Elections in Iran suggest a setback for conservative President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
Friday's elections were for the powerful clerical body, the Assembly of Experts, along with local government.
On a turnout of 60%,( and just because BBC says so we should believe it) the big winners seem to be moderate conservatives, while reformists have made a comeback after three poor election showings. ( I am also quite curious to know the definition for moderate conservative and non moderate conservative, somebody enlighten me please. If Rafsanjani is a Moderate Conservative I don't know what to call the rest of them)
Moderate former President Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani sealed a landslide win for a seat on the Assembly of Experts.
With most of the results for local elections announced throughout the country, the president's allies have failed to win control of any council.
With about 20% of the Tehran votes counted, Mr Ahmadinejad's supporters were said to be in a minority. Candidates supporting moderate conservative Mayor Mohammed Bagher Qalibaf were ahead.
Not a single candidate supporting the president won a seat on councils in the key cities of Shiraz, Rasht or Bandar Abbas.
The president's supporters have also failed to main significant gains on the Assembly of Experts, which can dismiss the supreme leader.
BBC Iran affairs analyst Sadeq Saba says the message is loud and clear and is likely to increase pressure on President Ahmadinejad to change his policies.
Reformists hailed the early results. The Islamic Iran Participation Front said: "It is a big 'no' to the government's authoritarian and inefficient methods."
The biggest winner, our correspondent says, is Mr Rafsanjani, who was defeated by Mr Ahmadinejad in the 2005 presidential elections.
A conservative cleric close to Mr Ahmadinejad, Mohammad Taghi Mesbah Yazdi, came only sixth in the Assembly of Experts poll.
The overall turnout was about 10 percentage points up on the 2002 local elections.
I am not surprised to hear such reports since BBC has always been the mouthpiece for the Regime and a tool used by them to legitimize IRI!!!!!
I find this picture to be amazing, not so much because I enjoy seeing Ahmadinejahds picture being burnt, but because I am so thrilled to see we have such courageous activists who can do something like this in Iran, where their very lives will be endangered. Seeing things like this makes me believe even more that the change will be coming from within, and that the student movement will be a very powerful source of this change.
Mansour Osanloo, the president of the Tehran bus workers' union who was released in August 2006 after 8 months in detention, was re-arrested on 19th November by Iranian security officials.Osanloo was with two colleagues on his way to the Ministry of Labour in Tehran when he was approached by plain clothes security agents, who told him he was under arrest. When Osanloo asked for a warrant he was beaten, threated with a gun and forced into a car.The ITF, the ITUC and others in the international trade union movement have written protesting against this latest arrest
For those who are interested ITF suggests that the following letter be sent out in support of Mr. Osanlou. http://www.itfglobal.org/solidarity/Osanloo.cfm
I personally do not agree with sending any appeals to IRI officials becasue that serves to legitimze them. I would recommand writing to human rights organizations such as Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch and asking them to support Mr. Osanlou.
Iranian Kurdish journalist and human rights defender Sherko Jihani, was allowed to briefly telephone his mother and his wife on 13 December. He apparently sounded very weak, and was not able to tell them anything about his whereabouts. He is at risk of torture or ill-treatment.
His family had reportedly received a phone call on 12 December from a man who claimed to be a member of the Mahabad branch intelligence services, and told them that Sherko Jihani had died of a heart attack after falling into a coma.
He may have been detained for his peaceful activities in defence of the rights of Iran’s Kurdish minority, in which case Amnesty International would consider him a prisoner of conscience.
Sherko Jihani was detained on 27 November in the town of Mahabad, in the north-western province of Kurdistan. He began a hunger strike in protest on 30 November, and on 4 December he began refusing to speak.
LONDON, December 14 (IranMania) -
Iranian Supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has vowed that Iran would make further progress in its nuclear programme despite the objections of world powers, AFP reported.
"In the nuclear energy issue, international powers insisted that Iran should not achieve this advanced technology, but Iranians unanimously insisted on obtaining this right and as a result reached a very advanced level. (I have no doubt that a lot of Iranians would want to have this advanced technology, I think our major problem is that we do not want this crazy, unstable dictatorial Regime to have access to it, because not only would that endanger Iran and Iranians but the international community as a whole).
"Of course, this is not the end of the way, and the Iranian nation will make more progress in this regard," Khamanei said, without specifying what this would involve, state television reported.
Iran has been locked in a standoff with Western countries over its controversial nuclear programme, which they fear could be diverted towards making nuclear weapons.
The five permanent UN Security Council members plus Germany appear to be nearing an agreement on a resolution that would impose sanctions on Iran for defying international calls to freeze uranium enrichment.
Enrichment lies at the centre of dispute over Iran's nuclear programme as the process can be used to make atomic weapons as well as nuclear fuel.
Iran vehemently denies charges it is seeking nuclear weapons, insisting it only wants to enrich uranium for peaceful energy ends. ( There is absoloutly nothing peaceful about the IRI and there is no reason to believe this perticular activity would be peaceful, espeically with all the support IRI gives to numerous terrorist groups around the world).
Iran currently has two cascades of 164 centrifuges for uranium enrichment in a plant in central Iran but plans to install 3,000 centrifuges by March.
Sherko Jihani (m), journalist and human rights defender
Iranian Kurdish journalist and human rights defender, Sherko Jihani, was detained on 27 November 2006 in the town of Mahabad in Kurdistan province, northwestern Iran. He is held incommunicado at an undisclosed location where he is at risk of torture or ill-treatment. He may be detained on account of his peaceful activities on behalf of the rights of Iran’s Kurdish minority, in which case Amnesty International would consider him a prisoner of conscience.
Sherko Jihani, the correspondent of the Turkish news agency Euphrat in Mahabad and a member of the Human Rights Organization of Kurdistan (HROK), was reportedly summoned to appear before Branch 2 of the Revolutionary Prosecutor’s Office in Mahabad on 27 November and was immediately arrested and detained in Mahabad Central Prison. He was reportedly interrogated about forming an investigative committee to object to the kidnapping on 8 January 2006 of a woman human rights activist, Sarveh Komkar (Kamkar), and for giving interviews to foreign stations about the July 2005 killing by Iranian security forces of Kurdish activist, Showan (Shivan) Qaderi. His family was reportedly able to visit him on or around 4 December 2006. Sherko Jihani reportedly refused to pay a 50 million Rials bail (about US$ 5,500) and began a hunger strike in protest at his detention on 30 November. On 4 December, he began refusing to speak.
On 6 December, Sherko Jihani was removed from Mahabad Prison and was taken to an unknown location, possibly Oromieh prison. His family has since been unable to visit him or to confirm his whereabouts.
Sherko Jihani has reportedly been arrested nine times since 1999 and is said to have been tortured while in detention.
As I had mentioned in my previous posts tomorow (Dec 10th) is human rights day. This is a great opportunity for all of us to remember those who have lost their freedom for the cause of human rights, freedom and democracy. Amnesty International has organized a Writeathon and there is ample opportunity to write directly to prisoners of conciense as well as their family members to show your solidarity and support. I will post some of these cases and I hope we can all put aside a few minutes of our day tomorow and write. There was unfortunately only one Iranian case on their website (Naser Zarafshan) but I did contact them and they said we could also write to the two prominent student activists Ahmad Batebi and Kianoush Sanjari.
I will post each case individually withe the appropriate address and writing tips during the day.
Further Information on UA 301/06 (MDE 13/126/2006, 13 November 2006) Fear of imminent execution
Abdullah Suleymani (m) aged 27
Abdulreza Sanawati Zergani (m)
Qasem Salamat (m) aged 43
Mohammad Jaab Pour (m)
Abdulamir Farjallah Jaab (m)
Alireza Asakreh (m)
Majed Alboghubaish (m)
Khalaf Derhab Khudayrawi (m)
Malek Banitamim (m) aged 30
Abdul Husain Haribi (m)
Husain Maramazi (m)
Husain Asakreh (m)
The nine men named above remain at risk of imminent execution. A further three members of Iran's Arab minority, Abdul Husain Haribi, Husain Maramazi and Husain Asakreh, have also since reportedly been sentenced to death in connection with involvement in bomb explosions.
On 13 November, an Iranian local television station, Khuzestan TV, broadcast a documentary which included the “confessions” of 10 men: Abdullah Suleymani, Abdulreza Sanawati Zergani, Qasem Salamat, Mohammad Jaab Pour, Abdulamir Farjallah Jaab, Alireza Asakreh, Majed Alboghubaish, Khalaf Derhab Khudayrawi, Malek Banitamim, and a tenth man, named as Ali Motairi Nejad. The 10 men had been sentenced to death in connection with involvement in bomb explosions which took place in major cities in Khuzestan Province in 2005. Amnesty International believes this man to be Ali Matouri Zadeh, who was arrested along with his pregnant wife on 28 February 2006 (see UA 107/06, MDE 13/042/2006, 28 April 2006 and follow up). In the programme, the 10 people, said to be members of a group named Al-e Naser, (a little-known Iranian Arab militant group that is not known to have been active since the time of the Iran-Iraq war in the 1980s) "confessed" to their involvement in the bomb explosions.
Unconfirmed reports suggest that the men may be executed in their home towns and villages in Khuzestan province.
Following a one-day closed trial at a Revolutionary Court in Shadegan in Khuzestan province on 16 November 2006, Abdul Husain Haribi, Husain Maramazi and Husain Asakreh were reportedly sentenced to death, accused of bombing oil pipelines in Khuzestan. Amnesty International does not have any further details about their case.
