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Iranian Parliamentary Group To Get Access To Detained Protesters

- Iranian media are reporting that members of parliament will be allowed access to prisoners who were detained during antigovernment protests that rocked the country, beginning last December. Hassan Norouzi, spokesman for the parliamentary judicial committee, on January 21 was quoted by the semiofficial ISNA news agency as saying, "Our application was today approved." - 1/22/18

Play brings trans people into public eye in Iran

- A play that spotlights transsexuals in Iran was staged during the 36th Fajr International Theater Festival in Tehran on Friday night. "The Blue Pink" was staged by a cast of nine actors helmed by the promising young director and writer Sanaz Bayan at Paliz Theater. - 1/22/18

Second Name Revealed in Shooting Deaths Amid Protests in Sanandaj, Iran

- Kianoosh Zandi, 24, has been named the second victim in a shooting case involving conflicting accounts over how and why two young men were killed by security forces amid protests in the city of Sanandaj, the capital of Iran's Kurdistan Province, in early January 2018. - 1/20/18

Majority of Iranian MPs Call For Ban on Foreign Social Media Apps

- A majority of Iranian lawmakers have signed a letter calling for a ban on foreign social media apps to support state-led efforts to drive Iranians toward using state-approved domestic alternatives. The letter was published the same week President Hassan Rouhani lifted the ban on the widely used Telegram messaging app. - 1/19/18

Iran's Protests Suppressed, But Not Forgotten

- The biggest challenge to Iran's establishment in years fizzled out after a couple of weeks of violent demonstrations, but while widespread discontent has been quieted for now, the calm won't last forever. The roots of the protests -- frustration among the youth over their lack of freedoms and opportunities -- remain just below the surface. And with the younger generation clearly exhibiting its willingness to take to the streets to express its anger over the status quo, the onus is on the Islamic republic's aging leadership to bridge a growing generational divide. -Frud Bezhan, RFE/RL - 1/19/18

Detained Iranian Protesters Told to Admit Being Drug Addicts to Speed Up Release

- Detainees arrested during the protests that began in Iran in December 2017 have been told to tell officials that they're drug addicts, the Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI) has learned. In mid-January 2018, a lawmaker in Tehran publicly stated that detained protesters were being forced to take "pills." Soon after, a prominent human rights lawyer told CHRI that detainees in Evin Prison in Tehran had been told to request methadone-a drug used to treat opioid dependence-to speed up their release. - 1/19/18

The Right Way To Support Human Rights In Iran

- When the protests erupted in Iran during the West's holiday season, not a few folks hoped that the US and the EU would bridge their recent differences over the nuclear deal (the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action or JCPOA) and unite in support of the Iranian people fighting the "brutal theocracy." These hopes, however, were comprehensively dashed. If anything, the way both sides read the protests may have deepened the transatlantic divide over Iran. -Eldar Mamedov, LobeLog - 1/19/18

Human Rights Watch Calls on Leaders to Fight Back Against 'Authoritarian Populists'

- Human Rights Watch accuses U.S. President Donald Trump of pursuing 'anti-immigrant, racially divisive, and pro-drug-war policies' - but says that civic groups, journalists, lawyers, judges, and elected members of Trump's own party have fought back. The White House repeatedly has pointed out that President Trump was elected on a pledge to reduce migration. He has denied holding racist views. -Henry Ridgwell, VOA - 1/18/18

Iran's Intelligence Ministry Forces Father of Slain Protester to Repeat Authorities' Version of Events on State TV

- Iran's Intelligence Ministry coerced the father of a dead protester into claiming in front of a camera that his son was killed during an armed confrontation with security forces, the Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI) has learned. The footage was then aired on state TV. "What you saw in that video is a father's forced confession against his son," a relative of Saro Ghahremani told CHRI. - 1/17/18

Agents of Iran's Intelligence Ministry Intimidate Family of Slain Farmer Killed at Protest

