Azar 15 1399 - December 05 2020
Ground-breaking step in Iran towards reducing statelessness

The United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) has said it welcomes Iran's move to give nationality to thousands of children born to Iranian mothers and non-Iranian fathers. The first children, out of some 10,000 children whose citizenship applications have so far been accepted, received their Iranian identity card, known as a 'Shenasnameh', last month. 12/3/20

Human Rights Lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh Being Returned to Gharchak Prison

The return of Nasrin Sotoudeh to Gharchak Prison, reported today, December 2, 2020, by her husband, is condemned in the strongest terms, the Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI) said in a statement today. "Nasrin Sotoudeh's return to prison is a travesty of justice that endangers her life and reflects the Iranian authorities' complete contempt for the rule of law," said Hadi Ghaemi, CHRI executive director. -CHRI 12/3/20

Open Letter to Supreme Leader of Iran on Nasrin Sotoudeh

We write to you regarding the case against Nasrin Sotoudeh to demonstrate the ways in which her sentence of 38 years in prison and 148 lashes, as punishment for her work as a human rights lawyer, blatantly violate the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iran (hereafter 'Constitution') and international law. -Pen America, IBAHRI, ... 12/3/20

75,000 children in Iran to gain nationality under new law

UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, welcomes the Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran's move to give nationality to thousands of children born to Iranian mothers and non-Iranian fathers. The first children, out of some 10,000 children whose citizenship applications have so far been accepted, received their long-awaited Iranian identity document - known as a 'Shenasnameh' - last month. -UNHCR 12/2/20

Art elites issue statements of grief over assassination of Fakhrizadeh

Iranian cineastes and stage artists have issued statements on Sunday evening expressing their grief and regret over the assassination of the Iranian nuclear scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh. The statement signed by 34 cineastes begins with the phrase, "To you whom I didn't know". "We heard the news of your cruel assassination and regretted why we didn't know you as well as the enemies of our country." -Tehran Times 12/1/20

Will the World Community Condemn the Murder of Iran's Nuclear Scientist?

Israel used all four years of Trump's presidency to entrench its systems of occupation and apartheid. Now that Joe Biden has won the U.S. election, the assassination of Iran's top nuclear scientist, likely by Israel with the go-ahead from the US administration, is a desperate attempt to use Trump's last days in office to sabotage Biden's chances of successful diplomacy with Iran. Biden, Congress, and the world community can't let that happen. -Medea Benjamin, Ariel Gold, Common Dreams 11/30/20

Iran's top nuclear scientist shot dead near Tehran

An Iranian nuclear scientist described as the guru of Iran's nuclear programme has been gunned down in the street in a town near Tehran. Mohsen Fakhrizadeh was ambushed in the town of Absard, about 40 miles east of Tehran. Four assailants opened fire after witnesses heard an explosion. Efforts to resuscitate Fakhrizadeh failed. His bodyguard was wounded. An adviser to Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, vowed that the country would retaliate against the perpetrators. -Guardian 11/27/20

UN experts call on Iran to halt execution of Iranian-Swedish academic Ahmadreza Djalali

UN human rights experts* said they were alarmed by reports that Iranian-Swedish academic Ahmadreza Djalali has reportedly been transferred to solitary confinement in preparation for his execution despite widely held findings his trial was grossly unfair and he was tortured. "We are horrified by the reports that Mr. Djalali is soon to be executed by the Islamic Republic of Iran. His torture, arbitrary detention, death sentence and now reported imminent execution are unconscionable acts that should be condemned by the international community in the strongest terms," the experts said. 11/27/20

Concern Grows Over German-Iranian Women Held in Solitary at Evin Prison

Except for one short phone call, 66-year-old German-Iranian dual national Nahid Taghavi has not been heard from since her arrest by security agents in Tehran on October 19, 2020. The retired architect has been held in solitary confinement in Evin Prison without any reason being given for her plight, the Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI) has learned. -CHRI 11/27/20

