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Petition Tag - human rights

211. Open family courts to the public to see the truth

There are too many lies and corrupt courts in the world, the courts need to be open so we can see that justice is done properly like the criminal courts, as child abuse should been seen as criminal and not only judge but jury and then they would be a fair hearing part of our human rights as children are taken away from loving familys and this causes more abuse to children.

John Bowbly child psychologist stated it will do more harm than good if a child and mother is separated, research shows children in care are more likely to end up criminals themselves and ASBO.

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212. FREE Political activist Yaser Yousefzadeh

Reported released.

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Political activist Yaser Yousefzadeh arrested in the city of Babolsar.

Yaser Yousefzadeh, political activist from Mazandaran province has been detained at his residence.

Security agents who were not in possession of an arrest warrant, raided Yousefzadeh’s residence and violently detained him.

According to reports by Jemran News, when the agents showed up, Yaser’s family members demanded that they produce an arrest warrant. The aggressive agents then violently confronted the family members and in the skirmish that ensued they used pepper spray on Yaser’s father.

Yaser ran towards them with bare feet in order to prevent the agents from hurting his father, and ended up getting and handcuffed and severely beaten up to the horror of his powerless parents. The agents then forced Yaser into an unmarked car and whisked him away.

Yaser was taken from his father’s home to his own residence after this savage attack, where the agents took his personal belongings after searching and ransacking his home. During the raid on his home, the brutality of the agents caused the whole neighborhood to get agitated and the agents again used pepper spray and viciously confronted Yaser’s distraught neighbors.

Yaser Yousefzadeh is a graduate of Polytechnic University (Amirkabir) with a degree in Mechanical Engineering. He was an active member of Mousavi’s presidential political campaign in Mozandaran province and was a staff member of Mousavi’s campaign 88 in the city of Babolsar during the 2009 presidential elections.

Yousefzadeh had previously been detained and held in solitary confinement in a holding cell at the Sari Intelligence headquarters.

Article in Persian: http://www.rahana.org/archives/47498

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213. Release Journalists Parastoo Dokouhaki & Marzieh Rasouli in Iran

In a new wave of arrests in 2012 against journalists in Iran:

Parastoo Dokouhaki and Marzieh Rasouli, two journalists and bloggers recently arrested, are currently being held in the Sepah Ward 2-A of Evin Prison. They are being held in solitary confinement in a section controlled by the Revolutionary Guards. They have been charged with “propaganda against the regime and acting against national security.” They have not yet had access to a lawyer or allowed visits from their families. Their families have been told to refrain from speaking with media.

Dokouhaki, a women’s rights activist and one of the first bloggers in Iran, was arrested on January 15, 2012 at her home. Security forces confiscated her some of her personal belongings. In March 2007, Dokouhaki and 32 other women’s rights activists were arrested while attending protests against the trial of fellow activist Sousan Tahmasbi. Despite her earlier involvement with numerous reformist publications, Dokouhaki’s family say this female journalist has not been engaged in any political activity in recent years.

Rasouli, a journalist with a history of working with the Iranian Student News Agency (ISNA) and dailies such as Iran and Shargh newspaper, was arrested on January 17, 2012. Rasouli had been previously arrested in September of 2010 and banned from traveling abroad. Rasouli had been told that her charge was “espionage” but a few weeks before her second arrest this year, she was told that the charges against her had been dropped and she was allowed to acquire a passport.

Sources: Green Voice of Freedom, Radio Zamaneh, Radio Free Europe


اطلاعیه مطبوعاتی: روزنامه نگاران بازداشت شده در بند 2 الف سپاه پاسداران هستند

2 بهمن 1390

اطلاعیه مطبوعاتی: روزنامه نگاران بازداشت شده در بند 2 الف سپاه پاسداران هستند

پرستو دوکوهکی و مرضیه رسولی، دو روزنامه نگار و وبلاگ نویس ایرانی، حدود یک هفته است که در بند دو الف زندان اوین که زیر نظر اطلاعات سپاه ایران اداره می شود در سلول انفرادی هستند. هفته گذشته مامورین به خانه های پرستو دوکوهکی و مرضیه رسولی ریخته اند و آنها را همراه با وسائل و لپ تاپ هایشان با خود برده اند. علت دستگیری این دو روزنامه نگار مشخص نیست و تنها اتهام های مبهم "تبلیغ علیه نظام" و "اقدام علیه امنیت ملی" به آنها تفهیم شده است. این روزنامه نگاران تا به حال از داشتن وکیل محروم بوده اند و موفق به ملاقات با خانواده های خود نشده اند. خانواده های آنها هم اطلاع بیشتر از وضعیت آنها ندارند و از صحبت با رسانه ها خودداری می کنند. به نظر می رسد خانواده های این روزنامه نگاران نیز همچون موارد مشابه که پیش از این بارها گزارش شده است، از سوی مقامات امنیتی مجبور به سکوت شده اند.

مرضیه و پرستو تنها روزنامه نگارانی نیستند که در روزهای اخیر دستگیر شده اند. روزنامه نگاران، وب نگاران و فعالان اجتماعی دیگری از جمله سهام الدین بورقانی، فاطمه خردمند، احسان هوشمند، سعید مدنی، فرشاد قربان‌پور، محمد سلیمانی نیا، نسرین نعمت اللهی، پیمان پاک مهر و شهرام منوچهری هم در چند روز گذشته دستگیر شده اند. تعدادی از روزنامه نگاران هم در هفته های اخیر بازجویی و تهدید شده اند. خانواده های برخی خبرنگاران مشغول به کار در رسانه های خارج از کشور از جمله خانواده های خبرنگاران بی بی سی فارسی هم اخیرا اذیت و آزار یا بازداشت شده اند. در چند روز اخیر تعدادی از دانشجویان و شهروندان عادی هم مورد بازجویی و ضرب و شتم قرار گرفته اند.

با توجه به موج دستگیری ها و فشارها در هفته ها و ماه های اخیر، به نظر می رسد برخی خبرنگاران و وب نگاران ساکن ایران و دوستان و خانواده های خبرنگاران شبکه های خارجی قربانی سیاست های امنیتی و پیشگیرانه حکومت ایران برای کنترل جریان اطلاع رسانی در مورد انتخابات پیش رو شده اند.

ما از دولت جمهوری اسلامی ایران می خواهیم این روزنامه نگاران را هر چه زودتر آزاد کند. از کلیه نهادهای حقوق بشری و جوامع بین المللی هم می خواهیم این فشارها و ارعاب ها را محکوم کنند، وضعیت روزنامه نگاران دستگیر شده را پیگیری کرده و از دولت ایران بخواهند تا این روزنامه نگاران را هر چه سریع تر آزاد کند.


Source: Free Parastoo & Marzieh blog

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214. Immediate & Unconditional Release of Mohammad Soleimani Nia

UPDATE August 15, 2012

The organization also learned of the release on bail of Mohammad Solimaninya, head of the social networking site u24, after he paid a bond of 500 million tomans (approx. 400,000 euros). He was arrested on 28 May for a second time after he was summoned to Tehran’s Evin prison.

SOURCE : Reporters Without Borders

UPDATE: CNN July 4, 2012

Prominent Iranian literary translator missing, source says:

A prominent Iranian literary translator is missing, just weeks after being released from Tehran's notorious Evin Prison, a source close to him said Monday.
The individual said Mohammad Soleimani Nia, 40, hasn't been seen since he responded to a call from authorities last Wednesday to retrieve personal belongings that had been confiscated. He was to pick up items, including his driver's license, computer and passport at an office near Evin Prison.

The source gave this chronology of events leading up to his disappearance:

-- In late November 2011, Soleimani Nia was questioned by security and intelligence officers. Friends and family aren't sure of the motive behind that questioning, because phones are monitored in Iran and Soleimani Nia was tight-lipped about the experience, which resulted in his being barred from leaving the country.

-- On January 10, officials called him to the Revolutionary Court. The court hears cases of smuggling, blaspheming, inciting violence or attempting the overthrow of the Iranian government.

-- After arriving at court, Soleimani Nia was accompanied by security guards to the home he shares with his parents in Karaj, outside Tehran. The guards searched the house, seizing electronic devices and documents, and prohibited Soleimani Nia from speaking to his parents.

-- Soleimani Nia was then detained on unknown charges, then released on bail in May. He was freed after agreeing to suspend a hunger strike after 28 days. During part of that time, he reportedly was held in solitary confinement in Evin Prison, notorious for its harsh conditions.

This, the next chapter in Soleimani Nia's on going saga, has many people close to him deeply concerned.
"We don't even know if he made it (to the office near Evin Prison) or if he was just kidnapped as soon as he left the house," the source said. "This is very disturbing. To this point, no authorities have taken responsibility regarding this and we don't know where he is."

Associates have previously described Soleimani Nia as being physically delicate.

Firoozeh Dumas, an Iranian-American author whose best-selling book "Funny in Farsi" Soleimani Nia translated for the Iranian audience, described her friend as "a very gentle soul" and "a model citizen, who loves his country, his family and culture."
"Mohammad Soleimani Nia is also the most nonpolitical person I have ever met," Dumas said.
"He translated 'Funny in Farsi' simply because he wanted to share with his fellow Iranians a book that he had enjoyed in English," she said.
Soleimani Nia also is considered a tech pioneer by his peers; he is credited for launching an Iranian social networking website comparable to LinkedIn called U24, a portal for Iranian professionals seeking jobs.
"Given the high unemployment rate, he should be celebrated for his desire to help the Iranian economy. If he lived in America, he would be called a nerd. In Iran, he's a prisoner," Dumas said.
CNN tried calling the spokesman for the Iranian foreign minister but has yet to receive an official response regarding Soleimani Nia's case.