- Nematollah Shafiei was a bystander who was shot and killed during protests in Qahderijan, Isfahan Province, on January 2, 2018, his brother Hossein, told the Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI). "Intelligence Ministry agents came to our house and told my mother not to scream and make a fuss," Hossein Shafiei told CHRI on January 10, 2018. "They took my brother's ID and told us to come and pick it up after a few days and to have 'a little conversation.'" - 1/15/18

President Rouhani Changes Course and Acknowledges Protesters' Varied Reasons For Discontent

- "Some people think that the people are just asking for more money and a better economy. But do you know anyone who would be satisfied with a monthly salary while social media networks are completely cut off and the comings and goings from home are restricted and you don't even have the right to speak? You cannot buy people's freedom and lives with money. Why are some diverting from the truth? That is an insult to the people," said Rouhani during a meeting with senior officials at the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Finance on January 8, 2018. - 1/14/18

Iran Says Over 400 Protesters Still Detained, 25 People Killed

- Iran's judiciary says that about 465 people are still being detained across the country for taking part in a wave of antigovernment protests that began nearly three weeks earlier. Judiciary spokesman Gholamhosein Mohseni-Ejei also acknowledged that 25 people were killed in violence surrounding the protests that began on December 28. - 1/14/18

Iran Lifts Restrictions on Messaging App Telegram

- Iran has lifted restrictions on the messaging app Telegram, the state news agency IRNA reported on Saturday. The popular service had been blocked during recent public protests, the most serious nationwide unrest in the Islamic republic since 2009. "An informed source announced that the filtering of the Telegram messenger has been ended and it is being used by users," IRNA reported. - 1/14/18

Iranian Teachers Union Blames Protests On State 'Mismanagement'

- An Iranian teachers' organization has blamed the country's recent outbreak of protests on inflation, poverty, unemployment, and "mismanagement by state officials." In a statement posted on the social-media app Telegram on January 12, the Teachers Trade Unions Coordination Council (TTUC) said Iranians were protesting "poor economic conditions, systematic discrimination and corruption, as well as poverty and social injustice." - 1/13/18

Local Officials in Iranian City Dezful Attempt to Deflect Responsibility for Protesters' Death

- Mohsen Adeli, an Iranian protester, died from a bullet wound during a protest in the city of Dezful despite a local official's claim that "this man's death had nothing to do with recent events," the Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI) has learned. - 1/12/18

Iran Should Launch Independent Investigation of Deaths of Two Protesters in Prison

- Iran should launch an independent investigation of the cases of two detainees who died in custody, allegedly by suicide, after being arrested during the recent protests in Iran. The results of the investigations should be shared with the public at every stage of the process with full transparency. "There are serious questions surrounding these protesters' deaths," said Hadi Ghaemi, the executive director of the Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI). - 1/12/18

Iran After Protests: Change Does Come

- In Iran today, over 20 people have been killed in the streets and two young men are dead from unknown causes after being detained in prison. An estimated 3,700 others have been arrested across the country, most of them under the age of 25. In Tehran the families of detainees are camping outside Evin prison awaiting news of their children. With such news in the headlines, it is hard not to be pessimistic about the protests that for a week rocked the country and riveted the world. But perspective matters. -Sanam Naraghi Anderlini - 1/11/18

Iran Suspends Thousands of Drug-Related Death Sentences After Years of Domestic and International Campaigning

- An estimated 4,000 prisoners currently on death row in Iran for drug-related crimes could have their death sentences revoked according to a just-issued judicial order based on the country's newly amended drug trafficking law. "Iran has taken a positive first step toward reducing the country's high execution rate," said Hadi Ghaemi, the executive director of the Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI). - 1/11/18

Grievance Against Governance In Iran

- Now that the wave of recent protests that swept across Iran is over, let us be humble. There was much disagreement about the causes of the protests, but let us admit we were united in amazement: participants, state and polity elites, activists, pundits and observers inside and outside the country, and the people of Iran, everyone. Humility requires avoiding constructing grand schemes or narratives and cherry-picking to attribute single causes and forces to a phenomenon that consist of many elusive elements and many unknown facts. -Ali Reza Eshraghi, LobeLog - 1/11/18

