Posts Tagged ‘Iran Protests’

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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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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.

Staff writer

 

 

 

 

 

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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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MEK supporters rally in Paris

Bipartisan Resolution Enters US House Condemning Iranian Terrorism

MEK supporters rally in Paris

Young MEK supporters join the protest in Paris gloomy weather-February 8, 2019

A new resolution explicitly condemning the Iranian regime’s terror attacks against opposition group the People’s Mujahedin Organisation of Iran (ME) has been submitted to the US Congress. House of Representative Resolution 374, backed by 39 members of both the Democrat and Republican parties, also expresses the support of the US House for the Iranian people’s calls for a democratic, secular and non-nuclear Iran.

Maryam Rajavi’s Ten-Point Plan

The resolution cites the ten-point plan from the President-elect Maryam Rajavi as a viable roadmap towards a democratic Iran. The plan maps Iran’s course to free elections, the establishment of the universal right to vote, the separation of religion and state, the removal of the death penalty, gender equality, equal rights for religious minorities and the dismantling of the Iranian regime’s nuclear weapons program.

The resolution also calls for increased cooperation between the US government and governing bodies in Europe to combat the threat of Iranian state-sponsored terror.

A Tumour in the Heart of Europe

The Iranian regime intensified its espionage and terrorist activities on European and US soil throughout 2018. It has become an issue that heads of states from around the world cannot ignore any longer.

In 2018, the regime plotted terror attacks and assassination attempts against the MEK in Albania, France, the Netherlands, Denmark, and the US. The most severe of which, a planned car bomb to be detonated at the MEK’s annual Grand Gathering event in Paris, endangered the lives of more than 100,000 dignitaries and political figures from across the globe.

The Iranian regime has systematically used its embassies and diplomatic outposts to further its terror objectives. The planned Paris attack involved diplomats working at the Iranian embassy in Vienna and an Iranian diplomat by the name of Assadollah Assadi provided the perpetrators with explosive material for use in the attack.

Expanding Diplomatic Efforts in the Balkans

One of the areas Resolution 374 explicitly calls on the US government to work with international bodies is within the Balkans. The Iranian regime, following the MEK’s exile to Albania, increased its diplomatic activities in the Balkans. The Resolution argued that these “malign activities in the Balkans, specifically its presence and activities in Albania, pose a serious threat to United States national security interests.”

The resolution reminds that the US has an obligation to oppose human rights abuses and state-sanctioned terrorism across the globe wherever it occurs. The Iranian people have expressed their will in the streets in the form of vast anti-regime protests. Now it is up to the world to take note and ensure the international community comes down on the right side of history.

 

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MEK Iran: Tehran’s Student Protest the Regime’s Repressive Policies

University of Tehran- Protesters object new restrictive measures against female students.

On Monday, April 13, students at Tehran university held a rally in opposition at the Iranian regime over the repressive restrictions in place on female students’ clothing on campus. A video clip of the students’ rally was shared across social media by the People’s Mujahedin Organisation of Iran (MEK).

The University of Tehran enforces new restrictive forced hijab regulations. Female students have to wear the hijab and cannot make their own decisions regarding freedom of clothing. They chanted, “college students would rather die than live in shame,” and held signs reading: ““Freedom of choice is our right.”

A Nationwide Suppressive Force

The student protests come just days after the regime announced that it would launch a new police force to tackle political dissent and expression.

Last Wednesday, the regime’s chief of police, Hossein Ashtari, announced the assembly of the Razavion Patrol. The patrol is an extension of the Basij patrols that have taken place since the nationwide uprising in early 2018. The Basij forces regularly set up checkpoints in areas where there are more protests and harass suspected dissidents (i.e. supporters of the MEK).

The Razavion Patrol will undertake similar activities but are expected to have more funds and resources than their Basij counterparts.

Gholam-Hossein Gheibparvar, a commander in the Basij forces had alluded to the crackdown last September. He revealed, “we have begun a series of plans to upgrade the IRGC Basij… we believe our patrols are more effective than checkpoints. More recently, these Basij patrols have been dubbed as the Razavion network.”

The network was partially rolled out in November, with patrols beginning in Bukan and Yazd, as well as in Alborz Province. However, it wasn’t a nationwide scheme until now.