UPDATE

Iranian translator released from notorious Tehran prison

CNN May 24, 2012

A prominent Iranian literary translator imprisoned since January on unknown charges has been released on bail, a source close to the family said Wednesday.
Soleimani Nia has yet to be charged.
This month, Nia agreed to suspend a hunger strike after 28 days. He had written a letter of protest to authorities and was told that it would be considered only if he ended his hunger strike, the source said.
Behind bars, he spoke to his family sporadically, the source has said.
Nia was in solitary confinement in Tehran's Evin prison, notorious for its harsh conditions, for some of his time in custody, the source said in April. He was then moved to a general section of the prison.
Associates have previously described Nia as being physically delicate.
Firoozeh Dumas, an Iranian-American author whose best-selling book "Funny in Farsi" Nia translated for the Iranian audience, described her friend as "a very gentle soul."

UPDATE

CNN May 4, 2012

Iranian translator halts hunger strike, source says

A prominent Iranian literary translator imprisoned since January on unknown charges has suspended his hunger strike after 28 days, a source close to the family said Thursday.

Soleimani Nia had written a letter of protest to the authorities and was told that it would be considered only if he ended his hunger strike, the source said.
For this reason, he has halted his protest for one week to see if the authorities will look at the letter, the contents of which are not known, the source said.
In the course of his 28-day hunger strike, Nia has needed medical treatment on one occasion and remains in a prison hospital ward.

He will be able to consume only non-solid food for a while because of the effects of the hunger strike on his digestive system.

The last time he spoke to his family was a few days ago and very briefly, according to the source. Nia was in solitary confinement in Tehran's Evin prison, notorious for its harsh conditions, for some of his time in custody, the source said last month. He was then moved to a general section of the prison. Associates have previously described Nia as being physically delicate.

Firoozeh Dumas, an Iranian-American author whose best-selling book "Funny in Farsi" Soleimani Nia translated for the Iranian audience, described her friend as "a very gentle soul."

Literary translator Mohammad Soleimani Nia, 39, has been detained in Iran since January 10 for unknown reasons.

Family and friends of a well-known literary translator in Iran are concerned for his well-being after he was detained for unknown reasons nearly two weeks ago.

Mohammad Soleimani Nia, 39, has been held since January 10, according to a source close to his family.

The family doesn't know where he's being detained or why he's being questioned, but they fear he is in solitary confinement at Tehran's notorious Evin prison, according to the source. The prison is known for its harsh conditions.

Soleimani Nia's family is "so worried about his health," said the source, who did not want to be named for safety reasons. "He's not a strong person physically."
His ordeal began in late November when he was questioned by security and intelligence officers. Friends and family aren't sure the motive behind that questioning as phones are monitored in Iran and Soleimani Nia was tight-lipped about the experience, which resulted in him being banned from leaving the country, according to the source.

On January 10, officials called him to the Revolutionary Court, where he reported that morning. The court hears cases of smuggling, blaspheming, inciting violence or trying to overthrow the Iranian government.

After arriving at court, he was accompanied by security guards to the home he shares with his parents in Karaj, outside Tehran. The guards searched the house, seizing electronic devices and documents, and prohibited Soleimani Nia from speaking to his parents, the source said.

His whereabouts have been unknown since the guards left the home with Soleimani Nia in their custody.

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215. Free Foad Khanjani

#iran Foad Khanjani Receving Medical Care

Sen´s Daily November 10 , 2012

Foad Khanjani (فواد خانجانی), a former student of industrial management at Isfahan University who was expelled because of his Bahai beliefs, and who is serving a 4-year sentence in Raja`i Shahr prison near Tehran, has (at last) been taken to hospital for treatment. He is suffering from a cyst in the abdomen, causing pain and bleeding. Although he obtained all the necessary permissions for hospital treatment weeks ago, prison authorities had refused to act.

#IRAN : Foad_Kanjani Still Waiting For Admission To Hospital

Sens´s Daily 12 October , 2012

Foad Khanjani (فواد خانجانی), a Bahai excluded from higher education who is serving a 4-year sentence in Raja`i Shahr prison near Tehran, is suffering from a cyst in the abdomen, causing pain and bleeding. He requires immediate surgery. Although he obtained all the necessary permissions for hospital treatment several weeks ago, he is still in prison. On September 27 he was taken to one hospital, but because a place for him had been reserved in a different hospital, the doctors refused to admit him.

SOURCE : Sen´s Daily

Fouad Khanjani Begins His Four-Year Prison Sentence

The Association Against Educational Discrimination Web site reported that he had been sentenced to four years of correctional imprisonment by Judge Moghiseh of Branch 28 of the Revolutionary court which was later confirmed by Judge Movahed of Branch 54 of the appeals court.

Previously, on April 27, 2010, he had been arrested and later released on bail after a few days. On March 2, 2010,this student who has been deprived of higher education, had been summoned to the ministry of intelligence and on two other occasions had received similar orders.

It is worth noting that his father, Mr. Alaeddin Khanjani, had also been arrested on or about April 27, 2010, and released on bail on 16 March 2010. His sister, Leva Khanjani Mobasher's two-year prison sentence was upheld by an appeals court in 2011. His grandfather, Jamaloddin Khanjani, one of the seven imprisoned Bahai leaders, is currently serving a 20-year prison term.

Fouad Khanjani’s grandfather, Jmalaldyn Khanjani, also is one of the leaders of the Baha’I community who is serving a sentence of 20 years in the Rajai Shahr Prison in Karaj.

This banned-from-education student, earlier, had been expelled from the Industrial Management Organization, due to his belief in the Baha’i faith.

http://www.rahana.org/en/?p=12306

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216. Free Young Chinese Girl's Mother from Prison

Please help Chinese girl, Cheng Li Ellison, free her mother from prison in China. Her mother is a Falun Gong practitioner; and the only crime she committed was distributing pamphlets about the practice of Falun Gong.

She was put in prison without trial or sentence, and no one is able to contact her. Cheng's father too afraid of the power of the government, so is unwilling to help - even the person is his own wife.

Cheng is now married to an Australian citizen and planned to bring out her parents to Australia with her; however now, that dream seems very far away.

Please help her bring her dreams closer to reality.

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217. Free Negar Monazami

Negar Monazami: Prisoner of the day; Arrested on International Women's Day.

hra-news: Basij forces arrested Negar Monazami, 29, on 8 March 2011, during street protests commemorating the International Women's Day. She was first transferred to Security Police and later taken to Evin Prison. She was released on bail 28 days later.

Branch 28 of Tehran Revolutionary Court, with Judge Moghisseh presiding, sentenced Negar Monazami to 14 months in prison and 75 lashes.

Monazami was arrested again on 13 June 2011 in order to start serving her prison term. Several days after her arrest, her family learned that she was inside Intelligence Ministry's Ward 209 at Evin Prison. Monazami received her flogging sentence immediately after her June arrest. According to a 10 October 2011 report, for unknown reasons, Monazami remained inside Ward 209 four months after her arrest, and the authorities refused to provide her family with any information about her situation or allow her to visit with them.

Monazami was reportedly born in prison in 1983, as her parents were both political prisoners at the time of her birth.Her father, Saeed Monazami, a Constitutionalist, was executed in 1988 during the mass executions of political prisoners in Iranian prisons.

from Ghormeh Sabzi
13-Jan-2012
http://www.iranian.com/main/2012/jan/negar-monazami-prisoner-day

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218. Free Iranian Blogger Vahid Asghari, Sentenced To Death For "Hosting Blasphemous Websites"!

Reporters Without Borders: Arrested at Tehran Airport on 11 May 2008, Vahid Asghari, an Information Technology student in India, has been in "temporary detention" for close to four years. Yesterday, January 7, 2012, Vahid Asghari was sentenced to death by Branch 15 of Tehran Revolutionary Court with Judge Salavati presiding.

Ever since its creation by the Revolutionary Guards in March 2009, the Organized Crime Surveillance Center has played an active role in tracking down and arresting outspoken netizens.

Shortly after its creation, the center announced the dismantling of a “malevolent” online network in March 2009 and the arrests of several website moderators. Their photos and “confessions” were posted on the centre’s website, Gerdab (www.gerdab.ir), a few days later. They reportedly admitted to links with websites that criticized Islam and the government, and to their intention of “misleading” Iranian youth by publicizing porn sites. They also confessed to participating in a plot supported by the Americans and Israelis.

On 17 June 2009, two days after President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s disputed reelection triggered a wave of street protests, the center issued a communiqué announcing that it had noted “several cases of websites and personal blogs posting articles inciting disturbances of public order and urging the population to rebel.”

Detainees have been subjected to long periods of solitary confinement and to torture to obtain confessions that are used in their trials. Asghari, a leading target of the “network dismantling” policy, is one of the victims of such abuses. Aged 24 and an ICT student in India, he was arrested on 11 May 2008 at Tehran airport for possessing several credit cards.

