President Obama led a ceremony today marking the 50th anniversary of the Selma, Ala. “Bloody Sunday” march, remembering the brave men and women who fought for civil rights in the 1960s. The events that took place at Selma are significant not only as a moment in American history, but as a symbol for all who fight for freedom, justice and equality.
One which many Iranian-Americans fighting for equality in their home country can relate to. Joining President Obama in Selma was U.S. Rep. John Lewis, who recalled being beaten by police on Edmund Pettus Bridge, 50 years ago. Lewis has served a leader for civil rights in the United States, carrying on the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and has also stood with the Iranian people in their fight for freedom.
Promotion of Virtue Legislation Calls for Citizen Enforcement of Women’s “Proper” Hijab
March 6, 2015-The Iranian Parliament should immediately withdraw the pending Plan to Promote Virtue and Prevent Vice, which explicitly calls for Basij militias to enforce strict hijab (female dress), the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran said today. This plan not only violates the rights of all Iranian women, it also presents a clear and present danger to their continued safety.
Further, the Iranian Judiciary should bring all efforts to bear to identify and bring to justice the perpetrators of the recent string of acid attacks against women in Iran, which have been linked to the extra-judicial enforcement of hijab called for in the Plan, the Campaign added.
HRANA News Agency – 15 death row prisoners of Ghezel Hesar Prison in Karaj have been taken to solitary confinements. Considering 6 Sunni prisoners who are scheduled to be executed tomorrow, 21 prisoners are going to be executed in Alborz Province by the next dawn.
According to the report of Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA), 15 prisoners of Ghezel Hesar prison in Karaj who have been sentenced to death on charges of drug dealing have been transferred to solitary confinements to be executed by tomorrow morning.
“The prisoners have been taken out of different halls of section 2 today at 9:30 am.” A prisoner of Ghezel Hesar Prison told HRANA’s reporter
“This was all these prisoners’ first detention record.” The source said
The authorities have called their families and told them to go to Ghezel Hesar Prison for the last visit.
HRANA News Agency – Hamed Ahmadi, Kamal Molai, Jamshid Dehghani, Jahangir Dehghani, Sedigh Mohammadi and Seyed Hadi Hosseini were executed this morning in Rajai Shahr Prison in Karaj.
According to the report of Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA), the 6 prisoners were taken to solitary confinements at yesterday at 8:30 am and have been executed today at 4 am.
“An ambulance left the prison at 5 am and all the families rushed towards it. We couldn’t see the bodies but we were told that all 6 prisoners have been hanged and we can collect the bodies at Bibi Sakine cemetery.” Said one of relatives of Hamed Ahmadi
Amnesty International had released a statement yesterday demanding Iranian authorities to halt the execution of these 6 prisoners.
Another Mass-Execution By the Iranian Authorities
Iran Human Rights
At the same time as the six Sunni Kurdish prisoners were executed in Rajaishahr prison of Karaj, Iranian authorities hanged at least 8 prisoners in the Ghezelhesar prison of this city. At least 32 people have been executed in the past three days in Iran.
Iran Human Rights, March 4, 2014: According to sources Iran Human Rights (IHR) has been in contact with at least eight prisoners were executed in the Ghezelhesar prison of Karaj Wednesday morning March 4. According to this report 16 prisoners were transferred from the Unit 2 , ward 4 of Ghezelhesar prison for execution. eight of them were executed and the remaining eight haven’t come back to their ward yet.
Six of the prisoners who were executed are identified as: Mohammad Khandan, Mohsen Alipour, Masoud Rasouli, Asghar Mir-Adli and Mohammad Mahmoudi. All the prisoners were convicted of drug-related charges.
LONDON: International rights group Amnesty International condemned Iranian authorities Friday for what it said was the “unspeakably cruel” blinding of a man on the grounds of retribution.
The man was forcibly blinded in his left eye Tuesday under the principle of “qisas” — an eye for an eye — at a prison in Karaj, west of Tehran, Amnesty said.
The man had been convicted of throwing acid in another man’s face in 2009, leading to a 10-year prison sentence, an order to pay blood money to the victim and the act of retribution.
“Punishing someone by deliberately blinding them is an unspeakably cruel and shocking act,” said Raha Bahreini, Amnesty’s Iran researcher, in a statement.
“This punishment exposes the utter barbarity of Iran’s justice system and underlines the Iranian authorities’ shocking disregard for basic humanity.”
In a literal application of the sharia law of an eye for an eye, an Iranian man convicted of blinding another man in an acid attack has been blinded in one eye, marking the first time Iran has carried out such a punishment.
The convicted acid attacker, who has not been identified, was rendered unconscious in Rajai-Shahr prison in the city of Karaj on Tuesday as medics gouged out his left eye, according to the state-owned Hamshahri newspaper.
Mahmood Amiry-Moghaddam, from Iran Human Rights (IHR), an independent NGO based in Norway, condemned the blinding as barbaric. “Medical staff who cooperate with the Iranian authorities in this act have broken the Hippocratic oath and cannot call themselves doctors,” he said.
Twice designated a terrorist by the United States government, considered responsible for up to 20
percent of American casualties in the Iraq war, Major General Qasem Suleimani, the legendary Iranian spymaster and leader of the Quds Force – the elite special operations wing of the hardline Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) – is now stirring alarm in Washington for doing something the Obama administration would ordinarily cheer: taking the fight to ISIS in Iraq.
