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Free Iran rally,Human Rights,Iran Opposition,Iran Protests,Maryam Rajavi,MEK,Mujahedin-e Khalq,National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI),NCRI,PMOI

Free Iran Marches.

Marches in Brussels and Washington D.C. Call on the International Community to Acknowledge the Situation in Iran

Free Iran Marches.

Free Iran Rallies, call on the world community to say the people of Iran ask for regime change in Iran and that their desired democratic alternative is the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI)

On June 15, thousands of members and supporters of the Iranian opposition movement will march in Brussels in support of their brothers and sisters in Iran.

The Iranian people are in the midst of a struggle against the repressive and tyrannical ruling regime. Since December 2017, Iranians from all walks of life have frequently protested in the streets to express their disgust and anger at the regime’s human rights abuses, warmongering, nuclear arms development and use of terrorism as a tool for statecraft.

Following the march in Brussels, similar protests will take place in Washington D.C. on June 21.

A Display of Solidarity

On June 15, protestors will gather opposite the European Union headquarters in Schuman Place. They will then march through central Brussels.

Former Italian Foreign Minister Giulio Terzi and former Colombian Presidential candidate Ingrid Betancourt are among those that will address the crowd, shedding light on the regime’s crimes and atrocities.

The protests mark a gesture of solidarity with members of the People’s Mujahedin Organisation of Iran (MEK / PMOI) and other opposition pro-democracy groups that are risking their lives to orchestrate anti-regime protests in Iran.

Shahin Gobadi, of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), said: “This is the first time that a series of protests with such dimensions will continuously be organized by the Iranian Resistance and its supporters in the West.”

As the opposition movement within Iran gathers pace, the regime’s future in power looks increasingly unstable. The regime “faces an explosive society that wants its downfall,” Gobadi added.

This Time is Different

The regime has faced internal opposition before. But this time, it is different. The regime can no longer rely on a policy of appeasement from international governments. The United States, among others, is adopting a firmer stance towards the Iranian regime.

The crippling economic sanctions imposed by the Trump administration, coupled with increasing domestic unrest and a highly-motivated opposition movement, has left the regime at a critical juncture.

“All these indicate the regime is in its final phase. The series of marches by Iranians in different countries is a crucial answer to this situation,” said Gobadi.

A Fatal Flaw in the Regime’s Narrative

The regime has responded to domestic resistance in the past by cracking down on dissidents, while actively pushing a narrative to Iranians and international government that without the regime, Iran would descend into chaos. Its grip on power depends on convincing the world that there is no viable alternative to the regime’s rule.

However, there is now a flaw in this narrative. The MEK has put forward a ten-point plan for the restoration of democracy in Iran. The plan acts as a roadmap to democracy and the installation of a secular, non-nuclear Iran where gender equality and religious tolerance prospers.

The expansion of the MEKs resistance units and resistance councils in the last few months demonstrate that there is extensive support within the country for the MEK’s political platform. There is now a viable alternative to the mullahs’ tyranny.

Call on the International Community

The Iranian people are making their opinions known by protesting in the streets, chanting anti-regime slogans and bearing photos of the MEK’s president-elect, Maryam Rajavi.

However, elements in the international community are still unwilling to accept the MEK as a viable democratic alternative to the Iranian regime. At the marches in Brussels and Washington, members of the Iranian diaspora and their allies will call on the heads of international governments to abandon their policies of appeasement and acknowledge the MEK as a viable democratic alternative.

The protestors will demand that the EU and the international community at large hold the mullahs to account for their human rights abuses, weapons proliferation, support of Islamic extremism and state-sponsored terror campaign.

The protests will also call on the EU to follow the US’s lead and designate the regime’s Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) as an international terror organization. The designation would disrupt the flow of international funds to the organization, limiting the regime’s ability to use the group as a central pillar of repression and violence.

Fearing the end is near, the regime is lashing out at its international opponents. Iranian attacks on civilian airports in Saudi Arabia and the destruction of two oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman show that the regime will go to desperate lengths to preserve its grip on power.

For this reason, a unified global response to Iranian aggression is vital. “The mullahs feel the earth shifting beneath their feet,” Gobadi said. “The failure of the policy of appeasement which is nearing its end is a nightmare for the mullahs,” he concluded. The regime can no longer ignore the calls for regime change in Iran. It is increasingly isolated on the world stage. The Iranian opposition is gathering in Tehran, Brussels, Paris, Washington D.C., New York, London and beyond. It is only a matter of time before the opposition will realize its dream of a democratic Iran.

