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June 18 2019
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Detained Iranian Journalist Denied Hospitalization Despite Worsening Symptoms

- Imprisoned journalist Sanaz Allahyari has been denied hospitalization despite suffering from worsening health problems in Tehran's Evin Prison, a source close to her family told the Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI) on June 10, 2019. "Sanaz's condition is very worrying," said the source who also told CHRI that her family was not allowed to submit a letter about her case to Parliament. -CHRI - 6/12/19

U.S. Welcomes Iran's Release Of Lebanese National, Eyes U.S. Detainees

- The United States has welcomed Iran's decision to free a Lebanese national imprisoned on charges of spying for Washington, saying it hoped it would lead to the release of other Americans being held by Tehran. The State Department on June 11 said Washington was "very pleased" by the release of Nizar Zakka and it praised Lebanon's role in ending his "unlawful imprisonment." "We hope that Mr. Zakka's release is a positive sign for American detainees in Iran," a State Department spokesman said. -RFE/RL - 6/12/19

Lebanese U.S. Resident Convicted Of Spying Leaves Iran For Beirut: Reports

- A Lebanese national imprisoned in Iran on charges of spying for the United States has been released and is heading to Beirut with Lebanon's security chief, reports say. Western news agencies quoted an unidentified Lebanese official as saying on June 11 that Nizar Zakka was on a plane with General Ibrahim Abbas. -RFE/RL - 6/11/19

Iran's Haft Tappeh Workers Send Written Appeal to International Labor Organization

- A group of Haft Tappeh sugar mill workers in the city of Ahvaz, Khuzestan Province, have submitted an official complaint to the International Labor Organization (ILO) about the ongoing suppression of protests there and detentions of peaceful demonstrators and journalists covering the protests. -CHRI - 6/10/19

Iranian Poet Once Praised By Supreme Leader Lands In IRGC Custody

- In the summer of 2010, poet Hossein Jannati was basking in the adulation of the supreme leader. Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, a self-professed poetry lover who also has the final say in politics and religion in Iran, was publicly reciting Jannati's "very fine" verses and using his powerful media team to share that poetry. But less than a decade later, 39-year-old Jannati has run afoul of Khamenei's censorship and security apparatus, reportedly charged with "spreading propaganda" against the establishment. -Golnaz Esfandiari, RFE/RL - 6/7/19

"Your Pens Should Be Broken": Iranian Journalist Jailed for Social Media Posts

- Charged with national security crimes for his social media posts, journalist Masoud Kazemi has been sentenced to 4.5 years in prison, of which he must serve two years (subject to appeal), his lawyer announced on June 2, 2019. - 6/6/19

Iran: Three Rights Lawyers Sentenced to Lengthy Jail Terms in Less Than a Year

- Amirsalar Davoudi has become the third known defense attorney to be sent to prison in Iran for his peaceful activities in less than a year. Prominent imprisoned defense attorney Nasrin Sotoudeh, whose imprisonment made international headlines, stated in March 2019 that she would not appeal her own lengthy prison sentence in protest against Iran's justice system. In addition to Davoudi and Sotoudeh, Mohammad Najafi is currently serving a three-year prison sentence and facing a total of 19 years behind bars. -CHRI - 6/5/19

Shiraz City Councilman Begins Serving One-Year Prison Sentence for Advocating Religious Tolerance

- A few hours ago agents came to our house and took away my husband Mehdi Hajati to enforce a one-year prison sentence," Hajati's wife Zohreh Rastegari tweeted on June 2, 2019. A member of the Shiraz City Council, Hajati had been arrested in October 2018 and held for 10 days for seeking the release of two local Baha'is who had been arrested for practicing their faith, which is severely persecuted by the Iranian government. -CHRI - 6/5/19