He was held in solitary confinement for seven month and was mistreated and tortured to make him confess to organizing a pornographic network that blasphemed Islam and criticized the government in order to pervert Iranian youth. And what was Asghari’s crime? Hosting websites, including the sites of government opponents.

“I was beaten with a stick for hours and hours while blindfolded and handcuffed,” he wrote in a letter to the president of the 15th chamber of the Revolutionary Court on 17 October 2009. “With a knife against my throat, I was threatened with death and rape. I and my family were insulted. I was forced to make a confession and sign it. They then videoed my confession and broadcast the video with the national television station’s complicity although I was legally presumed to be innocent.”

According to article 168 of the constitution, defendants prosecuted on political charges should be given public, jury trials but most of the trials have been held behind closed doors. Their lawyers are often sidelined and denied access to the case files and in some cases defendants were not told they had been tried and condemned. Asghari said in his letter: “I have never seen my lawyer and, even in court, I did not have the right to say hello to him.”

Asghari also wrote: “I was alleged to have received money from abroad as a result of Google advertising on the websites I hosted. I was accused of insulting the Shiite Imams and the Prophet because of their content. And I was forced to say that Hossein Derakhshan was an agent of both the Iranian ministry of intelligence and the CIA.”

UPDATE: On Saturday, February 11, 2012 imprisoned death row blogger Vahid Asghari was transferred to solitary confinement and under severe duress was coerced into making another false confession.

After the death sentence was handed down, agents from the Cyber Intelligence unit of the Revolutionary Court intimidated Vahid into taking part in the recent televised confession in exchange for a promise of a reduced sentencing and a transfer to the public ward of Evin prison.

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219. Free Journalist Fatemeh Kheradmand

UPDATE CHRR 3 July 2013

Committee of Human Rights Reporters – Journalist Fatemeh Kheradmand was handed a one-year prison sentence by Judge Pir Abassi presiding over Branch 26 of the Tehran Revolutionary Court. The journalist was charged with “propaganda against the regime through working with the ‘Ghalame Sabz’ website.”

According to CHHR, on January 7, 2012 Intelligence agents raided the home of Fatemeh Kheradmand in the middle of the night, conducted a search of her residence, confiscated personal items such as her computer and transferred her to ward 209 of Evin prison at 1:30am. After enduring 25 days in detention while being interrogated, on February 1, 2012 the journalist was granted temporary release pending her trial on 50 million Tomans bail.

On October 24, 2012 Kheradmand was put on trial along with Dr. Saeed Madani and Ehsan Hooshmand at Branch 26 of the Revolutionary Court presided by judge Pir Abassi on the charge of “propaganda against the regime through working with the ‘Ghalame Sabz” website.”

Fatemeh Kheramand, journalism major at Tehran Azad University was a staff member of the Mir Hossein Mousavi presidential election campaign in 2009. Her husband Masoud Lavasani is a journalist who was detained in September 2009 after the contested presidential elections of that year and faces a 2-year prison sentence handed by Judge Pir Abassi.

SOURCE : CHRR
http://chrr.biz/spip.php?article21396

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Journalist Fatemeh Kheradmand has been arrested.

Human Rights House of Iran _ She is the wife of journalist Massoud Lavasani, who was released from Evin prison on September 8th after enduring approximately two years behind bars.

According to Human Rights House of Iran, Iranian security agents, who introduced themselves as judicial agents, searched Kheradmand’s house before arresting her. During the inspection process at her home, the security agents confiscated Kheradmand’s personal items and computer. The reason for the arrest has not been announced.

Her husband Masoud Lavasani was arrested on September 26, 2009, and transferred to Evin prison. He was initially sentenced to eight and a half years in prison by the lower court, but the Appeals Court reduced the sentence to six years in prison.

Eventually, the sentence was reduced to two years in prison. His sentence was issued by branch 26 of the Revolutionary Court, presided by Judge PirAbbasi.

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220. Stop the move to a New Head Quarters of OCHA REMONACA in Egypt

There will be a move to a New Head Quarters of OCHA REMONACA in Egypt.

The new premises are not only inadequate and extremely small, nevertheless the traffic itself is Mannes, the commute alone takes four to three hours, we have all as staff undersigned our contracts based on the fact that the office is in Maadi an extremely peaceful and quite neighborhood.

The move will be extremely destructive and disruptive in to our lives we have already started to feel the oppression of not having a saying about something that will effect and change our lives completely definitely into the worst, most of us need sun light to operate for 8 to 10 hours and some of the desks do not have access to sunlight at all simply because there is no windows!!!

If we have taken money from donors to support our operations that mainly fall under the umbrella of saving lives.. That is a total waste of money and effort..

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221. Immediate & Unconditional Release of Amir Hekmati

Amir Hekmati

Press Statement
Victoria Nuland
Department Spokesperson, Office of the Spokesperson
Washington, DC
August 29, 2012

Today marks one year since Iranian authorities detained U.S. citizen Amir Hekmati. We are relieved that Iran’s Supreme Court overturned the death sentence verdict, but remain troubled by Mr. Hekmati’s lack of legal rights and Iran’s continued refusal to allow consular access by Swiss authorities, the United States’ protecting power in Iran.

Mr. Hekmati now has spent a year in prison on charges that are categorically false, and he endured a closed-door trial with little regard for fairness and transparency. We remain concerned over reports of Mr. Hekmati’s health condition in prison and urge the Iranian Government to release him so that he may be reunited with his family.

Source : US Department Of State
http://www.state.gov/r/pa/prs/ps/2012/08/197000.htm

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _


UPDATE : New York Times, July 10 2013

Hopes Rise for Appeal of Ex-Marine Held in Iran
By By RICK GLADSTONE
New York Times, July 10 2013

Prison life has markedly improved in recent weeks for Amir Hekmati, the former Marine incarcerated for nearly two years in Iran on spying accusations. His sister said he was now allowed weekly visits from three Iranian relatives, books, daily exercise and a regular correspondence of letters with family in the United States.

His sister, Sarah Hekmati, who shared two of the letters, said Mr. Hekmati was also attending Persian language classes in Evin Prison in Tehran and had started to teach English to fellow inmates. She said that the two uncles and an aunt who had visited him said he was sounding increasingly positive and optimistic.

“Even from his letters, he’s embraced this as a test, as a way of reshaping him,” Ms. Hekmati said Tuesday in a telephone interview. “He feels like he’s been productive.”

The improved circumstances, she said, strengthened the family’s hope that Iran’s judiciary, which threw out his original conviction for espionage but has not yet announced a retrial, would favorably review a legal appeal for his release prepared by Mr. Hekmati’s Iranian counsel.

“Our relatives on the ground say people are optimistic,” Ms. Hekmati said.

It was unclear whether the eased prison conditions were related to the presidential elections in Iran last month, in which a moderate cleric, Hassan Rowhani, defeated his more conservative rivals. Mr. Rowhani, who has said he wants to find ways to improve Iran’s estranged relations with the United States, is scheduled to take office in early August.

There has also been speculation that Mr. Hekmati may be among the inmates in Iran’s penal system who are sometimes granted clemency or reduced sentences during Ramadan, the monthlong Muslim holiday that began Wednesday in Iran.

So far, however, there has been no word from the Iranian authorities on the disposition of Mr. Hekmati’s case, which has become something of an emotional cause in his home state, Michigan, and an additional source of Iranian-American tensions.

Mr. Hekmati learned during his incarceration that his father, a college professor in Flint, has brain cancer, which has made his relatives more anxious about when Mr. Hekmati might be freed.

Senator Carl Levin, the longtime Michigan Democrat, spoke on the Senate floor on June 12 calling for Mr. Hekmati’s release, noting that even Iran’s Supreme Court had found the evidence against him deeply flawed and that Iranian officials had yet to make clear what charges, if any, he might face.

Mr. Hekmati, who spent four years in the Marines and turns 30 on July 28, was arrested in August 2011, interrupting what his family has described as an innocuous visit with his grandmothers. He disappeared for three months, before the Iranian authorities paraded him in a heavily edited television broadcast as a C.I.A. spy.

He was tried and sentenced to be executed, but the verdict was overturned and in March 2012 a new trial was ordered.

Mr. Hekmati has remained in Evin Prison throughout, however, with little access to outside counsel. He spent many months in solitary confinement and went on a hunger strike.

His family has said conditions began to improve only this past March, when an uncle was allowed to visit for the first time and Mr. Hekmati was permitted to send a few letters home, in which he apologized for having caused his family so much angst.

Until a few weeks ago, his sister said, Mr. Hekmati had been receiving visits just once a month from the uncle, their mother’s brother. Now, she said, he is receiving visits every Monday, and the visitors included his father’s brother and sister.

In one of his recent letters to their mother that Ms. Hekmati shared, he sought to reassure the family that he was doing well. “I am living a very healthy life here,” he wrote. “There are very good people here. In regards to food we have everything we need. I attend language classes and I exercise daily. Please forgive me for being a source of your worries.”

He also wrote, “I have a good feeling that this situation will be resolved soon, God willing.”

Mr. Hekmati described his anguish over his father’s cancer and beseeched him to “stay strong and do not worry about me at all.”

