Aban 1 1400 - October 23 2021
Over-compliance with US sanctions hurting Iran's 'butterfly kids'

Over-compliance with United States-imposed sanctions against Iran is harming the right to health, and people with a rare skin disease are among those affected, many of them children, experts appointed by the UN Human Rights Council said on Tuesday. These patients suffer from epidermolysis bullosa (EB), a severe and life-threatening skin condition, which causes extremely painful wounds. Many are children, who are often referred to as "butterfly kids" because of their fragile skin. -United Nations 10/20/21

Anoosheh Ashoori told he has lost legal bid for Tehran jail release

Anoosheh Ashoori, the British-Iranian dual national held in Evin prison in Tehran for more than four years, has had his request for conditional release and an appeal against his 10-year sentence thrown out. Ashoori was informed by prison authorities that his last legal recourse within Iran was gone last Saturday, the same day that Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe was told she had lost her appeal against a one-year further sentence for alleged propaganda activities against the regime. -Guardian 10/20/21

'Maximum Psychological' Pressure: Iranian Rights Lawyer Tortured, Drugged During Detention, Attorney Says

Payam Derafshan was confined in a dark, windowless room inside a safe house run by the feared intelligence branch of Iran's powerful Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC). The human rights lawyer was then transferred to Tehran's notorious Evin prison, where he was drugged with unknown substances that triggered violent convulsions. During one seizure, Derafshan bit part of his tongue off. -Golnaz Esfandiari, RFE/RL 10/20/21

Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe loses appeal on second Iran jail term without court hearing

Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, a British citizen detained in Iran, has lost an appeal against a second jail term in Iran, her supporters said on Saturday. The 43-year-old British-Iranian aid worker was sentenced to five years in jail in 2016 over charges of plotting against the Iranian government. In March, after serving her initial sentence, she was sentenced to another year in jail and a subsequent year-long travel ban. -MEE 10/18/21

Iran's Emboldened Workers Press New President for More Concessions

In the third week of September, teachers in dozens of towns and cities across Iran took to the streets, calling on the new president, Ebrahim Raisi, to fully implement existing labour laws. The authorities responded quickly and positively, promising to work on an implementation plan. But the teachers are not ready to back down. In an interview conducted for this article, a leader of the main teachers' union said his organization will continue to use a "carrot and stick" approach to ensure that the Raisi administration makes good on its promises. -Zep Kalb, Bourse & Bazaar 10/15/21

Cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment of journalists imprisoned in Iran

Reporters Without Borders (RSF) is extremely concerned about the treatment of journalists imprisoned in Iran, who are being denied their most basic rights, including essential medical treatment, visits from their families and phone calls with them. Those who try to denounce prison conditions end up paying a price in the form of arbitrary punishments. -RSF 10/14/21

Iran's president calls for tighter internet control

In a meeting with the Supreme Council of Cyberspace, Iran's president Ebrahim Raisi called for "digitizing" the government while also expanding controls over the internet. Raisi said that the council can "take significant steps in making up for its ineffectiveness and in the management of cyberspace." -Al Monitor 10/14/21

Bipartisan Letter Urges Biden to Support Internet Freedom in Iran

Late last week, 21 Members of Congress sent a letter calling on the Biden administration to eliminate sanctions that help block Iranians from accessing a free Internet. NIAC chapters across the country urged their Representatives to sign on to the letter, which was backed by both Republicans and Democratic legislators -NIAC 10/13/21

Human Rights Lawyers, Activist to Be Illegally Tried as Their Legal Team is Denied Case Files

The ongoing detention of Iranian defense lawyers Mostafa Nili and Arash Keykhosravi as well as civil rights activist Mehdi Mahmoudian, who were all held in solitary confinement for 23 days while being denied legal counsel and phone calls to their relatives, is a violation of Iranian law and all international standards of due process. In addition, the defendants' legal teams have been denied access to their case files, another blatant violation of fair trial standards, thereby preventing them from preparing a proper defense. -CHRI 10/13/21

To be an Afghan child worker in Iran

"We must have the right to work!" a boy shouted when, at an introductory course on children's rights, the teacher asked her students to think about the rights they need. This was several years ago, and the child who shouted was one of the many working migrant children learning to read and write at our centre near the Grand Bazaar in Tehran. At the time his remark came as a surprise to the teacher and to all of us at the Nasserkhosro Child House. We all imagined that the most important thing for these children is to quit working and start living like other kids do. -Sahar Mousavi & Ghazaal Bozorgmehr, Open Democracy 10/11/21