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The new oppressive patrol-Razavion

MEK-Iran: Regime-Affiliated Groups Use Thuggery and Intimidation Against Political Opposition in Iran

The new oppressive patrol-Razavion

Razavion security forces, the new repressive measure to fight the growing protests in Iran

The Iranian regime has taken steps to strengthen its repressive measures in northern Iran. In Gilan Province, the regime has assembled more than 2,000 groups to maintain order and quash social unrest.

State-Sponsored Thuggery

These groups use tactics of violence and intimidation to maintain order. The regime’s thugs issue verbal and physical warnings to locals in an attempt to deter them from joining the rising opposition movement and participating in protests.

Mohammad Abdullah-Poor, a senior member of the regime’s Revolutionary Guards (IRGC), defended the measures on Tuesday. He said: “The Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) in Gilan Province, alongside the Basij and other forces, will be involved in measures aimed at [the] ‘promotion of virtue and prevention of vice’,” he said.

https://mek-iran.com/tag/razavion-patrol/

Among the tasked assigned to these extra-judicial groups is the enforcement of the regime’s strict veiling laws. In his address to senior IRGC and Basij figures, Abdullah-Poor said, “The issue of ‘chastity and hijab’ (attire rules) are no ordinary matters. In fact, they are considered political and security dossiers for the country.”

He accused the governments of the US and Europe of “focusing on encouraging our people into a Western lifestyle.” He claimed that the groups had issued more than 28,000 warnings for veiling infractions on their weekly patrols.

A Knee-Jerk Response to the Deteriorating Situation

The motives behind the regime’s crackdown on civil freedoms in northern Iran is clear. Over the last 18 months, since the 2018 nationwide uprising, the Iranian opposition has been gradually amassing support. Protests now take place on a near daily basis across the country.

The regime has suffered a loss of face at the beginning of 2018 when nationwide protests engulfed all 142 of Iran’s major towns and cities. Not only were the people making their firm opposition to the regime know, but the regime has also been unable to restore order for two weeks.

It is determined to prevent a repeat of 2018. Public protests have now spread to all of Iran’s major industry, drawing support from Iranians from all walks of life and from all segments of a democratic society.

Retired Iranian Teachers Protest Low, Unpaid Wages

In three months of 2018 alone, there were major uprisings in Kazerun, Tehran, Khuzestan, Karaj, Isfahan, and Shiraz. The volume and frequency of these protests have increased by 100% on the previous year’s levels.

The regime has proven itself incapable of solving any of the economic and social problems that plague Iranian society. The protests, therefore, will not let up. To preserve its grip on power, the regime is resorting to violence, intimidation, and repression.

As the regime becomes weaker and the protest movement becomes stronger, the mullahs increase their repressive measures.

MEK Resistance Units Work Tirelessly

The pressure is mounting. With each passing day, the overthrow of the regime looks increasingly inevitable.

The resistance units of the People’s Mujahedin Organisation of Iran (MEK) work tirelessly in Iran’s cities and towns to oppose the regime’s corruption, human rights abuses, and malign activities. Their work has been a deciding factor in the sustained momentum of the opposition movement.

Resistance units organize protests and help crack the atmosphere of fear and repression the regime attempts to instill across the countryside and cities.

Even the regime has been forced to acknowledge the success of the MEK and its resistance units. In January, the Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei accused the US of plotting protests with the MEK and another “wealthy Persian Gulf country.”

Zare’ee, an IRGC commander, also said the MEK was “inspiring the young generation.” An advisor for the regime’s cyber warfare preparations estimated that the MEK played a role in the organization of 90% of Iranian protests. He told the state-run Fars news agency: “They have infiltrated all strata; the truckers and the bazaar merchants. They are guiding them.”

The climate of fear of the MEK’s capabilities is guiding the regime’s response to sustained public pressure. The crackdown on political opposition is designed to threaten and intimidate the MEK and its supporters in an attempt to get them to end their campaign of peaceful protest.

But experience has shown that the protests will grow more every day despite all repressive measures until this regime is overthrown by people and their resistance.

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MEK rally against the executions in Iran

Iran Human Rights Monitor’s May Report on Human Rights Describes Brutal Crackdown

 

MEK rally against the executions in Iran

Archive photo- MEK supporters Rally in London, asking for justice for the victims of the 1988 massacre of 30,000 political prisoners in Iran – November 2016

Iran Human Rights Monitor published its monthly human rights report on Monday, which detailed the regime’s crimes against its citizens in the month of May. The report is summarized below.

