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Farmers and students Protests continue

Iranian Students and Farmers Protest Unfair Policies

Farmers and students Protests continue

Iran protests continue in various cities. The recent protests refer to students at the University of Tehran and the farmers in different cities objecting regimes inhumane policies

Students and farmers held protests this weekend against the regime’s repressive practices in a continuation of the resistance movement that began in December 2017.

Protest by Tehran University Students

Late Saturday night, students at Tehran University gathered in front of the university dormitory to protest the illegal eviction of one of the dorm residents.

Although the rally was peaceful, police and repressive security forces stationed at the university feared that the protest would spread and attacked the students with suppressive force. The students resisted the efforts to disperse the crowd and continued their protest.

Saturday’s rally was the most recent in a series of protests by Tehran University students over arbitrary rules governing student housing. In February, students at the university held a number of protests after officials canceled the housing of several students who were living in the married students’ dormitory.

Protest by Garlic Farmers

On Sunday, garlic farmers in the city of Parsabad Moghan, Ardabil Province, gathered to protest the low prices they are being paid for their crops and the entry of government-associated dealers into the industry.

Farmers in the northwestern province have been forced to stand in line for hours to sell their crops at prices that do not cover their own costs. In protest of this injustice, the farmers blocked a road leading to the city and demanded that local authorities address their concerns and take action to remedy the situation.

Iranian farmers have been protesting corrupt regime practices in various provinces for well over a year. The farmers of Isfahan Province staged a number of protests over the building of factories on the Zayanderud River upstream of their farms. The factories, which are owned by the regime and Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC)-controlled companies, divert water from the river, which left the farmers without water for their crops. Farmers in Isfahan blocked roads with their tractors and protested wearing grave shrouds to demand water rights.

Farmers in Lorestan Province have protested the seizure of agricultural lands by the regime. Farmers in Lordegan, Chaharmahal, and Bakhtiari provinces have protested against the unfair distribution of chemical fertilizer.

Farmers across Iran were hit hard by the devastating floods last month, with many seeing their lands completely destroyed. The regime has offered little to address their economic concerns, and many of the farmers may see no assistance in rebuilding their farms or restoring the income from their lost crops.

Iran is in a state of economic and social upheaval, and the clerical regime’s efforts to suppress dissent have been ineffective. On the contrary, these attempts to quell the rising tide of rebellion have only served to increase the people’s motivation to rise up and overthrow their oppressors.

The resistance movement in Iran has grown dramatically since the anti-regime uprising in December 2017, which spread to 142 cities in every province in a two week period. The MEK has been instrumental in the growth of this movement and continues to organize and lead the path to a free Iran. There is an alternative.

 

 

 

 

 

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A session of the Iranian regime's parliament

Regime Drafts Amendment to Deny Detainees Legal Representation

A session of the Iranian regime's parliament

Iranian regime’s parliament building in Tehran

Last week the Iranian regime’s legal and judicial parliamentary commission finalized a draft amendment that would make it legal to deny detainees charged with certain crimes access to legal representation while their cases are being investigated. The amendment to the Code of Criminal Procedure will be voted on in the regime’s Majlis (parliament) in the near future.

The amendment denies attorneys to those charged with “national security” offenses, a term that encompasses a variety of activities the regime perceived as a threat to its rule. Political dissidents, journalists, human rights activists, and lawyers are among those who are often charged with national security crimes. MEK supporters are often charged with national security offenses for peaceful resistance activities.

 

The amendment would effectively deny these detainees the right to counsel, adding to the list of grave human rights violations perpetrated by the clerical regime.

Amnesty International’s Response

Amnesty International stated that the “regressive piece of draft legislation,” if passed, would put Iran in violation of its obligations under international law because it would legally deny defendants the right to a lawyer in a number of different criminal investigations.

Amnesty International also expressed concern that passage of the bill would serve to justify the regime’s use of torture and abuse of detainees.

Philip Luther, Amnesty International’s Research and Advocacy Director for the Middle East and North Africa, was grim in his assessment of the effects of the amendment. He said: “If passed by MPs it would be a crushing blow to Iran’s already deeply defective justice system and could further consolidate patterns of torture and other ill-treatment against detainees to extract forced confessions during interrogations.”

