Arseh Sevom – There are times when the sword is mightier than the pen and on January 29 it was so. Two Ahwazi Arabs were executed without warning, without the chance to say goodbye to loved ones. Their crime: “enmity against God.” This review looks at politics, sanctions, apologies, and executions.
They say that an optimist is someone who knows that one step forward and two steps back is a dance, not a defeat. In 2013, those acting for a vibrant civil society in Iran wore out their dancing shoes. This post presents a brief and incomplete overview of the last year of posts from Arseh Sevom.
Arseh Sevom- This week’s review is unfortunately focused on the treatment of political prisoners in Iran. Events of the past months demand this. The season marking the anniversary of the taking of the American Embassy seems to endanger Iran’s homegrown activists more than it hurts the US with the chanting of “Death to America.” At a time when Iranians are hoping for change, and especially at this time, it’s necessary to put pressure on Iran’s government to improve the conditions for all of its prisoners and urgently for its political prisoners and prisoners of conscience.
Arseh Sevom — The ideological struggle between reform and restriction is being played out in many arenas in Iran. Last week, hardliners hung billboards opposing negotiation with the West, this week they were taken down and replaced with less combative messages. The ministry of culture promised to liberalize the publication process, while a reformist newspaper was ordered shut down. For those condemned to execution in Iran, there has been no change for the better, with increases in the number of executions. This was dramatically played out over the weekend when 16 prisoners were executed in response to a deadly attack on Iran’s border guards.
Arseh Sevom — Student leader, Majid Tavakoli, locked up in prison in Iran, will be awarded the International Student Peace Prize in a ceremony in Norway on February 15. Authorities announce new categories of criminalized speech in advance of the upcoming presidential elections. Mehdi Karroubi, Zahra Rahnavard, and Mir Hossein Mousavi remain under house arrest [...]
Arseh Sevom — Prison furloughs have been given to a number of prisoners of conscience even as Sakharov Prize winner Nasrin Sotoudeh was called back to prison after just three days. Public executions spark debate. Iranian State Television airs an “exposé” of CIA spying. Parliament debates restricting foreign travel for all women under 40 while [...]
January 22, 2013: The undersigned human rights organizations strongly oppose the death sentences issued by the Islamic Republic of Iran (IRI) against five civil and cultural activists who are members of the Ahwazi Arab ethnic minority in Iran. We urge the IRI authorities to halt the implementation of the death sentences against these five men pending [...]
Questions remain unresolved concerning the death of blogger Sattar Beheshti, while authorities deny that any hunger strikes have taken place among women in prison. Iran’s Health Minister faces parliamentary scrutiny for the depletion of medical supplies, public executions continue, and international airfares double. A single exchange rate is announced and parliament considers a bill that would require single women under 40 to get permission in order to obtain a passport. Read more…
Economic instability continues to rock Iran while executions for drug offenses continue despite international protest. The work of children’s activists is recognized internationally, and gender segregation becomes more widespread. Sanctions against the banking center have left many in Iran without access to needed medication and imprisoned lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh begins a hunger strike. Extreme Couponing [...]
Arseh Sevom — The Islamic Republic of Iran is often praised for its efforts to control drug trafficking on its borders. With the help of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, it has managed to professionalize its border control. In a recent article in the New York Times, journalist Thomas Erdbrink points out [...]
Statement Against the Execution of Four Ahwazi Arabs and the Death Penalty in Iran Concurrent with the execution of four Iranians in Saudi Arabia, and despite warnings by human rights activists and institutions, four Ahwazi Arab prisoners — Taha Heidarian, Abdolrahman Heidarian, Abbas Heidarian, and Ali Sharifi — were secretly executed by the Iranian [...]
Arseh Sevom — In the US, April 1st is marked with practical jokes. In Iran the first of April is celebrated as Nature’s Day with millions taking to parks all over the country. Iranians around the world mark the end of the celebrations marking the new year with picnics, family, and friends. This year during [...]