Posts Tagged ‘Human Rights’

Human Rights,Iran human rights,Mahmoud Alavi,Maryam Rajavi,MEK,MEK resistance units,National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI),PMOI

Mahmoud Alavi

Regime Intelligence Minister Cites MEK Arrests in Attempt to Boost Flagging Morale, Prompting Call to Release Political Prisoners

Mahmoud Alavi

Mahmoud Alavi, the Iranian regime’s Minister of Intelligence aside Hassan Rouhani the president of the dictatorship ruling Iran

On April 19th, Mullah Mahmoud Alavi, the regime’s Minister of Intelligence, made an appearance at Friday prayers in Tehran in which he attempted to raise morale of the country’s military forces in light of the recent designation of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) as a Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO) by the United States. The designation carries significant economic and political consequences for a regime that is already facing crises from all sides.

Arrests of MEK Members

Alavi focused his remarks on the regime’s suppression of the MEK during the last year in the Iranian calendar (March 21, 2018 to March 20, 2019), saying that during this time “116 teams related to the PMOI [MEK] have been dealt with.” He confusingly referred to these suppressive acts as “intelligence epic” and said that the ministry’s actions were due to “major national security reviews in light of Khamenei’s breakthrough guidelines.”

Alavi insisted that these achievements were carried out through Khamenei’s tailoring and said that the details of the suppressive acts should be shared with the public through “national media.” The regime’s state-run media have become widely distrusted by the Iranian people, who view the mullahs’ news agencies as propaganda. It is common for protesters to chant, “Our shame, our shame, our radio, and TV!” Regime leaders have expressed frustration at their inability to stop people from turning to the Internet and social media for unfiltered news.

The Minister of Intelligence has not officially released the true number of MEK members arrested during the last Iranian calendar year. He intentionally omitted arrests made by the regime’s other suppressive agencies, such as the

IRC Intelligence Organization, IRGC Intelligence Protection Organization, State Security Forces (SSF) and the Prosecutor’s Office.

 

Alavi’s choice to focus on the MEK is in keeping with the regime’s strategy of placing the blame for the FTO designation or IRGC on the resistance organization.

Maryam Rajavi’s Statement

After Alavi’s Remarks on Friday, Mrs. Maryam Rajavi, President-elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), released a statement calling for the immediate release of MEK political prisoners in Oran. She called on the Secretary-General of the United Nations, the High Commissioner and the Human Rights Council of the United Nations, and international human rights organizations to form delegations to visit the regime’s prisons and meet with the prisoners and to take immediate action to secure their release. She emphasized that the prisoners are subject to torture and execution. Mrs. Rajavi further demanded that the regime publish the names of all of those who have been arrested and honor their rights in accordance with the international conventions it has adopted.

The Iranian regime is notorious for its mistreatment of political prisoners. Dissidents are routinely tortured while in custody, sometimes to the point of death. During the uprisings of December 2017/January 2018, at least 14 people died after being tortured while in custody.

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Human Rights,Iran Floods,MEK,MEK Network,Mujahedin-e Khalq,National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI),PMOI

Ahvaz under flood

Regime Arrests 28 People for Reporting News about Floods

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.

According to regime officials, a total of 28 people have been arrested for reporting news about the recent deadly floods that have devastated Iran.

Arrests in Khuzestan Province

 

24 Internet activists were arrested in Khuzestan Province for their role in publishing news of the floods in the province, according to the head of provincial cyber police, Shahin Hassanvand. Khuzestan was one of the provinces hit hardest by the disaster, and regime officials have withheld vital information about casualties and damage to the region. The news that has been provided has been patently false.

 

A report aired on the state-run ISNA news agency claimed that the activists were arrested for disturbing “public opinion by spreading news and rumors on the floods.”

 

Hassanvand described the process through which the police hunted down the publishers. “Due to the publication of rumors and fake news on the internet which has led to insecurity in the community’s psychological climate, experts of the police forces monitored social platforms and identified 24 internet users who published deviating news and rumors about the flood and disturbed public opinion.” He also noted that the publishers have been referred to the regime’s Judiciary for prosecution.

Arrests in Tehran

The previous week, four people were arrested in Tehran for “spreading rumors” about the regime’s incompetence in its response to the flood, according to the Capital city’s Chief of Police.

A Threat to Security

The Iranian regime has done everything in its power to prevent its people from seeing the full extent of the destruction from the floods and witnessing the colossal failure of the regime’s response in its aftermath. This has proved to be impossible. At least 25 out of Iran’s 31 provinces sustained heavy damage due to the floods, and survivors of the disaster shared videos and pictures on social media of the flood. Public confidence in official reports about the flood eroded quickly as anger mounted over the regime’s failure to provide emergency aid.

