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February 18 2019
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Police In Tehran Fire In The Air To Disperse Protests Against Hijab Enforcement

- The Iranian government's official news agency (IRNA) has confirmed reports that police in a working-class neighborhood of Tehran fired shots in the air Friday February 15 evening after residents had a clash with morality enforcement agents. -Radio Farda - 2/17/19

Ten Detained Political Activists and Environmentalists Denied Counsel in Iran's Kurdistan Province

- Ten political activists and environmentalists arrested in Iran's Kurdistan Province between December 31, 2018, and January 6, 2019, are being held at the Intelligence Ministry's detention center in the city of Sanandaj while being denied access to legal counsel and contact with family members. -CHRI - 2/15/19

IRAN: Sugar Mill Workers Call for International Action to Free Detained Colleagues Esmail Bakhshi and Sepideh Qoliyan

- A union representing workers of the Haft Tappeh sugar mill in the Iranian city of Shush, Khuzestan Province, has called on individuals and international organizations to demand the release of union representative Esmail Bakshi and freelance reporter Sepideh Qoliyan from the Intelligence Ministry's detention center in Ahvaz. -CHRI - 2/15/19

Unable to Move His Arm, Iranian Political Prisoner Arash Sadeghi Denied Hospitalization for Infected Biopsy Wound

- Arash Sadeghi, a political prisoner in Iran, has lost the ability to move his right arm due to an infection on his shoulder that has been left untreated in Rajaee Shahr Prison, the Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI) has learned. "After the biopsy, the assigned doctor prescribed monthly hospital visits to check his tumor and stop its growth," said the source who spoke on the condition of anonymity for security reasons. "But the head of Rajaee Shahr Prison always comes up with some excuse to prevent Sadeghi's transfer to the hospital. -CHRI - 2/14/19

Iran: Female Defendant Not in Court as Others Tried for Spying

- Iran says Niloufar Bayani, a female member of a group of eight conservationists on trial for spying, has been absent from the courtroom this week as a prosecutor continued reading charges that rights activists say are bogus. -Michael Lipin, VOA - 2/14/19

Iranian Agents Tried to Frame Detained Conservationists by Staging Scenes to Falsely Implicate Them

- Amid eight conservationists' closed-door trial in Iran's revolutionary court system, the Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI) has been informed that agents staged scenes around at least two of the detainees with the intent of implicating them in a false narrative. In one instance, plainclothes agents transported conservation scientist Niloufar Bayani out of Evin Prison in Tehran to several locations in an affluent town for a day and directed her to engage in specific acts while filming her without her consent. -CHRI - 2/12/19

IRAN: Grand Ayatollah Speaks Out Against Child Marriage

- The story of an 11-year-old girl, Raha, has once again set off another round of muscle flexing by ayatollahs and Shi'ite sources of emulation over the legal age for marriage. Raha, from the province of Ilam, western Iran, was recently forced to marry a 50-year-old man who already has a wife and seven children, Imam Ali Community reported on February 8, adding, "Raha was practically sold for 150 million rials (roughly $1,500)." -Radio Farda - 2/11/19

Family of Late Conservationist Kavous Seyed-Emami Petitions Iran to Respond to State TV Smears

- One year after his father's suspicious death in Tehran's Evin Prison, Ramin Seyed-Emami has filed a petition to respond to the unsubstantiated reports about his father broadcast by Iran's main state-run broadcasting organization. He is also calling on the judiciary to release his mother, who remains barred from leaving the Islamic Republic despite the expiration of the travel ban that was imposed on her in December 2018. -CHRI - 2/11/19

"Ten Years is Enough:" Mother of Canadian Resident Imprisoned in Iran Seeks Pardon

- The mother of Saeed Malekpour, a Canadian resident imprisoned in Iran since 2008, sent a letter to Tehran Prosecutor Abbas Jafari Dolatabadi on February 1, 2019, requesting that Malekpour be included in a mass pardon of prisoners that may happen in March. -CHRI - 2/11/19

Jason Rezaian's Prisoner Book Reviewed

- Beginning July 2014, the Iranians had a problem. For reasons known only to themselves, Revolutionary Guards Security Officers arrested Washington Post reporter Jason Rezaian and Yeganeh Salehi, his wife of 15 months, in the garage of their apartment building in Tehran. Now what were the Iranians going to do? They spent the next year-and-a-half climbing out of the hole they'd dug for themselves. -John Limbert - 2/7/19