Death Penalty

Regime authorities publicly executed a man during Ramadan, despite the fact that Islam advises against execution during the holy month.

Tehran’s Revolutionary Court sentenced 34-year-old Abdullah Ghasempour to death for “waging war on God,” “assembly and collusion,” and “membership in the MEK.”

Ghasempour was arrested on May 21, 2018 for allegedly setting fire to a Basij base, filming the event, and sending the video to MEK media sources.

He was arrested along with his brother, Mohammad Hossein, Ghasempour, Alireza Habibian, and Akbar Dalir. They were each given five-and-a-half year sentences for their roles in the same incident.

Torture and Abuse

20-year-old political prisoner Ameneh Zaheri Sari is being denied hospital treatment for acute swelling. Doctors in Sepidar Prison have been unable to find the cause of her illness and have recommended that she be transferred immediately to a hospital for diagnosis.

Ms. Sari’s family raised money and paid for a 300 million toman bail bond from the Court of Ahvaz, but prison officials refuse to grant her transfer.

Cruel, Inhumane, and Degrading Punishment

23 prisoners in Greater Tehran Prison, Fashafoyeh are currently awaiting hand amputations as part of their sentences for theft.

Due Process Rights and Treatment of Prisoners

The regime’s Majlis (parliament) crafted a draft amendment to Iran’s Criminal Code that would deny political prisoners access to legal representation during their criminal investigations.

Regime Drafts Amendment to Deny Detainees Legal Representation

The amendment would apply to those arrested on “national security” charges, a vague term which is often used to imprison journalists, human rights activists, and political dissidents.

Amnesty International said that if the amendment were approved, it would be a “crushing blow to Iran’s already deeply defective justice system.”

Freedom of Expression, Association and Assembly

At least five striking workers from the Haft Tappeh sugar factory were arrested and another fifteen were summoned for questioning on May 14th, according to the ILNA news agency. The factory workers in the city of Shush were protesting their employers’ failure to provide New Year bonuses or pensions for the past two years.

Additional workers were arrested on May 14th and transferred to Dezful Prison. Reports indicate that at least six men were arrested, but the exact number is unknown.

More than 35 labor rights protesters were arrested after a demonstration in front of the regime’s Majlis. A number of the activists who were arrested at the demonstration are still detained at Iran’s notorious Evin Prison.

Security forces raided a private yoga class in the city of Gorgan and arrested approximately 30 people. According to a local justice department official, the people who were arrested were wearing “inappropriate outfits” and had “behaved inappropriately.”

Authorities seized the social media accounts of three well-known street musicians for publishing “criminal content.” The musicians, who had a total of more than 174,000 followers, had posted videos of their performances on social media.

Singer Negar Moazzam is under investigation by authorities for singing to a group of tourists in Isfahan Province.

Human Rights Activists and Political Prisoners

The Iran Writers’ Association (IWA) released a statement on May 16th in protest of the recent sentencing of three Iranian writers to a total of 18 years in prison. The statement described the court decision as an action “against all writers and everyone struggling for the freedom of expression.”

On May 13th, the regime’s judiciary announced that an Iranian woman who headed the British Council’s Iran desk had been sentenced to ten years in prison on charges of espionage. Although she was not named in the announcement, the British council later stated that the woman was likely Aras Amiri, an employee who was arrested in March 2018 while visiting her grandmother in Iran.

Freedom of Religion and Belief

Regime intelligence agents stormed a Presbyterian Church in the city of Tabriz last month, forcing its worshippers to leave and changing the locks. The cross on the building was taken down, and the church was forbidden to re-open.

Treatment of Ethnic Minorities

A young Baluchi man was shot and killed by state security forces in Sistan and Baluchistan Province after chasing him down for not having a driver’s license.

Protesters gathered in front of the governor’s office in Zahedan to protest his death. Local reports say that 30 of the protesters were arrested by security forces.

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Iranian opposition rally in Brussels-Free Iran

Thousands of MEK Supporters to Rally in Brussels at Free Iran Gathering

Iranian opposition rally in Brussels-Free Iran

MEK Supporters will rally in Brussels to voice the Iranian people’s uprisings for a free and democratic Iran-June 2019

Thousands of MEK supporters and members of the Iranian diaspora will gather in Brussels on June 15th to voice their support for the Iranian Resistance and their solidarity with the people of Iran who seek to establish freedom and democracy in Iran. Attendees at the rally will also express their opposition to the Iranian regime’s repression of its citizens, its nuclear and missile program, and its warmongering and exportation of terrorism. Finally, the Iranian communities will urge the international community to recognize the right of the Iranian people to freedom and democracy and to recognize the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) as the viable democratic alternative to the religious dictatorship currently in power.

