Archive for the ‘Other’ Category

Your contributions to our Search for Iran’s Dead and Detained

Wednesday, July 1st, 2009

Simon Jeffery on the response to our call for help in naming those who have died or been jailed since the Iran elections

Hundreds – maybe thousands – of people have been jailed in Iran for their part in the protests that followed the presidential election, and we are trying to find out who they are.

Yesterday we asked readers and a wider community on Twitter for help in filling in the missing details on our list and sending in photographs of the dead or detained.

So far we have received hundreds of pieces of information, many new names and several photographs. Below is Mohammadreza Jalaeipour, 27, an Oxford PhD student and spokesman for a grassroots campaign group for the reformist presidential candidate Mir Hossein Mousavi. He was arrested at Tehran airport on 17 June as he attempted to leave the country.

Others have pointed us to Facebook profiles and photographs for those involved in the protests. If you know of these people or have them in your networks please let us know. This is an attempt to break through the crackdown on dissent and reporting in Iran since the election. Many of the names would be unknown were it not the for the work of groups such as the New York-based Campaign for Human Rights in Iran, Reporters Without Borders/Reporters Sans Frontieres and Human Rights Watch who we owe a great debt to.

All the information and photographs now coming in will be assessed and added to our database as appropriate and the main graphic will be updated. We are also sharing information with the above-mentioned Human Rights Watch and making a spreadsheet available at Datablog.

Parsing Iran’s ‘Momentous’ Internal Drama

Tuesday, June 23rd, 2009


Interviewee: Karim Sadjadpour, Associate, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
Interviewer: Bernard Gwertzman, Consulting Editor,

Karim Sadjadpour, a leading Iranian analyst who worked for four years in Iran for the International Crisis Group, says that given the “unprecedented” scale of protests in Iran over the presidential election results, “it’s very difficult to see how the status quo ante could prevail no matter what happens.” However, he believes the United States should continue trying to stay out of the political infighting in Iran. “This is extremely delicate and the situation is so dynamic,” Sadjadpour says. “We clearly have to be on the right side of history here, but if we try to insert ourselves into the momentous internal Iranian drama that’s unfolding we may unwittingly undermine those whom we’re trying to strengthen.”

Q: The demonstrations and the opposition efforts to overturn the official election results in Iran continue. Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has approved a partial recount by the Guardian Council, but opposition candidates are demanding a new vote. What do you think is going to happen over the next several days?

A:Something historic is afoot today in Iran. The scale of the protests is unprecedented. The depth of people’s sense of injustice and rage is palpable. People are continuing to bravely take to the streets, risking their lives, despite the fact that they’ve been told the Basij [Iranian paramilitary force] and Revolutionary Guards have been authorized to use force. This has not dissuaded them. The fissures we’re seeing amongst revolutionary elites are also unprecedented. It’s very difficult to see how the status quo ante could prevail no matter what happens.

Read interview in full

The latest condition of Mr. Boroujerdi in Yazd prison

Monday, June 8th, 2009


According to the reports received from Yazd central prison; Mr. Boroujerdi has stopped his 26-day-strike since Saturday June 30, 2009. It is noteworthy that he has been denied access to independent lawyers or even contact with his family up to that date. The reports indicate that during the last week some addictive drugs have compulsorily been used and injected into him in order to force this prisoner leader to make false confessions and interviews.

Report on the First Nationwide Forum on the Right to Education

Thursday, May 7th, 2009


Wednesday May 6, 2009
Report from Tehran

Following the diligent work of the Committee on the Right to Education for the Bahá’ís that works under the Human Rights Activists Association in Iran, two simultaneous forums were held in Tehran and Shiraz with the committee members and several guests present

This unprecedented forum was held today in Tehran. The pictures of student prisoners on display punctuated the importance of this meeting.

The meeting was chaired by Niloufar Mehrabi, who opened the session with remarks on the right to education and the importance of its implementation.