Growing Concerns

The Iranian regime is increasing pressure on protestors. The most recent student protest will have only increased regime fears that the political opposition is drawing increased support from the Iranian population.

2019 has seen regime officials become increasingly worried about the rising popularity of the MEK, the largest and most organized opposition group. Javad Javeed-Nia, the regime’s Deputy Prosecutor General in Cyberspace Affairs, said : “Considering the fact that our enemies [the MEK] have established cyber armies against the [mullahs’ regime], those who care about our state must launch a media campaign against the enemy, identify the enemy’s strengths and weaknesses, and place forward an adequate analysis.”

The state-run Tehran Press News Agency also expressed concerns over the MEK’s use of the instant messaging app, Telegram.

The students’ rally must be seen in the context of a regime rapidly losing its grip on power in the face of mounting political dissent. The Iranian public, like Tehran’s youth, will not stand idly by while the regime embarks on a campaign of violence and repression.

The mullahs are scared. They are right to be. The tide of change is coming.

Staff writer

 

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Infighting between regime parliamentarians.

Members of the Majlis Raise the Alarm

Infighting between regime parliamentarians.

The infighting between various members of the regime’s parliament, a daily scene during Majlis sessions.

The Iranian regime has gone from a blow to blow in recent months. Since the US’s withdrawal from the Iranian nuclear deal last year, the regime has had to contend with strict financial sanctions and now the designation of its Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) as a terrorist organization.

The severely diminished position on the international stage has not gone unnoticed at home. The Iranian public is protesting with unprecedented frequency as the nation’s economic crisis deepens. The regime’s insistence that it is the “protector of the poor” looks increasingly like the fiction that it is, as the mullahs’ role in Iran’s economic collapse is becoming more apparent.

Raising the Alarm

The regime has attempted to maintain the veneer of stability, but the cracks are starting to show. Statements of concern from officials pepper the media and messages of alarm have begun to appear in the Iranian Majlis (parliament).

In its May 6 session, Amir Khojasteh, chair of the regime International Policies Commission, vented his frustrations. “This isn’t an economy,” he said, the inflation pressure on people’s shoulders is crushing them. Every day there is a new scenario. One day, it is the dollar and nobody pays attention. One day it is fuel. One day it’s about onions. 8,000 rials onions become 150,000 rials. This is a scenario. Who’s pulling the strings?”

While showing the increasing infighting between different rifts for a bigger share of power, he warned that “When we see inflation in the country and there isn’t a response [from the government], it will upset the people; it has driven the people angry.”

He was not alone in his concerns. His peer, Soheila Jolodarzadeh, raised similar concerns that the Iranian public is reaching the end of its tether. He cited corruption as a major barrier to reconciliation and contributing to the widening gap between the rich and poor.

““When paychecks are not increased according to the inflation rate and following the consequences of the devaluation of the national currency, the situation has become such that you can’t live under these circumstances anymore,” he said.

Lighting the Stack of Discontent

Naghavi Hosseini of the regime Parliament’s Security Commission, revealing the regime’s fear of the people’s protests, warned Hassan Rouhani (regime’s President) that if the price of fuel increases, the Iranian people may rise up in protest. “Today, talks were focused on fuel becoming more expensive. We shouldn’t in any way come to terms with such a thing. Fuel becoming more expensive means igniting the stack of discontent,” he said.

In reality, the stack has already been lit. The Iranian people are tired of the Majlis and the political infighting among all factions of the Iranian leadership. Their calls have been for Maryam Rajavi, the president-elect of the People’s Mujahedin Organization of Iran (MEK) and her ten-point plan for a democratic Iran.

Staff writer

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Censorship in Iran

The Mullahs Want to Censor the Internet—Except When They Are the Ones Being Censored

Censorship in Iran

Internet access is filtered in Iran under the ruling religious dictatorship.

The unrestricted use of the Internet and social media has become a serious issue for the mullahs’ regime. The availability of encrypted messaging applications has given the Iranian people the ability to bypass regime filtering to share news and information.

As the Iranian people continue to lose faith in state-run media, they increasingly turn to the Internet and social media sources for information. Over the past year, the MEK has successfully used social media to organize protests and spread information about the regime’s corruption. This has helped foster the growth of the protest movement within Iran and has caused panic among the mullahs, who fear widespread rebellion and the ultimate overthrow of the ruling regime.