 

A number of prominent European dignitaries, including former ministers of foreign affairs, parliamentarians, and human rights activists, will participate in the gathering. The demonstrators and speakers are calling for an end of Europe’s policy of appeasement toward the mullahs.

The Brussels rally will be the first in a series of major demonstrations in the United States and Europe. The Iranian Communities holds their Free Iran gathering every summer, which is attended by over 100,000 Iranian Opposition supporters, as well as dozens of high-ranking dignitaries and politicians from all over the world. This summer, the Iranian communities will hold several Free Iran rallies over the course of a few weeks in cities including Washington D.C., Berlin, Stockholm, and London.

Economic, Political, and Social Instability

The Free Iran gatherings are taking place during a period of increasing crisis and unrest in Iran. The ever-worsening economy and growing isolation from the international community have left the Iranian regime struggling to hold onto power.

 

The United States ended its long-standing policy of appeasement last year with a series of tough policy changes. The resumption of U.S. oil sanctions weakened Iranian regime’s already crumbling economy, and the sanctions have since tightened. Earlier this year, the U.S. Treasury designated the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) as a terrorist organization, cutting off funding to the regime’s proxies, such as Hezbollah and reducing the mullahs’ malign influence in the Middle East.

 

The firm stance taken by the U.S. has already yielded results. One of the goals of the Free Iran gatherings is to urge European countries to adopt similar policies toward the Iranian regime. The demonstrators will ask that Europe blacklist both the IRGC and the Ministry of Intelligence and Security (MOIS) for their roles in terrorist activities abroad.

 

The regime has so far been unable to suppress the continuing anti-regime protests and strikes that have swept across the country in response to the increasing economic and political instability facing the country, so it has embarked on a brutal crackdown of its citizens.

 

In March, regime Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei appointed Ebrahim Raisi as Judiciary Chief. In 1988, Raisi sat on Tehran’s Death Committee, where he was personally responsible for sending thousands of MEK members to their executions in the 1988 Massacre of 30,000 political prisoners. Death Committee members were then appointed to other key roles in the regime, including prosecutor of Tehran. Khamenei also changed the leadership of the IRGC, choosing some of the cruelest commanders for the top positions in the terrorist organization.

 

The regime has paired these appointments with a massive increase in arrests and a crackdown on individual freedoms. Despite these suppressive actions, the people of Iran continue to take to the streets to demand the end of the regime’s corruption and mismanagement of the country’s wealth and resources. The mullahs’ crackdowns have only succeeded in making the Iranian people more determined to protest.

The Democratic Alternative

 

The NCRI is the largest Iranian Opposition group, and it is the only viable democratic alternative to the theocratic regime. Mrs. Maryam Rajavi, President-elect of the NCRI, has a Ten-Point Plan for Iran’s democratic future that would allow for a peaceful transition to democracy after the fall of the religious dictatorship.

Dates and Locations

Brussels

  • Date: Saturday, June 15, 2019
  • Time: 15:00 h
  • Location: Schumann Square, opposite the Headquarters of the European Union

Washington D.C.

  • June 21, 2019,

Berlin

  • July 6, 2019,

London

  • July 27, 2019

Social Media

MEK supporters and members of the Iranian diaspora are using #FreeIran and #IStandWithMaryamRajavi to raise awareness of the upcoming rallies and to show their support for the Iranian people and their struggle for freedom.

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Protests against the terrible economic situation broke out.

MEK-Iran: Iranian State-Run Media Warns of Impending Civil Unrest

Protests against the terrible economic situation broke out.

Protests broke out in Tehran, Qom, and Karaj. against the mounting economic crisis that has engulfed the Iranian economy.

State-run media outlets have warned the Iranian regime that the country is on the cusp of an explosion of unrest. Ebtekar Daily, a news outlet affiliated with supporters of the regime President, Hassan Rouhani, warned officials that the Iranian working classes are on the verge of rising up against the regime.

A Desertion From the Base

Traditionally, the lower economic classes have been a source of support for the Iranian regime. When the urban intellectuals deserted the mullahs, they knew they could rely on the support of the working class.

The news that the working classes are ready to throw off the shackles of the regime is a reflection of just how unpopular the regime has become among Iran’s civil society.

