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April 16 2014
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UN rapporteur concerned over Reyhaneh Jabbari's death sentence

- Jabbari was arrested seven year ago for the murder of Morteza Abdolali Sarbandi, a physician and former employee of the Iranian Intelligence Ministry. Jabbari stabbed Sarbandi at his office after suspecting that he intended to sexually assault her and fled the scene. - 4/16/14

Foreign companies delay selling plane parts to Iran: Aviation Chief

- Alireza Jahangirian, the head of Iran Civil Aviation Organization, has complained about a delay by foreign companies to sell civilian plane spare parts to Iran. Under the Geneva nuclear agreement, which eases sanctions against Iran, Tehran is allowed to purchase plane parts. - 4/15/14

Iranian Cleric Says Unhealthy Satellite Jamming Un-Islamic

- Even if satellite jamming is a useful tool in protecting Islamic values, it is not permissible under Islamic law if it poses a health threat. That's according to an Iranian grand ayatollah who recently made a ruling on the issue following an inquiry by a Shi'ite news agency. -Golnaz Esfandiari, RFE - 4/15/14

Imprisoned Student Activist Maryam Shafipour Refused Medical Treatment

- A source close to the family of imprisoned student activist Maryam Shafipour told the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran that judicial authorities have refused the family's repeated requests for her transfer to a hospital to seek treatment for heart, stomach, and dental problems that she developed in prison. - 4/14/14

Iranian Court Sentences Former U.S. Marine To 10 Years In Prison

- An Iranian appeals court has reportedly upheld the 10-year prison sentence of a former U.S. Marine held in Iran since 2011. Amir Hekmati, a dual U.S.-Iranian citizen, was arrested in August 2011, then tried, convicted, and sentenced to death for spying. - 4/13/14

Complaints by Iranian MPs lead to action on "starred" students

- A spokesman for Iran's Article 90 Commission says following complaints from three MPs about the minister of science, the commission has finally managed to obtain the files of "starred" students. "Starred" students are university students who have been marked by the authorities for reasons such as political or social activism and, therefore, prevented from pursuing their studies. - 4/13/14

Land mine explosions injure three in Marivon, Iran

- Three separate land mines were detonated in Marivon, injuring three people. The Kordpress website reports that Faeq Ahmadzadeh of Sardoosh ran into a land mine while herding his livestock. - 4/12/14

Jailed Iranian activist's hunger strike reaches 35 days

- Jailed Iranian labour activist Shahroukh Zamani is continuing his hunger strike and has now been refusing food for 35 days. According to lawyer Naghi Mahmoudi, Zanmani has been on a hunger strike since March 7 to protest his transfer to Qezel Hessar Prison in Karaj and bring about his return to Rejai Shahr Prison. - 4/11/14

Wife of allegedly slain captive Iranian border guard wants answers

- The wife of Iranian border official Jamshid Danaifar, who was allegedly executed by the Sunni group Jeysh-ol-Adl after he was abducted along with four other border guards, is demanding more information about her husband. - 4/10/14

EU Must Stand Firm Despite Iranian Hardliners' Fury

- Hardline officials in Iran have lashed out at the European Union after the EU Parliament's passage of a resolution that called for all EU members to "mainstream" human rights in their relations with the Islamic Republic. - 4/9/14

Photos: The Village Children in Bashagard

- Life for the children in Bashagard County villages is very simple. No toys, no internet, no running water, no parks, ... The time seems to have stopped moving forward in these villages where 21st century has failed to arrive. - 4/8/14

Banks Targeting Iranian Americans - What Are Your Rights?

- Recently, we have heard from a number of people concerned about the increased scrutiny they have faced from US banks as a result of their Iranian citizenship. We want to clarify the basis for this increased scrutiny, as well as outline what rights Iranian-Americans have to best ensure that they can continue to conduct normal banking activities in the US without interruption. -Tyler Cullis, NIAC - 4/4/14

Iran Rights Lawyer Ignores Intelligence Ministry Summons

- Nasrin Sotoudeh, a prominent and widely respected human rights lawyer in Iran, has turned a deaf ear to a telephone call in which she was ordered to appear at the Intelligence Ministry on short notice. There has been no public reaction from Iranian authorities. - 4/1/14

