Posts Tagged ‘Islamic Republic of Iran’

Facebook bad for your health in Iran

May 29, 2014

Facebook

(Photograph: Dave Thompson/PA)

The Guardian reports that eight people have been jailed in Iran on charges including blasphemy and insulting the country’s supreme leader on Facebook. The opposition website Kaleme reported that two of the eight, identified as Roya Saberinejad Nobakht, 47, from Stockport (Iranian/UK national), and Amir Golestani, each received 20 years in prison and the remaining six – Masoud Ghasemkhani, Fariborz Kardarfar, Seyed Masoud Seyed Talebi, Amin Akramipour, Mehdi Reyshahri and Naghmeh Shahisavandi Shirazi – between seven and 19 years. They were variously found guilty of blasphemy, propaganda against the ruling system, spreading lies and insulting Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

[The relevant backdrop is that there is a growing row between President Hassan Rouhani’s administration, which favours internet freedom, and hardliners wary of relaxing online censorship. Last week, Iran’s national TV paraded six young Iranians arrested for performing a version of Pharrell William’s hit song Happy and posting a video of it on the internet. The arrests caused global outrage and prompted Rouhani to react in their support. The performers were soon released, but the video’s director, Sassan Soleimani, remains in jail. The arrests highlighted the challenges Rouhani faces in delivering his promise of allowing people greater access to social networks such as Facebook and Twitter, which remain blocked in Iran….In recent weeks Rouhani has stepped up his rhetoric in support of internet freedom. “The era of the one-sided pulpit is over,” he said recently at a conference in Tehran, endorsing social networks and asking his communications minister to improve bandwidth in the country. He intervened when the authorities blocked access to the mobile messaging service WhatsApp, ordering the ban to be lifted. Iran’s judiciary, which is a political institution independent of the government, has since moved to challenge Rouhani’s intervention and orderered WhatsApp to be banned. Until two years ago, Iran’s ministry of information and communications technology was in charge of policing the country’s online community, but in 2012 Khamenei ordered officials to set up the supreme council of virtual space, a body that is closer to the supreme leader than to the government. This means Rouhani is not the sole decision-maker in the future of Iranian web. With help from Iran’s cyberpolice, the judiciary and the Revolutionary Guards have identified and arrested Iranians because of web-related issues, including several employees of the Iranian gadget news website Narenji, who have been in jail since December.]

via Briton among eight jailed in Iran for web insults | World news | The Guardian.

Iran’s Larijani attacks human rights report by UN and Sotoudeh expresses faith in the future

March 20, 2014

When it comes to the human rights situation in Iran one could refer to numerous recent reports that lament the continued repression and ill-treatment of human rights defenders in spite of the change of President at the top (as I did e.g. in: https://thoolen.wordpress.com/2014/03/10/iran-human-rights-defenders-arbitrarily-detained-are-made-to-suffer-again-through-lack-of-medical-care/), but perhaps another way to demonstrate the enormous gap between the fanatics in power and those who struggle for a better Iran is two contrasting quotes:

The first comes from the Head of Iran’s Human Rights Council, Mohammad Javad Larijani, who in a 2-hour press conference rejected again any criticism and attacked the UN Rapporteur on Iran, Ahmed Shaheed, saying that his report was biased and filled with inaccurate reports and double standards.Larijani said that “he was turned into a media actor for propaganda against the Islamic Republic of Iran”. [from Iran rejects latest human rights report by the UN | Iran Pulse: Must-Reads from Iran Today.]

The other comes from http://www.arsehsevom.net/2014/03/nasrin-sotoudeh-equality-will-prevail/, quoting human rights lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh, one of the Final Nominees of the MEA in 2012 and recently released:

nasrin-sotoudeh

Not much more to say!

UN human rights report is politically motivated says Iran

October 27, 2013

The Tehran Times of 24 October 2013 , the governmental english-language newspaper of Iran, devoted a big piece on the reaction of the Government to the latest report by Ahmed Shaheed, UN special rapporteur on human rights in Iran. According to Reuters, in an address to the UN General Assembly’s Third Committee Ahmed Shaheed, said, “Any renewed or revitalized dialogue between Iran and the international community must include and not seek to sideline the issue of human rights” and “Human rights considerations must be central to the new government’s legislative and policy agenda, and to international dialogue and cooperation.”  Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesperson, Afkham, responded on Thursday that the mechanism for the appointment of the rapporteur was “completely political,” adding, “Terrorist groups and the groups which are seeking violence and have innocent people’s blood on their hands have been used as sources to prepare this report so it has no legal weight. In addition, Iran’s Permanent Mission to the UN issued a statement in which it defended the country’s human rights record. For those who are interested here follow some long excerpts which in tone and content are still very tough but perhaps the last paragraph reflects a bit more the hope that many have since Rouhani’s election: “Finally, notwithstanding our strong criticism of the report, we will continue our efforts to promote human rights in our country, including through enhancing our cooperation with the UN human rights machinery, particularly OHCHR, the UPR, thematic mandate holders and bilateral dialogue on human rights.Read the rest of this entry »