 

In late March, as floods raged across the country, regime Attorney General Jafar Montazeri announced that publishing “fake” news (information contrary to official regime reports) about the floods was a violation of national security and that those found in violation would be dealt with for “disrupting the security of the country.”

Human rights groups report that another 11 relief workers were arrested in Khuzestan by the Revolutionary Guards (IRGC). Another 22 rescue workers were arrested in Khuzestan by MOIS agents. The regime has banned all non state-sanctioned aid to flood victims.

Growing Protests

 

Residents of flood-stricken areas have greeted regime officials and IRGC forces who have attempted to visit with angry protests. The regime has responded to these protests with suppressive actions.

 

According to reports from MEK sources inside Iran and videos shared on social media, the regime sent security forces to suppress dissent in Khuzestan in response to protests in the Eyn-e Do and Shelang Abad regions in Ahvaz. Other reports indicate that troops from the Fatemiyoun Division, which is comprised of Afghan nationals, were dispatched to Poldokhtar, which was destroyed in the floods.

90 Flood Deaths in One Western Iranian City, According to Internal Police Report

During the floods, Iranians in some areas were stranded on rooftops for days waiting for a rescue that never came. Entire villages were left without food or drinking water. People in Shiraz were left to pull bodies out of the flooded streets. During the final wave of flooding, the regime called for evacuations, but it didn’t tell people where or how to evacuate.

 

Finally, the Iranian government is sending troops to the areas that were destroyed by floods. The regime clearly has the resources to send people and equipment quickly when it feels it is necessary. But even now, with the country in ruins, the mullahs aren’t providing aid. The troops haven’t arrived with boats and supplies. They have come with tanks and guns. And the people are angry.

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Human Rights,Iran Flood,Iran human rights,Iran Protests,Maryam Rajavi,National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI)

IranHRM March report

Iran Human Rights Monitor Releases its Monthly Report for March

 

IranHRM March report

The cover photo for “Iran Human Rights Monitor” report – March edition, covering the horrific flooding and the consequences of the mismanagement of the regime on the people residing in the flood-stricken areas.

Iran Human Rights Monitor released its monthly report for the month of March. The group shone a light on the recent flooding that has affected 28 of Iran’s 31 provinces, reporting that at least 200 Iranian have lost their lives in the disaster.

The group accused the regime’s aid of being “too little and too slow.” Instead of getting aid workers to the regions affected as quickly as possible, the regime dispatched its Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) and Basij forces. They were instructed to prevent any outbreak of protests.

As Iranians were stranded without food and water, the regime refused to help, instead focusing on its own preservation. “Many social media users observed that residents, often themselves victims of the floods, rushed to help others, while the authorities did very little or nothing,” Iran Human Rights Monitor reported.

Inspired by messages of solidarity from President-elect of the Iranian opposition, Maryam Rajavi, Iran’s citizens rallied around each other and offered their support for their fellow compatriots. Shop owners, mechanics and other business owners in Shiraz offered their services to the flood victims free of charge.

A Regime Responsible

Iran Human Rights Monitor noted that the regime must bear a share of the responsibility for the scale of the flooding. “Authorities have been over-constructing for a long time and it has destroyed the natural flood barriers that were in place,” it reported.

The regime has destroyed more than 30% of the country’s forests, built villas in agricultural lands, failed to effectively upkeep dams and built on vulnerable river banks and flood plains. This natural mismanagement of Iran’s natural flood defenses exacerbated the disaster and undoubtedly led to the destruction and loss of life this month.

Human Rights Abuses

The group also reports that the regime carried out 15 public executions over the course of the month, including a father and son in Birjand Prison charged with the murder of two regime agents.

Three activists received flogging sentences.

Nasrin Sotoudeh, a prominent human rights lawyer arrested in 2018, was tried again on a further seven charges. The lawyer is currently in prison serving a five-year sentence for “association and collusion with the intent of sabotaging national security”. She was tried in absentia for a further seven charges. Her lawyer was prevented from attending the trial. She received another 34-year prison sentence and 148 lashes.

Sotoudeh became the target of the regime’s injustices for her peaceful human rights work. She was vocal in her defense of women protesting the regime’s compulsory veil laws and a public critic of the death penalty.

Along with Sotoudeh, labor activist Arsham Rezai received an eight-and-a-half-year prison sentence. He was tried without a lawyer or prior notice. He was accused of “spreading propaganda against the state” and “assembly and collusion against national security.”

There were also reports of prisoners being denied treatment. Ali Badrkhani, who is being held at Urmia Central Prison, is reportedly being denied access to outside treatment for his kidney disease. Abolghasam Fouladvand at Raja’I Shahr Prison is also reportedly being denied treatment for his heart failure.

