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Political Prisoners’ solidarity with Mehdi Karroubi’s Hunger Strike

Mehdi Karroubi, one of the three leaders of what came to be known as the Green Movement, and has been under house arrest for the نرگس-محمدی-کروبی-300x300past 7 years, since the rigged presidential elections of 2009 and the mass protests that met with the regime’s brutality, went on hunger strike in protest at the presence of intelligence agents stationed inside his home, and demanded a trial. The news was relayed by his wife, Fatemeh Karroubi, announcing that he had ‘asked for the intelligence agents to leave his house, given that since the Revolution it was unprecedented that intelligence agents would be stationed in the home of the detainee, that cameras and recorders would be installed and every aspect of the detainee’s personal life would be monitored, and make life extremely difficult for the individual and his family in the strangest way. As mentioned in separate letters to Mr. Rouhani and Mr. Motahari, he demanded that he should be given a trial in open court’. Mrs. Karroubi added that after 6 years under house arrest, Mehdi Karroubi asked that the date of the trial should be set as soon as possible. ‘Of course the court should be an open one, according to Article 168 of the Constitution, so that Mr. Karroubi can answer the regime’s trumped up charges, alongside his lawyers, so that he can let people know what is on his mind. This is a very important aspect of his demand, and one that he has stressed since the start of his detention.’
‘As the former leader of the legislature, Mr. Karroubi believes that extrajudicial punishment is illegal and no one has the right to act outside the law and punish an individual. Any punishment must be sanctioned by the courts. Mr. Karroubi is aware of the structure of judiciary and its level of independence and hence he does not expect a just trial, however, he believes that the continuation of this Read the rest of this entry »

Widening Gender Divide and Increasing Impoverishment of Women

One of the most telling indicators of economic, political and cultural development, gender equality and the empowerment of women, isstreet vendors in Gilan Iran women’s share of economic resources and their influence in the country’s economy. According to agreements and official documents of international gatherings on women, ‘promoting development, eradicating poverty, promoting and achieving gender equality and women’s empowerment are among effective factors for the realisation of human rights (World Conference on Women, 1995), and governments have a duty to plan for these and to implement them.

Therefore, one of the most important indicators of development is the rate of employment among women and its effect on the country’s economy. From this point of view, Iran has a deplorable rating, even among the countries of the region. Read the rest of this entry »

Regime’s Cynical Tour of Notorious Evin Prison for Ambassadors

In early July 2017, representatives of 45 countries in Europe, Asia, Africa and South America visited Iran’s notorious Evin Prison, the site of the murder of many political prisoners and where currently many women and men are held in breach of their human rights, Evinamong them are Atena Daemi, Golrokh Iraee, Narges Mohammadi and Maryam Akbari Monfared. Amnesty International (AI) has reported on the cynical measure of the Islamic Republican Regime and has called it a ‘Public Relations stunt’. Below is the text of AI’s report.

‘Last week the Iranian authorities arranged a rare visit to one of the country’s most infamous prisons for representatives of up to 45 foreign diplomatic missions from Europe, Asia, Africa and South America.

The authorities made no secret of the fact that the tour of Evin Prison in Tehran was designed to counter negative human rights reports about the prison, and showcase the “excellent facilities” on offer which include an in-house beauty salon, gym, library and restaurant.
In the days that followed, state media outlets were flooded with news stories praising conditions at the prison including congratulatory comments from Indian, Indonesian, Portuguese and South Korean delegates. Read the rest of this entry »

Remembering Maryam Mirzakhani

Maryam Mirzakhani, the accomplished Iranian mathematician, died on Saturday 15th July at the age of 40, due to breast cancer. She maryam-Mirzakhanileaves a daughter and a husband. She studied in Tehran’s Sharif University and went to Harvard for her PhD, which she completed in 2004. Tributes have been paid to her nationally and internationally, by academics who knew her professionally, praising her for her remarkable intellect and contribution to mathematics.
Her significance, as a woman from Iran, is ever more remarkable given the disdain that the ruling regime shows women and the impediments it engineers in their development, socially, economically, and politically; and the way it has hampers the development of so many girls and young women in science and education. The achievements of Maryam Mirzakhani find even greater importance in this context. She was a positive role model for so many young girls, whose interests and talents in all fields of education are neglected by a patriarchal and misogynistic system of government, and its laws and artificially imposed social norms. Read the rest of this entry »

Urgent Action – Human Rights defender on Hunger Strike

On 20th April, the solidarity organisation CODIR called for action in solidarity with Atena Daemi, political prisoner in Iran.

‘Iranian human rights defender Atena Daemi has been on hunger strike in Tehran’s Evin prison since

Atena Daemi

8 April. She is protesting the suspended prison sentences imposed on two of her sisters, Hanieh and Ensieh, for “insulting public officers on duty”. She has accused Iran’s security bodies of harassing family members as a way to inflict further pain and suffering on political prisoners.

Write a letter, send an email, call, fax or tweet:

  • Release Atena Daemi immediately and unconditionally, as she is a prisoner of conscience targeted solely for peacefully exercising her rights to freedom of expression, association and assembly;
  • Ensure, pending her release, that she has access to a qualified health professional who can provide health care in compliance with edical ethics, including the principles of confidentiality, autonomy and informed consent;
  • Quash the convictions and sentences of Hanieh and Ensieh Daemi, which were issued after an unfair trial;
  • Investigate Atena Daemi’s allegations of torture or other ill-treatment, including being subjected to violence during her November 2016 arrest, and ensure that those responsible are brought to justice in fair trials. Read the rest of this entry »

UN concern over Iran’s Human Rights Record – Report

The UN Human Rights Council passed a resolution last week expressing concern over the human rights situation in Iran, and extended the mission of Asma Jahangir, the Special Rapporteur on human rights in Iran, and has asked the Iranian government to cooperate fully with her.