Iranian Authorities Surveil Her Every Move. Yet This Tehran Based Director Agreed to Talk to Us

The Iranian authorities have been persecuting Mahnaz Mohammadi for 14 years. She fights for women's rights, makes films that expose the oppression of Iranian women, presents her films at international festivals, and isn't afraid to tell the world what outrages her in Iran. But every few years the authorities lose patience and decide that Mohammadi has gone too far. -Nirit Anderman, Israel's Haaretz 10/7/21

'I've wasted 18 months of my life': Canada has left these students in study-permit limbo

Few graduate students have the experience and know-how in radiation and computer engineering that University of Saskatchewan professor Li Chen needs for his research. In January 2020, through a network of academics in his field, he recruited Peiman Pour Momen, who had a master's degree and appeared to be a perfect fit. Momen was in Iran. -Toronto Star 10/7/21

Iranian-born scientist sues University of Alabama at Birmingham for discrimination

An Iranian-born research scientist alleges that a former University of Alabama at Birmingham co-worker harassed her for nine years because of her ethnicity and even threatened her with a pistol but that the school failed to stop the abuse even after she repeatedly complained. "Our country does not need your kind," Fariba Moeinpour says she was told. -Corky Siemaszko, NBC News 10/6/21

Son demands Iran free ailing father for urgent medical care

The son of an Iranian-American man who has been detained in Iran for more than five years called for his father's immediate release on Monday so that he can receive emergency and potentially life-saving surgery. Baquer Namazi, 84, requires an operation within days to clear up a severe blockage in the main artery that supplies blood to his brain, according to his son, Babak, and the family's lawyer, Jared Genser. -AP 10/5/21

Iran clamps down on teachers demanding fair pay

Aziz Ghasemzadeh is a spokesman for the teachers' union in Iran's northern province of Gilan. Last week, he was arrested while he was doing an interview on his phone with a Persian-language broadcaster. The phone's camera was still on and captured footage of the arrest at his parents' home; you can hear his mother's voice pleading with the officers not to take her son away. However, Ghasemzadeh's hands were tied, and he was blindfolded before being whisked away. 10/5/21

Margaret Atwood and JM Coetzee demand release of jailed Iranian writers

Nobel laureates JM Coetzee and Orhan Pamuk are among the signatories to a letter demanding the release from prison of the Iranian writers Baktash Abtin, Keyvan Bajan, and Reza Khandan Mahabadi. The writers began a collective 15-and-a-half-year sentence at Evin Prison in Tehran in September 2020, on what writers' association PEN America said were "spurious" national security and propaganda charges. -Guardian 9/30/21

Afghan women barred from teaching or attending Kabul University

Women will no longer be allowed to attend classes or work at Kabul University "until an Islamic environment is created," the school's new Taliban-appointed chancellor announced Monday, in the latest move excluding Afghanistan's women from public life. "As long as real Islamic environment is not provided for all, women will not be allowed to come to universities or work. Islam first," Mohammad Ashraf Ghairat said on his official Twitter account. -CNN 9/28/21

In the grip of hunger: only 5 percent of Afghan families have enough to eat

As the harsh Afghan winter looms closer, recent surveys conducted by the World Food Programme (WFP) have revealed that only five percent of families have enough to eat every day, while half reported they had run out of food altogether at least once in the past two weeks. -World Food Programme 9/28/21

Iran's president denounces US sanctions as 'crimes against humanity'

Iran's new ultra-conservative president has used his debut on the international stage to deliver a sustained assault on US, denouncing sanctions as "crimes against humanity" and hailing what he called the end of Washington's hegemony. "Sanctions are the US new way of war with the nations of the world," President Ebrahim Raisi told the UN general assembly in a pre-recorded address from Tehran. -Guardian 9/22/21

Empowering women in Iraq and Afghanistan: Is this the actual question?