SOURCE: THE NEW YORK TIMES
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/07/11/world/middleeast/hopes-rise-for-appeal-of-ex-marine-held-in-iran.html?_r=1&

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UPDATE CNN MARCH 8 , 2013

Family pleads for release of former Marine imprisoned in Iran
By Elise Labott

A year ago this week, an Iranian court threw out the death penalty conviction of a former U.S. Marine accused of spying and ordered a retrial.

After the death sentence was overturned, his family in Michigan held out hope Amir Hekmati would be released.

Instead, he has spent the past year in solitary confinement at Iran's notorious Evin Prison.

Hekmati was detained by Iranian authorities in August 2011 during a two-week visit to see his grandmother. Iranian authorities accused him spying on behalf of the CIA, a charge the family and the Obama administration deny.

Born in Arizona and raised in Nebraska before settling in Flint, Michigan, with his family, Hekmati joined the Marines out of high school. He finished his service four years later as a decorated combat veteran for tours in Iraq.

Afterward, he worked as a contractor as an Arabic translator and helped to train troops with cultural sensitivity.

Ramy Kurdi, who is married to Hekmati's eldest sister, said in an interview that his brother-in-law was honest with the Iranian Interest Section in Washington about his service when he applied for a visa.

"He told his mom, 'I have nothing to hide.' And after he disclosed this to the Iranians, they told him he would be welcomed in Iran and would have no problem," Kurdi said.

His family followed instructions by the Iranian government to remain silent about his arrest and suggested his release could come in a few months.

Three months later, in December, Hekmati appeared on Iranian state television maintaining he was sent to Iran by the CIA, a performance Kurdi said was a forced confession made under duress.

Although Hekmati's death sentence, imposed after a closed-door trial, was overturned and set for retrial, there have been no new legal proceedings and the government has not been communicating with the family.

"To have the death sentence overturned is a great victory, but for him to continue to be punished for something when the court said there is not enough evidence is so painful for us to deal with as a family," Kurdi said.

In January 2012, the Iranian government permitted Hekmati's mother to visit him in prison, but kept her from her son during two subsequent visits. Repeated requests by the family for his court-appointed lawyer to visit him have been denied.

Evin Prison is where American hikers Sharah Shourd, Shane Bauer and Josh Fattal were imprisoned on charges of spying after crossing the Iran-Iraq border in July 2009 before ultimately being released. Bauer and Fattal were released two days after Hekmati's arrest.

Recently, Hekmati was moved out of solitary confinement to the general prison population, after a month-long hunger strike which left him unconscious and needing medical treatment. An uncle who lives in Iran was able to visit him in prison last month.

His family is concerned about Hekmati's heath, but is also in a race against the clock to get him home with his father, a biology professor who is battling terminal cancer. Hekmati does not know about his father's illness.

"We have no idea how much longer his father has," Kurdi said. "We just hope how ever long he has he gets to enjoy it with his whole family, with Amir home."

The family is hoping Hekmati can be released as a humanitarian gesture for the Persian New Year on March 20.

"Our family is not political," Kurdi said. We are Americans. Amir is an American citizen. We are not trying to involve ourselves in the politics between Iran and the U.S."

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UPDATE HUFFINGTON POST 5 MARCH , 2013

TEHRAN, Iran — Iran's Supreme Court has ordered the retrial of an ex-U.S. Marine who was sentenced to death on charges of working for the CIA, a news agency reported Monday.

The case has added even more tension to U.S.-Iran relations, as Washington and its allies press ahead with sanctions over Iran's contentious nuclear development program, and Iran threatens punishing retaliation if it is attacked.

Amir Hekmati, 28, was sentenced to death in January, the first American to receive a death penalty since the 1979 Islamic Revolution in Iran. Hekmati was born in Arizona. His parents are of Iranian origin.

Iran accuses Hekmati of receiving special training while serving at U.S. military bases in Iraq and Afghanistan before heading to Iran for an intelligence mission.

In December, Iran broadcast a video on state television in which Hekmati was shown delivering a purported confession and said he was part of a plot to infiltrate Iran's intelligence agency.

The U.S. government and his family have denied the charges against Hekmati.

On Monday, the semiofficial Isna news agency said the case would be retried.

The report quoted state prosecutor Gholam Hossein Mohseni Ejehei as saying, "There was an appeal on his verdict. The Supreme Court found shortcomings in the case and sent it for review by an equivalent branch" in the court system.

The report did not elaborate.

Last month Hekmati's mother visited him in prison and met with Iranian officials. Some saw this as a sign that Iran might show moderation in the case.

A lawyer for the family, Pierre Prosper, welcomed word of the retrial. Prosper said he is "waiting for official confirmation, but we are pleased with reports coming out of Tehran."

Prosper said the family is looking forward to working with the Iranian government. The lawyer said an appeal has been in the works and progress in the case may be unrelated to the escalating pressure on Iran over its nuclear program.

Dawud Walid, executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations' Michigan chapter, described the news of the new trial "as a positive development." His organization sent a letter in January appealing for clemency to Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Iran's supreme leader.

"We're hopeful that Mr. Hekmati will get a fair trial with transparency," Walid said.

A previous incident involving Americans in Iran was resolved, but only after two years.

In 2009, three U.S. citizens were detained along the Iraq border. The three said they crossed the border unintentionally during a hike. They, too, were charged with espionage, but there were no specific allegations of CIA ties and training as in the case of Hekmati.

The three were sent to prison. One was released for medical reasons and the other two were freed last September, in deals involving bail payments brokered by Oman, which has good relations with both Iran and the U.S.

__

National Security writer Anne Gearan in Washington and Jeff Karoub in Detroit, Mich. contributed to this report.

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UPDATE 9 January , 2013

Today marks the 500th day Amir
has been a prisoner in Iran.

Source : Free Amir Hekmati
https://www.facebook.com/FreeAmirHekmati?fref=ts

Update OCTOBER 10, 2012

Family of Former Marine Jailed In Iran Pleads for Prisoner’s Freedom:

http://www.theworld.org/2012/10/marine-jailed-iran/

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Update September 25 , 2012

FreeAmirwebstream:

Amir Hekmati went missing in Iran over a year ago. These are the pieces to the puzzle that have been discovered so far. This is our campaign dedicated to bringing him home.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OgpYNWezA4c&feature=plcp

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Update September 24 , 2012

M Live Sunday, September 23, 2012
By Roberto Acosta

NOVI, MI – Ali Hekmati laid in a hospital bed Sunday afternoon, his wife standing by his side, with a sign stating “Get Well Soon Baba Joon” from his daughter's two grandchildren.

Ali and wife Behnaz Hekmati, of Flint Township, have made the room into a makeshift home for several days, following a hemorrhage in Ali’s head and removal of a tumor Wednesday at Providence Park Hospital in Novi.

During his time before surgery, Behnaz and her daughter Leila Hekmati, said Ali kept asking for one thing: Amir Hekmati.

Amir Hekmati was jailed in Iran on Aug. 29, 2011, two weeks after he traveled to the country to visit his grandmother that helped raise him and other family members.

The family hopes their pleas for Amir’s return home to care for his family will be heard during a scheduled visit this week by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to the United Nations General Assembly in New York.

LINK : https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=414097481972498&set=a.161698443879071.31733.160217554027160&type=1&theater

Update : July 27, 2012

Family of ex-Marine held in Iran has little news

The family of an ex-U.S. Marine sentenced to death for spying in Iran said Friday that members have received little information about his case months after a new trial was reportedly ordered.

Amir Hekmati was accused of working for the CIA and sentenced to death in January, the first American to receive a death penalty since the 1979 Islamic Revolution in Iran. His family and the U.S. government have denied the allegations.

The semiofficial ISNA news agency reported in March that Iran's Supreme Court ordered a retrial for Hekmati.

His family released a statement Friday saying it had received "little and confusing information" about his case since then. The statement also noted that Saturday is his 29th birthday and included a prayer that he would be "given the strength to endure."

"While it is still unclear to us what is happening, we hope a decision is made soon and you are allowed to come home to your family," the statement said. "We continue to believe there is a terrible misunderstanding."

Iran has accused Hekmati of receiving special training while serving at U.S. military bases in Iraq and Afghanistan before heading to Iran for an intelligence mission. In December, Iran broadcast a video on state television in which Hekmati was shown delivering a purported confession, saying he was part of a plot to infiltrate Iran's intelligence agency.

Hekmati was born in Arizona and grew up in Michigan, where his father Ali Hekmati teaches at Mott Community College in Flint. His parents are of Iranian origin.

"Your birthday is particularly difficult for mom _ a reminder of when her first son was born, and your twin sister, who shares this special day," the statement said.

SOURCE : Globe Gazette


Update 2012-03-05

Iranian Court Annuls Death Sentence For Amir Hekmati American Accused of Spying

Tehran, Iran (CNN) -- An Iranian court has canceled the death sentence for an American accused of espionage in Iran, semi-official news agencies there reported Monday.

Iran's intelligence ministry sentenced Amir Mirzaei Hekmati to death in January, but the nation's Supreme Court annulled that sentence, ISNA news agency reported Monday.

The overturned verdict means that a lower court will review the case, Fars news agency said, citing Iran's attorney general.

Another lower court previously had convicted the 28-year-old of "working for an enemy country," as well as membership in the CIA and "efforts to accuse Iran of involvement in terrorism," the news agencies have reported.

The status of his case was not immediately clear Monday.