The Persecution of Ethnic Minorities

Iran Human Rights Monitor also reported the rampant arrest of ethnic minority groups in Iran. In March, the Iranian Judiciary sentenced 23 members of the Sufi Dervish to a total of 190 years in prison and numerous lashes. Most of those convicted received sentences of between six and nine years and will serve them in the Greater Tehran Prison.

At least eight Iranian- Arabs from Ahvaz and 24 Kurds were also arrested throughout the month.

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Ebrahim Raisi

Mass murderer Ebrahim Raisi is appointed as the chief of judiciary of the clerical regime

Ebrahim Raisi

Ebrahim Raisi, member of the 1988 Massacre’s “Death Commission” assigned as the highest judicial position within the regime.

In dictatorial regimes, people reach senior positions based on their lack of respect for justice or having special connections with those in power. For positions of power in repressive organs, these appointments are carefully considered and people who are appointed must be competent at wielding suppressive weapons, the survival of the regime depends on it.

 

The former and current “Justice Minister” for Rouhani’s cabinet, were involved in the 1988 massacre of 30,000 political prisoners mainly from the MEK>

We can take a look at the so-called “moderate” cabinet of President Hassan Rouhani, formed in 2013. In addition to Rouhani himself, there were many overtly oppressive cabinet members like Mostafa Pour Mohammadi, the former regime Minister for Justice, who was a member of the “Death Squads” responsible for thousands of executions in 1988. The selection of Pour Mohammadi was a clear signal to the Iranian people that Rouhani’s administration is anything but moderate and that they should not expect any leniency in judicial matters of political dissent.

 

Rouhani’s moderate political slogans masked the hideous face of the clerical regime. Essentially in the culture of the clerical regime, the publicly announced policies bear no resemblance to the political reality of the regime. Repression and limiting civil liberties drive every policy decision. This is most apparent in the regime’s relationship with the main political opposition group, the PMOI. The People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran is the largest and most organized political force that has opposed this regime throughout its forty-years existence.

 

It is worth pointing out that in the Iranian political landscape, no force is more ideologically opposed to the clerical regime than the Peoples Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI / MEK). The regime’s ideology is rooted in Khomeini’s interpretation of Islam. But the MEK’s view of Islam is radically different from that of the Khomeini’s regime. For the MEK’s, Islam is democratic and secular. Freedom and respect for human rights are at the core of the MEK’s beliefs, conversely, for the regime freedom has no place in society and is vehemently opposed. It is this fundamental ideological difference that has put the MEK in the regime’s crosshairs. This is apparent in the appointment of Raeisi. In these sensitive times, as public dissent increases and the MEK grows more popular, Rouhani is turning to ‘the hanging cleric’ to crack down on the pro-democracy group.

 

“By emphasizing the need for a change in the judiciary and the beginning of a powerful new era,” Khamenei indicated his priority remains self-preservation at the expense of Iranian human rights. Khamenei declared the year 2019 as the year of uprising and social explosion, appointing an executioner such as Raisi is a direct response to the economic and political demands of the people.

The fact that “reformers” and “moderates” within the regime welcomed Raisi’s appointment as the head of the regime’s judiciary speaks volumes about the magnitude of the crisis the clerical regime faces. It proves that when it comes to repression, the different factions within the religious dictatorship are united in the shared goal of regime preservation and maintaining their grip on power.

Hassan Rouhani touted Raisi’s ”proper management skills depicted in previous positions in the judiciary” when he announced the appointment. Jahangiri, Rouhani’s vice president, also expressed hope that Raisi, with his experience and management skills, will be able to open new horizons. Two hundred parliamentary representatives wrote in a letter to Khamenei and Raisi: “In order to implement the second-level declaration of the regime, we expect the new head of the judiciary to make a decisive effort to eradicate corruption completely.” Mahmoud Sadeghi, a “reformist” in the regime’s parliament, wrote in a tweet that “many judges are optimistic about the impending changes in the administration of the judiciary.”

Although appointing Raisi as the head of the judiciary shows a more repressive front against political dissent, at the same time, it has opened the regime up to scrutiny from the international community. Governments around the world are abandoning their policies of appeasement. Following Raisi’s appointment, the international community will be even more reluctant to grant concessions to Iran.

The Associated Press announced the appointment of Raisi as follows: “On Thursday, a hard-line cleric, who was once thought to be a possible viable successor to Iran’s absolute ruler, was appointed as head of the Judiciary of the Islamic Republic of Iran. This appointment raised the concern of human rights activists for his involvement in the execution of thousands in the 1980s. “

Referring to Amnesty International’s report in 1990, the Associated Press wrote that “Those who described themselves as ‘Mujahedin’ were sent to their deaths, according to reports Raisi, was part of the panel that was involved in the condemnation of prisoners.”