Iran's Supreme Leader Pardons 920 Prisoners

- The announcement, reported by the state-run Islamic Republic News Agency, did not indicate whether those pardoned include any of the nearly 900 people the United Nations says are currently jailed in Iran over political activity. - 4/1/14

Iranians sue UK banks over closed accounts, claiming racial discrimination

- A group of Iranians, including a nine-year-old girl, have taken three high-street UK banks to court for what they believe is a misreading of sanctions policy, alleging they have been subjected to racial discrimination after being told that their accounts had to close. -Saeed Kamali Dehghan, Guardian - 3/31/14

Iran's Human Rights Showing Little Progress, UN Votes to Renew Special Mandate

- March 28, 2014- The United Nations Human Rights Council voted 21 to 9 to renew the mandate of Special Rapporteur Ahmed Shaheed, a welcome development for human rights in Iran, the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran said today. - 3/29/14

Sunni group says captive Iranian border officials not in Pakistan

- A spokesman for the Sunni group Jeysh-ol-Adl says the abducted border officers are in Iranian territory, and Pakistan's foreign ministry has also announced that the Iranian hostages are not in Pakistan. He went on to confirm the execution of one Iranian border officer, adding that the others are in good health and will be released if Iran meets Jeysh-ol-Adl's demands. - 3/29/14

This Norooz, Wishing Iranians (Access to) a Healthy New Year

- Since 2012, due to current U.S. and European sanctions on Iran, ordinary Iranians often cannot access the life-saving medicine they need to address critical health issues. -Yasmin Radjy, NIAC - 3/28/14

Pakistan vows to help find captors of Iranian officials

- A spokesperson for the Pakistani foreign ministry has condemned the abduction and killing of an Iranian border official. IRNA reports that Tasnim Aslam said Pakistan denounces terrorist activities anywhere in the world and expressed regret over the death of the Iranian border officer. - 3/28/14

Iranian Culture Minister Deflects Blame For Print Censorship

- Ali Jannati, the Minister of Culture and Guidance, says the government is not responsible for bans on books and newspapers. - 3/28/14

Column: The Value of Human Rights Advocacy with Friends and Foes

- Human rights criticism by the West is often seen in targeted countries as reflecting double standards and cultural relativism. Iran, for example, bristles when the United States and Europeans chide it for one of the highest rates of capital punishment in the world. -Barbara Slavin, VOA - 3/27/14

Jailed Iranian journalist gets furlough

- Ahmad Zeidabadi, a jailed Iranian journalist and the head of the Tajkim-e Vahdat alumni organization, has been given furlough from Evin Prison. He has been sentenced to six years in jail, exile to Gonabad and a lifelong ban from social and political activity. Zeidabadi won the 2010 Golden Pen award from the Global Press Institute and the 2011 Press Freedom Award. - 3/27/14

Some Iranian Political Prisoners Get New Year's Furlough Despite Ban

- A number of political prisoners were given a temporary leave on Tuesday March 25, five days into the Iranian New Year. It had been reported earlier that the judiciary had cancelled the customary New Year furlough for political prisoners in reaction to the meeting in Tehran between EU diplomat Catherine Ashton and a number of women's rights activists. - 3/26/14

Pakistan expected to secure Iranian guards' release: Iranian FM

- "The Pakistani government knows pretty well that the government and people of Iran expect the life of our hostages in Pakistan to be protected so that they would return to their families safe and sound and unscathed...as soon as possible," Mohammad Javad Zarif told reporters in Tehran on Wednesday. - 3/26/14

Brazil Should Support the Struggle of Iranian Trade Unionists

- As an Iranian labor activist, I have always looked for models that my country can follow to improve. Striking a balance between worker rights, economic developments, international trade, and vital social-programs is indeed no easy task, especially for countries with troubled pasts. -Mansour Osanlou - 3/26/14

Iranian Minister Of Culture Echoes Supreme Leader's Call For Cultural Crackdown

- After Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei alerted Iranian cultural officials to "dangerous cultural invasions" and called on them to take defensive action, Iran's minister of culture and guidance spoke in support of the leader's cultural insights and supported policies of censorship. - 3/24/14