Hollywood's Leonardo DiCaprio Comes To The Defense Of Detained Environmentalists In Iran

- Hollywood star Leonardo DiCaprio has voiced his support for eight environmentalists jailed Iran for more than a year on ambiguous charges of "spying". In a tweet on February 6, DiCaprio calls for support for the detainees who went on trial last month, some facing serious charges, which could lead to death penalty. One of the conservationists died in suspicious circumstances in prison days after his arrest last in January 2018. -Radio Farda - 2/7/19

Iranian Lawyers Condemn Tehran's Jailing of Colleague, Demand Release

- A group of Iranian lawyers has condemned Iran's government for imprisoning a fellow lawyer convicted of slandering a former official and demanded that their colleague be released. In an open letter to the Iranian people dated Monday and shared with VOA Persian by lawyer Hossein Ahmadiniaz, he and 18 other lawyers said Sunday's jailing of their counterpart, Mostafa Tork Hamedani, at Tehran's Evin Prison violates Iran's international commitments to the principles of a fair trial. -Michael Lipin and Shahram Bahraminejad, VOA - 2/6/19

Iranian MPs Ask Rouhani To Pay Attention To Ecologists Facing Harsh Punishment

- Several members of the Iranian Parliament (Majles) have called on President Hassan Rouhani to pay attention to the situation of eight detained ecologists, the Iranian Labor News Agency (ILNA) reported on Monday. The environmentalists have been under "temporary arrest" by the Intelligence Organization of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) for longer than a year now. - 2/5/19

IRAN: President Rouhani's Former Deputy Says His Government Has Failed Women

- President Hassan Rouhani's former Deputy for Women and Family Affairs, Shahindokht Molaverdi, has admitted that the president who campaigned as a moderate and his team failed to address major problems confronting Iranian women. -Radio Farda - 2/4/19

Ex-Iranian Official Blasts World's Silence As Eight Conservationists Go On Trial In Iran

- A former Iranian deputy environment chief is criticizing the global environmental community's lack of public advocacy on behalf of eight jailed Iranian conservationists whose trial began in Tehran this week. Kaveh Madani, an American-educated water management expert, served as deputy head of Iran's Department of Environment from September 2017 until April 2018, when he fled the country under verbal attack from conservatives who accused him of spying under cover of environmental activism. -Michael Lipin, VOA - 2/3/19

Iranian Labor Activist Ali Nejati Denied Medical Treatment Against Doctor's Orders

- Detained labor rights activist Ali Nejati is being denied medical treatment for heart disease and kidney and prostate problems in Shush Prison in the city of Andimeshk, Khuzestan Province, against the prison clinic doctor's orders, according to a report posted on the Telegram app channel of the Haft Tappeh sugar mill worker's union on January 27, 2019. -CHRI - 2/1/19

Eight Conservationists Tried in Iran on Basis of Retracted False "Confessions"

- In their first trial session since being detained in Iran one year ago, eight conservationists learned today that the first half of their indictment is based on one detainee's retracted forced "confessions." Part of the 300-page indictment was read today to defendants Houman Jowkar, Taher Ghadirian, Morad Tahbaz, Sepideh Kashani, Niloufar Bayani, Amir Hossein Khaleghi, Sam Rajabi and Abdolreza Kouhpayeh in their closed-door trial on January 30, 2019, at Branch 15 of the Revolutionary Court presided by Judge Abolqasem Salavati. -CHRI - 1/31/19

Renewed Pressure in Iran to Block Instagram After Activist's Post About Torture Makes Headlines

- A labor activist's widely read Instagram post alleging he was tortured while in the custody of Iran's Intelligence Ministry was never fully investigated but one judicial official did respond by suggesting that the app should be blocked to prevent a "spotlight" from being put on the government. -CHRI - 1/31/19

US-Born Iranian Newscaster Marzieh Hashemi Arrives Back in Iran

- A journalist who works for Iran's state-run television station has returned to Tehran after being detained in the United States. Marzieh Hashemi, is a news anchor for Press TV, was arrested Jan. 13 when she arrived in St. Louis, Missouri, to visit family. She was held for 10 days. -VOA - 1/31/19

Three Members of Iran's Writers Association Charged With National Security Crimes for Opposing Censorship