 

The regime has made some feeble gestures in an attempt to quell international fears of further human rights abuses. It released some political prisoners and removed some radical elements of the judiciary. However, these are nothing but deceptive moves and should be viewed as such.

To call Ebrahim Raisi a “righteous cleric”, as the regime has, is a tasteless joke. Regarding Raeisi’s righteousness, please refer to Ayatollah Montazeri’s remarks in addressing the Death Committee. The former Ayatollah turned to Raeisi and said, “you will be regarded as one of the criminals in history.” It is noteworthy to mention that Raeisi is one of the least experienced of all the criminal judges in the system. At the age of twenty, he began his career, as the prosecutor in Karaj, and shortly afterward, for his “abilities,” he served as Hamedan prosecutor at the same time. In 1985 he was recalled to Tehran for his high “capabilities” and in 1988, at the age of 28, he was placed in a senior position in the Death Squad and oversaw the massacre of thousands of MEK political prisoners.

This criminal cleric is so brazen that he speaks about the massacre of the MEK members with pride. In a ceremony on December 7, 2018, at Beheshti University, in response to a question about the 1988 massacres, he said, “the real hero in fighting the hypocrites, (meaning the MEK), is Khomeini himself although everyone who had a role in this fight against the hypocrites and helped save our country must be awarded.”

A monument made in memory of 30,000 political prisoners, who were brutally executed in summer of 1988, mainly supporters of the MEK

According to Rouhani, the clerical dictatorship is at war. He called on Khamenei. “as the leader of the Islamic Republic of Iran and the Islamic Revolution,” to “take command, leading this war.”

 

If we take this statement by the President of the clerical regime seriously, in a war against the people, and foreign governments, the appointment of Ebrahim Raeisi is part of a coordinated strategy. In this war, Rouhani may be one of their own victims. When you treat your own people as your enemy, it only speeds up the formation and proliferation of the resistance. 

Referring to Amnesty International’s report in 1990, the Associated Press wrote that “Those who described themselves as ‘Mojahedin’ were sent to their deaths, according to reports Raeisi, was part of the panel that was involved in the condemnation of prisoners.”

The regime has made some feeble gestures in an attempt to quell international fears of further human rights abuses. It released some political prisoners and removed some radical elements of the judiciary. However, these are nothing but deceptive moves and should be viewed as such.

To call Ebrahim Raisi a “righteous cleric”, as the regime has, is a tasteless joke. Regarding Raisi’s righteousness, please refer to Ayatollah Montazeri’s remarks in addressing the Death Committee. The former Ayatollah turned to Raisi and said, “you will be regarded as one of the criminals in history.” It is noteworthy to mention that Raeisi is one of the least experienced among all the criminal judges in the system. At the age of twenty, he began his career, as the prosecutor in Karaj, and shortly afterward, for his “abilities,” he served as Hamedan prosecutor at the same time. In 1985 he was recalled to Tehran for his high “capabilities” and in 1988, at the age of 28, he was placed in a senior position in the “Death Committee” and oversaw the massacre of thousands of MEK political prisoners.

This criminal cleric is so brazen that he speaks about the massacre of the MEK members with pride. In a ceremony on December 7, 2018, at Beheshti University, in response to a question about the 1988 massacres, he said, “the real hero in fighting the hypocrites, (the derogatory name regime uses for the MEK), is Khomeini himself although everyone who had a role in this fight against the hypocrites and helped save our country must be awarded.”

According to Rouhani, the clerical dictatorship is at war. He called on Khamenei. “as the leader of the Islamic Republic of Iran and the Islamic Revolution,” to “take command, leading this war.”

If we take this statement by the President of the clerical regime seriously, in a war against the people, and foreign governments, the appointment of Ebrahim Raeisi is part of a coordinated strategy. In this war, Rouhani may be one of its own victims. When you treat your own people as your enemy, it only speeds up the formation and proliferation of the resistance.

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Javaid Rehman UN's Special Rapporteur on situation of human rights in Iran

Regime Ambassador to U.N. Criticizes MEK for Exposing Human Rights Abuses

Javaid Rehman UN's Special Rapporteur on situation of human rights in Iran

Javaid Rehman, the UN Special Rapporteur on human rights in Iran, delivering his report to the UN

On Monday, March 11th, United Nations Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Iran Javaid Rehman presented his first report to the U.N. Human Rights Council. In his report to the council, Rehman expressed concern about the increasing number of executions in Iran and the regime’s practice of sentencing minors to the death penalty.