Ebtekar Daily reported that the mullahs economic mismanagement and plunder of the Iranian economy is a cause of widespread discontent among the population. In a piece entitled ‘The Epidemic of Poverty’, the outlet reported, “during past decades, the monster known as poverty lived only in the boundaries of major cities such as Tehran, Mashhad, Tabriz, Isfahan, Ahvaz, and Shiraz. Yet nowadays, this monstrous infection has spread to every city and province across the country.”

Economic Turmoil

At the end of October 2018, the annual inflation rate hit 36.9%. By the end of 2019, it is expected to rise to 40%. This has put immense strain on the Iranian workforce whose purchasing power has plummeted.

Iranians are resorting to extreme measures to make ends meet. There have been reports of mothers and fathers selling kidneys to put enough food on the table for their children.

Alireza Fathi of the Tehran Islamic Council of Workers said in 2018, “workers have been abandoned until the point of an [economic] earthquake when they are forgotten forever”.

Residents have been forced to move to expand shanty towns, “lacking the very basic necessities such as sanitary infrastructures, education for children, hospitals, medical care centers, clinics,” Ebtekar Daily reported. Malnutrition and unemployment are rampant.

A Shared Injustice

The shared injustices and economic violation felt by many Iranians are acting as a catalyst for civil discontent. The situation has now become so dire, even the smallest event could trigger large-scale social unrest.

The Ebtekar Daily warned, “People who share the same misery in life will eventually join hands and will someday, not in the too distant future, will sweep the rug from under our feet.”

Iran’s history is interspersed with uprisings. When tensions boil over, no amount of violence or tyranny can stop the Iranian public from realizing its goal. The regime is on borrowed time. The tide is turning and the people are ready to wash them out of power.

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Iranian regime kills a young man in Zahedan

Citizens in Zahedan Protest the Regime’s Latest Criminal Killing

Iranian regime kills a young man in Zahedan

Moussa Shah Bakhsh (middle) and Mowlavi Ibrahim Safizedah (right), recent victims of the Iranian regime- The photo on the left, shows public protest condemning the criminal killing.

A large group of Iranians turned out in Zahedan to protest the unlawful killing of a young man on Monday. The group stood in front of the governorate while the regime’s security forces raided, taking dozens of protestors into custody.

On Saturday, May 25, regime security agents shot and killed Moussa Shah Bakhsh while he was driving his vehicle. His family were informed shortly afterward and instructed to bury the body as quickly as possible, without permitting or holding any public rally.

The killing comes just days after another victim’s life was claimed by the regime. On May 17, 2019, Mowlavi Ibrahim Safizedah was shot in Herat, Afghanistan by regime-affiliated terrorists. The Sunni cleric died of his injuries in hospital five days later.

Safizadeh had committed his life to oppose the regime’s dangerous brand of religious fascism. He had spent time in an Iranian prison in the 1980s for his political beliefs. Upon his release, he fled Iran for Afghanistan, where he had been living in exile.

A Full Investigation

The People’s Mujahedin Organisation of Iran (MEK)  has called on the UN Secretary-General, the Human Rights Council, and the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, along with other NGOs and international human rights organizations, to condemn the Iranian regime’s brutal killings and political repression.

The MEK and its umbrella organization, the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), also called on the international community and democracy advocates from around the globe, to put pressure on the Iranian regime to release the protestors arrested in Zahedan this week.

The Regime’s Ambivalence Towards Human Rights

The regime has persistently demonstrated its complete disregard for Iranian human rights. Moussa Shah Bakhs and Safizedah’s fates are doomed to be replicated elsewhere unless Iranians can bring about regime change.

In a recent gesture of its intent, the Iranian regime appointed Abdolreza Mesri, a former death committee member responsible for the widespread execution of political opponents during the summer of 1988, as deputy speaker of the Iranian parliament.

In 1988, the regime rounded up and executed more than 30,000 members of the Iranian opposition in one of the grossest atrocities committed anywhere on earth since the Second World War. The regime under Supreme Leader Khamenei established death committees across Iran’s provinces. These three-member squads were tasked with rounding up opponents, holding show trials (many of which lasted mere minutes) and carrying out their executions.

Among those convicted and executed were elderly people, teenagers, and pregnant women.

These atrocities cannot be endured. The international community and protectors of human rights must put pressure on the Iranian regime to end its rampant and widespread human rights abuses. Without it, many more Iranians will be condemned to suffer the same fate as Moussa Shah Bakhsh and Mowlavi Ibrahim Safizedah.