At a time when the voices of American and British officials, and the official media in the West in general, are loudly denouncing the lack of support for Afghan women in the recently formed Taliban government, and the failure to allocate a percentage of political representation to them, in any other position, the absent Iraqi women live like their Afghan counterparts, in the shadow of the silence of the same parties. -Haifa Zangana, MEMO 9/22/21

Lack of Accountability Perpetuates Deaths of Prisoners in Iran

The torture and inhuman mistreatment of detainees and prisoners in Iran are among the most serious violations of human rights in the country's prisons. In many cases, prisoners or detainees have died from injuries inflicted upon them in custody and yet the government has never acknowledged responsibility on a systemic level, allowing the perpetrators to go unpunished. -CHRI 9/22/21

Iranian women fear setbacks in hard-earned rights under Raisi

Ebrahim Raisi's pick for Iran's vice president for women and family affairs has raised eyebrows across the country, with many fearing the appointment of Ensiyeh Khazali is a harbinger of potential setbacks for women's rights under the hardline president. Khazali, the only female member of Raisi's cabinet and former dean of Iran's first women-only public university, has previously made controversial remarks in support of early marriage of girls and her objection to UNESCO's 2030 sustainable development agenda. -MEE 9/21/21

Why Iran is hesitant to help the Afghan refugees?

Since the Taliban takeover in Afghanistan in August 2021, the number of Afghans seeking asylum in Iran in search of safety and economic opportunity has increased dramatically. In this regard, Fatemah Awan, a non-resident senior fellow at the Middle East Institute argues as the Taliban secured control of the border, many of those who entered Iran have been detained and returned so why Iran is not willing to help the Afghan refugees? -Global Village Space 9/21/21

About the only job women can do for the Kabul government is clean female bathrooms, acting mayor says

Female employees in the Kabul city government have been told to stay home, and only women whose jobs cannot be done by men are allowed to come to work -- the latest restrictions imposed by the Taliban in Afghanistan. The order, announced by Kabul's acting Mayor Hamdullah Nohmani on Sunday, effectively means women are now barred from government work in the Afghan capital. -CNN 9/20/21

PEN America To Honor Three Imprisoned Iranian Writers And Free Expression Advocates At Gala

This year, PEN America is honoring imprisoned Iranian writers Baktash Abtin, Keyvan Bajan, and Reza Khandan Mahabadi with the 2021 PEN/Barbey Freedom to Write Award. These celebrated writers who have been imprisoned by the Iranian authorities for their writing, their defense of free expression, and their peaceful opposition to state censorship. -PEN America 9/17/21

Iran: A decade of deaths in custody unpunished amid systemic impunity for torture

Iranian authorities have failed to provide accountability for at least 72 deaths in custody since January 2010, despite credible reports that they resulted from torture or other ill-treatment or the lethal use of firearms and tear gas by officials, said Amnesty International following yesterday's reports of yet another suspicious death in custody. -Amnesty International 9/17/21

Iranian photojournalist Majid Saeedi arrested while covering Afghan refugee camps

Iranian authorities should immediately release photojournalist Majid Saeedi, drop any charges against him, and let him work freely, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. On August 25, security forces in the city of Khoy, in West Azerbaijan province near the border with Turkey, arrested Saeedi, a photographer for the state-run newspaper Shargh Daily, while he was photographing camps housing Afghan refugees... -CPJ 9/14/21

Who do they think they are? Israel tells US to ease off Saudi, Egypt human rights

Israeli officials warned the United States not to hold Saudi Arabia and Egypt accountable for human rights abuses, or else risk driving them into the arms of China, Russia, and Iran. This would contradict President Biden and Secretary of State Blinken's pledge to "put human rights at the center of U.S. foreign policy." -Annelle Sheline, Responsible Statecraft 9/13/21

#SanctionsStory: The Human Impact of Sanctions on Iran

We asked Iranian Americans to share their #SanctionsStory about the impacts on their loved ones abroad. Listen to what they have to say below then take action to urge Congress to provide Iran with humanitarian relief. -NIAC Action 9/10/21

Iran Air's Interesting Airbus A330 Diversion

Yesterday morning, an Iran Air A330 on its way to Hamburg entered a holding pattern waiting for the heavy fog parked over the airport to lift. However, a little over one hour later, the plane lifted back up to 30,000 feet and took off for... Milan. How come? -Linnea Ahlgren, Simple Flying 9/8/21

Women stage protest in Taliban-controlled Kabul

A group of Afghan women activists staged a small protest in Taliban-controlled Kabul Friday calling for equal rights and full participation in political life, CNN has confirmed. In spite of the risk, a group called the Women's Political Participation Network marched on the street in front of Afghanistan's Finance Ministry, chanting slogans and holding signs demanding involvement in the Afghan government and calling for constitutional law. -cnn 9/3/21