Much of Iran's Arab community lives in the province of Khuzestan, which borders Iraq. The province is strategically important because it is the site of much of Iran’s oil reserves, but the Arab population does not feel it has benefited as much from the oil revenue as the Persian population. Historically, the Arab community has been marginalised and discriminated against. Tension has mounted among the Arab population since April 2005, after it was alleged that the government planned to disperse the country's Arab population or to force them to relinquish their Arab identity. Hundreds were arrested and there have been reports of torture. Following bomb explosions in Ahvaz City in June and October 2005, which killed at least 14 people, and explosions at oil installations in September and October, the cycle of violence intensified, with hundreds people reportedly arrested. Further bombings on 24 January 2006, in which at least six people were killed, were followed by further mass arrests. Two men, Mehdi Nawaseri and Ali Awdeh Afrawi, were executed in public on 2 March after they were convicted of involvement in the October bombings. Their executions followed unfair trials before a Revolutionary Court during which they are believed to have been denied access to lawyers, and their "confessions", along with those of seven other men, were broadcast on television. At least 13 other Iranian Arabs are also reportedly under sentence of death, accused of involvement in the bombings, distributing material against the state, having contact with dissident organizations operating abroad, and endangering state security. Amnesty International recognizes the right and responsibility of governments to bring to justice those suspected of criminal offences, but is unconditionally opposed to the death penalty as the ultimate violation of the right to life. Please see Iran: Death Sentences appeal case – 11 Iranian Arab men facing death sentences, AI Index MDE 13/051/2006, May 2006).
Today about 2000 students gathered in Tehran University to commomorade the Students Day as well as to protest against the Islamic Regime.
Our students have worked long and hard risking everything they have including their lives to bring about change in Iran. Unfortunately when speaking with most Iranians abroad I find that we have become cynical to the degree where most of us have absoloutely no faith in our students and their movement. I find this to be a huge shame, especially because the student movement is alive and very strong and will not back down. I think its a shame when most of our focus is on countries such as US and people like George Bush and how they will save us from the IRI.
The reality is if we do not scratch our own backs nobody will scratch it for us, and while international support is extremely important, why not also focus on the strong movement going on inside Iran and figure out how to help the student movement which I strongly believe can and will be the ultimate vehicle of change in Iran.
In any event this message is in solidarity with the student movement and every single individual that is trying to bring freedom and democracy to Iran.
Long Live the Student Movement
There are two ways to live:
1. Accept and allow things to remain the way they are
2. Take responsibility and change them
My last post may have seemed a bit harsh, and it was not because this individual was afraid of IRI, I know many people are and for good reason. What makes me really angry is the fact that this person and many others hide behind this fear and use it as an excuse for their silence. There are many ways to help without making ones identity known to the IRI.
Writing letters to the Canadian Government, contacting different human right agencies and voicing ones concern, covering ones head and face while attending demonstrations and writing under an alias name are just a few ways of helping the students in Iran without getting in contact or being found out by the IRI.
So lets stop the excuses!!
I happen to be on the emailing list of Iranian Students Association of University of Ottawa. Today I received an email through them written by one of the students who was extremely concerned about what is happening to students in Iran and wanted to do something about it. He was asking whether something should be done by students abroad to support the students who are fighting for freedom and democracy inside.
Ofcourse I thought this was a wonderful email and replied to him and gave him my thoughts. But this email created a much wider question for me. I went to University of Ottawa for three years and during that time I was always on the mailing list. On numerous occasions I tried to send out emails about students or activists who were arrested or tried to get some sort of campaign going and on ALL occasions the emails were censured by the president of ISAUO and they never let any of my emails go through. They claimed that this was a non-political organization and therefore could not allow such political emails. Ofcourse by censoring me they were promoting their own political agenday. The leadership of ISAUO has changed and at the very least it seems like they are starting allow freedom of speech which is a good start. Whether anyone will reply to the email I recieved today and whether anyone will try to do anything is a whole other question though.
I find it very disturbing that there are so many so called Iranian Student Associations who do not lift a finger to help their country or their people. They claim to be promoting Iranian Culture yet they do not want to or are too afraid to use the real Iranian flag which is the lion and sun. Some of them go so far as to use the Islamic Regime's flag such as the Iranian Student Association in Carleton University in Ottawa.
Ok I can go on forever about these so called independent non political groups, but the main question I have today is why are they so silent?
I have come up with three different possibilities
1. They simply do not care about Iran and what is going on in Iran
2. They are too afraid to do anything because of the threat posed by IRI agents who are VERY MUCH present in Canada especially in Ottawa, Toronto and Vancouver.
3. They are the creation of IRI. I am betting my money on this one. These groups are extremely large and well funded and once they are in place it is extremely difficult to start up any other Iranain student groups in the University. The existence of these groups keeps other real and independent student groups from forming and from really promoting Iranian culture and people and showing distaste for the IRI.
Now that I started writing it seems like I have a lot more to say so I will write the rest in a separate entry. Cheers for now and I will keep you updated on whether the ISAUO will take any action to support the Iranain students in Iran.
As many of you know December 10th is Human Rights Day, a day to remember freedom fighters not only in Iran but all over the world. I know it is a bit early but I wanted to bring this to everyones attention. Amnesty International will be holding a letter writing marathon on that day and people from all over Canada and many other countries will be writing letters and postcards for/to political prisoners. I will definatly post some actions online for those who would like to perticipate. Also for people who are in Toronto and interested we can all come together and have a letter writing campaign on that day. If interested please send me an email. I will keep you updated.
There is not doubt that IRI is executing dissidents under false pretenses of so called crimes. I wonder how many more young innocent young men and women need to go to their death before the regime is overthrown... the other thing i find quite disturbing is the way Mojaheds are always looking for ways to take advantage of a sad situation and use it to their own benefits. Quite frankly it makes me sick to see this, since when are they the "main" opposition?? Everyone who knows anything about Iranian politics knows that they have no supporters and no place in the heart of the Iranian people!!!
With a smile the young man emerges from a car and swaggers towards the camera, but his balance is off kilter because his hands are tied behind his back and he slips a bit on the grass.
He recovers and bends his gangly body with a laugh, looking for all the world like a teenager making a home video with friends. Another young man follows him, walking stiffly. Someone in a thin grey suit kisses both men on both cheeks and strolls off-camera.
Dozens of people are milling about. A crowd can be seen held back by barriers, but even the guards look relaxed, standing well back from the two with their hands bound. Two rusty cranes on flatbed trucks are parked on the grass, the ropes hanging from each are rough, tangled with knots and the noose at the end looks amateurish - like a random piece of rope washed up on a beach.
Almost casually someone puts the rope round the awkward youth's neck first, then the second, steps back and the cranes pull up the ropes. The second man's body is still, and the camera stays on the taller one until he stops moving, about six minutes.
The film shows the public hanging of Alireza Gorji, 23, and his friend Hossein Makesh, 22, in July in Broudjerd, Iran. According to official versions of the charges, they were put to death because they had behaved 'immorally'. The truth, according to anti-government campaigners, is that the two men were among increasing numbers of political activists being executed by Iran on trumped-up charges.
'Both these men had been involved in anti-government protests in their home town and everyone who watch the hanging knew this,' said a human rights observer in Tehran.
On Tuesday the UN General Assembly condemned Iran for human rights abuses and the video - filmed by a Revolutionary Guard, smuggled out by opposition activists and seen by The Observer - is rare evidence of Iran's efforts to quell dissent. Amnesty International last year documented at least 94 public executions although many more are suspected to take place in secret - in September the authorities told a lawyer for Valliollah Feyz-Mahdavi, 28, that he had died after a suicide attempt in prison. Feyz-Mahdavi had been arrested for membership of Iran's main opposition - the People's Mojahedin Organistation of Iran.
Tehran has now been condemned on more than 50 occasions by the UN for severe human rights violations.
The Broudjerd video has been obtained by an exiled opposition group - the National Council of Resistance of Iran. At the House of Commons on Tuesday, it will be shown to cross-party MPs to encourage the British government to reconsider what the National Council regards as a policy of appeasing the Iranian regime. The group will unveil documents on the execution of more than 20,000 political victims, including evidence for the involvement of President Mohammad Ahmadinejad.
I think the title should be "Islamic Revolution fully relies on basij" Since when is the basij equated withe the Iranian people? So disturbing...
LONDON, November 26 (IranMania) - Iranian Minister of Foreign Affairs Manouchehr Mottaki said that the Islamic Revolution of Iran is one of the governing systems in the world, which, in addition to religious beliefs, essentially relies on the people, IRNA reported.
According to the ministry's Information and Press Department, he offered congratulations on the occasion of Basij (volunteer forces) Week, and said that the country is based on two principles of Islam and the people.
"The late Imam Khomeini is considered as the only individual who succeeded in forging a link between the two essential axes," he noted.
Touching on people's role in the Islamic Republic of Iran as the code for its survival, he said that Basij helped the Iranians gain global popularity as a nation of resistance.
He underlined the need for preserving Basij's values, and added, "Basij is considered a school of thought which has the essence of the Iranian nation.
We should be proud of being a member of Basij." Commemorating Basij men in different arenas, he appreciated Basij's state and prospects in the Islamic community.
I just heard from my sources who are in direct contact with the three activists who were arrested in Turkey that they have been released. According to my source it was the pressure from letters, emails and faxes that secured the release of these three activists. I would really like to thank everyone who took the time to write/email/fax on behalf of these activists, it really did make a difference.
So all this goes to show that we really can make a difference, even a small act which may seem insignificant to us can be a huge step toward a victory against the IRI. So once again thank you all for helping out and keep up the good work!!
The Canadian Coalition for Democracies is a very productive group that supports democratic movements in different countries including the student momvement in Iran. I encourage everyone to check out their website and get in contact with them, especially if you reside in Canada.
For Immediate ReleaseWednesday, November 22, 2006
Ottawa, Canada - Yesterday's assassination of Lebanese Industry Minister Pierre Gemayel is another example of foreign state terror being used to destabilize Lebanon. Canada must not stand by and allow these vicious criminal actions to succeed.
"Prime Minister Harper understands the importance of democracy to the people of Lebanon," said Francois Hachem, director of the Canadian Coalition for Democracies (CCD). "Today, we are calling on the Prime Minister to take strong action against Hezbollah and Palestinian terrorists within Lebanon as well as their sponsors in Syria and Iran. We must defeat those who use violence and murder, especially against the Christian minority, with the goal of making Lebanon yet another stage for global Islamist terror that threatens all nations including Canada.""Syria has mocked United Nations Security Council Resolution 1559 and 1701 and the UN refuses to act," said Hachem. "It is time that Canada recognized this fact, and take the necessary steps to hold the regime and its proxies responsible."