Kylie Moore-Gilbert: Lecturer 'released by Iran' in prisoner swap

A British-Australian academic serving a 10-year sentence in Iran for espionage has been freed in exchange for three jailed Iranians, Iranian media say. Kylie Moore-Gilbert, a lecturer at Melbourne University, had been detained in Iran since September 2018. 11/25/20

Iran: Unilateral sanctions hamper fight against coronavirus in developing states

Iran's permanent representative to Vienna-based international organizations has expressed concern about the effects of unilateral sanctions on developing countries' fight against the coronavirus outbreak, underlining the need for a coordinated global response to the pandemic. Kazem Gharibabadi made the remarks in an address to the 48th Session of the UNIDO Industrial Development Board, which was held virtually on Monday. -Press TV 11/24/20

NIAC Statement on CBP Documents Showing Discrimination and Detention of Iranian Americans

National Iranian American Council (NIAC) President Jamal Abdi issued the following statement regarding the release of internal Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) documents revealing that the agency detained Iranian Americans based solely on their national origin and at a far greater rate than was previously known, and worked to hide this information as they denied it to the public 11/19/20

Customs agents held more Iranian Americans and others at U.S.-Canada border than it admitted, records show

When Customs and Border Protection acting Commissioner Mark Morgan admitted in February that agents had improperly detained Iranian Americans at the U.S.-Canada border, he said in "one instance leadership got a little overzealous." But agency documents made public Tuesday by order of a federal judge indicate that Customs agents held far more people at the Blaine, Wash., border crossing in early January than previously revealed. -Los Angeles Times 11/19/20

Trump's Requested Strike on Iran Could Kill More People Than Atomic Bombing of Nagasaki

First, it should be noted that Iran is not engaged in illegal activity. Its right to enrich uranium for civilian electricity production was acknowledged by the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action or nuclear deal signed with all the permanent members of the United Nations Security Council plus Germany. Iran has only departed from that agreement in very minor ways, and mainly as a way of putting pressure on Europe to defy the US severe economic sanctions, which contravene the treaty. It is Trump's Washington that has behaved illegally, not Iran. -Juan Cole, Common Dreams 11/17/20

State's Online Schooling During COVID-19 Is a Privilege Only for the Well-Off in Iran

A new online schooling program created by the government to allow virtual learning during the COVID-19 pandemic will effectively remain a luxury for the well-off in Iran, as Education Ministry officials have shrugged off the inability of many students in Iran's poor regions to afford the technology necessary to access the program. -CHRI 11/16/20

Iran says opposition leader tested positive for coronavirus

An Iranian opposition leader who ran in a disputed 2009 presidential election and his activist wife have tested positive for the coronavirus while under house arrest, the semi-official ILNA news agency reported Sunday. Mousavi and his wife Zahra Rahnavard have been under house arrest since 2011 in the capital, Tehran. They both endorsed President Hassan Rouhani, a relatively moderate cleric, ahead of his successful 2013 run for office. -AP 11/16/20

Born into occupation, young Afghans fear the Taliban will crush their freedoms when U.S. troops exit

They are a generation not so much adrift as stuck between opposing forces. They live with fresh graves and echoes of firefights and marketplaces spoiled by suicide bombers. Theirs is land that has not been conquered, a nation that has attuned them to hardship and the hope that the Taliban and the government will peacefully coexist after U.S. troops crate their weapons, fold their banners and leave. -Los Angeles Times 11/16/20

German lawmakers demand release of Nasrin Sotoudeh

A group of German lawmakers released a signed statement on Thursday demanding the "unconditional" permanent release of Iranian human rights activist Nasrin Sotoudeh, who was named a Right Livelihood Laureate last month. The 38 signatories included Bundestag Vice-President Claudia Roth, Dr Anton Hofreiter (Chairperson of the Green Parliamentary group), Gyde Jensen (FDP), Barbel Kofler (SPD), Gysi Gregor (Die Linke) and Michael Brand (CDU). 11/13/20

Iranian Activist Sotoudeh Contracts Coronavirus, Husband Says, Amid 'Catastrophic' Prison Conditions