In responding to Rehman’s report, the Iranian regime’s Ambassador to the U.N. in Geneva Esmaeil Baghaei Hamaneh focused on the MEK’s role in exposing the regime’s human rights abuses, saying, “It is very unfortunate that one of the main sources for the Special Rapporteur’s documents is the [MEK] who have been recognized by their supporters as the opposition and human rights advocates.”

Hamaneh’s words are reflective of the regime’s attitude toward the MEK, which it sees as an existential threat and often attempts to delegitimize when it feels threatened.

Despite Hamaneh’s assertions, Rehman’s report is consistent with the U.N. ’s previous research, which has found Iran to be the world’s leader in executions per capita for years. The Iranian regime has refused a number of requests by Rehman to visit the country to independently assess the situation.

Children Sentenced to Death

Rehman was particularly concerned about the fact that the Iranian regime regularly sentences children to death. Under Iranian law, the death penalty may be imposed on girls as young as nine and boys as young as 15. This is a clear violation of both international law and U.N. conventions. As a member of the United Nations, this practice is a violation.

“The practice, illustrated in numerous cases reviewed, of waiting until the child offender reaches the age of 18 before execution, repeated postponements, and the inherent vulnerability of the child given his or her age, amounts to a pattern of torture and other ill-treatment,” said Rehman.

He further stated that at least six people convicted of crimes that occurred when they were under the age of 18 were executed in 2018. Another 85 child offenders currently await execution.

Rehman called on the Iranian regime to comply with international law by abolishing the death penalty for juvenile offenders. He also asked that all current death sentences against children be commuted.

Release of Imprisoned Protesters

Rehman also expressed concern about the regime’s treatment of protesters who have taken to the streets in increasing numbers since the nationwide popular uprisings in December 2017. He noted that the country is in the midst of an economic crisis, which has led to massive protests over unpaid or delayed wages, water and food shortages, lack of healthcare, high unemployment, and substandard living conditions.

The Iranian regime has responded to protests by arresting the participants in large numbers. Rehman called for their release.

In his report, Rehman said, “Today, the people of Iran face a myriad of challenges. Many have voiced their concern through protests, demonstrations, and strikes. People from diverse sections of society—from truck drivers to teachers to factory workers—across the country have protested. It is in this context of increased challenges that concerns are mounting about human rights, including the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and to association in Iran.”

 

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Nasrin Sotoudeh

International Human Rights Groups and the Iranian Opposition Condemn 38-Year Sentence for Women’s Rights Lawyer

Nasrin Sotoudeh

Women’s rights lawyer, Nasrin Sotoudeh sentenced to 38 years of prison and 148 lashes, for defending the rights of women.

The Iranian human rights lawyer, Nasrin Sotoudeh, received a 38-year prison sentence with 148 lashes in a ruling the Iranian opposition has condemned as “anti-human” and “misogynist”. Mrs. Sotoudeh has devoted her life to standing up for Iranian women. She was a vocal critic of the clerical regime’s forced hijab (veiling) laws and frequently spoke out against the regime’s use of the death penalty.

These compassionate and sensible objections to the mullahs’ tyranny earnt her the attention of the regime. She was arrested after representing women who were arrested during the nationwide protests in 2018. She was tried in absentia in December 2018 and sentenced to five years imprisonment in one case and 33 in another, bringing her total sentence to 38 years in prison, her husband reported on Monday.

International Outcry

The sentence has been condemned by the Iranian opposition and prominent international human rights groups. In a statement, the Women’s Committee of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), the umbrella organization or the largest Iranian opposition group, the People’s Mujahedin Organisation of Iran (MEK), condemned the ruling.

International human rights organization Amnesty International also criticized the decision to imprison Sotoudeh. In a prepared statement, the NGO called the ruling, “an outrageous injustice.”

Philip Luther, Amnesty International’s the Middle East and North Africa Research and Advocacy Director said, “It is absolutely shocking that Nasrin Sotoudeh is facing nearly four decades in jail and 148 lashes for her peaceful human rights work, including her defense of women protesting against Iran’s degrading forced hijab (veiling) laws.” He continued to call for her immediate release and for the sentence to be “quashed without delay.”

Luther said that the ruling and Nasrin Sotoudeh’s sentence “consolidate Iran’s reputation as a cruel oppressor of women’s rights.” “Jailing a human rights defender for her peaceful activities is abhorrent but the fact that the judge in Nasrin Sotoudeh’s case used his discretion to ensure that she stays locked up for more than is required under Iranian law compounds the outrageous injustice of her sentence,” he said.

