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October 31 2014
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Iranian journalists rally around detained colleague who covered protests

- A letter signed by 129 journalists calls for the release of Arya Jafari, the ISNA photojournalist who has been in custody in Isfahan since October 22 for coverage of protests against the repeated acid attacks against women in Isfahan. - 10/31/14

Iranian Government Spying in Social Networking Sites

- This is a field report about the indifference of internet users to the Islamic republic regime's spying efforts in cyber space as it tries to identify those who are against the regime or certain policies.The only immunity for these users comes from their overwhelming multitudes and the undeniable prevalence of opposition to the regime. -Hamid Rezai - 10/30/14

Reporter's family urges Iran to release him

- The family of an Iranian-American correspondent for the Washington Post who has been jailed in Iran since July is urging authorities to release him, saying on Thursday that his continued incarceration without charge is a "farce." -AP - 10/30/14

Desired Discussion Model

- 12Petals encourages cooperative (unadversarial) approach as more valuable to the creation of and the nourishing of a culture of tolerance and a culture of human rights, because this system seeks out solutions and subsequently sets much higher standards in the search of truth and cooperative settings for justice. - 10/30/14

ISNA journalists detained over coverage of acid attacks in Isfahan

- The editor-in-chief of ISNA in Isfahan has been detained by the authorities in connection with the news agency's coverage of the acid assaults on women. Reports indicate that four ISNA staff were originally arrested in this regard, and while two have been released, Editor-in-chief Zahra Mohammadi and the head of ISNA's society columns, Sanam Farsi, remain in custody. - 10/29/14

Citing 'surge' in executions, UN expert voices deep concern about right to life in Iran

- The human rights situation in Iran remains of deep concern, an independent United Nations expert said today, flagging issues related to the right to life, the judicial system, religious persecution, and discrimination against women. - 10/28/14

Iran Moves To Muzzle Media Coverage Of Acid Attacks

- Iranian officials are moving to muzzle media coverage of a string of recent acid attacks targeting young women in the central city of Isfahan. In recent days, several Iranian officials have warned the media over their coverage of the crimes, accusing them of fomenting public discord and promoting the "views of the enemy." -Golnaz Esfandiari, RFE/RL - 10/28/14

Iranian MP complains of mass firing at Kurdistan university

- Marivon MP Omid Karimian has spoken out against the termination of 300 members of the Kurdistan Medical Sciences University staff, calling the move even more concerning in view of the province's high rate of unemployment. - 10/28/14

Iranian Activist Sotoudeh Freed After Detention

- Sotoudeh, a well-known human rights attorney, told Reuters on October 26 that she was held along with several other activists the previous day after a rally against a three-year ban on her from practicing law. She said the rally was also to urge Iranian authorities to allow "more openness and freedom" in society. - 10/27/14

US Condemns Iranian Woman's Execution

- The United States has condemned Iran for executing a woman convicted of killing a man to defend herself from an alleged sexual assault. The 26-year-old woman, Reyhaneh Jabbari, was hanged Saturday morning. - 10/27/14

Iran's President Rouhani orders investigation into acid attacks in Isfahan

- Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has instructed three ministries to accelerate efforts to find culprits behind the recent acid attacks in Isfahan amid national outrage over the despicable acts. - 10/25/14

Acid attacks on Iranian women highlight political divisions

- Media coverage of protests against the throwing of acid and other violence against women in Isfahan and Tehran was met with resistance from government bodies, even as President Hassan Rohani called for swift action against those who throw acid. - 10/25/14

Iran Hangs Woman Accused of Killing Rapist

- Iran has hanged a woman who had been on death row for five years for killing her alleged rapist. The execution of Reyhaneh Jabbari was reported by the official IRNA news agency. The man she killed - Morteza Abdolali Sarbandi - was a former intelligence officer, whom she said tried to rape her. - 10/25/14

31 Nobel Physics Prize Laureates Join Thousands of Activists to Call for the Release of Iranian Physicist

- A delegation consisting of Amnesty International, the Committee of Concerned Scientists, and the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran will deliver thousands of petitions and letters collected by these organizations and the American Physical Society calling for the release of Omid Kokabee to the Iran UN Mission in New York - 10/24/14

