This is just downright appalling. This week, an Iranian court upheld a ruling that allowed for the government to confiscate a plot of land owned and used by some of the Baha’i community as a cemetery! Not only did they confiscate the land, but then they BULLDOZED it! What a disrespectful slap in the face to a group of citizens that practice a faith based on peace and humanity. This is the third time the Iranian government has confiscated land from the Baha’is, dating back to 1979, so it’s pretty humiliating they don’t understand that it is 2013 and those actions are NOT acceptable!!
Reporters Without Borders condemns a new crackdown on online freedom of information in Iran in which Revolutionary Guards have arrested at least 24 news and information providers in Rafsanjan, Kerman and Tehran in the past two weeks.
On 23 November, Rafsanjan’s public prosecutor announced the arrest of seven men and a woman for “insulting society’s sacred beliefs and Islamic values online” without naming them or saying exactly what charges had been brought against them. He limited himself to adding: “The intelligence services are monitoring the Internet with great care and are cracking on all possible violations.”
The arrest of “16 cyber-activists by the intelligence section of the Revolutionary Guards in the city of Kerman” was confirmed by the city’s prosecutor on 4 December, according to Farsnews, a news website allied with the Revolutionary Guards. They are accused of “being in contact with enemy media based abroad with the aim of producing content for educational websites targeted at citizen-journalists,” Farsnews added.
Narenji, a website specializing in new technology, had posted a message the day before announcing that “the site can no longer be updated following the arrest of seven members of our staff by Revolutionary Guards.” The message was removed a few hours later.
Local journalists said eight young specialists in new media were among those arrested. Ali Asghar Hormand, Abass Vahedi, Alireza Vaziri, Nassim Nikmehr, Malieh Nakehi, Mohammad Hossien Mossazadeh and Sara Sajad Pour were taken to an unknown location after their homes were searched and personal effects were removed.
Ghiti Pourfazel, the lawyer of the family of Sattar Beheshti, a blogger who died in detention in November 2012, meanwhile reported on 3 December that a Tehran court has declared that it is not competent to try the case as one of “involuntary homicide” and that the case has therefore been closed.
The judicial authorities had been putting a lot of pressure on the family and its lawyer to accept the prosecution’s classification of his death as “involuntary homicide by accident or negligence.”
After reporting the latest ruling, Pourfazel said, “I must now consult the family in order to establish whether they want to initiate proceedings to reopen the case before a criminal court.”
Beheshti was found dead in detention centre run by the FTA (the Iranian cyber-police) on 3 November 2012, a few days after his arrest. His body bore the marks of blows. After a year of procedural difficulties, an initial hearing on the cause of his death was to have been held on 27 October but was postponed until an unknown date. Those who tortured Beheshti to death are still unpunished.
Is Rouhani just continuing his charm offensive long enough to then pivot and renege on the agreement?
I previously posted awhile back a story of a massacre in Iraq of Iranian dissidents at Camp Ashraf. 52 people were killed (many with their hands tied behind their back) and 7 people were taken hostages (6 of whom were women). The UN is finally speaking up about the issue, because the hostages are STILL being held by Maliki’s forces in Iraq and have yet to disclose the status of the hostages. Hopefully this statement by the UN will help shed some light on the issue and help get the hostages freed! Additionally, it’s International Human Rights Day, so all those jailed and held hostage for corrupt and unjustified reasoning should have their plights focused on today, so that those of us who are free can help them find their freedom that they so greatly deserve.
…or who knows what the Iranian regime will keep doing behind our back.
This was tweeted by the Supreme Leader of Iran, Ayatollah Khamenei. How is there supposed to be peace and transition in the region if he’s making remarks and dealing with neighboring countries through tactics like this??
“As Iran’s leadership embraces Facebook and Twitter, its citizens remain blockaded behind firewalls and filters”
Check out this very, very interesting article on the total hypocrisy of Iranian leadership’s use of Twitter, Facebook, social media, etc, while the majority of their population can’t even see it.
A great excerpt:
“Sites like Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube are blocked within Iran, underscoring a fundamental tension that has only recently begun to crystallize: as Iranian officials continue to spread their messages across social platforms, the country’s citizens remain quarantined behind web filters and firewalls, unable to legally access the services that have suddenly become an important part of their political landscape.”