Iran Lawmaker Blames U.S. Sanctions For Shortage Of Medical Devices

- Iran continues to face serious problems with the import of medicines and medical equipment as a result of sanctions imposed by the U.S., according to Behrouz Bonyadi, a lawmaker who sits on the parliamentary health and treatment commission in Tehran Sanctions "have definitely affected transactions for medicine and foodstuff," he told the Iranian Labor News Agency (ILNA) on Sunday, June 2. -Radio Farda - 6/4/19

Iran: Sentencing of human rights lawyer to 30 years in prison and 111 lashes 'a shocking injustice'

- Responding to the news that Iranian human rights lawyer Amirsalar Davoudi has been sentenced to 30 years in prison and 111 lashes for his human rights work, including publicizing violations through a channel he set up on the Telegram mobile messaging app and giving media interviews, Amnesty International's Research and Advocacy Director for the Middle East and North Africa, Philip Luther, said: "This shockingly harsh sentence is an outrageous injustice. Amirsalar Davoudi is blatantly being punished for his work defending human rights. -Amnesty International - 6/4/19

Is The U.S. State Department Funding Attacks On Iranian Activists Abroad?

- Considerable evidence emerged late this week connecting the U.S. State Department to a Twitter account that has engaged in online attacks against human rights organizations, Iranian-American activists, journalists, and others advocating against the escalation of tensions between the United States and Iran. The revelation is raising questions about whether the Trump administration is using federal funds to propagandize in favor of a potential Iran war. -Derek Davison - 6/1/19

Icon of Iran's Hijab Protest Movement Vida Movahedi Released From Prison

- Eight months after she was arrested for peacefully protesting Iran's compulsory hijab law, Vida Movahedi was released from prison on May 26, 2019, her lawyer announced. "According to judicial authorities, the reduction of her punishment has been approved and she has been granted furlough," attorney Payam Derafshan told the state-funded Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA) on May 28. "The remainder of her [one-year] sentence has been forgiven." -CHRI - 5/29/19

SANCTIONS: Iran Medical Professionals Report Shortage, High Prices Of Imported Equipment

- Medical professionals in Iran say prices of imported medical equipment have risen 4 to 5 times in the last few months, Mehr news agency reported on Monday May 27. Vahid Karimi, the secretary of Iranian Radiology Association told Mehr that the price of laboratory equipment have risen up to five fold. The Iranian currency has depreciated more than fourfold in the last 18 months against major currencies, mainly due to U.S. sanctions. - 5/27/19

Iran slams as politically-motivated France's extradition of Iranian engineer to US

- Iran has denounced as politically-motivated a French court's verdict to extradite an Iranian engineer to the United States over accusations of importing American technology for military purposes. The condemnation came on Saturday after the court in Aix-en-Provence, southern France, approved the extradition of Jalal Rouhollahnejad to the US to face charges of "attempting to illegally import US technology for military purposes on behalf of an Iranian company." - 5/26/19

Seven to Face Trial in Iran in Connection with Labor Protests

- After months of unlawful prosecution in connection with workers' rights protests in southwestern Iran, five journalists and two labor activists are due to go on trial at Branch 15 of the revolutionary court in Tehran presided by Judge Abolqasem Salavati, a source with knowledge of their cases told the Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI) on May 20, 2019. -CHRI - 5/23/19

Iranian medical academy writes to UN about 'unjust' U.S. sanctions

- The Academy of Medical Sciences of Iran has written to the UN to complain about the illegal sanctions imposed by the US against the Iranian nation, saying the restrictive measures have adversely affected the medical treatment of Iranian patients. - 5/21/19

Leading Iranian stem cell scientist behind bars in U.S. for 7 months without trial

- Top Iranian stem cell scientist Dr. Masoud Soleimani has been behind bars in the United States without trial for the past seven months. Back in October last year, Soleimani, a professor and biomedical researcher at the Tarbiat Modares University (TMU) in Tehran, was arrested by the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) upon his arrival in the US. -Press TV - 5/20/19