- Three senior members of the Iranian Writers Association (IWA) have been charged with national security crimes for peacefully protesting state censorship policies, according to a statement posted by the trade union on Facebook on January 22, 2019. -CHRI - 1/30/19

Autistic Individuals In Iran Deprived of Services and Medications Due to Costs, Lack of Insurance

- The high cost of services and medicines needed by autistic individuals and their families, combined with the lack of insurance coverage and government support, has caused many families in Iran to stop therapy for their autistic children and to be unable to afford needed medications and services. -CHRI - 1/30/19

Human Rights Lawyer Mohammad Najafi Facing 19 Years Behind Bars in Iran

- Imprisoned human rights attorney Mohammad Najafi was sentenced to two more years in prison in Iran on January 22, 2019-bringing the total number of years he has been condemned to serve to 19. The sentences have been issued over the course of several trials held over the last few months. -CHRI - 1/29/19

Lawyer Says Australian-Based Population Expert Released From Iranian Detention

- The lawyer for Meimanat Hosseini-Chavoshi says the Australian-based academic has been released by Tehran, which held her for more than a month on charges of trying to "infiltrate" Iranian institutions. Hosseini-Chavoshi, a dual Iranian-Australian citizen who works at the Melbourne School of Population and Global Health, was released by the court "a few days ago," her lawyer Mahmoud Behzadi said on January 27, according to the state news agency IRNA. - 1/28/19

No Standard Heating For 136,000 Classrooms: Iran's Deputy Education Minister

- The heating systems in 136,000 classrooms across Iran do not have the required standards, the Islamic Republic's Deputy Minister of Education has said. "As most of these classrooms are located in the province of Sistan & Baluchestan and other regions with no gas pipelines, it is impossible to upgrade their heating system for the moment," Mehrollah Rakhshani Mehr asserted on Saturday, January 26. -Radio Farda - 1/27/19

Iranian Journalist to Serve Five Years in Prison for Uncovering Corruption in Tehran Municipality

- Journalist Yashar Soltani has been sentenced to five years in prison for exposing extensive corruption within the Tehran municipality, his lawyer announced January 23, 2019. "Let's turn this unjust verdict into an opportunity to fight corruption," Soltani tweeted the day of the announcement. "We will not hand over Iran to the corrupt." -CHRI - 1/27/19

U.S. Veteran Held In Iran Has Cancer, His Mother Says

- The mother of a U.S. Navy veteran held in Iran believes he has a recurrence of life-threatening cancer and she is calling for his immediate release to seek treatment, a spokesman says. Michael White, 46, has been held since July, and is the first known American to have been detained in Iran since Donald Trump became president two years ago. -RFE/RL - 1/27/19

Iranian Lawyers Demand Release Of Jailed Colleagues

- In an open letter addressed to the head of Islamic Republic's judiciary, dozens of prominent Iranian attorneys have called for the immediate release of their colleagues, jailed on trumped up charges related to their defense of civil rights. -Radio Farda - 1/25/19

IRAN: President Rouhani's Comments On Hijab, Censorship Draw Ire Of Ayatollahs

- President Hassan Rouhani is under fire from two Grand Ayatollahs angered by his recent comments on Iran's policies of compulsory hijab and Internet filtering. Speaking at a meeting with the Minster of Communications and Information Technology January 21, Rouhani reportedly remarked, "Regarding hijab, the Koran addresses men first, forbidding them to look at women in lecherous ways; but, sadly, we go after women and girls, and arrest them for their [improper] hijab." -Radio Farda - 1/25/19

Iran Says U.S. Navy Veteran Being Held Over 'Private Complaint'

- A U.S. Navy veteran being held in Iran has been detained in connection to a "private complaint," an Iranian prosecutor says. Michael White, 46, has been held since July, and is the first known American to have been detained in Iran since Donald Trump became president two years ago. -RFE/RL - 1/25/19

U.S.-Born Iranian TV Anchorwoman Released From U.S. Detention, Officials Say

- Iranian television anchorwoman Marzieh Hashemi has been released from U.S. detention after being held as a material witness in an unidentified case, officials concerned with her case say. -RFE/RL - 1/24/19

Iran Sentences Men Who Supported Women's Protests Against Compulsory Hijab to Six Years Prison