Iran arrests financial reporter Amir-Abbas Azarmvand on security charges

Iranian authorities should immediately release journalist Amir-Abbas Azarmvand, drop the charges against him, and let him work freely, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today... According to the source, the agents presented Azarmvand with an arrest warrant citing recent critical reporting for SMT on the "difficult economic situation of union workers and some of the new economic decisions by the government." -CPJ 9/2/21

Afghanistan's neighbours offered millions in aid to harbour refugees

Countries neighbouring Afghanistan have been offered millions in aid if they are prepared to temporarily harbour tens of thousands of refugees, prior to security checks clearing them for transit to Europe and the US, but Pakistan and other bordering states have warned they will not take more refugees permanently. -Guardian 9/1/21

These women fled Afghanistan. What's at stake for those left behind?

In the past month, Naheed Esar has spent her days settling into a new life as a doctoral student in the leafy college town of Fayetteville, Arkansas. At night, when her family in Afghanistan is just waking up, she calls them. "We try to calm one another," she says. "But it starts with: Are you alive? Where is this person, where is that person?" She doesn't get much sleep. -Nina Strochlic, National Geographic 8/31/21

Jafar Panahi Among Activists Urging UN to Take Action on Iran's Covid Crisis

Ten activists have signed a letter addressed to the United Nations demanding that the organization take measures to help Iran's ongoing Covid-19 crisis, including requiring Iran to import the vaccine. Among the signatories are filmmakers Jafar Panahi ("3 Faces," "This Is Not a Film") and Mohammad Rasoulof ("There Is No Evil"), as well as documentarian Mohammad Nourizad. -IndieWire 8/31/21

Iran Reports Arrests Over Iranian 'Shocking' Prison Abuse Videos

The judiciary's official Mizan news agency reported on August 30 that "six people" were prosecuted and interrogated in connection with the videos. "Two of these people have been arrested and the rest have been released on parole," it added. Mizan said that "some of the violations that are evident in the videos have already been investigated, and people have been punished or fired." -RFE 8/31/21

Hacked Videos Force The Unthinkable In Iran: Official Admission Of Abuses At Evin Prison

The embarrassing images come less than a month after the inauguration of a new hard-line president, Ebrahim Raisi, a former judiciary chief who has rejected rights lawyers' and others' claims of inmate abuse by saying prisoners are treated with "kindness and Islamic mercy." -Golnaz Esfandiari, RFE/RL 8/27/21

Afghanistan's terrified scientists predict huge research losses

When the fundamentalist group last held the country, in 1996-2001, it brutally enforced a conservative version of Islamic Sharia law, characterized by women's-rights violations and suppression of freedom of expression. But after it was overthrown in 2001, international funding poured into Afghanistan and universities thrived. -Nature 8/27/21

Iran official acknowledges videos of Evin prison abuse real

The head of Iran's prison system acknowledged Tuesday that videos purportedly obtained by a self-described hacker group that show abuses at the Islamic Republic's notorious Evin prison are real, saying he took responsibility for the "unacceptable behaviors." -AP 8/24/21

Iran Reports Increase In Child Marriages

Iranian officials have reported an increase in the overall number of child marriages last year compared to 2019. According to the Statistics Center of Iran, the marriage rate of girls aged 10-14 last year increased by 10.5 percent compared to 2019. It says 31,379 girls in that age bracket were married in 2020 compared to 28,373 cases the previous year. 8/23/21

Leaked footage shows grim conditions in Iran's Evin prison

The guard in a control room at Iran's notorious Evin prison springs to attention as one by one, monitors in front of him suddenly blink off and display something very different from the surveillance footage he had been watching. "Cyberattack," the monitors flash. Other guards gather around, holding up their mobile phones and filming, or making urgent calls. "General protest until the freedom of political prisoners" reads another line on the screens. -AP 8/23/21

Iran's art community fears 'Stalin era' under Raisi

President Ebrahim Raisi's pick for the post of culture minister has drawn a furious backlash from Iran's art community members, who fear there will be a return to stifling cultural restrictions. -Al Monitor 8/20/21

Lawyers, Activists Arrested as they Attempt to Sue State for Failed COVID Response

The unlawful arrests of six prominent lawyers and civil rights activists in Tehran as they were preparing to file a lawsuit against state officials for their gross mishandling of the COVID-19 pandemic is an indication of the worsening human rights situation under the newly inaugurated President Ebrahim Raisi and new Judiciary Chief Gholam-Hossein Mohseni Ejei. -CHRI 8/18/21