Questions for the Board of Directors of Iran's Bar Association

- The 28th elections for the board of directors of Iran's Bar Association were held as: 1. A large number of attorneys are still in prison because of their oath of professional commitment. In addition to the members of the bar association, there are many other attorneys who fall under article 187 but who are behind bars because they too have indicated their commitment to their professional oath... -Nasrin Sotoudeh - 3/23/14

Former Iranian president announces regret that political arrests continue

- Former Iranian president Mohammad Khatami said in his New Year's message that the year just ending could have been more glorious had house arrests and imprisonments ended, referring to the house arrest of opposition leaders MirHosein Mousavi, Zahra Rahnavard and Mehdi Karroubi and the imprisonment of political prisoners charged in connection with the election protests of 2009. - 3/22/14

Iranian Judiciary Denies Customary Furloughs To Political Prisoners

- Iranian opposition groups say that the judiciary has decided to cancel the New Year furlough customarily extended to political prisoners in Iran in March. The families of political prisoners have reported that since the Rohani government took power, political prisoners are consistently being sacrificed in the fights between the judiciary and the government. - 3/21/14

Ashton's Meeting in Tehran

- Iranian news agencies are reporting that a "knowledgeable source" is suggesting Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif cancelled his dinner meeting with EU Foreign Policy chief Catherine Ashton on the eve of nuclear talks in Vienna to protest her meeting with civil and women's rights activists, including the mother of Sattar Beheshti, a blogger who was tortured and died while in custody, during her recent visit to Iran. -Farideh Farhi - 3/19/14

Father of jailed Iranian blogger begins sit-in over denied visit

- Ahmad Ronaghi Maleki, the father of jailed blogger Hossein Ronaghi Maleki, began a sit-in on Monday March 18 in front of Evin Prison to protest "the behaviour of the prosecutor and prison officials. Ahmad Ronaghi Maleki insists that the prosecutor must release his son for medical reasons, but the judiciary has refused to address his concerns, - 3/19/14

Hard-Line Iranian Weekly Suspended

- Iranian news agencies say the country's Press Supervisory Board has suspended the hard-line weekly "9 Dey" over its editorial content. Alireza Moaf, the weekly's editor in chief, was quoted as saying that articles critical of the government's "nuclear, cultural, and economic policies" are the main reason for the suspension. - 3/19/14

A Sliver of Light: Freed U.S. Hikers on Captivity in Iran & Activism Against Solitary Confinement

- In a Democracy Now! special, Sarah Shourd, Shane Bauer and Josh Fattal recall their harrowing ordeal as American hikers imprisoned in Iran. The three tell their story in a new memoir, "A Sliver of Light: Three Americans Imprisoned in Iran." - 3/19/14

Morality Police Bust Nighttime Party In Mazandaran, Iran

- Massoud Jafari, the head of Mazandaran Province security forces, says 13 women and four men have been arrested at a "mixed night party." The Mehr News Agency reports that Morality Police were informed of a night party being held in city of Abbas Abad and immediately went into action, acquiring a warrant to arrest the people at the party. - 3/18/14

Eshghi's Meeting Creates A Firestorm: "I Told Ashton That Sattar Died Under Torture"

- The mother of Sattar Beheshti - a blogger who dies in prison - told Rooz that EU's foreign policy chief said she would enquire about her son's murder from Iranian authorities. "Ms Ashton treated me in a very friendly and respectful manner. She said she would talk to Iranian officials about Sattar and ask them about him," she said. -Fereshteh Ghazi - 3/16/14

UN Rights Rapporteur Forced to Grade Iran from Afar

- Following the release Friday of his report to the Human Rights Council on the situation in Iran, U.N. Special Rapporteur Ahmed Shaheed urged Tehran to engage with U.N. mandates - firstly by permitting him to enter the country. "Nobody has been able to go to Iran as a U.N. mandate-holder for nine years now," Shaheed told IPS in Geneva, Switzerland, where the council is based. -Omid Memarian - 3/15/14

Free our Soldiers: Petition in Support of 5 Abducted Iranian Border Guards

- On 6 February 2014, five Iranian border guards were kidnapped by a Pakistan based terrorist group called " Jeishol-adl (The Army of Justice)". The following petition has been issued in support of the abducted soldiers and signed by large number of artists, scholars, athletes, journalist and activists. - 3/15/14