Iran Protests: Authorities Keeping Families of Detained Gonabadi Dervishes in the Dark

- The families of several members of a Muslim Sufi order in Iran known as the Gonabadi Dervishes are still seeking answers to basic questions about loved ones who were detained in the recent anti-government protests, the Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI) has learned. - 1/10/18

Reformist MP Pledges to "Seek Answers" on Students Arrested in Iran's Protests

- A top reformist lawmaker has pledged to investigate the arrests by Iran's Intelligence Ministry of dozens of university students during the country's recent nationwide protests. "According to a list that was given to me, about 90 students have been arrested throughout the country in the past few days," Parvaneh Salahshouri, the leader of the women's faction in Iran's Parliament, told the Iran-based Jame'e No news website on January 5, 2018. - 1/9/18

Lawmaker Says 3,700 Arrested In Iran, Khamenei Points Finger At U.S.

- An Iranian lawmaker says that about 3,700 people have been arrested during antigovernment protests, while Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei is claiming that Tehran foiled what he called attempts by the United States and Britain to create unrest. The number of arrests cited by reformist lawmaker Mahmud Sadeghi on January 9 is far higher than figures announced by the authorities. - 1/9/18

Anger And Fear Grow About Fate Of Detained Protesters In Iran

- According to reports by the Committee on the Rights of the Detained, a 22 year old held in the quarantine ward of Evin prison in Tehran died in detention. The committee, set up by human rights activists and former political prisoners, aims to track the situation of those detained in the recent protests in Iran, explained that prisoners released from Evin on Sunday provided the information on Sina Ghanbari's death and that the cause of his death was unclear. -Sussan Tahmasebi, LobeLog - 1/9/18

Iranian Judiciary Official Calls For 'Maximium Penalty' For Protest Leaders

- A top Iranian judiciary official has said antigovernment protest leaders should be handed the harshest possible sentences, while President Hassan Rohani suggested demonstrations were driven by opposition to his ultraconservative rivals in the ruling elite. Rohani and Hamid Shahriari, deputy head of Iran's judiciary, spoke on January 8 -- nearly two weeks after the start of a series of protests that have shaken the country and attracted attention worldwide. - 1/8/18

Telegram to be unblocked if it accepts Iran's conditions: Lawmaker

- Behrouz Nemati, spokesman for the parliament's presiding board, said on Sunday that during a meeting of the parliament it was decided that the Telegram messaging app will be unblocked under certain conditions. - 1/8/18

IRGC says Iran's Anti-government Protests 'Defeated'

- In a rebuke to Iranian government claims that the widespread demonstrations had been organized and/or instigated by foreigners, a group of 16 prominent reformist figures living in Iran issued a statement rejecting that claim. In the January 6 statement, the signatories said, "Despite the fact the enemies of the country always try to take advantage of such events, we should know that any kind of foreign interference would not be possible without the existence of internal conditions." They added that in addition to the government claim of foreign involvement being "an insult" to Iranians, it leads to "negligence toward the real causes of the protests. - 1/7/18

Iranian Security Forces Have Arrested More Than 40 University Students

- More than 40 Iranian university students, mostly activists, were arrested between December 30, 2017, and January 4, 2018, according to credible information received by the Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI). Some of the detainees are being held in Evin Prison's Ward 209, which is controlled by the Intelligence Ministry and which has threatened some of the detainees' relatives with arrests. - 1/7/18

Iranian Protesters' Relatives Threatened With Arrest For Holding Sit-In at Evin Prison

- The families of protesters detained during the anti-government protests that began in Iran on December 28, 2017, have been threatened with arrest for holding a sit-in at Evin Prison in Tehran. "Since the first night he was arrested, we have been coming to sit in front of Evin Prison to ask about them but they don't give us any answers," Shokoufeh Yadollahi, the mother of detained student Kasra Nouri, told the Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI) on January 4, 2018. - 1/7/18

