Iran has blocked the website of influential former president Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani ahead of parliamentary elections, for carrying pro-reform critical statements, Iran's semi-official ILNA news agency reported on Friday. The clerical establishment has increased pressure on the pro-reform opposition ahead of the March 2 vote, the first nationwide poll since a 2009 disputed presidential vote that triggered prolonged and widespread anti-government protests. In the past days, some leading reformist figures have been sentenced to long-term jail sentences.
Imprisoned political activist Abolfazl Ghadyani is to serve an additional three years in jail, according to a ruling handed down by an Iranian court. A senior member of the pro-reform Mujahedin of the Islamic Revolution Organisation (MIRO), Ghadyani was initially arrested on 28 December 2009, a day after opposition rallies known as the "Ashura" protests. Following his court trial, the 66-year-old was sentenced to a year in prison for "insulting the president."
Iran has sentenced Ebrahim Yazdi, the head of a banned opposition party and a former foreign minister, to eight years in prison for 'attempting to act against national security,' his lawyer said Wednesday.
One of the organizer of Yalda celebrations in Gorgan told HRANA, "This ceremony was not political in nature at all. It was a small and simple gathering to observe Yalda, a thousand-year-old Iranian tradition. Before the celebrations began, police raided the restaurant and threw all the guests out. Then security agents cut off the electricity and prevented us from carrying out the program."
Chinese telecommunications- equipment maker Huawei Technologies Co. said it will scale back its business in Iran, where the company provides services to government-controlled telecom operators, following reports that Iranian police were using mobile-network technology to track down and arrest dissidents.
It may not come as a surprise to learn that the Iranian government invests heavily in internet filtering, mobile-communication restrictions and jamming of international satellite broadcasts to control and manipulate the Iranian people. What may be surprising is that European companies, particularly satellite providers, continue to provide services to Tehran despite its comprehensive assault on free expression and free access to information.
Iran was the world's worst jailer, with 42 journalists behind bars, as authorities kept up a campaign of anti-press intimidation that began after the country's disputed presidential election more than two years ago.
According to Majzooban Noor website, Farzad Darvish, Mohammad Ali Saadi, Mohammad Jalal Nikbakht and Hojatollah Saidi, detained on October 8, 2011, are deprived of their most basic human rights while being held behind bars. They are constrained in an unsanitary environment with no access to health care or adequate nutrition. The 4 prisoners are in Pirbanan prison despite the efforts of their families to have them relocated to Adel Abad prison in Shiraz.
Security is said to be tight in the Iranian capital, amidst fears of a fresh wave of opposition protests on Ashura and national Students Day. According to Green Voice of Freedom sources, on Tuesday anti-riot police in full armour gear and security forces on motorcycles were patrolling a number of neighbourhoods in central Tehran. In addition, helicopters circled in the central districts, keeping a close eye on developments on the ground.
Reporters Without Borders reiterates its condemnation of the criminal cooperation between western hi-tech companies and authoritarian regimes, which is receiving renewed attention after the WikiLeaks website Thursday posted the "SpyFiles", a series of documents shedding light on the scale of the 5-billion-dollar international market in mass surveillance and interception. ---- Chris Smith, a Republican member of the US House of Representatives, is currently preparing a new version of his proposed Global Online Freedom Act (GOFA), which would ban the export of these technologies to countries such as Syria and Iran that restrict online free expression and target dissidents.
Ahmad Reza Ahmadpour who was transferred to Ahvaz prison last week, was verbally notified of the increase in his prison sentence. Seyed Ahmadpour who is a dissident cleric, blogger for Pezhak-e Khamoush and member of the Qom Hezbeh Mosharkat (Participation Front) was arrested on July 19, 1010 after which he spent almost a year behind bars in temporary detention. Last week when he was transferred to Ahvaz prison he was told his prison sentence has been increased from 3 years to 5 years.
Dozens of young Iranian men have entered buildings inside the British embassy compound in Tehran, throwing rocks, petrol bombs and burning documents looted from the offices. The semi-official Fars news agency said security forces were trying to eject the protesters, who were a minority from a larger group staging an anti-UK demonstration outside the compound. The agency referred to the protesters as students who were chanting "Death to America", "Death to England" and "Death to Israel" among other slogans. Al Jazeera's Dorsa Jabbari, reporting from Tehran, said that the police and various ministries had prior knowledge of the protest, which was organised by the student arm of the Basij armed group.
