On Wednesday, Dec. 20th, Albanian authorities declared that they had expelled two Iranian diplomats because of their "involvement in activities that harm the country's security" and for "violating their diplomatic status." One of those diplomats was the Iranian regime’s ambassador to Albania Gholamhossein Mohammadnia. US National security adviser, John Bolton, Mike Pompeo US secretary of state, and President Trump applaud Prime Minister Edi Rama of Albania for expelling the 2 diplomats from his country. In the past year, the Iranian regime has made several terrorist attempts against the Iranian opposition and dissidents abroad. In March, Albanian authorities foiled a bombing plot against the New Year celebration of PMOI/MEK members in Tirana, Albania’s capital. In June, European authorities stopped another bombing plot, this time against the annual gathering of Iranian dissidents and National Council of Resistance of Iran supporters in Paris, France. Assadollah Assadi, an Iranian diplomat based in Vienna, Austria, was directly involved in the plot and had personally delivered explosives to the hit team. Assadi was subsequently extradited to Belgium, where he is being tried for his crimes. In August, U.S. authorities arrested two individuals who were spying on MEK members on behalf of the Iranian regime. In October, Danish authorities declared they had discovered another terrorist plot by the Iranian regime that was aimed at Arab dissidents.
Gholamhossein Mohammadnia, the expelled Iranian ambassador to Albania, is a well-known agent of the Iranian regime’s Ministry of Intelligence and Security (MOIS). He was appointed to the regime’s embassy in Tirana shortly after MEK of Mojahedin-e Khalgh members were relocated from Iraq to Albania.
A young woman identified only as Noushin, 25, was hanged on Saturday, December 22, the Iranian state-run ROKNA news agency reported. It is not clear in which city and prison the execution took place. The young woman had been interviewed by a state-media reporter just before being hanged as she was waiting in the courtyard for her sentence to be carried out. Noushin was convicted of murdering a man, Soheil, who had promised to marry her, but took advantage of her, and subsequently brutalized, blackmailed and forced her into having sexual relations with his friends. (The state-run ROKNA news agency - December 22, 2018)
Noushin did this for a month before she decided to stop this situation by killing the man who was forcing her to do so. Noushin is the 86th woman to be executed during Rouhani’s tenure. She is not the first victim of violence who is being executed for defending herself and her dignity. Iranian women who are victims of violence receive no support from the government. They are either forced to go back home with the same husband who batters them or are sentenced to execution, or retribution in kind, if they commit murder in self-defense. Reyhaneh Jabbari, an interior designer, was executed on October 25, 2014, after seven years of imprisonment for defending herself against rape by a senior Intelligence Ministry official. At least a dozen women linger on death row in Qarchak Prison in Varamin for reacting in self-defense against violence. A similar situation exists in other prisons across Iran where many of the women convicted of murder have acted in self-defense in the face of violence directed against them.
Yekta Mirshekar, the fourth girl student who suffered a higher than 70 percent burn in her preschool fire in Zahedan died at the hospital on Thursday, December 20.
Three other girls died in the same fire on Tuesday at a non-governmental girls' school called Osveh Hassaneh in Zahedan, capital of Sistan and Baluchestan Province in southeastern Iran.
The names of the three pre-school girl students were Mona Khosroparast, Maryam Nokandi, and Saba Arabi. The situation of a fourth girl student, Yekta Mirshekar, was reported to be severe, but two days after the incident, she also lost her life due to the extent and depth of burns.
A member of the regime's parliament publicly asked how come our media do not report when four students burn in fire in Zahedan? (The state-run ISNA news agency – December 19, 2018) Referring to the fire incident at the Osveh Hassaneh school in Zahedan and the deaths of four girl students, a nonprofit association for child protection wrote to Rouhani and said, "What threatens our children today is the lack of attention of the authorities to their rights." Mohammad Ali Bathaii, the Minister of Education made shocking confessions to reporters at a government meeting on December 12, 2018, saying, "Given the credit the government and the Education Ministry have, it is not possible to remove (the non-standard) heaters from schools in seven or eight years." (The state-run Rouydad 24 news agency – December 19, 2018) The Iran regime’s Minister of Education announced in 2017 that 42 percent of Iranian schools do not have a safe heating system. (The state-run Mehr news agency – September 23, 2018)
The accident leading to the deaths of the four girl students was due to the use of oil and non-standard heaters in the school. Unfortunately, the required standards and safety tips at this elementary school for girl students had not been observed.
Amnesty International announced the names of five women as leading struggle for human rights in 2018. Atena Daemi, a political prisoner and human rights activist in Iran, is the second of these five human rights defenders. The names of these five human rights defenders include Nonthle Mbuthuma from South Africa, Atena Daemi from Iran, Vitalin Cole from Ukraine, Geraldine Chacon from Venezuela, and Pavitri Manjhi from India.
Every December, Amnesty International announces a campaign to focus on one thing: making change happen. The campaign, which is one of the biggest campaigns for human rights in the world, this year will be supporting extraordinary women who are leading the struggle for justice, often in the face of fierce opposition, discrimination and violence.
Political prisoner Atena Daemi was arrested on October 21, 2014, and transferred to Evin Prison. Amnesty International’s campaign explained, "Like so many others, human rights defender Atena Daemi dreams of an end to the death penalty in Iran… Atena was sentenced to seven years in prison simply for standing up for human rights. Her trial was a sham – it took just 15 minutes and she was convicted on trumped-up charges, including ‘gathering and colluding to commit crimes against national security’. It’s one more bitter example of the intense crackdown on people who speak out for a fairer Iran.
“Atena has been beaten, pepper sprayed and put in solitary confinement, but she continues her brave human rights work from behind bars. Earlier this year, she went on hunger strike to protest at her transfer to a prison notorious for its poor conditions."
On the charges against her, Atena said, "In 2013, Khamenei announced unpardonable cases. I also responded by saying that the killings that took place in the country and the crimes that took place in Kahrizak Prison are also unpardonable for the people! For this reason, I was sentenced to two years' imprisonment for insulting the leader. Five years of imprisonment, in addition to charges of gathering and conspiring and attending gatherings against the death sentences of Reyhaneh Jabbari and Arjhang Davoudi, and the Kurds that were executed.” In response to the question of whether you are afraid of the 7 years’ imprisonment and do not regret the activities that you have done, Atena said, "I do not regret anything! I have always said that, as long as I am here and I have the ability, I will defend human rights."
A top European news magazine Spiegel has fired one of its star journalists who has received many awards, including 2 from CNN, after discovering that he had fabricated facts and sources in more than a dozen articles over a seven-year period. "Claas Relotius, a reporter and editor, falsified his articles on a grand scale and even invented characters, deceiving both readers and his colleagues," Germany's Der Spiegel said in an article published online Wednesday.
After a colleague working with Relotius on a story in the United States flagged suspicions about his reporting, Der Spiegel says it carried out an internal investigation. Relotius confessed last week that he invented entire passages for that article, and also falsified information in other stories, according to the magazine.
Spiegel along with bunch of other magazines have reported false information against the Iranian opposition PMOI/MEK Mojahedin-e Khalgh as well, portraying them as terrorists.