Sunday, April 01, 2018


Thousands of people continued their protests in Khuzistan on
Friday, March 30, against the state television program offending the Arab-Iranians in the oil-rich province in southwestern Iran. At least two women, Ayeshe and Khadijeh Neassi were among the 40 people who have been arrested. The peaceful protests took place in various cities and regions including Mahshahr, Shadegan and Ahvaz. Instead of apologizing to the Arab people, the Iranian regime dispatched its State Security Force (SSF) and anti-riot units. Security forces attacked the peaceful protesters using tear gas and fire arms where dozens were wounded.  The ongoing protest of Arab-Iranians continued yesterday Saturday till early Sunday morning. Their protests began on March 28 after the repeated insults by the Iranian regime's state television. This time during a children’s program, the presenter placed dolls with different folkloric costumes on the map of Iran where they belonged. But for southwestern Iran and Ahvaz, he placed a doll which did not have the Arab costume.
Iranian-Canadians in Ottawa yesterday Sat. gathered in front of the Parliament Hill and across from Prime Minister's office, in support of the Arab-Iranian protesters and also in support of the political prisoners particularly Golrokh Iraee who's been on hunger strike for nearly 2 months in Qarchak prison. She's been sentenced to 6 years imprisonment for her unpublished story about stoning in Iran. She's protesting hers and Atena Daemi's unlawful transfer from Evin prison to Qarchak prison.

Local and state security forces raided the Hafttappeh sugarcane company at 1 pm on Sat March 31, arresting a number of workers who had previously been summoned. Saeid Mansuri and Habib Chanani, are among the detainees. Foad Hejazi's brother has been arrested instead of him. Iranian Regime's agents are attacking the workers' homes, in order to arrest the rest of them. Arrests still continue in Hafttappeh and surrounding workers' residential districts.

Golrokh Iraee’s health is in an alarming condition after 55 days of hunger strike. Political prisoner and human rights defender Golrokh Iraee has been on hunger strike since February 3, in protest to hers and Atena Daemi's unlawful transfer from Evin prison to Qarchak Prison. She has lost more than 20 kilograms- more than 44 pounds and suffers from plummeting blood pressure, dryness of the tongue, and inflammation in her legs. She is not able to walk. Her husband Arash Sadeghi is also in prison for his civil activist. Mrs. Iraee has refused serum injections, saying previous promises by prison officials to follow up her case have not been delivered and she would not accept any more serum injections. Golrokh is sentenced to endure 6 years of imprisonment for her unpublished story about stoning in Iran.
On the other hand, political prisoner Atena Daemi has caught a severe cold and suffers from high fever. One side of her face is numb and she has been told by prison doctors that she might have suffered a blow or shock during their violent transfer to the mothers’ ward on March 12, 2018, which has led to the paralysis of the nerves on one side of her face.
In another development, officials of the Greater Tehran Prison prevented Ms. Farangis Mazloum from visiting her son, Soheil Arabi.
Monday, March 26, 2018, Ms. Mazloum went to visit her son in the Greater Tehran’s Prison for the first time in the New Persian Year, but was not allowed to do so.
Political prisoner Soheil Arabi ended his hunger strike after 55 days, on March 20, 2018, upon the request of his mother and mothers of other prisoners. His health condition has been reported critical and he does not receive any medical care. 

Amnesty International issued an Urgent Action on March 29, condemning the arbitrary arrest and ill-treatment of 11 women from Gonabadi Dervish religious minority. The statement reads in part: At least 11 women from Iran’s Gonabadi Dervish religious minority have been arbitrarily detained in inhumane conditions, without access to their lawyers, since 20 February following the violent dispersal of a protest held by Gonabadi Dervishes in Tehran. Some urgently need medical care for injuries sustained from beatings at the time of their arrest. Several hundred Gonabadi Dervishes, both men and women, gathered outside the residence of their spiritual leader, Noor Ali Tabandeh, in an area of Tehran known as Golestan Haftom on the night of 19 February to protest against the authorities’ intensified persecution of their community and to prevent the possible arrest of their leader. Those present at the protest reported that police and plain-clothes Basiji forces resorted to beatings with batons, electric cables and sharp objects, and the use of tear gas, water cannons and live ammunition to disperse the crowd, arresting over 300 people, including 60 women.