While international human rights groups are condemning the attacks against Ali Akbar Javanfekr, the presidential press advisor and head of the Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA), a former IRNA reporter has written a letter from prison to remind the public that not long ago, journalists like him received similar treatment from the very IRNA chief under attack today.
Security forces attacked Iran Newspaper, one of IRNA s major publications, to arrest Ali Akbar Javanfekr, the President s press adviser and Managing Director of IRNA News Agency. Javanfekr was sentenced to one year in prison for publishing articles and photographs considered against public morality in Khatoon, a special insert in Iran Newspaper. He held a press conference about his sentence this morning. At the end of his press conference, he was approached by representatives from the Tehran Prosecutor s Office who had come to arrest him, leading to the confrontation with the entire editorial staff. In a November 19 interview with Etemad Newspaper, Javanfekr sharply criticized Iran s Prosecutor General, Gholamhossein Mohseni Ejehi, and former Iranian Foreign Minister, Manouchehr Mottaki.
As I watched the 23-minute video of Monday's raid by Iranian security forces on the offices of the newspaper Iran, using tear gas and electric batons to seize President Ahmadinejad's senior advisor Ali Akbar Javanfekr --- while Javanfekr's staff tried to block their way and set fire to papers --- I was reminded of our response last week to the declaration, "Ahmadinejad has risen like a phoenix from the ashes": "The pendulum does not swing that far. Rocky does not throw a climactic punch. The Phoenix does not rise."
On Thursday, November 16, 2011, Security agents attempted to detain two members of Nimatullahi Gonabadi Sufi Sect in Kavar County, Fars Province, Iran, and opened fire at them when the dervishes resisted arrest.
One day after Mohammad Javad Larijani claimed that distinguished human rights lawyer Abdolfattah Soltani, who is currently inside Evin Prison, was connected to terrorist groups, his wife, Massoumeh Dehghan, told the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran that Soltani has never faced such an accusation and that he and his lawyers will be filing a lawsuit against Larijani for the false accusations he leveled against her husband
Eutelsat categorically refutes recent reports that claim it is generating interference to its own satellites in order to prevent reception in Iran of international Farsi satellite channels. These allegations are in total contradiction with reality. They are also totally inconsistent with the statement issued in September by the BBC which associates Eutelsat with their renewed appeal for action by regulatory authorities to combat this violation of international rights
Journalist Siyamak Ghaderi has been incarcerated in Evin prison for over a year and a half without furlough. He was arrested in August 2009 and tried and convicted in branch 28 of the Revolutionary Court, presided by Judge Moghiseh. Ghaderi was convicted on the charges of "Propaganda against the regime", "Publishing and spreading lies", and "Disturbing the public".
Since the 1979 Islamic Revolution in Iran, one of the greatest failures of the country s leadership has been the inability to make a promised transition from a monarchy to republican rule. In fact, since Ayatollah Ali Khamenei began his tenure as Supreme Leader twenty-two years ago, he has centralized power further in his own hands, creating what can be called a clerical monarchy.
As Zoroastrian funerary processions enter the graveyard overlooking the Tehran suburb of Ray, their sobriety is often shattered by the sound of explosions and gunfire. Frequently, the way forward is blocked by Islamic Revolutionary Guards conducting a combat exercise among the tombs. According to Zoroastrian custom, burial needs to take place within 24 hours, and the Revolutionary Guards will not halt their training activities there for the funerals. This is just another sign of religious freedom fading in the Islamic Republic.
Al Jazeera journalists secretly film inside Iran, interviewing the families of those slain in the protests since the 2009 Presidential election and the activists maintaining the hope for change:
Amir Sairafi was an Iranian trader doing business in Dubai, the free-wheeling Middle East commerce hub. When he flew to Germany to take his oral exams for his master s degree, he ran into the U.S. crackdown on illicit trade with Iran.
