I am so saddened to see the ever increasing number of suicide bombings in Turkey, a country that has always been very close to my heart. No doubt Erdogan's Islamic extremism, the persecution of Kurdish minority and Erdogan’s support for ISIS has led to the increase in terrorism killing innocent people and destroying Turkey’s tourism industry. Such a shame...

10 dead after explosions at Turkey's largest airport, Istanbul Ataturk: Media reports

This year once again Islamic extremist groups and organizations who support the brutal and systematic human rights violations by the Islamic Regime in Iran and who openly call for the destruction of Israel will be holding another Al-Quds “Hate Rally” in front of the U.S. Consulate in Toronto on July 2nd 2016.

International Al-Quds day was founded by Ruholla Khomeini, the barbarous Islamic Dictator who high jacked the Iranian revolution of 1979 and was responsible for the arrest, torture and summary execution of thousands of political dissidents.

Khomeini’s Islamic Regime continues to reign terror on its own people, sponsor terrorist organizations such as Hamas and Hezbollah and has been trying for years to acquire nuclear weapons. Not surprisingly Islamic extremists and supporters of terrorist organizations such as Hamas and Hezbollah and people who have zero regard for human rights and dignity rally on Al-Quds day every year by holding up pictures of Khomeini and flags of outlawed terrorist organizations.

They go on to praise the Islamic dictator Khomeini who is responsible for torture and murder of thousands of Iranians while they openly call for the destruction of Israel. Recently it was brought to my attention that Independent Jewish Voice, an organization that claims to be “human rights organization” has been actively participating in Al-Quds Day for the past several years and also had a speaker at the Memorial of Khomeini in May of this year.

I am very disappointed to see a group that recognizes itself as a human rights group turn a blind eye to the plight of millions of Iranian people suffering under the current Islamic Dictatorship, while praising Khomeini the founder of that dictatorship.

I call on all human rights and pro-democracy organizations and activists to join together and say No To Al-Quds Hate Rally in Toronto and anywhere else in Canada. I urge you to stand with the people of Iran in their fight for a democratic and secular Iran, rather than standing with the dictators that are responsible for the oppression of millions of Iranians.

Sayeh Hassan is an Iranian-Canadian lawyer, blogger and pro-democracy activists

Today is the International Day to Support Iranian Political Prisoners. It was 7 years ago today that Neda Aghasoltan, a beautiful young woman was shot to death and murdered by Islamic Regime Agents for participating in a peaceful protest.

Unfortunately in the last 7 years things in Iran have become worse not better and the brutal prisons in Iran are still full with political prisoners. Today gives us an opportunity to stand in solidarity with all Iranian Political Prisoners and demand their immediate and unconditional freedom. The Islamic Regime in Iran must be held accountable for their brutal human rights violations.

Today we remember Jafar Azimzadeh, Zeynab Jaliliyan, Habibollah Latifi, Mohammad Sadiq Kaboudvand and so many others who have suffered at the hands of the Islamic Regime. We stand with them in their fight for a free and democratic Iran.

Book Review: Scapegoats-How Islamophobia Helps Our Enemies and Threatens Our Freedoms: By Arsalan Iftikhar

I found Arsalan Iftikhar's book "Scapegotas" both fascinating and challenging to read, as while at some parts I found myself nodding and agreeing with Mr. Iftikhar in other parts of the book I found myself shaking my head and coming up with counter arguments.

In his book Mr. Iftikhar makes some excellent points about scapegoating of minorities by the government and social/ethnic majorities both historically and currently in the United Stated and in other countries in the world. I found his discussion on historic scapegoating of African Americans, Japanese Americans and Jewish Americans and its comparison to today's scapegoating of the Muslim American Community compelling.

As written by Martin Luther King in 1963 and referenced by Mr. Iftikhar " Injustice anywhere is threat to justice everywhere." Mr. Iftikhar certainly does an excellent job of outlining the dangers of scapegoating minorities and its effects on society in large.

Where I found myself disagreeing with Mr. Iftikhar was the notion of "victim blaming" (at least that's the way I read it) of victims of Islamic Terrorism. A clear example is Mr. Iftikhar's clear reference to the terror rampage of Charlie Hebdo in January of 2015.

Mr. Iftikhar references the publication of "offensive" Muhammad Cartoon on a number of occasions including on page 108 where he states" But Charlie Hebdo's mean-spirited cartoons against the Muslim faith simply brought shrugs, or chuckles, from France's culturally savvy liberal champagne class." There are similar references throughout the book.

Based on what Mr. Iftikhar wrote about Charlie Hebdo terror it appears he almost believes the magazine brought the terror attack on themselves by publishing pictures of Muhammad which may have been offensive to some or even many Muslims worldwide.

