Sunday, October 14, 2018

NEWS))))))



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According to PMOI/MEK Mojahedin of Iran, teachers in dozens of cities across Iran have launched their 2 day nationwide strike on Sunday, protesting poor living conditions, problems with their jobs and heavy security measures imposed in their schools. They also are calling for their jailed colleagues to be released. Teachers in the cities of Paveh, Islamabad-e Gharb, Yazd, Kermanshah, Shiraz, Marivan, Mashhad, Ilam, Gonabad, Torbat-e Heydariyeh, Tabriz, Amol, Garmeh, Lamerd, Sanandaj, Saqqez, Tehran, Sarvabad, Divandarreh, Mahabad, Khorramabad, Firouzazbad, Zarrin Shahr, Bojnourd, Javanrud, Sari, Karaj, Ivan-e Gharb, Isfahan, Rumeshkan and a number of other towns and cities are seen to be on strike. Students in various cities have announced their support for their teachers on this initiative. Since anti-government demonstrations erupted throughout Iran in December, strikes have become a popular way for citizens of different walks of life and social classes to protest against the corruption and inefficiency of the Iranian regime. This is the second time that the Iranian teachers are going on strike. Earlier this year, teachers across the country took to the streets to protest against discrimination, imprisonment of political activists and economic woes. This round of strikes by teachers is happening in parallel to a widespread strike by truck drivers across the country, which has lasted for more than three weeks and has expanded to 320 cities across the country and in 31 provinces. Last week, a separate strike by merchants and shop owners reached dozens of cities.

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-On Wednesday, October 10, the families of students at the Sama female School in Takestan held a sit-in against illegal and substandard blood taken by a couple of syringes from 40 children by an unidentified person posing as a Red Crescent (Hilal Ahmar) employee. The sit-in protest was held in the prayer hall and a number of the families also gathered in front of the Health and Medical Care Network in Takestan.

-On Tuesday and Wednesday, October 9 and 10, employees of the Edalat Stocks Cooperative continued their protest gathering since Saturday, October 6, against the cooperative’s failure to pay 43 months of their salaries.

-On Tuesday, October 9, a group of defrauded investors of the Caspian Credit Institute in Tehran held a protest gathering in front of the Public Prosecutor's Office. Women stood alongside men in this protest, demanding reimbursement of their plundered deposits.

-On Monday, October 8, a group of plundered clients of the Caspian Credit Institute in Rasht, mainly women, staged a protest gathering.

-Also on Monday, October 8, a group of students from Tehran's Khajeh Nassir Toosi University of Technology staged a protest against the new policy of obtaining fees from students for dormitory services.

According to women committee of the National Council of Resistance of Iran, from March to September 2018, Iranian women have actively taken part in over 430 protest gatherings in cities across Iran.

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A female judo practitioner was banned from participating in judo competitions at the 2018 Summer Youth Olympic Games in Argentina, due to the Iranian regime’s compulsory hijab rules. Maral Mardani, Iranian judo practitioner of the 78 weight team, was eliminated from the main Olympic Games in Argentina because she could not wear the original judo uniform and go without covering her hair which is part of the compulsory hijab rule of the Iran’s regime. Government officials did not allow the female judo practitioner to attend tournament with the official Judo uniform, which all the athletes in the world use, and the judo practitioner Maral Mardani was required to be present with a full covering at the judo matches. (The state-run ILNA news agency - October 9, 2018)
Earlier, rock climber Elnaz Rekabi, who won the gold medal of women’s Asian Bold Ring Cup, said in a brief interview about the restrictions imposed on her due to the compulsory hijab. "It is very hard with the veil especially when the weather is hot. I tried to find some proper outfit for this sport to observe the dress code, as well, but I had to do it on my own.” (Interview with Euronews – Aparat.com– April 25, 2016)
In an insulting comment about Iranian women athletes participating in national and international competitions, Alam Al-Hoda said in 2015, "When a woman with an inappropriate appearance goes to the platform to receive her medal, then an Indian referee will put the medal around her neck and they will hold up the flag of Iran, it is a shame for the Islamic world."
Female athletes have no government or private support. Those women who wish to participate in international tournaments, have to pay for their own travel, practice, equipment, etc. But Iranian women are so motivated that they continue to be active in sports and win medals. They show their talent and competence in various sport fields at every opportunity.

