Tir 25 1399 - July 15 2020
Outcry after Iran's judiciary upholds death penalty for three protesters

Iran's judiciary has upheld the death penalty for three men accused of involvement in last November's massive anti-government protests, sparking an outcry from human rights groups and a swell of activism against capital punishment on social media. The confirmation that their death sentences had been upheld on Tuesday sparked a surge of online protests including from prominent Iranian social media influencers, actors, film-makers, reformist politicians and athletes, who posted the men's names or the hashtag "Don't execute" in Farsi. -Michael Safi, Guardian 7/15/20

Death Sentences for Three Protestors Confirmed by Supreme Court in Iran

The death sentences against three young men for their participation in the November 2019 protests that swept through Iran have been confirmed. The sentences against Amirhossein Moradi, Saeed Tamjidi and Mohammad Rajabi, which were upheld by Iran's Supreme Court on July 10, 2020, reflect the increasing use of the death penalty in politically motivated cases in the country. -CHRI 7/14/20

Q&A: UN's Agnes Callamard on drone strike that killed Soleimani

The United Nations's special rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary and arbitrary killings presented a new report to the Human Rights Council in Geneva. Agnes Callamard's investigation focused on the legality of armed drones including one that killed Iranian General Qassem Soleimani near Baghdad's airport on January 3. It concluded the United States acted unlawfully in carrying out the attack. The US, meanwhile, denounced her findings. -Al Jazeera 7/13/20

Canada should lift sanctions on Iran now

Canada's Liberal government is still sustaining economic sanctions on Iran despite the COVID-19 pandemic. As public health officials now struggle with rising infection rates in what appears to be a second wave in Iran, Canada's sanctions must come to an end. Economic sanctions are hindering the ability of Iran's public healthcare system to deal with the pandemic and have detrimentally impacted public health for years in key areas, including cancer care. -Stefan Christoff, rabble.ca 7/9/20

As Iran applauds BLM, Afghan minority short on rights

While politicians and intelligentsia in Iran often blame the US government for racism towards minorities, their track record at home is far from perfect. The Afghans' experience is a case in point. When American George Floyd was killed on the street in Minneapolis, Minnesota, in late May, his death sparked a global movement demanding justice for minorities. However, the movement has not fully reached the Middle East in general, and Iran in particular. -Ali Dadpay, Al Monitor 7/9/20

Sweden Says Iran Agrees To Compensate Families From Downing Of Ukrainian Airliner

Swedish Foreign Minister Ann Linde says Iran has agreed that it will compensate the families of foreign victims who died when a Ukrainian airliner was shot down after taking off from Tehran's main airport in January, killing all 176 people on board. -RFE/RL 7/3/20

Iran's Leader Said It Was OK To Criticize Him. So Why Was This Man Sentenced To Prison?

Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei assured a doctoral student in a 2016 meeting that there was nothing wrong with criticizing the country's top official. "Speaking against me is neither [reprimandable] nor is it a crime, I've said it many times," Khamenei said at the July 2, 2016, meeting with a group of handpicked students, including Mohammad Ali Kamfiruzi. -Golnaz Esfandiari, RFE/RL 7/3/20

Iran upholds five-year jail sentence for French-Iranian academic Fariba Adelkhah

Adelkhah's sentence, passed in May over "security charges including conspiring against national security", was upheld by the appeals court and "she is going to serve five years" including time served since her arrest, judiciary spokesman Gholamhossein Esmaili told a televised news conference. -France24 7/1/20

Iran's conservative parliament moves to ban Instagram

Iran's newly inaugurated hard-line parliament is pushing for a new ban on the country's already restricted social media, a campaign that critics view as a war on the free flow of information. 6/30/20

Iran sentences former journalist to death for fuelling unrest

Iran has sentenced to death Ruhollah Zam, a journalist-turned-activist captured abroad last year, for allegedly fuelling anti-government unrest in late 2017 on social media, Iranian media reported on Tuesday. The son of a pro-reform Shi'ite cleric, Zam headed Amadnews, which had more 1 million followers on social media before it was suspended by the messaging app Telegram in 2018 after Iran accused it of carrying calls for violence during the protests. -Reuters 6/30/20

