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Rape in Iran prisons

Student leader Majid Tavakoli, who has been jailed since late last year, has written a letter from Rajai Shahr prison near Tehran, pointing to the use of torture, rape and mock executions as instruments to intimidate political activists. His letter is another testimony to the use of “rape” against activists since the post-election protests in 2009. Other activists have also revealed after their release that they were raped while in detention.

To discredit him, authorities claimed Mr. Tavakoli was disguised as a woman at the time of his arrest on December 7, 2009. In his support, men wore headscarves in Iran at Universities and hundreds around the world posted their pictures in headscarves in a campaign on Facebook. He has been sentenced to eight and a half years in prison. Here is an excerpt of the letter written on September 15 and now translated and posted on Tavaana, an educational Web site that works with civil society in Iran.

“After all that violence, all that betrayal, all that mediocrity; after all those forced confessions and all those show trials, false interviews, tortures, solitary confinements, rapes, summary justice and executions; after all the slandering and cynicism, hope is still alive and our people are still hopeful and eagerly awaiting the day when their enemies, who are the enemies of democracy and freedom and human rights, are denounced and unveiled and their faces are known to all.”

 

Written by nazilafathi

October 8, 2010 at 5:36 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Sanctions:Undermining Civil Society or the Regime?

The Sudden dive of Iranian currency against US dollar late last month has raised questions whether sanctions are undermining the Iranian civil society or its government. Thomas Edbrink wrote today in the Washington Post that the currency crash was a recent sign of the pressures by the sanctions.

Iranian Rial dropped by 15 percent for the first time in ten years against the US dollar on September 25, raising fears whether it would continue to lose its value. Importers have been faced with shortage of foreign currency and money changers in the capital refuse to do business, sources in Tehran said. A former Iranian source, who spoke on condition of anonymity for fear of retribution, said Iran’s central bank, which has the largest foreign exchange reserves, has trouble transferring dollars from abroad because of sanctions.

Thierry Coville argued in World Policy this week that the sanctions are undermining the country’s civil society as higher costs will spread to the rest of the economy while the government has sufficient petrodollar to survive.

“It is the Iranian worker or member of the educated middle-class which will suffer from a higher inflation rate, if the rial depreciation goes on,” wrote Mr. Coville. “The companies close to the Pasdarans and the Foundations have enough political backing to get access to the financing they need to survive in this difficult economic environment (they are controlling most of the illegal import networks which generate huge profits).”

Written by nazilafathi

October 6, 2010 at 7:46 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Obama Imposes Sanctions on 8 Iranian Officials

Iranian human rights activists scored a major victory Wednesday after President Obama signed an Executive Order that imposes sanctions on eight Iranian officials for human rights abuse. The order means the individuals would not be able to travel to the United States and their property or assets in the United States will be blocked.

The individuals include Mohammad Ali Jafari, commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, as well as Ahmadreza Radan, deputy chief of the police force, and Saeed Mortazavi, the former Tehran prosecutor general. All played major roles in the bloody crackdown against demonstrators last year during post-election rallies. Sadeq Mahsouli, the interior minister during the elections, who is a close ally of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Gholam Hossein Mohseni Ejei, the minister of intelligence last year and Mostafa Mohammad Najjar, the deputy commander of the Armed Forces are on the list.

This is the first time since the protests last summer and the brutal crackdown by the government that the United States has imposed targeted sanctions against Iranian officials involved in human rights abuse. Dozens were killed, thousands were arrested and many were tortured. Scores of activists and journalists remain in prison on vague charges such as acting against national security.

Iranian activists welcomed the measure but urged other countries to follow suit. The New York based International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran called on Canada, United Arab Emirates and Europe, where Iranian officials tend to hold assets, to enforce the measure.

In another setback for Iran, Japan also announced today that it is planning to withdraw from Iran’s largest onshore oilfield, Azadegan, in compliance with the United Nations Sanctions against Iran. UN sanctions are aimed at pressing Iran to quit its controversial nuclear program.

Written by nazilafathi

September 30, 2010 at 2:59 pm

Posted in Human Rights