Iranians protest rash of acid assaults on women

- Iranians took to the streets in Isfahan and Tehran to protest the recent incidents of acid throwing in Isfahan and demand that the authorities provide security for all citizens. In recent weeks in a number of incidents, women have been assaulted with acid, leaving at least one dead and many others struggling with serious burns to their hands and faces. - 10/23/14

Iran's Isfahan Outraged Over Acid Attacks

- Soheila Jowrkesh had just pulled over to take a call from her mother when she became a victim. As she sat in her car with the window open, two men on a motorcycle threw liquid acid at her. The attack left her completely blind in her right eye, with injuries to her left eye and extensive burns to her forehead, hands, and legs, her father, Nasser Jowrkesh, told the BBC's Persian service. -Golnaz Esfandiari, RFE - 10/22/14

Iranian Lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh Stages Sit-in to Protest Ban on Her Legal Practice

- Human rights lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh began a sit-in on October 21, 2014, at the Iranian Bar Association in Tehran to protest a ruling that puts a three-year ban on her legal practice, and in protest against the general state of legal representation in Iran. - 10/22/14

Iranian Justice Minister calls acid attacks on women "terrorism"

- On the sidelines of a meeting in Tehran, the justice minister told reporters that authorities in Isfahan are thoroughly investigating the incidents of acid being thrown on women, adding that the actions were "acts of "sabotage and terrorism." - 10/22/14

Iranian Culture Minister stands firm against call for film censorship

- Ali Jannati, Iran's Minister of Culture and Guidance, has announced that a request by the head of Parliament's Culture Commission to ban a number of films has been denied. Ahmad Salek has reportedly called on Ali Jannati to ban eight films branded as "seditious" by his commission. Iran's conservative factions refer to the opposition protests that were triggered by allegations of vote fraud in 2009 as "sedition." - 10/22/14

Four arrested for acid attacks on women in Isfahan

- Four people suspected of throwing acid in Isfahan have been arrested, says a spokesman for Iran's Interior Ministry, and "all dimensions of the incidents" are being investigated. - 10/21/14

Iran Investigates Acid Attacks On Women

- Iranian officials said they are investigating a series of acid attacks on women that occurred in the historic city of Isfahan in recent days. Some social network users in the country wrote that there had been up to 13 acid attacks against female drivers who allegedly were targeted for not being properly veiled. - 10/20/14

Iran Bans Human Rights Lawyer From Practicing Law

- A prominent Iranian human rights lawyer says she has been banned from practicing her profession for three years. Sotoudeh told AFP that she would not try to appeal the decision but will conduct a sit-down protest outside the Iran Bar Association's headquarters in Tehran, starting October 21. - 10/19/14

Iran scholars, associations deplore 'medieval' death verdict on Saudi cleric

- Iranian grand ayatollahs and associations have deplored death sentence against Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr, a prominent Saudi Arabian Shia cleric. A death sentence passed against the dissident Shia cleric in Saudi Arabia after a deeply flawed trial is appalling and must be immediately quashed, said Amnesty International. - 10/19/14

Ahmad Montazeri summoned after defending Iranian opposition leaders

- Ahmad Montazeri, whose late father Ayatollah Montazeri was a chief critic of the Islamic Republic regime, has been summoned by the Special Court for the Clergy. The Kaleme opposition website reports that Ahmad Montazeri appeared in court on Saturday, but so far nothing has been confirmed about the charges against him. - 10/19/14

Acid attacks against women on the rise in Isfahan

- Reports from Isfahan indicate that in recent weeks there has been a rise in the incidence of people throwing acird onto women, purportedly for not wearing appropriate hijab or Islamic gard in public. - 10/18/14

Iranian MPs push bill to crack down on immodest attire, satellites

- A number of Iranian MPs have introduced a bill to punish violations of hijab (the Islamic dress code) with fines and the possession of satellite receivers with prison terms. - 10/17/14

Sons of murder victim deny mercy to convicted woman

- The last "peace and reconciliation" meeting in the case of Iranian woman Reyhaneh Jabbari, sentenced to death for the murder of Morteza Abdolali Sarbandi, culminated without a resolution on Wednesday October 15. - 10/17/14