Foreign Ministry: US sanctions block Iran's access to drugs needed for victims of chemical warfare

Iran's Ministry of Foreign Affairs has once again slammed the United States for imposing 'inhumane' sanctions on the Iranian nation, saying Washington hinders Tehran's access to medicine needed for victims of chemical-weapon attacks and other patients. The Ministry made the remarks in a tweet on Sunday on the occasion of the National Day of Countering Chemical and Microbial Weapons. -Press TV 6/29/20

Webinar: Iranian-Americans Conversation on Racial Justice

A conversation on racial justice with panelists Abdi Soltani, Executive Director of the ACLUNC, Mitra Jalali, St. Paul City Councilwoman, Tehran Von Ghasri, comedian and activist, and Cyrus Mehri, civil rights attorney. The conversation will be moderated by media anchor, reporter, and producer, Shirley Jahad. -PAAIA 6/26/20

Son Of Prominent Afghan Scholar Self-Immolates In Iran To Protest Discrimination

Celebrated Afghan scholar Najib Mayel Heravi has lived in neighboring Iran for nearly 50 years, penning scores of acclaimed books and other treatises on ancient Persian manuscripts, literature, and Islamic mysticism. The 68-year-old native of Herat in western Afghanistan has an Iranian wife, and both of his sons were born in Iran. But with only temporary residency, Heravi has lived for decades in constant dread of deportation. -RFE/RL 6/25/20

'The Salesman' Star Taraneh Alidoosti Given Suspended Prison Sentence in Iran

Taraneh Alidoosti, star of Asghar Farhadi's "The Salesman" and one of Iran's most popular female actors, is set to receive a five-month prison sentence on charges of anti-government activism, BBC Persia has reported. -Variety 6/25/20

How outrage over killing of Iranian girl is helping women's rights

Just as a brutal killing in America is helping to change thought about racism, so has one in Iran, challenging traditions that have long devalued the lives and rights of women and children. -Scott Peterson, CSM 6/25/20

The new Iranian child protection law is holistic, but discriminatory

On June 7, the Guardian Council-an un-elected body responsible for oversight of laws and orders by parliament-approved a bill to protect children and adolescents in Iran. The move marked a historic day for children and children's rights activists in Iran. It was noteworthy particularly because children's rights activists have been waiting for a holistic law to protect all children in Iran since July 1994, when Iran ratified the UN's Convention on the Rights of the Child. -Hamed Farmand, Atlantic Council 6/25/20

Three Arrested In Iran For Trying To Sell Babies Via Instagram

Police in Tehran say three people have been arrested for attempting to sell newborn babies via the social-media site Instagram. Tehran police chief Hossein Rahimi said on June 23 that a 20-day-old and a 2-month-old baby were found with the three individuals, who claimed that they had taken them from poor families for a "small fee." 6/24/20

No Lawyers, No Justice: Attorneys Imprisoned in Iran for Defending Human Rights

Two years after the prominent human rights attorney Nasrin Sotoudeh was arrested and imprisoned in Tehran, the Iranian judiciary's continuing prosecution of independent lawyers under manufactured charges is laying bare the state's disregard for international standards of law and due process. "The courts are colluding with intelligence agencies to go after lawyers so that any last hopes for defending due process are extinguished, with the tacit approval of Judiciary Chief Ebrahim Raisi and the Rouhani government," said Hadi Ghaemi, executive director of the Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI). 6/24/20

Parliament alone cannot stop honor killings in Iran

While legislation aimed at combatting honor killings in Iran is certainly needed, the country must also address broader issues involving policy failings and social norms. -Leila Alikarami, Al Monitor 6/23/20

Founder, Two Members Of Prominent Anti-Poverty NGO Detained In Iran

A prominent Iranian NGO that fights poverty says its founder and two other members have been detained. Imam Ali's Popular Students Relief Society said on June 21 that security forces had arrested the group's founder, Sharmin Meymandinejad, at his home. It added that the charity's media-relations director, Morteza Keymanesh, and senior inspector, Katayoun Afrazeh, were arrested, too. 6/22/20

Why Black Lives Should Really Matter to Iranian Americans

I work as the executive director of a civil rights organization, the American Civil Liberties Union of Northern California. I am calling on Iranian-Americans to speak up and take action vigorously to support the Black community in the United States. -Abdi Soltani, PAAIA 6/22/20