Luther added that the denial of legal counsel is particularly disturbing when the individual affected faces an irreversible punishment such as amputation or execution.

2015 Provision

The current amendment is the latest effort by the regime to deny its citizens basic rights while they are in custody. In 2015, Majlis passed a provision to the Code of Criminal Procedure, which forced detainees charged with certain crimes to choose their lawyers from a list approved by the judiciary chief. The regime has neglected to even allow detainees this limited right, and many prisoners have been denied any legal representation at all.

 

The regime has no problem ignoring its own laws, but by creating an amendment that openly flouts international law, it opens itself to scrutiny. The international community must hold the Iranian regime accountable for its human rights violations and demand that it comply with international law.

 

The denial of legal representation to political prisoners is yet another attempt by the repressive regime to prevent a widespread rebellion. These suppressive tactics have not worked in the past and have only served to remind the Iranian people of why it is so necessary to continue to fight for regime change. The mullahs fail to understand that the tactics that have caused the people to rise up will not work to suppress them. The only thing that will end the protests and unrest in the country is the end of the clerical regime.

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Mostafa PourMohammadi's criminal record

Regime Official Claims Iranian People Are “Better off than Europe”

Mostafa PourMohammadi's criminal record

Photo credit to Iran-HRM.com, briefly explains the criminal record of Pour Mohammadi, former “Justice” Minister of the regime.

Last week, Mostafa Pourmohammadi, the regime’s  Secretary-General of the Combatant Clergy Association denied the suffering of the Iranian people, saying,” Today, our people are better off than Europe in terms of welfare.”

“Iran’s poverty is not out of hunger. It is rather a deficiency of welfare and desirable employment because expectations are based on new demands,” Pourmohammadi added.

The shocking statement came during a May 15th meeting with clerical leaders and was intended to counter growing unrest in the country over skyrocketing inflation and widespread poverty. Pourmohammadi’s claims were based on the false premise that Iranians feel poor not because they have been deprived of basic necessities, but because they have unreasonable expectations.

Pourmohammadi, who served as the regime Minister of Interior from 2005 to 2008 and also headed the General Inspectorate Office, is either willfully ignorant of the regime’s own statistics on Iran’s current economic state or he is choosing to ignore them. According to figures from regime officials, 80% of the Iranian population live below the poverty line.

The economic crisis in Iran has caused massive unrest across the country, and the regime has done nothing to address it. Labor activists say that the minimum wage in Iran is half of the line of poverty. For example, in Tehran, the poverty line for a family of four is four million Tomans (currently about 260 USD). The minimum wage is 1.8 million Tomans (about 170 USD), less than half of the poverty line.

Compounding the issue is the fact that many workers do not receive their paychecks for months at a time. Factory workers, teachers, railway workers, construction workers, healthcare workers, and municipal workers have all protested for payment of their overdue wages over the past year. The regime has responded to these strikes and protests with violent suppression, conducting midnight raids of workers’ homes and arresting peaceful protesters.

Faced with no other options, some Iranians have been forced to sell their organs to make ends meet. Others have been driven to suicide. If Pourmohammadi’s definition of “new demands” are the expectations that a job will pay its employees for their work and that the wages from that job will cover basic needs, then he is correct that the Iranian people have expectations that are not being met.

Who is Mostafa Pourmohammadi?

Pourmohammadi’s remarks are best understood in the context of his past actions. In 2013, the cleric was appointed to the position of Minister of Justice. Pourmohammadi said that he hoped “to promote justice” at the Ministry.

Pourmohammadi’s appointment to Minister of Justice was a slap in the face to the family members of thousands of political prisoners who were executed on his orders.

In the summer of 1988, Ruhollah Khomeini, the founder and Supreme Leader of the Islamic Republic, issued a fatwa ordering the executions of all imprisoned MEK members. He formed three-person “death committees” to carry out trials that lasted only minutes. Each committee consisted of an Islamic judge, a Ministry of Intelligence Representative, and a state prosecutor.

Pourmohammadi was the Ministry of Intelligence Representative on Tehran’s death committee. Grand Ayatollah Hossein-Ali Montazeri stated that Pourmohammadi was “the representative of the Ministry of Intelligence in charge of questioning prisoners in Evin Prison.”

Montazeri, who later expressed remorse for his role in the massacre, said that Pourmohammadi was a “central figure” in the mass executions of 1988.