New Videos Confront Iran's Rights Violations through Personal Stories of Persecution

- Impact Iran, a coalition of human rights organizations, in partnership with theInternational Campaign for Human Rights in Iran, today launched a new video, "Promises Made, Promises Broken." The video is part of a series aimed at drawing attention to Iran's second Universal Periodic Review (UPR) at the UN Human Rights Council on October 31, 2014. A new video will be released each week leading up to the review. - 10/16/14

Iranian activist Qavami ends hunger strike after closed-door trial

- The trial of Ghoncheh Qavami, the jailed Iranian activist, was held on Tuesday, October 14 behind closed doors in branch 16 of Tehran's Revolutionary Court for the charge of propaganda against the Islamic Republic regime. - 10/16/14

Retrial Granted for Iranian Nuclear Scientist Omid Kokabee, Raising Hope for His Release

- The request for a retrial for the imprisoned young scientist, Omid Kokabee, has been accepted by Branch 36 of the Supreme Court, according to Kokabee's lawyer, Saeed Khalili, who posted the update on his Facebook page. "Acceptance of the retrial request means that the top judicial authority has deemed Dr. Omid Kokabee's [initial] verdict against the law," he wrote. - 10/15/14

Iranian activist filmmaker detained for one day, reportedly beaten

- Mohammad Nourizad, an Iranian political filmmaker and activist, reported on his Facebook page that he was released from Evin Prison on Sunday October 13 after a one-day arrest. Nourizad posted a photo of himself and a report about his release on his Facebook page and thanked his supporters. - 10/14/14

Presence of female musicians stops concert in Isfahan despite proper permit

- The music group Erfan was prevented from holding a concert in Isfahan because women were part of the group. The concert was cancelled even though the group had the necessary permit from the Ministry of Culture and Guidance. - 10/14/14

Iran's Jailing of Activist Offers Hint of Liberty Under Rouhani

- Iran can also be deceptive, activists here say, especially for people like Ms. Ghavami who spend most of their lives abroad. The return to the motherland can feel warm and surprisingly safe, but dangers lurk, especially for those who return with the idea of promoting change. -Thomas Erdbrink, NY Times - 10/12/14

Coalition Contacts President Obama in Support of Judge Tabaddor's Suit Against the Department of Justice

- This week, the Public Affairs Alliance (PAAIA), along with 30 Years After, the Arab American Institute, the Armenian National Committee of America, and the PARS Equality Center sent a letter to President Obama in support of Judge Afsaneh Ashley Tabaddor and her recently filed suit against the United States Department of Justice (Case No.14-cv-06390, Tabaddor v. Holder et al.). - 10/11/14

Iranian journalist arrested after critique of Saqez Police

- The Iranian-Kurdish journalist Hiwa Fouladi was arrested after the Saqez Police Force filed a complaint against him. The Shar News Website reports that Fouladi has been transferred to the city's Central Prison. The website reports that the complaint involves a critical report published by the website regarding the actions of the police. - 10/11/14

More Power for Iran's Vigilantes

- In an overwhelming vote Wednesday, conservative lawmakers granted greater powers to volunteer groups to "promote virtue and prevent vice" on the street. Derided by critics as fundamentalist vigilantes, the groups chastise and in some cases, physically assault and arrest Iranians they consider improperly dressed. -Arash Sigarchi, VOA - 10/10/14

It will take more than a quiet word in Iran's ear to put human rights on the table

- Ghoncheh Ghavami's imprisonment shows how Tehran's hardliners deal with dissent. If the west cares, it must be consistent in complaining -Azadeh Moaveni, Guardian - 10/10/14

American-Iranian convict to get new trial

- Amir Hekmati's lawyer has announced that his client's file has been referred for a retrial. Hekmati, who holds dual U.S.- Iranian citizenship, is a former U.S. marine who was arrested during a visit to Iran. - 10/9/14