Iran's IRGC, Allies Enlist Public, And Twitter, To Chase Suspected Protesters

- Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) has sparked anger by using media proxies to crowdsource the identification and reporting to authorities of individuals photographed at antiestablishment protests, including indirectly through social media like Twitter. The effort came as a week of demonstrations and violent unrest across the country eased but were said to be continuing in some places, with protesters chanting slogans against rising prices, corruption, and Iran's clerically dominated leadership. -Golnaz Esfandiari, RFE/RL - 1/5/18

Seeking answers for Iran's chemical weapons victims-before time runs out

- On a chilly morning in September 1987, in the waning days of the Iran-Iraq War, an 18-year-old Iranian soldier named Seyed Naser Emadi drove from a battlefield in northwestern Iran to a hospital in Nagadeh, a city a couple hours away. Crammed in the back of his Land Rover were four soldiers, moaning, vomiting, and coughing. "I'll never forget the sound of their breathing," Emadi says. "It was rattling, raspy." The terrified young men did not know what was happening, and Emadi had no idea how to help them. -Richard Stone, Science Magazine - 1/5/18

Iran Deploys Thousands of Security Forces Against Protesters, Shows Restraint

- Mohammad Ali Jafari, commander of the powerful Islamic Republic Revolutionary Corps, recalled the Arab governments' experience as he declared an end to the protests Wednesday. "Our security preparation and public scrutiny allowed the enemy to be defeated again, because if our situation was like Egypt, Syria and Libya, the Islamic Republic of Iran would have suffered irreparable damage," Jafari said, in comments carried by the IRGC's news agency. -Masood Farivar, VOA - 1/4/18

Iranian Protests Show Signs Of Slowing As Diplomatic Battle Heats Up

- Antigovernment protests showed signs of slowing across Iran as they entered a second week amid a war of words between the United States and Tehran, which accuses the White House of meddling in its domestic affairs. With the government blocking social-media websites to disrupt the spread of information about the protests, it was unclear if the January 4 demonstrations were smaller than in the previous six days. -RFE/RL's Radio Farda - 1/4/18

Filtered apps suffocate domestic businesses in Iran

- Following the social unrest across Iran, starting on Thursday, the government started blocking access to social networks and messaging apps including Telegram and Instagram, while some controls were also put on Iranians' access to the Internet. Haniyeh Sadat Jafariyeh, Tehran Times - 1/4/18

22 Killed and Hundreds Arrested as Iran's Supreme Leader Blames Protests on Foreign "Enemies"

- As details emerged about the number of casualties and arrests that occurred during the first six days of the anti-government demonstrations that began in Iran on December 28, 2017, Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei pointed a finger at foreign "enemies." "In the incidents during the past few days, the enemies of Iran have been using every tool in their possession, including money, weapons, politics and security services to create problems for the Islamic state," said Khamenei on January 2, 2018. - 1/4/18

Six Prominent Lawyers Call for Prosecution of Iranian Officials Who Incited Violence Against Protesters

- Nobel Peace Laureate Shirin Ebadi and five other prominent Iranian human rights lawyers have called for the prosecution of state officials who have encouraged violence against protesters in the anti-government demonstrations in Iran. "We demand the immediate termination and independent prosecution of some officials whose statements have had a critical impact in inciting emotions and violence during the people's lawful and peaceful demonstrations," said the lawyers in a joint statement sent to the Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI) on January 3, 2017. - 1/4/18

Iranian Leadership: Heed Warning Signs And Change Priorities

- Iran's leadership, especially the hardliners, has attributed the latest protests in several major Iranian cities, including the capital Tehran, to plots by the enemies of Islam and the Iranian Revolution, particularly America, Israel, and Saudi Arabia. Senior officers of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) have also warned that those who are dreaming of ending the revolution will take their dreams to the grave. Fighting words indeed. -Shireen T. Hunter - 1/3/18