Pourmohammadi has expressed no such remorse. In 2016, he said that he was “proud to have carried out God’s commandment concerning the People’s Mojahedin of Iran.”

“I am at peace and have not lost any sleep all these years because I acted in accordance with law and Islam,” he added.

30,000 political prisoners, most of whom were MEK members, were executed during a single summer in 1988. None of the perpetrators have ever faced justice for their roles in the massacre.

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23 Prisoners on row in Fashafoyeh Prison for hand amputation

23 Prisoners Languish in Prisons Awaiting Hand Amputations

23 Prisoners on row in Fashafoyeh Prison for hand amputation

Fashafoyeh Prison, one of the most horrific prisons in Iran.

In Greater Tehran’s Fashafoyeh Prison, twenty-three prisoners convicted of theft are awaiting hand amputations, with one prisoner expected to undergo the procedure in the next few days.

Alireza Khan Baluchi, convicted of theft seven years ago, has had his case sent to the Sentence Implementation Department, which will carry out the forced amputation. Baluchi has already returned the stolen property to the victim.

Brutal Punishments for Petty Crimes

Baluchi is not alone. Across Iran, every year convicted criminals receive harsh sentences of lashing and amputation for petty crimes. Between 2007 and 2011, the Iranian regime sentences 215 thieves to amputation sentences. It carried out around 125 of those sentences, six of which took place in public. Most of those who receive amputation sentences have been convicted on charges of stealing property worth 10 million tomans or less (US$600).

The regime’s attorney general is a fierce supporter of the barbaric practice. Following the regime’s decreased use of amputation as a punishment in the wake of the heavy international backlash, Attorney General Mohammad Jafar Montazeri called the decline “unfortunate”.

“One of the mistakes that we make is that we are afraid of human rights (propaganda) and that they say that you treat thieves violently,” the attorney general said in a meeting with police commanders in January.

He cited this reluctance to administer amputations as punishment as an underlying reason why theft had increased on the previous year’s levels. “According to the statistics of the judiciary and the police, unfortunately, robbery is second in terms of crimes in the society,” Montarezi claimed, asserting that theft now accounted for 28% of all crimes committed in Iran.

Unemployment is a Far Greater Driver

While the attorney general would prefer to blame an increase in crime on softer punishments, the country’s economic decline is a far greater driver of theft. With inflation skyrocketing, the purchasing power of Iranians plummeting and unemployment on the up, many parents are resorting to extreme measures to keep food on the table.

In the same interview, Montarezi seemed to acknowledge the role economic hardship has within Iran’s increasing crime rates. He cited the countries rising unemployment and widespread factory closures as areas of concern.

International Condemnation

The Iranian regime last removed someone’s hand as a punishment for theft in January 2018. The victim, identified only as Ali, was sentenced to amputation by guillotine for the crimes of stealing livestock and other items from villages in Northeastern Iran.

International human rights’ groups, including Amnesty International, were quick to condemn the sentence. Magdalena Mughrabi, the Deputy Middle East and North Africa Director for Amnesty said: “Meeting out such unspeakably cruel punishments is not justice and serves to highlight the Iranian authorities’ complete disregard for human dignity. There is no place for such brutality in a robust criminal justice system.

The internal population within Iran also responded to the forced amputation with public outcry. People took to the streets to protest the injustice, which the head of the Khorasan Razavi judiciary defended as a “divine punishment”.

When challenged in the UN Human Rights Council on the issue in 2010, Mohammad Javad Larijani also defended the practice as “culturally and religiously justified.”

There is no justification for the Iranian regime and its abhorrent acts of violence. Forced amputations are a barbaric practice whenever they occur.

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UK travel advisory to dual British-Iranians not to travel to Iran

UK Foreign Office Issues Advisory Warning British-Iranian Citizens Not to Travel to Iran

 

UK travel advisory to dual British-Iranians not to travel to Iran

UK Foreign Office issued a warning to British-Iranian dual nationals advising them not to travel to Iran-Friday, May 17, 2019

On Friday, the United Kingdom’s Foreign Office (FCO) issued a warning to British-Iranian dual nationals advising them not to travel to Iran.

The Foreign Office said that the change in travel advice was due to the regime’s “continued arbitrary detention and mistreatment of dual nationals.”