While I found this aspect of his book somewhat controversial as a lawyer, blogger and a pro-democracy activist with a focus in the Middle East I found "Scapegoats" to be a worthwhile read dealing with both issues of Islalmophobia and the scapegoating of minorities both historically and currently and would recommend it to anyone with interests in these topics.

Sayeh Hassan is an Iranian-Canadian Lawyer, Blogger and Pro-democracy activist.

Homa Hoodfar an Iranian Canadian Professor at Concordia University has been arrested and imprisoned by the Islamic Regime in Iran.

According to news reports from CBC Ms. Hoodfar was in Iran conducting historical and ethnographic research on women’s role in the public.

Amanda Ghahremani, Ms. Hoodfar’s niece has told the CBC that Ms. Hoodfar was an academic conducting research; she was not a political activist and was in no way involved politically. Unfortunately Ms. Hoodfar is not the only Iranian Canadian arrested and imprisoned by the Islamic Regime in Iran. In 2003 Iranian Canadian photojournalist Zahra Kazemi was arrested and imprisoned in the notorious Evin Prison for taking pictures outside of the prison. She was brutally tortured and died as a result of torture.

Saeed Malekpour is another Iranian Canadian permanent resident who was arrested by the Islamic Regime in 2008 while visiting his ill father in Iran. He still remains imprisoned! While the Trudeau Government is seriously considering re-establishing diplomatic relations with the Islamic Regime in Iran, and re-opening their embassy in Ottawa, Islamic Regime continues to arrest and imprison Iranian-Canadian citizens and permanent residents.

If the Trudeau Government is determined to re-establish diplomatic relations at the very least it MUST implement serious checks and balances including making sure Human Rights issues including the rights of imprisoned Iranian Canadians are at the top of the discussion agenda.

Re-establishing diplomatic relations and re-opening the embassy before the establishment of serious pre-conditions, and without requiring the Islamic Regime to make any concessions, is nothing but turning a blind eye and giving the Regime the green light to continue with its systematic and wide spread human rights violations which are completely contrary to our fundamental Canadian values.

Sayeh Hassan is an Iranian Canadian lawyer, blogger and pro-democracy activist fights in to change the Regime in Iran.

On May 25th 2016 17 Gold Miners were flogged in Iran for protesting against the layoff of 350 of their co-workers. A week later the Islamic Regime was attending the 104th session of the International Labour Board Conference in Geneva. A dictatorship that persecutes workers by imprisoning or lashing them for asking for their legal rights should not be allowed to attend international conferences on labour law! This is complete hypocrisy. The International Labour Board must condemn Islamic Regime's treatment of it's workers rather than allowing the Regime to make a mockery of the international labour conference!

Seventeen miners in northwestern Iran have been lashed on orders of the Judiciary after their employer sued them for protesting the firing of hundreds of their colleagues, the semi-official Iranian Labor News Agency (ILNA) reported on May 25, 2016.

A prominent Kurdish Human Rights Activist and the former President of Human Rights Organization of Kurdistan has been on a hunger strike since May 8th 2016 to protest against new and unfounded charges brought against him.

Mr. Kaboudvand has been imprisoned in Iran’s notorious Evin Prison for over 9 years. While he has been approved for early release by prison officials the Prosecutor’s refuse to approve his release and continue to bring false political charges against him in order to continue his imprisonment.

Mr. Kaboudvand was taken to the hospital on May 25th 2016 and is at risk for a heart attack. While in prison for the past 9 years he has suffered from two heart attacks and numerous other health issues. It’s important to note Mr. Kaboudvand is not the only political prisoner who has recently gone on an extended hunger strike to protest against brutal human rights violations in Iran. Jafar Azimzadeh, a prominent labour activist has also been on hunger strike for over a month protesting against the systematic violations of the rights of Iranian workers.

I urge all human rights activists and organizations to stand in solidarity with Mr. Kaboudvand, Mr. Azimzadeh and all Iranian political prisoners and to make sure their voices are heard. Kurdish Political Prisoner Resumes Hunger Strike Despite Risk of Death

The Islamic Regime in Iran continues its brutal attack on human rights! This month 17 mine workers were flogged for peacefully protesting the dismissal of 350 workers who worked in gold mines. The Islamic Regime in Iran continues to systematically violate the rights of Iranian workers by not paying them fair/market wages, withholding payment of wages for months at a time and dismissal and firing of workers.

At the same time the Islamic Regime will not allow workers to exercise their legal rights to peacefully protest or to unionize and demand their rights. A prominent labour worker Jafar Azimzadeh is currently serving a 6 year prison term, and has been on a hunger strike for more than 30 days to protest against the brutal treatment of Iranian workers.

Other workers are wrongfully imprisoned and now the Regime has taken on flogging workers for peacefully protesting in order to create an atmosphere of fear and terror! I urge all human rights activists and organizations as well as the Government of Canada to condemn Islamic Regimes systematic persecution of Iranian workers.