Iran's Severely Disrupted Internet During Protests: "Websites Hardly Open"

- For the first time since the mass protests of 2009, the Islamic Republic of Iran has imposed tighter than usual restrictions on internet access to curb the distribution of images, videos and reports about the nationwide protests that began on December 28, 2017. The Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI) has learned that internet access in Iran was severely disrupted on December 30 and at one point completely cut off for half an hour. A day later, Telegram and Instagram, two of the country's most widely used social media applications, were blocked on December 31. - 1/3/18

Over a dozen people killed in violence in Iranian cities

- More than a dozen people have been killed in the violence that has followed a series of peaceful demonstrations against economic woes in a number of Iranian cities. Several towns in the central Isfahan Province were the scene of unrest and sporadic clashes on Monday night, IRIB reported. In Qahderijan, six people were killed after they engaged in clashes with security forces while attempting to storm a police station. - 1/2/18

Iran's Supreme Leader Accuses Nation's 'Enemies' of Stirring Unrest

- Iran's Supreme Leader on Tuesday accused enemies of the Islamic Republic of stirring the violent anti-government protests that began late last week. "In recent days, enemies of Iran used different tools, including cash, weapons, politics and intelligence apparatus to create troubles for the Islamic Republic," Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said in a statement shown on state television and in a post on his official website. Khameei said he would address the nation about the recent events "when the time is right." -VOA - 1/2/18

Iran's Communications Minister says social apps restriction temporary

- The restricted access to social networks in Iran amid ongoing protests against the government's economic and social policies is a temporary measure, Information and Communications Technology Minister Mohammad Javad Azari Jahromi said on Monday. On Sunday, media reported that Tehran had temporarily restricted access to social media apps Instagram and Telegram, used by activists to exchange messages about the rallies. - 1/2/18

President Rohani Sees Opportunity As Death Toll In Iran's Upheaval Rises

- President Hassan Rohani says unrest that has left at least a dozen antigovernment protesters dead could be a chance to address problems plaguing Iran amid the biggest challenge to the authorities since violent demonstrations erupted after a disputed election handed Mahmud Ahmadinejad a second presidential term in 2009. Speaking after a meeting with the heads of parliamentary committees, Rohani said the protests, which entered a fifth day on January 1, are not only about economic issues, but also a cry from citizens for more freedom. - 1/1/18

President Rouhani says Iranian people will deal with rioters, lawbreakers

- Iran's President Hassan Rouhani says the Iranian people will deal with a "small and minority group" of rioters and lawbreakers exploiting the protests against economic conditions in a number of Iranian cities in recent days. Speaking in a meeting with a number of Iranian lawmakers on Monday, Rouhani said the nation would counter the small group that has used protests as an excuse to chant slogans in violation of the law and people's demands, insult the sanctities and values of the Islamic Revolution, and damage public property. - 1/1/18

Iran unrest: 'Ten dead' in further protests overnight

- Ten people have been killed overnight in anti-government protests sweeping Iran, according to state TV. "In the events of last night, unfortunately a total of about 10 people were killed in several cities," it said. At least 12 people have now died since protests began on Thursday. -BBC - 1/1/18

Protesters Rally across Iran against Rising Prices and Austerity Measures

- Protesters against rising prices, rampant inflation, living conditions and economic corruptions took to the streets in several cities in Iran. The first major wave of demonstrations across the country since 2009 have raised concerns among the Islamic Republic's authorities who have threatened the protesters with major crackdowns. - 12/31/17

Iranian Poet to Serve Two Years in Prison For Criticizing Country's Supreme Leader

- Poet Mohammad Mahdavifar has been sentenced to two years in prison for criticizing Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, the Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI) has learned. Mahdavifar, 48, is best known for his poem, "Alefba," in which he used letters of the Persian alphabet to enumerate crimes committed by the Islamic Republic since its establishment in 1979. - 12/31/17