Iranian daily 'Bahar' acquitted

- The Press Supervisory Board cleared banned newspaper 'Bahar' of charges leveled by prosecutor-general. Following the vote of the Press Supervisory Board, the branch 76 of Tehran province's Penal Court headed by Judge Siamak Modir-Khorasani acquitted the daily's managing-editor Saeed Pour-Azizi. - 10/9/14

Iranian MP threatens confrontation in Parliament over opposition leaders

- Iranian MP Ali Motahari has reportedly warned Hassan Rohani that if he fails to address the issue of the house arrest of opposition leaders MirHosein Mousavi and Mehdi Karroubi, the issue will be presented to him in the form of a formal session of questioning in Parliament. - 10/8/14

Iran Frees Journalist, Leaving Her Husband Still In Jail

- Tehran has reportedly freed Iranian journalist Yeganeh Salehi on bail, but her husband -- "Washington Post" correspondent Jason Rezaian -- remains in detention. Jason Rezaian has dual U.S. and Iranian citizenship. Salehi and Rezaian were detained at their home in Tehran on July 22. - 10/6/14

Jailed British-Iranian activist in legal limbo starts hunger strike

- Iranian activist Ghoncheh Qavami has begun a hunger strike after 100 days in jail in protest to her undetermined state in Evin Prison. Goncheh Qavami was arrested in June for trying to enter Azadi Stadium to watch the volleyball game between Iran and Italy. She was released on bail then arrested again 10 days later. - 10/6/14

Jailed Iranian Journalist Ahmadi Amouyi completes sentence

- Bahman Ahmadi Amouyi, a jailed Iranian journalist, has been released after serving out his sentence. Jila Bani Yaghoub, a prominent Iranian journalist and Ahmadi Amouyi's wife, reported that Ahmadi Amouyi was released on Staurday October 4 with two days of delay. - 10/6/14

Iranian Journalists to Rouhani: Stop Lying

- In a letter to President Hassan Rouhani, 135 Iranian reporters, editors and media workers from inside and outside Iran urged the president not to insult them by lying about the persecution of journalists in Iran. The letter, published in Persian on IranWire, criticized Rouhani for recent comments he made during an interview with CNN's Christiane Amanpour. - 10/3/14

Iranian Minister supports social network access despite judiciary

- Iran's Minister of Communications and Technology, Mahmoud Vaezi, has expressed his opposition to the blocking of mobile social networking sites such as Viber, despite calls from the judiciary to keep Iranians from accessing them. - 10/3/14

Eighteen Nobel Laureates Call for Immediate Release of Iranian Physicist

- The Iranian Judiciary should immediately release the Iranian physicist and prisoner of conscience, Omid Kokabee, the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran said today. On September 26, 2014, in an open letter to Iran's Leader, Ali Khamenei, eighteen physics Nobel laureates called for the "immediate and unconditional" release of Kokabee. The letter was published in the leading scientific journal Nature. - 9/30/14

Iranian facebook users call for mercy in appeals court

- The lawyer for a number of Facebook users who were arrested by Iranian authorities for their cyber activities reported on Monday September 29 that his clients have "accepted some of their mistakes and expressed remorse" in the appeals court. - 9/30/14

Iran: Woman arrested at volleyball game now charged

- Ghoncheh Qavami, the Iranian woman who was detained three months ago for trying to enter a stadium to watch a volleyball game, has been charged with "propaganda against the regime." Qavami's lawyer told Iranian media that his client has pleaded not guilty and will present her defence at trial. - 9/30/14

Documentary film charts Iranian Baha'is' peaceful response to oppression

- A powerful new documentary film, telling the story of the Baha'is of Iran and their peaceful response to decades of state-sponsored persecution, had its UK premiere on 12 September. The film has been made by acclaimed journalist and filmmaker Maziar Bahari. He was Newsweek's Iran reporter from 1998 to 2011 and has produced a number of other documentary films about Iran. - 9/29/14

Idaho Cities, Towns Hold Vigil For Pastor Jailed In Iran

- The small Idaho town of Meridian was one of several municipalities in the U.S. state that held a vigil to pray for the safe return of Christian pastor Saeed Abedini who is in an Iranian jail. - 9/28/14