The UN Human Rights Council resolution on Iran was approved by 22 votes to 12, with 13 abstentions. The Council welcomed the report prepared and submitted by Asma Jahangir, stating that its contents aUN report image from CODIRre a source of “serious concern”.

In her report, Asma Jahangir referred to certain limited developments, including the signing of the Bill of Rights by President Hassan Rouhani, but at the same time pointed to the continuing problems concerning human rights in Iran. Iran has rejected Ms. Jahangir’s report and has alleged that it is born out of “political motives”.

Ms Jahangir expressed concern at the high number of executions, the use of punishments such as flogging and blinding, execution of under-age criminals, the use of torture and lack of due process in the judicial system of Iran. Read the rest of this entry »

May Day and Iranian Women

On May Day, we greet the workers of Iran, especially women worker – teachers, nurses, office workers, rural women, carpet weavers and thousands of Iranian women who work in the informal sector and are not identified in any statistics.

1st of May commemorates the bloody struggle of the US workers in 1886, for reduced working hours and a change to the harsh and cruel working conditions, one that was recognised by the 2nd International conference as the International Workers’ Day in 1889, and has hence been marked in the calendars of countries worldwide. Every year, millions of workers throughout the world celebrate this day, often as a national holiday. However in our country, Iran, for years the regime of the Supreme religious Leader (Velayat-e-Faquih) has prevented its commemoration and by removing its formal designation, only those in state organisations are allowed to commemorate it with the purpose of justifying the regime’s anti-worker policies. However the workers of Iran continue to commemorate this day by issuing declarations and informal gatherings, in the face of threats and being called for questioning by security forces.
This year the first of May is celebrate under conditions in which the regime is preparing

once again for engineered ‘elections’, and is whipping up interest for the elections and to draw the people, at the side, the working class, to the ballot boxes. However the workers, especially women workers, have other immediate concerns: their diminishing purchasing power for basic provisions, as the chasm between their wages and the cost of living widens evermore. Read the rest of this entry »

8th of March, the day of solidarity of women all over the world

Jam'iat_e_nesvan_e_vatan-khah01The Democratic Organisation of Iranian Women issued a statement on the International Women’s Day: “Greetings to all hard-working women, on the occasion of 8th March, the day of solidarity with the struggle of women the world over, for freedom from sexual and class exploitation, for a better world, free from poverty, violence, war and exploitation, a world of equal rights.
The 8th of March is not only a reminder of the relentless struggle of workers for their rights against discrimination and inequality, but also an occasion to honour a century and a half of women’s movement with its successes and setbacks – a movement whose achievements have changed the face of the world in the interest of working and deprived people, especially women.
This day is also irrevocably linked with the name and memory of its founder, Clara Zetkin, one of the renowned leaders of the German communist and working class movement. For the first time, in the conference of socialist women in 1910, she proposed this day as the day of commemoration of the women workers in USA who had been gunned down by the police to protect the interests of capitalism. In the following year, in 1911, the second international accepted this proposal and since then, the international women’s day has been commemorated by progressive women in different countries, as their conditions allow.
The 8th March is not merely a day of celebration, it is the day of renewal of our resolve to uphold the values for which the world’s communists and progressives, and women at their helm, have fought:  freedom from sexual and class exploitation. Today, more than 150 years after its inception, this struggle of women worldwide has had immense achievements such as raising awareness about the role of women in society, it has succeeded in bringing about the preliminary conditions for ending sexual inequality, such as ending numerous misogynistic laws in patriarchal societies, and the realisation of the social, economic and political rights of women in many countries in the world. In addition, the effective role of women in the anti-war movement, against poverty and violence and for the environment, has turned women’s movement into an effective force in political developments in the world. Read the rest of this entry »

Wednesdays – Special Days for Imprisoned Mothers and their Little Children

Narges Mohammadi, the human rights activist who has spent years in the Islamic Republic’s prisons for trumped up charges, has written a report on the visiting day in the women’s ward of Evin Political Prison in Tehran.Narges Mohammadi and kids

“There are special days in Evin prison that mean a lot to the imprisoned women. Eight of 31 women held there, namely Maryam Akbarimonfared, Leila Jama’at, Nigara Afsharzadeh, Nargess Mohammadi, Zahra Zehtabchi, Fatemeh Mossana, Azita Rafeezadeh and Nazanin Zaghari have very young children.
According to prison regulations, very young children can visit their mothers on Wednesdays from 1 to 2 PM. The meetings are held inside the prison hall and observed by prison guards and 5 CCTV cameras. The children are accompanied by their families to the prison’s gate, and then guided by the officials from there towards the meeting hall to see their mothers for about an hour.
On Wednesdays, all the mothers in the women’s ward are excited and look forward to seeing their kids. Azita begins to Read the rest of this entry »

Who was Rafsanjani and what role did he play in the suppression of people’s democratic demands

Hashemi Rafsanjani who died on 8th January 2017, was an influential politician who held many important posts since the Revolution of 1979, ranging from Minister of Interior, to (4th) President between 1989 to 1997, also Speaker of the Parliament, Chairman of the Assembly of Experts and the Chairman of the Expediency Discernment Council.mothers of laale park
His legacy is an appalling one of destitution for the people and a country on its knees economically and politically, with social and cultural conditions having worsened. The Mothers of Laleh Park have written on Rafsanjani’s record.
‘Hashemi Rafsanjani was 44-45 years old at the time of the Revolution in 1979, with a history of political activism and time served in the political prisons of the Shah. During that period he acted sometimes against his affluent class background and in favour of the working class and small farmers, but these actions were only aimed at gathering support with a view to gaining power. Read the rest of this entry »