- Reza Khandan and Farhad Meysami have both been sentenced to six years imprisonment in Iran and banned from leaving the country or engaging in online activities for two years for peacefully protesting the country's compulsory hijab law. "Iran wants to silence these men by jailing them for standing by women who want the hijab to be a choice, not a requirement," said Hadi Ghaemi, the executive director of the Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI). - 1/23/19

Iran: Release Labor Activists Re-Arrested For Revealing They'd Been Tortured

- The arrests of labor activist Esmail Bakhshi and freelance reporter Sepideh Qoliyan (also spelled Sepideh Gholian) on January 20, in Shush, Khuzestan Province, by agents of Iran's Intelligence Ministry after they spoke out about being tortured during their recent detentions, is an outrageous and unlawful abuse of power, and both activists should be released immediately, the Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI) said in a statement today. - 1/23/19

IRAN: President Rouhani Adviser Indicted For Remarks On House Arrests

- An indictment has been issued for President Rouhani's top aide, Hessamoddin Ashena and a lawsuit against him delivered to the court, Tehran's prosecutor said on Tuesday, January 22. Ashena, the head of Center for Strategic Studies, and Rouhani's Cultural Advisor, is prosecuted for comments he made about forty days ago on the fate of Iran Green Movement's leaders who have been under house arrest since February 2011. -Radio Farda - 1/23/19

Iran's Sunni Leader Calls For End To Discrimination

- Almost four decades after the Islamic Revolution heralded an era of equality for all Iranians, Sunnis are still suffering from discrimination, says the Friday Prayer Leader of the city of Zahedan, Molavi Abdol-Hamid. - 1/22/19

Iran's President Rouhani Attacks Censorship, State Media Monopoly

- In a surprising move, Iran's President Hassan Rouhani has warned his country's hardliners that "Standing against public demands is against the law and religion." He also suggested that political parties should be allowed to have their own media outlets, independent of the government-controlled state TV and admitted that the popularity of social media in Iran is an outcome of government control on media, and questioned Iranian state TV's monopoly on broadcasting. -Radio Farda - 1/21/19

Four Independent News Journalists Arrested in Iran in Less Than a Month

- Former political prisoner Ali (Amir) Amirgholi has become the fourth journalist working for the Gamindependent online news outlet to be arrested in Iran in recent weeks. Three other journalists working for the media outlet have been arrested since December 2018. -CHRI - 1/21/19

Defense Lawyer Mostafa Tork Hamedani Sentenced to Six Months Imprisonment in Iran

- Human rights attorney Mostafa Tork Hamedani has been sentenced to six months imprisonment in Iran for allegedly slandering a former prosecutor, his lawyer Peyman Haj Mahmoud Attar announced on January 15, 2019. -CHRI - 1/21/19

Satirist Keyomars Marzban to Be Tried in Iran Under Hardline Judge Salavati

- Iranian satirist Keyomars Marzban, who has been detained in Iran since August 2018, is due to face trial for the charges of "propaganda against the state" and "insulting the sacred" at Branch 15 of the Revolutionary Court in Tehran presided by Judge Abolqasem Salavati. - 1/19/19

US Court Holds Iranian-American Journalist Marzieh Hashemi as Material Witness

- A U.S. court has confirmed that an Iranian-American anchorwoman who works for Iran's state television has been jailed in the United States as a material witness but has not been charged with any crime. Court officials say they expect Marzieh Hashemi to be released immediately after her testimony to a grand jury in Washington. - 1/19/19

UK Foreign Secretary: Iran's Treatment of Zaghari-Ratcliffe "Breach of Human Rights"

- UK Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt summoned Iran's ambassador to Tehran on January 14, 2018, the day Iranian British citizen Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe and fellow prisoner, human rights advocate Narges Mohammadi, began a planned hunger strike in Tehran's Evin Prison. -CHRI - 1/16/19

Journalist Working For Iran's Press TV Reportedly Detained In U.S. By FBI

- U.S. authorities have detained a journalist and television presenter working for Iran's English-language Press TV on unspecified charges, the state-run broadcaster reported on January 16. Press TV said Marzieh Hashemi was detained on January 13 at St. Louis Lambert International Airport in the state of Missouri. -RFE/RL - 1/16/19

Musician Ali Ghamsari Banned From Performing in Iran After Refusing to Remove Female Singer

- After the Iranian authorities banned musician Ali Ghamsari from performing "until further notice" for refusing to remove a female singer from his most recent concert in Tehran, he announced on his Instagram page that he "wasn't sorry at all." -CHRI - 1/15/19