Viber Company Refutes Tapping Claims by Iranian Officials

- Following statements by Iran's Cyber Police Chief about his force's ability to monitor messages on Viber, the instant messaging service for cellphones, a Viber Company representative told the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran that the application's communications are encrypted and as such it is not possible for third parties to monitor messages. - 9/26/14

Iranian opposition leader Karroubi in hospital for latest health problem

- Mehdi Karroubi, who has been under house arrest since February 2011, has been hospitalized due to gastrointestinal complications. Fatemeh Karroubi reported that her husband's physical health have been seriously compromised by the house arrest; however, she added that his spirits remain strong. - 9/25/14

Iranian activists rally around jailed female volleyball fan

- Three hundred Iranian political and cultural activists have written to President Hassan Rohani, drawing attention to the dismal situation of Ghoncheh Qavami in Evin Prison and urging the government to respect her citizen's rights and facilitate her release. - 9/24/14

Iran Police Chief says Facebook, WhatsApp, Viber inevitable in information era

- Police Chief Brigadier General Esmail Ahmadi Moqaddam said on Tuesday that in the age of information making proper use of communications technologies is unavoidable and a must for progress. - 9/24/14

Hijab patrols on Tehran streets quashed by officials

- The 4,000-member Ansar-e Hezbollah patrols, which had announced their intention to confront any public noncompliance with Hijab (the Islamic dress code), will no longer hit the streets of Tehran due to resistance from the Security Forces. - 9/24/14

How Iran sanctions nearly sank Phoenix woman's condo deal

- A Phoenix woman's home purchase nearly was derailed after Wells Fargo froze her checking account and stopped her down payment from being delivered to an escrow account. The reason for Wells Fargo's actions last month? U.S. trade sanctions with Iran. -Robert Anglen, AZ Central - 9/24/14

Washington Post Reporter Jason Rezaian, Imprisoned in Iran, Suffers Severe Weight Loss

- Jason Rezaian and Yeganeh Salehi have lost a "shocking" amount of weight in prison, an informed source has told the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran. According to this source, the family of the imprisoned Iranian journalist Yeganeh Salehi was allowed to have their first visit with her and her Washington Post reporter husband Jason Rezaian on September 7, and they were astonished at the couple's appearance. - 9/23/14

Explore Iran's UPR: In 2010, Iran accepted 126 recommendations on human rights

- During its first Universal Periodic Review (UPR), Iran received 212 recommendations from 51 countries and accepted 126. Ahead of Iran's second UPR in October 2014, we took a look at Iran's implementations of these 126 recommendations. Has Iran's government done what it promised? - 9/23/14

Family's Video Appeals to Iran for Release of American

- Anticipating the arrival of Iran's president in New York on Monday for the annual meeting of the United Nations General Assembly, the family of Amir Hekmati, a former United States Marine incarcerated in Tehran for three years, has called attention to the case by releasing a video in which his father, who has terminal brain cancer, appeals to Iranian leaders for Mr. Hekmati's freedom. -Rick Gladstone, NY Times - 9/23/14

Iranians Arrested Over Khomeini-Insult Texts

- Eleven people have reportedly been arrested in the southern Iranian province of Shiraz after allegedly sending insulting SMS text messages about Islamic republic founder Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini. - 9/23/14

Iranian Security Forces Injure, Arrest Protesting Dervishes

- A second day of protest by Gonabadi dervishes in front of the Tehran Prosecutor's office was met violently by security forces, who attacked and arrested a number of protesters. Majzooban-e Noor reported earlier that more than 800 dervishes were held overnight. - 9/22/14

Iranian Judiciary Gives Deadline For Blocking Sites Like Whatapp

- The Iranian judiciary has given the administration one month to block mobile social networking sites such as Whatapp, Viber and Tango. The Rohani administration has not yet reacted to the judiciary's demand, but President Hassan Rohani has already expressed opposition to blocking mobile phone social networking sites such as Whatsapp. - 9/22/14

Iran's Jila Baniyaghoob on journalism, prison and Rouhani

- Jila Baniyaghoob, a prominent Iranian journalist and women's rights activist, has a charisma that comes through even on an online chat. In fact, she seems untainted by the many hardships she and her husband, Bahman Ahmadi Amouei, also a journalist, have endured to practice their profession in Iran. -Guardian - 9/20/14