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The bus carrying female students to a compulsory camp, called Rahian-e Noor, crashed on the Tabriz road on October 10. Two students died in this accident and more were injured. The bus carrying 40 secondary school girls was heading to Tamarchin, in West Azerbaijan Province, when it started to rain. Slippery road caused the crash at the entrance to the city of Tabriz. (The state-run ISNA News Agency – October 10, 2018)
The Women committee of the National Council of Resistance of Iran added that these compulsory camps, aimed at promoting fundamentalist culture and brainwashing students, are held every year at high expenses. While the government does not care for the lives of girl students, they hold these mandatory camps on an annual basis, despite severe roads condition in Iran where millions of people lose their lives every year.
Global organizations have described Iranian roads, as roads of death.
Elite student Sara Ayineh was among the 27 victims of a horrendous bus crash in Sanandaj, capital of the Iranian Kurdistan Province in western Iran on July 11, 2018, when an IRGC fuel tanker crashed into the students’ bus. Sara Ayineh studied biology at a high school for talented students and had passed the exam for the first stage of Science Olympiad for the 2017-2018 academic year.
Last December, a bus carrying female students from Susangerd traveled through war-torn areas under the pretext of a scientific travel. The bus crashed and four girl students and a female teacher were killed. According to government officials, six people died in the accident and more than 11 people were reported as injured. (The state-run Tasnim news agency – December 12, 2017)
This is not the first time that students die in an accident involving buses carrying secondary and college students.
In another incident on March 17, 1998, a bus carrying students from Sharif University of Technology fell into a steep valley killing seven students and two faculty members of the university. Maryam Mirzakhani, a mathematics genius, was one of the survivors of the incident.

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Examinations by the Coroner’s Office revealed that a seven-year-old girl, Donya Veisi, who had apparently died when the school wall crumbled on her, had been actually raped and murdered, and the wall collapse was a set up to cover up the heinous crime. This is according to a reporter who has personally talked to a physician at the Coroner's Office.
Rashid Ghorbani, general director of the Department of Education in Kurdistan Province, announced that Donya Veisi, a first grade student of the elementary school of Garmash village, had been severely injured on Monday, October 8, when an old wall in the school yard collapsed. Donya Veisi was immediately taken to the Be’ssat Hospital of Sanandaj, by her father, teacher and the school principal, but lost her life to serious injuries.
This is not the first time that such crimes victimize innocent and defenseless children. Unfortunately, despite public opinion pressure and repeated appeals by human rights and women’s rights activists to pass a law on violence against women and criminalize its perpetrators, no such bill has been adopted by the Iranian regime’s  parliament.
The bill on elimination of violence against women was first renamed as “Provision of Security for Women” bill, many of its articles were subsequently deleted, and it remains stuck in the labyrinths of law and decision making after some 10 years.

Sunday, October 07, 2018

NEWS))))))



UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet, condemned the execution of Zeinab Sokaanvand Lokran, a young woman in Iran accused of killing her husband in 2012 at the age of 17. Bachelet added in her statement that “her claims that she was coerced into confessing to the killing, and that she had been a victim of domestic violence, were reportedly not adequately examined during her trial.” “The sheer injustice in the case of Zeinab Sokaanvand Lokran is deeply distressing. “The serious question marks over her conviction appear not to have been adequately addressed before she was executed. The bottom line is that she was a juvenile at the time the offence was committed and international law clearly prohibits the execution of juvenile offenders.” Said Bachelet. Despite a number of appeals from UN Special Rapporteurs and the UN Secretary-General since her conviction in October 2014, Zeinab Sokaanvand, was hanged on October 2, 2018 in Iran’s Urmia Prison along with four other prisoners.
Forced into marriage at the age of 15, Zeinab Sekaanvand lived two painful years, being battered everyday by her husband. The 24-year-old Iranian Kurdish woman was convicted of killing her abusive husband at the age of 17. She told the judge that her husband’s brother, who had raped her several times, had actually committed the murder. Zeinab Sokaanvand is the 84th woman executed under Rouhani.