Former Lawmaker In Iran, Parvaneh Salahshouri, Being Tried For Voicing Criticism

A preliminary court in Iran has found former outspoken female member of parliament guilty, and soon she will be put on trial. The case against Ms. Parvaneh Salahshouri, with numerous plaintiffs, and after preliminary investigations, has been referred to the court, Fars news agency reported June 14. Salahshouri is a sociologist and reformist politician who was a lawmaker representing Tehran. 6/15/20

New charge brought against imprisoned journalist Narges Mohammadi

Reporters Without Borders (RSF) condemns the latest absurd charge to be brought against Narges Mohammadi in the Iranian judicial system's continuing persecution of this journalist and human rights defender, who has been imprisoned since 2015 and has been in Zanjan prison, 300 km northwest of Tehran, since last December. 6/15/20

Germany Urged To Prosecute Iranian Judge Linked To 'Torture' Of Journalists

Reporters Without Borders (RSF) has filed a complaint with Germany's Federal Public Prosecutor against an Iranian judge whom the Paris-based media freedom watchdog accuses of being responsible for the "arrest and torture" of at least 20 journalists in 2013. In a Twitter post on June 11, RSF's Secretary-General Christophe Deloire said that Gholamreza Mansouri was currently in Germany. "The prosecutor must not let him escape justice!" he wrote. -Golnaz Esfandiari, RFE/RL 6/12/20

'Afghan Lives Matter': Gruesome Deaths Of Afghan Migrants In Iran Unleash Outrage

As a corpse sticks out from the back of a blazing car on a road in central Iran, a badly burned young Afghan who escaped the flames stumbles along the road. "Give me some water, I'm burning!" the migrant screams in pain. The harrowing minute-long video, which went viral on social media, shows a gruesome scene in which Iranian police are purported to have shot a car carrying Afghan migrants, causing it to explode in flames. -Frud Bezhan, RFE/RL 6/12/20

Iran's Best-Known TV Presenter Off The Air For Liking Shah-Era Pop Star

For more than three decades, Mohammad Reza Hayati has been the face of the news on Iran's state-controlled television. Known to every Iranian, Hayati has presented all major domestic and international news stories in his deep voice while maintaining a calm demeanor. But the 65-year-old newsman is now out of job after he publicly said he's a devoted fan of prerevolutionary pop star Ebrahim Hamedi -- better known as Ebi and often referred to as Iran's Frank Sinatra. -Golnaz Esfandiari, RFE/RL 6/11/20

Iran's 'butterfly children' impacted by sanctions and corruption

Described by US dermatologists as "the most painful disease you've never heard of," EB is caused by a genetic mutation and occurs in every 1 in 30,000 to 50,000 live births globally. Characterised by extreme fragility of the skin and mechanically induced blistering, EB patients are often referred to as 'butterfly children' because their skin appears as delicate as that of a butterfly wing. There is no cure. -Shenaz Kermalli, Atlantic Council 6/10/20

Iran Passes Child-Protection Law Following Gruesome Murder Of Teenager By Her Father

Iran has passed a law aimed at protecting children from violence, days after the gruesome murder of a teenager by her father. The legislation, which had been stalled for more than a decade, was ratified on June 7 by the hard-line watchdog Guardians Council, which must approve all bills passed by parliament to make sure they're consistent with the country's constitution and Islamic law. -Golnaz Esfandiari, RFE/RL 6/9/20

US enforces sanctions on Iran's shipping network expected to hinder imports of food, medical supplies

The United States has activated a set of sanctions it imposed on Iran's shipping network six months ago, in a move expected to further hamper imports of food and medical supplies into Iran at a time when the country is fighting to contain a deadly coronavirus outbreak. -Press TV 6/9/20

Managing director of Iranian news agency convicted on false news charges

On May 31, 2020, Branch 6 of Tehran's Media Court convicted Ali Motaghian, the managing director of the semi-official Iranian Students' News Agency (ISNA), on charges of "spreading false news," according to a report by the news agency. CPJ could not determine what sentence Motaghian received or whether he is in custody. The semi-official Iranian Labour News Agency reported that the court determined he was not eligible for a reduced sentence, but did not specify the sentence he received. 6/5/20