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Member of 1988 Massacre death committee appointed as deputy Majlis speaker

Former Death Committee Member Abdolreza Mesri Becomes New Deputy Speaker of Regime’s Parliament

Member of 1988 Massacre death committee appointed as deputy Majlis speaker

Abdolreza Mesri member of 1988 massacre death committee appointed as the deputy Speaker of regime’s Parliament

Monday, May 27th, the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) released a statement regarding the selection of former Death Committee member Abdolreza Mesri as Deputy Speaker of the Iranian regime’s Majlis (parliament). Masri officially assumed the duties of Deputy Speaker on Sunday.

Mesri’s Role in the Executions of Political Prisoners

Mesri served as the head interrogator and torturer in Kermanshah Province from 1981 to 1986 under the leadership of Mullah Ali Fallahian, who was known for his persecution of political prisoners.

In the summer of 1988, then-Supreme Leader and founder of the Islamic Republic Ruhollah Khomeini issued a fatwa ordering the executions of all imprisoned MEK members in Iran. In order to swiftly condemn and execute the tens of thousands of political prisoners in Iranian prisons, Khomeini set up three-member Death Committees in provinces across the country to convict prisoners in “trials” lasting only a few minutes. Once condemned, the prisoners, who included elderly people, teenagers as young as 15, and pregnant women, were executed in groups. Each Death Committee consisted of a prosecutor, a Ministry of Intelligence and Security (MOIS) interrogator, and a judge. Mesri was a prosecutor on Kermanshah’s Death Committee.

30,000 people, most of whom were MEK members, were executed over the course of a single summer in the 1988 Massacre. To date, none of the perpetrators of this crime against humanity have been accountable for their actions.

Mesri has since served as Deputy Prosecutor of Kurdistan Province and as a prosecutor in Kermanshah Province. He played an active role in the torture and execution of political prisoners in both positions.

Scandals involving Mesri

According to the NCRI statement, Mesri was appointed to the position of Minister of Welfare and Social Security in 2006 and as the Ambassador of the Mullahs in Venezuela in 2009. Mesri has faced a series of scandals since his appointment as Minister of Welfare and Social Security. Although corruption is generally ignored among top regime officials, infighting among regime factions led to a number of public revelations of corruption and embezzlement within the Ministry of Welfare and Social Security. Mesri was also exposed for having falsified his educational credentials.

It is common for regime officials with records of gross human rights violations to go on to attain high-ranking positions with the regime. In fact, Mesri is the second Death Committee member in only a few months to receive such a promotion. In March, regime Supreme Leader appointed Ebrahim Raisi as the new Judiciary Chief. Raisi sat on Tehran’s Death Committee, where he personally sent thousands of MEK members to their deaths. Since his appointment, human rights violations have skyrocketed.

Raisi and Mesri are only the latest perpetrators of the 1988 Massacre to ascend to the highest levels of the regime. For the thousands of survivors and family members of the victims of the massacre who are still waiting for justice for their loved ones, this comes as a slap in the face. These men should not walk free, much less hold power.

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Repression during the month of ramadan

412 People Arrested for Eating Publicly During Ramadan, Says Kermanshah Policy Deputy

Repression during the month of ramadan

Photo credit to Iran-hrm.com: The repressive security forces harassing a man for eating during the month of Ramadan

On May 22nd, Mohammad Reza Amouie, the Social Deputy of Kermanshah Police, announced that during the first half of Ramadan his department had warned 800 stores for selling food during the fast and closed 87 others for “ignoring police warnings,” according to a report from the state-run Mehr news agency.

 

In addition, Amouie said that police in the province had taken written commitments from 1,731 people against openly eating in public and detained another 412 people for eating publicly. Police filed cases against 170 of those who were detained.

Amouie added that 569 drivers were given warnings for eating and drinking in their cars and that those who ignored the warnings had their cars seized. 49 cars have been impounded so far.

 

The state-run Tasnim news agency reported that officials shut down five stores in the city of Kouhdasht in Lorestan Province for selling food during the Ramadan Fast.

Exclusions from Ramadan Fast

 

The ban on eating or drinking in public does not apply to children, people with health problems, travelers, or non-Muslims. However, it is not always evident at first glance if someone has a health issue, and police have been ramping up arbitrary enforcement of laws in the ongoing crackdown on the Iranian people.

 

Iran’s Islamic Penal Code does not explicitly forbid the public consumption of food or water during the Ramadan fast, but it does allow for punishment of harām (sinful) acts under Article 638, which states:

 

“Anyone in public places and roads who openly commits a harām (sinful) act, in addition to the punishment provided for the act, shall be sentenced to two months’ imprisonment or up to 74 lashes; and if they commit an act that is not punishable but violates public prudence, they shall only be sentenced to ten days to two months’ imprisonment or up to 74 lashes.”