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President of the World Federation of Football Federation (FIFA) sent a letter to the Iranian regime, demanding an answer for lifting the ban on women entering sports stadiums in Iran. This is the third letter sent to the clerical regime on the basis of the promise made by Hassan Rouhani on lifting the ban on female fans to attend matches in stadiums.
The Women’s committee of the National Council of Resistance of Iran –NCRI says, preventing women’s entry to sports stadiums and volleyball matches has been formally imposed by law enforcement officers since 2013, and since then, this problem has never been resolved for football stadiums and even women's sports venues. A number of government officials and religious scholars, including Makarem Shirazi and Nouri Hamedani, have emphasized on the ban on women’s entry into sports stadiums in Iran.

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Farangis Mazloumi, mother of political prisoner Soheil Arabi, sent out an audio message on October 3, seeking assistance from all international human rights organizations to save her son’s life. In her message, Farangis Mazloumi explains about her son’s imprisonment and the new verdicts issued for him.
Soheil Arabi, a blogger arrested for insulting the Iranian regime’s leader and defying the regime’s oppression, via Facebook spent 4.5 years in Evin Prison and was subsequently transferred to the Greater Tehran’s Penitentiary (a.k.a. Fashafouyeh Prison) in February 2018, where he is being detained incommunicado and under harsh conditions. Soheil Arabi, 32 and married with a daughter, has been subjected to various forms of mental and physical tortures over these years.
Political prisoner Soheil Arabi went on a 56-day hunger strike beginning on January 24, 2018, in protest to the beating of women political prisoners, Atena Daemi and Golrokh Iraee, and their illegal transfer from Evin Prison to the notorious Qarchak Prison in Varamin. Earlier, he had staged another 52-day hunger strike in protest to harassment of his family and fabrication of charges against himself. Now, he faces a new verdict, sentencing him to a total of 9 years in prison, 4 million toumans of fine, and exile to Borazjan Prison, in southern Iran. His mother, Farangis Mazloumi has staged numerous acts of protest to save her son’s life. For the past four years, Farangis Mazloumi has been observing the New Year ceremonies in front of prisons. This year, she spent the turn of the New Iranian Year outside the Greater Tehran’s Penitentiary and declared that so long as her son is in prison, she will not celebrate Nowrouz.
Farangis Mazloumi announced on July 28, 2018, that her son was under tremendous pressure. He is constantly being harassed and mistreated by prison guards at the behest of the Judiciary. They intend to force him into taking deranging medications so that they could transfer him as a mental patient to Aminabad mental hospital.

Sunday, September 30, 2018

NEWS))))))


Canada's House of Commons voted unanimously Thursday to revoke honorary citizenship for Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi following her failure to halt atrocities against the Southeast Asian country's Rohingya minority which was granted to her in 2007.





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Mehrnaz Haghighi, 49 and a MD from Bandar Abbas, was transferred Saturday, September 22, to the Prison of Bandar Abbas to serve her six-month prison sentence. Mehrnaz Haghighi was initially arrested at her home on February 19, 2017, by agents of the Ministry of Intelligence. She was incarcerated for more than three months in the detention center of the Security Police of Bandar Abbas and in Evin Prison in Tehran. Dr. Haghighi was exonerated from the preliminary charges of disseminating lies, insulting the regime’s supreme leader, and acting against national security. The Prosecutor, however, brought two new charges against her accusing her of “membership in the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK)” and “propaganda against the state and in favor of opponents.” This medical doctor and civil rights activist denied the charge of membership in the PMOI/MEK. Mehrnaz Haghighi was arrested at home at the age of 12, in the course of the massive crackdown on the opposition in the early 1980's in Iran. She was released shortly due to her young age. She did not have any activities until 2009 when she visited families of political prisoners and offered them financial support.
The Iranian regime has made fresh arrests and issued sentences for human rights activists, women’s rights activists and human rights lawyers. The unprecedented wave denotes a crisis in the situation of human rights in Iran and is seen as an effort on the part of Iranian regime officials to silence every voice of dissent.
Amnesty International issued a statement on September 3, 2018, in which it warned against the arrests of lawyers and women’s rights activists in Iran. AI pointed out, “These latest arrests are a blatant attempt to silence those advocating for human rights in Iran.” It also noted that this is part of the officials’ efforts to prevent lawyers from defending their clients.