British nationals, particularly those with dual citizenship, face an “unacceptably higher risk” of arbitrary detention and mistreatment at the hands of the Iranian regime than citizens of other countries, added the FCO.

British Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt explained the reasoning for the change in travel advice, noting the Iranian regime’s refusal to take steps to remedy the problem. He said: “Dual nationals face an intolerable risk of mistreatment if they visit Iran. Despite the UK providing repeated opportunities to resolve this issue, the Iranian regime’s conduct has worsened.

“Having exhausted all other options, I must now advise all British-Iranian dual nationals against traveling to Iran.

“The dangers they face include arbitrary detention and lack of access to basic legal rights, as we have seen in the case of Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, who has been separated from her family since 2016.

“Regrettably, I must also offer a message of caution to Iranian nationals resident in the UK – but who return to visit family and friends – especially where the Iranian government may perceive them to have personal links to UK institutions or the British government.”

Sky News reported that the change in travel advice was partially due to concerns that the Iranian regime would take punitive action against British-Iranian dual citizens with links to UK institutions.

The Iranian regime does not recognize dual citizenship.

Unrest in Iran

The travel warning follows a series of brutal crackdowns by the clerical regime intended to quell the rising tide of dissent in the country and stave off widespread rebellion. The designation of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) as a terrorist organization and the tightening of U.S. oil sanctions have deepened both domestic and international economic and political tensions for the regime at a time when the mullahs’ grasp on power was already tenuous.

Last month’s devastating floods took hundreds of lives and caused billions of dollars in damages. It also exposed decades of incompetence and corruption by the regime. Poorly built bridges and dams collapsed, drainage systems that had been paved over caused massive flooding, and years of deforestation intensified the destruction.

The regime’s heartless response during and after the floods caused widespread outrage. While flood victims waited on rooftops for help that did not come, state-run television minimized the number of casualties and damage due to the disaster. Volunteers who provided food and other assistance to their friends and neighbors were arrested. Regime officials who visited flood-stricken areas were greeted by angry protesters who demanded to know when they would receive tents. The regime responded by sending tanks to suppress the protests.

Regime Crackdown

It is in this environment that the mullahs have attempted to crack down on further dissent. The regime recently announced the launch of the Razavion Patrol, a new suppressive force that will police neighborhoods to prevent MEK Resistance Units and other political dissidents from gathering. It is also working to pass an amendment that will make it legal to deny some detainees legal representation while they are being investigated.

The regime is acting out of fear, and it is while it is in this state of fear that it is most dangerous. A bear is at its most deadly when it is gravely wounded. The international community would do well to recognize the threat posed by the regime.

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Ahvaz under flood

Khuzestan Governor Claims Flood Victims Are Receiving Too Much Aid

Ahvaz under flood

Khuzestan has been under flooding, since last week, while reports indicate that no aid has been provided by the regime and they have been sending security forces to suppress any voice of protest.

The governor of flood-ravaged Khuzestan Province once again sparked outrage for his controversial remarks in the wake of the deadly floods that swept through 25 out of 31 provinces last month.

In an interview on Iran’s state-run television, Gholamreza Shariati described the recent visits by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) to the southwestern province of Khuzestan.

“During their visits, the International Red Cross protested that our flood aid was too much and outside of their protocols… and that we should not have given so much aid,” Shariati said!

The governor was asked what constituted too much aid, and he claimed that the ICRC complained to the head of the Red Crescent about “facilities and things that were given in the official camps.”

Lack of Emergency Aid

 

In the days after the floods, survivors in the hardest-hit areas waited days to receive tents. Residents in villages that were surrounded by floodwaters were stranded without food, water, or emergency aid for days while regime officials denied the severity of the disaster and minimized the extent of casualties.

Regime officials who visited flood-stricken areas for photo ops were greeted by angry protests from disaster victims who demanded explanations for why they had been abandoned by the government.

Previous Controversy

Khuzestan’s governor generated controversy during the floods during one such visit to a flood-stricken region. A video shared on social media showed an elderly man asking Shariati why the regime continued to give aid to Syria while denying emergency aid to its own people.

“Don’t be so irrelevant! You’re insolent and anti-government! Get lost!” Shariati angrily retorted before going on to threaten the flood victim.