The U.S. State Department has strongly condemned his conviction.

"Allegations that Mr. Hekmati either worked for or was sent to Iran by the CIA are simply untrue," department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said earlier this year. "The Iranian regime has a history of falsely accusing people of being spies, of eliciting forced confessions, and of holding innocent Americans for political reasons."

Hekmati's family also denies the allegations.
Hekmati was arrested in August while visiting his grandmother and other relatives, his family in Michigan said.

The Hekmatis said their son served in the U.S. Marines from 2001 to 2005. Later, he started his own linguistics company and contracted his services to the military as well as civilian businesses.

His military contracts included cultural competency training. He worked with troops at military bases to promote understanding and positive communication with people of other cultures, his family said.

Update 2012-01 -10 Amir Mirzaie Hekmati, an American sentenced to death in Iran for espionage.

Iranian state television aired what it called a "confession" by 28-year-old Amir Hekmati over the weekend. His family said Tuesday that he was arrested in August while visiting his grandmother and other relatives in Iran, and that his statement had to have been coerced.

The Arizona-born, Michigan-raised Hekmati joined the Marines in August 2001, after high school. His four-year hitch included an assignment to the Defense Language Institute in Monterey, California, and a six-month deployment in Iraq in 2004, according to U.S. military records.

In 2006, after leaving the service, he started his own linguistics company and began offering his services as an English-to-Arabic translator, according to Michigan incorporation records. He contracted his services to the military as well as civilian businesses, offering training in cultural competency and working with troops at military bases to promote understanding of and positive communication with people of other cultures, his family said.

In 2010, he spent five months working as a research manager for defense contractor BAE, company spokesman Brian Roehrkasse told CNN. And Condon said Hekmati recently worked for a company that produced language-training material for the U.S. military.

The United States and Iran have no direct diplomatic relations, but Hekmati's family said he made the trip after obtaining permission from the Iranian Interests Section of the Pakistani Embassy in Washington. The interests section has not responded to CNN requests for comment.

News of Hekmati's detention is the latest turn in a series of allegations of espionage and plotting between Washington and Tehran, following the capture of a U.S. surveillance drone by Iran, Iranian claims to have arrested a dozen CIA spies and U.S. allegations that Iran sought to kill Saudi Arabia's ambassador to the United States.

Hekmati's family said that after his August 29 arrest, Iranian officials told them to remain silent "with the promise of an eventual release," but they went public after Iranian television aired the accusations and Hekmati's statement on Sunday.

View petition

222. VNHumanRights

We, overseas Vietnamese who are struggling for a democratic and free Vietnam, respectfully submit this petition to request the U.S. Congress, the United Nations, and all NGO’s Humanitarian entities to urge the Communist Vietnam to unconditionally release all innocent people whose only “crimes” is to love their Motherland Vietnam.

View petition

223. Extend statute of limitations for TBI survivors

TBI (Tramatic Brain Injury) survivors face difficult and challenging conditions and situations and often endure physical disabilities as well.

TBI which can happen to anyone, at any age, through millions of different occurrences (car/motorcycle accidents, medical malpractice, work related injuries, etc.) and it changes a person's life and their families' lives as well forever.

However, at the time that a person suffers a TBI, it can take years of recovery to fully comprehend the severity of this drastic life-changing event. Because of this, the statute of limitations should be extended for TBI victims/survivors by doubling the standard time frame.

Extending of the statute of limitations is deemed necessary to ensure TBI victims who had been denied access to the courts, due to their disability, were given a chance to pursue their legal claims against the responsible party.

View petition

224. No F1 in brutal Bahrain

The 2011 Bahraini uprising, sometimes called the February 14 Revolution is a series of demonstrations, amounting to a sustained campaign of civil resistance, in the Persian Gulf country of Bahrain.

As part of the revolutionary wave of protests in the Middle East and North Africa following the self-immolation of Mohammed Bouazizi in Tunisia, the Bahraini protests were initially aimed at achieving greater political freedom and equality for the majority Shia population, and expanded to a call to end the monarchy of King Hamad following a deadly night raid on 17 February against protesters at the Pearl Roundabout in Manama.

Protesters in Manama camped out for days at the Pearl Roundabout, which functioned as the centre point of protests there. After a month, the government requested troops and police from the Gulf Cooperation Council, which arrived on 14 March, and a day later, the king of Bahrain declared martial law and a three-month state of emergency.

The police response has been described as a "brutal" crackdown on peaceful and unarmed protestors, including doctors and bloggers. The police carried out midnight house raids in Shia neighborhoods, beatings at checkpoints, and denial of medical care in a campaign of intimidation. More than 2,929 people have been arrested, and at least four people have been returned dead after being detained in custody.

The Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry was established on 29 June 2011 by King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa to assess the incidents that occurred in the Kingdom during the period of unrest in February and March 2011 and the consequences of these events. The Commission reported its findings on 23 November 2011.

Well it's not SAFE for us and we want the world to put on the table the human rights FIRST not the money & the interests.

If the news about the return of F1 in the US passed you by, that could be because the most discussed issue of the recently released 2012 Formula One calendar was the inclusion of the Grand Prix of Bahrain.

Canceled in 2011, Bahrain is experiencing what some have called a “human rights” issue and others have leveled torture and other crimes at the hands of the ruling royal family’s government. The year 2011 has seen a series of challenges and human rights concerns in the Middle East.

The 2011 race was eventually canceled due to the political unrest in the nation kingdom but the government of Bahrain says it’s safe to come back and 2012 is looking fine. !!

1. Two protesters sentenced to death were convicted -under torture- of murdering two policemen in April. Bahrain's state-run news agency said the Cassation Court on Monday postponed their appeals' hearing until Jan9 2011

2. MEDICS' APPEAL POSTPONED UNTIL 9 JANUARY
The appeal hearing before a civilian court of 20 Bahraini health professionals sentenced by a military court has been postponed until 9 January.

The 20 health professionals were sentenced on 29 September 2011 to between five and 15 years in prison, by a military court, in connection with popular anti-government protests in February and March. On 28 November they attended the second hearing of their appeal before the High Criminal Court of Appeal. An Amnesty International delegation was present in court, as were delegations of other NGOs and foreign media.

3. The movement in Bahrain on 2011 started on Feb14 and this date was chosen because it was the tenth anniversary of a referendum in favour of the National Action Charter of Bahrain.[43] Bahraini youths described their plans as an appeal for Bahrainis "to take to the streets on Monday 14 February in a peaceful and orderly manner" in order to rewrite the constitution and to establish a body with a "full popular mandate to investigate and hold to account economic, political and social violations, including stolen public wealth, political naturalisation, arrests, torture and other oppressive security measures, [and] institutional and economic corruption."[1] They referred to the uprisings in Tunisia and Egypt as motivations for their appeal.

So it's expected to have another protests on that date again.

Finally,
Bahrain admits using 'excessive force' during protests
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-15825542

And after days,,
Torture Used on Protesters in Bahrain, Report Says
http://www.nytimes.com/2011/11/24/world/middleeast/report-details-excessive-force-used-against-bahrain-protests.html?_r=1&pagewanted=all

Formula One supremo Bernie Ecclestone remains hopeful that the Bahrain GP will go ahead in 2012, but admits he may have to change his mind if definitive evidence of human rights abuses came to light.
http://www.planet-f1.com/driver/18227/7370398/Bernie-eyes-drama-free-Bahrain-GP

View petition

225. Stop Treating People With Disabilities Like Second Class Citizens

While growing up, Ias a disabled person, experienced quite a few 'differences' in my education because of my apparatus (a wheelchair & walker). I was treated like an outsider by my classmates and a bother by 2 or 3 of the faculty members . College was surprizingly similar...

I would like to propose a change in the way society looks at people with disabilities. We are not to be stared at by little children, forced to use entrances at the sides or back of buildings, or be labeled as mentally deficient or diseased.

I'd like to see an education system in which children are taught about disabilities and accept people with them.

View petition

226. Re-instate lichtieforlife as a member of Pie and Bovril

I have a dream that one day this forum will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal."

I have a dream that one day on the slopes of general nonsense, the sons of former banned members and the sons of former moderators will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood.

I have a dream that one day even pie and bovril, a site sweltering with the heat of injustice, sweltering with the heat of oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice.

I have a dream that lichtieforlife will one day post on a site where he will not be judged by the stupidity of his questions but by the quality of his trolling.

I have a dream today.

View petition

227. Free Alaa Abd El Fattah

Egyptian activist, blogger, and software developer Alaa Abd El Fattah who played a major part in the Egyptian revolution, has been unlawfully detained, after voluntarily responding to a summoning by a military prosecutor, since 30 October 2011.

Refusing to recognise the validity of the interrogation, or the military prosecutor questioning him, Alaa was faced with charges including inciting violence and theft of weapons, despite unquestionable evidence to contradict. Alaa's silence also stemmed from his belief in the huge part the military played in the killing of peaceful protesters in that particular incident.

Following an international campaign against military trials for civilians, Field Marshal Tantawi, Egypt's interim leader, ordered the case to be transferred from a military prosecutor to the State Security Court.

Expected to have been released this week, Alaa's case was rejected by an Appeals Court and The High State Security Court has added the charge of premeditated murder with the intention of committing an act of terrorism to the list of the charges he is facing.