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Afsaneh Khorsandi and Maryam Azad were arrested on Wednesday, September 26, in Mahabad of Iranian Kurdistan, and in Tehran. Intelligence agents in Mahabad raided the residence of Afsaneh Khorsandi on September 26, arresting and transferring her to an unknown location. It is not clear why she was arrested and where she has been taken to. Afsaneh Khorsandi is the sister of Aram Khorsandi who had been arrested a day earlier by security forces and transferred to an unknown location.
At the same time, Maryam Azad, another women’s rights activist from Shiraz, was arrested by security forces. Maryam Azad was arrested at a Tehran Airport as she was leaving the country for Turkey.
An associate of Ms. Azad said she had been arrested by security forces without being informed of her charges. Her arrest took place after she had passed the gate and boarded the plane.
Maryam Azad, 31 and a graduate of Dramatic Arts, was very much interested in performing in plays but was not able to continue in this profession due to the illness she is being treated for.
Amnesty International issued a statement on September 3rd, warning against the arrests of women including lawyers and women’s rights activists in Iran, saying it signaled intensifying crackdown on civil society in Iran.

Sunday, September 23, 2018

NEWS))))))



On Sat. Sept. 22, a large crowd of Iranian-Americans gathered in a New York venue to voice their support for continued protests in Iran and to call on the international community to support the Iranian people and their resistance movement in the cause for regime change in Iran. Titled “2018 Iran Uprising Summit: The Path to Freedom – the Alternative,” the event was organized by the Organization of Iranian American Communities (OIAC) and featured speeches by American and European politicians as well as discussion panels by Iranian communities and musical performances by Iranian youth. The youth, who came from the US and Canada, underlined the role of “resistance units,” which they described as “small groups of MEK supporters who work in a very focused and targeted way inside Iran. ”Resistance units have had an important role in organizing protests across the country since they started in late December 2018. They also represent Iranians from all areas of the society. The keynote speaker of the event was Mrs. Maryam Rajavi, president-elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), who addressed the crowd through teleconference. “Accelerating developments in Iran enhance the prospects of an Iran free of religious tyranny,” Mrs. Rajavi said, referring to the surge of protests that have been shaking the foundations of the ruling regime since December. The regime’s crackdown on demonstration and the arrest of protesters have not deterred the Iranian people in their resolve to overthrow the regime, Mrs. Rajavi added. She also spoke to the upcoming UN Security Council session, which will be hosted by the US president and will likely be focused on Iran on Sept 26. “It is an urgent imperative that the Security Council address the flagrant violations of human rights in Iran, especially the torture and massacre of political prisoners, and the regime’s export of terrorism and warmongering in the Middle East Region. It must adopt binding measures to compel the regime to halt its crimes,” Mrs. Rajavi said. While emphasizing that the Iranian people have all they need to overthrow the Iranian regime, Mrs. Rajavi reiterated the international community’s responsibility to support them in their uprisings. She also stressed the need to cut off the financial lifelines of Tehran’s security and suppression apparatus and the need to shut down the Iranian regime’s embassies and expel its diplomats and operatives from all countries.
“Iran’s seat at the United Nations does not belong to the terrorist regime ruling it. That seat belongs to the Iranian people and Resistance,” Mrs. Rajavi concluded. In OIAC’s conference Former US National Security Advisor James Jones, Mayor Rudy Giuliani, Former French foreign minister Bernard Kouchner, Former US General Attorney Michael Mukasey, Former Italian foreign minister Giulio Terzi to name a few were president and gave speeches.