10-Year-Old Iranian Gymnast Caught Up in Hijab Controversy

- The Iran Gymnastics Federation has walked back its threat to discipline a 10-year-old gymnast for allegedly taking part in an international competition without wearing the mandatory hijab. Iranian women are required to wear the hijab, the head-to-toe-covering Islamic dress code, at all times in public. - 12/31/17

Tehran Police Will No Longer Arrest Women Who Break Dress Code

- Police in Iran's capital of Tehran said they will no longer arrest women for failing to observe the Islamic dress code and instead send them to classes at counseling centers. The Tehran Times on December 28 quoted Brigadier General Hossein Rahimi as saying that "those who do not properly observe the Islamic dress code will no longer be taken to detention centers, nor will judicial cases be filed against them." - 12/29/17

Iranian-Jewish Worshipers Find Two Synagogues Ransacked and Vandalized in Shiraz

- Unidentified assailants attacked two synagogues in the southern Iranian city of Shiraz on December 24 and 25, 2017, and destroyed or desecrated religious items, according to Sam Kermanian, an adviser to the Los Angeles-based Iranian American Jewish Federation (IAJF). - 12/29/17

Iranian Authorities Confiscate Passport Of Prominent Director Rasoulof, Ban Him From Making Films

- Award-winning director Mohammad Rasoulof has revealed that he has been banned from making films in Iran and is not allowed to leave the country. "As soon as I arrived at Tehran's international airport [on September 11, 2017], two individuals came to me at the passport checkpoint and took me to a room where they confiscated my passport and personal belongings," Rasoulof told the Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI) on December 23, 2017. - 12/27/17

Independent Iranian Journalist Facing Prosecution For Criticizing Powerful Politician

- Detained after criticizing a powerful local lawmaker, Sina Ghalandari, an independent journalist based in the city of Kuhdasht, Lorestan Province, has been released on bail. "Every journalist or political activist who has criticized him has ended up in court and prison," a source with knowledge about the case told the Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI). "Now he's pressing charges against Mr. Ghalandari." - 12/27/17

IRAN: Guardian Council Rejects Parliament's Amended Law Allowing Religious Minorities to Run in Local Elections

- Six days after Iran's Parliament passed an amendment reaffirming the right of minorities to run in local council elections, the Guardian Council's Spokesman Abbasali Kadkhodaei announced the council had rejected it. The Guardian Council is a body of six clerics and six jurists that vets laws and elections for conformity with Islamic principles. - 12/25/17

Iran's Parliament Overwhelmingly Agrees to Begin Deliberating Disabilities Rights Bill

- With only two opposing votes, Iran's Parliament has overwhelmingly passed the outlines of a bill designed to better protect the rights of people living with disabilities in the country. The lawmakers voted in favor of the Bill for the Protection of the Rights of People with Disabilities in principle on December 19, 2017, and will soon begin deliberating its 35 articles before a final vote, reported the semi-official Mehr News Agency. - 12/25/17

Baha'is Still Misunderstood in Iran, Says Former Leader After Serving 10 Years in Prison

- Baha'i leader Behrouz Tavakkoli has spoken out about the Iranian government's "misunderstandings" about his minority faith. Tavakkoli spoke to the Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI) on December 15, 2017, 11 days after his release from Rajaee Shahr Prison where he served a 10-year-prison sentence for his religious beliefs. - 12/24/17

Hundreds Arrested in Tehran During Yalda Winter Solstice Celebration

- Anti-vice police arrested more than 230 young men and women at two private parties in Tehran during the Iranian festival of Yalda on December 21, 2017. Yalda is a winter solstice celebration observed on the longest night of the year. Traditionally families gather and celebrate at home but people living in large cities also host private parties where women often do not observe the mandatory hijab and where alcohol is commonly served. - 12/24/17