Harsh Prison Terms for Three Iranian Authors Who Dared to Criticize the State

- In a glaring repudiation of freedom of expression and the right to peaceful dissent, the Iranian judiciary sentenced three prominent members of the Iranian Writers Association (IWA) to six years in prison each on May 15, 2019. The Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI) joins the IWA in forcefully condemning these unjust and unlawful sentences against Baktash Abtin, Reza Khandan Mahabadi, and Keyvan Bajan. -CHRI - 5/18/19

Second Women's Charity Group Member Who Assisted Iran's Flood Victims Is Arrested

- A second senior member of the charity group Voice of Iranian Women (VIW), which has been involved in aid and rescue operations during the recent devastating floods in southwestern Iran, has been arrested for unknown reasons. Nahid Shaghaghi, who has also worked to combat violence against women, was taken away by security agents on May 15, 2018. -CHRI - 5/18/19

Reformist Magazine Suspended After Advocating Diplomacy to Ease US-Iran Tensions

- Tehran's Culture and Media Court suspended the reformist weekly magazine "Seda" (The Voice) on May 11, 2019, hours after it had published an article about the possibility of a war with the United States. "The suspension of Seda magazine and the arrest of one of its reporters are causes for concern," tweeted prominent reformist Member of Parliament Fatemeh Saeidi. "This is the wrong way to overcome these difficult times." -CHRI - 5/16/19

Isfahan Prosecutor Bans "Sinful Act" of Women Riding Bicycles

- Citing domestic Islamic religious decrees and common law, Isfahan city prosecutor Ali Isfahani announced on May 14, 2019, a ban on female bicyclists. "Based on fatwas by religious scholars as well as the law, bicycling by women in public spaces is a sinful act," Isfahani told the state-funded Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA). - 5/16/19

British Council Employee Aras Amiri Jailed for Refusing to Spy, Says Cousin

- The UK-based British Council employee Aras Amiri was jailed in Iran for refusing to spy for the country's Intelligence Ministry, her cousin, Mohsen Omrani, told the Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI) on May 14, 2019. "They made a proposal to Aras to become an agent for the Islamic Republic in the UK and give them information about the British Council," he said. -CHRI - 5/15/19

Paramilitary Force Attacks Tehran University Protest Against Hijab Enforcement Units

- Members of Iran's paramilitary Basij force violently attacked several students at a peaceful protest at the University of Tehran on May 13, 2019. The demonstrators had gathered to protest the increased presence of so-called "guidance" units charged by the government to enforce strict observance of Iran's compulsory hijab law at the campus. -CHRI - 5/14/19

Iran Parliament allows Iranian mothers to pass citizenship to children

- Lawmakers overwhelmingly ratified details of a bill today which allows Iranian mothers to pass on citizenship to their children. The bill was approved in Monday's open session of the Parliament by 170 votes in favor, 21 votes against, and 4 abstentions out of 213 MPs in attendance. - 5/14/19

Seven Baha'i Faith Members Sentenced to Three Years Imprisonment in Bushehr, Iran

- A revolutionary court in the city of Bushehr in southern Iran sentenced seven members of the Baha'i faith to three years in prison each for allegedly answering questions about their religious beliefs to Muslim guests in their homes. -CHRI - 5/13/19

New U.S. Sanctions On Iran Metals Target Jobs, Not Government Revenue

- The Trump administration has announced a new wave of sanctions on Iran's steel, aluminum and copper industries. A statement from President Trump declares, "Today's action targets Iran's revenue from the export of industrial metals-10 percent of its export economy-and puts other nations on notice that allowing Iranian steel and other metals into your ports will no longer be tolerated." -Esfandyar Batmanghelidj - 5/10/19

Iran's Minister of Education Sees "Plot" Behind Videos of Dancing Schoolchildren

- Iran's minister of education has called on the police to trace the "source" of what he described as "disturbing videos" of schoolchildren cheerfully dancing to a pop song by US-based Iranian singer Sasy Mankan. The videos are part of an online "dance challenge" that features children in different schools around the country grooving to Mankan's newly released "Gentlemen" song. -CHRI - 5/10/19