Sufi Woman Jailed in Iran Sentenced to 148 Lashes For Criticizing Gharchak Prison Conditions

- Elham Ahmadi, an imprisoned member of the Sufi Gonabadi Order in Iran, has been sentenced to 148 lashes for speaking out about the denial of medical treatment and poor living conditions in Gharchak Prison located south of Tehran in the town of Varamin, where she is currently serving a two-year prison sentence. -CHRI - 1/15/19

Man Forces Children To Eat The Flowers They Are Trying To Sell

- Iran's State Welfare Organization, the minister of labor and Kerman's city administration have reacted to a video showing a man forcing two children to eat the flowers they are trying to sell. A video circulated on social media shows a man, who directly or indirectly works for the city of Kerman, forcing two flower-selling children to eat the flowers and films the scene. -Radio Farda - 1/14/19

Iranian Political Prisoners, Lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh and Baha'i Azita Rafizadeh, Refuse Phone Calls in Solidarity With Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe

- Two political prisoners held in the same ward as Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe in Iran's Evin Prison have given up their right to phone calls until the authorities lift newly imposed restrictions targeting the Iranian UK dual national as well her fellow inmates in the Women's Ward. -CHRI - 1/13/19

Famed Iranian Playwright Mohammad Rahmanian Charged for Allegedly Featuring Female Soloist

- Prominent Iranian theater director and playwright Mohammad Rahmanian has been charged with "propaganda against the state" based on a complaint by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) for allegedly featuring a female soloist in his play. He was also detained and released later that day after responding to a summons to appear at a court in Tehran on January 6, 2018, to answer questions about the play, "Old Songs: Paykan Javanan." - 1/13/19

Labor Activist's Revelation of Torture During Detention Prompts Wave of Reports of Abuse in Iran's Prisons

- Labor activist Esmail Bakhshi's public letter in which he revealed his torture in an Intelligence Ministry detention center in Ahvaz, Khuzestan Province, has generated a wave of revelations about torture committed against political prisoners and prisoners of conscience and unleashed a debate among Iranians on social media. -CHRI - 1/11/19

Mother of Imprisoned Iranian Activist Describes Beatings and Threats by Interrogators to Kill Family

- In the wake of revelations of the torture of labor activist Esmail Bakhshi, others have stepped forward to join the public outcry over abuses committed against detainees in Iran by detailing their own experiences of torture in Iranian prisons. The mother of imprisoned civil rights activist Atena Daemi recently spoke to Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI) about the abuse directed against her daughter. - 1/10/19

Death Of A Young Woman And Suspicions Surrounding A Lawmaker

- The death of a young woman in Malekan, northwest Iran, has led to controversy and suspicions of possible involvement by a lawmaker. The body of Zahra Navidpoor was discovered January 6 in her mother's house and the prosecutor's office in Malekan issued a statement saying it was an "apparent suicide". But investigations are underway to determine the actual cause of death. -Radio Farda - 1/10/19

Washington Post Reporter Jason Rezaian Testifies In Lawsuit Against Iran

- The Washington Post reporter who was held in an Iranian prison for 18 months told a U.S. court that he was arrested as a way to pressure Washington in nuclear negotiations. Jason Rezaian testified on January 8 as part of a multimillion-dollar lawsuit against Tehran. -RFE/RL - 1/10/19

Iran Confirms It's Holding U.S. Navy Veteran

- Iran says it is holding a U.S. Navy veteran, confirming media reports about a case that risks further escalating tensions with Washington. The New York Times reported on January 7 that Michael White, 46, was arrested while visiting Iran and had been held since July on unspecified charges. -RFE/RL - 1/10/19

Iranian Journalist Sentenced to Six Years in Prison Without Lawyer

- Political journalist Hamed Aynehvand has been sentenced to six years in prison without the presence of his lawyer on the basis of charges brought by Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps' (IRGC), the Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI) has learned. - 1/8/19

Iranian Pop Singer Gagged, Under Fire Over Antiwar Video

- Iran's Culture Ministry says it is considering action against an Iranian pop singer and his recording company amid accusations that Mehdi Yarrahi sullied the "martyrs" and ideals of past conflicts. The ministry last week dismissed reports that it had already blacklisted Yarrahi, saying it was awaiting a response from the company that produced the clip in question for the song Torn Rock. -Golnaz Esfandiari, RFE/RL - 1/8/19