The first snow of the season fell in Tehran this week, but female ski bums planning to carve fresh lines at one of the three resorts in the Alborz mountain range will be able to hit the slopes only if they are accompanied by a male guardian
A six-month prison sentence was upheld in branch 54 of the Revolutionary Court for student activist Mahdieh Golroo, according to the Committee of Human Rights Reporters. In 2010 Mahdieh Golroo wrote a letter from prison for the anniversary of Student Day (16 Azar/December 7th). Her new 6-month sentence, which is additional to an existing one-year prison term she is already serving, was issued by Judge Moghiseh in branch 28 of the Revolutionary Court. She was charged with, Engaging in propaganda activities against the regime and Conspiring to act against national security . The sentence was upheld by the Appeals Court.
The children of incarcerated journalist Keyvan Samimi have expressed their concern for their father s health in Rajai Shahr prison, while the prison officials have ignored the issue.
According to the Fararu website, 65 Iranians have been accused of working with the BBC and of receiving 1.15 million from them. The move is seen as part of a wider crackdown on independent journalists and filmmakers
Iran's football federation on Monday imposed indefinite bans on two players for their "immoral acts" during goal celebrations, state television's website reported. The incidents, condemned by officials and commentators alike, took place during a league match between Persepolis Tehran and Damash Gilan, broadcast live on national television to millions of Iranians.
Are millions of Iranians criminals? Yes, according to an announcement by Iranian Telecommunications Minister Reza Taghipour, who says the use of antifiltering tools and virtual private networks (VPN) is a crime.
On 18 October, 3 days prior to his scheduled release, Iranian judicial authorities extended the prison term for Pastor Behnam Irani by five years, invoking a suspended sentence from 2008. Irani is a member of an evangelical group called Church of Iran and the leader of a house-church in Karaj
News Agency Seven professors and officials involved in Baha i Institute for Higher Education (BIHE) have been sentenced to a total of 30 years in prison. BIHE is a provisional online university established for Baha i citizens who have been denied the opportunity to study at Iran s higher education institutes.
An Iranian student activist has been lashed 74 times for insulting President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Peyman Aref, a student of political science at Tehran University, was sentenced in March 2010 to a year in jail after being found guilty of propaganda against the regime for speaking to foreign media.
A member of Iranian parliament s judicial commission on Sunday demanded the government to withdraw passports from women who violate a law requiring them to wear the Muslim headscarf, Fars News Agency reported.
Concerned about the spillover of the Arab Spring into Iran, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), the guardian of the clerical regime, is making a concerted effort to prepare its forces for possible unrest in the country, particularly in Tehran.
An Iranian who was studying physics in Texas went on trial in Tehran this week on charges related to espionage. Omid Kokabee, 29, a graduate student at the University of Texas, Austin, went home to Iran to visit his family back in February. When Kokabee failed to return to Austin, his friends discovered he had been jailed and charged in Iran with communicating with a hostile government and taking illegal funds.
One has to ask, if Iran realizes what a complete and utter joke, albeit a petty, vicious, dangerous joke, they have become. In targeting those who are not Muslim, they arrest, imprison and subject to untold tortures, those who refuse to recant their belief in a god other than Allah. For Youcef Nadarkhani, it has become a dangerous, and deadly, farce
The recent arbitrary detainment of members of the press is a tactic of the Islamic Republic of Iran in its attempt to silence any discourse, communication or disclosure of events. Whenever the political climate has become sensitive, journalists have been among the first to be targeted with arrests and detainment.
Iranian authorities have launched a campaign of intimidation against relatives and friends of British-based Iranian journalists working for the BBC, the broadcaster said on Wednesday.
Reporters Without Borders firmly condemns a new wave of arrests of Iranian journalists in recent weeks. The following journalists were arrested between 1 August and 27 September without any official reason being given:
Seven days have passed since 1500 workers of Bandar Imam Petrochemical Complex in Khuzestan Province began their strike. Free Trade Union of Iranian Workers has reported that security agents have arrested 3 workers and taken them to the Intelligence Agency located at the port city of Bandar Imam Khomeini.
For the first time in 20 years, the Islamic Republic of Iran has issued a formal death sentence for a Christian. Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani, leader of the Church of Iran denomination in Rasht, was arrested in October 2009 while seeking to register his church. He has been on death row since being found guilty of apostasy, conversion from Islam, in September 2010.
