Sunday, February 21, 2010


21-years-old sentenced to death
According to reports, the clerical regime in Iran has sentenced a 21-years-old political prisoner, Amir Reza Aarefi, on the charges of “mohareb” (enemy of God). Mr. Aarefi was arrested in April 2009 and was in prison during the uprising following the sham presidential election last June in Iran. He was among those tried in kangaroo trials charged with “moharebeh; association and collusion against the security of the clerical regime, and propaganda against it,” and participation in post election 'riots.' On January 28, the clerical regime executed two men, Arash Rahmani-Pour, 20, and Mohammad-Reza Ali Zamani, 37, charged with “moharebeh” (enemy of God). The National council of Resistance of Iran believes that the aim of the executions in Iran is to create an atmosphere of terror and fear and to prepare the grounds for suppression of the people’s uprising.

European Parliament intergroup called to stop suppression of residents of Camp Ashraf in Iraq
'The Friends of a Free Iran intergroup in the European Parliament, which includes many European MPs from different political groups and different Member States, called on the US Government, the President of the European Council, the High Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and the United Nations Secretary General, immediately to intervene to prevent any further violent attack on Camp Ashraf and to demand an immediate end to the on-going siege which has denied access to the camp of medicines, doctors, food, fuel and family members, for the past 14 months.' In its Press release on Feb. 17, the EP intergroup said: The Friends of a Free Iran Intergroup in the European Parliament calls for the urgent intervention of the international community to stop the cruel suppression of residents of Camp Ashraf in Iraq, home to 3400 Iranian dissidents. Since Monday, a group of people have assembled outside the Camp (North East of Baghdad), acting under the direct orders of Iraqi intelligence services who, in turn, are taking their instructions from Tehran. This crude attempt to apply psychological pressure to the camp residents is aimed at setting the stage for a further violent effort to close the camp and deport its occupants, who have become a key strategic target of the Iranian Fascist regime and their Iraqi puppets. The issue became more critical as the Iraqi Government on Tuesday took a group of journalists, mainly from news media affiliated with the Iranian regime, to meet with the individuals gathered outside Ashraf and held a staged-press conference during which the whole deception unfolded. They told the journalists that the camp residents were unwilling even to allow their own family members to visit the camp. In fact, the real situation is precisely the reverse. For the past 14 months, Iraqi forces have prevented family members from entering Camp Ashraf and have not permitted any journalists to enter the Camp to speak to residents except during high-profile, stage-managed media shows organised by the Iraqi security forces.

Iran stops director attending Berlin film fest
Associtaed France Press reported that Award-winning Iranian director Jafar Panahi has been denied permission to leave his home country to attend the Berlin Film Festival, organizers said on Tuesday. Panahi, an honorary guest at this year’s festival, had been due to participate in a panel discussion on Wednesday on Iranian cinema with fellow directors Rafi Pitts and Reza Haeri. ’We are surprised and deeply regret that a director who has won so many international prizes has been denied the possibility to take part in our anniversary festival and to speak about his cinematic visions,’ Berlinale director Dieter Kosslick said in a statement. Pitts, who was in Berlin to present his film ’Shekarchi’ (The Hunter), said: ’I think that he (Panahi) should be here ... I think it is ridiculous to think that you can stop people saying what they think.’ Iranian news agencies cited Panahi as saying in October than he had been prevented from leaving the country for France, saying his passport was confiscated at the airport. On July 30, Panahi and members of his family were arrested in a Tehran cemetery at a protest in memory of demonstrators killed in street violence after the election. They were released shortly afterwards.

Filmers of Iran protest death win Polk Award in NY
The unnamed people who captured on video and made public the shooting death of an Iranian protester, Neda Aghasoltan have been chosen to receive a George Polk Award, the first time the journalism prize has honored work produced anonymously. The awards, presented by Long Island University, are considered among the top prizes in U.S. journalism. They were created in 1949 in honor of CBS reporter George W. Polk, who was killed while covering the Greek civil war. The curator of the awards, John Darnton, said in a statement: ’This award celebrates the fact that, in today’s world, a brave bystander with a cell phone camera can use video-sharing and social networking sites to deliver news’.