U.S. Navy Veteran Has Been Imprisoned In Iran Since July

- A U.S. Navy veteran has been held in Iran on unspecified charges since July, when he was seized while visiting the Islamic republic, media reports said, citing his family and a former Iranian prisoner. Michael White, 46, of California was arrested when he was visiting his Iranian girlfriend, his mother told The New York Times on January 7. -RFE/RL - 1/8/19

Activist's Torture Complaint Raises Sensitivity, Mobilizes Some Politicians In Iran

- Outspoken MP and deputy speaker of the Iranian Parliament, Ali Motahari has called on Iran's intelligence Minister to order an investigation into the allegations of ministry agents torturing a labor activist. In a commentary in reformist daily newspaper Etemad on Sunday January 6, Motahari asked Intelligence Minister Mahmoud Alavi to probe into the complaints made by labor activist Esmail Bakhshi and to declare if there was a legal basis for what has allegedly been done to him by intelligence ministry agents. -Radio Farda - 1/7/19

Baha'i Woman Sentenced to 11.9 Years in Prison, Banned From University in Iran

- Yekta Fahandej Sa'di was sentenced to 11 years and nine months in prison for her Baha'i religious beliefs by a preliminary court in the city of Shiraz in south-central Iran on December 30, 2018, the Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI) has learned. -CHRI - 1/6/19

Iran: Details Surface Of Khamenei's 2009 Meeting With Mousavi

- More details have been revealed about the last meeting between Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and the leader of Iran's Green Movement, Mir Hossein Mousavi. The meeting took place a day after the 2009 controversial election that officially led to the victory of incumbent President Mahmud Ahmadinejad. -Radio Farda - 1/4/19

Instagram Next Up For Iranian Censorship?

- A senior Iranian official has said the country is prepared to block Instagram once authorities sign off, a move that would deny 24 million users -- including Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and President Hassan Rohani -- access to the popular social-media platform. -Golnaz Esfandiari, RFE/RL - 1/3/19

IRAN: President Rouhani Deputy Speaks Against Child Marriage

- An advisor to Iran's president criticizing early marriage laws says if thirteen-year-olds can get married then they can also vote or get a driver's license. Ma'asoumeh Ebtekar, Hassan Rouhani's deputy on family and women's affairs criticized on Monday the rejection of a bill by a parliamentary commission that would have banned child marriages in Iran. -Radio Farda - 12/31/18

University Students Protesting For A Second Day In Tehran After Deadly Bus Accident

- Photos and videos published on social media show that students at Tehran's Azad University have gathered on Sunday for a second day in a row to demand the resignation of university officials in the wake of a deadly bus crash on December 25 that killed nine students and injured 28. - 12/30/18

Peaceful Iranian Teachers Protesting Heavy Sentence Against Mohammad Habibi Met With Tear Gas, Arrests

- Teachers who were peacefully protesting a fellow colleague's heavy prison sentence were met with tear gas by anti-riot units who made "several arrests" in the Iranian city of Isfahan on December 27, 2018, a trade unionist told the Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI). - 12/30/18

Abbas Edalat, British-Iranian Professor, Home After Detention in Iran

- A British-Iranian professor who had been held in Iran since April has returned to England. Abbas Edalat, who teaches mathematics and computer science at Imperial College London, was arrested and held on unspecified security charges. -VOA - 12/26/18

Lawyer Says Iranian Activist Reza Khandan Released, Support Hunger Strikes Ended

- Iranian activist Reza Khandan, the husband of imprisoned human-rights lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh, has been released from custody in Iran, his lawyer said in a post on Facebook on December 23. Lawyer Mohammad Moghimi wrote that following Khandan's release, both Sotoudeh and activist Farhad Meysami ended hunger strikes that were partially motivated by support for Khandan. -RFE/RL - 12/24/18

Bill to Ban Child Marriages in Iran Facing Implacable Opposition by Religious Conservatives

- A proposed bill seeking to ban child marriage in Iran continues to face stiff opposition amongst conservative lawmakers and religious figures, and remains stalled in parliament. The so-called "child spouse" bill, introduced into parliament in 2016, proposes an absolute ban on the marriage of girls under age 13 and an absolute ban for the marriage of boys under 16. For the marriage of girls between the ages of 13-16 and for boys between the ages 16-18, the bill would require parental consent and court permission. Marriage for girls over 16 and for boys over 18 would require no court permission. -CHRI - 12/23/18

