Fartashphoto's Blog

Frost Over the World – Has US politics become too vitriolic?

Posted in Uncategorized by fartashphoto on January 15, 2011

Marietje Schaake on Eu priority towards Iran

Posted in Uncategorized by fartashphoto on January 14, 2011

Twitter Exposes WikiLeaks Court Order

Posted in Uncategorized by fartashphoto on January 13, 2011

Mousavi defiant in face of government attacks

Posted in Uncategorized by fartashphoto on January 11, 2011

MirHossein Mousavi, Iranian opposition leader expressed defiance in the face of recent threats from Islamic republic government figures and warned the establishment that such propaganda would only backfire.

In a report on Kaleme website, Mousavi, the chief challenger of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s victory in the 2009 elections, condemned the recent government statements and described them as worn out tactics used by totalitarian regimes such as Soviet Union in the Stalin era.

In recent months, Iranian senior officials including top judicial authorities have repeatedly attacked the opposition leaders, MirHossein Mousavi and Mehdi Karroubi, insisting that they will soon to be prosecuted for their role in the post-election protests as “leaders of sedition.”

Mousavi maintained that the “unfair content” of such attacks makes them “ineffective” and will make them backfire. He went on to add that such attacks merely attest to the “legitimacy and vitality” of the Green Movement.

The protest movement against the alleged vote fraud in the 2009 elections in Iran has been referred to as the “Green Movement.”

Mousavi goes on to tell the authorities: “As I indicated in my 17th announcement you should ignore people like me and without any attention to us, release the prisoners and announce that you are committed to the constitution. Give freedom to the media and set up free and non-selective elections. You will then realize, the horizons have lightened up. Otherwise more oppression will only result in heavier demands.”

Mousavi also added that this kind of publicity along with continued crack down and arrests will eventually make people lose faith in reform in the framework of the current constitution.

The opposition leader maintained that in the current atmosphere, power mongers are creating deep rifts in society but the forces of the Green Movement according to Mousavi, “are trying to overcome these rifts by keeping alive the space for debate and national dialogue and by practicing tolerance.”

He added: “Being Green does not mean that we want everyone to assume our color…Being Green is living side by side with understanding for differences and variety in votes, ideas and tastes.”

Mehdi Karroubi also responded to the recent government attacks earlier saying he is more than ready to stand in an open and public trial so that people would get a chance to hear both sides and judge for themselves.

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Iranian lawyer sentenced to 11 years in prison

Posted in Uncategorized by fartashphoto on January 10, 2011

Jailed Iranian lawyer, Nasrin Sotoudeh was sentenced to 11 years in prison as well as 20 years ban from travel abroad and from legal practice.

Her husband, Reza Khandan informed the Human Rights Reporters Committee that they now have 20 days to appeal the sentence.

Reza Khandan also added that Sotoudeh was given one year in prison for “propaganda against the regime while for the two other charges of “activities against national security and failing to adhere to Islamic hijab (head covering) in a filmed speech” she was given five years each.

Khandan reported that her wife was very distressed over the heavy sentence that she has received.

Nasrin Sotoudeh, whose practice mainly focused on human rights violation cases, was arrested on September 4 and has been in Evin Prison since.

She has gone on hunger strike twice to protest against her inappropriate treatment in jail and the legal proceedings of her case.

Her arrest has been protested by several human rights activists and organizations both in Iran and abroad.

The most recent protest was a three-day sit-in organized by seven Iranian women activists including Nobel Peace laureate, Shirin Ebadi in front of the United Nations Office at Geneva on December 19.

On the third day, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay issued a letter addressed to Ebadi stating that she will follow up on Sotoudeh’s case and other Iranian political prisoners through all legal channels open to her and her office. 

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Shirin Ebadi on human rights in Iran

Posted in Uncategorized by fartashphoto on December 31, 2010

Iran threatens trial for opposition leaders

Posted in Uncategorized by fartashphoto on December 31, 2010

Tehran’s chief prosecutor said Friday it was only a matter of time before opposition leaders are put on trial for the unrest following the disputed 2009 presidential election, the latest sign that Iranian authorities may make a potentially explosive escalation of their crackdown.