"Iran and Syria will continue to ignore criticism and UN resolutions," said Alastair Gordon, president of CCD. "Canada must consider meaningful action such as cancelling our active trade partnership with Syria as we did with South Africa during the Apartheid regime, moving our Lebanese immigration office back to Lebanon from Syria, ending our funding of UNRWA for its incitement of Palestinians against Christians in Lebanon, and helping bring to justice the killers of President Hariri and Minister Gemayel and those who have murdered and maimed journalists, clerics and democracy activists who have spoken out against Syrian occupation."As a first step, Canada must send a high-ranking cabinet minister to the funeral of Minister Gemayel scheduled for Thursday. "This gesture will signal support to the people of Lebanon and let the Syrians and their proxies know that the Christian and Muslim people they seek to destroy and the nation they seek to re-occupy are not without friends", added Hachem.
For more information, please contact:
Francois Hachem, Director of Lebanese Affairs, CCD 416-791-1392, or
Alastair Gordon, President, CCD 416-963-8998
If you would like to comment on this statement or other topics relating to foreign policy, please visit our public message forum and post your comments:
For an index of CCD in the Media, please visit:
Founded in 2003, the Canadian Coalition for Democracies (CCD) is a non-partisan, multi-ethnic, multi-denominational organization of concerned Canadians dedicated to national security and the protection and promotion of democracy at home and abroad. CCD focuses on research, education and media publishing to build a greater understanding of the importance of national security and a pro-democracy foreign policy. http://canadiancoalition.com/
بار دیگر پلیس ترکیه سه تن از فعالان سیاسی ی پناهنده در کشور ترکیه را مورد ضرب و شتم قرار دادند و تهدید به دیپورت و باز گرداندن به ایران نمودند
در طول ماه های اخیر چندین تن از فعالان سیاسی که به کشور ترکیه پناه آورده بودند توسط ماموران امنیتی ترکیه مورد بازجویی های اطلاعاتی و ضرب و شتم قرار گرفته اند ، باز داشت شده و سپس به نیروی های امنیتی رژیم ایران تحویل داده شده اند
امروز و در ساعاتی پیش آقایان ابولفضل آجر لو ( آریا مهر نگار ) ، مجتبی وطن پور از حزب مشروطه ایران و علیرضا رنجبر عضو شورای مرکزی اتحادیه ملی دانشجویان و فارغ التحصیلان ایران به رهبری منوچهر محمدی به مقر پلیس ترکیه واقع در شهر وان در ( همجواری مرز ایران ) برده شدند و در آنجا مورد ضرب و شتم قرار گرفته اند و سپس به اتهاماتی نظیر عضویت در سازمان پژاک که از کرد های ستیزه جو بر علیه دولت ترکیه میباشند ، ساعاتیست که در باز داشت به سر میبرند و اعلام شده که این نفرات به ایران تحویل داده خواهند شد ، گفتنیست نسبت دادن چنین وابستگی به هر فردی در ترکیه دارای اتهام و در صورت اثبات ، جر م اقدام علیه امنیت ملی و حتی تمامیت ارضی میباشد که خود نشانگر عمق فاجعه میباشد .
و نیز شایان ذکر است که چنانچه این سه تن که از فعالان سیاسی و با سابقه و حتی زندانی سیاسی سابق محسوب میگردند ، به ایران باز گردانده شوند توسط رژیم حاکم به زندان و شکنجه و وضعیتی نا معلوم دچار خواهند شد
از کلیه ی سازمان های حقوق بشری ، فعالان سیاسی و گروه ها و احزاب مختلف در خواست میشود برای جلوگیری از باز گرداندن این مبارزان و دیگر فعالان سیاسی / دانشجویی به ایران اقدامات فوری به عمل آورند
همچنین برای جلوگیری و پیشگیری از تکرار این قبیل اعمال غیر انسانی و ضد بشری که توسط دولت ترکیه با توجه به مناسبات حسنه ای که با حکومت ایران دارد ، اقداماتی صورت گیرد
از همه ی فعالان سیاسی و دانشجویی در خواست میشود گزار ش این قبیل اعمال ننگین را به سازمان های حقوق بشری و کمیساریای عالی پناهندگان سازمان ملل گزارش دهند .
Once again Turkish Police have arrested and badly beaten up number of Iranian Political activists who had found Refuge in Turkey. On numerous occasions in the previous years the Turkish Police have beaten up Iranian political activists and have handed them over to the Islamic Regime authorities.
In the most recent episode which took place the past week numerous student/political activists including Mr. Abolfazl Ajorlou (Aryamehr Negar), Mr. Mojtabah Vatanpour (Party of Mashroteh), and Alireza Ranjbar member of National Iranian Students and Graduate Association led by Manouchehr Mohammadi have been arrested and taken to the police hear quarters of Van, a city bordering Iran.
In the police station they were beaten severely and charged with false accusations including supporting PKK an armed separatist Kurdish group. This is an extremely serious charge in Turkey and has very heavy punishment. These false charges were laid against these innocent political activists as an excuse to deport them back to Iran and hand them over to the tyrannical Islamic Regime authorities.
If these activists are deported back to Iran what will become of them is very clear. They will most likely be tortured and executed. We urge all human right organizations and human right activists around the world to take immediate action by condemning this inhumane act of Turkish Police and to help save the lives of these innocent men.
This is a statement which I received from sources close to the men named above. I have done a rough translation for those who can't read farsi. Please send faxes and emails to the contacts listed below as soon as possible. I have added a sample appeal, please feel free to change and personalize it and send it out. Also please forward this to as many people/organizaitons as possible.
I am an Iranian/Canadian residing in Canada. I was recently informed of arrest and beatings of number of Iranian human right activists in the city of Van.They have also been falsely accused of being supporters of PKK. I am extremely concerned about the safety and well being of Mr. Abolfazl AJOURLOU, Mr. Mojtabah VATANPOUR and Mr. Alireza RANAJBAR. I am extremely disappointed that this incident has taken place in a free and democratic country such as Turkey where principles of human rights, human dignity and democracy are extremely important. I urge you to please look into this incident as soon as possible and to release these human rights activists immediately and unconditionally.
Thank you for your time and I look forward to your response
Turkish Embassy (Canada)- firstname.lastname@example.org. tr
Turkish Embassy (USA) - email@example.com ,
Fx: (202) 612-6744
Turkish Consulate (USA, LA)- firstname.lastname@example.org
Turkish Embassy (UK) - Fax: 020 7393 9213, email@example.com
Turkish Embassy (Switzerland): firstname.lastname@example.org,
044 368 29 19
Turkish Ministry of Foreign affairs: email@example.com
Manour Osanlou, the head of executive committee of the transport workers trade union in Tehran has been arrested once again. He was arrested taken away by plain clothed men suspected to be agents of ministry of intelligence. His health, well being and safety may very well be in danger. Please do what you can to bring attention to his situation.
A student was detained by plain clothes individuals and is believed to be held incommunicado at an unknown location.
AI Index: MDE 13/124/2006
17 November 2006
Incommunicado detention/ fear of torture
Asghar Akbarzadeh (m), student, aged about 21
Iranian Azerbaijani Asghar Akbarzadeh is believed to be held incommunicado at an undisclosed location, where he is at risk of torture.
Asghar Akbarzadeh is a chemistry student at the Paymane Noor University of Ardebil. He was reportedly detained on 31 October, while outside the University premises, by plain clothes individuals believed to be officials from the Ministry of Intelligence (Etela’at). Since this time, his family have received no news about him. His mother has reportedly repeatedly gone to Ardebil Court, and the office of the Ministry of Intelligence in Ardebil, seeking news of her son, but the authorities have reportedly refused to confirm his whereabouts, or even that he has been arrested.
Asghar Akbarzadeh was previously arrested on 25 May 2006, two days before a demonstration in Ardebil. He was released after around 12 days in detention. On the day of the demonstration in Ardebil, while Asghar was detained, officials from the Ministry of Intelligence searched his family home after cutting the telephone line. They left without taking anything. Prior to Asghar Akbarzadeh’s arrest, officials from the Ministry of Intelligence came to the family home on two occasions looking for Asghar, but he was not at home.
In May 2006, massive demonstrations took place in towns and cities in north-western Iran, where the majority of the population is Azeri Turkish, in protest at a cartoon published on 12 May by the state-owned daily newspaper Iran which many Azeri Turks found offensive. Hundreds were arrested during or following the demonstrations (see UA 151/06, MDE 13/055/2006, 26 May 2006 and UA 163/06, MDE 13/063/2006, 8 June 2006). Some of those detained have allegedly been tortured, with some requiring hospital treatment. Publication of the newspaper was suspended on 23 May and the editor-in-chief and the cartoonist were arrested. Iranian Azerbaijani sources have claimed that dozens were killed and hundreds injured by the security forces. The security forces have generally denied that anyone was killed, although on 29 May a police official acknowledged that four people had been killed and 43 injured in the town of Naqada.
Iranian security forces frequently hold people, for days or weeks, sometimes in secret detention centres, before acknowledging that they are in custody or allowing them to contact their families. Student activist Abed Tavancheh was thought to have "disappeared" when he did not contact his family for over a week: on 5 June he was able to call them from Tehran's Evin prison to say that he had been arrested on 26 May (see UA 165/06, MDE 13/065/2006, 9 June 2006).
And this is while the people living under the poverty line in Iran is higher then 50% and young girls and women are prostituiting themselves to meet their daily needs!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! When is it going to stop?
PA minister: Iran gave USD 120 million to Hamas gov't
Palestinian Foreign Minister al-Zahar says Tehran vowed to donate another USD 50 million in April, to help make up for shortfall caused by Western embargo
Iran has donated USD 120 million to the Palestinian Hamas-led government and has said it is ready to give more, Palestinian Foreign Minister Mahmoud al-Zahar said on Thursday.