Nasrin Sotoudeh, an Iranian human rights lawyer who was temporarily released from prison last week, has tested positive for the coronavirus, her husband has said. Reza Khandan wrote on Facebook on November 11 that his wife contracted the virus at the Gharchak women's prison in Tehran, where she was transferred last month. The conditions at the prison were particularly "catastrophic," he said. 11/11/20

Difficulties of Online Learning in Iran's Remote Areas

While millions of Iranian students do not go to schools and attend their classes remotely because of the coronavirus pandemic, a huge number of kids in the remote areas have to travel along hard paths to find a place where there is celluar coverage. -IFP 11/11/20

Iran pardons 157 detained after antigovernment protests

Iran pardoned 157 people held on charges stemming from their alleged participation in antigovernment protests, the country's judiciary announced on Tuesday, the biggest such release of those swept up in the harsh crackdowns. Judiciary spokesman Gholamhossein Esmaili told reporters that the people freed had been imprisoned for "spreading propaganda against the system" and taking part in several waves of protests that challenged the government over the last three years. -AP 11/10/20

Nasrin Sotoudeh Released on Temporary Leave from Prison

Imprisoned human rights lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh was released on temporary furlough today from Gharchak Prison in the Iranian city of Varamin, south of Tehran, her husband Reza Khandan told the Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI). "We welcome Nasrin Sotoudeh's release on temporary furlough and call on the authorities in Iran to permanently release her," said Hadi Ghaemi, executive director of CHRI. -CHRI 11/9/20

Millions of Iranians at risk as US sanctions choke insulin supplies

A new tranche of sanctions imposed by the US on Iran has exacerbated the insulin shortage crisis in the Islamic Republic and boosted its smuggling, patients and doctors told Middle East Eye. On 8 October, the US Treasury announced that it was blacklisting 18 major Iranian banks, effectively cutting Tehran off from the international financial system. The move defied European allies who warned it would limit Tehran's ability to purchase humanitarian imports amid a worsening currency crisis and the coronavirus pandemic. -Rohollah Faghihi, Middle East Eye 11/3/20

Iran's #MeToo movement makes waves in Toronto as calls mount for festival to cut ties with celebrated artist

Accusations of sexual assault against one of Iran's most celebrated visual artists are making waves in Toronto's Iranian community - with many saying they represent a critical moment not only in the burgeoning #MeToo movement inside Iran, but also an opportunity for community leaders abroad to take a stand against a culture of impunity they say has too long shielded perpetrators at all levels of power. -Shanifa Nasser, CBS 11/2/20

Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe avoids being returned to jail

The detained British-Iranian dual national Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe has avoided being sent back to jail after after appearing in court to hear fresh charges of undermining the Iranian state. There had been fears that she would be sent back to Evin prison in Tehran but the hearing was adjourned before she could present her defence, her British based family told her local MP, Tulip Siddiq. -Guardian 11/2/20

PAAIA Condemns Discriminatory Attacks Against Iranian American Candidates

The Public Affairs Alliance of Iranian Americans (PAAIA), a nonprofit, nonpartisan, nonsectarian organization serving the interests of Iranian Americans, today condemned disparaging and false social media posts directed at two Iranian American public officials, both of whom are currently seeking reelection, as reported in the Long Beach Post News. 10/30/20

Chevron, Exxon Escape Iranian Oil Worker's Asbestos Claims

Exxon Mobil Corp. and Chevron USA Inc. had no duty of care to an Iranian citizen who was exposed to asbestos while working in a refinery controlled by the company's predecessors, a California appeals court said. Houshang Sabetian sued Exxon and Chevron in 2018 for negligence, premises liability, and loss of consortium, alleging his exposure to asbestos in the refinery in Abadan, Iran led to his mesothelioma. -Bloomberg Law 10/30/20

Forgiveness Work: Mercy, Law and Victims' Rights in Iran

Arzoo Osanloo's Forgiveness Work: Mercy, Law and Victims' Rights in Iran takes us through a little discussed feature of the Iranian legal system, which has implications beyond the country itself. The system looks peculiar to outsiders; human rights reports paint a harrowing picture of justice within the Islamic Republic and while such reports are no doubt true, there is more to how justice is served, or not, than we usually hear about. -Middle East Monitor 10/29/20

