Sunday, July 04, 2010


Iranian Regime closes down dormitory fearing student protests

According to reports the Iranian regime in Iran has closed down the dormitory of the University of Tehran since Thursday in fear of student protests on the anniversary of the July 8, 1999 uprising. The move occurs even as some of the colleges have not completed their final exams. The Science Ministry of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s cabinet has issued a directive to major universities in Tehran ordering them to close down campuses from July 5 til 15. Based on the report by the National Council of Resistance of Iran the decision was taken at the regime’s provincial office in Tehran at a meeting attended by the science and interior ministers of the Ahmadinejad government, as well as commanders of the State Security Forces (SSF), the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), the paramilitary Bassij and security and intelligence organs. Students at the Science and Technology University in Tehran have resisted against the closure of their Majidieh dormitory, which has remained opened.

Teachers committee invites Iranians to mark anniversary of student uprising

The Committee of Free Teachers of Iran has called on the Iranian people from all walks of life to commemorate the student uprising of July 8, 1999 and protest the continued arrest of teachers. Part of the statement to the Iranian people reads, “Your sons and daughters are the teachers of this society and will leave a tradition of perseverance and resistance in practice for their students just as was done by the freedom-loving teacher, Farzad Kamangar. These teachers will not trade their life for sacrificing freedom.” The statement calls on all human rights organizations to intervene immediately and prevent the arbitrary arrest of teachers and the continued detention of all political prisoners by the regime.

Australia expels Iranian regime’s cleric on security grounds

The Australian government described the presence of an Iranian regime cleric as a security threat for that country and had him expelled, reported CNN. According to CNN, mullah Mansour Laqaii, whose expulsion order was announced to him by Australian authorities some time ago, was officially expelled from this country. According to the same report, the Australian intelligence service announced mullah Mansour Laqaii is a security threat.

Death by stoning imminent for Iranian woman, attorney says

Sakineh Mohammadie Ashtiani, a mother of two, is waiting to die in Iran by a method of execution described by her lawyer as 'barbaric' -- stoning. She will be buried up to her chest, deeper than a man would be, and the stones that will be hurled at her will be large enough to cause pain but not so large as to kill her immediately, according to an Amnesty International report that cited the Iranian penal code. The 42-year-old woman from the northern city of Tabriz was convicted of adultery in 2006, and her execution is imminent, said human rights lawyer Mohammad Mostafaei. Ashtiani was forced to confess after being subjected to 99 lashes, Mostafaei told CNN on Thursday in a telephone interview from Tehran. She later retracted that confession and has denied wrongdoing. Her conviction was based not on evidence but on the determination of three out of five judges, Mostafaei said. She has asked forgiveness from the court but the judges refused to grant clemency. Iran’s supreme court upheld the conviction in 2007. Mostafaei believes a language barrier prevented his client from fully comprehending court proceedings. Ashtiani is of Azerbaijani descent and speaks Turkish, not Farsi. The circumstances of Ashtiani’s case make it not an exception but the rule in Iran, according to Amnesty International, which tracks death penalty cases around the world. 'The majority of those sentenced to death by stoning are women, who suffer disproportionately from such punishment,' the human rights group said in a 2008 report. On Wednesday, Amnesty made a new call to the Iranian government to immediately halt all executions and commute all death sentences. The group has recorded 126 executions in Iran from the start of this year to June 6. 'The organization is also urging the authorities to review and repeal death penalty laws, to disclose full details of all death sentences and executions and to join the growing international trend towards abolition,' the statement said. In Washington, the State Department criticized the scheduled stoning, saying it raised serious concerns about human rights violations by the Iranian government. 'We have grave concerns that the punishment does not fit the alleged crime, ' Assistant Secretary of State P.J. Crowley said Thursday. 'For a modern society such as Iran, we think this raises significant human rights concerns.' Calling Iran’s judicial system 'disproportionate' in its treatment of women, Crowley said, 'From the United States’ standpoint, we don’t think putting women to death for adultery is an appropriate punishment.' Human rights activists have been pushing the Islamic government to abolish stoning, arguing that women are not treated equally before the law in Iran and are especially vulnerable in the judicial system. A woman’s testimony is worth half that of a man. Article 74 of the Iranian penal code requires at least four witnesses -- four men or three men and two women -- for an adulterer to receive a stoning sentence, said Mina Ahadi, coordinator for the International Committee Against Stoning. But there were no witnesses in Ashtiani’s case. Often, said Ahadi, husbands turn wives in to get out of a marriage. Mostafaei said he could not understand how such a savage method of death could exist in the year 2010 or how an innocent woman could be taken from her son and daughter, who have written to the court pleading for their mother’s life. The public won’t be allowed to witness the stoning, Mostafaei said, for fear of condemnation of such a brutal method. He is hoping there won’t be an execution. Mostafaei, who himself did jail time in the aftermath of the disputed presidential elections in June 2009, said he realizes the risk of speaking out for Ashtiani, for fighting for human rights. But he doesn’t let that deter him. He last saw Ashtiani five months ago behind bars in Tabriz. Since then, he said, he has been searching for a way to save her from the stones.