Free Nasrin

Both the MEK and Amnesty International have called on international human rights defenders to apply pressure to the Iranian regime in an attempt to secure Nasrin’s freedom. Luther singled out the European Union as one institution that should use its leverage to secure her freedom.

He said the EU “has an ongoing dialogue with Iran” and urged it to “take a strong public stand against this disgraceful conviction and urgently intervene to ensure that she is released immediately and unconditionally.”

This is among the longest and most excessive sentences the regime has handed down against a human rights activist in recent memory. The move has been interpreted as a sign that emboldened by the international community’s inactivity in the face of blatant human rights abuses, it is intensifying its crackdown on political dissent across the country.

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Caspian Credit Company,Human Rights,Iran Economy,Iran human rights,Iran Protests,MEK,MEK Network,Mujahedin-e Khalq,PMOI

Khaje Nasiredeen university students' protest

Escalating Protests Show the Escalation of the Resistance Movement in Iran

Khaje Nasiredeen university students' protest

The students at Khaje Nasiredeen University protesting the ruling regime and campus officials’ neglect of their human rights-March 2019

On Tuesday, March 12, reports emerged from MEK sources inside Iran of another series of protests breaking out across the country. Unpaid salaries have mobilized large swathes of the Iranian population. This time, it was clients of the Caspian credit firm, a company closely affiliated with the regime’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC), that were demanding their money.

An Unpaid Population

Since the beginning of 2019, railway workers, teachers, bus drivers, and taxi drivers have all taken to the streets over unpaid salaries and poor working conditions. Years of economic mismanagement, corruption, and embezzlement have left Iranian institutions hollow. Regime officials have plundered workers’ savings, leaving many Iranians struggling to survive in the midst of an economic crisis.

On Tuesday, the clients of Caspian gathered outside the offices of the Judiciary in Tehran to demand reimbursement for their stolen savings. They were the victims of what amounted to a government-run Ponzi scheme.

A Movement Building

On the same day that Caspian investors demanded their money in Tehran, in Southern Iran workers at the South Pars gas field projects were holding a strike of their own. The workers had begun their strike the preceding morning following two months of unpaid wages. There were pensioners among the workers that complained their pension had not been paid out for two years.

Elsewhere, in Tehran, students attending the Khaje Nasiredeen University protesting the ruling regime and campus officials’ neglect of their human rights. They released a statement that read, “we the students of Khaje Nasiredeen University announce today that enough is enough and [the] neglect must come to an end. The students’ basic rights must be respected and we demand all our rights be acknowledged.” Similar protests have taken place at Razi University in Kermanshah and the Science University in Mazandaran, sources from MEK report.

The students and investors are part of a wider resistance movement building in Iran. Everywhere across the country, workers, students, pensioners, ethnic minorities, and human rights activists are calling for regime change. Iranians have had enough of the persistent mismanagement of Iranian finances.

They are tired of the mullahs using the savings of hardworking Iranians to fund foreign wars and terror groups. They are tired of being kept in abstract poverty while the mullahs enjoy a lifestyle of opulence. They are tired of seeing their funds funneled to Hezbollah in Lebanon, Assad’s regime in Syria and the Houthis in Yemen, etc.

Iranian voices will not be silenced anymore. They are making their voices heard.

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1988 Massacre,Human Rights,Iran human rights,MEK,Mujahedin-e Khalq,National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI),PMOI,Tahar Boumedra

Tahar Bumedra

Former UNAMI Human Rights Chief Denounces the Ebrahim Raisi’s Appointment

Tahar Bumedra

Tahar Bumedra, speaking at a conference on the situation of human rights in Iran- March 7, 2019

Tahar Boumedra, the former chief of the human rights office of the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI), penned an op-ed for the prominent news and analysis site, Eurasian Review. The legal expert and human rights champion criticized the Iranian regime over its recent appointment of Ebrahim Raisi as head of the judiciary.

Boumedra traced Raisi’s historic disregard for human rights, describing Raisi’s involvement in the 1988 massacre which led to the execution of more than 30,000 Iranian political dissidents. “Raisi was among the officials appointed to three-person “death commissions.”

Top clergies in charge of the criminal Iranian regime’s Judiciary. From left to right, Ebrahim Reisi, recently promoted as the chief of regime’s Judiciary, member of the 1988 Massacre’s Death Committee, Sadegh Larijani, previous chief of the regime’s Judiciary, Mohsen Ejehei, the deputy of regime’s Judiciary, Pour Mohammadi, regime’s previous Minister of “Justice”, also one of the 4 members of the Death Committee during the 1988 Massacre of 30,000 political prisoners in Iran.

