Sunday, April 29, 2018


According to state-run Fars news agency April 27, two young women were arrested in Isfahan (central Iran) on Friday, April 27, for attempting to enter the Naghsh-e Jahan Stadium to watch the soccer match between their favorite teams. On the same day, three young women were identified and arrested by security forces outside Tehran's Azadi Stadium for attempting to enter to watch the football game. However, five other young women in disguise who managed to sneak through and watch the game in the stadium, published their photo on social media. Iranian women are banned from entering stadiums to watch games and those who try to do so are arrested.

The chasing of a young couple by the State Security Force's Moral Security in Tabriz- Iran led to the death of the woman and injury of the man. The Moral Security of Tabriz embarked on chasing a young couple driving in a car on Friday, April 27 which the driver lost control and crashed with a bus. The young woman died and the young man was injured, and arrested by the Moral Security despite his condition.

On Thursday April 26 the House of Representatives in US passed the Iran Human Rights and Hostage-Taking Accountability Act (H.R. 4744). The bipartisan legislation shines a light on the Iranian regime’s long record of human rights abuses and hostage-taking. It also mandates sanctions on Iranian officials responsible for wrongful, politically motivated jailing of US citizens.
Chairman Ed Royce in part said in his remarks: "... Mr. Speaker, for years, the regime in Tehran has systemically beat down all opposition in Iran. It regularly uses brutal tactics at home, including torture and mass executions, as it seeks to export violence and radical ideology abroad. Ever since its 1979 revolution, Iran has been a rogue state. As this legislation details, today the regime flagrantly disregards commitments it’s made to respect the fundamental rights of the Iranian people. Many of us recall the barbaric mass executions carried out over a four-month period in 1988. Thousands of political prisoners were executed by hanging and fire squad for refusing to renounce their political affiliations. Mr. Speaker, I want to thank Chairman McCaul and Ranking Member Engel for their leadership on this legislation. I am glad we have strong, bipartisan support for this measure. Regardless of how one views the Iran nuclear agreement, it is critical that the United States and our allies continue to press Iran for its dangerous and threatening acts that fall outside of the JCPOA. This is an area where officials from both the Trump and Obama administrations agree, and for good reason. Remember, this is the same Iranian regime that is holding American citizens – including one who is in very poor health – on sham charges in one of the largest ransom schemes ever devised. This regime, of course, held its first American hostages in 1979 when it overran our US Embassy. The regime’s M.O. remains the same. It is far past time the regime faced consequences for its attacks on Iranians and Americans alike.”

As we approach the International Worker's Day the Iranian's protests are on the rise:
 On Tuesday night, April 24, the people of Marivan in the Kurdistan province clashed with the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps aka IRGC or Sepah-e Pasdaran. The clash took place when Pasdar-Colonel Kaveh Kohneh-Poushi along with Latif Nikpay, murdered an inhabitant from one of the villages of Marivan. The people burnt down the houses of the two IRGC members in protest.
- In Baneh and Javanrood, the strike of the merchants and shopkeepers continued for the 15th day Sunday April 29. The intelligence agents arrested a protesting woman who was calling on people in the Baneh main street to continue the strike. She was transferred to a police station. The people of Baneh, having gathered outside the police station, forced the mercenaries to release her. No information is available on the fate of six other Baneh inhabitants detained last week.
- The farmers in the east of Isfahan continued their protests against the crisis of water shortages and the rerouting of water by staging a sit-in in front of the governorate building. The governor met with them at the sit-in, but he had no answer to the problem of the farmers.
- Farmers from the cities of Weiss and Mollasani (Iranian Khuzestan Province) gathered outside the governor's office for the third straight day to protest against lack of their right to water.
- The workers of Hamidieh Municipality gathered in front of the city's municipality for the third day in protest against the failure to pay their salaries for months and the hollow promises of the regime's authorities.
- A large number of oil industry staff gathered in front of the main building of the oil ministry in Tehran.
- In Yazd, fuel-supplying truck drivers went on strike in protest of lower fares.
- The people looted by Caspian institute gathered in Tehran and the people looted by Arman Vahdat institute in Ahvaz and demanded once again for the return of their hard earning savings.
- A number of environmental activists in Tabriz gathered on the path of Hassan Rouhani to protest the performance of Rouhani's government in relation to Lake Urmia on April 25th.