Iran said in April it would donate USD 50 million to help make up a shortfall left when the West cut off aid to the government led by the Palestinian Islamic group, which seeks to destroy
"Iran has so far given USD 120 million to the Palestinian government and they have told us that they will provide more financial help," al-Zahar told reporters in Tehran after talks. Arab foreign ministers convened in Cairo Sunday and decided to lift the financial blockade on Palestinians in response to a US veto on a UN Security Council draft resolution condemning Israel's military offensive in the Gaza Strip.
"We decided not to cooperate with it (the blockade). There will no longer be an international siege," said Bahrain's Foreign Minister Sheikh Khalid bin Ahmed al-Khalifa.
I am so proud of the Canadian Prime Minister. Once again he has shown that he is a man of dignity and he will stand up for human rights and human dignity no matter what the consequences. I am very optimistic that one of these days he will stand up against the IRI and let everyone know that human rights is much more important then oil.
Harper right to defend human rights and democracy against Chinese bullying
For Immediate ReleaseWednesday, 15 November 2006 Ottawa, Canada - For the first time in many years, a Canadian Prime Minister has declared that Canadian foreign policy will be set in Ottawa, not in Beijing. En route to the APEC conference in Hanoi, Prime Minister Stephen Harper told reporters that Canada will not sell out human rights in response to threats of trade consequences by China."For both a practical and principled perspective, the Prime Minister has again done the right thing," said Alastair Gordon, President of the Canadian Coalition for Democracies (CCD). "With the balance of trade overwhelmingly from China to Canada, any trade restrictions imposed by Beijing would hurt China much more than Canada. On the import side, China needs our raw materials. On the export side, China would not risk losing the preferential tariffs that she enjoys on her manufactured goods.""Furthermore, Canada's warming relationship with India, a manufacturing and technology giant with the entrepreneurship of free people in a democracy, further diminishes China's ability to threaten Canada," added Gordon."Our former government followed a foreign policy dictated by the overtly imperialistic One China Policy," said Naresh Raghubeer, Executive Director of CCD. "The future of Taiwan should be determined democratically by its 23 million people, not by an axis of foreign leaders.""Prime Minster Harper has shown he is a tough negotiator. He does not cave to empty threats and has shown it is possible to be guided by Canadian values and still enjoy the prosperity of international trade," added Raghubeer.
For more information, please contact:
Founded in 2003, the Canadian Coalition for Democracies (CCD) is a non-partisan, multi-ethnic, multi-denominational organization of concerned Canadians dedicated to national security and the protection and promotion of democracy at home and abroad. CCD focuses on research, education and media publishing to build a greater understanding of the importance of a pro-democracy foreign policy. http://canadiancoalition.com/
The Supreme Court has confirmed death sentences on the 9 men listed below who could be executed at any time.0 comments - published on Wednesday, November 15, 2006
Once again the Mullahs are using scapegoats to hide their own crimes. I don't know if we can do anything about this case, but I hope the IRI will be removed before anymore innocent people are murdere.
AI Index: MDE 13/126/2006
Fear of imminent execution
13 November 2006
Abdullah Suleymani (m) aged 27
Abdulreza Sanawati Zergani (m)
Qasem Salamat (m) aged 43
Mohammad Jaab Pour (m)
Abdulamir Farjallah Jaab (m)
Alireza Asakreh (m)
Majed Alboghubaish (m)
Khalaf Derhab Khudayrawi (m)
Malek Banitamim (m) aged 30
The nine men named above, all members of Iran's Arab minority, are believed to be at imminent risk of execution. According to reports the men have been convicted of being mohareb (at enmity with God) in connection with involvement in bomb explosions in the city of Ahvaz, in Khuzestan province, which took place in October 2005.
On 9 November, the head of the Khuzestan Prosecutor’s offices, Abbas Ja’afari Dowlat Abadi, reportedly announced that the Supreme Court had upheld the death sentences against 10 out of 19 people involved in bomb explosions in Khuzestan and that they would be publicly hanged. There are fears these executions will be carried out in the coming days. The tenth man sentenced to death, Ali Matouri-Zadeh, is the subject of a separate Urgent Action (see UA 107/06, MDE 13/042/2006, 28 April 2006 and follow up MDE 13/127/2006, 13 November 2006).
According to information received by Amnesty International, Khalaf Derhab Khudayrawi was reportedly shot by the security forces on or around 2 March 2006 before being taken away. His family believed he had died in the shooting, but a few days later received a phone call from the authorities informing them that he had been transferred to the Sepidar detention centre. His wife Soghra Khudayrawi and four-year-old son Zeidan son were arrested in Ahvaz on 7 March 2006. (See UA 65/06, MDE 13/028/2006, 23 March 2006) and Iran: Appeal Case: Four women and two children prisoners of conscience, AI Index: MDE 13/059/2006, 17 May 2006).
Abdullah Suleymani, Mohammad Jaab Pour and Abdulamir Farjallah Jaab were also reportedly arrested on 7 March 2006.
Much of Iran's Arab community lives in the province of Khuzestan which borders Iraq. The Province is strategically important because it is the site of much of Iran’s oil reserves, but the Arab population does not feel it has benefited as much from the oil revenue as the Persian population. Historically, the Arab community has been marginalised and discriminated against. Tension has mounted among the Arab population since April 2005, after it was alleged that the government planned to disperse the country's Arab population or to force them to relinquish their Arab identity. Hundreds were arrested and there have been reports of torture. Following bomb explosions in Ahvaz City in June and October 2005, which killed at least 14 people, and explosions at oil installations in September and October, the cycle of violence intensified, with hundreds people reportedly arrested. Further bombings on 24 January 2006, in which at least six people were killed, were followed by further mass arrests. Two men, Mehdi Nawaseri and Ali Awdeh Afrawi, were executed in public on 2 March after they were convicted of involvement in the October bombings. Their executions followed unfair trials before a Revolutionary Court during which they are believed to have been denied access to lawyers, and their confessions, along with those of seven other men, were broadcast on television. At least 13 other Iranian Arabs are also reportedly under sentence of death, accused of involvement in the bombings, distributing material against the state, having contact with dissident organizations operating abroad, and endangering state security. Amnesty International recognizes the right and responsibility of governments to bring to justice those suspected of criminal offences, but is unconditionally opposed to the death penalty as the ultimate violation of the right to life. Please see Iran: Death Sentences appeal case – 11 Iranian Arab men facing death sentences, AI Index MDE 13/051/2006, May 2006).
Im sure everyone has their own theories about these bombings in Arab regions of Iran, here is mine: IRI planting the bombs, scapegoating the arabs, trying to cause a mind set of fear and distrust among Iranian people against the Iranian arabs. Divide and conquor isn't that how it works? If people are afraid of seperatist movements they will unite behind IRI to protect their motherland and the focus wont be so much on overthrowing them. What does everyone else think?
TEHRAN, Nov 11 (Reuters) - A percussion bomb exploded in a residential area in the southwestern city of Ahvaz, the heartland of Iran's oil industry, but no one was hurt, state media said on Saturday.
Ahvaz is the capital of Khuzestan, which has been simmering with unrest among the province's mostly Arab population for more than a year.
Iran has blamed Britain, which has troops in neighbouring Iraq, for fomenting the instability. Britain denies the accusation.
"A percussion bomb exploded at 23:46 local time in Ahvaz on Friday. Fortunately, no one was hurt in the incident," state radio quoted Ahvaz governor Abdolaziz Fatami as saying.
The windows of two buildings were shattered from the blast and thick smoke covered the premises in which the explosion took place, the official news agency IRNA reported.
Local officials were unavailable for comment.
The Khuzestan provincial prosecutor said on Thursday 10 people had received death sentences for their part in a series of explosions that killed more than 20 people in Khuzestan last year, IRNA said.
Last week, Iran's judiciary declared an ethnic Arab party illegal, saying it incited unrest and opposed the Islamic system in Ahvaz.
Five people were killed during several days of anti-government protests in Khuzestan in April last year and 21 have been killed in three separate bomb attacks since then.
Iran hanged two men in Ahvaz in March after they were convicted of a bombing that killed six people last October.
Slightly more than half of Iran's are 69 million people are Persians and the rest are ethnic Azeris, Kurds, Arabs, Turkmen, Baluchis and Lors. About three percent are Arabs and authorities are sensitive about protests and discontent in the southwestern Arab territories where most of the oil industry is based.
This coming from drug lords themselves, talk about hypocracy, but then again what else is new? Who refines and mass produces drugs grown in Afghanistan? Ofcourse if they didn't have the young generation hooked on drugs and submissive, they would have to worry about major uprisings by this generation.
LONDON, November 11 (IranMania) - Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad called for organized campaign against trafficking of illicit drugs, IRNA reported.
"Serious campaign against devastating drugs would be possible through strong global resolve, amendment and compilation of comprehensive laws, promotion of related culture in the society and establishment of an international police by the UN," said Ahmadinejad in a meeting with the UN under secretary-general and executive director of the UN office on drugs campaign and crime prevention (UNODC) Antonio Maria Costa on Thursday.
Ahmadinejad said campaign against production, smuggling, distribution and consumption of drugs is a highly complicated and valuable task, requiring constant and extensive efforts.
He said that unfortunately, despite the great losses incurred by drugs trafficking and consumption of drugs worldwide, no serious attention is internationally paid to drastic campaign against the sinister phenomenon.
Though not being the main target of drugs production and distributors, the Islamic Republic of Iran is annually spending a large portion of its financial resources and uses its competent workforce for campaign against the drugs trafficking and distribution, he said.
Campaign against the devastating phenomenon would be possible through an international endeavor and global mobilization, said Ahmadinejad, adding that drugs production has risen by 60% in Afghanistan despite presence of the western states there.
He said some arrogant powers are supporting the drugs trafficking and distribution gangs with an intention to harm independent states and nations.
"Global communities are intertwined and the devastating drugs is the concern of all states and not restricted to a single region," he added.
The president said annually 250,000 people die of drugs worldwide and the figure is times higher than the terrorism victims.
