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June 21 2018
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Iranian Lawyer Arrested For Asserting Executed Sufi Man's Innocence

- Iranian authorities have arrested a lawyer for spreading "lies" after claiming that a Sufi man executed this week was wrongfully convicted of killing three police officers, local media report. The semiofficial Fars news agency said on June 20 that an arrest warrant was issued against Zeinab Taheri for making "false statements" and because of "her lies propagated online claiming [Mohammad Salas] was not guilty." - 6/21/18

Iran Confirms 1 Victim in Alleged Gang Rapes in Southeast

- An Iranian official said authorities investigating accusations of recent mass abductions and rapes of women in southeastern Iran have confirmed that at least one complainant was raped. -Michael Lipin, VOA - 6/21/18

Tehran University Students Skip Tests In Protest Of Arrests

- Dozens of students at Tehran University have abstained from attending semester tests, protesting the detention of their peers during the widespread anti-establishment uprising late last December and in early January. Scores of students were arrested in the unprecedented protests that broke out in the Shi'ite holy city of Mashhad and soon spread to more than 100 other cities across Iran. -Radio Farda - 6/20/18

Iran Defends Its Record on Supporting Persons With Disabilities But Serious Discrimination Persists

- At the 11th annual session of the Conference of State Parties to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities held at the United Nations headquarters in New York (June 11-14, 2018), the head of the Welfare Organization of Iran (WOI), Anoushirvan Mohseni-Bandpey, gave a speech on Iran's actions and achievements in defending the rights of persons with disabilities. - 6/20/18

Iranian Lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh Charged With National Security Crimes For Representing Hijab Protesters

- Detained Iranian human rights lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh is facing two national security charges for representing women facing prison time in Iran for peacefully protesting against the Islamic Republic's compulsory hijab law. "During the interrogation, she was told that the charges against her are 'propaganda against the state' and 'assembly and collusion' because she colluded with Ms. Shaparak [Shajarizadeh] in the courthouse in Kashan," Sotoudeh's husband, Reza Khandan, told the Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI). - 6/19/18

Iran to sue U.S. over FBI's mistreatment of Iranian volleyball players

- President of Iran Volleyball Federation said that they will sue US over FBI's mistreating Iranian volleyball players. Last week, Iran went to USA's Chicago to hold three matches in FIVB Volleyball Nation's League (VNL). Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) investigated Iranian players upon their arrival to US and kept the team in a small room for three hours before allowing them to pass. Also, US had refused to issue visas for some of team members, including team supervisor Amir Sarkhosh. - 6/19/18

Rape Cases Stir Controversy In Iran's Sunni-Populated Baluchestan

- Iran's Prosecutor-General Mohammad Jafar Montazeri has threatened June 18 to prosecute a local Sunni Imam in the city of Iranshahr in the southeastern province of Sistan va Baluchestan for disclosing that 41 girls have been raped in that city. - 6/19/18

41 girls, young women reportedly kidnapped and raped in Iranshahr: One suspect arrested

- Security forces have arrested one of the men suspected of kidnapping dozens of girls and young women in the city of Iranshahr, southeast Iran, the local prosecutor has announced. Iranshahr, a city of 150,000 located in the mainly Baluchi Sunni province of Sistan and Baluchestan, has experienced a spate of kidnappings in recent weeks. Residents learned about the abductions from the city's Friday prayer leader, Sunni cleric Molawi Tayyib MullaZahei, who spoke about the unprecedented series of kidnappings in his June 15 sermon. - 6/18/18

Iranian MPs Accuse Firebrand Cleric Of Being Behind Threats

- Two members of the Iranian Parliament (Majles) have responded to Mashad's firebrand Friday prayer leader Ayatollah Ahmad Alamolhoda's accusation of treason, with counter-accusations implying the ayatollah was involved with threat messages sent to MPs. - 6/18/18