Official Admits to "Defeated" Attempt to Move Iranians Over to State-Sponsored Messaging Apps

- One year after Iran blocked access to the Telegram messaging app, used by a reported 40 million users, officials are admitting that the state's attempts to attract users to Iranian-made versions have failed. -CHRI - 5/10/19

Several Detained Without Access to Counsel One Week After Labor Day Protests In Tehran

- Several workers' rights activists including teachers who were arrested at rallies in Tehran on May 1 (International Labor Day) and May 2 (Iran's Teachers' Day) remain in detention without access to legal counsel, the Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI) has learned. -CHRI - 5/8/19

Journalists Condemn Arrest of Reformist Iranian Reporter Ahead of World Press Freedom Day

- Marzieh Amiri, a reporter for the reformist Shargh newspaper, has been in Evin Prison's Ward 209 under the control of the Intelligence Ministry since she was arrested while covering a Labor Day protest in Tehran on May 1, the Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI) has learned. -CHRI - 5/7/19

Three Writers Tried in Iran on "National Security" Charges

- The trial of three board members of the Iranian Writers Association (IWA) was held at Branch 28 of the Revolutionary Court in Tehran on April 27 and 28, 2019. Baktash Abtin, Reza Khandan Mahabadi, and Keyvan Bajan were charged with "propaganda against the state" and "assembly and collusion against national security" for peacefully opposing state censorship policies. -CHRI - 5/6/19

Charity Worker Who Assisted Iran's Flood Victims Arrested in Tehran

- Charity worker Akram Nasirian was arrested by unidentified security agents in Tehran for unknown reasons, according to the Telegram channel of the Voice of Iranian Women charity organization. Nasirian, who prior to her arrest had worked in flood-impacted areas of the country, made a phone call to her family the following day and said she was being held for interrogations. -CHRI - 5/6/19

Security Forces Arrest Protesters in Front of Iran's Parliament on Labor Day

- A peaceful demonstration by people demanding workers' rights in front of Iran's Parliament in Tehran on International Workers' Day, May 1, 2019, was violently repressed after police and plainclothes security agents attacked the crowd and arrested dozens of workers. -CHRI - 5/2/19

Banned Works at Tehran Book Fair Highlight Iran's Corrosive Censorship Policies

- Several books by dissident authors in Iran were banned from the 32nd Tehran International Book Fair by the Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance, the Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI) has learned. They include the late Kourosh Asadi's novel, Kucheye Abrhaye Gom Shodeh; Kayhan Khanjani's novel, Bande Mahkoumin; E'dam va Qesas by civil rights columnist Emad Baghi; Dine Dowlati va Dowlate Dini by Mohammad Ghouchani; Roshanfekri Dini va Chaleshhaye Jadid by Iran's late Foreign Minister Mohammad Yazdi; and Faqihan va Enghelabe Iran by Hadi Tabatabaie. -CHRI - 5/1/19

Iran Sets Stage for More Crackdowns on University Students' Online Activities

- University students in Iran could be punished for engaging in online activities deemed by the government as "unethical" following the passage of an amendment to the Islamic Republic's academic disciplinary regulations. - 4/30/19

Defense Lawyer To Call For Iran-U.S Dual Nationals Release

- The defense lawyer of two Iranian-American dual nationals sentenced to jail in Iran for "collaboration with a belligerent state," says he is going to demand their "conditional release". The announcement by the lawyer comes less than a week after Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif put forward the idea of a prisoners swap between Iran and the United States, and one day after Tehran's prosecutor allegedly "resigned." -RFE/RL - 4/30/19

Husband Of Imprisoned Lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh Rejects Iran's Judiciary's Accusation of "Exaggerating" Her Heavy Sentence

- Imprisoned human rights lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh's husband, Reza Khandan, has rejected Iranian Judiciary Spokesman Gholam-Hossein Esmaili's claim that the magnitude of the sentence against her has been exaggerated. "They are playing games," Esmaili said at a press conference in Tehran on April 23, referring to the outcry over the harsh punishment against Sotoudeh for her defense of peaceful activists and her opposition to the mandatory hijab. -CHRI - 4/29/19

Iran says serious about exchange of prisoners with U.S.

- Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has publicly expressed Tehran's preparedness for a prisoner swap with the US, saying he has been authorized to negotiate the deal with American officials. Zarif said Iran had proposed a prisoner swap to the Donald Trump administration six months ago but had received no response. -Press TV - 4/25/19

25 People Arrested at Mixed-Gender Party in Iran

- Twenty-five women and men were arrested at a private party near the Iranian city of Gorgan, Golestan Province, on April 19, 2019, judicial authorities announced. "They were arrested at a mixed [gender)] party," said Reza Seyed-Hosseini, Gorgan's city prosecutor. "They did not have appropriate [Islamic] clothing and were consuming alcohol." - 4/24/19

Detained Iranian Defense Attorney to Be Tried on Four Charges for Peaceful Activities

- Detained defense attorney Amirsalar Davoudi is facing four charges for running a Telegram app channel for lawyers in Iran and giving interviews to foreign news organizations, attorney Vahid Farahani told the Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI) on April 16, 2019. Two of the charges brought by Branch 1 of the court of Evin Prison are "propaganda against the state" and "insulting officials." -CHRI - 4/23/19

Iranian Actress Maryam Moghaddam Asks Minister Why She Was Pulled from Film Set Based on "Order from Above"

- "Mr. Minister! This is the state of the film industry you are in charge of: I was pulled from a film project on the first night of shooting based on 'an order from above' and warned that if I complained, I would face bigger problems; I would be reprimanded and arrested," she wrote in the letter published by the Persian-language "Cinema Cinema" magazine on April 14, 2019. -CHRI - 4/22/19

Iranians Push Back as Officials Threaten to Block Instagram in Retaliation for Banned IRGC Accounts

- Some Iranian officials have responded to Instagram's decision to remove accounts it has associated with the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) by pushing for a nationwide ban on the popular social media app. Many Iranians have responded by calling not only for Instagram to remain unblocked but also for the government to rescind bans on other widely used apps. -CHRI - 4/19/19

12 Conservationists Detained Without Counsel in Iran's Kurdistan Province

- Twelve of the 20 environmental conservationists arrested in Iran's Kurdistan Province in January and February 2019 remain in detention centers run by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and the Ministry of Intelligence in the city of Sanandaj, the provincial capital, without access to legal counsel. - 4/19/19

Iranian Hijab Protester Vida Movahedi Remains Detained Despite Eligibility for Release

- Vida Movahedi, the woman whose public display of peaceful protest against Iran's compulsory hijab law was captured in a viral photo, remains detained in Gharchak Prison for women south of Tehran despite being eligible for release. On April 14, 2019, her attorney, Payam Derafshan, told the state-owned Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA) that Branch 1091 of the Guidance Court in Tehran on March 2, 2019, had sentenced Movahedi to a year in prison for that action under the charge of "encouraging people to corruption and prostitution." -CHRI - 4/17/19

Second Iranian Councilman Persecuted for Speaking up for Baha'i Rights

- A member of the Isfahan City Council, Mehdi Moghaddari, has been suspended from his seat for six months in part for supporting a fellow councilman who had sought the release of detained followers of the Baha'i faith and was consequently detained himself. -CHRI - 4/16/19

Iranian University Student to be Flogged, Imprisoned for Insulting Supreme Leader

- Iranian university student Mojtaba Dadashi, 23, has been sentenced to three years in prison and 74 lashes for sharing a video on social media criticizing the Islamic Republic as "un-Islamic," the Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI) has learned. -CHRI - 4/12/19