Seattle Federal Judge Lifts Travel Ban On Certain Refugees With Close U.S. Ties

- A federal judge in Seattle has lifted a ban on certain refugees with close U.S. ties that had been ordered by President Donald Trump's administration. U.S. District Judge James Robart on December 23 ruled in favor of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and the Jewish Family Service (JFS) after they argued the policy prevented people from some Muslim-majority countries from reuniting with family living legally in the United States. - 12/24/17

Iran Extends Film Censorship Reach Beyond Its Borders

- Iran has taken its cultural censorship efforts to new levels by pressuring a filmmaker to cancel the screening of one of his films in Canada. The film, Delighted, by Abdolreza Kahani, was due to be screened last month at an independent theater in Toronto. But Kahani decided to cancel the screening after receiving a warning from Iran's Culture Ministry. -Golnaz Esfandiari, RFE/RL - 12/24/17

9th Circuit says Trump's third travel ban is illegal

- A federal appeals court decided unanimously Friday that President Trump's latest travel ban violates the law, but the ruling will not take effect until the Supreme Court reviews a likely appeal. -Maura Dolan, Los Angeles Times - 12/24/17

Israeli Army Arrests Palestinian Teen For Hurting Soldiers' Masculinity

- The IDF Spokesperson was clearly excited to publish the details of a complicated military operation that took place Tuesday morning: under the cover of darkness, Israeli Border Police broke into the Tamimi family's home and arrested 17-year-old Ahed, taking her in for interrogation. -Yael Marom, LobeLog - 12/24/17

Two Iranian Journalists Held for Months Without Charge Released on Bail

- After four months in arbitrary detention, Iranian journalists Sasan Aghaei and Yaghma Fashkhami have been released on bail. The semi-official Iranian Labor News Agency (ISNA) reported that Aghaei was freed on December 20, 2017, and Fashkhami on December 21. - 12/22/17

Students Challenge Minister's Claim That No One in Iran is Banned From University for Political Reasons

- A student who was banned from pursuing a university education in Iran because he engaged in peaceful activism has spoken out against the science minister's claim that "few" such cases exist. Majid Dorri and fellow banned student Mahdieh Golru held signs outside the Science Ministry for several days beginning on December 17, 2017, in protest against the minister's statement. - 12/22/17

IRAN: First national conference on citizens' rights held in Tehran

- In a ceremony in the Islamic Summit Conference Building in Tehran on Tuesday (December 19, 2017), the first report on the 'Charter on Citizens' Rights' was released in the presence of President Rouhani and ministers, deputy ministers and other government officials. - 12/20/17

Tehran Prosecutor Ignores Imprisoned Iranian-Austrian Businessman's Request for Back Operation

- The Tehran prosecutor has ignored a request by imprisoned Iranian-Austrian dual national Kamran Ghaderi for an urgent back operation, his wife told the Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI). "Kamran has been suffering from a herniated spinal disk for a long time and now constant neck pain has been added to his problems as well," said Harika Ghaderi, who lives in Vienna, on December 15, 2017. - 12/20/17

Iran's Judiciary Should Free Labor Activist Reza Shahabi Who Suffered Stroke

- The Iranian judiciary should immediately free ailing trade unionist Reza Shahabi, who recently suffered a stroke in Rajaee Shahr Prison, and allow him to receive full medical attention, the Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI) said in a statement today. - 12/19/17

Iran's Culture Ministry Successfully Pressures Iranian Director to Cancel Film Screening in Canada

- Iranian director Abdolreza Kahani cancelled a screening of one of his films in Canada after Iran's Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance threatened to ban his next film if he refused to comply, the Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI) has learned. - 12/19/17

In Letter From Evin Prison, Narges Mohammadi Demands Judiciary Stop Violating Due Process Rights

- Political prisoner Narges Mohammadi has criticized Iran's judiciary and security organizations for holding detainees in solitary confinement for prolonged periods without charge while trying to build a case against them. - 12/18/17