Iran Executes Sufi Man Convicted Of Killing 3 Police Officers In Clashes

- Iranian authorities have executed a man convicted of killing three police officers during clashes involving members of a Sufi order, despite calls to stop his execution. The official website of Iran's judiciary said Mohammad Reza Salas was hanged early on June 18. - 6/18/18

51 Organizations Demand Congressional Oversight of Trump's Muslim Ban and Extreme Vetting

- On the eve of a potential decision by the Supreme Court on Trump's Muslim ban, fifty-one organizations representing millions of Americans have signed a letter calling on Congress to take necessary steps to obtain full information about the Trump Administration implementation of it's Muslim Ban and "extreme vetting" policies. -NIAC Action - 6/15/18

University Student Activists Sentenced to Prison After Being Arrested by President Rouhani's Intelligence Ministry

- University of Tehran student activists Sina Darvish Omran and Ali Mozaffari were each sentenced to eight years in prison on June 11, 2018, by Branch 15 of the Revolutionary Court in Tehran for allegedly joining protests in Tehran earlier in the year. - 6/15/18

IRAN: MPs Propose An Amnesty For Diaspora Iranians

- The Islamic Republic's parliament (Majles) has drafted a double emergency motion to declare general amnesty and judicial immunity for diaspora Iranians. Meanwhile, the motion has also called for restricting death penalty across the country. - 6/15/18

Baha'i Student Expelled From Iranian University One Year Before Graduation

- Soha Izadi was expelled from a university in the Iranian city of Zanjan, 207 miles west of Tehran, in March 2018 because of her Baha'i faith, a source close to the 21-year-old student's family informed the Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI) on June 11, 2018. - 6/15/18

Prominent Attorney Nasrin Sotoudeh Detained Amid Iranian Judiciary's Crackdown on Human Rights Lawyers

- The Iranian Judiciary should immediately release Nasrin Sotoudeh, a prominent Iranian human rights attorney who was arrested in her home by unidentified agents on June 13, 2018, and taken to Evin Prison in Tehran. Her husband Reza Khandan, who wrote about Sotoudeh's arrest on his Facebook page, informed CHRI that the agents told Sotoudeh that she must serve a five-year prison sentence without providing further details. He added that he and Sotoudeh were unaware of any sentence that had been issued against her. - 6/14/18

60 Steelworkers Arrested in Iran For Demanding Three Months Back Wages

- More than 60 workers at the Iran National Steel Industrial Group (INSIG) in Ahvaz, Khuzestan Province, have been arrested for demanding their salaries, which have not been paid to them for the last three months, according to an independent Iranian labor organization. - 6/14/18

Who Are the State-Vetted Lawyers Exclusively Allowed to Defend Detainees Facing Political Charges in Iran?

- Iran's judiciary has not released the names of the 20 state-approved lawyers exclusively allowed to represent detainees held on politically motivated charges in Iran. But some potential lawyers have dark human rights records. In January 2018, shortly after the list was issued to judicial offices in Iran, 150 lawyers called on Judiciary Chief Sadegh Larijani to stop restricting detainees' access to legal counsel. Some lawyers are contemplating more protests. - 6/13/18

Iranian Government Designates Protest Sites

- The Iranian government has designated several spots in Tehran where citizens are permitted to hold rallies, including five sports complexes, six parks, and an area next to the parliament. On June 10, the government also issued criteria for the designation of locations in other cities. -Radio Farda - 6/12/18

Rouhani Calls Suspension of Zoroastrian City Council Member "Really Upsetting"

- President Hassan Rouhani has expressed hope that the long-running state dispute over the suspension of a Zoroastrian member of the Yazd City Council in southeastern Iran will be resolved by the country's highest arbitration body. "It's really upsetting to see doubts cast on a non-Muslim after he wins the people's vote in an election and questions are raised regarding whether he could be a member of a council or not," the Shia Muslim president said in a speech to a group of Sunni Muslim scholars in Tehran on June 2, 2018. - 6/11/18