US Navy veteran detained in Iran has been released after deal with Tehran

Michael White, an American detained in Iran, was released on Thursday after more than a year in custody in a deal with Tehran. His mother, Joanne White, confirmed in a statement that he has been freed, saying "the nightmare is over." As part of the deal to free Michael White, the US agreed to release Matteo Taerri, also known as Majid Taheri, an Iranian American doctor who had violated US sanctions against Iran, according to a US official. -CNN 6/5/20

Gruesome Death Of Iranian Teenager Shows Shame Of 'Honor' Killings

Romina was only 14-years-old when she was reportedly beheaded by her father in a horrific case of a so-called "honor" killing that has shocked Iran. Reza Ashrafi, her dad, reportedly failed to convince Romina's mother to force their daughter to commit suicide, so he decapitated her with a sickle as she slept at the family home. -Golnaz Esfandiari, RFE/RL 6/5/20

The legacy of the Iraq sanctions regime is alive and well in US foreign policy today

The economic sanctions imposed on Iraq by the United Nations Security Council, from 1990 to 2003, may well lay claim to be the worst humanitarian catastrophe ever imposed in the name of global governance. The unconscionable human damage done by those sanctions is routinely dismissed as the unintended consequence of a well-intentioned policy from the past, which has since given way to more nuanced and humane measures. But in fact, the Iraq sanctions program is the template for the systemic, devastating sanctions we see in place today applied in a subtler and more circuitous form - although Donald Trump's "maximum pressure" campaign against Iran is neither subtle nor circuitous. -Joy Gordon, Responsible Statecraft 6/4/20

Iranian Scientist Arrives Home After Being Released From U.S. Custody

An Iranian scientist who had been detained in the United States has landed in his homeland amid denials from both countries that his release is part of a prisoner swap. Sirous Asgari, a materials science professor at Tehran's Sharif University of Technology, arrived in Iran on June 3, the semiofficial ISNA news agency reported. 6/3/20

Women's Boxing Banned In Iran's Khuzestan Province

Khuzestan has become Iran's first province to officially ban women's boxing. "Any activity in women's boxing is prohibited in the province," the head of Khuzestan's boxing board, Hamid Zanganehmanesh, said on May 31, according to the semiofficial ISNA news agency. Referring to a recent letter from the president of the Iranian boxing federation, Zanganehmanesh said all women's boxing activities were prohibited in Khuzestan, including coaching, training, and theory classes. 6/2/20

Iranian lawmaker says 230 killed in November protests

An Iranian lawmaker said Monday that 230 people were killed in November's anti-government protests in Iran, the official news agency reported. This is the first time a prominent Iranian lawmaker has given a death toll figure for November's protests. The unrest was the most widespread and violent Iran had seen since the Islamic Revolution in 1979. -AP 6/2/20

Iranian scientist acquitted of stealing research deported by US

An Iranian scientist detained in the United States has left the country and is on his way back to Iran, Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has said. Sirous Asgari, a materials science professor from Tehran, was charged in 2016 with trying to trade secrets research from an American university. He was acquitted by a federal court in November. -BBC 6/2/20

The Iranian refugee writing songs of love from his 'luxury torture cell'

Moz Azimi's friend was killed on Manus Island in 2014. Seven years later, he is still in detention with the threat of Covid-19, and nothing but music to give him hope -Ben Doherty, Guardian 5/29/20

Iran's Rohani Calls For Stricter Laws On 'Honor Killings' After Beheading Of 13-Year-Old Girl

Iranian President Hassan Rohani has called for harsher laws to tackle so-called "honor killings" after the particularly shocking slaying of a teenage girl, allegedly by her father, prompted a nationwide outcry. Rohani on May 27 pushed for the speedy adoption of relevant bills, some which have apparently circulated for years among various Iranian decision-making bodies without any tangible results. The call comes after 13-year-old Romina Ashrafi was killed last week in Hovigh, some 320 kilometers northwest of Tehran. 5/28/20