Many believe Alaa's detention is a tactful mind game played by the military council to scare off other Egyptian activists for whom Alaa seemed embody the true spirit of the great Egyptian revolution.

His wife, Manal Hassan, is expected to give birth to their first son, Khaled, this week.

View petition

228. FREE Kobra Banazadeh Amirkhizi

Kobra Amirkhizi has undergone an eye operation in Labafinejad Hospital. She was then returned to Evin prison following this surgery. Because of the insanitary condition in prison, this political prisoner is in danger of acquiring an eye infection. However, prison officials refuse to acknowledge such a possibility.

According to reports from the women's ward in Evin prison, Kobra Banazadeh Amirkhizi, 56, was sentenced to five years of prison and exile to Gohardasht Prison in Karaj by the 28th branch of the mullahs’ judiciary.

Ms. Amirkhizi, from a distinguished family in Tehran that has had a number of its members executed by the mullahs’ regime, is mother to a resident of Camp Ashraf in Iraq, where some 3,500 members of the main Iranian opposition group, the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK). Ms. Kobra Banazadeh Amirkhizi, who had suffered from bleeding in one of her eyes, is in serious danger of losing her eyesight.

She had been denied medical treatment in Evin prison. She was sentenced on May 11 by Moqseyi aka Naserian in the 28th branch of the so-called Revolutionary Court. Naserian was a member of the "death committee" responsible for the massacre of political prisoners in 1988. Ms. Kobra Banazadeh Amirkhizi was among family members of Ashraf residents who on Friday afternoon, January 16, 2009, were arrested at Tehran airport on their way to Iraq to visit their relatives in Ashraf.

The majority of those arrested were women between 60 to 80 years of age, and have been violently beaten by agents of the Ministry of Intelligence and Security.

View petition

229. ASK UNITED NATIONS TO RECOGNIZE PARENTAL ALIENATION AS VIOLENCE AND ABUSE

Professionals in different disciplines identified and defined Parental Alienation as the pervasive practice of one divorcing parents against the other parent to destroy the relationship of the targeted parent with his or hers children. This is usually done with intent to gain financial benefits in court.

Since 1989, the year that The Convention on the Child entered in force, a more pernicious form of Parental Alienation has permated global societies. States and their governments initiated, developed and sustain a persecution of parents to separate them from their children in order to comply with the yearly resolutions suggested by NGOs to the Committee on the Rights of the Child. Those resolutions are never contested by Nations and are accepted blindfolded.

Children welfare agencies are heartlessly taken children away from their homes and parents, grandparents and family under the most unreasonable and heinous excuses to give them away to foster and adoption places.

This absurd cruelty and brutality has to stop now!

View petition

230. Free journalist Amirali Allamehzadeh

Jailed journalist released in Tehran
Thu, 12/22/2011

Journalist Amirali Allamehzadeh has been released after 95 days in Evin Prison.

The Human Rights House of Iran reports that Allamehzadeh was released on Wednesday on bail.

He was arrested in September in Tehran and transferred to Section 2-Aleph of Evin Prison, which is under the supervision of Revolutionary Guards.

Allamehzadeh’s family and the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran had expressed grave concern for his well-being during his detention, and his sister has said he was being pressured to make false confessions.

Ever since the controversial 2009 presidential elections in Iran, journalists have been repeatedly targeted for persecution, arrests and imprisonment.

source : Radio Zamaneh

-----------------------------------------------------------

Jailed journalist Amirali Allamehzadeh is being subjected to grave pressure in prison, his sister has told the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran.

Zeynab Allamehzadeh reported: “We want his case to proceed through the normal legal procedures because, from the way my brother talks to us, we realize that his situation is not good.”

Previously, the campaign had cited another source close to the jailed journalist saying that he is “under pressure and torture to make false confessions.”

His sister reported that lately he has been urging his family to get him a lawyer as soon as possible.

Amirali Allamehzadeh was arrested in Tehran in September and has been held ever since in the Revolutionary Guards section of Evin Prison.

Zeynab Allamehzadeh says: “My brother has been in solitary confinement for more than 74 days, which is a torture in and of itself.” She added that in all that time, the prisoner’s family has not been informed of any charges against him. He has reportedly been allowed brief visits with his family, during which they are not allowed to discuss his case.

The International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran has expressed deep concern about Allamehzadeh’s situation and called on authorities to honour his right to due process.

View petition

231. Immediate & Unconditional Release of Reza Shahabi

UPDATE 2013- 11- 08

DOCUMENT - IRAN: JAILED TRADE UNIONIST’S HEALTH AT RISK: REZA SHAHABI

UA: 306/13 Index: MDE 13/043/2013 Iran
Date: 7 November 2013
URGENT ACTION: jailed trade unionist’s health at risk.

Iranian trade unionist Reza Shahabi, held in Tehran’s Evin Prison, is in urgent need of medical care that he cannot obtain in prison. He is serving a six-year prison sentence. Reza Shahabi is a prisoner of conscience who must be released immediately and unconditionally.

Reza Shahabi (also known as Reza Shahabi Zakaria), treasurer of the Union of Workers of the Tehran and Suburbs Bus Company (Sherkat-e Vahed), was taken to Imam Khomeini Hospital outside of Evin Prison on 19 October 2013 for severe back pain and numbness in his left foot. He has had chronic back pain since surgery was performed on his spine in May 2012 and he has received “injections” from prison medical officials for the pain, though the underlying condition appears to have not been treated.

Hospital doctors concluded Reza Shahabi required care outside of prison and said that without further treatment he may suffer paralysis on the left side of his body. Doctors have written to the prison administration and the office of the Prosecutor of Tehran of their diagnosis that Reza Shahabi requires medical care outside of prison.

Reza Shahabi has previously gone on several hunger strikes in protest at the Iranian authorities’ treatment of him and other prisoners, including denial of medical leave. He ended a 22-day hunger strike on 7 January 2013 before being released on medical leave in protest at the Iranian authorities’ denial of his repeated requests for leave. His medical leave ended on 15 April 2013. Medical leave is temporary release from prison for medical treatment.

Reza Shahabi is serving a six-year prison sentence in Section 350 of Evin Prison after being convicted in April 2012 of “gathering and colluding against state security” and “spreading propaganda against the system” by Branch 15 of the Revolutionary Court of Tehran, charges connected to his trade union activities. He has also been fined 70 million rials (US$5,700) and banned from all trade unionist activities for five years. In July 2012 Branch 36 of Tehran’s Appeal Court upheld his sentence.

Source : Amnesty International
http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/asset/MDE13/043/2013/en/356c2a01-62f0-4f00-8fd9-de6058958611/mde130432013en.html

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UPDATE Iranhrc 13 08 2013

Trade unionist Reza Shahabi in strike on medical treatment in jail.

According to Südwind journalist,Vandad Oladiazimi, Reza Shahabi,a member of director's board of the drivers' trade union of great Tehran and it's Suburb,who has been imprisoned on political charges since June 2010, is refusing medical treatment to protest against the prevention of treatment in hospital, his poor medical care, insolence of the prison's medical doctor and abuse by prison guards against him at the Evin prison.

According to reports from inside the prison,Shahabi 's condition is deteriorating rapidly, but the prison authorities and attorney general–despite other published news-deny him a medical leave from prison.

Reza Shahabi, who was,the treasurer of the Syndicate of Workers of Tehran and Suburbs Bus Company labor union in Tehran, Iran's capital, suffers from back and neck pain. At the time being he is numb from the neck down and need to be examined and treated by a neurologist.

Source : Iranhrc

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UPDATE : Hrana 20th July, 2013

Six political prisoners started hunger strike in Evin

HRANA News Agency – 6 political prisoners of ward 350 of Evin prison have started hunger strike opposing the transfer of Said Matinpour to the solitaries of ward 240.

According to a report by Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA), Reza Shahbi Zakaria, Fereydun Seydi Rad, Soroush Sabet, Said Haeri, Vahid Ali Gholipour and Said Jalalifar have started hunger strike to protest against the transfer of Said Matinpour to the solitaries of ward 240 of Evin prison.

These political prisoners have said in a short message: “Because Said Matinpour has been transferred to the solitaries of ward 240 without any acceptable reason. We announce that we want him to benefit the health treatment and specially furlough and since transferring him to the solitary in with no acceptable reason and we are worried about his health condition so much, we start our hunger strike from Thursday July 18, 2013 till he is brought back to the ward 350.”

These prisoners say he is suffering from severe back pain due to spinal curvature, drive back and stomach ache.

Source : Hrana
https://hra-news.org/en/six-political-prisoners-started-hunger-strike-in-evin

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Deteriorating health of jailed labor activist Reza Shahabi #Iran

CHRR 17 July 2013

Committee of Human Rights Reporters – Jailed labor activist Reza Shahabi’s health is plunging behind bars as prison officials refuse to grant furlough for his medical needs. The treasurer of Union of Workers of the Tehran and Suburbs Bus Company (Sherkat-e Vahed) has said he will resort to going on hunger strike in protest.

Mahmoud Salehi, labor activist and spokesperson for Committee to Defend Reza Shahabi in Iran, said in an interview with CHRR, “Mr. Reza Shahabi has been in very poor health since his return behind bars from furlough. He is in excruciating pain in his neck area, suffers from a cervical and spine injury, and has dangerous fluctuations in his blood pressure. Despite all of this, he has not been seen by a specialist physician while behind bars. He and his family have made numerous requests for him to be transferred to a hospital to receive necessary care, but to no avail. The officials just take him to the Evin prison infirmary as an outpatient and give him pain medication.”