"While hefty cost is spent and many resolutions are issued for terrorism campaign, no decisive action is taken to fight drugs; the UN should play an effective role in campaign against drugs, especially its new brands."
Appreciating Iran for its efforts to fight transit of drugs via its territory, particularly via its eastern borders, Costa voiced pleasure that there are "brave men" in police and other uniforms in Iran busy fiercely fighting production, trafficking and distribution of drugs.
The UN official said the organization fully welcomes Iran's stances and efforts for drugs campaign.
The official said that unfortunately the UNODC holds a tiny budget for campaign against such a broad illicit trade.
It's time the international community starts recognizing these monsters for the terrorists that they are.
An Argentine judge ordered international arrest warrants on Thursday for former Iranian President Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani and eight others in connection with the 1994 bombing of a Buenos Aires Jewish community center. The warrants, handed down by Federal Judge Rodolfo Canicoba Corral, came after Argentine prosecutors accused the Iranian government of masterminding the attack that killed 85 people and wounded more than 200 others. Tehran has repeatedly denied involvement. On July 18, 1994, a truck laden with explosives leveled the the seven-story Argentine Israeli Mutual Association building, a symbol of the country's Jewish community -- Latin America's largest. No one has been convicted of carrying out the attack despite a lengthy probe beset by irregularities. But Argentine, Israeli and U.S. officials have long blamed the bombing on Hezbollah guerrillas backed by Iran. Rafsanjani was Iran's president from 1989 to 1997.
I just got word that Manouchehr Mohammadi has made it to US, safe and sound. I am so happy to hear this news, I think it is a great step forward for the student movement. I will write more as I get more information.
PS. sorry for the late updates, I am studying for bar exams.
Here are pictures of a few political prisoners in Iran. Starting from top left Mehrdad LOHRASBI, Manouchehr MOHAMADI, Kianoush SANJARI, Behrouz Javid TEHRANI, Valliolah Feyze MAHDAVI (murdered in prison in Septermber of 2006), Ahmad BATEBI, Akbar MOHAMMADI (Murdered in prison on July 31st 2006)
To me the most disturbing part of this news is that he will be receiving an honorary diploma. I would really like to know for what? It seems like the International community has quickly forgotten the brutal human rights violations and in perticular the opression of students during the 8 years Khatami was in power. And for those who buy the argument that he did not have any power during his presidency below is a few points to consider:
- let say he didn't know how much power he would or would not have during his first term and he made all kinds of promises to the people, but by his second term he knew exactly where he stood and regardless chose to run for presidency and continue his BS regarding "Islamic Democracy" as if the two could ever exist together.
- Khatami was quoted as calling the students "hoodlooms and trouble makers" when in fact they had been attacked by basijis and had not retaliated in any violant way.
- Khatami signed the arrest warrant for numerous prominent student activists personally!
And now he is being given an honorary doctorate (not his first one either), he definatly deserves on i his area of expertise (DICTATORSHIP).October 28, 2006 Iran va Jahan IRVAJ Network
London -- The former President of Iran, Mohammad Khatami will be visiting UK next week. Mr. Khatami who is currently the President of the International Foundation of Dialogue Among Civilizations, and the most senior government official to visit the UK since the 1979 revolution, is to be awarded an honorary doctorate from the University of St Andrews on 31st October. The visit has created much controversy. Already Sir Menzies Campbell, head of the UL Liberal Democratic Party and Chancellor of St Andrews has announced that he will stay away from the ceremony.But more worrying for Mr. Khatami should be a law suit which has been launched against the former President by two Iranian students who currently reside in the UK. According to a statement released by their lawyer, Mr. Hamid Sabi, the two were brutally tortured during Mr. Khatami's tenure in office (see below). The two students, who have taken refuge in the UK, have submitted a complete file showing graphic details of the treatment they have received in the Iranian prison. They have requested Sir Ian Blair, the Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, to review the evidence and arrest Mohammad Khatami on charges of committing torture under section 134 of the Criminal Justice Act. During Mr. Khatami's presidency, hundreds of students who participated in demonstrations were tortured brutally by Iran's secret police. A number of students, including Mr. Akbar Mohammadi, have died in prison. A large number of activists are still in prison.
Press release For immediate release25th October 2006Former Iranian President to be charged with tortureLondon 25th October 2006Two students who have been brutally tortured in the hands of the Iranian secret police have requested the Metropolitan police to arrest Mr. Khatami, former president of Iran, on charges of torture.Mohammad Khatami, Iran's president between 1997 and 2005, is visiting the UK at the invitation of St. Andrews University. During his presidency, hundreds of students who participated in demonstrations were tortured brutally by Iran's secret police. A number of students, including Mr. Akbar Mohammadi, have died in prison. A large number of activists are still in prison. The two students, who have taken refuge in the UK, have submitted a complete file showing graphic details of the treatment they have received in the Iranian prison. They have requested Sir Ian Blair, the Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, to review the evidence and arrest Mohammad Khatami on charges of committing torture under section 134 of the Criminal Justice Act.For further information contact:H. Sabi 07811 458 602N. Yazdi 07939 537 613
I don't even know what to say about this except that I have a feeling the numbers are much much higher. HIV, drugs and prostitution are three major factors that are destroying the youth in Iran and to a large degree keeping them away from politics and the IRI safe. It is no wonder, with the top government officials being involved in the drug and porstitution industry. I watched a documentary about prostitution in Iran not too long ago, it was smuggled out of Iran, and one thing the women in the documentary had in common were they were all raped by either Sepah officers or low life government officials.
HEALTH MINISTER SAYS TENS OF THOUSANDS MIGHT BE HIV-INFECTED. Kamran Baqeri-Lankarani said in Tehran on October 15 that his ministry has identified more than 13,000 Iranians as infected with HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, but that the real figure for infections is likely between 60,000-70,000 "in the worst-case scenario," IRNA reported. He said AIDS is still a disease restricted to specific groups in the country, but "if we do not act against it with care, it could become a generalized disease." He said that even the highest estimate for infections "is not so [high] compared to many neighboring countries." He added that more state money is needed for HIV and flu-related treatments in the country, amid the rising price of some pharmaceutical products. (Vahid Sepehri)
Amnesty International updates information on several death sentences against people who were under 18 when they committed crimes:
The family of Sina Paymand’s victim stopped his execution just in time.
The organization lacks information about Mostafa.
Ali Alijan also received a stay of execution from his victim’s family.
Vahid was executed.
AI Index: MDE 13/122/2006
26 October 2006
Further Information on UA 220/05 (MDE 13/047/2005, 24 August 2005) Fear of imminent execution
Mostafa (surname unknown) (m), aged 17, student
Sina Paymand (surname previously unknown) (m), aged 18, musician
Child offender Sina Paymand was granted a last-minute reprieve by the family of the man he allegedly murdered.
Sina Paymand was convicted of murder after a dispute with a man over cannabis in 2004. Sina Paymand reportedly told the Court that he was addicted to drugs and had gone to a park in Tehran on the day of the incident to try and obtain cannabis from a drug dealer. He allegedly stabbed the drug dealer to death during a fight. He was aged 16 at the time. According to his lawyer, the sentencing court did not properly consider evidence that Sina Paymand suffered from a mental disorder.
The Supreme Court upheld the death sentence, and he was scheduled to be hanged on 20 September, two weeks after his 18th birthday. When he was taken to the execution site, where the noose was placed around his neck, he was asked if he had a last request. Sina Paymand asked if he could play the flute. According to reports, the family members of the victim who were present to witness the execution were very moved by his playing, and agreed to forgive him and accept the payment of diyeh (blood money). In Iran, family members are asked just before the execution is carried out if they wish to forgo their right to retribution and forgive the condemned.
According to reports, Sina Paymand’s father is now is discussions with the family of the murder victim regarding the diyeh. If an agreement is not reached, Sina will again face execution. He is currently detained in Reja-i Shahr prison in Karaj, near Tehran.
According to reports, another child offender, Ali Alijan, now 19 years old, was scheduled to be executed at the same time as Sina Paymand for a murder committed while he was under the age of 18. He too received a last-minute reprieve from the family of the murder victim. A third individual named Vahid was executed. Different reports have put his age at 18, 20, and 21 years old. It is not known whether he was also a child offender.
There is no further information on Mostafa, who was also sentenced to death for murder.
Amnesty International has recorded at least one executions of child offender in 2006, Majid Segound (m). He was executed on 13 May 2006, along with an unnamed 20-year-old male, in Khorramabad, the capital of Lorestan province. According to reports, they were sentenced to death for the rape and murder of a 12-year-old boy, and were tried in an extraordinary session. Majid Segound was 17 years old at the time of his execution. In 2005 Amnesty International recorded eight executions of child offenders in Iran, including two who were under the age of 18 at the time of their execution. A number of child offenders are under sentence of death in Iran. Exact numbers are not known, but cases Amnesty International is working on include Nazanin Fatehi (f), Delara Darabi (f), Ne’mat (m), Mehdi (m), Mohammad Mousavi (m), and Hamid Reza (m).
Yesterday, during "eftar" (while prisoners were breaking their fast) political prisoners in Gohardasht prison were attacked by prison guards and beaten badly and severely injured. Among those injured was Mr. Javid Behrouz Tehrani, a student activist who was originally arrested during the student protests in 1999. The attack was ordered by the head of prison, for no apparent reason. I will write in more detail as I acquire more information.
Ok so today was the day of Ghods in Iran and apparantly relatively big protests took place against Israel, quite constructive isn't it? I find it hard to find why people won't go out and protest to save their own country, but they are so worried about Palestine. (Enghadr sange arabaro be sine nazanim) atleast while we have so many problems in our country and with the dictatorship regime. Oh and as always Ahmadinejad made a brilliant comment during Friday Prayer saying there is absoloutely no reason for the existence of Israel and that it won't exist for much longer. How much more warning signs does the international community need before realizing what a dangerous regime we are all dealing with?? If they have no mercy for their own people what makes the world think they will have any mercy for non Iranian and non Muslims? Beats me.