Iran's president pushes for harsher laws on honor killings

Iran's president urged his Cabinet on Wednesday to speed up harsher laws in so-called honor killings, after a particularly disturbing slaying of a 14-year-old girl by her father shocked the nation. President Hassan Rouhani pushed for speedy adoption of relevant bills, some which have apparently shuttled for years among various decision-making bodies in Iran. 5/27/20

Detained Iranian Lawyer's Husband Criticizes Iran's Refusal to Furlough Her

The husband of one of Iran's most prominent jailed dissidents has strongly criticized authorities for not furloughing her from a coronavirus-plagued prison where he says her health is in danger. In a Thursday phone interview with VOA Persian from Tehran, Reza Khandan faulted the Iranian government for temporarily freeing thousands of common criminals from jails since late February in part to protect them from the virus, while refusing to do the same for dissidents such as his wife, Nasrin Sotoudeh. -VOA 5/22/20

Iranian journalist Nejat Bahrami begins 1-year jail term

On May 5, Bahrami, a freelance columnist who has written for publications including the Iran Daily and Etemad newspapers and the weekly Tejarat-e Farda and Seda magazines, wrote on Twitter that he had received a written notice from the judiciary summoning him to prison within five days. -Committee to Protect Journalists 5/21/20

Iran: Details released of 304 deaths during protests six months after security forces' killing spree

Amnesty International has released details of the deaths of 304 men, women and children killed by Iran's security forces during last November's ruthless crackdown, six months after the protests. The organization found that more than 220 of the recorded deaths took place over just two days on 16 and 17 November. New and extensive research has again concluded that the security forces' use of lethal force against the vast majority of those killed was unlawful. 5/20/20

Iranian Parkour Athlete Reportedly Detained After Posting Romantic Instagram Photos

Iranian parkour athlete and photographer Alireza Japalaghy has been detained, his brother said on May 18. Japalaghy reportedly said in a video posted before his arrest that he had been summoned by security officials just days after he posted photos and a video where he was seen kissing an unidentified woman who was wearing a sports bra and shorts on a rooftop in the Iranian capital. 5/19/20

US sanctions make it harder to fight COVID-19

As the United States works to contain the catastrophic COVID-19 pandemic, resorting to extraordinary measures to limit health and economic damage to its own population, it should also suspend economic sanctions that are making it harder for some countries to fight COVID-19 and keep their citizens safe. -Hrair Balian, Responsible Statecraft 5/18/20

Iranian-French Academic Fariba Adelkhah Sentenced To Six Years In Prison In Iran

An Iranian court has sentenced a French-Iranian academic to six years in prison on security charges, her lawyer said. The lawyer for Fariba Adelkhah said on May 16 that his client was sentenced to five years for "colluding to commit acts against national security" and one year for "propaganda against the system." Her lawyer, Said Dehghan, said they would appeal the ruling. -RFE/RL 5/18/20

Sanctioning Pandemic-plagued Iran

Sanctions are the US government's go-to foreign-policy tool. Sanctions leverage the United States' economic might and dominance of the international financial system and, especially in contrast to military options, are deemed to be cost-free - cost-free for the US, that is. There are always unintended costs, however, on both sides. When sanctions are applied indiscriminately during a global pandemic, the costs spiral. This is clearly the case today with regard to the Trump administration's sanctions on Iran. -Mark Fitzpatrick, IISS 5/18/20

Afghan migrants: Unwanted in Iran and at home

Afghans routinely cross the border into Iran and are frequently caught and deported back into Afghanistan. They endure inhumane treatment from smugglers and often lose their savings in the process. In 2019, alone, a total of 451,073 Afghans returned from Iran-a big chunk of them forced through deportation. -Fatemeh Aman, Atlantic Council 5/15/20

Iranian journalist Hassan Fathi begins 1.5 year jail term over BBC interview

Iranian authorities should release journalist Hassan Fathi from prison and cease arbitrarily jailing members of the press, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. On May 6, Fathi, a freelance columnist and former editor of the Iranian daily Ettelaat, began an 18-month prison term in Tehran's Evin Prison after his appeal in a 2018 criminal case for speaking with the BBC Persian service was denied, according to a report by the Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA), a U.S.-based outlet that covers news in Iran. -CPJ 5/14/20

