where the authorities buried combatants killed in Syria, and identified eight Afghan children who apparently fought and died in Syria. Iranian media reports also corroborated some of these cases and reported at least six more instances of Afghan child soldiers who died in Syria.
This indicates that instances of Iran recruiting children to fight in Syria are likely more prevalent. “Iran should immediately end the recruitment of child soldiers and bring back any Afghan children it has sent to fight in Syria,” said Sarah Leah Whitson, Middle East director at Human Rights Watch.
“Rather than preying on vulnerable immigrant and refugee children, the Iranian authorities should protect all children and hold those responsible for recruiting Afghan children to account.” In 2015, the Interior Ministry estimated that there were 2.5 million Afghans in Iran, many of them without residency papers. Human Rights Watch previously documented cases of Afghan refugees in Iran who “volunteered” to fight in Syria in the hopes of gaining legal status for their families. Since 2013, Iran has supported and trained thousands of Afghans, at least some of them undocumented immigrants, as part of the Fatemiyoun division, a group that an Iranian newspaper close to the government describes as volunteer Afghan forces, to fight in Syria. In May 2015, Defa Press, a news agency close to Iran’s armed forces, reported that the Fatemiyoun had been elevated from a brigade to a division.
There are no official public statistics on its size, but according to an interview published in the Revolutionary Guards-affiliated Tasnim News, it has about 14,000 fighters. By reviewing photographs of their tombstones, Human Rights Watch documented eight Afghan children who fought and died in Syria. Five of them, one as young as 14, are buried in the Martyr’s Section of Tehran’s Behesht-e-Zahra cemetery. Writing on the epitaphs of the tombstones indicates that they were all probably killed in combat in Syria and that all of them were below the age of 18 at the time of their deaths. Human Rights Watch was able to document three more cases, of a 17-year-old, a 15-year-old, and another 17-year-old, who were buried in Alborz, Tehran, and Isfahan provinces, respectively. In four of these cases, the tombstones also identified the children’s places of death in Syria, and in seven of the eight cases, the tombstones described the Afghan child as a “defender of the shrine,” the euphemism the Iranian government uses to describe fighters it sends to Syria. Domestic media reported their funerals and memorial services, along with their membership in the Fatemiyoun division and their place of “martyrdom” in Syria. Domestic media reports also indicate that at least six more “defenders of the shrine” from the Fatemiyoun division are buried across the country and were under the age of 18 when they died. In two of these cases – Hassan Rahimi and Mohammad Zaman Atayi – information engraved on their tombstones indicated that the two were over 18 when they died, but media interviews with their families reveal that they were actually both children, or under 18, when they died fighting in Syria.

Sunday, September 24, 2017

NEWS))))))

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On the 72nd United Nations General Assembly, Donald Trump the president of the United States for the first time and bluntly talked about the role of the Iranian regime as the state of exporting terrorism in the Middle East and its nuclear ambition. Trump said about the Iranian regime that: it “masks a corrupt dictatorship behind the false guise of democracy. It has turned a wealthy country with a rich history and culture into an economically depleted rogue state whose longest-suffering victims … are, in fact, its own people. Rather than using Iran’s vast oil profits to improve Iranian lives, the regime wastes this wealth — which rightly belongs to the Iranian people —
Trump concluded, that “the good people of Iran want change” and that “Iranian people are what their leaders fear the most.” “oppressive regimes cannot endure forever” and that the day will come when Iran’s people face a choice: “To continue down the path of poverty, bloodshed and terror” or “return to the nation’s proud roots as a center of civilization, culture and wealth where their people can be happy and prosperous once again?”
Mrs Maryam Rajavi , the President-elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran-NCRI- welcomed President Trump’s remarks and characterized them as the first testimony by a US President over the past 38 years to underscore the need for regime change in Iran by the Iranian people, a cause that has been the declared policy of the Iranian Resistance for the past 36 years. Mrs. Rajavi added, “The recognition of the National Council of Resistance of Iran as the only democratic alternative to the terrorist, religious dictatorship in Iran is indispensable to ending and rectifying the United States’ disastrous past policy towards the people of Iran.”

