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Iran

    September 18, 2013

    Amnesty International welcomes the release of prominent Iranian human rights lawyer, Nasrin Sotoudeh, and at least 11 political activists.  

    “While the releases are a positive development, they must be a first step that paves the way for the release of all prisoners of conscience held solely because they peacefully exercised their rights,” said Hassiba Hadj Sahraoui, Middle East and North Africa Deputy Director at Amnesty International.

    Nasrin Sotoudeh was sentenced, in September 2010, to six years in prison on charges of “spreading propaganda against the system” and “acting against national security”, including membership of the Centre for Human Rights Defenders (CHRD).

    Amnesty International adopted her as a prisoner of conscience and has campaigned for her immediate and unconditional release.

    August 30, 2013

    An Iranian prisoner of conscience and blogger on hunger strike to protest his unfair detention must be released immediately and unconditionally to receive treatment as his health deteriorates, Amnesty International said.

    Hossein Ronaghi Maleki, 28, is serving a 15-year prison sentence for “membership of the [illegal] internet group ‘Iran Proxy’”, “spreading propaganda against the system” and “insulting the Leader and the President”, among other charges.

    “Hossein Ronaghi Maleki’s worsening health is extremely worrying and despite repeated requests by his parents, the Iranian authorities are refusing to release him or even grant him temporary leave,” said Hassiba Hadj Sahraoui, Middle East and North Africa Deputy Director at Amnesty International.
    .
    “Not only have the authorities unfairly put him behind bars simply for expressing his views on his blog but they are now also jeopardizing his health and ultimately his life by not allowing him to receive the medical care he urgently needs”

    August 02, 2013

    The Iranian authorities must seize the opportunity presented by a change of leadership to fulfil the aspirations of many Iranians and undertake a complete overhaul of human rights in the country, said Amnesty International ahead of the inauguration of the new President this weekend.  
     
    Hassan Rouhani, the 64-year old cleric who has been described as a moderate, will be sworn in as President on Sunday 4 August 2013. Amnesty International has published a set of recommendations to the Iranian authorities, setting out a road map to address the abysmal human rights situation in the country.

    "For too long Iran has failed to live up to its human rights obligations under domestic and international law. After years of repression and international isolation, the Iranian authorities must stop posturing and acknowledge the severity of human rights violations in the country,” said Hassiba Hadj Sahraoui, Amnesty International’s Deputy Director for the Middle East and North Africa.

    June 17, 2013

    The victory of Hassan Rouhani, a 64-year-old cleric, in Iran’s presidential election, presents a new opportunity to address human rights abuses in the country, Amnesty International said today.

    Hassan Rouhani, described as a moderate and a pragmatist, made a number of pledges to improve Iran’s dire human rights record during his electoral campaign, for which he must be held accountable in the coming months.

    He plans to issue a “civil rights charter” which calls for equality for all citizens without discrimination based on race, religion or sex. It also calls for greater freedom for political parties and minorities, as well as ensuring the right to fair trial, freedom of assembly and legal protection for all.  

    “The proposed charter – if delivered and implemented - presents the potential for a decisive first step forward for human rights in Iran,” said Hassiba Hadj Sahraoui, Amnesty International’s Middle East and North Africa Deputy Program Director.

    June 12, 2013

    Iran’s authorities have intensified the clampdown on dissidents ahead of the country’s presidential election on 14 June, Amnesty International said in a new briefing published today.

    The briefing, Iran: Repression of dissent intensifies in run-up to presidential elections, documents dozens of arbitrary arrests and other human rights abuses in the run-up to election day, targeting journalists, political activists, trade unionists, advocates of greater rights for Iran’s religious and ethnic minorities, and students.

    “The escalation in repression is an outrageous attempt by the Iranian authorities to silence critics ahead of the presidential election,” said Philip Luther, Director of Amnesty International’s Middle East and North Africa Program.

    “The surge in recent violations underlines Iran’s continued and brazen flouting of human rights standards through its persecution of political dissidents and betrays the glaring absence of a meaningful human rights discourse in the election campaign.”

    May 17, 2013

    Iran’s ban on female presidential candidates contradicts several articles of the country’s Constitution as well as international law and should be removed, Amnesty International said.

    Mohammad Yazdi, a clerical member of Iran’s Council of Guardians, a constitutional body responsible for ensuring that legislation adheres to Iran’s Constitution, as interpreted by Iran’s religious scholars and Islamic law, and for vetting presidential candidates has announced that Iranian laws “do not allow women to become presidents”.

    Thirty women have registered to stand as candidates for the forthcoming presidential election on 14 June 2013. Women were previously prevented from standing in presidential elections, but there was a chance that the Council could have overturned that situation this time.

    The ban on women to run for presidency contradicts a number of articles of Iran’s Constitution, which say there should be equality for all citizens before the law and require respect for the rights of women. It is also in clear breach of Iran’s international human rights obligations.

    April 09, 2013

    By Aubrey Harris, Coordinator for the Campaign to Abolish the Death Penalty

    My Neighbour: Hamid Ghassemi-Shall

    I live in Toronto's east end, a neighbourhood known as Leslieville. It's between The Beach and Riverdale (where Degrassi was set). My neighbourhood is typically urban. There are a lot of streetcars, buses and older houses. The local elementary school is old enough to have an honour roll of former students who paid with their lives during the Great War and World War II. I didn't grow up here (I grew up in London, ON) - but I quite like this neighbourhood - and I've lived in a few around Toronto.