Human Rights Lawyer Sentenced to Prison Without Access to Counsel

Human rights attorney Payam Derafshan was denied access to counsel while being tried for the charge of "insulting the supreme leader," for which he was sentenced to two years imprisonment and suspended from practicing law for an additional two years. "The court did not allow his defense lawyers to be present at the trial," his lawyer, Saeed Dehghan, told the Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI) on May 10, 2020. -CHRI 5/12/20

Iran Has Gotten Nothing from U.S. 'Humanitarian' Channel

The humanitarian banking channel set up by the Trump administration to get medicine and other supplies into Iran-a politically calculated show of compassion amid otherwise draconian U.S. sanctions-has not in fact processed any potentially life-saving transactions, the Swiss government confirmed to The Daily Beast. Knowledgeable observers say the way the channel is structured places substantial burdens in the way of companies looking to sell Iran humanitarian supplies. -Spencer Ackerman, Daily Beast 5/8/20

Sanctions make Iran's coronavirus crisis more deadly

The Trump administration, seemingly in denial about its own shambolic response to the crisis, tried to blame the pandemic's high toll in Iran on the incompetence and corruption of the Iranian government. The Iranian leadership indeed made some mistakes in its handling of this public health emergency, such as initially underestimating the threat posed by the virus and failing to close the country's borders in time. It is, however, impossible to claim that the Iranian government is solely responsible for the devastation the pandemic has caused in the country. -Seyed Hossein Mousavian, Al-Jazeera 5/8/20

As Iran Faces Virus, Trump Admin Fails to Use Swiss Channel to Ease Medical Exports

Just a few days after Iran announced its first deaths from COVID-19 in February, the Trump administration's Special Envoy for Iran Brian Hook was asked during a briefing for an update on the Swiss Humanitarian Trade Arrangement (SHTA), a payments channel intended to ease the sale of medicine and medical devices by Swiss companies to Iran. Hook acknowledged that no further transactions had been processed since a pilot transaction involving a $2.55 million sale of medication a month earlier, but insisted that there were "more transactions coming."Two months later, over 6,000 Iranians have lost their lives to COVID-19, and the Swiss channel has yet to process any further transactions. -Esfandyar Batmanghelidj & Image of Sahil Shah, European Leadership Network 5/6/20

U.S. expected to deport Iranian professor acquitted of sanctions busting: officials

The United States is expected to deport Iranian professor Sirous Asgari, who was acquitted of stealing trade secrets, once he receives medical clearance to leave, U.S. and Iranian officials said on Tuesday. Asgari might be part of a rare prisoner swap between foes Iran and the United States. Iranian sources have told Reuters that Tehran is prepared to take part in a swap. -Reuters 5/6/20

More Than 12,000 Lawyers In Iran Reject Move To Dismantle Bar Association

More than 12,000 Iranian lawyers have protested to a draft bill that undermines their independence and in effect replaces the Iranian Bar Association with a group of judiciary officials appointed by the government. Based on the draft the Judiciary will form a new body named the "Supreme Council for the Coordination of Lawyers' Affairs" that will be based at the Judiciary branch of the government "to coordinate matters relating to attorneys." 5/4/20

Coronavirus-positive scientist to return home from U.S. jail: Tehran

Sirous Asgari, an Iranian scientist imprisoned in the United States who has contracted the novel coronavirus, will return home soon, according to Iran's Foreign Ministry. During a press conference on Monday, Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi said the ministry is following up on Asgari's case both in Iran and in the U.S. -Tehran Times 5/4/20

Afghanistan probes report Iran guards forced migrants into river

Afghanistan has begun retrieving bodies of Afghan migrants from a river in a western province after reports that Iranian border guards tortured and threw Afghans into the river to prevent their entry into Iran. Afghanistan's foreign ministry in a statement on Saturday said an inquiry had been launched -Al Jazeera 5/4/20

Jailed Activist's Son Threatened with Imprisonment to Silence Dissen

Amid a renewed crackdown on peaceful criticism of Iranian state policies, the son of imprisoned filmmaker and journalist Mohammad Nourizad is being arbitrarily prosecuted to "pressure" Nourizad to be silent, his wife told the Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI). "My son and other young people who expressed sympathy with the [Ukrainian plane] crash victims' families should be praised, not imprisoned," Nourizad's wife Fatemeh Maleki told CHRI. -CHRI 5/1/20