Iranian Law Student Begins Six-Month Prison Term for Social Media Posts Critical of State Policy

- In a continuing assault on freedom of speech-particularly the peaceful expression of views critical of state policy-the law student and civil rights activist Amir Chamani was taken from his place of work and transferred to Tabriz Central Prison in northwest Iran on December 17, 2018, after the Appeals Court upheld his six-month prison sentence for posts on social media about political and economic issues, his lawyer told the Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI). - 12/23/18

No Money To Replace Dangerous Stoves That Killed Four School Girls: Iranian Minister

- While Iran is mourning the tragic death of four pre-school girls in a classroom blaze, the Islamic Republic's Minister of Education says, with the budget allocated to his department, it will take seven to eight years to replace dangerous oil heaters with safe heating systems. - 12/21/18

Iranian Baha'i Leader Freed After Completing 10-year Sentence

- Afif Na'imi, a leader of Iran's Baha'i community, has been released from prison after completing a ten-year sentence. Na'imi had been arrested in 2008, together with six other community leaders and initially sentenced to twenty years in prison. On appeal, another court reduced his sentence to ten years. -Radio Farda - 12/21/18

Iranian MP Calls For Probe Following Political Prisoner's Death

- A representative of the city of Tehran in the Iranian Parliament has officially demanded that the justice and intelligence ministers explain the reasons behind the arrest, and ultimate death, of a political prisoner behind bars. In two separate letters addressed to Intelligence Minister Mahmoud Alavi and Justice Minister Alireza Avaei, the chairman of the parliament's Culture Commission, Ahmad Mazani, asked them to explain why Vahid Sayadi Nasiri was detained and how he died. -Radio Farda - 12/19/18

Iran's Oil Minister Joins Twitter, Reigniting Calls for All Iranians to Be Allowed to Use Social Network

- Iranians from across the political spectrum responded to the new presence on Twitter by Oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh by urging the government to lift the nine-year ban on the social media network. "I have joined Twitter in order to establish a more dynamic and effective communication with domestic and foreign audiences," Zanganeh wrote in his first tweet on December 12, 2018. -CHRI - 12/17/18

Security Forces Arrest 28 Steel Workers In Ahvaz, Iran

- Reports from Iran say that at 2:00 am on Monday security forces arrested thirteen workers of a steel factory in their homes and while onlookers protested, they arrested two more people. - 12/17/18

IRAN: President Rouhani Order For More Women In Top Posts 'Ignored'

- A member of the women's faction in the Iranian Parliament says only 17 percent of managerial positions in Iran are held by women and that President Hassan Rouhani's order to appoint women to 30 percent of managerial posts has been ignored. -Radio Farda - 12/14/18

Activists Condemn Rouhani Government's Minimal Proposed Funding For Disability Rights in Iran

- Advocates for the rights of people with disabilities in Iran have condemned the minimal budgetary allocation proposed by the government of President Hassan Rouhani to implement the country's Law for the Protection of the Rights of Disabled Persons. -CHRI - 12/14/18

Iran Set to Execute Third Individual Sentenced by "Corruption Court" For Alleged Economic Crimes

- Iran's Supreme Court has upheld the death sentence issued against Hamid Bagheri by the country's new "corruption courts" system and handed it down for enforcement, the Chief Prosecutor of Tehran Province Gholam-Hossein Esmaili announced December 11, 2018. -CHRI - 12/14/18

Political Prisoner on Hunger Strike in Iran Has Died, Another in Grave Danger

- The political prisoner Vahid Sayyadi-Nasiri, on hunger strike since October 13, 2018 to protest the denial of his right to counsel and inhumane prison conditions at Iran's Langroud Prison in Qom where he was being held, has died at the Shahid Beheshti Hospital in Qom. -CHRI - 12/13/18

Iranian Political Prisoner Saeed Shirzad Could Lose Kidney From Lack of Proper Medical Care

- Iranian political prisoner Saeed Shirzad could lose a kidney if Iranian authorities continue to refuse to hospitalize him outside of Rajaee Shahr Prison where he has been held for the past three years, the Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI) has been informed. -CHRI - 12/13/18

Targeting Iran

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