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With the deteriorating economic situation in Iran, women heads of household have suffered economic pressures twice as much in recent months. Now, with the start of the school year, the expenses for their children’s education have added to their concerns.
Rouhollah Babaii, chairman of the Social Committee of the Iranian regime’s parliament, said, "The government must decide on how to handle the situation of women heads of household as soon as possible, because many of the damages we see in this realm cannot be rectified in any way." (The state-run salamatnews.com - September 18, 2018)
In terms of the status of women heads of household, state-run media reports vary in terms of how much assistance they receive from a welfare or relief committee. But what is certain is that giving support to this group of women is long overdue, with the rare support institutes in acting weakly in some cities. Female heads of households often earn their living with great difficulty, even if they receive any aid from relatives or acquaintances. The occasional and insignificant support, such as loans and subsidies, do little to improve the living conditions of women heads of household.
According to government officials, there are at least 3.5 million women heads of household in Iran, 82 percent of whom are unemployed and live below the poverty line. Only a small percentage of women heads of household are covered by the Welfare Organization and receive a meager monthly aid of 70,000 toumans which is less than 10 percent of the minimum wage of 930,000 toumans, while the poverty line in Iran currently stands at 5 million toumans. (The official IRNA news agency – November 22, 2015)
A government official in Kermanshah admitted by saying, "We have seen many times that a woman head of household has been forced to take unconventional measures, the most common of them being the selling of kidneys." (The state-run Mehr News Agency – October 8, 2015)


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Eight years after the drafting of the bill for Provision of Security for Women, the bill has yet to be approved by the Iranian regime’s parliament. At a meeting on September 18, to review the bill for Provision of Security for Women, Parvaneh Salahshouri, a member of regime’s parliament, said, "The bill initially called, ‘Elimination of Violence Against Women', was first renamed as Provision of Security for Women. For two and a half years, the bill has been supposed to come back to the parliament, but the bill has got stuck in a labyrinth incomparable to any other bill or plan.”

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Four women have been arrested in Shiraz, south-central Iran, because of their Baha’i faith. One of the four women, Nora Pourmoradian, a resident of Shiraz, was arrested on September 16, by agents of the Department of Intelligence and transferred to the department’s Detention Center. Another one of the four women arrested in Shiraz is Ms. Soudabeh Haghighat who was also arrested on Sunday night, September 16, at her home while her family and relatives were preparing for the funeral of her grandmother.
Earlier on Saturday, September 15, two other women –Bahareh Ghaderi and Elaheh Samizadeh--- were also arrested in Shiraz.
Agents of the Ministry of Intelligence reportedly broke into the psychology class of Mr. Navid Bazmandegan, confiscating the ID cards, computers, flash disks, mobile phones, along with the passwords and emails of the students. Subsequently, they took Mr. Bazmandegan to his home. 
There, they arrested his wife, Bahareh Ghaderi, and after the inspection of their home and confiscation of their personal belongings, they transferred the Baha’i couple to an unknown location.
Bahareh Ghaderi and Navid Bazmandegan have a three-year-old daughter by the name of Darya who is struggling with cancer.
In addition to the four women arrested in Shiraz, another Baha’i woman residing in Shiraz by the name of Rouhiyeh Nariman, was sentenced to 2.5 years in jail by the 17th Branch of the Revision Court in this city.
Currently there are many Baha’i women behind bars because of their faith. They are deprived of their basic human rights and are constantly harassed or insulted by security agents.
Baha'ism is considered an illegal faith in Iran under the current regime and its adherents are deprived of their rights to education, employment and practice of their faith.

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Plundered women gathered in the city of Rasht, northern Iran, on Monday, September 17, to protest against the Caspian Credit Institute’s defrauding of their assets and investments. Also in Tehran, a large number of plundered women and men depositors of the Caspian Credit Institute gathered and held a protest rally in front of the Central Bank. Women have had significant presence in the protests of various sectors of the society. Iranian women’s protest rallies amount to at least 390 from March to August 2018 according to women’s committee of the Iranian resistance. This represents an almost double-fold increase in the average number of protests per month compared to last year's 426 protests registered from March 2017 to March 2018, where Iranian women actively participated.