First the Muslim Ban, Now Coronavirus - Iranian Families Separated by One Trump Order After Another

THE SHAMELIS ARE an extraordinarily tight-knit Iranian family. Forty-year-old Amin, the eldest of five brothers, first arrived in California in 2003, and was followed slowly but surely by his parents and siblings. All of them, that is, except for Masoud, who for a decade now has been trying to join the rest of his family in the United States. The situation had been looking hopeful, until the global coronavirus pandemic and a couple strokes of the U.S. president's pen blew it all up. -Felipe De La Hoz, Intercept 4/30/20

Is Iran on the verge of collapse or a menace flush with cash? How hawks sell regime change using contradictory arguments

Iran's request for a $5 billion emergency loan from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) is revealing serious desperation, and not only on the part the Iranian government. Desperation is also apparent in the responses from the Trump administration and the regime change lobby in Washington led by the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies (FDD) as they try to block the loan. -Djavad Salehi-Isfahani, Responsible Statecraft 4/29/20

Iranian scientist in US jail contracts coronavirus after pleading for release

An Iranian scientist who has been pleading for weeks to be released from a US immigration jail due to his fragile health has contracted Covid-19, according to his family and attorneys. Dr Sirous Asgari, a materials science and engineering professor who spoke out in March about the unsanitary and "inhumane" conditions in detention, was placed in an isolation cell this week inside an Immigration and Customs Enforcement (Ice) jail in Louisiana. -Sam Levin, Guardian 4/29/20

Novelist Brother of "Iran's Bob Dylan" Loses Appeal Against Politically Motivated Prison Sentence

Iran's Appeals Court upheld a one-year prison sentence against novelist Hamid Namjoo for the content of his writings and because he published work abroad, the Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI) has learned. Namjoo's prison sentence includes a two-year ban on him travelling outside the country and bans him from joining political groups, according to his brother, Mohsen Namjoo, a prominent Iranian musician now based in the U.S. who was also mentioned in the verdict as a "fugitive dissident anti-revolutionary singer" and who was also previously sentenced to prison in Iran for his artistic work -CHRI 4/29/20

Iran Arrests Editor, Journalist Over Cartoon Mocking Khamenei

The editor in chief and a social-media administrator of Iran's semiofficial ILNA news agency were detained last week over a cartoon deemed insulting to the country's leadership. The cartoon, which appeared to mock Iran's highest authority, was reportedly removed from ILNA's Telegram channel shortly after being posted. 4/28/20

70+ Groups Demand Trump Immediately End US Sanctions Against Iran, Venezuela, Cuba, and Others During Covid-19 Crisis

Over 70 civil society groups representing more than 40 million people called on President Donald Trump Thursday to issue immediate sanctions relief for numerous countries-including Iran, Syria, Venezuela, Cuba, and North Korea-for at least the duration of the coronavirus crisis which threatens to kill thousands in the hard-hit countries. The "urgent appeal" came in the form of an open letter sent by the groups to Trump, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, and Secretary of the Treasury Steve Mnuchin calling for curtailing the sanctions regime for the duration of the pandemic. -Common Dreams 4/24/20

COVID-19 Poses Extreme Danger to Arbitrarily Jailed Conservationists, Dual Nationals

Iranian authorities should immediately provide hospital treatment for an arbitrarily imprisoned conservationist who reportedly has COVID-19 as well as test and ensure treatment for his fellow inmates, said the Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI). "Iran's judiciary chief claims he has released thousands of prisoners yet those jailed on unfounded charges including prisoners of conscience and dual nationals remain in extreme danger of suffering irreparable harm from this virus," said CHRI Executive Director Hadi Ghaemi. -CHRI 4/24/20

In Iran, poverty and lack of internet make distance learning impossible

Iran, like many other countries hit by the Covid-19 outbreak, has closed schools and universities and prioritised online learning. But in a country where there is widespread poverty and some regions have no internet coverage at all, some students are locked out of virtual classrooms. A teacher who works in a poor neighbourhood in Iran told the FRANCE 24 Observers that he hasn't been able to get in contact with two-thirds of his students since schools closed. -Ershad Alijani, Observers 4/23/20

