Fartashphoto's Blog

Marietje Schaake on Eu priority towards Iran

Posted in Uncategorized by fartashphoto on January 14, 2011
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Iran urged to drop prison sentences against human rights activists

Posted in Uncategorized by fartashphoto on January 13, 2011

Amnesty International has denounced the prison sentences imposed on two leading Iranian human rights defenders and urged the authorities to drop all charges against them.

Human rights lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh has been jailed for 11 years on charges of “acts against national security”, “anti-regime propaganda” and belonging to the Centre for Human Rights Defenders.

The charges relate to her human rights work after the country’s disputed 2009 presidential elections. It appears that Sotoudeh may not yet have been told the verdict and sentence imposed on her.

Journalist Shiva Nazar Ahari had her four-year prison sentence imposed for “acts against national security” and other charges, confirmed by an appeal court on Sunday. She may also face flogging; it remains unclear whether this part of her original sentence, subsequently converted to a cash fine, has been reinstated.

“The sentences imposed on Nasrin Sotoudeh and Shiva Nazar Ahari are outrageous and make a mockery of justice,” said Malcolm Smart, Amnesty International’s director for the Middle East and North Africa.

“Both women have been sentenced on account of their courageous defence of human rights and the very standards and values which the Iranian government is bound by international treaties to uphold,” said Malcolm Smart. “It is truly a sorry state of affairs when such actions can be branded a threat to national security or the peddling of propaganda.”

“Nasrin Sotoudeh is a prisoner of conscience and must be released immediately and unconditionally. Shiva Nazar Ahari should not be made to serve her sentence – it should be immediately withdrawn.”

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Iran rounds up Christians in crackdown

Posted in Uncategorized by fartashphoto on January 12, 2011

Iran has arrested about 70 Christians since Christmas in a crackdown that demonstrates the limits of religious tolerance by Islamic leaders who often boast they provide room for other faiths.

The latest raids have targeted grass-roots Christian groups Iran describes as “hard-liners” who pose a threat to the Islamic state. Authorities increasingly view them with suspicions that range from trying to convert Muslims to being possible footholds for foreign influence.

Christian activists claim their Iranian brethren are being persecuted simply for worshipping outside officially sanctioned mainstream churches.

Caught in the middle is the small community of Iranian Christians who get together for prayer and Bible readings in private residences and out of sight of authorities. They are part of a wider “house church” movement that has taken root in other places with tight controls on Christian activities such as China and Indonesia.

Iran’s constitution gives protected status to Christians, Jews and Zoroastrians, but many religious minorities sense growing pressures from the Islamic state as hard-edged forces such as the powerful Revolutionary Guard exert more influence.

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Clinton Iran does not want peace deal

Posted in Uncategorized by fartashphoto on January 11, 2011

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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Persecution in Iran: Snippets of the New Revelation

Posted in Uncategorized by fartashphoto on January 10, 2011

Human rights film festival invites jailed Iranian filmmaker to sit on jury

Posted in Uncategorized by fartashphoto on January 8, 2011

Jailed Iranian film director Jafar Panahi has been invited to join the jury at an international film festival in Switzerland in March that focuses on human rights, organizers said Thursday.

Last month, an Iranian court sentenced Panahi, 50, widely known outside Iran for films such as “The Circle” (2000), “Crimson Gold” (2003) and “Offside” (2006) to six years in jail for alleged subversion, his lawyer said.

The winner of many international awards and a supporter of opposition leader MirHossein Mousavi in last year’s disputed presidential election, Panahi was arrested in early March. He was kept in detention for 88 days, during which he went on a hunger strike.

“He has also been banned from making films, writing any kind of scripts, traveling abroad and talking to local and foreign media for 20 years,” Panahi’s lawyer said after his sentencing.

According to a statement released in Italy in November, Panahi had gone on trial in Iran accused of making a film without permission and inciting opposition protests after the 2009 election that led to months of political turmoil.

The International Film Festival and Forum on Human rights (Fifidh) said in a statement it had invited Panahi to the jury alongside Spanish author Jorge Semprun, Italian writer Antonio Tabucchi, actress and director Zabou Breitman, and a Swiss filmmaker Jean Stephane Brin.

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Iranian-Dutch citizen sentenced to death in Iran

Posted in Uncategorized by fartashphoto on January 7, 2011

Iran has issued a death sentence on drug-related charges for Zahra Bahrami, the Iranian-Dutch citizen who was arrested in the protests of December 2009. The court sentence also includes “confiscation of her possessions, car and house.”

Jinoose Sharif Razi, Bahrami’s lawyer told the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran that her client is charged for two separate cases. The first is connected with her arrest during Ashura Day anti-government protests and the second is a charge of keeping drugs in her home.

Sharif Razi reports that they have currently only processed the file on drug charges and adds: “Since the amount of drugs discovered at her home is over a certain limit, she has been issued the death penalty.”

Bahrami’s lawyer also indicated that her client denies having any drugs at her home. Her sentence has not been confirmed yet and has been sent to the Chief Prosecutor of Iran for further deliberation.

According to this report, 400g of cocaine and 400g of opium were found in Bahrami’s home and according to Iranian law, carrying over 30g of heroine can carry the death penalty. In terms of opium, however, over 20 kg is the limit that can justify the death sentence.

According to Bahrami’s lawyer, drug charges are usually processed with greater urgency. The court sentence on drug charges cannot be appealed but are instead sent to the Chief Prosecutor for more deliberation and finalization.

Zahra Bahrami is also facing the charge of “enmity with God” in connection with her arrest on Ashura Day in December 2009.

Uri Rosenthal, Dutch foreign minister has called on the Iranian embassy to clarify Zahra Bahrami’s situation. He declared grave concern regarding the death sentence which was announced in Dutch media yesterday.

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WikiLeaks Cables Prove DEA Is Losing Drug Wars Abroad

Posted in Uncategorized by fartashphoto on January 5, 2011

Bosnian filmmakers protest jailing of Iranian directors

Posted in Uncategorized by fartashphoto on December 28, 2010

About 50 Bosnian filmmakers and actors gathered Monday in front of the Iranian embassy in Sarajevo to protest against prison sentences handed out to directors Jafar Panahi and Mohammad Rasoulof.

“It is terrible that in the 21st century there are fascist systems that do not allow freedom of speech, of expression, of art,” said Bosnian director Jasmila Zbanic, the Berlin Festival’s 2006 Golden Bear winner for her movie Grbavica.

“I came to provide my support to my colleague Panahi who I have met in Berlin. I really feel bad because of what happened to him,” she told reporters.

Defying snow and freezing temperature, the protestors watched one of Panahi’s films on a huge screen erected opposite the Iranian embassy.

Last week the 50-year old Panahi was sentenced to six years in prison and banned from making films or leaving Iran for 20 years. Rasoulof was reportedly given the same sentence.

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