Iranian Poet Sentenced and Fined For Posting Photo of Man Injured by Police

- Posting a photo of a man injured by police to his Instagram account has cost Iranian poet and filmmaker Baktash Abtin three months of community service at the State Welfare Organization of Iran and five million tomans ($1,182 USD). - 6/11/18

Third Woman Sentenced to Prison in Iran For Removing Hijab Slapped With More Charges

- Civil rights activist Shima Babaei: "They said the hijab is the law and I must respect it. I told them it's a bad law and I'm protesting against it in the most peaceful way possible; I've been instigated by no one." - 6/8/18

Iranian Human Rights Attorneys Speak Out Against State-Approved List of 20 Lawyers For "National Security" Cases

- Human rights lawyers in Iran are speaking out against a list released by the judiciary designating 20 state-approved lawyers to exclusively represent detainees held on politically motivated charges. "A number of lawyers have said they are ready to hold a protest sit-in if necessary," prominent defense attorney Nasrin Sotoudeh told the Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI) on June 4, 2018. - 6/6/18

Family Of Environmentalist Held Incommunicado Says Iranian Authorities Have Threatened Them

- In an open letter addressed to President Hassan Rouhani, the sister of an imprisoned environmentalist says her family has been cautioned by authorities to keep quiet about their relative's detention, lest he be executed. In a letter published on June 06 by the Campaign for the Defense of Civil and Political Prisoners​ Katayoun Rajabi, sister of Sam Rajabi, wrote that "it is not yet clear who is behind" her brother's arrest. - 6/6/18

Iranian Lawyers, Barred from Security Cases, Rebuke Tehran

- Some of Iran's most prominent lawyers have accused their government of acting unfairly by blocking the vast majority of their profession from handling national security cases. In a Monday report, Iran's state-run Tasnim news agency published a list of 20 lawyers authorized to represent clients accused of national security offenses. It said judiciary chief Sadeq Amoli-Larijani approved the list in the last few days, based on Article 48 of Iran's penal code. - 6/5/18

10 Years Later, This Baha'i Manufacturer is Still Fighting to Claim His Business in Iran

- Payam Vali's eyeglass lens manufacturing business in the Iranian city of Karaj was shuttered by the authorities in 2008 because of his religious beliefs. Ten years later, he's still fighting to get it back. "I have gone through all the legal channels," he told the Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI) on May 28, 2018. "If the judiciary does not respond to my complaints, there's not much more I can do other than to ask Parliament's Article 90 Commission to investigate violations of the law by the judicial authorities." - 6/5/18

Iranians Complain of Fake Accounts Created in Their Names on State-Approved Soroush App

- Several Iranians posted screenshots on their social media accounts May 26-May 29, 2018, stating that accounts in their names had been created without their consent on the Iran-based, state-approved messaging app, Soroush. In response to the complaints, Telecommunications Minister Mohammad Javad Azari Jahromi told reporters on May 30, "The National Cyberspace Center is investigating uncertainties regarding non-voluntary memberships created on the Soroush messenger." - 6/4/18

107 Iranian Film Personalities Urge Rouhani to Lift State Ban on Pre-Revolution Actor Behrouz Vossoughi

- More than 100 Iranian artists and movie industry personalities have urged President Hassan Rouhani to lift the state ban on Behrouz Vossoughi, a well-known actor who has been living in exile for nearly four decades. The prominent Iranian celebrities who signed the letter include Jafar Panahi, actor Parviz Parastui, actress Leila Hatami, actress Fatemeh Motamed-Arya, director Mohammad Rasoulof, director Kianoush Ayari and director Tahmineh Milani. - 6/3/18

Oxford PhD Student Denied Legal Counsel 40 Days After Being Arrested in Iran

- Reformist political activist Mohammadreza Jalaeipour, an Oxford University PhD student, has been held without charge and access to a lawyer for more than a month since being arrested in Tehran by the Intelligence Organization of Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC). His father, reformist politician Hamidreza Jalaeipour, told the Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI) that his son has only been allowed to make five brief phone calls during his detention. - 6/3/18