In his role in the death commission, Raisi rounded up and killed members of the People’s Mujahedin Organisation of Iran (MEK) and other Iranian pro-democracy groups. Boumedra writes, “the precise scope of the killings remains unclear because many of the victims were buried in secret mass graves,” many of which were subsequently paved over in an attempt to hide the regime’s atrocities. The deliberate destruction of evidence in this manner prompted Amnesty International to call for a full UN-led investigation into the massacre.

Given the regime’s willingness to promote those involved in the massacre, such as Raisi, to senior positions within the regime, it cannot be trusted to carry out a full and impartial investigation into the matter. Prior to 2016, when audio recordings were discovered outlining the regime’s involvement in the killings, the regime refused to acknowledge the massacre took place at all. Since the recordings, made by Hossein Ali Montarezi, were made available to the public, the regime has instead focused its efforts on justifying the massacre.

No Shame

“When asked in 2016 about the killings of PMOI (MEK) members and other critics of the Iranian regime, Pourmohammadi (the former Justice Minister) openly stated that he was “proud” to have helped to carry out “God’s command” of death,” Bumedra pointed out. Pourmohammadi was then replaced in 2017 by another former death commission member, Alireza Avaie.

“These and other high-profile appointments have sent the clear message that the regime stands by its past acts of violent oppression and has no interest in rehabilitating its image,” Boumedra wrote. Raisi’s appointment only serves to further demonstrate this message.

The Implications for the Opposition

Raisi’s appointment will have a significant impact on the Iranian opposition movement and the MEK. It sends the message that Tehran is intending to crack down even harder on Iranian protestors and civil disobedience. As the Iranian opposition gears up for another year of protests in 2019, the Iranian opposition will no doubt hear this message.

However, they are unlikely to be deterred. Since 2017, the Iranian protest movement has expanded. It has untied Iranians from all walks of life and pensioners, teachers, students, factory workers, investors, farmers, and truck drivers have all marched against the violent and repressive clerical regime shoulder to shoulder.

For the MEK, who have played a leading role in the protest movement, Raisi’s appointment indicates that the regime is setting the scene for another massacre. Boumedra points out that only the international community can stop another massacre on the same scale as 1988. They must apply economic pressure to the mullahs and secure human rights reform. Without it, the lives of millions of Iranians hang in the balance.

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Angelo-Iranian communities demonstration in London on the occasion of IWD-2019

NCRI and Anglo-Iranian Communities Rally in London in Support of Iranian Women

Angelo-Iranian communities demonstration in London on the occasion of IWD-2019

The Angelo-Iranian communities demonstrate on the occasion of the International Women’s Day-March 9, 2019

On March 9th, hundreds of supporters of the Mujahedin-e Khalq (MEK), members of the Anglo-Iranian Communities took part in a rally outside of 10 Downing Street in London in honor of International Women’s Day. The demonstrators focused on the pivotal role of women in the ongoing anti-regime protests in Iran and called for the British government to recognize the right of the Iranian people to overthrow the theocratic regime.

A Democratic Alternative

Speakers at the demonstration condemned the deplorable treatment of women and girls under the religious dictatorship in Iran, saying that the regime’s policies have relegated women to the status of second-class citizens. They emphasized the NCRI and the MEK, under the leadership of Mrs. Maryam Rajavi, offer a democratic alternative to the mullahs’ regime that promotes gender equality and equal representation in government. They pointed out that women in the NCRI and MEK are leading the Iranian Resistance in the fight to overthrow the theocratic regime.

The speakers further noted that the NCRI’s focus on gender equality and the courage of the women of Iran are the greatest assets in the fight for a free Iran. Theresa Villiers, Conservative MP for Chipping Barnet and Former Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, condemned the Iranian regime’s human rights record in her speech, saying, “I support the cause of human rights and democracy in Iran. The appalling situation of women in Iran is why we need reforms and change. So I am here to support your just demands for justice, democracy, and freedom.”

Regime Oppression

In a December 2018 report, the NCRI Women’s Committee wrote that almost one thousand women were arrested in 2018 for participating in anti-regime protests. Many of these women were arrested for protesting against mandatory hijab.

More recently, Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei appointed notorious Death Committee member Ebrahim Raisi as head of the regime’s Judiciary. Raisi sent thousands of MEK members to the gallows during the 1988 Massacre, during which 30,000 political prisoners were executed during a single summer. Victims of this crime against humanity included pregnant women and girls as young as 15 years old.

“I join you in condemning the appointment of Raisi and urging the UK Government to take the lead and to work with allies at the UN to ask relevant UN bodies to order an investigation and bring the regime’s officials like Raisi to justice for crimes against humanity,” said Malcolm Fowler, Senior Solicitor and former member of the Human Rights Committee of the Law Society of England and Wales, in reference to Raisi’s appointment.