The first speaker, Mr. Abolfazl Abedini, the head of public relations of the Association, recounted the executive activities of the Association and the various functions of its committees. He specifically named publication of books, monthly newsletters, educational workshops, legal support for victims of violation of human rights, and an international presence and reporting on the issue of human rights as the most prominent activities of the Association. He also mentioned the burden of costs that has been imposed on the Association for its activities and noted that the resilience of the Association despite the costs demonstrates its resolve and commitment to the rule of law.

The second speaker, Mr. Hessam Missaghi, a member of the Committee on the Right to Education for the Bahá’ís, introduced his Committee, its history, and its mission statement. He stated that one of the missions of the committee is consolidating its activities in addressing the deprivation of large numbers of Bahá’í young men and women from the right to education. Mr. Missaghi further elucidated the need for unity amongst various student organizations and noted that the Committee he represents serves as a bridge between students whose right to education has been violated and human rights organizations. Another mission of the Committee, he continued, is collection of statistics on the students who are currently deprived of their right to higher education.

Mr. Missaghi, who has been deprived of higher education, requested other activists in the forum to continue to write articles on this matter and assist the committee with their active reporting and follow-up.

The next speaker was Dr. Nemat Ahmadi, attorney and university professor, who received an ovation from the crowd upon standing at the podium. Dr. Ahmadi began his remarks with an expression of disappointment as an educator to learn that there are students, who, on the basis of their religious affiliation, are deprived of access to education. He further continued that such course of action is in stark contrast to the Iranian Constitution. He noted that Article 9 of the Iranian Civil Law clearly states that the International Covenants to which Iran is a signatory must be observed. He also noted the third chapter of the Constitution with Articles 15 through 43 that point to individual rights and liberties and consider the right to education as universal. He recounted his memories that as a student he had been involved in significant activism and since the university was considered as an independent entity, his activities never led to his suspension or violation of his rights as a student.

He quoted an Islamic tradition stating, “Seek knowledge from the cradle to the grave.” He interpreted this statement that anyone who desires to obtain an education has the right to do so.


Mourning Their Children:The Mothers of Khavaran

Tuesday, February 10th, 2009

The following two videos show the mourning and the stories of the thousands who where executed and
buried at Khavaran. Their bodies where dumped and covered. None of the families, who turn up every year in their memory ever knew the exact site of their loved ones, as they where all left unmarked. The Government has recently attempted to demolish this site and cover up the evidence. Many are campaigning bring this demolition to a halt and preserve the testimony of this most heinous

please click to view the first video Khavarans Mothers from The Iranian Womens Studies Foundation

Watch more YouTube videos on AOL Video

We Are Ashamed

Saturday, February 7th, 2009

The following is an article written and signed by a group of Iranians consisting of artists, writers, professors, poets, journalists, human rights activists and many other conscientious voices. The letter entitled “we are ashamed” is an emotional and sensitive apology for the wrongs committed against the Baha’is in Iran. The original article can be read
on the cnn website or in farsi at

Century and a half of silence towards oppression against Bahai’s is enough
by Open Letter

In the name of goodness and beauty, and in the name of humanity and liberty!

As Iranian human beings, we are ashamed for what has been perpetrated upon the Baha’is in the last century and a half in Iran.

We firmly believe that every Iranian, “without distinction of any kind, such as, race, color, sex, language, religion, politics or other opinions,” and also without regard to ethnic background, “social origin, property, birth or other status,” is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. However, from the very inception of the Baha’i Faith, the followers of this religion in Iran have been deprived of many provisions of human rights solely on account of their religious convictions.

According to historical documents and evidence, from the commencement of the Babi Movement followed by the appearance of the Baha’i Faith, thousands of our countrymen have been slain by the sword of bigotry and superstition only for their religious beliefs. Just in the first decades of its establishment, some twenty thousand of those who stood identified with this faith community were savagely killed throughout various regions of Iran.