IRAN: Student Insists He Was Detained After Criticizing Supreme Leader Khamenei

- A university student who delivered a vitriolic speech at a meeting with Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has denied claims made by the judiciary that he was not detained following the event. At an annual gathering hosted by Khamenei for a group of university students and representatives from student associations on May 28, at least two of the guests voiced strong criticism of the ruling regime. -Radio Farda - 6/3/18

Sexual misconduct in school gives rise to #MeToo among Iranians: Good or Bad?

- Following a schoolmaster's sexual misconduct at a private school in western Tehran some Iranians started using the #MeToo on twitter since Wednesday evening, sharing their experiences of harassment and assault. On May 27, some 40 parents filed a complaint against a schoolmaster who has allegedly displayed some sexually harassing behaviors at a private school in district two of Tehran. The schoolmaster was soon detained and the school is shut down, maybe for good. - 6/3/18

15 Arrested at Aborted Talks Over Water Dispute in Southwestern Iran

- Fifteen negotiators representing protesting farmers in the southern Iranian province of Kohgiluyeh and Boyer-Ahmad were arrested on May 29, 2018, as they showed up for talks over a water dispute. According to the Iran Meteorological Organization, around 97 percent of the country is experiencing drought. But farmers throughout the country have argued that the droughts have been exacerbated by government mismanagement. - 6/1/18

10 Iranian HEPCO Workers Striking For Unpaid Wages Charged With "Disturbing Public Order"

- Ten striking workers at Iran's Heavy Equipment Production Company (HEPCO) in the city of Arak, south of Tehran, were charged with "disturbing public order" for participating in protests billed as "illegal gatherings" after they appeared in court on May 28, 2018. - 5/31/18

Back To Basics: Iranian Student Schools Supreme Leader On Democratization, Other Woes

- Criticizing Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei is widely seen as among Iran's so-called red lines. Dozens of intellectuals, activists, and politicians have been sidelined, harassed, or jailed for challenging the man who holds the final political and religious say in the Islamic republic. Yet earlier this week, a female student rose in Khamenei's presence to harshly criticize the state of affairs in the country, including actions by powerful bodies controlled by the Iranian leader that have been cited by critics as major barriers to reform. -Golnaz Esfandiari, RFE/RL - 5/31/18

Mother of Activist Jailed by Iran Says He's on Hunger Strike

- The mother of an Iranian citizen-journalist who has been jailed in Iran for four years says her son has been on a hunger strike for a month to raise awareness about poor conditions at his prison. In a phone interview with VOA Persian broadcast on Wednesday, Farangis Mazloom said her activist son, Soheil Arabi, began refusing food a month ago at the Great Tehran Penitentiary. She denied rumors that Arabi had committed suicide and shared with VOA Persian a recent audio recording of him speaking from prison. -VOA - 5/31/18

50 Years Later, Security Forces Are Still Trying to Silence the Iranian Writers Association

- Police and security forces blocked an event commemorating the 50th anniversary of the anti-censorship Iranian Writers Association (IWA) by raiding the home in Tehran where it was supposed to be held on May 25, 2018. - 5/30/18

Iran's Supreme Leader Khamenei Demands Punishment in New Sex Abuse Scandal

- Iran's supreme leader has called for swift punishment of those involved in a high school sex abuse scandal that erupted Monday with revelations in a state news report and a social media video of the alleged abuser. - 5/30/18

Wave of Baha'i Arrests in Iran Raises Alarm at Faith's UN Office

- The Baha'i International Community (BIC) at the United Nations has expressed alarm over a spate of arrests of Baha'i faith members in three Iranian provinces by agents of the Intelligence Ministry. "Baha'is have been arrested since the inception of the Islamic Republic. But this new wave of arrests, that is taking place more rapidly and throughout Iran, raises concern for the BIC about their situation and the fate of all the Baha'is living in Iran," said Diane Ala'i, the non-governmental organization's representative to the UN in Geneva, in an interview with the Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI) on May 25, 2018. - 5/30/18

