Thursday, December 15, 2005

Sweden to cut Iran ties

Jerousalem Post:
The Swedish parliament ceased all bilateral contacts with the Iranian parliament Tuesday, The Jerusalem Post has learned. The move follows a letter Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin sent asking parliaments worldwide to express their support for Israel. The letter, which was sent to more than 80 parliaments, called for an international response to Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's call in October to "wipe Israel off the map." "In recent years Iran has not merely settled for verbal attacks on Israel, Zionism and the Jewish people. It has been unrelenting in its efforts to achieve nuclear military capability and has funded, supplied and provided operational guidance to several major terrorist organizations," Rivlin wrote in the letter. "I strongly feel that due to the severity of this statement, a worldwide parliamentary reaction is called for." The Speaker of the Swedish Parliament, Bjorn von Sydow, took immediate action based on Rivlin's letter. "Although being restricted by constitutional limitations to act in matters of foreign policies, I can assure you that I will use every opportunity I have to condemn such statements... I have made sure that we cease all bilateral contacts with the Iranian parliament," Sydow wrote in response on November 14. He ended the letter by asserting: "I am willing to defend the rights of Israel to exist as strongly as I defend the rights of my own country to exist." A spokesman for Sydow told the Post that the speaker sent a clear signal that parliamentarians should not engage in official bilateral exchanges with the Iranian legislature. Rivlin's letter was delivered to parliamentary heads around the globe on November 1 by various Israeli ambassadors. It has received a broad spectrum of responses, a Rivlin spokesman said. "Several parliaments, including Guatemala, Chile and Uruguay have passed resolutions condemning the Iranian remarks, but the Swedish government has given the strongest reaction," said Yaakov Levy, diplomatic advisor to Rivlin. "We would have liked all responses to be as strong as the Swedish response." Levy added that the letter was also sent to the parliaments of several Arab countries. The letter was sent as part of a new program launched by Rivlin to strengthen Israel's relationship with foreign parliaments, said Levy. The letter regarding Iran was the second letter Rivlin sent to parliamentary heads; the first discussed the disengagement. Relations between Israel and Sweden were strained last year following a visit by Swedish Foreign Minister Laila Freivalds. The FM took Israel to task for alleged violations of international law, saying Sweden's younger generation is troubled to see these violations on television.
Freivalds raised the issue in meetings with President Moshe Katsav and Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom, saying targeted killings, destruction of homes and construction of the security fence violate international law, which is the guidepost for Swedish policy.
Freivalds's visit came six months after former ambassador to Sweden Zvi Mazel wrecked a display at the Museum of National Antiquities in Stockholm which he felt glorified the suicide bomber who murdered 21 Israelis at the Maxim restaurant in Haifa last year.

Denounce Islamic Regime's "Minister of Murder" Visit of Greece

Dear Iranians, Dear World Freedom Lovers,
"Mustafa Poor-Mohamadi", Ahmanadinejad's Ministry of Interior, is going to participate in an "International Conference on Immigration" in the Greek City of Athens on the dates of December 15th & 16th.
Poor-Mohamadi is known for his key role in the execution and murder of thousands of Iranians inside and outside of Iran.
As the official representative of the Islamic Ministry of Intelligence, Poor-Mohamadi was one of the three decision makers in the wave of the 1988 political executions; And also, the coordinator of murders of tens of Iranian dissidents in major European countries, such as, France, Germany and United Kingdom.
The Human Rights Watch (HRW) qualifies him very correctly as a "Minister of Murder" and subject to investigation and arrest on the basis of "Crimes against Humanity".
Such unprecedented declaration has been made, by HRW, in a statement and detailed report dated December 14, 2005:
More than ever, it's the duty of anyone to protest against the presence of Poor-Mohamadi in a western country, such as, Greece and as a representative of the Iranian People.
Iranians are correctly believing that Poor-Mohamadi's place should be more in a Nuremberg style Justice Court rather than an International Conference on Immigration. His Nazi-Islamist regime has been a major source of Iranians' exodus rather than any positive contribution to Iranians or to the mankind.
I) Please contact the HRW and ask its officials to pursue Poor-Mohamadi for "Crimes against Humanity", as they did in the case of the Chilean Augusto Pinochet or very recently in the case of the Chadian Hassan Habre. Express your gratitude to Joe Stork and his entire group for their unprecedented statement dated December 14th.
1) HRW in New York/USA:
Fax: +1 (212) 736-1300
2) HRW in London/UK:
Fax: +44 (207) 713-1800
3) HRW in Geneva/Switzerland:
Fax: +41 (22) 738-1791
Don't forget to contact all the three above referenced offices due to the different time zones and the possibilities to act more quickly.
Coincidently, Poor-Mohamadi took the plane to Athens at the very same time that HRW issued its unprecedented report.
II) Contact HE Vassilios Skouris who's the President of the European Court of Justice, in Luxembourg, and ask the immediate arrest of Poor-Mohamadi for "Crimes against Humanity".
Fax: +352 4303-2600
III) Contact HE Anastasis P. Papaligouras, the Greek Ministry of Justice and ask the immediate arrest of Poor-Mohamadi.
Fax: +30 (210) 363-3222
Tel: +30 (210) 362-8440
Remember, Millions of oppressed Iranians are awaiting your responsible and prompt action!!!
Families of thousands of Poor-Mohamadi's victims have only you to express their outcry!!!
The World will live better when Nazi-Islamists like Poor-Mohamadi will face trial for murder, terror and tyranny!!!
With deepest gratitude,
The "Student Movement Coordination Committee for Democracy in Iran" (SMCCDI)

