Sunday, March 13, 2011


Teachers protest in Tehran villages

A statement by the National Council of Resistance of Iran reads Female teachers in remote and underprivileged villages in Tehran province carried out demonstrations to mark International Women’s Day, according to reports. They were also protesting months of no pay and lack of medical access and benefits. The education ministry has instead threatened to expel the teachers if they refuse to end their protests, according to the teachers. The protests took place in Boumehen, Roudehen and other villages in Tehran.

The Iranian regime is using “child soldiers” to suppress protesters

The Guardian reported that Iran‘s Islamic regime is using “child soldiers” to suppress anti-government demonstrations, a tactic that could breach international law forbidding the use of underage combatants, human rights activists have told the Observer. The International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran says troops aged between 14 and 16 have been armed with batons, clubs and air guns and ordered to attack demonstrators who have tried to gather in Tehran. The youths – apparently recruited from rural areas – are being deployed in regular riot police roles and comprise up to one-third of the total force, according to witnesses. One middle-aged woman, who said she was attacked by the youths, reported that some were as young as 12 and were possibly prepubescent. They had rural accents, which indicated they had been brought in from villages far from Tehran, she said. Some told her they had been attracted by the promise of chelo kebab dinners, one of Iran’s national dishes. “It’s really a violation of international law. It’s no different than child soldiers, which is the custom in many zones of conflict,” said Hadi Ghaemi, the campaign’s executive director. “They are being recruited into being part of the conflict and armed for it.” The UN convention on the rights of the child requires states to take “all feasible measures to ensure that persons who have not attained the age of 15 years do not take a direct part in hostilities”.

Exodus of capital triggered by fearful regime officials

The Iranian regime officials are transferring large sums of money outside the country amid fears about the regime’s stability, a French newspaper reported on Wednesday. Les Echo, which reports on economic developments, underlined growing anxiety within the regime about its future, saying, “Officials started transferring their assets to foreign banks in mid-January, a trend that only accelerated in February.” The daily added, “The assets, worth over tens or hundreds of millions of dollars, have been wired not to western banks but mostly to Asian financial institutions in Turkey, Malaysia, Indonesia, Pakistan, Turkmenistan, and Bangladesh.” According to Les Echo, Turkish banks have confirmed a case where over $180 million has been transferred to the country. A Malaysian bank has also confirmed the transfer of more than $220 million by regime officials. “Some portions of the (ruling) fundamentalist faction in the regime are also mulling ways to reroute their assets to China,” the report added.