Regime Friday prayer imams, who are considered the mouthpieces of the mullahs, repeat the Supreme Leader’s rhetoric to people across the country in their sermons each week. Through these sermons, it is possible to see the regime’s current fears and insecurities.

Last week, Lotfollah Dejkam, the Friday prayer imam in Shiraz, Fars Province, complained about Internet access in a confusing and contradictory sermon.

The Internet Must Be Censored

 

Dejkam first argued that the Internet must be censored in order to prevent people from freely exchanging information, saying, “On the Internet, there is conduct that must be observed carefully. It is not right to allow people to say and do whatever they want on the Internet.

The imam went on to echo the regime’s position that the FATA (the regime’s Internet police) and other repressive authorities should step up their efforts to prevent the free flow of information.

“It is an area in which both FATA units and the judiciary can get involved in. There should undoubtedly be some kind of control by the authorities,” Dejkam said.

The Internet Must Be Free

In the same sermon, Dejkam complained that Google and Instagram had removed or blocked accounts belonging to regime Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei and Islamic Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) leaders, arguing that regime leaders should be free to speak online without fear of censorship.

“They were talking so much about the internet being free! It is free! People can say whatever they want. But they block even one sentence from us, against the leader [Khamenei, whose Instagram account was briefly suspended] and others [IRGC commanders whose Instagram accounts were blocked]. Let them be heard. Those who close down these accounts are cowards,” Dejkam said indignantly.

He went on to threaten the international social media giants, saying, “they cannot achieve anything through silencing us.”

Dejkam and the regime’s leadership would do well to take heed of these words. The Iranian people will not be silenced. The regime’s attempts to censor online communication have failed and will continue to fail. The MEK has provided an alternative to state-run propaganda and has given Iranians a place to share their outrage about the regime’s corruption and to organize for regime change.

Regime Reacts to Implications of IRGC Terrorist Listing with Growing Alarm and Confusion

Meanwhile, social media platforms such as Facebook are removing the accounts of IRGC leaders in the wake of the designation of the Revolutionary Guards as a Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO). Facebook, which owns Instagram, has one billion members and is one of the largest corporations in the world. The regime’s threats to both its own people and to social media platforms are hollow and desperate.

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Iranian regime's executions during the month of April 2019

Iran Human Rights Monitor Outlines Human Rights Abuses in its Monthly Report for April

Iranian regime's executions during the month of April 2019

The chart shows the Iranian regime’s executions during the month of April 2019

Iran Human Rights Monitor released its monthly report on the regime’s human rights abuses for the month of April 2019. The document makes for grim reading as the regime continues to run roughshod over the rights of Iran’s citizens on a near-daily basis.

The report revealed that in the month of April, the regime carried out arbitrary arrests and killings, tortured prisoners in its custody, violated the rights of ethnic minorities, and carried out several executions.

The Execution of Two Juvenile Offenders

Perhaps the most abhorrent act undertaken by the regime in April was the unlawful execution of two juveniles. Mehdi Sohrabifar and Amin Sedaghat, two 17-year-old cousins, were executed in Shiraz on April 25.

In a statement issued two days after their execution, international human rights group Amnesty International condemned the regime for carrying out an unfair trial and breaking international law prohibiting the execution of prisoners under the age of 18.

In a statement, Philip Luther, Amnesty International’s Middle East and North Africa director, said: “It seems they cruelly kept these two boys in the dark about their death sentences for two years, flogged them in the final moments of their lives, and then carried out their executions in secret.”

Their families were able to visit them shortly before their death but were not informed of their impending execution, robbing them of their goodbyes.

The act also prompted outrage from the UN human rights chief who reminded the regime that the execution of children is banned under international law.

The Global Leader in Juvenile Executions

The Iranian regime executed more juvenile offenders than any other nation on earth. Between 1990 and 2018, the regime executed 97 inmates convicted of crimes as minors. Just last year it executed seven prisoners who committed the alleged crimes as minors.

More than 90 remain on death row in prisons across Iran according to Amnesty International.

Torture and Arbitrary Arrest

April also saw the prominent human rights defender Nader Afshari sentenced to 74 lashes and a year in prison on charges of “disrupting public order” and carrying out “propaganda against the state.”

A further 63 volunteers were arrested after carrying out community rescue operations and providing assistance to victims affected by recent flooding in Khuzestan. Also, 25 internet activists were detained for reporting on the flooding online.