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Students slam repressive rule in Iran

December 13, 2005 Hundreds of students gathered, today, in Iranian universities, such as the Tehran College of Technology, in order to protest against the repressive rule in Iran. Slogans in favor of Freedom, Equality of Genders, Abolition of Political Offenses, Democracy and condemning the Theocratic rule were shouted by students. Many were carrying placards stating the same aspirations. Security forces were in number around the university and were blocking supporters to reach the students who behind closed doors were pictured and filmed by members of Herrasat (Intelligence) . Minor clashes happened between students and brutal Bassij paramilitary 'students' who tried to attack several female demonstrators. While some members of the docile and regime tolerated "Office of Consolidation Unity" (OCU) tried to highjack the protest gathering for their own purpose of promoting some so-called 'redempted' Islamist elements, the trend of the today's actions were showing a sharp radicalization of the students and the net _expression of secularist trend. It's to note that some former brutal Islamists have 'converted' in Democrat and even Secularist in order to surf on the popular aspirations and to benefit of a same scenario that played in Russia. Former KGB and Soviet Union leaders become suddenly democrats, under the applause of the World Community, in order to save looted interests. Some OCU elements have recently moved to the US and are being promoted by some American Think Tank institutions or ideologist journalists who are in a desperate quest for a kind of "Iran Solution" from a simple opportunistic point of view.

Monday, December 12, 2005

Italian court orders Iran asset freeze

Financial Times:
By Guy Dinmore in Washington Published: December 12 2005 23:22 | Last updated: December 12 2005 23:22 A court in Italy has ordered the freezing of an Iranian government account held in a Rome bank in what lawyers say represents an unprecedented legal victory for three US families seeking compensation from Iran for its alleged support of Palestinian suicide bombings that killed their relatives.
Lawyers and activists in Washington said their success in Italy was likely to be followed by similar cases against Iran in other courts in Europe and possibly Asia. The ruling could also open the floodgates to similar civil cases against the Islamic regime and other states accused by the US of sponsoring terror.
A civil court in Rome ordered Banca Nazionale del Lavoro (BNL) last week to freeze an account held by the Iranian government, drawing diplomatic protests from Tehran on the basis that Iran’s official accounts were protected by the Vienna Convention governing diplomatic relations.
“It’s not about blood money,” said Steven Flatow, a US lawyer from New Jersey whose daughter Alisa was killed by a Palestinian suicide bomber on a bus in Gaza in 1995. He told the Financial Times that the three families brought their case to demonstrate they had the power to deliver the message to Iran that it should stop supporting terrorist groups.
The other two US families involved sought compensation for Sara Duker and Matthew Eisenfeld, an engaged couple killed together by a Hamas suicide bomber on a Jerusalem bus in 1996.
The three families were the first to take advantage of a 1996 law that authorised Americans to sue for damages those nations designated by the US as sponsors of international terrorism.
The US courts accepted arguments that Iran had a direct role in both bombings through its support and training of the militant groups that claimed responsibility. In 1998 and 2000 the courts awarded damages of $374m plus interest. After wrangling with the Clinton administration, the three families shared about $56m taken from Iranian assets already frozen in the US.
They then took their case across the Atlantic to seek the balance and continue their campaign for justice.
Legal experts said the Rome court had adopted the rulings of the US courts. A further hearing is expected to determine how to award the frozen funds.
The Iranian government did not contest any of the US or Italian cases in court, but sought redress in direct contact with the capitals.
According to Italian reports, an Italian foreign ministry official wrote to the Rome court in an apparent effort to stop the freezing. But Gianfranco Fini, foreign minister, intervened on behalf of the Americans, according to Mr Flatow.
Senator Frank Lautenberg, a New Jersey Democrat who has followed the case closely, said: “Nations that sponsor terrorism like Iran need to stop hiding behind legal technicalities that help them evade accountability. Those who have suffered at the hands of these terrorists should not be denied justice.”