Four Iranians who died crossing Channel were part of same family

Four Iranian Kurds who died trying to cross the Channel in high winds were members of one family who paid smugglers thousands of euros after two failed attempts to reach Britain, the Guardian has been told. Rasul Iran Nezhad and his wife, Shiva Mohammad Panahi, both 35, and two of their children, Anita, nine, and Armin, six, drowned as they tried to reach Britain by boat -Guardian 10/29/20

Coronavirus is worse in Iran because of U.S. sanctions: Foreign Ministry

Iran's Foreign Ministry said in a tweet on Monday that coronavirus has been a deadly disease everywhere but it is worse in Iran due to U.S. sanctions. "Corona's proven deadly, vicious & brutal everywhere, but it's worse in Iran as it has a cruel collaborator: U.S. regime," tweeted the Foreign Ministry. It added, "U.S. has elevated maximum pressure to Health Terrorism & targeted Iranian people with inhuman sanctions while they're fighting the pandemic. We'll overcome but NEVER forget." 10/28/20

Sotoudeh's Daughter Defends Herself in Court against Bogus Charges

As part of a continuing campaign of harassment and manufactured prosecutions against the families of political prisoners and activists in Iran, Mehraveh Khandan, the 20-year-old daughter of imprisoned human rights lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh, appeared in a court on October 26, 2020, in Tehran to defend herself against the charge of "insult and assault" toward a prison guard. -CHRI 10/28/20

National Public Opinion Survey of Iranian Americans Reveals Continued Concerns About Discrimination

The Public Affairs Alliance of Iranian Americans (PAAIA), a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization serving the interests of the Iranian American community, today released the findings of its 2020 National Public Opinion Survey of Iranian Americans conducted from September 8th to September 20th of this year, which revealed that more than three-quarters (78%) of respondents expressed concerns about discrimination, citing national rhetoric and policies towards immigrants and Muslims and increased tension between the U.S. and Iran as sources for discrimination. 10/27/20

Iranian hospitals hobbled by sanctions in fight against Covid

In a poor neighbourhood of the historic city of Isfahan, workers toil day and night to build a new hospital as Iran's overwhelmed health system struggles to cope with the soaring number of Covid cases. The work on the 1,000-bed seven-storey Isfahan Eram Center Hospital has been expedited by the devastating impact of the coronavirus pandemic, which has highlighted years of underinvestment and decades of inertia in a health system that has also been hobbled by US sanctions. -Najmeh Bozorgmehr, Financial Times 10/27/20

'Iranian YouTube' CEO Sentenced To 10 Years Over Video Uploaded By User

The founder and manager of Iran's main video-sharing platform, referred to by some as Iran's YouTube, has been sentenced to 10 years in prison after being convicted of "encouraging corruption" over a video posted by a user. In the video posted on Aparat.com last year, children were asked whether they know how they were born, Iranian media reported. 10/27/20

Iran investigates case of man killed in police custody

Iranian authorities have vowed to press charges after video emerged of police officers using pepper spray on a man who had already been handcuffed and who later died as a result of the spray. The video of Mehrdad Sepehri handcuffed to a pole and being repeatedly pepper-sprayed and tased shocked many social media users. The incident took place in the northeastern city of Mashhad. The 28-year-old reportedly died on the way to the hospital. -Al Monitor 10/27/20

Iran Moving Women Political Prisoners to Jails with "Common Criminals"

As part of a new policy to isolate political prisoners by incarcerating them alongside common criminals at various prisons in Iran, three women convicted of national security crimes for opposing Iran's mandatory hijab laws were recently transferred out of Evin Prison's Women's Ward, the Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI) has learned. Yasaman Ariyani and her mother Monireh Arabshahi, were transferred to Rajaiee Shahr Prison in Karaj, west of Tehran, and Samaneh Norouz-Moradi to the central prison in Roudsar, northern Iran. -CHRI 10/26/20