Four Iranian Labor Affairs Reporters Remain Detained Three Months After Arrests

- Four staff members of Gam news, an independent Persian-language news channel on the Telegram messaging app, remain in detention three months after being arrested in connection with the channel's coverage of workers' rights protests in the southwestern Iranian province of Khuzestan. - 4/11/19

Leonardo DiCaprio Again Appeals For Release Of Iranian Ecologists

- Hollywood star Leonardo DiCaprio has once again defended eight Iranian environmentalists who have been in detention for more than a year, charged with vague accusations. Last February, DiCaprio called for international support and circulated a petition for the release of the Iranian environmentalists who were arrested by the intelligence organization of Iran's Islamic Revolution Guards Corps, IRGC. -Radio Farda - 4/11/19

Just Released From Prison, Iranian Civil Rights Activist Golrokh Iraee Ebrahimi Faces More Time Behind Bars

- Newly released from prison, civil rights activist Golrokh Iraee Ebrahimi may have to serve more time behind bars depending on the outcome of another case against her, the Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI) has learned. -CHRI - 4/10/19

Female Activist in "Very Poor" Health after Nine Months and Counting of Solitary Confinement in Iran

- Political activist Hengameh Shahidi is in poor health after a nine-month stint in solitary confinement, the Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI) has been informed. Arrested on June 26, 2018, Shahidi has since been held in isolation in Ward 241 under the control of the judiciary's Security and Intelligence Center in Tehran's Evin Prison. -CHRI - 4/8/19

The immorality of America's silence towards Iran

- On March 21, Iran faced its most devastating natural disaster since an earthquake that killed more than 500 people in November 2017. Flash floods caused by torrential downpours and overflowing rivers throughout the country have killed at least 24 people and left hundreds injured... Yet, reminiscent of the United States' response to the 2017 earthquake, in America we hear nothing of this humanitarian and natural catastrophe falling upon the Iranian people. -Kaveh Badrei, Daily Princetonian - 4/4/19

US, Iran and EU Must All Take Steps to Ensure International Aid Reaches Iran Floods Victims

- The US and EU should immediately take steps to ensure that Iran receives humanitarian aid to assist disaster relief efforts in the wake of devastating floods that have killed dozens and caused millions of dollars of damage to homes and infrastructure, the Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI) said in a statement today. - 4/4/19

US blocking humanitarian aid to flood-hit Iranians: FM Spokesman

- Tehran says the United States has frozen the accounts of the Iranian Red Crescent Society as part of its cruel sanctions against the Iranian people, thus preventing other countries from sending humanitarian aid to people in Iran's flood-stricken areas. - 4/3/19

Iranian Official: State Bans on Social Media Apps Have Slowed Flood Relief

- State filters on social media apps have reduced the efficiency of relief operations in flood-hit regions of Iran, according to an official working for a state agency that publishes public awareness statements. "If filtering was not an obstacle, the rescue operations would have been more effective," tweeted Alireza Moezi, the secretary of the government's Information Council, on March 24, 2019. "Let's learn from experiences." -CHRI - 4/3/19

Foreign Minister Zarif says US is waging 'economic terrorism' against Iran

- Iran's foreign minister says the US is waging "economic terrorism" against the Islamic Republic by employing restrictive measures that are troubling the relief efforts targeting flood-stricken people across the country. - 4/2/19

Peaceful Iranian Labor Activist Arasham Rezaee Sentenced to Prison Without Access to Counsel

- Labor activist Mahmoud Arasham Rezaee has been issued a lengthy prison sentence at a trial that unlawfully took place without prior notice or the presence of his lawyer, his mother Keshvar Rezaee informed the Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI) on March 27, 2019. Rezaee was supporting his family at the time of his arrest and is now struggling to take on any job he can in the prison to continue supporting them. -CHRI - 3/29/19