 

According to the United Nations Office on the Situation in Syria, the Islamic Republic of Iran spends an average of $6 billion a year in Syria. This comprises approximately half of the total amount budgeted for subsidies in Iran.

The people of Iran have expressed anger at the regime’s continued funding of Bashar al Assad’s war in Syria while 80 percent of the population of Iran lives below the poverty line.

Continuing Impact of the Floods

Meanwhile, the regime has still taken few concrete steps to address the flood recovery effort. Millions of Iranians have been affected by the disaster, either through direct damage or destruction of their homes and towns, loss of employment and infrastructure, or both. Regime officials have refused to provide unemployment assistance to those who lost jobs because of the floods unless they had pre-existing unemployment coverage. Because of the economic crisis gripping the country and the regime’s anti-labor policies, many of the factory and industrial workers who are now unemployed did not have this coverage due to their forced status as contract workers.

The MEK has taken a strong stance in opposition to the regime’s anti-labor policies and its heartless response to the national disaster faced by the Iranian people. Mrs. Maryam Rajavi, leader of the Iranian opposition, has urged the people of Iran to form resistance councils and to “rush to the aid” of those affected by the floods.

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NCRI Releases Statement Calling for Release of Political Prisoners

Excerpts from the leader of the Iranian opposition, president-elect Maryam Rajavi asking the human rights organizations to take immediate action to save the lives of the political prisoners, recently arrested during Iran Protests

On Friday, the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) released a statement concerning the arrests of eleven people for supporting MEK following the regime’s recent crackdown on protests and political dissent within the country.

According to the statement, the crackdown is the most recent desperate attempt by the mullahs to quell the rising outrage in the country due to the dire state of the economy, the regime’s bungled response to the catastrophic floods last month, and the growing influence of MEK Resistance Units, resistance councils, and the nation’s rebellious in organizing protests. These fears have been intensified by the designation of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) as a terrorist organization and the strengthening of U.S. oil sanctions in the past months.

 

Regime Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei has taken a number of hardline measures to try to prevent the overthrow of the clerical regime. In March, Khamenei appointed notorious Death Committee member Ebrahim Raisi to the position of Judiciary Chief. Raisi was personally responsible for sending thousands of MEK supporters to their executions during the 1988 Massacre of 30,000 political prisoners. Khamenei then appointed Salami, Fadavi, and Naghdi as Commander, Deputy Commander, and Coordinator of the IRGC. All three men are known for their cruelty, according to the NCRI statement.

 

The regime has now launched a new wave of suppressive measures to prevent the spread of popular uprisings. Hashd al-Shabi forces were transferred from Iraq to flood-stricken areas in Iran, where victims of the disaster are protesting the lack of government aid. Last week, the regime announced the widespread launch of the Razavion, which it has described as “neighborhood-based security patrols.” Security forces have stepped up arrests of political dissidents, particularly MEK supporters.

Arrests of MEK Activists

 

The NCRI obtained the names of eleven people that have been arrested in late April 2019, for supporting MEK:

 

  • Nematollah Hakimi Kiasarai, 46, Tehran
  • Salar Eskandarzadeh, 29, Tehran
  • Hamid Reza Haddadi, 36, Kermanshah
  • Dariush Hosseini, 65, Mahshahr
  • Mohammad Khatibnia, 28, Khorramabad
  • Reza Nabavi, 24, Semnan
  • Mohsen Hosseini, 23, along with his two brothers, Neyshabur
  • Mahmoud Salami, 25, Neyshabur
  • Shokouh Majd, 55, Neyshabur

 

 

On April 23rd, the MEK released a list of 28 people who were arrested prior to that date for the similar charges.

 

On April 19, 2019, Mullah Alavi, the regime’s Minister of Intelligence, said in a speech that 116 teams associated with the MEK had been arrested over the past Iranian calendar year. On April 24th, the Director General of Intelligence in East Azarbaijan Province followed that statement with his own numbers, reporting 60 arrests and 50 additional encounters with MEK supporters over the past year.

 

These numbers do not take into account arrests made by the regime’s other suppressive organs, including the IRGC and local law enforcement. Actual arrest numbers are much higher.