A Superstar's Funeral In Tehran Turns Into Angry Protests Against Iranian Authorities

- Paying homage to a pre-revolution superstar in Tehran turned into a large and noisy protest against the ruling establishment on Sunday, May 27. Nasser Malek Motiee, 88, passed away on Friday evening of kidney failure in a hospital in the capital city. - 5/28/18

Iran Security Agents Prevent 50th Anniversary of Writers Association

- Iranian security forces on Friday May 25 prevented the 50th anniversary of the establishment of Writers Association, the oldest and most prestigious trade union for Iranian writers. Upholding human rights, organizing Iranian writers and campaigning against censorship are the focal points of the Iranian Writers Association's activities. - 5/27/18

Iran's Rohani Calls For End To Ban On Women At Sports Events

- Iranian President Hassan Rohani has called for a decades-long stadium ban for women to be lifted, according to his office and media reports. "There should be no difference between men and women in Islam, and for that reason women should also be allowed to take part in sports events," Rohani said at a meeting with Iranian athletes in his office on May 22, according to a statement released by his office. - 5/23/18

'No Evidence' Detained Iranian Environmentalists Are Spies

- An Iranian government panel has concluded there is no evidence against environmental activists rounded up on spying charges in recent months, the country's environment chief says. Isa Kalantari, head of Iran's department of environment, was quoted by state media as saying on May 22 that the conclusion had been reached by a panel set up to investigate the allegations against the activists. The panel included the ministers of justice, interior, and intelligence, as well as the president's legal deputy, Kalantari said. - 5/23/18

Pompeo: US Working to Bring Home US Detainees from Iran

- U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo vowed Tuesday to bring home American detainees in Iran, saying "the entire United States government" is working "diligently" and is utilizing "every avenue" and "mechanism." -Nike Ching, VOA - 5/23/18

Iranian Officials Call For Unblocking Twitter

- Six Iranian ministers and two lawmakers, all members of the state committee in charge of blocking websites, have issued an open letter to the country's prosecutor calling for the unblocking of Twitter. The letter was issued in response to "the growing public demands for unfiltering Twitter to allow the activity of the youth and media in [it]," the government website reported. - 5/22/18

Iran's Telegram Users Back on the Rise Three Weeks After State Banned the App

- Three weeks after Iran banned the widely used Telegram messaging app, the telecommunications minister posted a chart online showing that the number of Iranian users had begun rising to pre-ban levels. The posting marks the first time an Iranian official has presented figures implicitly confirming the failure of state censorship policies. - 5/22/18

Local Police in South Iran Accused of Killing Two Protesters

- At least two people are suspected to have been killed and several wounded after police in the south-western Iranian city of Kazeroon opened fire on a crowd in front of a police station where their relatives were detained for protesting the planned partition of the city, a resident told the Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI) on May 17, 2018. - 5/18/18

Iranian Canadian's Widow Maryam Mombeini Hospitalized Two Months After Being Banned From Leaving Iran

- The wife of an Iranian Canadian academic who died in Iranian custody under suspicious circumstances in February 2018 was hospitalized for three days after exhibiting symptoms of a nervous breakdown. "My mother had been in Pars Hospital for three days because of stress and psychological pressures caused by loneliness, depression and stress," Mehran Seyed-Emami told the Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI) on May 16, 2018. - 5/18/18

Iran: Little Progress to Show UN on Disability Rights

- Iran is facing a looming deadline to present its response to the Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) a year after the UN body gave the Iranian government three recommendations for upholding and protecting the rights of the country's disabilities community. - 5/17/18

