The women committee of the National Council of
Resistance of Iran reported that: Great Iranian artist and singer and former political prisoner, Marjan voice of Iranian Resistance for freedom, passed away Friday night, June 5, 2020, due to heart failure after a surgical operation. Marjan was a popular actress and singer. Born on July 14, 1948, her original name was Shahla Safi Zamir. She became a radio announcer as a teenager, then found her way to cinema, and finally to singing where she became a brilliant star. Like other female artists, she was banned from singing after the 1979 Revolution which toppled the Shah. In July 1982, she was arrested and imprisoned for supporting the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK), and her properties confiscated. She was deeply impressed during her years of incarceration by the young women who has been imprisoned also for supporting the PMOI/MEK, something that changed her life forever. In an interview she said, “I feel humble when I recall the resistance and perseverance of prisoners I met in the clerical regime’s jails. Young women with the average age of 17 to 20. Of course, there were younger ones in other wards who were even younger, between 10 to 12…” After being released, she left Iran for fear of her life and lived in Los Angeles until the end of her life. In an interview with Alarabiya, she explained, “The (clerical) regime was at war with artists and particularly with women. It did not cherish music and had declared it unlawful… The art community was annihilated all together. All the movies were destroyed… So, I decided to fight because it was my right to live free in my own country. Those days, the best organized group was the People’s Mojahedin Organization. After I was arrested, I was directly taken to solitary confinement. This is the worst place for detention and torture. Later on, I asked why the took me to a solitary cell. And they told me, ‘because your charge was serious. You were a famous person and you joined this group…’ When I was in Iran, my husband was also in prison. When he was released, we somehow re-established our contact with the PMOI/MEK. But the regime found out. Then, they published an article about me in Kayhan daily in the especial news column. And I felt that it was no longer safe for me to stay in Iran… On the same night I fled to Dubai.” During her years in exile, she was always in contact with the National Council of Resistance of Iran. Marjan devoted her art to advance the cause of Iranian Resistance for freedom and for regime change. She sang dozens of songs including “Rouyesh Nagozir” (inevitable sprouting) and “vaght-e barandazi” (time for regime change) which were widely embraced by young people and particularly young women in Iran. In an interview with the Youths magazine in Los Angeles, she said, “My voice is my weapon until the day our fellow compatriots are free. And I would prefer to use my voice not in concerts but in the conventions of the National Council of Resistance, against the mullahs ruling my country.” Marjan was one of the brave and liberated women of Iran who instead of submission to the clerical regime decided to fight and stand up to the regime. Until her last breath, she proudly endeavored in this path. Today, Marjan voice of Iranian Resistance for freedom has become eternal, but her name, her memory, and her songs will continue to inspire freedom lovers and particularly Iranian women and girls in Iran.
NCRI women committee:
Carefully surveil any suspicious movement, action, or behavior by suspicious persons. Specialized ranks must definitely engage in intelligence collection. Follow up on patrol searches from 10:00 pm to 12:00 am. Specialized police must have added patrols. Make sure you follow up in this respect. All patrol units must be supervised. The reference number issued by your counterparts is 515. Mention that the last three digits are 515. Say 48/515. Please mention the background [of the case] on the letter as well. The letter’s number must be included in the background. Thank you very much. Please take the time to quickly inform the HQ about any piece of important news in this regard.
National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI)
Committee on Security and Counter terrorism
June 4, 2020
The lack of adequate water piping and a poor water supply infrastructure in Bashirabad Village of Torbat-e Jam in Khorasan Razavi, led to miscarriages by five pregnant women. Bashirabad is located 27 kilometers from Torbat-e Jam. With 132 families, the village has a population of more than 500, all of whom are deprived of potable water.
In Bashirabad Village, given the lack of drinking water, women are forced to carry water from an aqueduct or spring that is 1.5 kilometers away. Sometimes the deprived women from this village transport water using wheelbarrows.
Most rural women suffer from lumbar disc disease, as well as osteoarthritis of the neck. And recently led to five pregnant women experiencing miscarriages.
Speaking about the water shortage, the head of Bashirabad Village, Mohammad Shekarchi, declared, “The village does not have running water. Since 2003, the local water supply has come from a water tank. The city’s water department drains a 10,000-liter tank in a concrete reservoir in the village every day. This amount of water is not enough for even 50% of the villagers’ consumption. The rest of the villagers are forced to use an underground aqueduct or a spring that is 1.5 kilometers away to secure water” (The state-run ILNA News Agency – June 3, 2020).