Female Cyclist Angers Hard-Liners In Iran By Riding Without Her Hijab

A young Iranian woman who rode a bicycle without wearing a hijab has spurred angry protests by hard-liners in Najafabad, a conservative city in Iran's central province of Isfahan. The unnamed woman was arrested earlier this week. Iranian authorities say her "motives" are being investigated. -Golnaz Esfandiari, RFE/RL 10/26/20

VIDEO: FDD's online harassment against critics of Trump's State Department

Earlier this month, Responsible Statecraft reported - based on recently obtained documents via a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit - that the hawkish DC think tank Foundation for the Defense of Democracies was at the center of an online harassment campaign funded by the State Department that targeted Americans, including journalists, and human rights advocates, because of their opposition to Donald Trump's Middle East policy. Quincy Institute Multimedia Producer Khody Akhavi breaks the story down -Responsible Statecraft 10/26/20

A #MeToo Awakening Stirs in Iran

The #MeToo movement has hit a nerve among Iran's women. Now accusations against a politically connected celebrity artist are testing the movement in a sexually conservative society dominated by men. -Farnaz Fassihi, New York Times 10/23/20

Iran: Prisoners Who Reported Abuse Charged

Iranian judiciary authorities are prosecuting human rights defenders for reporting abuse in detention, Human Rights Watch said today. Since September 2020, the authorities have brought charges against two imprisoned activists who had published letters alleging mistreatment. -HRW 10/23/20

Trump's quiet war against civilians in Iran continues amid the pandemic

With people in Iran already suffering from the COVID-19 pandemic and crippling U.S. sanctions, the Trump administration earlier this month unveiled yet another set of sanctions that could restrict Iranians' access to food and medicine even further. This move has gone largely unnoticed in the United States, with the first presidential debate passing without mention of Trump's disastrous "maximum pressure" policy on Iran. But for Iranians, it is impossible to ignore. -Niloofar Adnani, Responsible Statecraft 10/22/20

'There Is No Insulin': Desperate Iranians Tweet Calls For Life-Saving Drug

Tens of thousands of diabetics in Iran are said to be facing shortages of insulin, with many such patients and their loved ones complaining that the problem could have life-threatening consequences. Some Iranians have taken to social media to protest the scarcity of insulin pens and highlight their plight or that of loved ones who need daily injections of what they describe as "oxygen" for diabetics. -Golnaz Esfandiari, RFE/RL 10/22/20

More Baha'is Begin Serving Prison Sentences in Iran Simply for Their Beliefs

Farid Zirgi Moghaddam began serving his five-year sentence in the central prison in the city of Birjand, in South Khorasan province in eastern Iran, on October 19, 2020-a prison sentence that was based solely on his belief in the banned Baha'i faith, the Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI) has learned. -CHRI 10/22/20

Nasrin Sotoudeh Transferred to Notorious Gharchak Prison

Nasrin Sotoudeh, the imprisoned human rights attorney, has been moved to the notoriously harsh Gharchak Prison (also spelled Qarchak) in the Iranian city of Varamin, south of Tehran, despite grave medical issues that require her hospitalization, her husband, Reza Khandan said today, October 20, 2020. -CHRI 10/21/20

Payment24 CEO: Criminal in the US, service provider to Iran

To the United States, he is a criminal and a threat to national security. To Iranians cut off from the international financial system by US sanctions, he was an invaluable provider of services many people in other countries take for granted. Last week, Iranian citizen Sajjad Shahidian was sentenced to 23 months in prison by a US federal court in Minneapolis, Minnesota for his role in operating Payment24 - an online financial services company prosecutors say helped Iranians conduct transactions with US-based businesses prohibited under sanctions. -Maziar Motamedi, Al-Jazeera 10/21/20