Photographs circulating on social media show Suleimani operating alongside senior Iraqi officials in the theater in and around Tikrit, the Sunni ancestral home of Saddam Hussein that is located almost equidistant between Mosul, the ISIS-controlled city 120 miles to the north, and Baghdad, the capital of the Iraqi government 100 miles to the south.
On Wednesday, February 25, cross party MPs and Iran experts discussed the roots and solutions to the new global threat Islamic fundamentalism and terrorism in a joint conference by the British Parliamentary Committee for Iran Freedom (BPCIF) and International Committee In Search of Justice (ISJ) in the House of Commons, chaired by the Rt Hon. David Jones MP, former Secretary of State For Wales.
The conference’s keynote speaker, Prof. Alejo Vidal-Quadras, President of the International Committee in Search of Justice (ISJ) and the Vice President of the European Parliament (1999-2014) presented ISJ’s new report “Islamic Fundamentalism and Terrorism: Solutions & Illusions”.
The report is a comprehensive study of Iran’s export of Islamic fundamentalism and terrorism with the aim of offering a new different approach to counter this new global threat.
Elaborating on the root of Islamic fundamentalism, Prof. Vidal Quadras said, this phenomena “came into existence in modern times with Ayatollah Khomeini ascending to power in Iran in 1979 following the fall of the US-backed Shah dictatorship. Iran became the first country in recent history to have a theocratic government.”
Uncontrolled decadence, secret police, torture, executions, and an agenda opposed by the people of Iran: Those factors are what brought down Shah Mohammed Reza Pahlavi in February of 1979. More than 36 years later, those conditions remain familiar to Iranians throughout the country and abroad, as the current regime has proven itself to be even more barbaric. Further, the country’s economy lies in shambles as the regime relentlessly pursues a fundamentalist Islamic agenda.
That radical agenda extends the Iranian threat far beyond its own people to neighbors in the region and, ultimately, to the West. Its involvement in Syria and Iraq, with military personnel on the ground, and its assistance to groups such as Hezbollah and, most recently, the Houthi group in Yemen, provide ample evidence of the escalation of Iranian ambitions.
The terrorist attacks in Denmark this month and in Paris earlier in January, dreadful as they were, provided just the latest example of Islamic fundamentalism at its worst. There is now the desperate need for a coherent strategy not only by Western political leaders, but also by the leaders of peace-loving Muslims around the world.
As the anti-ISIS Coalition intensifies it campaign to defeat these extremists, their strategy must also deal with the ominous threat of religious extremism everywhere including Iran, without compromising democratic values and principles and without giving birth to more home-grown jihadists. This means that human rights must be part of every agenda, never de-coupled even in the context of ongoing nuclear weapons negotiations with Iran, which is fast approaching another deadline.
In examining the recent terror attacks in Copenhagen and Paris, we should remember other tragic events: September 11, 2001 in New York; March 2004 in Madrid; July 2005 in London; January 2015 in Paris; the Murder of the British Army soldier Lee Rigby in 22 May 2013; plus those in Africa, Iraq, and elsewhere. It is important to remember where and when it all began.
His logic should lead him to urge an Iranian regime change, but he knows that won’t sell in the U.S.In a speech delivered Tuesday to a joint meeting of Congress, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu forcefully laid out his objections to the terms of the nuclear agreement that the U.S. and its negotiating partners may be on the verge of reaching with the government of Iran. “For over a year,” he declared, “we’ve been told that no deal is better than a bad deal. Well, this is a bad deal. It’s a very bad deal. We’re better off without it.”Mr. Netanyahu and other critics of the current negotiations are dismayed by the size of the nuclear program that Iran would be allowed to retain, and they are especially unhappy about the agreement’s reported “sunset clause”-the time limit after which the negotiated restraints would lapse. Unless the Iranian regime changes fundamentally, critics ask, why would it be any more trustworthy in 2025 than it is today?
Kerry says demanding Iran’s ‘capitulation’ is no way to secure nuclear deal
While the Obama administration systematically engages Iran as the centerpiece of a Middle East strategy, my distinguished colleague, David Goldman, writes that President George W. Bush adopted a similar strategy after 2006 based on the guidance of Robert Gates, former secretary of Defense.
Relying on the work of Michael Doran, erstwhile Bush aide, Goldman notes that the Iraq Study Group – a bipartisan commission including former Secretary of State James Baker, former Rep. Lee Hamilton (D-Ind.) and Gates – proposed a diplomatic engagement with Iran “and its junior partner, the [President Bashar] Assad regime in Syria.”
Moreover, the history of this proposal has its origin in a Council of Foreign Relations report written by Gates and Zbigniew Brzezinski, President Carter’s national security adviser. In this report, the U.S. is criticized for creating security concerns on Iran’s western border after toppling Saddam Hussain’s Iraqi regime. “By contributing to heightened tensions between the Bush administration and Iran, the elimination of Saddam’s rule has not generated substantial strategic dividends for Tehran. In fact, together with U.S. statements on regime change, rogue states, and preemptive action, recent changes in the regional balance of power have only enhanced the potential deterrent value of a ‘strategic weapon.'”
WASHINGTON-The leadership of the most powerful pro-Israel lobby in the U.S. publicly broke Sunday from the White House over the issue of Iran policy during the first of a three-day policy conference in Washington attended by 16,000 of its members.
Leaders of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, or Aipac, outlined a strategy moving forward of working through Congress to disrupt any nuclear agreement with Tehran that is deemed too weak in denying the country a nuclear weapons capability.
This would be achieved, they said, both by seeking to impose new sanctions on Iran and to block the White House’s ability to lift standing U.S. sanctions, which would be required as part of any comprehensive agreement.