IRGC, and MOIS Must be Designated as Terrorist Organizations

 

Speakers also called on the UK to designate the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and the Ministry of Intelligence and Security (MOIS) as terrorist organizations, citing their repression of the Iranian people and their involvement in terrorist plots against Iranian dissidents and MEK members in Europe, the UK, and the United States.

Dr. Jocelynne Scutt, former judge, jurist and professor at Buckingham University, spoke in solidarity with the women of Iran who face oppression at the hands of the Revolutionary Guards: “We stand here today on International Women’s Day to honour Iran’s strong, committed, courageous women. To the brave women of Iran, who have to endure Revolutionary Guards’ harassment, we support you and stand beside you in the struggle for human rights, equality and justice. We salute you, we are with you,” she said.

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Struan Stevenson speaking at the Geneva conference on the situation of human rights in Iran

Former Scottish MEP, Struan Stevenson, Speaks at Human Rights Conference in Geneva

Struan Stevenson speaking at the Geneva conference on the situation of human rights in Iran

Struan Stevenson, the former MEP, and coordinator of the Campaign for Iran Change (CiC), speaking at the Geneva Conference on the situation of human rights in Iran-March 7, 2019

Former Scottish Member of the European Parliament (MEP), Struan Stevenson, spoke at a conference in Geneva on the human rights situation in Iran calling on the International Community and particularly the European governments to hold the mullahs accountable for their crimes in Iran. He began by describing how, “after 40 years of a brutal clerical dictatorship, today, 80 million Iranians have had enough.”

Iranians are making their voices heard at an unprecedented level. In recent months, hundreds of thousands of Iranian citizens have taken to the streets to demonstrate the regime’s brutality and violence. “Men, women, students, teachers, truck drivers, sugar-cane workers, business owners, and pensioners,” have come together under the call for regime change and in opposition to the regime’s greed, repression, and warmongering.

The mullahs’ mismanagement of Iran’s finances has left vast swathes of the population living below the poverty line and struggling to put food on the table.

“Instead of trying to mend Iran’s broken economy, the mullahs have used their equivalent of the Gestapo, the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC), to crack down on the demonstrators, murdering dozens and arresting over ten thousand,” Stevenson told those gathered in Geneva. Despite the very real threat to their freedom and lives, Iran’s brave protestors have not been deterred, but continue to oppose regime oppression and violence wherever it occurs. The People’s Mujahedin Organisation of Iran (MEK), the largest pro-democracy opposition group, work tirelessly to organize protests and raise international awareness to the Iranian cause.

Their effort is necessary. Stevenson said, “Iran is the most repressive country in the Middle East. It executes more people per capita than any other country in the world. Here we have a regime that tortures, rapes, sodomizes, and executes political prisoners.” It uses flogging, amputations, and hanging as methods of punishment and has executed more than 4,000 people under the Rouhani administration.

One of the Worst Atrocities of the Twentieth Century

In 1988, the Iranian regime committed one of the worst human rights abuses of the twentieth century. In one summer, the regime executed more than 30,000 political prisoners, many of whom were members of the MEK.

Although Amnesty International recently released a landmark report on the atrocity and have petitioned the UN to investigate, the crimes went largely unrecognized by the international community and no formal international investigation took place.

“The perpetrators of that massacre are still in positions of power within the regime today,” Stevenson exclaimed. “Many have even boasted about their roles.” One of these has been Ebrahim Raisi, President Hassan Rouhani’s head of the Iranian judiciary.

Death Committee Member Appointed as Regime Judiciary Chief

The leader of Iran opposition, President-elect Maryam Rajavi, has frequently criticized the move. In a recent Tweet, she wrote, “the Iranian regime has appointed Ebrahim Raisi, one of the most brutal agents of the 1988 massacre.” She continued, “in doing so, it has made a mockery of justice and trampled upon all legal and judicial standards.”

In Geneva, Stevenson continued, “despite this appalling record of human rights abuse and crimes against humanity, we still have EU governments that prefer to overlook these issues and seek to continue to sign trade deals as an act of craven appeasement of the vile Iranian regime.”

Many European heads of state have expressed a reluctance to follow the US’s lead in adopting strict economic sanctions against the regime. In what amounts to a gesture of placing profits ahead of human rights, France, Germany, and the UK are actively exploring ways to bypass US sanctions and continue trading with Iran.

Stevenson concluded his address by saying, “appeasing and kowtowing to this brutal dictatorship is a historic mistake and a betrayal of the Iranian people. The mullahs must be held to account for their crimes. They cannot benefit from impunity.” He finished with a call to the UN. “The focus of the civilized world today is on the United Nations. Please heed the cries of the oppressed millions in Iran.”

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