PAAIA Applauds Introduction of the Temporary Family Visitation Act

Today, the Public Affairs Alliance of Iranian Americans (PAAIA), a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization serving the interests of the Iranian American community, welcomed the introduction of bipartisan legislation in the U.S. House of Representatives by Reps. Scott Peters (D-CA) and Francis Rooney (R-FL) that establishes a new visa category to allow family members of U.S. citizens and permanent residents to temporarily visit. The new B-3 nonimmigrant visa category created by the Temporary Family Visitation Act (TFVA) will provide an opportunity for family visitations while boosting the U.S. economy. 10/20/20

Anti-Semitism Envoy appears to accuse Jason Rezaian of being an apologist for Iran

A State Department official accused two prominent Iranian-American figures of serving the Iranian regime, including one Iranian-American journalist who had been taken hostage by the Iranian government for nearly two years. "In case you were not 100% sure [congressional candidate Sima Ladjevardian] is an #Iran Regime mouthpiece this endorsement by [journalist Jason Rezaian] puts all doubt to rest," U.S. Deputy Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism Ellie Cohanim wrote in a Twitter post on Monday. The tweet has since been taking down. -Matthew Petti, Responsible Statecraft 10/20/20

FDD emerges as hub for online harassment against critics of Trump's State Department

The Foundation for Defense of Democracies, a think tank that has promoted U.S. military strikes on Iran and is funded by one of President Donald Trump's biggest campaign megadonors, served as a messaging hub for a controversial taxpayer-funded project, the Iran Disinformation Project, that engaged in harassment of American critics of the Trump administration's foreign policy in the Middle East. -Eli Clifton, Responsible Statecraft 10/19/20

In the age of Covid, sanctions against 'rogue states' just spread the misery

Aggressive measures affecting North Korea, Iran and Venezuela have merely hurt the vulnerable and hardened attitudes -Simon Tisdall, Guardian 10/19/20

Will Iran let a woman run for president in 2021?

With Iran's June 2021 presidential elections approaching, a perennial public debate over whether women have the right to run for president has resurfaced. In a statement on September 13, Abbas-Ali Kadkhodaei, spokesman of Iran's Guardian Council-which is responsible for vetting candidates for elected office-said that there was no legal impediment to a woman president and that it is possible that this will happen in the future. -Raz Zimmt, Atlantic Council 10/16/20

Iran: Judicial authority bans 'torture'

Iran's judicial authority on Thursday issued an order banning torture, the use of "forced confessions", solitary confinement, illegal police detentions, and other violations of defendants' rights. The "document on judicial security" was signed by Iran's judiciary chief Ebrahim Raisi and released by Mizan Online, the authority's news agency. -AFP 10/16/20

UN officials demand release of US dual citizen Siamak Namazi as he marks five years in Iran's Evin jail

More than 160 current and former United Nations officials have called on Iran to end the "horror and pain" for the family of a US-Iranian dual national who on Tuesday marked his fifth year in Tehran's Evin jail. READ MORE UK Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab condemns captivity of dual citizens in Iran Iranian scientist freed from US custody returns to Iran The Dubai family of Siamak Namazi believed he would be released within days of his arrest on October 13, 2015, but spent the "grim" anniversary calling on governments to help free the 49-year-old and other dual nationals held by Tehran. -The National, UAE 10/15/20

Cleric reopens scars of acid attacks after threatening Iranian women

Threats by an influential hard-line cleric against Iranian women with loose headscarves has opened up old wounds left behind in acid attacks perpetrated by religious extremists. -Al-Monitor 10/14/20

Iran in shock after 11-year-old boy commits suicide over poverty

The suicide of an 11-year old boy from a destitute family has sent shock waves across Iranian society, further highlighting the questions of growing poverty and state neglect. -Al-Monitor 10/14/20

Iran rights council: US criminal sanctions target Iranians' lives, health

Iran's top human rights council has strongly condemned recent US sanctions on Iranian financial system and banks, noting that by curtailing the country's access to medicine and other humanitarian equipment, Washington's sanctions are taking direct aim at Iranian people's lives and health. -Press TV 10/12/20