We are ashamed that during that period, no voice of protest against these barbaric murders was registered;

We are ashamed that until today the voice of protest against this heinous crime has been infrequent and muted;

We are ashamed that in addition to the intense suppression of Baha’is during its formative decades, the last century also witnessed periodic episodes of persecution of this group of our countrymen, in which their homes and businesses were set on fire, and their lives, property and families were subjected to brutal persecution – but all the while, the intellectual community of Iran remained silent;

A Professor’s Account of the Expulsion of His Baha’i Students

Wednesday, November 5th, 2008

This is an article from site, translated by Ahang Rabbani.

Last Monday, I was teaching a class at 8 o’clock in the morning. My students and I were reading aloud a text in English. Suddenly, I noticed that without having the text before them, two of my students were sitting politely with their hands crossed over their chests and just staring at me. I asked them, “Did you forget to bring the text with you to class?” One of them responded, “We have been expelled from the university and only came to bid you goodbye.”

Read article in full

Death Penalty for apostacy: an imminent threat to religious minorities in Iran.

Sunday, October 12th, 2008

Alarm bells are ringing across the globe as a new bill proposing the death penalty for
apostacy awaits its verdict from the Iranian Parliament. If this bill does get through many religious minorities, eg Christians, Baha’is and converts could legally face the death penalty. As the Islamic republic finds yet another loophole to rob a population of its religious freedom, cries of outrage are being heard across the world, from human rights activists to political leaders. One such voice was that of The British Foreign and Commonwealth Secretary, Rt Hon David Miliband, MP who has condemned this bill and stated that he deplored the way in which the Iranian Parliament is… now discussing a draft penal code that would set out a mandatory death sentence for the crime, quote unquote, of apostasy.”

Apostacy by definition means Abandonment of one’s religious faith. However this wouldn’t stop at just converts from Islam as in the example of the Baha’i community which Iran “considers to be apostates because of their claim to a religious revelation subsequent to that of the Prophet Mohammed……Since 1979, Iranian authorities have killed more than 200 Baha’i leaders, thousands have been arrested and imprisoned, and more than 10,000 have been dismissed from government and university jobs”.

The United Nations Commission on Human Rights, considers the recanting of a person’s religion a human right legally protected by the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. Yet Iran continues to ignore these ideals, and ultimately denying itself and its people the chance to contribute to, and experience, a more just and tolerant vision of society.

Family Home burnt to the ground in Kerman.

Tuesday, July 22nd, 2008

In the early hours of Friday July 18th the home of the Shakir Family, who are members of the Bahai’ community in Kerman, was burnt down in a suspected arson attack. Fortunately the family were away during the attack. Everything from furniture to possessions perished in the fire.

This family, like many in the Bahai community, are no strangers to harassment. In a recent event prior to that, whilst at a Bahai gathering, their friends noticed that the Shakirs car was set alight and tried to put it out with a fire extinguisher. They had also been on the receiving end of many threatening phone calls quite a while.

Read the article in full.


				<p class=Posted in Baha'is, Christians, Ethnic Minorities, Jews, Kurds, Other, Sunnis | 12 Comments »

FCNN: Death Penalty for Apostates in Iran

Monday, February 25th, 2008

The Iranian parliament may mandate the death penalty for citizens who

leave Islam, a human rights group announced this week.  

 For the first time in Iranian history, a proposed penal code demands the death penalty for “apostates,” according to a February 5 statement by the Institute on Religion and Public Policy -IRPP 


“Apostasy was always illegal, but the court could hand down a jail term, hard labor or the death penalty,” said IRPP President Joseph Grieboski. “Now apostasy [would only] get the death penalty.


Iran has used the “apostasy” law to target Muslim converts to Christianity, liberal thinkers and members of Iran’s Baha’i religious minority


“This is not something new, they just want to be more harsh towards those who are leaving Islam,” an Iranian pastor told Compass.