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The Women’s Committee of the National Council of Resistance of Iran condemned the murder of Orouba Barakat and her daughter, Halla Barakat two Syrian activist women who were stabbed to death in their apartment in Istanbul- Turkey. Mrs. Orouba Barakat was a veteran figure of the Syrian Opposition who played a serious role in exposing the crimes of Bashar Assad particularly in the regime’s prisons. She had done research on the practice of torture in these prisons. Her daughter, Halla Barakat, was a journalist working with the opposition’s TV, the Orient News. The bodies of the Mother and daughter was discovered on Thursday Sept 21 by Turkish police. The Syrian opposition and USA has condemned Orouba and Hala's murder.

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According to state-run Mehr news agency Sept. 21, Thirty young women and men were arrested in a mixed-sex party in Varamin, north central Iran. This was announced by the Commander of Varamin’s Revolutionary Guard Corps, Davoud Asghari. He said agents entered a house in Varamin after getting information and identifying the place. The young women and men arrested in the party were handed over to the judiciary authorities for further investigations.


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Leila Mohammadzadeh was arrested while explaining the articles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights for a group of women in a place near Zibar Lake in Marivan, Iranian Kurdistan. She now faces legal prosecution. She is also charged with “inciting women to reject Islamic norms through riding bicycles in public.” Her complainant is the State Security Force.
Mohammadzadeh had previously issued a statement in which she had accused Rouhani of giving promises for improvement of women’s rights, but not delivering on them after his victory. there were people who had used improving women’s rights as their election slogan, but that nothing had changed after their re-election... Presently, women face legal prosecution and arrest by the State Security Force if they ride bicycle in public in Marivan.


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According to State-run Daneshjou news website Sept. 20th, a Marivani school girl went on hunger strike to protest the announced results of the national test for university admission in Iran. Gelaveaj Arjangi, who was an honor student at the public school of Marivan, protested discrimination in student admissions to the Farhangian Beit-ol Hoda University in Sanandaj. She ranked 345 in the national test for university admission. According to her father, people with four-digit ranks had been admitted to the Farhangian University, but Gelaveaj was denied admission despite a three-digit ranking.


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Security forces in Tehran-Iran's capital, arrested a Christian couple after summoning them to the Intelligence Department. The Christian couple are accused of participating in a funeral in Behesht-e Zahra, in which they carried out Christian rituals. The incarcerated Christian couple have been identified as Mehrdad Houshmand and Sarah Nemati.




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The order of 80 lashes was carried out in Iran on Tuesday afternoon, September 19, for Leila Bayat.  Leila Bayat had sought refuge in Norway but was deported and sent back to Iran in March of 2017. She had been arrested in 2007 along with three of her friends in a private party and sentenced to 80 lashes for drinking alcoholic beverages. Leila was separated from her 13-year-old son and returned to Iran on March 11, 2017.


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2 Iranian women Melika Kavandi and Zahra Shafii Dehaghani have gone on dry hunger strike since September 19. They had been arrested 23 days earlier outside the Evin Prison when they were protesting the death sentence issued for the prisoner of conscience Mohammad Ali Taheri. They were subsequently taken to Shahr-e Ray Prison and detained there without being informed of their charges and determination of the status of their case.


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According to the Iranian resistance statement Sept. 22, the Iranian regime has hanged 33 prisoners from 12 to 20th of Sept. 2017 and on Thursday Sept 21st the hands of 3 prisoners were amputated for steeling. Thirteen prisoners were executed only on Wednesday, September 20 in Qom and Gohardasht prisons in Karaj, the central prison of Karaj, and the central prison of Qazvin (Chubin Dar). And two public executions were carried out in the cities of Aq Qala (Golestan province) and Pars Abad of Moghan (Ardebil province ). Between 12 and 19 September, 20 other detainees, including a female prisoner, were executed in Khorramabad, Karaj, Ardebil, Tabriz, Mashhad, Borujerd, Zanjan and Kerman prisons. Four of them were executed publicly in the cities of Islamabad Gharb, Anbarabad, Ilam and Salmas. Yadullah Movahhed, the head of regime’s judiciary in Kerman, called the five executed prisoners in the city 'the cause for insecurity and wickedness.'