Gender Equality Researcher Tried in Iran Under National Security Charge

- Gender equality advocate Rezvaneh Mohammadi was tried in absentia in Tehran under the unusual charge of "assembly and collusion against national security by seeking to normalize homosexual relations." "Rezvaneh's attendance at two conferences abroad on the subject of gender equality, as well as her studies for her thesis, which was also about gender equality, were included as evidence against her," the source said. -CHRI - 3/26/19

Mandate Of The Special Rapporteur On The Situation Of Human Rights In Iran Extended For 1 Year

- In a resolution on the situation of human rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran, adopted by a vote of 22 in favour, seven against and 18 abstentions, the Council decides to extend the mandate of the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran for a further period of one year, and requests the Special Rapporteur to submit a report on the implementation of the mandate to the Human Rights Council at its forty-third session and to the General Assembly at its seventy-fourth session. - 3/25/19

Peaceful Labor Activist Sentenced to Prison in 10-Minute Trial In Iran

- Labor activist As'ad Behnam Ebrahimzadeh has been sentenced to six years in prison (of which he must serve five, subject to appeal) and ordered to copy three books by hand for engaging in peaceful activities including attending protests by sugar mill workers in southwestern Iran. Ebrahimzadeh told the Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI) on March 16, 2019, that his trial lasted only 10 minutes, that he was not allowed time to prepare a defense and that he was denied access to a lawyer. -CHRI - 3/24/19

Muslims countries hold emergency meeting, urge fight on Islamophobia and slam West after carnage in New Zealand

- Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif says certain countries in the West must be held accountable for an attack on two mosques in New Zealand, which left at least 50 worshipers dead. "The terrorist attack in New Zealand represents a very dangerous tide in the West that is Islamophobia," he said in Istanbul where the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) held an emergency meeting Friday. - 3/22/19

Iran: Harsh Sentence for Rights Lawyer Threatens Activism

- The prominent human rights lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh's draconian sentence for her peaceful activism shows the threat posed by Iran's revolutionary courts to human rights work, the Center for Human Rights in Iran and Human Rights Watch said today. Iran should immediately and unconditionally release Sotoudeh and other human rights defenders who are unjustly spending Nowruz, the Persian New Year, behind bars. -CHRI - 3/21/19

Sotoudeh's Case Is Iran's Own Goal

- Last week, the European Parliament joined the international outcry over the sentencing of Iranian human rights defender Nasrin Sotoudeh to a long prison term by voting overwhelmingly for a resolution calling for her release... There are some flaws in the text too. No conversation on the topic is complete without acknowledging the devastating effects of U.S. economic sanctions, imposed in violation of the UN Security Council-endorsed resolution on the nuclear pact with Iran, on Iranian human rights. -Eldar Mamedov - 3/19/19

Iran To Drop Tattooed Players From National Football Team

- The Iranian tattooed players have reportedly no place in Iran national football team from now on. According to the reports, the Iranian football federation has been told it must prevent to invite the tattooed players to the national team. -Tehran Times - 3/19/19

U.S. Navy Veteran Sentenced By Iran To 10 Years In Prison, Lawyer Says

- The lawyer of a U.S. Navy veteran detained in Iran says his client has been given a 10-year prison sentence. Washington-based lawyer Mark Zaid told AP that Michael White was convicted of insulting Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and posting private information online. -RFE/RL - 3/17/19

Iran: UN expert concerned by crackdown on protests and strikes

- Worrying patterns of intimidation, arrest, prosecution, and ill-treatment of human rights defenders, lawyers, and labour rights activists in Iran signal an increasingly severe State response to protests and strikes in the country, a UN expert said today. Javaid Rehman, the Special Rapporteur on human rights in Iran, said rising inflation, difficult working conditions, late or unpaid wages, falling living standards, and increased challenges in accessing adequate work, food, health care, and water was making life harder for many Iranians. -OHCHR - 3/16/19

IRAN: Qoliyan and Bakhshi Held Without Bail or Access to Lawyers for Almost Two Months, Transferred to Prisons in Ahvaz

