Sunday, September 30, 2018


Canada's House of Commons voted unanimously Thursday to revoke honorary citizenship for Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi following her failure to halt atrocities against the Southeast Asian country's Rohingya minority which was granted to her in 2007.

Mehrnaz Haghighi, 49 and a MD from Bandar Abbas, was transferred Saturday, September 22, to the Prison of Bandar Abbas to serve her six-month prison sentence. Mehrnaz Haghighi was initially arrested at her home on February 19, 2017, by agents of the Ministry of Intelligence. She was incarcerated for more than three months in the detention center of the Security Police of Bandar Abbas and in Evin Prison in Tehran. Dr. Haghighi was exonerated from the preliminary charges of disseminating lies, insulting the regime’s supreme leader, and acting against national security. The Prosecutor, however, brought two new charges against her accusing her of “membership in the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK)” and “propaganda against the state and in favor of opponents.” This medical doctor and civil rights activist denied the charge of membership in the PMOI/MEK. Mehrnaz Haghighi was arrested at home at the age of 12, in the course of the massive crackdown on the opposition in the early 1980's in Iran. She was released shortly due to her young age. She did not have any activities until 2009 when she visited families of political prisoners and offered them financial support.
The Iranian regime has made fresh arrests and issued sentences for human rights activists, women’s rights activists and human rights lawyers. The unprecedented wave denotes a crisis in the situation of human rights in Iran and is seen as an effort on the part of Iranian regime officials to silence every voice of dissent.
Amnesty International issued a statement on September 3, 2018, in which it warned against the arrests of lawyers and women’s rights activists in Iran. AI pointed out, “These latest arrests are a blatant attempt to silence those advocating for human rights in Iran.” It also noted that this is part of the officials’ efforts to prevent lawyers from defending their clients.

Afsaneh Khorsandi and Maryam Azad were arrested on Wednesday, September 26, in Mahabad of Iranian Kurdistan, and in Tehran. Intelligence agents in Mahabad raided the residence of Afsaneh Khorsandi on September 26, arresting and transferring her to an unknown location. It is not clear why she was arrested and where she has been taken to. Afsaneh Khorsandi is the sister of Aram Khorsandi who had been arrested a day earlier by security forces and transferred to an unknown location.
At the same time, Maryam Azad, another women’s rights activist from Shiraz, was arrested by security forces. Maryam Azad was arrested at a Tehran Airport as she was leaving the country for Turkey.
An associate of Ms. Azad said she had been arrested by security forces without being informed of her charges. Her arrest took place after she had passed the gate and boarded the plane.
Maryam Azad, 31 and a graduate of Dramatic Arts, was very much interested in performing in plays but was not able to continue in this profession due to the illness she is being treated for.
Amnesty International issued a statement on September 3rd, warning against the arrests of women including lawyers and women’s rights activists in Iran, saying it signaled intensifying crackdown on civil society in Iran.