US hits all of Iran's financial sector with sanctions

The Trump administration has blacklisted virtually all of Iran's financial sector, dealing another blow to an economy that is already reeling under U.S. sanctions. The move will deepen tensions with European nations and others over Iran. Thursday's move hits 18 Iranian banks that had thus far escaped the bulk of re-imposed U.S. sanctions and, more importantly, subjects foreign, non-Iranian financial institutions to penalties for doing business with them. Thus, it effectively cuts them off from the international financial system. -AP 10/9/20

'Treating us like garbage': New sanctions announced as many Iranian Americans feel fed up with Trump

While some Iranian Americans fully support President Donald Trump, Nazmiyal is among scores of Iranian Americans who have no loyalty to the repressive regime in Tehran, but who are fed up with a White House that has vilified their homeland, banned their family members from visiting the U.S., and stoked fears of a military conflict. From the Muslim ban to an endless stream of sanctions and saber-rattling, they hear about their relatives suffering in Iran and feel increased hostility in their adopted homeland. -Kim Hjelmgaard Deirdre Shesgreen, USA TODAY 10/9/20

The undeniable cruelty of Trump's 'maximum pressure' on Iran

The Trump administration calls its policy towards Iran one of "maximum pressure." By its latest move, it would more properly be called "siege and starve," as the feigned interest in establishing leverage for comprehensive negotiations with Iran has been replaced by a full-throttle push to pulverize Iran's economy and collapse its social and economic life. -Tyler Cullis, Responsible Statecraft 10/9/20

Trump administration to impose crushing sanctions on Iran in defiance of European humanitarian concerns

The Trump administration has decided to impose new sanctions on Iran's financial sector in defiance of European allies who warned that the move could have devastating humanitarian consequences on a country reeling from the novel coronavirus and an ongoing currency crisis, three officials familiar with the decision said Wednesday. - John Hudson, Washington Post 10/8/20

Iran frees rights activist after more than 8 years in prison

Iran has released a prominent human rights activist who campaigned against the death penalty, Iranian media reported Thursday. The semiofficial ISNA news agency quoted judiciary official Sadegh Niaraki as saying that Narges Mohammadi was freed late Wednesday after serving 8 1/2 years in prison. She was sentenced to 10 years in 2016 while already incarcerated. -AP 10/8/20

Ahead of US elections, artist group highlights 'devastating impact' of Trump's travel ban three years on

In the run-up to the US presidential election this November, the New York-based human rights non-profit Artistic Freedom Initiative (AFI) is drawing attention to one of President Donald Trump's most controversial acts, Executive Order 13780, the so-called travel ban that prevents people from several Muslim-majority countries from entering the US. -The Art Newspaper 10/7/20

Locked out: Clash of Clans latest title off limits to Iran gamers

October is poised to be a brutal month for Iran based fans of the massively popular mobile games Clash of Clans and Clash Royale, after the company that developed the games set in motion policies that will effectively ban Iranian accounts. -Maziar Motamedi, Al-Jazeera 10/7/20

UN rights chief urges Iran to release jailed human rights defenders, citing COVID-19 risk

The top UN rights official has called on Iran to release imprisoned human rights defenders, lawyers and political prisoners, citing deep concerns over their situation and heightened risk of contracting COVID-19. -UN News Center 10/6/20

Lawyer: French-Iranian Researcher Fariba Adelkhah Released With Ankle Bracelet

Iran has temporarily released French-Iranian academic Fariba Adelkhah, who has been in jail for more than a year over security breaches, her lawyer said on October 3. "Fariba Adelkhah has come out [of prison] on leave with an electronic ankle bracelet," Said Dehghan said in a tweet, without providing other details. 10/5/20

US Weighing Sanctions to Cripple Iran Humanitarian Trade

The Trump administration is reportedly considering a new set of sanctions designations targeting 14 Iranian banks that are not currently subject to secondary sanctions. The new designations would be made under authorities associated with "terrorism, ballistic-missile development and human-rights abuses." The targeting of these banks would cripple Iran's already degraded channels for the importation of humanitarian goods-including food and medicine-at a time when the country is battling the COVID-19 pandemic. -Esfandyar Batmanghelidj, Bourse & Bazaar 10/2/20