Iran Says 1,000 Foreign Prisoners Released Temporarily Due To Virus Outbreak

Iran says it has released temporarily more than 1,000 foreign prisoners due to the coronavirus outbreak, following criticism by UN human rights experts. "What Iran has done in guaranteeing prisoners' health and granting furlough to them is a significant move" compared with what other countries have done, said Gholamhossein Esmaili, a spokesman for the country's judiciary. -RFE/RL 4/22/20

Iran Extends Prisoner Furloughs Amid Coronavirus Threat

Iran's president said the country has extended furloughs for prisoners for another month as officials struggle to curtail the spread of the coronavirus. Hassan Rohani's announcement on April 19 followed an earlier decision to allow so-called low-risk businesses -- including many shops, factories, and workshops -- to resume operations in Tehran. 4/21/20

Iran's Nurses Are Martyrs to Trump's Maximum Pressure

Now, Iran's nurses-the majority of whom are women-are among those bearing the worst of the brunt of U.S. sanctions. Official death counts from the Iranian government aren't broken out by profession and are widely believed to understate coronavirus fatalities. A group of doctors in Iran that has been tracking the deaths of health care workers puts the number of nurses who have died at at least 15 between late February and mid April, but even that almost certainly underestimates the toll as health workers have reportedly been instructed by government officials not to reveal information about shortages, infections, or deaths. -Negar Mortazavi, FP 4/17/20

Iran urged to immediately release prisoners of conscience and dual and foreign nationals at risk of COVID-19

UN human rights experts today called on Iran to expand its temporary release of thousands of detainees to include prisoners of conscience and dual and foreign nationals still being held despite serious risk of COVID-19 infection. The country has been hit hard by COVID-19, with Health Ministry officials reporting one person dies every 10 minutes from the virus. 4/17/20

Defectors Tell of Torture and Forced Sterilization in Militant Iranian Cult

The Mojahedin-e Khalq started as a militant revolutionary movement, committed in principle to bringing human rights and democracy to Iran. But over the last four decades, it has devolved into a secretive, cult-like group that resembles a militant, Islamist version of the Church of Scientology. The MEK has carried out bombings, sabotage missions, and murders. Since its founding in 1963, it is believed to have killed hundreds or even thousands of Iranians, as well as a handful of Americans. -Murtaza Hussain & Matthew Cole, Intercept 4/16/20

Doctors Punished for Contradicting Iran's Official Line on COVID-19

Physicians in Iran including university officials have been reprimanded including by way of prosecution for publicizing information about the country's COVID-19 outbreak that contradicts officials' statements, the Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI) has learned. Iran's Health Ministry had reported 74,877 confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus COVID-19 and 4,683 deaths at the time of this writing on April 14, 2020. Yet medical experts inside and outside the country have argued that the actual numbers could be much higher. -CHRI 4/16/20

In letter to Trump, World Council of Churches urges U.S. to end Iran sanctions amid COVID-19

In a letter to U.S. President Donald Trump published on April 9, the council wrote that "The novel coronavirus is a common enemy of humanity everywhere. An effective response to the pandemic demands an unprecedented degree of global solidarity and cooperation, special care for the most vulnerable, and swift action to mitigate the conditions which create additional vulnerability." 4/13/20

Iranian American Organizations Call for Release of Unjustly Detained Dr. Sirous Asgari

PAAIA and a coalition of Iranian American organizations have come together to campaign for the release of Dr. Sirous Asgari from Immigration Customs Enforcement (ICE) custody. Dr. Asgari is currently unjustly detained in a civil immigration detention center in Louisiana, which has put his health at serious risk amidst the likelihood of COVID-19 exposure. 4/13/20

Iran's UN mission: Sanctions enemy's '5th column' in fight against pandemic

Iran's Permanent Mission to the United Nations in New York has issued a message to member countries, saying that the brutal sanctions imposed by the United States on the Islamic Republic act as the enemy's "fifth column" as they compromise the country's ability to control the ongoing pandemic of new coronavirus known as COVID-19. -Press TV 4/13/20

Home | ArchiveContact | About
Web Sites | Bookstore
Persian Calendar | twitter | facebook | RSS Feed
© Copyright 1997-2019 Payvand.com (All Rights Reserved)