According to latest news Mr. Abolfazl Jahandar a student activist has been imprisoned in s. 209 of the Evin prison. Mr. Jahandar has not been able to have any visits with lawyers or family. He is also "white torture" . This is a type of psychological torture, where there individual is kept in a white room, forced to wear a white prison outfit and is fed white rice on white plates. they are not allowed to speak and are kept in sound proof rooms where they cannot hear any sounds. They are forced into sleep deprivation. Mr. Jahandar has also been threatened by the arrest of his own family members if he does not "confess"
Please contact all human right organizations in order to attempt to secure Mr. Jahandars release.
Fugitive Iranian Student Activist In Turkish Custody
October 13, 2006 Radio Free Europe RFE/RL
PRAGUE -- Iranian student activist Manuchehr Mohammadi, who recently fled his home country to seek refuge abroad, told Radio Farda today he has been kept in a Turkish detention center since October 7. Mohammadi complained of harsh treatment, saying prison guards beat and insulted inmates. Mohammadi fled Iran while on prison leave. His brother Akbar died in unclear circumstances in Tehran's Evin prison on July 30.
GOVERNMENT PRESSURES STUDENT ACTIVISTS. Student activists in Iran say authorities have prevented dozens of students from studying by refusing to enroll them for the new academic year. The students have reportedly been involved in on-campus political and press-related activities. Iranian Education Minister Mohammad Mehdi Zahedi says claims that students are being kept out of school due to their political activism are "lies" and that the government is tolerant of such students. There was a time when teachers in Iran's schools used to give students golden paper stars to encourage them. Nowadays it seems that stars are being given for punishment: the term "students with stars" is used to describe students who have been expelled or suspended from a university. In recent months dozens of liberal university professors have been forced into early retirement. Many student activists have been summoned to court and several have been arrested.Bad Stars The term became prevalent after several students said university officials had refused to register them for the new academic year and told them that they have "two or three stars." Student groups and activists say more than 100 students have been affected. Ali Nekunesbati is a spokesman for Iran's main reformist student group, Daftar Tahkim Vahdat (the Office for Strengthening Unity). He says many student activists and members of his group have been marked with stars. "Beside the names that were announced to the universities for enrollment, there was another list in which individuals are marked with either one star, two stars, or three stars," he said. "Who grants these 'stars'? As the head of the admission committee has said the Intelligence Ministry -is involved. We reiterate again that these 'stars' exist."
The Islamic Regime is branding students with STARS the way the Nazi's were branding Jews during the holocaust. WAKE UP CALL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
GENEVA -- Iranian dissident journalist Akbar Ganji was awarded the 2006 Martin Ennals Award for Human Rights Defenders at a ceremony in Geneva on October 11. Ganji, who served a six-year jail sentence for articles denouncing the murder of Iranian opposition intellectuals, was presented the award by Louise Arbour, the UN high commissioner for human rights. After a hunger strike last year, Ganji was released conditionally in March 2006. He then started a world tour to introduce Iran's democratic movement to western audiences. While receiving the award in Geneva, he said he was determined to return to his home country. "The fight [for democracy] takes place inside a country," he said. "I don't want to change the government of Switzerland, I'm fighting to change the Iranian government and for the transition toward democracy in Iran." The Martin Ennals Award is the top award of the human rights movement. Its jury includes representatives of the world's leading nongovernmental human rights organizations. Another recipient this year was Arnold Tsunga, a lawyer and radio commentator from Zimbabwe. (Radio Farda, martiennalsaward.org)
I would be interested to know what others think about this one? It is no secret that I am not a big fan of Akbar Gangi, I think his so called struggle for human rights leaves much to be desired. I find it interesting that he chose to say" I am fighting to change the Iranian government and for the transition toward dcemocracy in Iran." Two problems with that government. 1. Most human right activists have come to accept that there is a difference between Iran and the Islamic Regime and do not refer to this regime as the Iranian regime, but the Islamic Regime. Isn't referring to them as the Iranian Regime really accepting their legitimacy?
2. The word transition means shift, alteration, modification ie REFORM, it does not mean revolution and it does not mean a real change that reaches the roots of the problems. In any event I think there are much more deserving people then Mr. Gangi who is somehow free to go on a world tour while real heros are losing their lives in Islamic Republic's Prisons.
Delara Darabi is a 19 year old young woman who was sentenced to death at the ago of 17. She has been in prison for the past two years awaiting her execution. She was convicted of a murder which was committed by her boyfriend. According to reports she confessed to the murder at the suggestion of her boyfriend thinking that she would not get the death penalty since she was under the age of 18. Evidence during the trial clearly showed that the murder was committed by a right handed person, whereas Delara is left handed, yet she was still convicted of this crime. According to her family Delara is a pianist, a poet and an artist, who is under great physical and phychological pressure in prison. She is asking all freedom loving people to help her and save her from certain death. Please act in any way you can!!
PS: Islamic Regime is a leader (for lack of a better expression) in execution of minors. How much longer until we decide that enough is enough?????
Sep 30, 2006
About 100 Iranian asylum seekers from mullahs' tyranny are continuing their protest in Brussels to obtain legal residence in the country. The local media reported that on Thursday it seemed a solution was close at hand for 200 of them. Now, the protesters say only 10 of them will be given papers. Hoping to speed up regulation of their papers, the Iranians occupied a former military hospital in the Brussels district of Etterbeek for many weeks. They started a hunger strike and some even had their lips sewn together. On Thursday it seemed a solution was in sight when the mayor of Etterbeek, Vincent De Wolf, announced that 78 protesters would be given papers and those of another 110 would follow soon. Relieved that their ordeal had finally ended, the protesters agreed on clearing the former hospital site by Friday. However, the promises De Wolf gave turned out to be empty ones, and only 10 of them were told they would be regulated. Early Friday, 100 remaining protesters willingly left the social services offices they had occupied for the last few weeks. The bulk of the protesters then shifted their action to the city of Brussels, where they managed to occupy the entrance of the town hall for a while. They managed to talk to some members of the city council but were then removed by the police. Following their talk with representatives of the Brussels City Council, the Iranians have been given a new refuge in former administrative premises near the Kruidtuin (Jardin Botanique) in Brussels. There they will stay for an indefinite period of time.
In a country where EVERYTHING has become so political, I find it hard to undrestand how some people try to distinguish between political and non political issues in Iran. When something as intimate and private as sex has become a political issue, when people do not have the right to chose even in simple matters such as clothing, dating, eating and drinking how can we claim that some things are not political? If you ask me right now EVERYTHING in Iran is political. Where is my frustration coming from? Recently I was asked to help out with a very prestigious "social event" which is to take place on December 17th and is to crown Ms./Mr. Persia. The candidates are or supposed to be extremely accomplished people to say the least. At first glance I was more then happy to help, until I realized that one of the candidates was Shirin Ebadi. I will not go into detail about my problems with her, but lets just say that I do not believe she should be on any list that gives awards to Persians, since she has always made is clear that she first identifies with Islam and then with Iran. Needless to say i refused to be a part of the event and made it clear that even though the event was non-political the fact that Ms. Ebadi was on the candidate list made it VERY POLITCAL and that I could not go along with anything that I felt was not in the best interest of Iran. I think this has left a lot of people very unhappy. How can you not distinguish between political and non-political they say? Like I said everything in Iran is political and I think its very dangerous to look for gray areas especially when women are sentenced to stoning for very personal and intimate acts in Iran.
September 27, 2006 Amnesty International Urgent Action
The women named below are at risk of execution by stoning: IRAN Parisa Akbari (f) Iran Eskandari (f) Khayrieh Valania (f) Shamameh Ghorbani (also known as Malek) (f) Kobra Najjar (f, aged 44) Soghra Mola'i (f) Fatemeh (f) Parisa Akbari was arrested in April 2004, while working as a prostitute in the city of Shiraz in southern Iran. She confessed to the charge of adultery during the preliminary investigations, claiming that she had been forced into prostitution by her husband due to the family’s poverty. Her trial took place in June 2004, during which Parisa Akbari retracted her confession. Nevertheless, on 21 June 2004, Branch 5 of Fars province Criminal Court sentenced her to death by stoning for adultery. The sentence was upheld by Branch 32 of the Supreme Court on 15 November 2005. Her case is currently being reviewed by the Supreme Court. Parisa Akbari is detained in Adelabad prison in Shiraz. Iran Eskandari, an Ahwazi Arab from the Bakhtiari clan, was reportedly talking to the son of a neighbour in the courtyard of her house, when her husband attacked her with a knife. She was badly beaten and left bleeding and unconscious on the floor. While she was unconscious, it is alleged that the man killed her husband with his own knife. While police were interrogating her about the killing, Iran Eskandari reportedly confessed to adultery with the son of her neighbour. However she later retracted her confession. A court in the city of Khuzestan sentenced her to five years' imprisonment for being an accomplice in the murder of her husband, and to execution by stoning for adultery. The verdict was upheld by the Supreme Court in April 2006. Her lawyer has appealed against the sentence. She is detained in Sepidar prison, in Ahvaz city. Khayrieh Valania, an Ahwazi Arab, was reportedly subjected to domestic violence by her husband. She allegedly began an affair with a relative of her husband, who then murdered him. She was sentenced to death by Branch 3 of Behbahan Court, in Khuzestan in southwestern Iran, for being an accomplice in the murder of her husband, and death by stoning for adultery. Khayrieh Valania has denied any involvement in her husband’s murder, but confessed to adultery. The sentence was upheld, and the case has reportedly been sent to the Head of the Judiciary for permission to be implemented. Talking about her fate, Khayrieh Valania said "I am ready to be hanged, but they should not stone me. They could strangle you and you would die, but it is very difficult to have stones hitting you in the head". Shamameh Ghorbani (also known as Malek), arrested in June 2005, was sentenced to execution by stoning for adultery by a court in Oromieh in June 2006. She is reportedly held in Oromieh prison. Her brothers and husband reportedly murdered a man that they found in her house, and she too was nearly killed after they stabbed her with a knife. Shamameh Ghorbani’s case is reportedly being re-examined. Kobra Najjar, who is detained in Tabriz prison in northwestern Iran, is at imminent risk of execution. She was sentenced to eight years' imprisonment for being an accomplice to the murder of her husband, and execution by stoning for adultery. She was scheduled to be executed after serving her prison sentence, which was finished two years ago. She has reportedly written to the Judicial Commission for Amnesty to ask for her sentence of execution by stoning to be commuted, and is awaiting a reply. Kobra Najjar was allegedly forced into prostitution by her husband, a heroin addict who was violent towards her. In 1995, after a severe beating by her husband, she told one of her regular customers that she wanted to kill her husband. The customer allegedly murdered her husband after Kobra Najjar took him to an arranged meeting place. He was sentenced to death, but he was pardoned by the victim’s family, to whom he paid diyeh (blood money). Soghra Mola’i was sentenced to 15 years' imprisonment for being an accomplice to the murder in January 2004 of her husband Abdollah, and to execution by stoning for adultery. During interrogation she said "My husband usually tormented me. Nevertheless, I did not intend to kill him. On the night of the incident … after Alireza killed my husband, I ran away with him because I was scared to stay at home, thinking that my brothers-in-law would kill me." Alireza was sentenced to death for the murder of Soghra Mola'i’s husband, and to 100 lashes for "illicit relations". The sentences are pending examination by the Supreme Court. It is believed that Soghra Mola’i is detained in Reja'i Shahr prison, Karaj, near Tehran. In May 2005, Branch 71 of the Tehran Province Criminal Court sentenced Fatemeh (surname unknown) to retribution (qesas) for being an accomplice to murder, and execution by stoning for having an ‘illicit relationship’ with a man named Mahmoud. Her husband was sentenced to 16 years' imprisonment for being an accomplice to the murder of Mahmoud. The case is currently being examined in the Supreme Court. According to a May 2005 report in the newspaper Etemad, an altercation occurred between Mahmoud, and Fatemeh’s husband. Fatemeh confessed to tying a rope around Mahmoud’s throat, which resulted in his strangulation. She has claimed that she intended merely to tie his hands and feet after he was unconscious and hand him over to the police. BACKGROUND INFORMATION Amnesty International is aware of two other women under sentence of execution by stoning in Iran, Ashraf Kalhori (see UA 203/06, MDE 13/083/2006, 27 July 2006; and updates), and Hajieh Esmailvand (see UA 336/04, MDE 13/053/2004, 16 December 2004; and updates). The Head of the Judiciary announced a moratorium on the use of stoning in December 2002, but reports indicate a man and a woman may have been stoned to death in May 2006.