Rouhani has yet to deliver on press reforms in Iran

- Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) joined 26 other human rights and civil society groups on Wednesday in an open letter calling on the member states of the U.N. Human Rights Council to renew the mandate of Ahmed Shaheed, the special rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Iran. - 3/15/14

Prominent Iranian Political Prisoner Abdollah Momeni Released From Evin

- Abdollah Momeni, a prominent student activist and spokesman for Advar-e Tahkim-e Vahdat, was released on March 13 after five years in jail. Momeni, who headed the Free Citizens for Mehdi Karroubi presidential campaign, was arrested in June of 2009 in the aftermath of the controversial presidential election, which was marred with allegations of vote fraud. - 3/15/14

Iranians Report Low Confidence in Justice System, Putting Iran 82nd of 99 Countries

- A new report by the World Justice Project indicates Iran's ranking at 82 among 99 countries measured for what citizens think of their justice system. The WJP Rule of Law Index measures how the rule of law is experienced in everyday life around the globe. The ranking reflects both household surveys and expert surveys held for Iran in the cities of Tehran, Mashhad, and Isfahan. - 3/12/14

Bank of Hawaii Re-Opens Accounts for Iranians in U.S.

- NIAC welcomes the decision by Bank of Hawaii to re-open bank accounts for Iranian customers. As NIAC Advisory Board member Dr. Farideh Farhi first reported, the bank had terminated the accounts of Iranian customers in the U.S. in an effort to comply with U.S. financial sanctions against Iran. - 3/12/14

Rouhani has not increased freedoms in Iran, U.N. chief says

- Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has failed to fulfil campaign promises to allow greater freedom of expression and there has been a sharp rise in executions since his election, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said on Tuesday. -Reuters - 3/12/14

EU diplomat's meeting with Iranian women draws fire

- On her first trip to Tehran, EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton met with Gohar Eshghi, the mother of Sattar Beheshti (the jailed blogger who was pronounced dead three days after his arrest by the Tehran Cyber Police) and women's rights activist Nargess Mohammadi. - 3/11/14

Iranian dervishes released following arrests at protest

- Dervishes arrested in the protest in front of the Tehran's Prosecutor's office were released today, Monday March 10. The Majzooban-e Noor website reports that the dervishes were arrested yesterday as they gathered in front of the Tehran Prosecutor's office to protest the failure of prison authorities to address the medical needs of jailed dervishes. - 3/11/14

Iran: Prosecutor's office stresses Facebook ban amid reports of free access

- The deputy Prosecutor General of Iran announced that no officials anywhere in Iran have the authority to stop the filtering of Facebook as deemed necessary by the state body responsible for determining permissible activity on the internet. - 3/11/14

Iran: President Rohani fires back in brewing debate over cultural issues

- Two days after Iran's Supreme Leader expressed concern over cultural issues in Iran, President Hassan Rohani lashed back at the rising criticism, denouncing "pressure and policing methods" as a way of confronting cultural issues facing the country. - 3/10/14

Tehran authorities withdraw permits for Women's Day events

- International Women's Day events in Tehran were cancelled on March 8 after authorities withdrew the permit. Women's rights activists such as Elaheh Kolayi, Alieh Shekarbeigi and Soraya Azizpanah were set to speak at the event, which was organized by the independent women's group Asr-e Kherad in collaboration with the Etemad Newspaper and the Iranian Sociological Association in a program entitled "Women Must Get Organized." - 3/10/14

Pro-dervish protesters attacked by security forces in Tehran

- On the second day of a gathering in support of Gonabadi dervishes in front of the Tehran Prosecutor's office, security forces had a violent confrontation with protesters. The report indicates that the security forces tried to disperse the crowd by arresting a number of people and confronting people with violence. - 3/10/14

Release Shafipour, Hedayat, and All Other Iranian Women Prisoners of Conscience

- As the world prepares to honor and promote the economic, political, and social achievements of women on International Women's Day, Iran has sentenced yet another young woman, Maryam Shafipour, for her peaceful activities. - 3/8/14

Free Iranian Women Activists: Imprisonment of 3 Highlights Plight of Female Rights Defenders