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Parvin Heydari, a nurse with 17 years of experience at the Nabavi Hospital of Dezful in Khuzistan Province, said she had been expelled from her job for having pursued the implementation of the law on improvement of productivity, reported state-run ILNA news agency Sept. 18. She said: I worked with the staff, and with their cooperation, we gathered signatures and sent a letter to the Department of Labor, demanding implementation of this law. I faced heavy opposition for doing so and was eventually fired from my job.”  This is while according to the UN and CSW programs for women’s economic empowerment, women have the right to organize in workplaces and communities to uphold women’s labor rights, ensuring decent work and defining policy priorities.

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The case of a prominent player of the national women’s Futsal team of Iran is still open and might lead to her death sentence.The Futsal player whose name is not published collided with and killed a police officer in the Narmak neighborhood on her way home on May 13, 2017. The player is currently free on bail according to the state-run Pars Football website – September 18. Futsal is an indoor football or soccer.


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A Kurdish woman, identified as Farangiz Zareii, is currently being held in the Central Prison of Sanandaj, capital of the Kurdistan of Iran, on an 18-year prison sentence for alleged complicity in murder. Her husband was executed three years ago but Farangiz has been in prison for the past five years without a single day leave. She only has an elderly mother.According to one of her inmates, Farangiz has repeatedly announced that she had “no knowledge of the murder and did not participate in it in any way.”

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Carol De La Paz, a World Karate Federation instructor from Chile, left Iran with dissatisfaction after three weeks of giving technical advice. Critics blasted Iran’s Karate Federation for inviting her to Iran and called her “a dancer” and “a singer" who seeks "to promote the pervert culture of the West.”
In an interview, De La Paz said, “I have traveled to numerous countries but had never experienced anything like this… I respected everyone in Iran… but what eventually happened was incredible and unfair… The federation held a meeting with me and expressed interest in cooperation. But the rest of the story and the material published are very offensive.”
She stressed, “The Spanish President of the World Karate Federation has announced his full support for me regarding the events in Tehran, saying that they should have never happened… I am still waiting for the explanations of the officials of Iran’s Karate Federation. They have not shown any special reaction to those who insulted me, unfairly.”

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Nastaran Na’imi, the wife of Iranian prisoner of conscience Sohail Arabi, was fired from her job under the influence of the Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC).
In a letter from Evin Prison dated September 14, 2017, Soheil Arabi wrote, “The interrogators of IRGC intelligence continue to treat him and his family in illegal manners.” Soheail Arabi who's on hunger strike in a letter had thretened that if the couple are not freed he will go on dry hunger strike meaning he will refuse water and other liquids.

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Radio Irava's interview with Marc Nelson, American Artist and Art teacher


Link on YouTube
Link on Face book
Link on Yourlisten
Link on SoundCloud
Link on Vimeo


Marc Nelson earned his B.A in Fine Arts from Augustana College  in Rock Island, Illinois and Art Education Teaching Certificate from Western Illinois university. He's been teaching art for the past 10 years. Although his passion is to teach the beautiful world of art as he puts it to his students, Marc knows no boundaries when it comes to human rights violations and it reflects in his paintings that he draws from Syrian human catastrophe to the suffering of political prisoners on hunger strike in Gohardasht prison in Iran.  
Marc believes we shouldn't just watch human suffering around the world and should break the silence and do something about it. He emphasis's on today's world of social networks as a tool for artists, to protest the unjust. I was so honoured that he found the time out of his busy schedule to talk to me about his art and the positive role an artist can play.