Two Iranian bloggers have killed themselves after being detained by security officials thought to be from Iran's ministry of intelligence. Opposition activists believe Nahal Sahabi and her partner Behnam Ganji had been under intense pressure to testify against their friend Kouhyar Goudarzi, the prominent human rights activist. Goudarzi was arrested on the same day, 31 July, and remains missing.
Almost two week after the arrests of documentary filmmakers Naser Safarian, Mojtaba Mir Tahmaseb, Hadi Afarideh, Mohsen Shahrnazdar and Katayoun Shahabi by intelligence and security forces in Tehran, the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran acquired an internal document from the Iran's state broadcasting network, Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting (IRIB), revealing the network's role in the government persecution of independent filmmakers and film critics.
Regarding his interrogation at Evin that lasted for several hours, Shafiee said, 'most of the talk was about the two Americans' case. But thank God everything ended well and they returned my documents, including my passport, to me, and I returned home. Whatever the young Americans do, and whatever they say, how is that related to me? I believed that they were innocent, and I did my job. But if, upon going home, they say some things, how is that related to me?
A prominent Iranian human rights activist who was taken seriously ill after being detained by the authorities has been sentenced to 11 years in jail. Narges Mohammadi, 39, the deputy head of Iran's Defenders of Human Rights Centre (DHRC), a rights organisation presided over by the Nobel peace laureate Shirin Ebadi, was picked up last year by security officials who raided her house in middle of the night without a warrant for her arrest
A sharp rise in the number of executions reported in Iran is raising suspicions that the Tehran regime has, in the words of a British newspaper, engaged in "a judicial killing spree" to intimidate its opponents.
Fakhteh Zamani, director of the Association for the Defence of Azerbaijani Political Prisoners in Iran, talks about the protests over the environmental damage to Iran's largest lake, Lake Urmia --- moving from activists in Azerbaijan to football stadiums --- the response by the Iranian authorities, and the possible developments, both for the lake and for Azerbaijani rights:
The Iranian authorities have arrested a group of film-makers and accused them of working for the BBC Persian service, which is banned in the country. State TV reports that the group of six were paid to make secret reports for the Farsi-language service. The BBC says no-one works for the Persian service inside the country - either formally or informally. The arrests came a day after the service showed a documentary on Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei.
According to reports, Ayatollah Seyed Hossein Kazemeyni Boroujerdi, who is currently held in Evin prison, has been banned from prison visits by the Special Clerical Court. On Saturday morning, when Kazemeyni Boroujerdi s family members visited him in prison, prison officials did not allow the visit to occur. The family members protested against the illegal ban but they were ignored by the prison officials, and no explanation was offered.
Somayeh Tohidlou, political activist and Tehran University Ph.D. student in Sociology, wrote in her blog yesterday that authorities at Evin Prison carried out her sentence of 50 lashes. The flogging took place at Evin Prison just as Mahmoud Ahmadinejad took off for New York to attend the United Nations General Assembly. Flogging is an inhumane punishment and a type of torture frequently used by the Iranian Judiciary for both regular and political suspects.
Amnesty International has urged authorities in Iran s East Azerbaijan province to thoroughly investigate reports that a women s rights activist was tortured in custody amid mass arrests following environmental protests about a saltwater lake.
According to HRANA, yesterday, branch 54 of the Tehran Appeals Court reduced Nasrin Sotoudeh s sentence to six years in prison and reduced the ban from practising law to ten years. The sentence was issued to one of Nasrin Sotoudeh s lawyers, Mina Jafari.
The number of executions in Iran is on the increase with 18 hangings in the last week. Three men were executed for gay sex, whilst another was punished for murdering a woman who rejected his marriage proposal.
From September 3 to 8, 2011, the inhuman clerical regime hanged 14 prisoners in Orumieh (3 people), Kerman (4 people), Ahwaz (6 people), and Qazvin (1 person). According to the Iranian regime's state media, in the first eight months of 2011 alone, 206 prisoners have been executed. At the same time, at least 228 people have been secretly executed.