Draft Legislation Aims To Protect Iran's Most Beleaguered Friend

- Over the past few years, several brutal cases of mistreatment of dogs and other animals in Iran have gone viral on social media, sparking rare public protests and calls for legislation to protect animals and punish those who harm them. Those calls are now on their way to being answered, as the country's first draft legislation against animal cruelty has been prepared for consideration by parliament. -Golnaz Esfandiari, RFE/RL - 12/18/17

IRAN: After Burn Victims Denied Compensation Because They're Girls, Lawyer Says Law Must Change

- A lawyer in Iran is speaking out about sexism in the country's legal code after the families of two children who died in a fire at an elementary school were denied full compensation because the victims were girls. - 12/15/17

How Many Camels is One Human Life Worth? Attorney Calls For Reform in Iran's "Blood Money" Scheme

- Blood money should be calculated on the basis of actual costs and inflation, not the market price for camels, as it is currently based on in Iran, according to a Tehran-based civil rights lawyer. According to Islamic law, Diyah, known as "blood money" in English, is paid as financial compensation to the victim or heirs of a victim in cases of murder, bodily harm, or property damage. - 12/15/17

Iran's Supreme Court Upholds Swedish Resident Ahmedreza Djalali's Death Sentence

- Iran's Supreme Court has upheld the death sentence issued against Iranian-born Swedish resident Ahmadreza Djalali, who has been imprisoned in Tehran since April 2016 after being arrested by the Intelligence Ministry. Djalali's wife, Vida Mehran-nia, told the Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI) that her husband's main lawyer was told the Supreme Court's decision in court on December 5, 2017, but he was denied a physical copy of the ruling. - 12/12/17

Iran's Security Forces Block Annual Ceremony to Commemorate "Chain Murders" Victims

- Security forces prevented a gathering near Tehran marking the 19th anniversary of a series of murders and disappearances by the Intelligence Ministry of dissidents in the 1990s known as the "chain murders." The Writers Association of Iran (WAI) issued a statement on December 7, 2017, hours after many of its members and supporters were prevented from entering Imamzadeh Taher Cemetery in Karaj by a prosecutor's order. - 12/12/17

IRAN: Persons with disability awaiting better living conditions

- The bill on rights of persons with disabilities, which is being discussed by the Majlis [Iranian Parliament], has raised hopes among the disabled for better living conditions. People with disabilities have a wide range of problems such as finding jobs or living in cities which have not been developed to be accessible for disabled people. - 12/12/17

Johnson Meets President Rohani, Discusses Case Of Jailed Iranian-British Woman

- Britain's Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson met with Iranian President Hassan Rohani in Tehran on December 10 as he continued efforts to gain the release of a jailed Iranian-British woman. A spokesman for the British Foreign Office said Johnson and Rohani "spoke forthrightly" on several issues, including the case of Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, according to the BBC. - 12/11/17

IRGC Commander Turned Musician Says He Was Banned From Producing Music by the Intelligence Ministry

- Iranian singer and songwriter Hossein Zaman, a former Revolutionary Guards commander who has been banned from producing or performing music for more than 15 years, says the ban was put in place because Iran's Intelligence Ministry wants to intimidate him into refraining from expressing his political views. - 12/11/17

Iran's Culture Minister Says He's Trying to "Transform" Conservative Clerics' Views on Music

- Before musicians can perform concerts in Iran without the threat of the authorities suddenly canceling them, someone has to convince conservative Shia Muslim clerics that music is not un-Islamic. "Some of the things that have happened to these artists is because of the views expressed by some religious leaders," said Minister of Culture and Islamic Guidance Abbas Salehi in an interview - 12/9/17

Iran's Student Movement Faces Roadblocks Under Rouhani Despite Election Campaign Promises

- Protests were held at several Iranian universities on December 7, 2017, on the occasion of Student Day. One activist told the Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI) that President Hassan Rouhani has failed to uphold his election campaign promise to end the securitization of university campuses. - 12/9/17

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