CBC website on Jan. 4 wrote that: The Liberal MP for Richmond Hill is facing the ire of many of his Iranian-Canadian constituents after posting a tweet many see as an attempt to legitimize the theocratic government in Iran. CBC added: On Dec. 30, as the protests in Iran were building, Jowhari put out two tweets containing Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland's official statement supporting the right of Iranians to protest. Jowhari added his own thoughts."As our government is closely monitoring the ongoing protests in Iran; it is my sincere hope that the brave nation of #Iran have the opportunity to air their legitimate financial, social and political concerns with the support of their elected government, in a secure environment and without the fear of persecution." CBC said: That seemingly innocuous statement raised a number of flags for Iranian-Canadians, starting with Jowhari's use of the word "elected." One of the most popular chants, as heard in videos of the protests emerging from Iranian cities, has been "marg bar diktator" or "death to the dictator."
Iranian-born Majid Jowhari was elected in the 2015 election.
The news of the arrests of at least 21 women during nine days of nationwide protests in Iran has been published in the state media and press. According to Abdollah Pashaki, Chief of Police in Robat Karim district of Tehran, “Three women who had significant role in the riots in the town of Parand have been arrested by the State Security Force.” (The state-run ROKNA news agency – January 5, 2018)
He had already announced the arrest of another three women in Parand.
Qassem Abdollahi, General Director of the Justice Department in Markazi Province, said nine women had been arrested in Arak, and one woman in Saveh, on December 30, 2017. He said on December 31, 2017, that another five women were arrested in Arak, three of whom had been transferred to jail. (The state-run ISNA news agency – January 4, 2018)
In addition to the 21 women arrestees, the arrests of six female students have been confirmed: Soha Mortezaii, Faezeh Abdipour, Leila Hosseinzadeh, Yasamin Mahboobi, Negin Aramesh, and Touran Mehraban.
Soha Mortezaii, is the secretary of the central council of Tehran University students, who was arrested at her home onThursday morning, January 4, 2018.
Yassamin Mahboobi is a student of anthropology at Tehran University.
The actual number of female students and young women is definitely much higher than what has been published or confirmed.
The sit-in started on the second day of protests by families of arrested Gonabadi dervishes and expanded and continued with rising number of arrests. On the eight day of the protests on January 4, when the uprising had spread to over 120 cities across Iran, at least 45 people have been killed by the regime’s oppressive forces and at least 1500 people have been arrested and imprisoned.
At the same time, there have been various reports of defections in the ranks of the regime’s repressive forces to the ranks of protesters. A former Bassij member posted a clip on the internet, burning her membership card. She is heard saying, “Most of the regime’s leaders are like members of Daesh (ISIS).” She called on all Bassij members to defect the regime.
Azadseresht had been in prison for four years on ordinary charges. She befriended Ms. Jalalian when she was serving her sentence at the Rehabilitation Center of Kermanshah and the women’s ward of Diezelabad Prison of Kermanshah, in western Iran. Zahra did not heed warnings by the counter intelligence section discouraging prisoners from contacting Ms. Jalalian and maintained constant contact with her.
After being released, Ms. Azadseresht paid a visit to Zeinab and contacted her a number of times, for which she was subsequently interrogated and intimidated by the Intelligence Department. She was also fired from her job. Intelligence Department agents had told her that she would be relieved of their pressures, only if she appears on TV and denies that Zeinab Jalalian is sick. They even offered her money, but she did not accept to do so. Eventually, her body was found by her relatives at her home on October 14, 2017. The Coroner’s Office claimed that she had taken drugs and committed suicide. She had called Zeinab Jalalian five days prior to her death though, and in that telephone contact, she did not mention anything about killing herself.