- Despite the apparent end of investigations by judicial authorities against labor activist Esmail Bakhshi and freelance reporter Sepideh Qoliyan, the two have not been offered bail and continue to be held, without access to a lawyer, for almost two months, awaiting trial. No date has been set for the trial. -CHRI - 3/15/19

Widow of Dual National Who Died in Iranian Custody Sues Judiciary for Banning Her from Travel

- Maryam Mombeini, the widow of Iranian Canadian academic Kavous Seyed-Emami who died under suspicious circumstances in Tehran's Evin Prison, has sued a judicial official for extending a travel ban imposed on her a year ago, the Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI) has learned. -CHRI - 3/14/19

Iranian Lawyers Join Global Backlash to Iran's Sentencing of Rights Defender

- A group of Iranian lawyers has added its voice to international criticism of Tehran for sentencing a female colleague to additional years in prison in relation to her work in defending Iranian rights activists. In an open letter to the Iranian people dated Tuesday and sent by one of the authors to VOA Persian, the group of 16 lawyers said the multiyear sentencing of lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh, announced by Iranian state media Monday, violates the Iranian constitution's commitments to human rights and fair trials. -Michael Lipin, VOA - 3/13/19

Reformist Iranian Politician Abolfazl Ghadyani Ordered to Copy Out by Hand Supreme Leader's Book

- Veteran Iranian politician Abolfazl Ghadyani has been sentenced to two years in prison for the charge of "insulting the supreme leader" and one for the charge of "propaganda against the state," the Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI) has learned. Ghadyani has also been ordered to copy out by hand three books including "Doshmanshenasi" (Enemy-ology), a collection of Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei's political views about his enemies. -CHRI - 3/13/19

Iranian Human Rights Lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh Says She Has Been Sentenced to 38 Years in Prison

- Iranian defense attorney Nasrin Sotoudeh told her husband she has been sentenced to 38 years in prison and 148 lashes. Her statement follows media reports quoting the hardline judge overseeing her case who said she has been sentenced to seven years in prison. -CHRI - 3/12/19

Iran: Countering Extremism Through Inclusiveness

- The Iranian government has long accused some of its neighboring states of using terrorism and insurgency to destabilize the country. There may be some truth to these accusations. But Iran's treatment of minority groups has also contributed to the rise of militancy. -Fatemeh Aman - 3/12/19

Prisoners of Their Own Rebellion: The Cult-Like Group Fighting Iran

- Members of the Trump administration have been providing support to a political sect that aims to topple the Iranian regime in Tehran. Around 2,000 of its members live in a camp in Albania. Former members say it subjected followers to torture and psychological terror. -Luisa Hommerich, Spiegle - 3/11/19

Iranian Couple Arrested Over "Indecent" Shopping Mall Marriage Proposal

- Iranian police have arrested a couple for "outraging public decency" after they got engaged in front of a crowd at a shopping mall. Video of the public proposal in the western city of Arak appeared on social media on March 8, showing the pair standing amid rose petals in a heart shape on the floor. After the proposal, the woman can be seen hugging the man as the crowd cheers. -RFE/RL - 3/10/19

Outspoken Lawmaker Tells Iran Judiciary 'Stop Wrong Practices', As UN Issues Critical Report

- The outspoken Deputy Speaker of the Iranian Parliament Ali Motahari has called on Iran's new Judiciary Chief Ebrahim Raeesi to "stop some wrong practices" in the judicial system. In a letter, Motahari, representing Tehran, has put forward five requests including one that calls on Raeesi (Raeisi) to stop limiting the number of defense lawyers political prisoners can choose from. -Radio Farda - 3/10/19

Iran medical societies write to UN in condemnation of US bans

- Sixty-six Iranian scientific medical societies have written to the UN chief in condemnation of the "inhumane and medieval" American sanctions targeting Iran's health sector. In a post on his Twitter account on Wednesday, Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif released the letter, which had been written to UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres on February 23. -Press TV - 3/8/19



Iran: Architecture For Changing Societies

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