I am a criminal, please forgive me!

Marze Por Gohar:
The following is a translation conducted by MPG member Ebi Zaman of an article by Nima Rashedan. 1. Six years ago, I, Nima Rashedan, praised in one of the reformist publications Ayatollah Khomeini's style of ruling. Now, I announce clearly and loudly that I consider myself a "criminal". I apologize to you, millions of Iranians who each in some way are victims of Khomeini and his followers' atrocities. I apologize and hope you forgive me so at least I can sleep at nights. Alas, I AM a criminal because I did defend, even if only once, one of the greatest criminals of our time, Ruhollah Khomeini. And secondly, like many of the Islamic Republic's journalists and politicians, I sought to justify and or vindicate "Khomeini's crimes against humanity". I am a criminal because once and only once I defended Khomeini. Defending Khomeini means supporting his policies and I, like Mir Hossein Moussavi and Akbar Mohtashami have endorsed the Fatwa on Salman Rushdie's life. That means I AM a criminal. It means I have defended the events of the somber 60's: rape, torture and executions. I defended Khomeini, meaning I supported sending millions of untrained young men to the slaughter houses of west and south (Iran) only to continue the senseless war. I defended Khomeini, meaning I conceded to the fatwa to murder the radio announcer who compared Fatemeh to Ushin. I am a criminal, forgive me. I was only thirteen when Khomeini died and did not grasp the gravity of the situation. My defending Khomeini that one and only time is due to my believing the tales of first decade of the Islamic Revolution spun by "Mostafa Tajerzadeh, Saeed Hajjarian, Hadi Khaniki, Abbas Abdi, Ali-Reza Alavitabar, etc." I defended crime because I trusted what I read in the columns written by those who hailed Khomeini the "spear header of republicanism/freedom/democracy". There were no free access to news and information in those days. I caught another glimpse into the revolution later on - one from Ayatollah Montazeri's chronicles. Ayatollah HosseinAli Montazeri, Khomeini's closest disciple and living friend sights him as a criminal, not once but more than fifty times. HosseinAli Montazeri addressing Khomeini: "do you know that there are crimes being committed in the annals of Islamic Republic prisons, likes of which were never seen in the despised Shah's regime? Do you know that a significant number of prisoners have died under torture by their interrogators? Do you know that in some of Mashhad's prisons approximately 25 girls were penetrated with such objects that caused them to undergo hysterectomy? Do you know in some of Islamic Republic's prisons young women are brutally raped?" And Khomeini knew all of these. Karrubi, speaker of the parliament knows. Seyyed Mohammad Moussavi Khoiniha, the attorney general of the time knows, Prime Minister Mir Hossein Mussavi knows, Ali Rabii, Information Ministry's(3) top official knows, Saeed Hajjarian knows, Mohsen Armin Knows, Abdollah Noori, anyone and everyone knows. Instead of protest, they kiss the hand of the Imam, "the spear header of the republic" and conspire and virtually expel Montazeri and exile him into house arrest. Don't believe it? Read Rouhani, Karrubi and Imam Jamarani's letter, the key to the project to eliminate Montazeri; the project which ended with a bullet in Saeed Hajjarian's head. It is as if they do not believe what the wind sows, the storm shall reap. Saeed Hajjarian synthesized Khomeini-ville's broken down people in the Republic of Terror's dreadful Information Ministry. Seyyed Mohammda Khatami forcefully brought a young Taleb named Mehdi Nasiri from Qom to Kayhan Newspaper to pound Azari-Qomi, daily. Khomeini died! The Newly-Appointed-ville's downtrodden picked up a weapon and pointed it to his own creative brain. If you don't believe it, then take a gander at the "Asr-eh Ma" archives as it chronicled the revolution, the jurisprudence, "one of us/family" and "not one of us/not family". Ask Haffarian, the theoretician of terror: "did not Seyyed Mohammad Khatami discover you and bring you to Kayhan?" 