A Wider Pattern of Crackdowns

 

This same article was recently used to justify the enforcement of a ban on public cycling by women. It was declared a harām act by regime Supreme Leader in a 2016 fatwa, but the ban was loosely enforced in the city of Isfahan until earlier this month when pressure from clerics led to a crackdown.

 

These crackdowns are part of a wider pattern of suppressive actions by the mullahs’ regime in recent months as they desperately try to hold onto power. Iranian men were warned at the beginning of Ramadan to avoid looking at women at all and told that those in violation could face punishment by the morality police.

 

The MEK’s political platform states, “We are committed to the separation of Religion and State. In our view, any form of discrimination against the followers of any religion and denomination will be prohibited.”

 

Under the mullahs’ regime, religion has become a weapon of the state. The MEK believes that this is not the purpose of religion or of government and that people should be free to practice their faith as they see fit.

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Protest at Haft-Tapeh sugarcane mill

Workers Pay the Price of the Regime’s Disastrous Economic Policies

Iran’s economy is on the verge of collapse, and the situation becomes direr each day. Although the crisis has created fear and chaos among regime leaders, who fear that they might lose their tenuous claim to power, Iranian workers have borne the brunt of the crushing effects of the economic devastation.

The Death Line

According to the Assistant Head of the East Azerbaijan Coordination Center for Islamic Labor Councils, Iranian workers only earn enough to cover 28% of their essential needs, defined as food, shelter, and clothing.

Regime official Faramarz Tofighi described these conditions in grim terms. “80 percent of the workers are living beyond the death line,” he said.

The death line is below the absolute poverty line and is defined as the point at which a person can no longer afford even the most basic items needed for survival. Workers and their families have been driven to take out loans with high-interest rates, sell their organs, and dig through public trash cans for food. A growing number of Iranians have been driven to suicide because of extreme poverty and a lack of hope for the future. Iran has been rated as one of the unhappiest countries in the world.

The already disastrous conditions are deteriorating even further as prices for basic goods rise on a daily, and sometimes hourly basis. Workers who already live in poverty have been forced to protest for paychecks that have been delayed for months. Many workers have been downgraded from permanent employees to temporary or contract workers, causing further hardship.

In a November 2018 interview with the state-run ISNA news agency, Davoud Mirzaie, an expert on the Iranian economy, said that Iran’s workers have lost 80% of their purchasing power due to the plummeting value of the Iranian rial. He added that the regime’s efforts to remedy the situation have failed.

“The 19.5 percent wage increase has not shown itself in the workers’ lives, meaning the value of their wages in March 2018 is far below its value in March 2016. In other words, the workers’ purchasing power has decreased between 50 to 80 percent. This is causing numerous problems for the families of the country’s workers.” He added, “Such conditions have left the workers unable to provide for their basic needs. Therefore, labor unions have time and again called on the Ministry of Labor to see into this issue. Unfortunately, this has remained unresolved,” he said.

Unjust Labor Laws

The regime’s unjust labor laws have worsened conditions for workers. Iran does not meet any international labor norms or standards and systematically violates workers’ rights. The MEK has repeatedly called for the regime to be held accountable for its oppression of workers and its cruel labor practices and intimidation of workers.

Labor activist Abdollah Vatankhah spoke to the state-run ILNA news agency about the lack of protection afforded to workers under regime law.

“The laws do not protect the working class and the government refuses to take responsibility and has abandoned us,” he said. “Policies such as privatization have destroyed our lives.”

Vatankhah said that the regime was gradually removing policies meant to support the working class, thus “plundering public property under the name of privatization.”

“Workers have been abandoned. Such actions will cause workers to cry out and protest,” he warned.

“This is why you can hear the cries of workers in Haft Tappeh, HEPCO, and the Ahvaz Steel company. By removing its support, the government has made life harder for workers whereas an investor has no problem in terms of providing medicine and can provide drugs from the heart of foreign countries if he needs to,” he added.

Vatankhah was referring to policies such as the recent decision by the High Insurance Council to exclude foreign chemotherapy drugs from Iran’s health insurance. While proponents of the policy argue that the change will boost domestic production, working-class families who rely on this insurance worry that it will the endanger lives of impoverished families.

Approximately 11 million insured workers in Iran face serious health problems. Some chemotherapy medications cost between two and three million tomans. Workers who make 1.4 million tomans per month at most are unable to access these life-saving drugs.

