Ayatollah Montazeri dies at age 87
Iran's most senior dissident cleric, Grand Ayatollah Hossein Ali Montazeri, died on Sunday. He was 87. Montazeri had accused the country's ruling Islamic establishment of imposing dictatorship in the name of Islam.
Hoping to limit attention on the funeral, authorities banned foreign media coverage of it and barred reporters from traveling to Qom. Montazeri's grandson, Nasser Montazeri, said he died in his sleep overnight. The Web site of Iranian state television quoted doctors as saying Montazeri had suffered from asthma and arteriosclerosis, a disease that thickens and hardens arteries. Montazeri had once been designated to succeed Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the late founder of Iran's 1979 Islamic Revolution, as the supreme leader — but the two had a falling out a few months before Khomeini died of cancer in 1989 over the executions of 30,000 political prisoners in Iran who mosly were the supporters of People’s Mojahedin of Iran. Montazeri tried to persuade Khomeini of stopping the executions of what he called “a few thousands every day” and to at least “halt the execution of the pregnant female political prisoners”.
Montazeri recently asked without naming names, Khamenie to resignate as the supreme leader of the Isalmic regime. Regardin this issue In a massege by the Iranian opposition leader, Mrs. Rajavi, she asked the Iranian people to insist on what Montazeri proclaimed before he died.
Montazeri was one of the leaders of the revolution and he helped draft the nation's new constitution, which was based on a concept called velayat-e faqih, or rule by Islamic jurists. That concept enshrined a political role for Islamic clerics in the new system. But a deep ideological rift soon developed with Khomeini. Montazeri envisioned the Islamic experts as advisers to the government — but without outright control to rule themselves. Taking the opposing view, Khomeini and his circle of clerics consolidated absolute power. Montazeri was increasingly cast by authorities as an outsider and misguided theologian.
During the late 1980s, Montazeri was gradually stripped of his official duties and became the focus of a high-level campaign to undermine his credentials as a leader and theologian.
In 1997, Montazeri was placed under house arrest in Qom قم , 80 miles (130 kilometers) south of Tehran, after saying Khamenei (newly valye faghih) wasn't qualified to rule.
The penalty was lifted in 2003, but Montazeri remained defiant, saying the freedom that was supposed to follow the 1979 revolution never happened.
Montazeri is expected to be buried inside the shrine of Masoumeh, a female saint revered by Shiite Muslims, according to news reports. The shrine is in the center of Qom.
UN General Assembly censures serious and persistent rights violations in Iran
On December 18, 2009, the United Nations General Assembly passed a strongly-worded resolution condemning “Serious, ongoing and recurring human rights violations” in Iran, including the increasing number of hangings and stonings, as well as instances of discrimination, brutal suppression of women and ethnic and religious minorities, perpetration of violence and intimidation by state-controlled militias against protestors leading to a large number of deaths and injuries, mass trials, obtaining of forced confessions through torture, and rape.The resolution was adopted despite the fact that the clerical regime had strived in world capitals and in Geneva and New York, over the last several months to strike it down. Enticing proposals as well as intimidations by the regime failed to prevent adoption of the resolution at the Third Committee of the UN General Assembly. This time around the regime used all its capacity to force those in favor of the resolution to abstain and thus thwart the adoption of the resolution at the UN General Assembly.
Young man executed for alleged offence committed at 17
A 23-year old Kurdish man Mosleh Zamani, who was 17 at the time of the alleged offence, was hanged in Dizel-Abad prison of Kermanshah, western Iran, on Thursday, after spending 6 years in jail. This cruel act was carried out despite the fact that on numerous occasions the private complainant in the case had expressed her disapproval of carrying out the death sentence and there has been an extensive campaign in Iran and outside to save his life.