Mir Hussein Moussavi, the Iranian opposition leader, made some of his harshest remarks to date against Iran s rulers on Tuesday in an interview on his Web site, calling their behavior dictatorial and terrifying.
A source close to Shahrvand-e Emrooz (Today s Citizen) Weekly told the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran that the publication has been banned. According to a letter the publication s management received, the reason for the ban is cited as Article 6 of the Iranian Press Law.
Ali Reza Roushan, poet, writer and head of the book section of Shargh Newspaper, was arrested at his home and transferred to an undisclosed location. Ali Reza Roushan is a poet who has published a collection of poems called "There is no book" and his poetry has been translated into French.
A number of dervishes from the Gonabadi Nematollahi order have been detained in Iran in recent days. The arrests apparently began in the city of Kavar close to Shiraz where Sufis are reported to have come under attack from "plainclothes agents" and members of the Basij militia.
Nasrin Sotoudeh was born in 1963, and is a human rights lawyer and activist. She is a member of the One Million Signatures Campaign demanding an end to discriminatory laws against women, and a defender of children s rights. She was the lawyer for human rights and women s rights activists, children who were victims of abuse, and juvenile offenders facing the death penalty. In 2009, the International Human Rights Committee awarded Sotoudeh the Human Rights Award.
Iranian police have started cracking down on water fights springing up across the country with the arrests of several young men and women who took part in the latest organized water pistol battles.
Behnam Ganji with no history of prior political activity was taken to ward 240 in Evin prison and was put under very harsh interrogations for the purpose of obtaining a false confession. Such harsh measures were used in Behnam s interrogations that resulted in him going into deep depression after release from prison. He ended his life on September 1 by taking large number of prescription pills.
The regime of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has threatened to completely cut Iran off from the Internet. But activists in the country are well-versed in circumventing official censorship. In a conversation with SPIEGEL, Internet expert Philip Howard explains how they do it and says that complete digital isolation is virtually impossible.
Imprisoned blogger and human rights activist Hossein Ronaghi Maleki was sent to the prison court and ordered to officially confirm his 15-year prison sentence, but he refused to sign the document.
In August, Google introduced a new, if rather obscure, security feature to its Chrome web browser, designed to be triggered only under extreme circumstances. If you were talking to Google's servers using the web's secure "https" protocol, your browser makes a number of checks to ensure that you are really talking to Google's servers. Like an overly obsessive bouncer, the new code double-checks the identity of any supposed Google site against a Chrome-only list of valid Google identities hardwired into the browser.
Iran's ex-parliament speaker Mehdi Karroubi has not changed his views one iota while under house arrest, opposition website Sahamnews.net on Thursday reported the cleric's son Hossien as saying.
Iranian Opposition leader Mehdi Karroubi is in grave danger of physical and psychological harm, as news of his complete isolation for the past 42 days emerged today, said the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran. The Campaign called for his immediate release.
Sophisticated governments will realize that "shutting down the Internet radicalizes things". What is more useful to governments, is "bandwidth throttling," recognizing that "Internet is something you can meter out." This "metering out" is meant to make the experience less reliable and responsive, so that video streaming is hesitant and Web pages are slow to load.
The whereabouts of an evangelical pastor in Iran remained unknown Saturday, August 27, some 10 days after he was detained by Iranian security forces as part of a reported government crackdown on Christian converts, BosNewsLife established.
The son of an Iranian doctor who was killed after examining the rape victims of the country's 2009 unrest has spoken for the first time about the motives behind his father's assassination. Abdolreza Soudbakhsh, a physician and professor at Tehran university, was shot dead by men on a motorcycle as he left his office last September.
Its all about destruction of things with the Mullahs regime it seems; this time on the internet. Following setbacks on Iran s plan to prevent people from having access to free internet and its failure in filtering the medium, now it seems Iran is looking for some way of showing a little mussel on the internet.
In a swat plan in the capital, the Police cleared regions in West Tehran of satellite receiver equipment and referred those who had installed satellite dishes for a second time to the judiciary.
Iran's ultra-hardliners have gone after a newspaper that acts as a mouthpiece for Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad after it published a supplement on the Islamic dress code for women in what is perceived as a battle for the loyalty of the country's middle class.