Violent Protest 'Leaves At Least One Dead' In Kazeroon, Southern Iran

- A violent protest in the city of Kazeroon in southwestern Iran has left at least one person dead and six others injured, Iranian media report. Esmail Tabadar, the governor of the province of Fars, where Kazeroon is located, confirmed the death of one protester in a May 17 interview with the semiofficial ISNA news agency. - 5/17/18

Iranian Starts Blocking Internet Filtering Circumvention Tools

- Iran's Information and Communication Technology Minister announced that based on an order issued by the Supreme Council of Cyberspace, his ministry has started blocking anti-filtering programs or internet filtering circumvention tools, as they are known. - 5/17/18

New US Sanctions Will Make Iranians Sicker

- Sanctions against Iran are almost as old as I am. I was born in early 1980, and international sanctions against Iran began during the Iran-Iraq war of the 1980s as most global and regional powers supported Iraqi President Saddam Hussein in his invasion of the country. My father was injured and exposed to chemical weapons during that war, and as a result suffered from Parkinson's disease later in life. -Fariba Pajooh - 5/16/18

"You Know What Your Problem Is:" Young Man Expelled From Iranian University For His Baha'i Faith

- A young man has been expelled from the University of Gilan in northern Iran because of his Baha'i faith in another example of Iranian universities discriminating against students for their religious beliefs without consequences. - 5/16/18

Enraged Workers Block Iran's North-South Railway

- Workers from the Hepco industrial complex in the central city of Arak blocked and disrupted the Iran North-South railway for several hours on May 14, demanding overdue wages and protesting conditions at their factory. Hundreds of Hepco workers have not been paid for three months, state-run news agencies ILNA and IRNA reported. -Radio Farda - 5/15/18

Iran: Baha'i Leader's 10-Year Prison Sentence Extended Despite Judicial Ruling That He Is Too Ill to Be Incarcerated

- Afif Naeimi, the seventh and last imprisoned member of Baha'i leaders in Iran known as the Yaran, returned to Rajaee Shahr Prison near Tehran on April 23, 2018, at the end of his medical leave despite suffering from life-threatening ailments. His wife Shahla Khalaji informed the Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI) on May 1 that the judiciary's own medical experts had ruled that the 57-year-old is too ill to be incarcerated. - 5/15/18

Shaparak Shajarizadeh Twice Arrested For Allegedly Removing Her Headscarf in Public in Iran

- Shaparak Shajarizadeh has been arrested again for allegedly allowing her hair to show in public in Iran. Her lawyer, prominent human rights attorney Nasrin Sotoudeh, called the ongoing arrests of Iranian women for allegedly violating the country's compulsory hijab rule a "manifestation of violence against women." - 5/14/18

Despite Facing Prison, Iranian Rights Lawyer Mohammad Najafi Still Seeking Justice For Deceased Detainee

- Mohammad Najafi, a human rights lawyer facing years behind bars in Iran for publicly arguing that local police tried to conceal the cause of a detainee's death, says he is determined to continue seeking justice for the victim. "I will follow up on Vahid Heydari's case within the framework of the law and if his family wants me to represent them, I will do so and defend their rights to the fullest without the slightest hesitation," Najafi told the Center for Human Rights in Iran on May 6, 2018. - 5/14/18

Iranian Teachers Jailed, Shackled After Peaceful Protest

- Iranian human rights activists say several teachers arrested for staging a protest in Tehran have been sent to the city's Evin prison, known for its jailing of political dissidents under harsh conditions. The activists said the teachers were jailed at Evin after participating in a peaceful demonstration Thursday outside the Iranian government's planning and budget office building in Tehran. -Michael Lipin, VOA - 5/13/18

Six Lawyers in Iran File Petition Challenging Ban on Popular Telegram App

- Six Iranian lawyers have presented a legal challenge to a recent judicial order blocking access in Iran to the widely used Telegram messaging and social media app, Telegram. On May 7, 2018, attorneys Payam Derafshan, Arash Keykhosravi, Abouzar Nasrollahi, Saeed Dehghan, Javad Parsa and Mohammad Moghimi filed a petition at the Court for Government Employees in Tehran to overturn the judicial order, which was issued by Assistant Prosecutor Bijan Ghasemzadeh on May 1. - 5/11/18