Fatemeh Daneshvar, a children’s rights activist, said in an interview on Wednesday, March 28: “We face numerous legal problems with regards to child marriages. We have not been able to pass any bills to raise the age of marriage. The age of marriage for girls is 13, but this still depends on the verdicts issued by judges. This means that a girl under 13 years of age can still be wed. Social activists seek to change the law so that marriages under 13 years of age are totally abolished. Presently, however, we do not have any laws which would absolutely ban child marriages, since the law depends on a judge’s decision on the maturity of the child in question in which case, the parents are allowed to force their daughter into marriage. She added: For example, we have had child marriages of girls as young as seven, something that is neither moral nor right.”
Daneshvar also made comments on the sale of infants by their addicted mothers and said, “Hearing the news of selling infants for only 50,000 toumans ($13) is really tragic. No doubt, our laws are weak with regards to children. Those who sell their infants are mostly addicted mothers. The existing laws are not clear and transparent in preventing addicted mothers from keeping their children.” (The state-run Borna New website, March 28, 2018)

Maryam Shariatmadari 32 and a computer science student at Tehran's Amir Kabir universtiy has been sentenced to one year in jail on the charge of “encouraging corruption through removing her veil.” She was pushed off a telecoms box by a State Security Force officer and hurt her knee on February 23, when she was protesting the compulsory veiling or Hijab by removing her shawl.
In another news Roya Saghiri, 24 was tried and sentenced to nearly two years’ imprisonment along with seven other protesters who had also participated in the December 2017 through January 2018 Iran uprising were put on trial simultaneously. Ms. Saghiri and another protester, Nariman Validokht, were sentenced to 23 months in jail for disseminating propaganda against the regime and insulting the  leader. Ms. Saghiri is also accused of “appearing in public without the religious Hijab (veil) by removing her scarf on the street.” The Women's committee of the National Council of Resistance of Iran have condemned both cases of women's abuses by the regime of Iran and called for the release of all women who are detained and mistreated for removing their veil or shawl.

After 20 days of detention in the Department of Intelligence of Sanandaj, Shetaw Faroughi, from Marivan, was transferred to the Central Prison of Sanandaj, capital of the Iranian Kurdistan Province, on Saturday, March 24. Mrs. Faroughi was arrested along with her two children on March 3, by intelligence agents at Tabriz Airport, upon her return from Istanbul- Turkey where she had visited her husband. They were taken to the detention center of the Department of Intelligence in Sanandaj. Barzan Faroughi, Shetaw's husband is a Sunni Kurdish activist who left Iran and took refuge in Turkey two years ago due to pressures and harassment of security agencies. Mrs. Faroughi has to provide a bail bond of 200 million toumans or 5200 US dollars to be temporarily released.

A high-ranking mullah in the Iranian regime declared, “Dealing with those who oppose the Hijab (veil) must be different from others.” Naser Makarm Shirazi said on March 24, that Hijab is not a secondary Islamic decree but has turned into a sign of Islam. He added, “Dealing with this issue if undermined, will deal a blow to the Islamic nature of the regime and undercut the Islamic aspect of the Islamic Republic; then the country will turn into a republic without Islam.” To solve the regime’s predicament in dealing with the opponents of the compulsory veil, he said, “Negative debates over the compulsory nature of Hijab must be replaced by legal obligation.” “Every law brings about an obligation. Hijab is also an Islamic law emphasized in various verses (of the Quran). This law and obligation must be observed and overlooking it would have consequences similar to the breaching of any other law" said Makerm Shirazi.