2. Defending Khomeini and the Islamic Republic's policy of elimination and head bashing is criminal. Legitimizing and rationalizing kidnapping, detainment, torture and mass execution of opponents - even if armed - is criminal. Crime does not fade in time, nor does it wither. Abbas Abdi by saying: "Amir Entezam deserved five years and was shunned by his friends also" is as much a criminal as are Rouhollah Hosseinan Vaghti Mokhtari called Pouyandeh and Forouhar "apostates" and "heretics". Issues need to be separated. Shutting down of Mohsen MirDamadi's news paper had nothing to do with his refusal to acknowledge his previous actions. Abbas Abdi calls the Embassy take over and start of the war were unrelated in several interviews. Perhaps strategic issues experts should answer that question? International distaste for ignorance and the violent invasion of another nation's "home" is accepted by everyone from professors to students within the political science communities and academic circles as the single most pervasive reason behind Iraq's attack on Iran. Moussavi-Khoiniha, Reza Khatami, Habib Bitaraf, Mohsen Mirdamadi, Abbas Abdi, Asgharzadeh, etc., must accept that without meaning to, a person can cause the death of millions of humans and provoke the destruction of a nation for which the opportunity for repair is lost forever. An apology from people is called for. Abdi and Mirdamadi, Reza Khatami and VafaTabesh must appologize to Abbas Amir Entezam, Ebrahim Yazdi, Alireza Nourizadeh, Masoud Behnoud, Mohandes Abdollah Vala, Shahin Fatemi, Farid Zanjani, Khosro Ghashghai, Dr. Sanjabi and his son/daughter, Hassan Shariatmadari, Rahmatollah Moghaddam Maraghei, Bahram Bahramian, Admiral Madani, etc. They must admit their roles in the fall of Bazargan's cabinet/administration. They must claim their share in the disastrous cultural revolution. The Islamic Revolution Mojahedin Organization was the theoretical and tactical axis of the 60's Holly Crimes. Open the (MEK) Organization's archives and review their statements during the barbaric attack on science and academia and thus the beginning of cultural destruction. Tens of thousands of professors and students were "cleansed" out the university and executed or exiled abroad. More expulsions and lay-off notices were issued during the dark years of Mostafa Moin than any other era in current scientific history. You exiled or murdered the worthiest gurus and children of Iran, Mostafa Mo’in and his friends, in order to covert the universities into "Madrasa"; so that the PHD from the ministry of science is more suitable for "Dr.s" Hosseinollah Karam, Mohsen Rezai, Abbas Salimi Nomin, etc. Hold an international seminar and compare the sentences in every column of Terror [Alliance] Consolidation Office (Daftar-eh Tahkim-eh Vahdat(1)) and the MEK's publications in the 1360's and 1370's with Hitler's publications. You'll see that Fascism befits MEK more than Il Duce and Hitler. Not even the Militant Clergy Association or the Alliance have clashed and quarreled with analytical groups, the Freedom Movement, left leaning intellectuals and the Writers' Guild as much as the Islamic Revolution's "Mujahedin" in the first 15 years of IR rule. The Islamic Revolution's Mojahedin's publication used the terms "one of us/family" and "not one of us/not family" for the first time to divide the nation's political forces, years before Seyyed Ali Khamenei's private and public speeches at the Mohammad's 27th Infantry Division. It can be statistically proven that no organization, syndicate, group or political movement in IR has ever issued more statements than IR's Mojahedin against international organizations such as Amnesty International, UN Commission on Human Rights, Human Rights Watch, Galindo Pohl, Capitorn, etc. It is as if the Imam’s Line’s hideous virus of world violence still remains and afflicts. This past week Seyyed Mostafa Taajerzaadeh complained to Amir Kabir students that: "why have you asked international organizations for help and not the Reform Movement of Iranian people?" Someone answered: "perhaps you are optimistic towards people's reform movement. We witnessed the councils' astonishing elections as well as people's prodigious supporting of your representatives' historic sanctuary seeking... You go right ahead and forgo writing to the international organizations while you enjoy such support from the people." 