Suppression of Labor Unions

In 2018, Iranian workers staged 1,865 protests against low wages, poor working conditions, delayed paychecks, regime corruption, and rising prices.

The regime responded to these protests with brutal suppression, arresting dozens of labor activists and trade union members for their roles in the peaceful demonstrations.

Labor activists Jafar Azimzadeh, Secretary of the Board of the Free Workers Trade Union, and  Esmaeil Bakhshi, spokesman of the Haft Tappeh Sugar Plant Workers Trade Union, are currently imprisoned. Teacher activists Esmaeil Abdi, Mahmoud Beheshti Langarudi, Mohammad Habibi, Rouhollah Mardani, and Abdul Reza Qanbari are also languishing in the regime’s prisons. All of these activists have been accused of “security crimes” after being organizing demonstrations or union activities. Habibi was additionally sentenced to lashes.

Iranian law does not recognize the right to create labor unions that are not sanctioned by the regime. As a result, trade union members are subject to harsh sentences for their efforts to support workers’ rights.

Article 22 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) and Article 8 of the International Covenant on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights (ICESCR) protect the right to form and join labor unions. Iran is a party to both of these treaties and stands in flagrant violation according to its laws.

Staff writer

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1988 Massacre,Human Rights,Iran human rights,Iran Protests,Maryam Rajavi,MEK,Mujahedin-e Khalq,NCRI,PMOI

MEK rally in Place des Nations, Geneva

Iranian Resistance Calls on U.N. to Stop Execution of MEK Activist

MEK rally in Place des Nations, Geneva

Archive photo- A rally by supporters of the MEK in Geneva, asking for an end to executions in Iran, and justice for the victims of the 1988 massacre of 30,000 political prisoners in Iran – November 2017

On Sunday, May 19th, the Revolutionary Court in Tehran sentenced four political prisoners associated with the MEK to prison sentences for their anti-regime activism. One of the four men was also given a death sentence.

Abdullah Ghassempour was sentenced to death after the completion of an eight-year prison sentence for charges of “aggression,” “assembly and collusion against the regime,” and “membership, propaganda, and cooperation with the People’s Mojahedin Organization [MEK].”

Mohammad Hossein Ghassempour (Abdullah’s brother), Alireza Habibian, and Akbar Dali were each sentenced to five-and-a-half year prison terms for “assembly and collusion against the regime.” All four men were arrested on May 21, 2018, and transferred to Tehran’s notorious Evin Prison, where they waited almost a full year before standing trial.

Mohammad Moghiseh’s Past

Tehran’s Revolutionary Court is headed by notorious regime henchman Mohammad Moghiseh, whose record of gross human rights violations against political prisoners extends back into the 1980s. During the 1988 Massacre, in which 30,000 political prisoners were executed in a single summer, Moghiseh sent scores of prisoners in Gohardasht, most of whom were MEK supporters, to their deaths. The 2001 book

Crime Against Humanity and the 2006 book

Fallen for Freedom: A List of 20,000 PMOI Martyrs both include Moghiseh among the list of perpetrators of the massacre who must be tried for crimes against humanity.

Crackdown on MEK Activists

Sunday’s sentencing comes in the midst of a harsh crackdown by the regime against MEK activists. Frustrated by the growth of Resistance Units and Resistance Councils, unable to suppress the rising tide of social unrest engulfing the country, and eager to deflect attention away from the rapidly escalating economic and diplomatic chaos that threatens to destroy the faltering regime, the mullahs have targeted the MEK with widespread arrests, long prison sentences, and executions.

On April 19th, regime Minister of Intelligence Mahmoud Alavi announced that 116 teams associated with the MEK had been “dealt with” over the past year. The following week, on April 24th, the Director General of the Intelligence Ministry in East Azerbaijan Province reported that 60 MEK members in the province had been arrested and another 50 had been “briefed” in the past year.

On April 23rd, the MEK released a list of 31 MEK members who had been arrested over the previous year. On May 17th, the MEK released 11 more names of people who were arrested between late April and mid-May.

A Call from the Iranian Resistance

The National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) issued a statement calling on the Secretary-General, the High Commissioner, and the Human Rights Council of the United Nations, as well as international human rights groups to take immediate and urgent action to prevent the execution and secure the human rights of Abdullah Ghassempour and other political prisoners facing death, torture, and long-term imprisonment at the hands of the Iranian regime. It further calls for the appointment of delegations to visit Iranian prisons and meet with political prisoners there.

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