Women's right to attend sports events at centre of Iran's culture wars

- A British-Iranian woman imprisoned In Tehran for attempting to watch a men's volleyball match is at the centre of Iran's cultural wars that constitute the backdrop to efforts to resolve problems with Iran's nuclear program and a struggle between reformists and conservatives in advance of parliamentary elections 18 months from now. -James M. Dorsey - 9/19/14

Iran: Sentences for "Happy" video may not have to be served

- The young Iranians who were arrested for making a music video for the Pharrel Williams song "Happy" have been sentenced to jail terms and lashes. The defence attorney told Iran Wire that he has finally received the sentences, adding that the sentences have been suspended for three years. - 9/18/14

As Rouhani Comes to NY, Domestic Repression in Iran Remains Unabated

- Ahead of President Rouhani's visit to New York next week, the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran released a video today, bringing into sharp focus the disconnect between Rouhani's rhetoric on domestic affairs and the reality on the ground. - 9/18/14

Yahoo! to Offer Iranians Email Services Again

- One year after Yahoo! decided to exclude Iran from the list of countries that can access some of its services, the company has resumed providing access to Iranian users to open accounts and use the company's Yahoo Messenger services. - 9/18/14

Iranian Interior Ministry objects to patrols enforcing hijab

- Extremist groups such as Ansar-e Hezbollah and Basij forces have become more vocal and active about enforcing hijab in public. This appears to be a backlash against the more progressive policies of the Rohani administration and President Rohani's call for moderation. - 9/17/14

New report on Iran's failed promises on human rights

- Titled "Unfulfilled Promises", and launched on Monday at the United Nations headquarters in Geneva, the report discusses 34 specific pledges made by Iran in February 2010 at the UN Human Rights Council that in some way could address human rights violations faced by members of Iran's Baha'i community. - 9/17/14

Iran FM criticizes Norway's expulsion of Iranian students

- "The expulsion of Iranian students has had adverse consequences on our public opinion and academic circles and this is detrimental to Norway," Zarif said in a Monday meeting with new Norwegian Ambassador to Tehran Aud Lise Norheim. - 9/16/14

Iran: Plainclothes forces to patrol for hijab violations

- The head of Ansar-e Hezbollah, the paramilitary group usually referred to as "plainclothes" forces by the Iranian public, has announced that it will put 4,000 of its forces on the street next week to confront violations of hijab, the Islamic public dress code. - 9/16/14

Iranian MP renews call for release of opposition figures

- Conservative Iranian MP Ali Motahari has once again urged the Islamic Republic government to release MirHosein Mousavi, Mehdi Karroubi and Zahra Rahnavard, the opposition leaders who have been under house arrest since February 2011 for challenging the legitimacy of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's victory in the 2009 election. - 9/14/14

More Than Two Months in Solitary Confinement for Protesting Exclusion of Women in Stadium

- A young woman's detention in solitary confinement continues after her June 30, 2014 arrest, following her earlier arrest and release outside a Tehran sports stadium when she tried to attend a volleyball game. Ghoncheh Ghavami's lawyer, Mahmoud Alizadeh Tabatabaee, told the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran that he is unaware of his client's charges despite the fact that Ghavami has been in solitary confinement at Evin Prison for more than two months and her "temporary detention" orders have been extended twice. - 9/13/14

"Happy" Youths Go on Trial in Tehran

- The Iranian youths who produced the dance video "Happy in Tehran" set to the Pharrell Williams hit song "Happy" were put on trial in Tehran on September 9, 2014, where they were charged with "participation in producing a vulgar video clip" and conducting "illicit relations" with one another, an informed source told the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran. - 9/12/14

British-Iranian woman Ghonche Ghavami imprisoned for two months for trying to watch men's volleyball game in Tehran

- Ghoncheh Ghavami, 25, was arrested along with more than a dozen women as they tried to enter a stadium where the Iranian national men's team was playing Italy on 20 June. -Independent - 9/11/14
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