Hundreds of opposition supporters have been arrested and tried in the fierce crackdown that crushed opposition protests in the wake of the election, which the opposition claimed hard-line President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad won by fraud.

So far, authorities have stopped short of trying to jail the reform movement’s top leaders — Mir Hossein Mousavi, who claims to have been the real victor in the election, fellow candidate Mahdi Karroubi and former President Mohammad Khatami — apparently out of concern it could spark a new wave of protests and fuel the opposition.

But a series of recent public warnings by hard-liners that they could be tried may be a sign that Iran’s Islamic clerical leadership believes the opposition has been sufficiently suppressed that their arrest would not bring a significant backlash.

On Friday, Tehran prosecutor Abbas Jafari Dowlatabadi told worshippers at Tehran University that the opposition leaders are criminals who sought to topple the ruling Islamic system through street protests.

“We’ve said many times … that leaders of sedition are criminals and charges against them will be investigated. That they will stand trial is definite,” Dowlatabadi said in his address, broadcast live on state radio.

Mousavi and Karroubi said earlier this month that they are already living in a “big prison” and didn’t care if they were put behind bars in a “small prison” for defending the trampled rights of the Iranian nation. Mousavi recently likened Iran’s ruling system to a North Korean style dictatorship with a few cosmetic democratic gestures and criticized the disputed June 2009 election as a coup against democracy.

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Fatima Bhutto at CNN Edit Room First Edit Room

Posted in Uncategorized by fartashphoto on December 25, 2010

Fatima Bhutto was born in Kabul in 1982. Her father Murtaza Bhutto, son of Pakistan’s former President and Prime Minister, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto and an elected member of parliament, was killed by the police in 1996 in Karachi

Fatima graduated from Columbia University in 2004, majoring in Middle Eastern Languages and Cultures and from the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) in 2005 with a Masters in South Asian Government and Politics.

Iran Dissidents Speak Out

Posted in Uncategorized by fartashphoto on December 25, 2010

Iranian activists end their protest in Geneva

Posted in Uncategorized by fartashphoto on December 23, 2010

Shirin Ebadi and the group of Iranian women activists who started a sit-in outside the offices of the United Nations in Geneva on December 20 to protest against the continued incarceration of their peer, Nasrin Sotoudeh, ended their sit-in today.

Nasrin Sotoudeh, the Iranian lawyer who has been jailed in Iran since September on charges of “propaganda against the regime and collaboration with the Human Rights Defenders Centre”, ended her hunger strike yesterday at the behest of her family and numerous political figures who were deeply concerned for her well-being.

As Sotoudeh languished in jail after almost three weeks of hunger strike while the Iranian judiciary remained unresponsive to her demands for a just trial, Shirin Ebadi along with Mahboubeh Abbasgholizadeh, Shadi Sadr, Parvin Ardalan, Mansureh Shojaee, Khadijeh Moghaddam and Asieh Amini, seven prominent Iranian women’s rights activists began a sit-in in front of UN offices in Geneva to focus attention on Sotoudeh’s plight.

Tthese activists issued a statement on Wednesday maintaining that they had organized their sit-in “to enable the voice of Nasrin Sotoudeh to speak to the world” and also to enlist the assistance of the UN Human Rights Council to save their imprisoned colleague.

“Unfortunately our protests have not been successful;” the statement goes on to add. “Nasrin and other political prisoners are still incarcerated under inhumane conditions. During the three-day sit-in many civil and human rights’ activists declared their support for the sit-in. As a result, the protest against harsh conditions of Nasrin has evolved into a general demand for investigating unfair convictions of all political prisoners in Iran.” They point out that in the mean time two more women’s rights activists, Bahareh Hedayat and Mehdieh Golrou, sentenced to long imprisonment terms, have started a hunger strike to protest against their dire situation in prison.

They list the numerous other imprisoned dissidents such as Mohammad Nourizad, Ebrahim Yazdi, Mohammad Oliaeifar and Moansor Osanlo who are suffering from fragile health in Iranian prisons while the judiciary refuses to provide them with adequate health care.

They refer to the plight of student activists, such as Ahmad Zeydabadi and Abdollah Momeni, as well as journalists such as Bahman Ahmadi Amoi, Massoud Bastani and Nazanin Khosravani imprisoned for long prison terms or held in legal limbo.

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