While the young Syrian activists who use the Web to organize and document antiregime demonstrations across the country are once again counting the cost, in lives, of continuing to pour into the streets, their counterparts in Iran, who helped to pave the way for such protests, are living with a form of repression that is less violent but in some ways far more efficient and demoralizing.
Reza Khandan, husband of imprisoned Iranian human rights lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh, talked to International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran about his five-hour detention along with his two children and his sister-in-law, during a recent visit with Sotoudeh.
: According to reports from Iran, human rights activist Kouhyar Goudarzi and his mother Parvin Mokhtare have been arrested by the Iranian authorities. Parvin Mokhtare was arrested in Kerman (southeastern Iran) and is being held in a detention center in this city. There are no confirmed reports about the exact date of Kouhyar Goudarzi s arrest or his current location, but reports say that he was arrested during the past few days.
According to the reports by 'the Coordination Committee to Aid Formation of the Workers Organizations in Iran', Vafa Ghaderi and Yadollah Ghotbi, two members of the committee arrested on May day have been fined 900 dollars each. They had spent 12 days in prison and freed on bail for $50,000 and $30,000 each.
The struggle for secularism, democracy and the rule of law is not a novel phenomenon in the political history of Iran. The Iranian people have long fought for freedom and equality. While this struggle has at times achieved some high grounds, its mission remains to this day incomplete.
Over 200 Iraqi Kurdish families have been forced from their homes by weeks of Iranian shelling of rebel bases in northern Iraq, local officials and an NGO said Tuesday. The shelling has targeted camps of the separatist Party of Free Life of Kurdistan (PJAK) since mid-July, and the two sides have engaged in on-off clashes along the Iraq-Iran border
Communication and information technology minister Reza Taqipour Anvari announced at the start of July that the first phase of a National Internet, also called Clean Internet, will get under way at the end of August, offering an 8 Mbps speed broadband connection that will later rise to 20 Mbps and a national search engine called 'Ya Haq' (Oh Just One) to be launched in early 2012. The project s aim is to 'better manage national emails and information gathering within the country and to improve security,' he said. Surveillance of dissidents email will inevitably increase.
Marzieh Pasdar, wife of religious scholar Ahmad Ghabel, told the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran that Ghabel was taken to Mashad s Vakilabad Prison on Sunday, 31 July to start serving his sentence. Mr. Ghabel went to Mashad Revolutionary Court on Sunday, following receiving a summons. We thought he only had to appear, considering his lawyer had requested a postponement of his prison term to after the holy month of Ramadan. But it turned out there that they wanted to take him to prison that same day.
Reza Taqipour, Iran's Communications and Information Technology Minister stressed on Tuesday s Iran International Communications Seminar that the National Internet Network will be equipped with national emails and a national search engine
As the widespread arrests and repression by the dictatorship of the mullahs continues, Pasdar Kowsari, vice-president of the security commission in the reactionary parliament (Iranian parliament), has announced construction of five new prisons in Tehran and other cities in the current year, Edalat (Justice) a Human Rights Site on July 25 reported.
In an interview with the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran, the wife of prisoner of conscience Hashem Khastar said that her husband, whose two-year prison term ended, was expected to be released on 26 July; but instead was taken to court and tried on the new charge of "creating public anxiety."
The Feminist School - A month ago, Marzieh Vafamehr, an actress and documentary producer was detained and sent to the notorious Gharchak-Varamin prison; a place known as a torture chamber that possesses the bare minimum facilities. Her husband Nasser Taghvaie said that the accusations against his wife are 'legal' (according to Sharia law) and not political.
Kahrizak ---- Although familiar to locals, the word was only elevated to heights of infamy, in the most bitter, painful and tragic ways, in the disputed 2009 Presidential election. The public --- both domestic and foreign --- learned about a place called Kahrizak Prison, a detention centre where those protesting the election results were subject to mistreatment, beatings, abuse, torture, and, in some cases, death.
Every summer, Iranian police get tough on women who violate the country s strict Islamic dress code by adjusting their veils and long coats to try to cope with the rising temperatures. But this year, amid the annual crackdown, the issue of how women wear the veil - and what the government does about it - has become part of an intensifying rift between President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and powerful Shiite clerics.