Sunday, January 01, 2012

The Secretary-General Ban Ki moon welcomed the decision of the Government of Iraq to extend the deadline for the closure of the camp Ashraf to provide more time and space for the peaceful voluntary relocation of the residents.  As reflected in the Memorandum of Understanding, the Government of Iraq has a clear and exclusive responsibility to ensure the safety and security of the residents.  At the same time, the residents of Camp New Iraq have to abide by the laws of Iraq.  He appeals to all concerned to continue to demonstrate flexibility and good faith, and move towards the swift implementation of the relocation plan.  The Secretary-General reminds all concerned that any violence or attempt at a forcible solution would be unacceptable.  The Secretary-General also reiterated his call to Member States to accept the residents who are eligible for voluntary return or resettlement as soon as possible. The United Nations has been involved in this issue from a purely humanitarian perspective and has played the role of an impartial facilitator.  Under the leadership of Special Representative Martin Kobler, the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees remain committed to continue supporting a peaceful and durable solution to the situation of the residents of the camp.

Obama signs new Iran sanctions into law
According to reports that the US President Barack Obama Saturday signed into law tough new sanctions targeting Iranian regime’s central bank and financial sector. The measures, meant to punish the Iranian regime for its nuclear program. The sanctions are meant to hit Iran’s crucial oil sector and require foreign firms to make a choice between doing business with Tehran’s financial sector and central bank or the mighty US economy and financial sector.

Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani is facing death again
Sakineh’s case is before the court again for the alleged death of her husband. Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani, ‘has two sentences, one regarding adultery for which she was sentenced to stoning, and the other for being an accomplice to murdering her husband for which she received a 10-year prison term,’ said Malek Ajdar Sharifi, head of Iran’s East Azarbaijan province’s justice department. Sharifi said the chief of Iran’s judiciary, Ayatollah Sadeq Larijani, had responded by saying that ‘since the main purpose is execution then, if there are no facilities for stoning according to sharia, it could be changed to hanging’. Sakineh was sentenced to death by two courts in the northwestern city of Tabriz, capital of East Azarbaijan province, in separate trials in 2006. Under pressure by the international community, the Iranian regime suspended the stoning sentence pending a new examination of her case and she’s been in prison ever since not knowing what will happen to her.

Hangings continue in Iran
On the dawn of Wednesday December 24, seven prisoners were hanged in the courtyard of the Central Orumieh Prison on orders of the Judiciary. In an interview with the Mukrian News Agency, the lawyer of one of these prisoners, Massoud Shams Nejad identified these prisoners as Yusef .A, Heidar, D., Mehdi, S., Qorbanali, Sh. Saied, M., Sirous , M. and a female victim Nahid, A. “Judicial sources announced their crime as drug related”, he added.
According to reports, On Saturday December 24, two other prisoners were hanged in the Lakan Prison. One of these two men was 26 year old Sajjad Tal. He had been in prison for close to three years before his execution. His brother, Mohammad-Reza Tal was publicly hanged in Rasht.

Iranian women banned from kick boxing in Iran
According to new orders, from now on women are banned from participating in all kinds of sport competitions that are held in rings including kick boxing and Muay Thai and federations who cover these sports have to pay close attention to this issue, state-run Mehe news reported on Dec, 29. Marzieh Akbar Abadi, the Women’s Sports Assistant in the Ministry of Sports confirmed this report and said, “From sports held in rings, only kick boxing and Muay Thai are active in Iran and based on research into this matter, women are banned from participating in these two sports”. “In light of the violence in these sports, the danger it poses for the health of women who are to become future mothers, also the way the competitions are held, the kind of audience it has and the programs that are held before and after the competitions and in general the culture of these kinds of sports and the fact that it is inconsistent with Islamic culture and our Iranian culture, this decision was taken”, she said regarding the reason behind the ban.