3. I am standing here in a gas chamber in Dachau's Infirmary. There's a door on my right leading to a room that used to be filled with bodies, piled approximately two meters high. The door on my left opens to a cell with a shower so the prisoners would wash up and be clean before being gassed. The next room on the right past the corpse vault is a crematorium. There are several gallows built on ceiling's crisscross beams where living human beings and those who were not supposed to be gassed were hanged and fed into the gas chambers as their friends and family watched, waiting their own turn. Nothing is to be forgotten, and that is not a cliche. The German people must be ashamed of their vote for Hitler and their quiet consent to the slaughter of Jews, political opponents, homosexuals, Poles and Cechs. This disgrace is eternal. What happened in the Islamic Republic in 1360's, at least by what's documented on the statistics of the suppression of their political opposition, is similar to the Nazi atrocities. Close to 130,000 political prisoners in both countries were handed over to firing squads or were kidnapped and executed. 350 opposition activists have been murdered abroad. Tens of hundreds of honorable Iranians like Farrokhroo Paarsaa have been murdered by criminals such as Saadegh Khalkhaali’s firing squads for the crime of educating females in a struggle cultivate and advance their country. Khalkhaali and Moussavi Tabrizi are public prosecutors appointed by Khomeini and their military backing is provided by Mohammad Salaamati, Mohsen Aarmin and Abbaas Doozdoozani's "Sepaah(2)" and the Seraaj Kommitteh. Their employees are paid by Mir Hossein Moussavi's government while thousands of homosexuals, hundreds of Baha’is and tens of Sunni clerics have been hanged, stoned and literally burned. Tens of thousands of human beings have been flogged in public at an era when beating of animals has been banned. Women are forced to wear government approved apparel. These are crimes. Information Ministry's employees during 1360's and 1370's, Kommitte's and Islamic Revolution Sepaah Paasdaaraan’s Information and Information Security Services, Islamic Prosecutor's office, religious law and military courts, the Qods brigade, etc. are all guilty of crimes against humanity whether they like it or not. The security apparatus of Islamic Republic is so infused and interbred in such an incestuous manner that no one can commit a crime without the aiding and abetting of others. Mehdi Haashemi's hanging and Ghaasemlou and Sharafkandi's murders are the greatest examples of that. Every branch of government from left, right and center have played documented roles in designing, planning and execution of these projects. 4. I am not a judge and I don't mean to nor am I qualified to prosecute anyone. But I do have the right to first call myself a criminal for having written one paragraph in defense of Ayatollah Khomeini and beg for forgiveness from millions of victims of Khomeini and Khomeinism. And secondly, to freely express my opinion that anyone who has worked in the higher echelons of the Islamic Republic's military and security infrastructure, specifically in the 1360's is with all due respect, a criminal. It is of no consequence whatsoever whether he has served or betrayed freedom of speech and the press. These crimes must be investigated, even if all the victims' bones are buried. Crimes against opposition groups and critics can not be justified by citing excuses such as: "they committed violence as well", or "everyone was at fault", or "it was the entire nation's decision", or "the country was collapsing", or "we were unable to control the crowds", etc. Justifying crimes against opposition groups and critics is servile to the deplorable methods of Hitler, Saddam Hussein, Slobodan Milosavic, Stalin, Molla Mohammad Omar, and several other demented criminals and is absurd at least in today's Iran and more importantly unfeasible in today's world. Crimes of 1360' and 1370's will not be forgotten. Executions by hanging of thousands of prisoners - some of whom had even served their sentence in full – authorized by a deranged, doltish and criminal Ayatollah will not be forgotten. Those who are banking on passage of time eroding the clues and evidence of their crimes are hoping in vain. Have no doubt - I have none - that there WILL be a court, a prosecution and a verdict: acquittal or conviction. This concerns the victims, their survivors and justice and nobody else. Nima Rashedan August 15, 2004, Dachau Infirmary, Germany (1) The complete name is: Daftar-eh Tahkim-eh Vahdat Bein-eh Hoze-eh Elmi-yeh va Daaneshgaah meaning: Islamic Seminary Coalition Consolidation Liaison Office to the Universities. (2) Sepaah-eh Paasdaaraan was founded by Mohsen Saazegaaraa. (3) Akbar Ganji served in Information Service of Sepaah-e Paasdaaraan as well as the Information Ministry or VEVAK (Vezaarat-eh Eetela’aat Va Amniyat-eh Keshvar).