Salehi was asked about the types of pain medication that are administered to Reza Shahabi behind bars. “The physicians employed in the infirmaries of Iran’s prisons are general practitioners. Since most prisoners are non-political, the GP’s just to the minimum needed to get the prisoners out of the infirmary and there is no separation of political or criminal prisoners. They usually just give the prisoners pain killers and sleeping pills because they are not specialists and don’t have access to any other type of medication.”

Mahmoud Salehi, labor activist and former political prisoner, made a request that Reza Shahabi be transferred to a hospital with specialized care and not be taken to a public facility that is not capable of handling Shahabi’s medical needs.

CHRR asked the spokesperson for Committee to Defend Reza Shahabi about the possibility of another hunger strike. “We have made a request to Mr. Shahabi that he refrain from going on another hunger strike. However we cannot make decisions for a prisoner because we are free and not behind bars; we cannot fully know the circumstances that the prisoner is faced with in prison. Only the prisoner profoundly suffers the experience, faces the difficulties and endures the hardships.”

In ending Mahmoud Salehi while expressing his deep worry for Reza Shahabi said, “At the very least I hope a new case file is not generated for Mr. Shahabi with the excuse that he had a leave of absence, so that he can finally receive his crucial medical care after the end of his prison term in [late March 2014].

Source : CHRR
http://chrr.biz/spip.php?article21411

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UPDATE CHRR April 17 , 2013

Reza Shahabi returned to prison.

Committee of Human Rights Reporters – Labor activist Reza Shahabi returned behind bars in Evin prison with the ending of his medical furlough.

According to CHRR, Reza Shahabi, treasurer of Union of Workers of the Tehran and Suburbs Bus Company (Sherkat-e Vahed), who was granted medical furlough on January 7, 2013 due to his deteriorating health, returned to prison on Monday April 15th.

Reza Shahabi was inflicted with serious health problems while he was held in custody including dangerous fluctuations of his blood pressure and a severe cervical and spine injury. He embarked on several hunger strikes in prison in protest of being banned from needed medical attention an medical furlough.

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UPDATE 8 JANUARY 2013

Labour activist ends prison hunger strike
Radio Zamaneh Tue, 01/08/2013

Jailed Iranian labour activist Reza Shahabi has ended his hunger strike after 23 days, after he was given a five-day furlough by Evin Prison authorities.

The Committee in Defence of Reza Shahabi reports that the executive member of the Tehran transit drivers union was released late on the night of Monday January 7.

Reza Shahabi has been under arrest since June 2009 and was sentenced to six years in jail for his labour activities.

He began a hunger strike 23 days ago to protest his mistreatment in prison and the lack of proper medical attention for his conditions.

He is suffering from neck and spine complications that may lead to paralysis.

Many international labour organizations spoke out in support of Shahabi, urging the Iranian government to release him.

UPDATE 7 JANUARY 2013

Hunger-striking activist attracts international concern

Radio Zamaneh Mon, 01/07/2013

Twenty days into a hunger strike by jailed Iranian labour activist Reza Shahabi, labour organizations in various countries have expressed concern regarding Shahabi’s health.

The Committee in Defence of Reza Shahabi has issued a statement to report on the condition of the jailed executive member of Tehran’s Vahed Company transit drivers’ union. The statement reports: “Reza Shahabi is in very bad health after two and a half years of prison, interrogations and abuse and is in immediate need of medical treatment and relief.”

It goes on to add: “The only effective solution in this situation is the immediate release of Reza Shahabi and his hospitalization in a well-equipped institution.”

Reza Shahabi has been on hunger strike since December 17. He has been refusing food and medicine in protest against his mistreatment by prison authorities and demanding that he receive medical treatment outside of prison facilities.

The Committee in Defence of Reza Shahabi reports that labour organizations in France, UK, Denmark, the U.S. and Canada have written letters of support for Shahabi, demanding the authorities take responsibility for the jailed labour activist’s health.

On Tuesday, the Shahabi family gave the authorities a documented application calling for the release of Shahabi, but so far the authorities have not responded.

Shahabi was sentenced to six months in jail and a five-year ban from union activities. He is suffering from great pain due to neck and spine injuries and has been hospitalized on several occasions during his prison term.

UPDATE 19 DECEMBER 2012

Reza Shahabi, Iranian Imprisoned labor Activist Begins Hunger Strike

HRANA News Agency – Reza Shahabi, an Iranian labor leader imprisoned since June 2010, went on hunger strike on 17 Dec 2012 to protest against mistreatment by jail guards as well as prevention of his medical treatment by the judicial authorities.

According to a report by Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA), Reza Shahabi's physical conditions have deteriorated. He has announced that he will refuse taking his medication and eating food until he is allowed to be transferred to a hospital outside prison for complete treatment.

Update May 9 , 2012

Reza Shahabi (also known as Reza Shahabi Zakaria), the Treasurer of the Union of Workers of the Tehran and Suburbs Bus Company (Sherkat-e Vahed), has been detained in Evin Prison in the Iranian capital, Tehran, since June 2010. He is in poor health after numerous hunger strikes in protest at the conditions in which he is held. Since around February 2012, he has complained that one side of his body was numb.

However, it was not until 30 April that the prison authorities took him to hospital. It is not clear whether he is receiving adequate medical treatment.

SOURCE : Amnesty International

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UPDATE 14 April 2012

Reza Shahabi - trade unionist and a board member of Syndicate of Workers of Tehran -
is sentenced to 6 years imprisonment!

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Press Release: Reza Shahabi’s Condition Alarming
THURSDAY, 01 DECEMBER 2011

HRANA News Agency – The administrative office of Human Rights Activists in Iran has issued a press release to express concerns over Reza Shahabi’s condition in prison after this political prisoner began his hunger strike, and the news of his deteriorating health was reported.

Human Rights Activists in Iran has requested that the Special Rapporteur of the United Nations to pay immediate attention to this prisoner of conscience. Demanding immediate and unconditional release of the labor activist Reza Shahabi, this organization has also reminded the government of Iran that the freedom to form and participate in labor unions is an integral part of international obligations towards human rights.

Pointing out that the Islamic Republic of Iran has historically neglected the health and general wellbeing of political prisoners, Human Rights Activists in Iran has announced that this organization holds the government of Iran including the State Prisons System, the Judiciary Branch and the Intelligence Agency responsible for the health and life of Reza Shahabi.

This press release as published on the organization’s official web site contains the following:

Reza Shahabi is a labor activist and the board member of SWTSBC, the Syndicate of Workers of Tehran and Suburbs Bus Company. He was also previously in charge of the labor committee of Human Rights Activists in Iran. On Saturday, June 12, 2010, four security agents arrested Reza Shahabi at work around 10:00am. Since then, he has been in temporary custody in a legal state of limbo. On Tuesday, November 22, 2011, Reza Shahabi began his open ended hunger strike to protest against the present conditions under which he has been incarcerated.

The current hunger strike is just another form of objection in a series of attempts made by Reza Shahabi to protest against being imprisoned illegally. On May 25, 2011, Reza Shahabi appeared in the 15th branch of the Revolutionary Court in order to face charges filed against him. Although the presiding judge announced that a ruling would be issued within four days after the trial, Reza Shahabi still remains in a legal state of limbo indefinitely.

While locked up in Ward 209 of Evin Prison, Reza Shahabi has been in hunger strike several times in the past. He suffers from osteoarthritis, low blood pressure, and heart and liver problems. During his incarceration, the degenerative arthritis has resulted in the loss of control over the left side of his body such that physicians have strongly recommended immediate surgery for him.

Given Reza Shahabi’s serious medical problems threatening his life and the fact that there has been no news of him since he began his latest hunger strike, Human Rights Activists of Iran has become increasingly concerned about this political prisoner’s current condition.

Human Rights Activists of Iran announces that this labor activist has been in a legal state of limbo for nearly 18 months. According to Article 9, part 3 of International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, anyone arrested or detained on criminal charges shall be brought promptly before a judge and shall be entitled to a trial within a reasonable amount of time or must be released. Additionally, Article 32 of the Islamic Republic’s constitution strongly reiterates that the charges against an individual who has been detained must be formally given to him in writing, and within 24 hours, the initial case must be referred to the judicial officials in order to begin criminal proceeding as soon as possible.

Moreover, Reza Shahabi’s life has been endangered due to the lack of proper medical care during his incarceration. Such treatment is in violation of Article 22, Part II of Geneva Convention defining the rights of prisoners and Article 103 of the State Prisons System’s regulations requiring the availability of all necessary medical care to inmates who might have to be taken outside the prison to seek treatment.

Human Rights Activists in Iran hereby requests that the Special Rapporteur of the United Nations to pay immediate attention to this prisoner of conscience and his current condition. Human Rights Activists in Iran also demands immediate and unconditional release of the labor activist Reza Shahabi and reminds the government of Iran that the freedom to form and participate in labor unions is an integral part of international obligations towards human rights.

Since the Islamic Republic of Iran has historically neglected the health and general wellbeing of political prisoners, Human Rights Activists in Iran hereby holds the government of Iran including the State Prisons System, the Judiciary Branch and the Intelligence Agency responsible for the health and life of Reza Shahabi.