- Iran's government should immediately and unconditionally free three female rights defenders unlawfully detained for their support of women, students, and political dissidents, Human Rights Watch said today, International Women's Rights Day. On March 2, 2014, one of the three was sentenced to seven years in prison. The others were already serving prison terms. - 3/8/14

Rohani Criticizes Practice Of Closing Iranian Newspapers

- Iranian President Hassan Rohani has criticized the practice of shutting down newspapers that offend the government. In statements broadcast on March 8, Rohani defended "freedom of the press with responsibility," saying that public trust is harmed when the government stifles the media. - 3/8/14

Iran's Dervishes On Hunger Strike Inside, Outside Prison

- It started on March 1 when one jailed dervish -- blogger and rights activist Kasra Nouri -- went on hunger strike to protest what he described as the mistreatment of his fellow prisoners. Nouri was angered that two jailed members of the Nematollahi Gonabadi order of Sufis were not receiving proper health care. He then was joined by others. -Golnaz Esfandiari, RFE - 3/8/14

Iranian Activist Arrested After Speech Labeled "Seditious"

- Saeed Razavi Faqih, an Iranian political activist and reformist, has been arrested in Iran, according to Iranian media reports. IRNA reports that the Hamadan prosecutor issued a warrant for his arrest after Razavi Faqih gave a speech to a gathering of reformists in Hamadan. - 3/7/14

Disturbing Video Of Public Iranian Execution Sparks Debate

- To share or not to share. That's the question being asked following the emergence of a video of a public hanging in Iran. Those who have shared the disturbing video on social media argue that it sheds light on the cruel methods the Islamic establishment employs to mete out justice. Opponents, however, believe that sharing the video helps promote a culture of violence in Iran fueled by acts such as public executions.-Golnaz Esfandiari, RFE - 3/7/14

Report of "Medical Access for Iranians" Event in San Francisco

- On Sunday, February 22, over 140 members of the National Iranian American Council (NIAC), Iranian American Bar Association (IABA), Havaar, and National Lawyers' Guild (NLG) attended a charity fundraiser in San Francisco to raise awareness about the impact of US sanctions on ordinary Iranians' medical access. - 3/6/14

Iranian Women Make A Push For Greater Opportunities

- Iran is starting to see a re-launch of activist groups following the election last year of President Hassan Rouhani. Social movements were scarce after the government crushed public protests known as the Green Movement following the 2009 elections. --Deborah Amos, NPR - 3/6/14

Iran: Gonabadi dervishes join jailed peers in hunger strike

- After nine jailed dervishes announced that they will refuse food to protest their mistreatment by Iranian prison authorities, 31 Gonabadi dervishes from across the country began their own hunger strike in support of their jailed peers. - 3/5/14

Unlock Iran: New Digital Platform To Raise Awareness Of Human Rights Violations In Iran

- Yesterday, the Iran Human Rights Documentation Center (IHRDC) launched UNLOCK IRAN, a unique platform that gives participants a digital view of what their lives would be like if jailed in Iran. The initiative calls on the international community to elevate the discussion of human rights issues in Iran at a time of critical reengagement with the Iranian government. - 3/5/14

My (Brief) Detention By Iran's Morality Police

- On my third day in Tehran last week, I was detained by Iran's notorious "morals police." My introduction to the morality squad began with shouts and threats and ended with fruit juice and a hug from a lady cop in a black chador that covered bleached blond hair and a snug red leather jacket. -Deborah Amos, NPR - 3/5/14

Iran: Karroubi campaign worker given seven-year sentence

- Maryam Shafipour, an Iranian student activist who worked on Mehdi Karroubi's presidential campaign in 2009, has been sentenced to seven years in jail by the Revolutionary court. Shafipour was arrested last July and held in solitary confinement for 67 days before being released on bail in February. - 3/4/14

Families of Iranian political prisoners drum up support for demonstration on Saturday

- The families of jailed dervishes and other political prisoners in ward 350 of Evin Prison have rallied people to gather at the Tehran Prosecutor's office on Saturday March 8 at 11 AM to demand just treatment of prisoners. - 3/4/14

Iranian Culture Minister muses about looser internet restrictions

- The Iranian minister of culture and guidance says 4 million Iranian internet users are on Facebook and it is not practical for the government to persist in imposing restrictions on access to the social media site. - 3/3/14