Five pregnant women suffered miscarriages after carrying heavy loads of water
Since the end of March 2020, the city’s water department has requested about one million rials for each water tank. This amount far exceeds village’s budget, and is more than residents can afford, yet the water department has threatened to suspend water delivery if the amount goes unpaid.
In 2012, Bashirabad Village was slated for a water supply project that, through adequate plumbing, would bring in water from a spring some 5 kilometers away. However, the project was closed down the same year and remains stalled. Thus far, the regime has not taken any steps to restart or complete the project.
According to the head of the Torbat-e-Jam Water and Sewage Company, the sum of 10 billion tomans of credit would be needed to transfer water to this village; however, the government refuses to allocate the funds.
In the budget document of the fiscal year 1399 (March 2020-March 2021), the clerical regime has allocated 2,000 million Euros from the National Development Fund to reinforce the country’s defense power (amendment 4). In the same document, the government has ordered the Water and Power Ministry to provide the funds needed for providing water to villages and rural areas by charging the urban population for every cubic meter of water (amendment 6) for up to 965 billion Rials which was approximately $55 million at the exchange rate of those days.
Nurses in Iran held protest rallies in Tehran and Yasuj on June 2.
A group of nurses from different Tehran hospitals gathered at their workplaces on June 2, 2020. They protested the small amount of fee designated by the Deputy Minister of Health for their work during the Coronavirus outbreak.
Another group of nurses gathered outside the governor’s office of Yasuj, capital of Kohgiluyeh and Boyer Ahmad Province, the state-run ILNA news agency reported. They held placards which read, “unemployment is not the answer of our sacrifices.”
Yasuj nurses protested their non-employment after the end of the 89-day contract by the Yasuj University of Medical Sciences. Since the COVID-19 outbreak, the nurses worked hard under the contract. (The state-run ILNA News Agency – June 2, 2020)
Nurses in Iran: Unemployment is not the answer for our sacrifices
The failure to employ nurses in Iran on a permanent basis comes as the deputy for nurses’ affairs in the Health Ministry recently highlighted the shortage of nursing staff in Khuzestan Province during the Coronavirus era.
During her visit to Khuzestan hospitals, Maryam Hazrati said, “Shortage of manpower is strongly felt in Ahvaz, Abadan and Dezful; this is particularly so with regards to specialized nurses…”
“These nurses definitely need to be reinforced,” Hazrati said. “Nurses in Khuzestan are giving it all under harsh climatic conditions. We are trying to recruit (additional) workforce from other provinces,” she added. (The state-run ILNA News Agency – June 1, 2020)
The official IRNA News Agency also reported that a group of educators from Khuzestan’s Literacy Movement gathered across from the building of Khuzestan’s General Department of Education on Tuesday, June 2. One of the female teachers explained the reason for the protest: “A number of teachers were recruited in 2013 to work for the Khuzestan Literacy Movement who are working on temporary contracts.”
“Given the need for teachers in Khuzestan, we demand promotion of our status to that of casual teachers,” she added.
“Our salaries have not been paid for about two years now, while we have been working full time,” she reiterated.
Earlier on June 1, 2020, about 40 of these educators gathered to protest their non-recruitment. Khuzestan Education had promised to follow up on their recruitment.
Also, on May 30, two other Baha’i women, Mitra Bandi Amirabadi and Hiva Yazdan Mehdi-Abadi, were arrested and taken to an unknown location. The Security forces insulted the residents during the house search.
Hiva Yazdan Mehdi-Abadi was previously detained by security forces in December of 2017 on the charge of teaching music to children. She was transferred to the Prison of Yazd.
In another development, Neda Ashtiani, a political prisoner, returned to Evin Prison after the expiration of her leave. She is serving a three-year sentence. Neda Ashtiani was arrested by agents of the Ministry of Intelligence at her work place in late February 2019 for her activities in the cyberspace and transferred to Ward 209 of Evin Prison. In June 2019, the Revolutionary Court of Tehran sentenced her to five years in prison and a two-year ban on leaving the country. The Court of Appeals reduced her sentence to three years in prison on November 18, 2019.