Sayeh Hassan is an Iranian-Canadian lawyer, blogger and pro-democracy activist.

I know many of us in the Iranian Canadian community are extremely concerned about the re-establishment of Canada-Iran relations as well as the possible re-opening of the Islamic Regime Embassy in Ottawa.

It is crucial at this time that we make sure our voices and concerns are heard both by the Canadian Government and the Canadian Media, which is why it is imperative for everyone of us to take the appropriate steps to make sure the Canadian Government hears our voices as loudly and clearly as the voices of Iranians who are lobbying for the re-establishment of relations and especially re-opening of the embassy. What can you do to make a difference?

1. Contact your local Member of Parliament and Provincial Member of Parliament by phone, email or by meeting them personally and speak to them about your concerns. Remember MP’s and MPP’s are generally very receptive and sensitive to the concerns of their constituents, so please take the time to contact them.

2. Contact the Office of the Prime Minister and the Office of the Minister of Foreign Affairs and voice your concerns both with respect to the human rights issues in Iran and any safety and security concerns you might have about the re-opening of the embassy.

3. Contact the Canadian Media! Tv, radio, print media as well as online media are excellent sources for bringing awareness about the human rights situation in Iran, raising concerns about Iran’s support for international terrorism and concern for safety and security of Iranian Canadians and their families in Iran if the Embassy was to re-open. Take the time to contact reporters who have written or reported on this issue before.

4. Write English articles and share on online media as well as social media. Remember while Facebook and Twitter are excellent tools for raising awareness, to make a real difference we need to take our concerns to the Canadian Government and the Canadian Media. Please take the time to do so.

Together we can make a difference, please start taking action today!

Sayeh Hassan is an Iranian Canadian Lawyer, Blogger and Pro-Democracy Activist.

Jafar Azimzadeh, is an Iranian prominent labour activist who was arrested in November of 2015 and sentenced to a six year prison term for his peaceful involvement in Labour Rights Activities. Mr. Azimzadeh went on an indefinite hunger strike three (3) weeks ago in order to protest Islamic Regime's criminalization of peaceful labour activities.

In an open letter Mr. Azimzadeh co-authored with an imprisoned teacher activist Ismail Abdi they demanded the removal of the charge “associating and colluding with intent to act against national security" from the open files of all imprisoned protestors and activists including themselves.

Among Mr. Azimzadeh demands are the end to low and below poverty wages of workers in Iran, an end to the ban by the Regime to mark and celebrate International Workers Day as well as Teachers day as well as an end to the ban against forming independent labour unions.

Mr. Azimzadeh is currently imprisoned in the notorious Evin Prison and has been on a hunger strike which has greatly deteriorated his health.

The Islamic Regime in Iran must release all political prisoners immediately and unconditionally and it must stop violating the rights of workers & teachers immediately!

Canada must continue to hold Islamic Regime accountable for its systematic and brutal human rights violations and urge Iran to upheld the rights of its own citizen.

قدردانی از فعالیتهای ۴ زن ایرانی کانادایی در سنای کانادا

هما ارجمند- نازنین افشین جم- سایه حسن- شبنم اسداللهی شهروند- مجلس سنای کانادا در جلسه سه شنبه ۱۰ می ۲۰۱۶ خود به نقض حقوق بشر توسط رژیم اسلامی ایران اعتراض کرد و خواهان آزادی زندانیان سیاسی، شد. خانم سایه حسن وکیل برجسته جنایی و فعال دموکراسی خواه است که ضمن همکاری با ایرانیان و دیگر کنشگران ملیت‌های گوناگون در راستای دفاع از حقوق بشر و دموکراسی در سرزمین نیاکان خود گام برمی‌دارد. او از طریق وبلاگ خود که در پی یافتن راه هایی برای تغییر بدون خشونت رژیم در ایران است، با بسیاری از سازمان‌های حقوق بشر و دموکراسی خواه در تماس است. او در کنفرانس‌ها و برنامه‌های رادیو تلویزیونی و رسانه های چاپی بسیاری در کانادا شرکت کرده است. http://www.shahrvand.com/archives/72124

Canadian Senate raises awareness about the plight of Iranian political prisoners:

This month, the Federal Conservatives in Canada held Iran Accountability Week 2016, which was organized by Senator Linda Frum and MP Tony Clement. Around the same period of time, the Canadian Senate held an Iran Inquiry that reported on the systematic human rights violations committed against political prisoners within the Islamic Republic of Iran. A number of Senators from across the political spectrum in Canada presented information about the dire plight of Iranian political prisoners.

http://www.jerusalemonline.com/news/world-news/around-the-globe/canadian-senate-raises-awareness-about-iranian-political-prisoners-21127

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