One Year of Afghanistan War Spending Could Fund Resettlement of 1.2 Million Refugees

As the Biden administration faces criticism for not doing enough to assist those fleeing Afghanistan, an analysis released Monday showed that the roughly $19 billion the Pentagon budgeted for the U.S. occupation of the country in 2020 alone could cover initial resettlement costs for 1.2 million refugees. -Jake Johnson, Common Dreams 8/17/21

Afghan women and girls fear for their futures after Taliban victory

With the Taliban's declaration of victory in Afghanistan, Afghan women and girls face an uncertain future and stand to lose hard-won rights to education, employment and everyday freedoms. Why it matters: Afghan women and girls described fear and a forced end to their lifelong ambitions. -Axios 8/17/21

Iran: British Council worker Aras Amiri reportedly acquitted

Aras Amiri, a British Council employee detained in Iran, has been acquitted by the country's supreme court, according to her lawyer. Hojjat Kermani told Emtedad News on Sunday that his client had been acquitted after a request for a retrial had rendered verdicts issued against her to be "illegal". -MEE 8/17/21

Iran sets up refugee camps along border as Afghans flee Taliban rule

Iran has set up temporary refugee camps along the border with Afghanistan in preparation for thousands of civilians who are expected to flee both the fighting and the Taliban's brutal rule. Tehran said on Sunday it was preparing to house Afghans escaping their country in three border provinces, but warned that they should return when it is safe to do so. -Independent 8/16/21

NO EXIT: As the Taliban Seize Cities, Desperate Afghans Are Trapped in an American-Made Fiasco

AFGHAN FRIENDS AND colleagues began asking for help leaving the country in June. The requests were nothing new, but in the past they'd mostly been in jest. Now they were serious and urgent. The people who made them weren't just seeking a better life but refuge. The man who manages the house where I live in Kabul was among the first to ask... -Andrew Quilty, The Intercept 8/13/21

How a casual insult sowed the seeds of an anti-war crusade

Most people would not have even noticed the careless omission in a news report back in February, 2013. But for filmmaker Granaz Moussavi, it was the catalyst for a powerful new movie. -The Australian 8/13/21

Iran: Security forces use ruthless force, mass arrests and torture to crush peaceful protests

Iranian security forces resorted to unlawful use of force, including birdhsot, and mass arrests to ruthlessly crack down on predominately peaceful protests that have erupted in various locations across Iran in recent weeks, said Amnesty International. Activists, protesters and bystanders swept up in the wave of arrests, including, children have been subjected to enforced disappearance, torture and other ill-treatment. -Amnesty International 8/12/21

Afghanistan war: Taliban back brutal rule as they strike for power

The Taliban fighters we meet are stationed just 30 minutes from one of Afghanistan's largest cities, Mazar-i-Sharif. The "ghanimat" or spoils of war they're showing off include a Humvee, two pick-up vans and a host of powerful machine guns. Ainuddin, a stony-faced former madrassa (religious school) student who's now a local military commander, stands at the centre of a heavily-armed crowd. -Secunder Kermani, BBC 8/12/21

Sanctions on Iran block mosque from claiming religious tiles

A northern Virginia mosque is asking the Biden administration to release a set of religious tiles that were confiscated at Dulles International Airport after they were deemed to violate sanctions on Iran. At a news conference Tuesday at the Manassas Mosque, Imam Abolfazl Nahidian said the custom-made tiles were shipped in June from the Iranian city of Qom, to be used in construction of a new mosque a few miles away. -AP 8/11/21

Afghan refugees reach Iran as violence escalates

UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, is extremely concerned by the rapid escalation of conflict in Afghanistan this week. Amid intensified clashes in Nimruz province in the country's south-west, nearly 200 Afghan refugees have been forced to flee to the Islamic Republic of Iran over the weekend. -UNHCR 8/10/21

Photos: In search of water

People living in the villages of Khaf County, located in Razavi Khorasan Province, have faced water shortage due to population growth, low precipitation, and problems in the water supply network. Currently, there is no access to drinking water in some villages, so people have to go to other villages or nearby areas and stand in the queue to get drinking water. -Mohammad Ramezani, ISNA 8/9/21

Iran Aims to End Online Freedoms "for Good"