No converts to Christianity have been convicted of “apostasy” since international pressure forced officials to drop the death sentence of Christian convert Mehdi Dibaj in 1994. But in the years following the convert’s release, Dibaj and four other Protestant pastors, both converts and those working with converts, have been brutally murdered.


The murderers of the Christians have never been brought to justice. Local believers suspect the government played a role in the killings


“They began assassinating pastors and Christian workers,” said the Iranian pastor, who requested anonymity. “Legally, they did not take them to court, but they just killed them and said that they hanged themselves and gave some other excuses. 


‘Hardship’ for Women


The penal code proposal, already approved by the Iranian cabinet a month ago, appears to have the necessary parliamentary backing to be passed, an Iranian Christian told Compass. 


Article 225 of the draft, posted on the IRPP website, stipulates two kinds of “apostasy,” “innate and parental,” both of which warrant the death penalty 


Innate “apostates” are those who grow up with at least one Muslim parent, are Muslims at the age of maturity and then later leave the faith, the article states 


“Punishment for an Innate Apostate is death,” section seven of the article stipulates 


Known as “parental apostates,” citizens who grow up in non-Muslim homes, convert to Islam as adults and then later decide to leave are to be given a chance to repent before their execution, the draft states


“… After the final sentencing for three days, he/she would be guided to the right path and encouraged to recant his/her belief,” the article stipulates. “… If he/she refused, the death penalty would be carried out


Though sections of the draft appear to indicate that both men and women can be executed for apostasy, others limit execution to males who leave Islam. Section 225-10 states that convicted female “apostates” will be imprisoned for life.


The proposed law stipulates that “hardship” will be exercised on a female “apostate,” who will be immediately released if she recants. “The condition of hardship will be determined according to the religious laws,” the draft states.


Death Penalty for Drunkard


It remains unclear how far the government will go in implementing the revised apostasy law. In recent years no Christians are known to have been convicted of apostasy


In May 2005 a former military officer and Muslim convert to Christianity was acquitted of apostasy by an Islamic court in Bandar-i Bushehr. 


“This [new penal code] might open the hands of the fanatics to do more harm,” said the Iranian pastor. “It just depends which group [in the government] has more power, the radicals or the moderates 


The new draft also extends the government’s jurisdiction to all actions taken outside of Iran, the IRPP reported. Article 112-3-1 of the draft refers to actions against “the internal and external security of the country,” but leaves the definition of “security” open to interpretation.


“Our concern lies in the fact that any movement anywhere can be tried if the government considers it being against Islam,” IRPP president Grieboski said


A number of crimes, including repeated drunkenness, rape, murder, armed robbery, drug trafficking, “apostasy,” adultery and male homosexuality are capital offenses in Iran.


Last week, a Tehran criminal court sentenced a 22-year-old man to death after he was caught a fourth time in possession of alcohol and in a state of drunkenness. 


At least 28 convicts were executed in January, the BBC reported. According to the news agency, human rights groups said that Iran carried out the death penalty on nearly 300 people last year.

Another effort by Jam-i-Jam

Monday, February 25th, 2008

Following an extensive anti-Baha’i document, Jam-i-Jam announces the publication of ‘Kazh Raheh’ in an effort to apparently combat superstitions and false ideaologies, which take advantage of the public’s interest in the appearance of the promised Imam:

بيژن مقدم

بدل سازان


حتما مخاطبان گرامي روزنامه جام جم امروز به همراه روزنامه ضميمه «کژ راهه» را نيز دريافت کرده اند. روزنامه جام جم در کنار پرداختن به مسائل روز در حوزه هاي فرهنگي ، اجتماعي ، سياسي ، اقتصادي ، ورزشي و … بر آن است تا در قالب ويژه نامه هايي از اين دست ، توجهي خاص به برخي موضوعات مهم جامعه امروز نشان دهد

در تاريخ 6شهريور 86ويژه نامه اي توسط جام جم درخصوص «بهائيت » منتشر شد که مورد استقبال مخاطبان ، مراکز فرهنگي و علما و مراجع بزرگوار قرار گرفت