Statement by Maryam Rajavi

Maryam Rajavi, President-elect of the NCRI, once again called on the United Nations Secretary-General, High Commissioner and Human Rights Council, as well as international human rights organizations,  to take urgent action to secure the release of imprisoned people. She also called for the appointment of delegations to visit the regime’s prisons in order to meet with political prisoners. Mrs. Rajavi stresses that political prisoners in Iran are subject to torture and execution.

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A session of the Iranian regime's parliament

MEK – Iran: Iranian Regime MP Warns Regime Officials the Status Quo is Untenable

A session of the Iranian regime's parliament

Iranian regime’s parliament building in Tehran

An Iranian MP has admitted that the People’s Mujahedin Organisation of Iran (MEK) is playing a central role in the rising tide of public dissent. Elias Hazrati took the podium in the regime’s Majlis (parliament) on Tuesday, May 14. He took the opportunity to shed some light on the crisis the Iranian regime currently finds itself in.

“The system is facing the toughest sanctions’ regime and the most condense economic blockade the country has faced during the past decade,” he said. He warned the regime officials in attendance that unless they took steps to modify the status quo, the regime would lose the Iranian public’s trust [read support among those very few percentages loyal to the regime].

The Middle of a Psychological War

“We are in the middle of a horrific psychological war. The war has begun. The aim is to destroy the people’s trust in the state,” Hazrati said, referring to the MEK’s repeated opposition to the Iranian regime’s repressive policies.

Hazrati went on to explicitly mention the MEK as a source of his escalating fear for the future of the regime’s survival.

“The enemy is using all its assets to discredit the state. With fake news and exaggeration tactics, 1,200 PMOI/MEK members are sitting and planning against [paramilitary] Hezbollah [militants], against both the reformists and principalists, the defenders of the state and the extremists and the fanatics. And inside the system, we are promoting this great war without doing anything to counter it,” he mused.

The Regime Has No Understanding of the Challenges Iranians Face

Hazrati’s warnings were clear to the regime; maintaining the status quo is not a viable option. As the Iranian economy continues to freefall and the purchasing power of ordinary Iranians plummets, the Iranian public is losing patience.

The people see a regime that is mismanaging Iranian finances, funneling money abroad to the militia and terrorist groups around the region. They see a regime ignoring their demands to end corruption and embezzlement. While they get poorer, the mullahs get richer, lining their pockets at the expense of the Iranian economy.

“You will realize the gravity of the situation when the people are smashed under the wheels of the problems,” Hazrati continued. “We don’t have any understanding of the fact that people are being smashed under the wheels of high costs of living, inflation, unemployment, and there is chaos overwhelming the Bazaar and the economy, while we are engaged in our own infightings and pay no attention to the outside reality.”

Hazrati is correct to be worried. The status quo is not tenable and a rising tide of public opposition will bring about regime change and restore democracy to Tehran.

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Isfahan prosecutor bans cycling for women in public

Isfahan Prosecutor Bans Women’s Cycling in Public

Archive photo- The Iranian regime’s repressive forces have once again cracked down on Women, abandoning the use of bicycle for them.

On Tuesday, Isfahan’s Public and Revolutionary Prosecutor officially banned public bicycling by women in the city, making violators subject to punishment under Islamic law.

 

In remarks carried by the state-run IRNA news agency, Prosecutor Ali Esfahani said, “As per the attestation of Muslim scholars, and based on the law, cycling by women in public is haram [prohibited]. The police have been ordered to initially give women bikers notices and take their IDs. Otherwise their bikes will be confiscated.”

Esfahani went on to discuss consequences for violators of the ban. “First-time offenders will have to go to the security police and sign a pledge,” he said. “They will not be punished and their personal documents and bicycles will be returned. If they repeat this sinful act two or three times, they will be punished in accordance with the Islamic Penal Code.”

 

Esfahani justified the crackdown on women cyclists by claiming that they had been “harassed” and citing complaints by clerics. “It has been some time that the heads of Friday prayers and the families of martyrs have complained of women’s cycling in public areas,” he said.

Khamenei’s Fatwa

 

Although Iranian law does not explicitly prohibit women from using bicycles, the clerical regime has always frowned upon public cycling by women, calling it “immoral.” In September 2016, regime Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei issued a fatwa banning the public use of bicycles by women, describing women’s cycling as “ostentation.” He also prohibited women from using bicycles in the presence of strangers or those outside of their immediate families.