    February 13, 2013

    (Beirut, London, Paris, 13 February 2013) - The Iranian authorities should immediately release from arbitrary house arrest two former presidential candidates Mehdi Karroubi and Mir Hossein Mousavi, his wife Zahra Rahnavard, author and political activist, and cease harassing or detaining without cause the couple’s two daughters and Mehdi Karroubi’s son, said the Nobel Peace laureate Shirin Ebadi and six leading human rights bodies.

    Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran, International Federation for Human Rights, League for the Defence of Human Rights in Iran, and Reporters Without Borders co-signed today’s appeal.

    January 30, 2013

    The Iranian authorities must release journalists arrested in the past three days and accused of cooperating with "anti-revolutionary" Persian-language media organizations outside Iran, Amnesty International said.

    The organization believes further waves of arrests are planned. Underpinning this fear is today’s arrest of Bahar Newspaper Economics Editor, Ali Dehghan.

    A statement attributed to Iran’s Ministry of Intelligence declares: “The investigation will be continued until the last individual linked to this network is arrested and the propaganda of the foreign media and so-called human rights organizations and the statements… no longer have influence on the strong will of the soldiers of Emam e-Zaman [Ministry of Intelligence officials].”

    “Today’s statement by Iran’s Ministry of Intelligence is intended to intimidate Iranian journalists who have contact with non-government sources,” said Drewery Dyke, Amnesty International’s Iran researcher.

    January 28, 2013

    Iran must release all journalists being held solely for carrying out their legitimate work, Amnesty International urged after at least 14 reporters were arrested in the past three days amid police raids on newspaper offices.

    The journalists are reportedly accused of cooperating with "anti-revolutionary" Persian-language media organizations outside Iran.

    "This latest example of locking-up Iran's journalists is a result of draconian restrictions on reporting which violate the right to freedom of expression and must be relaxed," said Ann Harrison, Deputy Director of Amnesty International’s Middle East and North Africa Program.

    "All journalists who are imprisoned in Iran merely for peacefully doing their job should be released immediately and unconditionally."

    The latest to be arrested – Keyvan Mehrgan, formerly of the newspaper Shargh, and Hossein Taghchi – were reportedly arrested today.

    January 23, 2013

    A prominent Iranian human rights lawyer was returned to prison on Monday, unexpectedly curtailing a three-day temporary leave to visit her family, which was expected to be extended. 

    Nasrin Sotoudeh, who has been serving a six-year prison sentence since September 2010, was granted her first furlough from Tehran’s Evin Prison on 17 January on production of a hefty bail.

    Amnesty International has long campaigned for her unconditional release as a prisoner of conscience, as she was jailed solely for her peaceful work as a human rights lawyer.

    Sotoudeh has denied all the charges against her, which include “spreading propaganda against the system” and belonging to an “illegal” organization, the Centre for Human Rights Defenders. 

    “Nasrin Sotoudeh, whose human rights work has been recognized internationally, including when she was awarded the EU’s Sakharov Prize last year, is a prisoner of conscience who must be released immediately, unconditionally and for good,” said Ann Harrison, Deputy Director of Amnesty International’s Middle East and North Africa Program.

    January 18, 2013

    The execution in Iran this week of a 21-year-old man for a crime he allegedly committed while apparently still a juvenile shows a deplorable disregard for international law, Amnesty International said.

    According to state-run media agency Mehr, Ali (Kianoush) Naderi was executed in Raja’i Shahr Prison in Karaj, north-west of Tehran on Wednesday.

    He had been sentenced to death for his alleged role in the murder more than four years ago - when he was apparently still only 17 years old - of an elderly woman during the course of a burglary.

    Those under the age of 18 at the time of their alleged offence are considered to be children under international law and their execution is strictly prohibited

    Two other youths involved in the robbery received 15 years’ imprisonment each for theft convictions.

    “Ali Naderi’s execution shows Iran’s deplorable disregard for international standards on the death penalty,” said Ann Harrison, Deputy Director of Amnesty International’s Middle East and North Africa Programme.

    November 12, 2012

    Zia Nabavi (Sayed Ziaoddin Nabavi) is a member of the Council to Defend the Right to Education, a body set up in 2009 by students barred from further study because of their political activities or on account of their being Baha’is. He was arrested in June 2009, along with his cousin Atefeh Nabavi who was later sentenced to four years in prison. He was sentenced to 15 years’ imprisonment and 74 lashes in January 2010, which was reduced to 10 years to be served in internal exile. 

    Rosewater marks the feature-film writing and directing debut of former "The Daily Show" host Jon Stewart. Based on the thrilling true-life story of Maziar Bahari, Rosewater follows the Tehran-born, Canadian-based Bahari as the journalist returns to Iran to interview Mir-Hossein Mousavi, challenger to Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in the country's contentious 2009 presidential election. As Mousavi's supporters were protesting Ahmadinejad's victory declaration even before the polls closed, Bahari endured personal risk by sending footage of the street riots to the BBC. For this, Bahari was arrested by police led by a man known only as "Rosewater." He was tortured and interrogated over the next 118 days, while his wife embarked on an international campaign to have her husband freed and media outlets kept the story alive.

    The film features Gael García Bernal as Maziar Bahari, and an international cast that includes Shohreh Aghdashloo and Kim Bodnia.

    Please join the Amnesty International Edmonton chapter as we present one of this year's International Week Keynote speakers, Marina Nemat, who will be sharing her remarkable story of courage and how she managed to transform herself from victim to survivor to activist.

     

    Marina was born in 1965 in Tehran, Iran. After the Islamic Revolution of 1979, she was arrested at the age of sixteen. Her “crime”: complaining when the math and history lessons in her school were replaced by Koran instruction and political propaganda. She spent more than two years in Evin, a political prison in Tehran, where she was tortured and came very close to execution.

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