Here is part III as promised.
Stewart Bell, National PostPublished: Tuesday, September 26, 2006
A National Post investigation has found the outlawed terrorist group Mujahedin-e Khalq recruited teenagers in Canada and sent them abroad to overthrow the Iranian government by force. Today, part three of a five-part series about a Canadian family that got deeply involved with the guerrillas -- and now regrets it.
- - -
At 11 o'clock in the morning on June 19, 2003, Mustafa Mohammady stopped his car on Sussex Drive in Ottawa, opened the driver's door and headed toward the French embassy.
He held a gasoline canister in one hand and a lighter in the other.
Two days earlier, French anti-terrorist police had detained Maryam Rajavi, leader of the Mujahedin-e Khalq, a cult-like resistance group fighting to overthrow Iran's repressive government.
The MEK had responded by mobilizing its international network of supporters, ordering them to take to the streets in protest. At the French embassy in London, an Ottawa woman named Neda Hassani died after setting herself on fire.
Protesters also congregated outside France's chancery overlooking Rideau Falls in Ottawa. They were chanting, waving placards and hunger-striking when Mustafa arrived to take the demonstration up a notch.
An Iranian-Canadian father of four from Toronto, Mustafa said in an interview that he went to the embassy after receiving a telephone call from a U.S.-based MEK activist named Sima.
Sima told him that Ms. Rajavi's arrest was a disaster for the Iranian resistance, and that unless he did something, his children could be in danger, he said.
Although he had been a MEK activist in Iran and Canada, Mustafa said he followed the instructions not out of any zealous devotion to the cause, but because he thought it would help his son and daughter.
"It was all about my children," he said.
In 1998, his then 17-year-old daughter, Somayeh, an Etobicoke high school student, had been recruited into the MEK. The following year, Mustafa's son Mohammad, then 16, joined her. They had been living at the MEK's base in Iraq, Camp Ashraf, ever since.
After four years, the Mohammady children had still not returned and Mustafa said he turned against the resistance over what he termed the MEK's "kidnapping" of his children.
Camp Ashraf was a huge paramilitary complex 100 kilometres west of the Iranian border. Saddam Hussein had given the land to the MEK to use as a staging ground for cross-border attacks into Iran.
The Mujahedin at Camp Ashraf viewed themselves as Iran's only hope against the religious extremists who had seized power in the 1979 Islamic revolution. But their low-level insurgency had little popular support within Iran and little to no chance of success.
Then the Americans invaded Iraq.
Within weeks of the start of Operation Iraqi Freedom, the U.S. military captured Camp Ashraf and disarmed the MEK of its 10,000 small arms and 300 tanks. The MEK was all but finished.
Officially, any Mujahedin fighters that wanted to leave Camp Ashraf were free to go. A few hundred left, but most stayed, either because they were true believers or because they had nowhere else to go except back to Iran, where they were sure they would be detained, tortured or killed.
But human rights groups say there was another reason they didn't leave: The MEK wouldn't let them. Human Rights Watch says those who tried to leave Ashraf were labelled "defectors," imprisoned and tortured. A few were killed. The MEK has dismissed the allegations as lies planted by Iranian spies.
"The Iranian government has a dreadful record on human rights. But it would be a huge mistake to promote an opposition group that is responsible for severe human rights abuses," Joe Stark of Human Rights Watch said upon the release of the New York-based group's report on Ashraf.
In September, 2003, the U.S. military opened a "defectors" camp. Formally called the Temporary International Presence Facility, it serves as a transit camp for former Mujahedin who want out of Ashraf and are waiting to return to their home countries.
A Canadian immigration official based in Jordan who visited the defectors camp described it in a report to Ottawa as "better than any refugee camp that I have ever seen," but that was in 2004 and human rights activists say conditions there have worsened and its occupants are eager to get out.
The defectors camp covers about six acres and has its own recreation area and mess tent. More than 200 Mujahedin have left Ashraf to live under the protection of the U.S. forces.
Somayeh was not among them.
While she had opted not to go to the U.S. camp, Somayeh apparently wanted to return to Canada. She wrote a letter in Farsi in 2004 and addressed it to the Canadian embassy in Amman.
In it she politely asked for help getting back to Toronto. "I would really like you to help me out," she wrote.
By that time, things were looking grim at Camp Ashraf. Iraq's new interim rulers wanted the base dismantled, and they were talking about deporting the occupants of the camp to Iran.
The Mujahedin's campaign for international legitimacy was also struggling. After the terrorist attacks of 9/11, the West was beginning to look unfavourably at the MEK's tactics, which included suicide bombings, hijackings and assassinations.
The arrest of Maryam Rajavi threatened to fatally taint the MEK as a terrorist group. The Mujahedin decided to respond dramatically, and Mustafa was to be part of the performance.
The MEK had a history of targeting embassies.
On April 5, 1992, about 40 people armed with sticks, crowbars and mallets stormed the Iranian embassy in Ottawa to protest an air attack on a Mujahedin base in Iraq.
Several people were injured. Most of the demonstrators were MEK members, according to a Canadian Security Intelligence Service report obtained by the National Post.
"The Ottawa attack occurred several hours after the bombing in Iraq, illustrating the high level of organization and commitment of the MEK within Canada," the CSIS report said.
Similar attacks were carried out simultaneously at Iranian embassies in 13 other countries. The mastermind of the Ottawa embassy assault, Robab Farahi-Mahdavieh, was later deported to Britain.
Eleven years later, France's arrest of Ms. Rajavi had made French embassies the focus of the MEK. A commander from the MEK's secret U.S. base in Virginia telephoned Mustafa in Toronto and suggested it would be a good time to do something, the Toronto man said in an interview.
She never told him in so many words to set himself on fire, he said. But elsewhere in the world, MEK activists had been self-immolating in front of television news cameras. Mustafa thought that if he were to do the same, the Mujahedin might let his kids return to Canada.
As he neared the French embassy, he tipped the gasoline canister over his head, dousing himself in fuel while shouting denunciations of the Iranian regime. But before he could ignite himself, onlookers wrestled him to the ground and knocked the lighter out of his hand.
It was all over in seconds.
HUMAN RIGHTS ABUSES AT CAMP ASHRAF
"Human rights abuses carried out by MKO [Muhahedin-e Khalq Organization] leaders against dissident members ranged from prolonged incommunicado and solitary confinement to beatings, verbal and psychological abuse, coerced confessions, threats of execution, and torture that in two cases led to death. ...
"Dissident members who requested to leave the organization as well as ordinary members were detained in the bangals [pre-fabricated trailers]. Detention inside a bangal was considered a form of MKO punishment for members whom the leadership considered to have made mistakes. They were expected to reflect on their mistakes and to write self-criticism reports while in detention....
"The third type of detention reported by the witnesses encompassed imprisonment, physical torture and interrogations inside secret prisons within the MKO camps. These prisons were primarily used for persecution of political dissidents. Their existence was unknown to most members. The witnesses who suffered under this form of detention told Human Rights Watch that they were unaware that the organization maintained such prisons until they experienced it firsthand.
"One of the witnesses interviewed by Human Rights Watch, Mohammad Hussein Sobhani, spent eight-and-a-half years in solitary confinement, from September, 1992, to January, 2001, inside the MKO camps. Another witness, Javaheri-Yar, underwent five years of solitary confinement in the MKO prisons, from November, 1995, to December, 2000. Both were high-ranking members who intended to leave the organization but were told that, because of their extensive inside knowledge, they could not be allowed to do so."
Source: "No Exit: Human Rights Abuses Inside the MKO Camps," Human Rights Watch, May 2005.