The Administrative Office of Human Rights Activists in Iran
November 29, 2011

http://www.en-hrana.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=585:press-release-reza-shahabis-condition-alarming&catid=2:statements&Itemid=4

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232. Support the Human Rights Pledge

On Dec 10, the international community will celebrate the day in 1948 that the United Nations General Assembly adopted and proclaimed the first ever global enunciation of human rights-- The Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

The UDHR consists of 30 articles expressing rights to which all human beings are entitled, regardless of citizenship, race, gender, sexual orientation, etc.

In honor of International Human Rights Day, we invite you to sign this petition, and make the pledge to support and uphold human rights to the best of your ability, in your own life and community.

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233. End the Hate! Stop the Bullying Worldwide!

Bullying. The term has been synonymous with school children and teens. This is not always so.

What happens when bullies graduate? They sometimes become even bigger social deviants. (spouse abusers, thieves, corrupted leaders, etc, etc...) That's not to say that all bullies become a problem for society.

Ever since the beginning, there has been depression, hatred, anger, sadness, illness, racism, personality disorders, poverty, and even death attributed to bullying. This is unacceptable! Bullying trends on the human rights of nearly every demographic on Earth.

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234. Help Australian Julian Assange

This petition is designed to put pressure on the Australian Government to encourage them to assist Julian Assange in regard to his current circumstances related to WikiLeaks in releasing sensitive information, the related sex charges and politically motivated attacks on him as an individual.

By collecting signatures on a petition we intend to demonstrate to the Australian Government of the large amount of support for Julian Assange. To show that people don't believe the political spin being used to try to discredit him and to justify the Australian Governments inaction.

Australian people expect their Government to support all of its Citizens and we want the government to know this.

Please watch this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T1q9eqhT5UM&feature=player_detailpage

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2011-11-03/assange-adviser-calls-for-australian-intervention/3616170

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/wikileaks/8866322/Julian-Assanges-lawyers-call-on-Australia-to-step-in-over-extradition.html

Supported by http://fleurcom.atspace.co.uk/Julian.htm

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235. FREE Iranian journalist Mehran Faraji

Another Iranian journalist sentenced to prison

Iranian journalist Mehran Faraji received a confirmed prison sentence from the appellate court today.

The International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran reports that Faraji’s six-month suspended sentence comes on top of a six-month jail term for “propaganda activities against the regime.” He was sentenced to one year in prison in the preliminary court.

According to the report, Faraji was held in solitary confinement throughout his arrest and was denied a defence attorney at court.

Faraji was arrested last December and released two months later on bail of $100,000.

Faraji has worked with several Iranian dailies as well as the Iranian Student News Agency (ISNA) and the Iranian Labour News Agency (ILNA).

In the past two years, many journalists have been arrested on similar charges and many have received stiff sentences.

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236. Free Mrs. Shin Sook Ja From North Korea's Gulag, Let Her And Her Daughters Go!

"She shouldnt die in North Korea. She should step on the soil of her hometown at least before she dies.”

Four friends of Shin Suk-ja, a South Korean woman being held at an infamous North Korean concentration camp, said this at an event on North Korean human rights in August, 2011.

Shin, 69, was born in Tongyeong, South Gyeongsang Province, and graduated from Tongyeong Elementary School and Tongyeong Girls’ Middle School. Fate took her to North Korea, and confirming whether she is dead or alive is deemed incredibly difficult.

Hosted by the Tongyeong branch of the National Unification Advisory Council, the event feature the Rev. Bang Su-yeol, who initiated the drive, and members of Tongyeong Hyundai Church.

"I couldn`t sleep after I learned that Suk-ja, the quiet and smart girl, is now in North Korea. Even if she`s dead, her two daughters should be sent back (to the South),” said Kim Sun-ja, Shin`s close friend in middle school, sobbingly.
Recalling her friend as a pretty girl with a small mole under her eye and a dimple, Kim apparently could hardly believe her friend was in the North, more specifically in a prison camp

After graduating from middle school, Shin went to Masan Nursing School in 1958, leaving her friends in Tongyeong behind. In the late 1960s, the Korean government sent her to Germany to work as a nurse.

She met Dr. Oh Gil-nam, who was studying economics in Germany, and married him there in 1975. The couple had two daughters.

Her family life began to fall apart when her husband was caught up in a plot involving North Korea in 1985. A North Korean agent who approached him said Pyongyang would offer him a professorship and top-flight medical care to Shin, who was injured in a car accident.

Spurring Oh to go to the North were Yun Isang, a composer from Tongyeong, and Song Du-yul, a South Korean scholar residing in Germany.

Shin objected, saying, "I can`t trust North Korea.” She failed to talk her husband out of going, however, and moved to the North with him.

Isolated from the outside world, they underwent brainwashing for three months after arriving in the Stalinist country. Oh was then assigned to work as a broadcast agent of the "Voice of National Salvation," a propaganda organ geared toward the South.

A year later, the North Korean leadership ordered him to bring South Korean couples studying in Germany. Shin then told her husband, “We have to pay the price for our wrong decision, but you shouldn`t follow an order that victimizes others and just run away. Our daughters shouldn`t become the daughters of hateful accomplices. If you escape this country, please rescue us but if you fail, believe that we`re dead."

Oh eventually escaped from the North but failed to rescue his family. Shin and their daughters were sent to the notorious Yodok prison camp in 1987.

He lived in Germany in secret but contacted composer Yun, who had a close relationship with Pyongyang back then, to ask for help to bring his family out of the North. Yun delivered to Oh letters from his family twice in 1987 and 1988.

In 1999, the composer brought a cassette tape with the voice of Oh`s wife and daughters and six family photos. Yun then said, "Since you betrayed North Korean founder Kim Il Sung, who was generous to you, your family should be held hostage. You should go back to the North again and be loyal to the regime."

Oh turned himself in to the South Korean Embassy in Berlin in 1992 and came to the South. He appealed to relevant organizations about his family`s plight but got few responses.

Nearly forgotten for two decades, Shin`s story received global attention again thanks to So Shin-hyang, the wife of the Rev. Bang. She learned of Shin`s story at a lecture on North Korean prison camps in a prayer service called the Esther Prayer Movement in 2009.

Sage Korea, a group promoting human rights in North Korea, proposed an exhibition titled, “There Is No Love; Exhibition on North Korean Prison Camps” in Tongyeong. The rescue drive began as the exhibition was held in May and June this year by adding the phrase, “Tongyeong`s daughter is there” to the title.

While information about the current situation of Mrs. Shin and her daughters is difficult to confirm, recent news appears to indicate that they are no longer in the brutal Yodok camp, but instead are currently interned at Won-hwa-ri near Pyongyang.

In North Korea, when a person is convicted of a "political" or ideological crime, up to three generations of that person's family can be imprisoned as well.

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237. End transgender discrimination

Transgender people are defined as people who feel they are a different gender than the sex they were born as. Job Corps is a job training facility where the students must live for 5 days a week day and night. At job corps the dormitories are separated by gender.

The current Job corps policy concerning transgender individuals is to place them in the dormitories that match their body parts.

This policy singles out transgender individuals and makes them a target for violence, bullying, and increases the likelihood of Suicide. It must be changed.

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238. Free Hamid Reza Khadem

Hamid Reza Khadem Serving His Sentence in Evin Prison

Political activist Hamid Reza Khadem, 34, reported to Evin Court in order to begin serving his four year prison sentence and has been locked up behind bars in Ward 350.

According to a report by Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA), on December 7, 2010, the fifteenth branch of the Revolutionary Court sentenced Hamid Reza Khadem to 5 years in prison on charges of conspiracy and propaganda against the regime. This sentence was later commuted to 4 years by the Appeals Court.

Hamid Reza Khadem was arrested after the presidential election in 2009. He is a member the Research Bureau of the National Front of Iran (Jebhe Meli).

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239. Prosecute Iraqi genocide charges in the International courts without delay

Our understanding was the genocide perpetrators in Iraq could be brought before an international court, so as the court verdicts could have shaped an international dimension and the offenses were approved according to the international standards.

Besides, the charges could have been implemented as emerged. Confined criminals will be a proper way to bring the big crimes to a halt.

During July 2007 the Iraqi high tribunal of crimes decided to detain and act against 423 of those accused, later on the Iraqi tribunal on August 10 2010 in a new outcome distributed arrest warrants to 258 individuals living in Kurdistan region, although some of the accused are now living in: Germany, Austria, Swiss, Holland, Briton…etc.

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240. Free Yaman Al Qadri, Syrian Medical Student Beaten and Held Incommunicado

Yaman Al Qadri, 19 year-old and a second year dermatology student at Damascus University, has been arbitrarily detained after she was severely beaten by security forces and armed government militia thugs (Shabeeha) in the guard gate of the University.

On 3 November 2011, an estimated 10 Syrian security agents viciously beat Yaman in front of her classmates at Damascus University, dragging her, throwing her into the walls, and brutally assaulting her. She was then forcibly taken along with a classmate to an unknown location. Her classmate was released an hour after the arrest but Yaman is still being held incommunicado.

Yaman faces grave danger and is at risk of torture, as the regime has systematically attacked health workers and professionals who are speaking up against repression and helping the injured.

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