New Charges Thrown at Political Prisoners to Keep Them Behind Bars

In a blatant move to keep political prisoners in Iran behind bars despite completing their sentences, judicial authorities in Iran are increasingly issuing new charges and pushing through rushed convictions without any semblance of due process, just as a growing number of political prisoners are nearing release. -CHRI 10/2/20

Right Livelihood Awards go to rights activists from Belarus, Nicaragua, the US and Iran

Each year the Right Livelihood Award Foundation in Stockholm honors people who toiled to improve our world. From a jailed lawyer in Iran to an activist in Belarus, we profile 2020's "Alternative Nobel Prizes." -Deutsche Welle 10/2/20

Iran's Civilian Population Would Bear Costs of New Trump Sanctions

In the midst of a global pandemic, the U.S. should be looking at how to ease the flow of medicine and food to civilian populations around the globe. However, elements within the Trump administration are instead reported to be considering a proposal championed by the hawkish Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD) and pro-war Senators that would further escalate pain on Iran's civilian population. -Ryan Costello, Medium 10/1/20

Prominent Iranian charity leader fights worsening health in detention

Held in solitary without a formal charge for nearly 100 days, Sharmin Meymandi-Nejad, the founder of a reputable Iranian charity, is facing deteriorating health as interrogators protract his indefinite detention. -Al Monitor 10/1/20

Three members of the Writers Association of Iran sent to prison

On Saturday, September 26, 2020, Baktash Abtin, Reza Khandan Mahabadi, and Keyvan Bajan, three members of the Writers' Association of Iran, were summoned to the Evin Prison Prosecutor's Office on Saturday and transferred to evin prison to serve their sentences. These three have been convicted to a total of 15 years and 6 months in prison by the appeal court. 9/30/20

Olivia Colman-Narrated Documentary About Iranian Activist Nasrin Sotoudeh Acquired By Virgil Films

Virgil Films & Entertainment has acquired North American rights to Nasrin, a documentary about activist Nasrin Sotoudeh narrated by Oscar winner Olivia Colman. Sotoudeh is a human rights activists and an outspoken leader of Iran's women's rights movement. Last week, she cited serious health concerns in ending a six-week hunger strike in Evin Prison, where she has been serving a nearly four-decade sentence. Millions of people from around the world have called for her release. -Deadline 9/30/20

In Iran, outrage over patriarchy spurs change

How does change come to a traditional society? In Iran, a lenient sentence for the murder of a 14-year-old girl and the removal of girls' images from a math textbook are fueling anger at the patriarchy. -Scott Peterson, CSM 9/29/20

Jailed Iranian Human Rights Defender Ends Hunger Strike As Health Deteriorates

Jailed Iranian human rights advocate Nasrin Sotoudeh has ended her hunger strike due to deteriorating health, her husband Reza Khandan said on social media on September 26. Sotoudeh had been on a hunger strike in Tehran's Evin prison since August 11 to protest the risk that political prisoners in Iran face amid the coronavirus pandemic. 9/28/20

The Trump Administration's Human Rights Confidence Game: Targeting Adversaries, Excusing Allies

Promoting human rights is a central tenet of US foreign policy. Sometimes. In practice, Washington is most enthusiastic about defending life, liberty, and happiness where America has the least clout. And American policymakers most often remain silent when allied governments, whom the US could most influence, are detaining, torturing, and murdering opponents. The Trump administration has taken this approach to an extreme, losing all credibility on the issue. -Doug Bandow, Antiwar 9/28/20

US sanctions are harming Iran's Covid-19 response & amount to 'medical terrorism', FM Zarif tells RT

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has accused the United States of impeding his country's ability to fight coronavirus, explaining that US sanctions have prevented the purchase of critical medical supplies. Washington's efforts to stop Tehran from exporting oil have limited the government's ability to respond to the global health crisis and provide relief to the Iranian people, Zarif said in an interview with 'Worlds Apart' host Oksana Boyko. "Whatever the Americans are saying about their sanctions not affecting humanitarian items, it's just a lie... It's basically medical terrorism." -RT 9/28/20

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