Iranian parliament has decided to fast-track the introduction of a bill dubbed Cyberspace Users Rights Protection and Regulation of Key Online Services, widely referred to as the Protection Bill. If implemented, the bill-which has been in the making since 2018-is expected to curb access to the internet, invade users' privacy, infringe net neutrality, and suppress freedom of speech in Iran. -Sayeh Isfahani, Slate 8/9/21

Iranian women call for ban on motorcycle licences to be overturned

Iranian women have demanded that police issue motorcycle licences for women, permitting them to ride a motorbike officially, following a statement issued by Tehran's traffic police banning women from riding the vehicles in the Iranian capital. The Hamshahri daily reported that Iran's traffic police had previously stressed that there was no ban on women riding a motorcycle if they had a licence. However, the police do not permit women to take the test to receive the permit. -MEE 8/5/21

Iranians fear new bill will restrict internet even further

For Ali Hedieloo, a 40-year-old making wooden furniture in Iran's capital, Instagram is more than just a surfeit of glossy images. Like an estimated 1 million other Iranians, it's how he finds customers, as the app has exploded into a massive e-commerce service in the sanctions-hit country. -AP 8/4/21

Iran sentences two dual nationals to more than 10 years in prison, says lawyer

An Iranian Revolutionary Court has sentenced two dual nationals, German-Iranian Nahid Taghavi and British-Iranian Mehran Raouf, to more than 10 years in prison, each on national security charges, their lawyer said on Wednesday. Iran's elite Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps has arrested dozens of dual nationals and foreigners in recent years, mostly on espionage and security-related charges. -MEE 8/4/21

Three More Iranian Human Rights Attorneys Slapped with Unjust Prison Sentences

Three more human rights attorneys in Iran were handed unjust prison sentences in July 2021 amid an ongoing campaignto eliminate due process for activists and dissidents by intimidating the lawyers who defend them. At least four defense lawyers were imprisoned in the country on trumped-up charges as of August 2021 (Nasrin Sotoudeh, Mohammad Najafi, Soheila Hejab, and Giti Pourfazel), and at least two additional lawyers (Farzaneh Zilabi and Mohammad Hadi Erfanian-Kaseb) were prosecuted on false charges in June 2021.-CHRI 8/3/21

Iran: Deadly Repression of Khuzestan Protests

The rising death toll and mass arrests raise grave concerns about the Iranian authorities' response to recent protests in Khuzestan and other provinces, Human Rights Watch said today. The authorities should immediately and unconditionally release peaceful protesters, provide information about deaths, and allow an independent international investigation into security agencies' alleged use of lethal force. All those responsible for abuses should be held to account. -HRW 7/30/21

Iran: Drought, water shortages spark protests

People in Iran's southwestern Khuzestan province are desperate. Suffering from drought and water shortages since March, they've taken to the streets in the last couple of weeks to express their anger with the government and its poor management of water resources. According to official sources, at least four men, including one policeman, have died in the protests. Authorities claim they were shot by "unknown rioters" in order to stir up trouble. -DW 7/27/21

Mehdi Hasan Asks Why US Still Sanctioning Iran as Covid Cases Surge

MSNBC anchor Mehdi Hasan asked why the United States continues to sanction Iran despite a surge in coronavirus cases in the country. As of Sunday, the seven-day average of coronavirus cases in Iran is 24,024, according to the Johns Hopkins University Center for Systems Science and Engineering. During The Mehdi Hasan Show on Sunday the host asked U.S. Special Representative for Iran Robert Malley about "the humanitarian situation in Iran." -Mediaite 7/27/21

Under pressure, Iranian MPs postpone internet restriction bill

Iran's parliament has suspended its review of a highly controversial bill that a minister, citizens and businesses say will only lead to more internet restrictions in the country. The bill, first proposed three years ago, is titled "Protecting Users in Cyberspace and Organising Social Media" but critics say it is aimed at introducing more controls in a country where most prominent global services are already banned. -Al Jazeera 7/27/21

Iran: Angry Khuzestan residents rise against decades of neglect

For a week now, the province has been in the spotlight in Iran. On the evening of 15 July, people took to the streets in a number of cities in the province, including Ahvaz, Abadan, Hamidiyeh and Shadegan, Khorramshahr and Mahshahr, to protest against the lack of water and frequent power outages. The protesters chanted slogans such as "The river is thirsty," "I am thirsty," and "We give our lives and blood to the Karun"... -MEE 7/26/21

In His Own Words: Iranian Musician Mehdi Rajabian On Why He Is Willing To Risk Jail For His New Album, 'Coup Of Gods'