800 Iranian Environmentalists Call on President Rouhani to Uphold the Rights of Detained Colleagues

- President Hassan Rouhani has not responded to a letter by 800 Iranian environmentalists demanding clarification on the "fate" of fellow environments who have been detained in Iran with extremely limited access to counsel for the past three to four months. "As you are aware, it has been close to 90 days since 13 environmental experts and wildlife activists were detained by security agencies in Iran amidst the broadcast and publication of several unsubstantiated and questionable television and newspaper reports," said the environmentalists in a letter sent to the president on April 2, 2018. - 5/10/18

Iranian Opposition Leader Under House Arrest Declines "Limited" Lifting of Restrictions

- Zahra Rahnavard, an Iranian opposition leader who has been under house arrest since February 2011, has declined an unofficial offer for some of the restrictions on her to be lifted, demanding that she and fellow opposition leaders under house arrest-Mir Hossein Mousavi and Mehdi Karroubi-be freed together and unconditionally. - 5/9/18

Iran's State-Owned Telecommunications Company Has Yet to Comply With Judicial Order to Block Telegram

- Investigations by the Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI) show that Iran's Telecommunications Infrastructure Company (TIC), which operates under President Hassan Rouhani's Telecommunications Ministry, has yet to comply with a prosecutor's order to block the Telegram messaging app. - 5/8/18

Iranian Lawyers: Rouhani Government Can Challenge Judiciary's Ban on Telegram Messaging App

- Two lawyers in Tehran told the Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI) that the Iranian president has the authority to object to the prosecutor's order to ban the Telegram messaging app. Unlike political hardliners, President Hassan Rouhani and his Communications Minister Mohammad Javad Azari Jahromi had previously repeatedly stated they were not interested in banning foreign social media apps, but they have not taken any substantive counter-measures since Telegram, used by a reported 40 million Iranians, was blocked in Iran on April 30, 2018. - 5/7/18

Iran's President Rohani Strongly Criticizes Court Block On Telegram Messaging Service

- Iranian President Hassan Rohani has strongly criticized a ban on the Telegram messaging service that was imposed by the country's judiciary, saying his administration does not support it. "The government wants a safe, but not controlled Internet," Rohani wrote on his Instagram account late on May 4. He said that the ban was neither ordered nor endorsed by the government. - 5/6/18

Hackers With Ties to Security Agencies Launch Phishing Attacks on Well Known Iranians and Dual Nationals

- The Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI) has learned that during the first two weeks of April 2018, hackers attempted to take over the email and social media accounts of several well known Iranians and dual nationals working for charitable and academic organizations. - 5/6/18

NIAC Requests U.S. Government Issue Exemption to Allow Mail to Iran

- With many Iranian Americans finding in recent months that their mail to family in Iran is being returned to them with obscure instructions from the U.S. Postal Service, NIAC has taken formal action to call on the U.S. government to once again allow Americans to send mail to Iran. - 5/3/18

British Council Employee Being Held Without Access to a Lawyer by Iran's Intelligence Ministry

- Agents of Iran's Intelligence Ministry have arrested a London-based employee of the British Council, Aras Amiri, and are holding her without access to a lawyer on national security charges, the Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI) has learned. - 5/3/18

Iranian Reformists Look On as Former Rouhani Campaign Manager Ordered to Serve Two-Year in Prison For Poem

- A former campaign manager for Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has been ordered to serve a two-year prison sentence for reading a satirical poem at a campaign rally. The Appeals Court upheld the sentence and a suspended three-year prison term against Ali Mohammad Mohammadi for the charge of "insulting the sacred," his lawyer Mohammad Zam toldthe Judiciary's official news agency, Mizan, on April 25, 2018. - 5/3/18