The US Senate voted Thursday to confirm CIA chief Mike Pompeo as President Trump’s next secretary of state, ending a contentious nomination battle. Pompeo was confirmed on a 57-42 vote. Pompeo, a former Republican congressman from Kansas, replaces Rex Tillerson.

Thousands of residents of Kazerun including a large number of women once again took to the streets and the main square of this city in southern Iran to express their protest which was sparked on April 16. The gathering comes in the wake of consecutive protests last week to the decision of city officials to divide Kazerun. The protesting women and men walked from the main square to the mosque where the Friday prayer was being held and chanted slogans against the regime. The protesters demanded the Governor to personally appear before them and account for the decision.
In another protest in Ahwaz, southwestern Iran, the inhabitants of Abu-Havan village including a large number of women staged a protest for the second time outside the Governor’s Office on Wednesday, April 25, against the lack of water and power in their village.

According to state-run ISNA news agency April 25, Iran's women national volleyball team practice with their own sportswear and do not receive any support from the Sports Federation. The publication of a photo from an exercise session of the women’s national volleyball team revealed that every player is wearing something different. This showed that the Volleyball Federation is not planning to provide uniforms for the women’s team. This is while the men’s team appeared in their exercizes with uniforms.

Numerous protests took place in various cities across Iran on Wednesday, April 25, with women's active participation as such, in Bandar Abbas, Tehran and Mahshahr.
In Bandar Abbas, the female personnel working for the Plan to Evolve Health and Medical Network staged a protest against officials’ lack of accountability and failure to raise their salaries in the face of rising inflation. In Tehran, women and men plundered by Arman Institute gathered in front of the Commerce Bank and demanded reimbursement of their assets. One of the protesters held a banner which read, “What I had earned in young age for the future of my child has been squandered by Arman Institute under the supervision of the Islamic Republic’s Central Bank. Is there anyone who could do justice?” In Mahshahr, a group of women and men gathered in protest outside the Justice Department’s building, demanding serious action against a father and a stepmother who had tortured three innocent children.

Nazanin Bangaleh, a young Baha'i woman, was tried by the First Branch of the Iranian regime's Court of Shiraz on Tuesday, April 24, along with her father Nematollah Bangaleh and sentenced to five years of imprisonment, each. Their residence was violently ransacked at the time of arrest and their furniture damaged. Under the Iranian regime, Baha'i's are systematically persecuted and denied their basic rights.

The Iranian regime’s Judiciary Chief said beating of young women by the State Security Force was imperative and within the guidelines of religion and law. In his remarks published on April 24, Sadeq Amoli Larijani, head of the Judiciary, stressed on the need for the State Security Force to act within the framework of law and religion. He reiterated, “One must not allow anyone to resist against the SSF’s legal measures or insult its agents. The SSF must not back down whatsoever.” (The state-run ISNA news agency – April 23, 2018). The state-run Kayhan daily which reflects the views of the regime’s supreme leader, Ali Khamenei, also wrote that the SSF officers must be praised.
The SSF’s beating of young women in Tehran last week was widely covered in the world media and met vast criticism.

Political prisoner Golrokh Iraee's treatment in hospital was stopped on Sun. April 29 and she was sent back to Qarchack prison. Golrokh ended her hunger strike after 81 days on Tuesday, April 24. The news came from an informed source who announced that Mrs. Iraee had “ended her hunger strike and taken food” while hospitalized at IRGC’s (Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corp)Baghyatollah Hospital. Mrs. Iraee, political prisoner Arash Sadeghi's wife and her fellow inmate, Atena Daemi, went on hunger strike on February 3, in protest to their unlawful exile to Qarchak Prison on January 24, and breach of the principle of separation of prisoners’ categories. They demanded to be returned to the Women’s Ward of Evin Prison. Golrokh is sentenced to 6 years imprisonment for her unpublished story about stoning in Iran.
A number of political prisoners including Saeed Shirzad, Majid Assadi, and Arash Sadeghi (Ms. Iraee’s husband) and over 1,000 civil and human rights activist and families and mothers of political prisoners and martyrs had already asked Ms. Iraee to end her hunger strike.
A number of human rights organizations including Amnesty International, Human Rights Sub-Committee of the European Parliament, and four UN experts had called for the release of Golrokh Iraee and reiterated that she must have not been imprisoned in the first place.