Mehdi Rajabian is a musician. And like most musicians he feels the need to create music so strongly he can't do anything else. The difference between Rajabian and musicians in the U.S. or the U.K. or most other places around the globe is that Rajabian, an Iranian musician, is risking imprisonment to share his art. As he says in his self-penned essay, "We are proving that no power can stop making music, even if it means my life, or going back to jail." -Forbes 7/26/21

Iran accused of using unlawful force in water protest crackdown

Iran is using unlawful and excessive force in a crackdown against protests over water shortages in its oil-rich but arid southwestern Khuzestan province, according to international rights groups. Amnesty International said it had confirmed the deaths of at least eight protesters and bystanders, including a teenage boy, after the authorities used live ammunition to quell the protests. -Guardian 7/23/21

Former presidents condemn crackdown on protests

Two former Iranian presidents, Seyyed Mohammad Khatami and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, lambasted the brutality of the anti-riot forces in cracking down on demonstrations against water shortage in Iran's Khuzestan province. The protests in the southeastern oil-rich province began on 16 July in Ahwaz, the provincial capital, before spreading to other cities. According to officials, two civilians and one policeman were killed during the week-long unrest. -MEE 7/23/21

Iran Releases Rights Lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh For Five-Day Health Treatment Leave

Iranian human rights lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh, whose health has "seriously deteriorated" since her arrest three years ago, has been granted a five-day treatment leave from prison. Sotoudeh will undergo various medical examinations, according to a post her husband, Reza Khandan, wrote on his Facebook page, "Nasrin has come home on treatment leave for five days," he wrote in the post 7/22/21

Mobile internet disruptions seen in Iran amid water protests

Mobile phone internet service in Iran is being disrupted a week into protests in the country's southwest over water shortages, a monitoring group said Thursday, unrest that has seen at least three people killed. Internet-access advocacy group NetBlocks.org attributed part of the disruption to "state information controls or targeted internet shutdowns." It identified the outages as beginning July 15, when the protests began in Khuzestan amid a drought affecting the oil-rich region neighboring Iraq. -AP 7/22/21

Violence intensifies in water-crisis protests in Iran's Khuzestan

Iranian authorities have said one police officer was shot dead by "agitators" in Iran's Khuzestan province, where six nights of protests over water shortages have turned deadly. State media reported that another police officer in Bandar Mahshahr was wounded after taking a bullet to his leg on Tuesday night, as videos and reports out of the oil-rich southwestern province indicated that violence had not ceased. -Al Jazeera 7/21/21

The International community must save Dr. Ahmadreza Djalali before it's too late

We, the undersigned organizations, call on the European Union, European state governments, and the United States government to act immediately to secure the release of Dr. Ahmadreza Djalali, an internationally recognized scholar of disaster medicine wrongfully sentenced to death and in dire need of medical care. -International Observatory of Human Rights 7/21/21

Video shows Iranian police opening fire during water protest

Iranian police opened fire late Sunday night amid protests against water shortages in southwestern Iran, a video showed, the latest unrest after days of demonstrations that have seen at least one person killed. The video from the Human Rights Activists News Agency by Human Rights Activists in Iran showed the shooting in Susangerd, which has been an epicenter of demonstrations in Iran's restive Khuzestan province. -AP 7/19/21

UN appeals for $850 million to help war-torn Afghanistan

The U.N. humanitarian chief in Afghanistan appealed for $850 million Thursday to help the war-torn country cope with the impact of the Taliban offensive, protracted malnutrition for a third of the country, a severe drought, and the return of 627,000 Afghans this year, most of them deported from neighboring Iran. -AP 7/16/21

After US denied deal, Iran says prisoner swap talks ongoing

Iran's government spokesman said Tuesday that talks with the United States about a prisoner exchange are still ongoing, two months after Washington denied an Iranian report that deals had been struck. The official IRNA news agency quoted Cabinet spokesman Ali Rabiei as saying the swap negotiations are based on humanitarian interests. 7/13/21

U.S. sanctions, COVID-19 pose double damage for Iranians

Reza's type 2 diabetes has always worried him, but raging COVID-19 has become another source of distress alongside the difficulties of acquiring the drugs he needs for survival. Since the U.S. sanctions have been affecting Iran's import of medicine from abroad, getting the everyday insulin shots has increasingly become a troublesome issue for Reza, who only wanted to be identified by his surname. -Xinhua 7/12/21

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