Rouhani's Citizens' Rights Charter: A Harmful Distraction

- President Hassan Rouhani's signature domestic initiative-a Citizens' Rights Charter which lays out in 120 articles the rights and freedoms of Iranian citizens as stated in Iranian law-has no ability to impact the human rights situation in Iran in any meaningful way and has in fact done harm by distracting attention from the causes of rights abuses in Iran and the reforms needed. - 5/2/18

In a Desperate Move to Squash Internet Freedom, Iran Blocks Telegram

- The Iranian Judiciary has ordered internet service providers (ISPs) to block access to the country's most used messaging app, Telegram, in an attempt to thwart an estimated 40 million Iranians' open access to information. "Iran's blocking of Telegram is another example of the state's blatant hostility toward freedom of speech and a futile attempt to block the free flow of information," said Hadi Ghaemi, executive director of the Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI). - 5/1/18

Iranian Women Reveal How They Entered Male-only Stadium

- Female Iranian soccer fans are becoming more emboldened in their defiance of Iranian regulations that bar them from attending football matches. In recent days, Iranian social media users have been sharing a photo of five young women who disguised themselves as men to attend last Friday's domestic football league match at Tehran's Azadi stadium. The five fans used makeup to give themselves beards and male haircuts as they watched their home team, Persepolis, defeat visiting rivals Sepidrood of the northern city of Rasht. -Michael Lipin, VOA - 5/1/18

Arrested Iranian Journalist Released On Bail

- The director of Iran's reformist Shargh newspaper has been released on bail, one day after being arrested over a report about "prostitution" in the northeastern city of Mashhad. Mehdi Rahmanian was released on April 29 after posting bail of 500 million rials ($9,000), Iranian news agencies reported. -RFE/RL - 4/30/18

Editor Of A Reform Newspaper Detained In Mashhad, A City Ruled By Iranian Hardliners

- The managing editor of reformist daily Sharq was taken into custody on Saturday, April 28, by the order of a judge based in Mashhad, holiest Shi'ite city in Iran. Mehdi Rahmanian could not raise the bail set for him and was detained by the judge's order, state-run Iran Students News Agency (ISNA) reported, adding that several people had filed legal complaints about an article in daily Sharq that had allegedly insulted women of a neighborhood in Mashhad. - 4/29/18

IRAN: More than 10 Onlookers Arrested in Area Where Former King's Remains Allegedly Found

- More than 10 people were arrested on April 25, 2018 south of Tehran, where construction crews discovered a mummified body, said to be possibly the remains of Reza Shah (1878-1944), sources told the Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI). Among the arrested were former political prisoner Kamran Ayazi and Maryam Shariatmadari, who has been sentenced to prison by a preliminary court for her protest against compulsory hijab. Both were freed on bail on April 27, CHRI has learned. - 4/29/18

Indictments Issued by Iran's Judiciary Against Dozens Of Protesters

- Nearly one hundred indictments have been filed against those who were detained during the unprecedented uprising that broke out in December 28, 2017, says the head of Tehran's Justice Department. A number of the detainees have been charged with "action against national security, Gholamhossein Esma'eili disclosed on Thursday, April 26. - 4/27/18

Lawyer Who Exposed Cover Up of Client's Death in Custody Could Be Imprisoned For Years in Iran

- Human rights attorney Mohammad Najafi is facing charges from three different courts and years of imprisonment in Iran for publicly arguing that local police concealed the true cause of death of a young man in their custody. - 4/27/18

Surveillance Devices Found At Former Iranian President's Office And Home

- Citing "an informed source," reformist daily E'temad's website reports that surveillance devices have been discovered at former President Mohammad Khatami's office and home. "Eavesdropping on the meetings attended by Khatami is not implausible," Javad Imam, the managing director of Khatami's foundation, told the website April 24. - 4/27/18

The Poetry of Nizami Ganjavi: Knowledge, Love, and Rhetoric

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