Iran Security Council Files Lawsuit Against Conservative Journalist for Critical Articles

- Iran's Supreme National Security Council Secretariat has filed a lawsuit against a conservative journalist for "acting against the resolutions of the Council," after he published four articles in a Tehran newspaper sharply criticizing Hassan Rouhani's foreign policy and the Geneva Agreement about Iran's nuclear program - 3/3/14

Reformist says Iranian journalists 'defenseless'

- In an interview via email with Al-Monitor, Mashallah Shamsolvaezin, a prominent reformist journalist shared his thoughts about President Hassan Rouhani's promises on freedom of the press. - 3/1/14

Iranian President Hassan Rohani Raises Religious Equality in Bandar Abbas

- There is no discrimination between Shia and Sunni citizen rights in Iran, the Iranian president told residents of Bandar Abbas on Tuesday February 26. Hassan Rohani stressed that his government has promised this equality from the start and will stand by its commitment. - 2/27/14

Banning Of Iranian Newspaper Aseman ‌Exposes Conservative Intolerance

- The independent centrist daily was shut down only after five days and yet its professional style had already created a refreshing buzz in the highly-controlled Iranian media market. The official reason for the shut-down is an article which described the Islamic "qesas" retribution laws as "inhumane". - 2/26/14

Iran Sanctions Hit the Aloha State (via Bank of Hawai'i)

- Let me begin by saying that I have been a long-standing critic of US sanctions against Iran. Irrespective of my distaste for Iran's structure of governance, I have not been shy in calling out the sanctions regime as collective punishment of the Iranian people. I have also been worried that they will eventually ensnare Iranians living in the United States. -Farideh Farhi - 2/25/14

British-Iranian man's kidnap in Dubai: Wife blames UK

- The wife of a British businessman who went missing in Dubai has said she blames the UK government for his disappearance. Abbas Yazdi is thought to have been kidnapped by Iranian intelligence agents last June after the Serious Fraud Office passed on his private business documents to Iran. -BBC - 2/25/14

Iran: Officials of closed newspaper released on bail

- The director of the Aseman daily was released on bail on Sunday February 23. ILNA reports that Abbas Bozorgmehr was released until his trial on bail of three trillion rials. The report indicates that Leyla Ebrahiman, the editor of the article that led to the shutdown of the newspaper, was also released yesterday on bail impending trial. - 2/24/14

Nurses at Tehran's Imam Khomeini Hospital stage sit-in

- One hundred nurses at Imam Khomeini Hospital staged a sit-in at the hospital to protest "management's refusal to address [their] collective demands." The head of the Nurses Association, Mohammad Sharif Moghaddam, told ILNA that management has ignored earlier promises to end discrimination in pay levels among nurses and has refused to cooperate with nurses' representatives to monitor the pay schedules. - 2/24/14

Fatal mine explosion part of greater pattern in Kerman, Iran

- An explosion in a coal mine in Kerman has left three miners dead and wounded six others. Following an explosion at the Kohanban Mine, several miners were caught under the debris. Rescue workers managed to save 10 miners but three others were killed in the incident. - 2/22/14

UN Alarmed at Spike in Executions in Iran

- GENEVA - The U.N. Human Rights Office says it is alarmed at the reported spike in executions in Iran since the beginning of the year. The office says at least 80 people have been executed, but some reports put that figure as high as 95. -Lisa Schlein, VOA - 2/22/14

Reformist Iranian Daily Shut Down, Editor Arrested

- Iranian authorities have banned a newly-launched reformist daily Aseman and arrested its managing editor over an article in which the Islamic law of retribution was described as inhumane. - 2/21/14

Iranian students demand return of expelled professors

- Students of Social Sciences at Allameh Tabatabai University have staged protests calling for the return of professors who were forced out of their jobs. The Fararo Website reports that the students called for the return of Parviz Piran, Shirin Ahmadnia, Ebrahim Tofigh, Shahla Ezazi, Nematollah Fazeli and Hassan Namakdoost. - 2/21/14

Stop Death Sentence in Inquisition Trial

- The Iranian Judiciary must rescind the execution sentence of Rouhollah Tavana for trumped-up charges of "insulting the Prophet," and stop issuing death sentences for ever-expanding categories of crimes, the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran said today. - 2/21/14
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