The regime has attempted to stifle any information regarding the full death toll of the flooding out of fear it will inflame public anger. At least 250 people died after heavy rains brought widespread flooding to Khuzestan and the surrounding areas. The regime’s inaction compounded the destruction and loss of life as the mullahs refused to make boats, helicopters, and shelters available for public use in the rescue efforts. MEK sources in Iran reported widely on the damage the floods created, also the Iranian regime’s inaction during and in the aftermath of the floods.

On April 16, the Prosecutor’s Office in Tehran also issued an indictment for the arrest of Amir Salar Davoudi on charges of “cooperating with hostile governments” and “establishing a group to overthrow the system” after he participated in an interview with VOA and partook in a Telegram messaging group sharing information about news and events pertaining to the Iranian judicial system.

Inhumane Conditions in Iranian Prisons

Iran Human Rights Monitor also describes the despicable and abhorrent treatment of prisoners in Iranian prisons. It reported the withholding of medical treatment for Alireza Shirmohammad-Ali in Great Tehran Penitentiary. Shirmohammad-Ali was beaten by guards and has been suffering from acute abdominal pain. He has received no treatment for his condition.

Mojtaba Dadashi, an imprisoned university student also went on hunger strike after being denied treatment for his respiratory tract infection he contracted last week.

In another incident, an inmate was encouraged to assault another inmate by the prison agents. An inmate convicted of drug offenses was promised a case review if she assaulted her fellow inmate, Sima Entesari.

The Fate of Ethnic Minorites

Ethnic minorities continue to suffer under the clerical regime. State security forces arrested 88 Ahwazi Arabs, 12 Kurds, and three Baluchi people. They also killed nine Kurdish porters

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Regime Leaders Powerless as Iranian People Turn to MEK and Social Media for News

Regime officials have recently expressed increasing concern about the MEK’s use of the Internet and social media to report accurate news of events within Iran and to expose the regime’s corruption and incompetence.

Reporting during the Floods

These fears have intensified in the wake of the destructive floods that caused severe damage across the country. Recently, the head of the FATA (the regime’s police division that handles Internet censorship) in Isfahan complained about the MEK’s reporting during the floods. He was most upset that the MEK had exposed the regime’s role in worsening the severity of the floods and the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corp’s (IRGC) incompetent response to the disaster.

He said, “Most of the news on the recent floods were published by the PMOI/MEK on the internet. The cyber war is the front line of today’s wars… Most of the news about the recent floods were published on social media by this group…”

Public confidence in state-run media has plummeted since the rise of social media has made it possible for Iranians to access information other than regime propaganda. During the floods last month, official regime reports downplayed the severity of the disaster even as people in 25 out of 31 provinces saw significant damage from the floods. Officials gave false numbers of casualties and damages and made claims of recovery efforts that had not taken place. People turned to social media for truthful reporting of the floods. The regime’s judiciary responded to the public’s loss of confidence by threatening those who published information about the floods. A number of Internet activists were subsequently arrested.

An “Overt and Covert Role”

The regime’s Ministry of Intelligence and Security is taking measures to address the MEK’s growing influence in shaping the flow of information going in and out of Iran. The MOIS announced that it held an event in Mashhad to evaluate the “overt and covert role” of the MEK in social media platforms.

“Gathering Information”

 

Regime leaders, who for years claimed that the MEK had little influence within Iran, are now openly expressing their fears about the MEK’s ability to expose the regime’s corrupt and illegal acts through their powerful connections within the country and their growing online presence.

Regime Expresses Fear that MEK Will Overthrow Regime through Online Activism

Former IRGC member and current regime faction head Kan’ani Moghadam expressed his concerns about the MEK’s ability to uncover regime plots.

“They have infiltrated our apparatus inside the country, becoming very capable in gathering information,” he said. “The PMOI/MEK is monitoring all of our activities.”

“Spreading Disappointing News”

On Sunday, a member of Majlis (the regime’s parliament) voiced his concern that the MEK is effectively countering state propaganda and changing public opinion about the regime. The regime relies on propaganda to prevent widespread rebellion, so this is troubling news for those in power.

“Around 15 percent of the [Iranian regime dissidents] and the PMOI/MEK inside the country are active on social media,” he said. “They are spreading disappointing news about the Revolution and the state to influence public opinion.”

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