 در «کژراهه» به مقوله عرفان هاي دروغين و پديده مدعيان رنگارنگ پرداخته ايم. به اعتقاد ما امروزه به دليل ذات و جذابيت گوهر دين ؛ بسياري از فريبکاران در اين بازار که «معنويت» خريداراني بسيار دارد به عرضه نسخه هاي «بدلي » اين گوهر «گرانسنگ » پرداخته اند که ما از آنان به عنوان فرقه هاي نوظهور و مدعيان عرفان هاي دروغين ياد کرده ايم و آن را از مظاهر تهاجم فرهنگي مي دانيم 

هرچند پرداختن به اين حوزه ها همواره با ملاحظات و مخاطراتي همراه بوده و هست

اما براساس وظيفه ديني و رسالت مطبوعاتي برآنيم تا با شجاعتي که نيازمند مبارزه با خرافات است در اين عرصه ورود کنيم ؛ شجاعتي که ملهم از سيره علماي بزرگواري است که جان خود را در اين راه تقديم کرده اند

امروز مبارزه با خرافات و فرقه هاي دست ساز و ويرانگر که با بنيان هاي اعتقادي و اصيل مردم سر جنگ دارند، مسووليتي است که همه نهادهاي فرهنگي موثر را به خود فرا مي خواند

بايد با صراحت تمام به مقابله مدعيان ارتباط با امام زمان ، مدعيان ارتباط با عالم غيب ، شفادهندگان ، انرژي درماني و… که دکاني جديد براي کاسبي برپا کرده اند، پرداخت ، هرچند بايد قدردان فريادهاي هشداردهنده مراجع بزرگوار و علماي غيور و روشنفکران دين مدار اين سرزمين بود که همواره بيدارگر نسل ديروز و امروز بوده اند؛ اما بهره گيري از مختصات و ابزارهاي رسانه اي نوين نيز ضرورتي انکارناپذير است

تاکيد اصولي بر عقلانيت شيعه و تکيه بر منطق و استدلال در مباني اعتقادي و دريافت معارف ديني از سر منشاء اصيل آن مي تواند سدي محکم در برابر فريبکاران و دين فروشان باشد.اميدواريم با انتشار «کژ راهه » توانسته باشيم با نواختن زنگ هشدار، گامي در جهت خرافه زدايي از جامعه اسلامي برداشته باشيم


More followers of Maktab-i-Koran are arrested

Friday, February 22nd, 2008

بازداشت ده ها تن از پيروان مکتب قرآن در سقز

موکریان نيوز :


طی روزهای گذشته ده ها تن از پیروان مکتب قرآن در شهرستان سقز ، توسط نیروهای انتظامی بازداشت شدند.
این افراد که تعدادی از آنان فرهنگی می باشند ، در نظر داشتند به مناسبت ماه مبارک رمضان ، مراسم مذهبی شب های قدر را در یکی از مساجد این شهرستان برگزار کنند که توسط نیروهای انتظامی بازداشت شدند.
گفتنی است تعدادی از این بازداشت شدگان پس از چند ساعت آزاد شدند ، ولی بقیه همچنان در بازداشت بسر می برند .

A clergy is arrested after mentioning Ebrahim Lotfollahi in his Friday sermon

Friday, February 22nd, 2008

بازداشت یک روحانی سنندجی

موکریان نیوز


یک روحانی سنندجی به نام ماموستا ایوب گنجی مدرس دروس دینی و امام جمعه مسجد قبا در سنندج ، توسط نیروهای امنیتی بازداشت شد.
گفته می شود نامبرده در خطبه های پیش از نماز روزجمعه ، مرگ ابراهیم لطف اللهی دانشجوی سنندجی و ردصلاحیت های گسترده را محکوم نموده و همچنین درارتباط با روز دوم بهمن و رویدادهای اخیر منطقه به ایراد سخنرانی پرداخته است