 

“Riding bicycle often attracts the attention of men and exposes the society to corruption, and thus contravenes women’s chastity, and it must be abandoned,” Khamenei said, in response to an inquiry about the fatwa at the time. The fatwa clearly shows his backward ideology presented under the name of Islam and the misogyny within highest officials of the regime.

Mounting Pressure from Clerics

 

The city of Isfahan has not strictly enforced the fatwa until now, but city officials have faced growing pressure from clerics to address the perceived endorsement of women’s cycling and to enforce other oppressive regime policies.

Seyed Yusuf Tabatabaie Nejad, Khamenei’s representative in Isfahan Province, recently commented that “officials should not allow the religious and cultural identity of the city of Isfahan to be tarnished by breaking norms.”

 

He then thanked Prosecutor Esfahani for his “good orders” and good measures” in cracking down on enforcement of “women’s biking, the hijab, dog walking and parties held in orchards.”

 

On April 12th, the temporary Friday prayer Imam in Isfahan, Abolhassan Mahdavi, used his sermon to criticize city leaders in Isfahan for allowing women to ride bicycles in public. He demanded that officials deal with the issue immediately.

The MEK is strongly opposed to laws that prevent women from fully participating in public life. The Iranian Resistance and its leader, Mrs. Maryam Rajavi, believe that Iran should be governed by a secular democracy where women and men enjoy equal rights and representation in all spheres of life.

 

The Iranian regime has maintained its rule for forty years through suppression and intimidation, but the people have shown through their protests that they are no longer willing to accept this treatment. The MEK provides a path to a free Iran.

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Increase in terrorist activities of the Iranian regime

Former MEP: “The Key Task of MOIS Is to Identify and Eliminate Opponents of The Regime, The MEK”

Increase in terrorist activities of the Iranian regime

Surge in the Iranian regime’s terrorist activities against MEK

Former Member of the European Parliament for Scotland, Struan Stevenson, wrote an op-ed in the British newspaper, the Times. Entitled ‘Mullahs Agents Operate Across Europe’, the piece revealed that Iranian regime agents could be operating undercover in Glasgow, Scotland.

The revelation comes after the United States government identified two Iranian Ministry of Intelligence (MOIS) agents working in the UK who had previously been involved in espionage activities against the People’s Mujahedin Organisation of Iran (MEK) in Iraq and Albania.

Targeting the Opposition

The MEK has long been the target of the Iranian regime’s violence. Just last year, MOIS agents were involved in espionage and terror activities against MEK members in Albania, Bulgaria, the US, France, the Netherlands, and Denmark.

A 2013 report from the US government entitled ‘Iran’s Ministry of Intelligence and Security: A Profile’ found that the Iranian regime tasked the MOIS with identifying and eliminating MEK members living at home and abroad. Stevenson writes:

“It found that the key task of Ministry of Intelligence (Mois) agents was to identify and eliminate opponents of the regime at home and abroad, with the main target being the key democratic opposition movement, the People’s Mojahedin of Iran (PMOI) and its charismatic Paris-based leader, Maryam Rajavi.”

The German interior ministry carried out a similar investigation and came to the same conclusion, that MOIS agents were placed to combat opposition at home and abroad.”

This campaign of identifying and eliminating MEK members abroad led the Iranian regime to plan a terror attack on the MEK’s annual Grand Gathering in June 2018.

A diplomat based at the Iranian regime’s embassy in Vienna, Austria, provided a Belgian-Iranian couple with explosive material and detailed instructions to head to Paris and detonate a car bomb at the event. The disaster was narrowly averted for the 100,000 attendees when Belgian authorities detained the couple en-route to the event.

Stevenson himself had more cause than most for alarm. He writes in the Times, “As a long-term opponent of the fascist regime in Iran, I was there myself.”

In response to the terror attacks planned on European soil, France and Albania expelled Iranian diplomats and the EU has implemented its own sanctions against individuals in the regime.

The Trump administration has designated the Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) a foreign terror organization, severely impacting the regime’s ability to raise foreign capital. The US economic sanctions are also starting to bite.

The regime also faces an expanding protest movement and increased domestic pressure from the Iranian people. It will likely respond to this increased pressure by cracking down on political opponents within Iran and abroad.

Staff Writer

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