THE MEK'S RESPONSE
"The Iranian Resistance's President-elect, Mrs. Maryam Rajavi, described the report by Human Rights Watch against the People's Mojahedin Organization of Iran, as a catalogue of false allegations and a shameful example of rushing to the aid of the religious dictatorship ruling Iran. On the eve of the discredited presidential election farce, the clerical regime was in dire need of such an endorsement, she said."Mrs. Rajavi added, 'This report contains nothing new. It is a rehash of allegations by notoriously discredited agents of the Iranian regime's Ministry of Intelligence and Security. That no inquiries were made to either the National Council of Resistance of Iran or the PMOI and that no notice was taken of explanations made public by the Iranian Resistance, and the haste in putting out this report, clearly reveal the political agenda behind it.' "
In the fourth part of the series, Mustafa Mohammady journeys to Iraq to try to retrieve his son and daughter from the guerrillas.
Losing a son
Stewart Bell, National Post
Published: Monday, September 25, 2006
A National Post investigation has found that the banned terrorist group Mujahedin-e Khalq recruited teens in Canada and sent them abroad to overthrow the Iranian government by force. Today, part two of a five-part series about a Canadian family that got deeply involved with the guerrillas -- and now regrets it.
RICHMOND HILL - Nervous and pensive, Mohammad Mohammady has the look of someone who has been through too much, too young. Five years at a guerrilla camp in Iraq will do that to a person.
At age 16, Mohammad left Toronto and made his way to Camp Ashraf, the headquarters of an armed resistance group fighting to overthrow Iran's repressive government.
His parents, Mustafa and Robabe, were refugees from Iran and supporters of the militants, known as the Organization of the Freedom Fighters of the Iranian People. But in his first interviews since returning to Canada, Mohammad said he only went to the paramilitary camp in Iraq for one reason: to bring home his sister, Somayeh.
Somayeh had dropped out of Grade 10 at Etobicoke Collegiate Institute in 1998 and travelled to Camp Ashraf. The guerrillas had told her parents she would only be gone four weeks.
But a month passed, and then another, and another. Still, there was no sign of Somayeh; no letters, no phone calls. The Mohammadys began calling the guerrillas' secret office in Virginia, but they could not get a straight answer.
"She likes being in the camp and she would like to stay," one of the commanders finally told the parents.
The Freedom Fighters, better known as the MEK, short for its Farsi name Mujahedin-e Khalq, enjoyed wide support among Iranian refugees in Canada, and Mustafa was an activist in the group's Toronto branch. Somayeh had gone to Camp Ashraf with his permission, but he said he never intended for her to join its cadre of guerrillas.
"She didn't go to join," Mustafa said. "She went to see the camp. I sent her to go there to see the camp for a holiday.... That's the greatest mistake I have ever made in my life."
Feeling they had nowhere to turn and afraid to alert the Canadian government (even friends and neighbours were told she was on an exchange program in France), the Mohammadys agreed to send their son Mohammad to Iraq to look for Somayeh and bring her back.
"And that," Mustafa said, "was our second mistake."
Mohammad was close to Somayeh. She was like a mother to him and he missed her terribly. He wanted her to come home to Canada. He travelled to the Pirayesh, the MEK's U.S. secret headquarters near Washington, D.C.
The MEK leaders told Mohammad he could go to Camp Ashraf. He could see his sister, see the camp and come back. The Mujahedin paid for his plane ticket.
Following the same route his sister had taken the year before, he flew to Jordan. From Amman, the MEK took him by road to the Iraqi border. He walked across the frontier and into a waiting car that delivered him to Camp Ashraf, a guarded paramilitary encampment that stretches six-kilometres by six-kilometres over the plains north of Baghdad.
Four thousand MEK members lived at the camp, all decked out in green fatigues. They had come from around the world; many were Iranian expatriates from the West. Mohammad believes that about 100 were from Canada. Other estimates say the number is closer to 50.
Camp life was rigidly regulated.
The men and women were strictly segregated into different sectors of the camp, with little interaction permitted. Even the bakery had separate hours for men and women.
Wake-up was at 4 a.m. The men would shave and shower before breakfast at 4:30. At 5:30, they would do chores, such as cleaning the tanks or working the farm.
A hot lunch was served from 10 to 11:30, after which the recruits had down time until 3 p.m. They would sleep or read. Anything but work; it was too hot for that.
The afternoons were devoted to political indoctrination sessions, then there was another three-hour work party at 4:30. At 7:30 p.m., it was exercise time. They would play soccer or go running. Dinner was at 9:30. Before a shower and bed, the recruits attended a final indoctrination session.
According to the Canadian Security Intelligence Service, the MEK uses "internal propaganda" to indoctrinate its members. Recruits must chant their allegiance to MEK boss Maryam Rajavi, who ruled with her husband, Massoud, during training: "Iran is Rajavi, Rajavi is Iran. Iran is Maryam, Maryam is Iran."
A classified CSIS report obtained by the National Post says that, "This internal propaganda has served to foster a cult-like atmosphere as many MEK members revere the Rajavis like Gods."
Two weeks after he arrived, Mohammad had still not seen his sister. The excuses varied, he said: "She's busy," "She's not here," "It takes time," "She's sick today."
It was a month before they were finally reunited. Two female MEK officials supervised. Somayeh asked about their parents but also voiced her support for the MEK's husband-and-wife leaders, Massoud and Maryam Rajavi, but Mohammad said he could tell it was an act.
"She wasn't happy," he said.
Having seen his sister, but having failed to convince her to leave, Mohammad told the MEK commanders he was ready to go home. He was told, "later." Then an administrative official told him he could not go back because he had signed a contract.
After three months, he began to resign himself to camp life. He had no passport and no plane ticket (the MEK had taken both). Even if he escaped, there was nowhere to run except into the barren, land mine-strewn Iraqi desert.
He underwent small arms training on an AK-47 and did odd jobs. He fixed the camp cars and cube vans, worked on their engines. He says he never took part in military operations. "I wasn't a member," he said. "I was with the Mujahedin, but I wasn't a member."
A year after his arrival, Mohammad was sent closer to the Iranian border, to another camp called Alavi, northeast of Ashraf. His visits with Somayeh were restricted to once a year at Persian New Year celebrations.
Back in Toronto, the Mohammadys waited to see whether Mohammad would bring Somayeh home, but as the weeks passed it dawned on them that he had met the same fate as his sister.
"He was recruited by the Mujahedin," Mustafa said.
The Mohammadys became Canadian citizens on June 23, 2000. At the ceremony, they received certificates signed by immigration minister Elinor Caplan that said, "Welcome to the Canadian family."
But their own family was in turmoil. Mustafa remained active in the MEK network in Canada, attending their demonstrations, but only because he thought it would help get his son and daughter home, he said.
As the MEK ramped up its attacks in 2001, Iran's Revolutionary Guards fought back with rocket barrages aimed at the Mujahedin's six camps in Iraq. A dozen surface-to-surface missiles struck Ashraf and five hit Alavi.
Mohammad once again asked to leave the camp in 2001, but he said the MEK did not tolerate "defections." Mohammad was brought before a gathering of men who denounced him and spat on him. He relented, agreeing to stay.
He said in an interview that during a visit to his camp, Massoud Rajavi gave a speech in which he had said that anyone who left the MEK would be hunted down and killed. (Mohammad fears for his life to this day and would not agree to be photographed for this article).
Increasingly worried, Mustafa wrote letters to Mohammed pleading for news. On Nov. 22, 2002, he wrote to the Rajavis, whom he addressed as "brother Massoud and sister Maryam."
"I wish you good health and prosperity under the care of Imam Mahdi and hope that under your leadership we get rid of the inhuman ruling of the Mullahs in Iran," he wrote.
"Honorable brother and sister, we, the under signers, Mustafa and Mahboobeh Mohammady, humbly ask you to facilitate our meeting with our children, Somayeh and Mohammed Reza during the Christmas Holiday.
"With the warm wishes for you and victory for the movement in the New Year we appreciate your help on this matter."
He never got a reply.
A FATHER'S LETTER
In the name of God,
With warm greetings to all members of the "Army of Freedom" who are trying for the removal of the inhuman regime in Iran and to you my dear son.
I wish you are fine and wherever you are you are protected by almighty and the Imam Mahdi. Dear Mohammad, if you have any worries about us please rest assured that we are fine and our only concern is you and Somayeh and the unbearable pain of being apart from you two.
Dear Mohammad, your mother is missing you so much and we keep ourselves busy watching films that we have from you. Your baby sister, Hurieh, is growing fast and she keeps asking about you and her elder sister all the time. She prays for both of you at bedtime every night.
Your younger brother, Morteza, is a grownup adult now and he also
expresses his deep feelings and concern about you too.
Dear Mohammad, I know that you don't have free time to write us but the letters that were written on your behalf before our New Year were received by us 3-4 months after that date.
Although we were happy to hear about you, since it is hard to believe that you are so busy that you can't spare a few minutes to write yourself, we became a little concerned. You know that seeing your own handwriting makes us really happy.
It is due to the concerns and worries caused by this incident that we have tried every possible way to get some information about the safety of you and your sister. Please write to us, in your own handwriting, or call us as soon as possible. If we don't hear from you very soon we have no choice but to push every possible button to get some result.
So, please, either yourself or your sister should get in touch with us and confirm your health and safety.
In hope to see you as soon as possible and to see the demise of the inhuman regime in Iran,
God bless you
Mustafa and Mahboobeh
In the third instalment of the series, a father takes extreme measures to get his son and daughter out of the clutches of the guerrillas.
Scaryy, but no surprises there. I think most Iranians are well aware of the cult-like nature of MKO. What I got from this is that MKO is so unpopular that the only way they can recruit and keep members is by FORCE. No surprises there. I am so glad people are going public with this though, somebody needs to stand up to them and expose them for what they really are. I just have to add this, the words "freedom fighters" and MKO used in the same sentence really makes me want to vomit, since they are ANYTHING BUT. Tune in for part III tomorow.