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Two More Executions for Homosexual Conduct

La Nueva Cuba:
(New York, November 22, 2005) – Iran's execution of two men last week for homosexual conduct highlights a pattern of persecution of gay men that stands in stark violation of the rights to life and privacy, Human Rights Watch said today.
On Sunday, November 13, the semi-official Tehran daily Kayhan reported that the Iranian government publicly hung two men, Mokhtar N. (24 years old) and Ali A. (25 years old), in the Shahid Bahonar Square of the northern town of Gorgan.
The government reportedly executed the two men for the crime of "lavat." Iran's sharia-based penal code defines lavat as penetrative and non-penetrative sexual acts between men. Iranian law punishes all penetrative sexual acts between adult men with the death penalty. Non-penetrative sexual acts between men are punished with lashes until the fourth offense, when they are punished with death. Sexual acts between women, which are defined differently, are punished with lashes until the fourth offense, when they are also punished with death.
"The execution of two men for consensual sexual activity is an outrage," said Jessica Stern, researcher with the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Rights Program at Human Rights Watch. "The Iranian government's persecution of gay men flouts international human rights standards."
In addition to the two executions last week, there have been other cases of persecution and execution of gay men in Iran in recent years.
In September 2003, police arrested a group of men at a private gathering in one of their homes in Shiraz and held them in detention for several days. According to Amir, one of the men arrested, police tortured the men to obtain confessions. The judiciary charged five of the defendants with "participation in a corrupt gathering" and fined them. In June 2004, undercover police agents in Shiraz arranged meetings with men through Internet chatrooms and then arrested them. Police held Amir, a 21-year-old, in detention for a week, during which time they repeatedly tortured him. The judicial authorities in Shiraz sentenced him to 175 lashes, 100 of which were administered immediately. Following his arrest, security officials subjected Amir to regular surveillance and periodic arrests. From July 2005 until he fled the country later in the year, police threatened Amir with imminent execution. On March 15, 2005, the daily newspaper Etemaad reported that the Tehran Criminal Court sentenced two men to death following the discovery of a video showing them engaged in homosexual acts. According to the paper, one of the men confessed that he had shot the video as a precaution in case his partner withdrew the financial support he had been providing in return for sex. In response to the man's confession, his partner was summoned to the authorities and both men were sentenced to death. As the death penalty was pronounced against both men, it appears to have been based on their sexual activity. "These abuses have created an atmosphere of terror for lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgender people throughout Iran," said Stern. "But arrest, torture and execution are not limited to gays and lesbians. Any group of people deemed 'immoral' becomes subject to state-sanctioned persecution and even murder."
In Iran, executions and lashings are regular means of punishment for a broad range of crimes, not merely same-sex acts. Judges often accept coerced confessions, and security officials routinely deny defendants access to counsel. Late last year, the Iranian judiciary, which has been at the center of many reported human rights violations, formed the Special Protection Division, a new institution that empowers volunteers to police moral crimes in neighborhoods, mosques, offices and any place where people gather. The Special Protection Division is an intrusive mechanism of surveillance that promotes prosecution of citizens for behavior in their private domain.
Human Rights Watch called upon the Iranian government to decriminalize homosexuality and reminded Iran of its obligations under Toonen v. Australia (1994), the Human Rights Committee's authoritative interpretation of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, to which Iran is party. Toonen v. Australia extends recognition of the right to privacy and the right to freedom from discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation throughout human rights law.
Furthermore, Human Rights Watch urged Iran to reform its judiciary in accordance with principles for fair trials enshrined in both the Iranian constitution and international human rights law. Finally, Human Rights Watch called upon Iran to cease implementation of capital punishment in all circumstances because of its inherent cruelty, irreversibility, and potential for discriminatory application.
For more information, please contact:
In New York, Jessica Stern: +1-212-216-1867

Saturday, December 10, 2005

Students mark the "International Human Rights Day"

SMCCDI: Dec 10, 2005 Hundreds of students marked the "International Human Rights Day" by making gatherings in several Iranian universities, especially, in the Capital.
The demonstrators staged protest actions under the heavy surveillance, made by the elements of the Harassat (Administrative Intelligence) and the brutal Bassiji students which have been placed in Iranian universities for a better control of dissidents.
Slogans for the respect of Human Rights, Freedom of Tought, Democracy, and condemning the Theocracy and repression were shouted by students despite the official injunctions made by the universities' managements. Many students placed stickers on their mouths with written slogans.
Security forces were in number in front of the universities in order to contain the demonstrations inside the campuses.
Pictures and films were taken from demonstrators for their later formal identification.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Ahmadinejad comments unacceptable: Merkel

IRANIAN President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's expressions of doubt that the Holocaust took place and his suggestion Israel be moved to Europe, are completely unacceptable, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said today."The comments by the Iranian president are totally unacceptable," Ms Merkel said at a joint news conference with French President Jacques Chirac near Berlin.

"As German chancellor and with our historical responsibility in mind, I can only say that we reject them in the harshest possible terms," she said.

"We will do everything to make it clear that Israel's right to existence is in no way endangered. I am firmly convinced that a majority in the international community has a similar opinion on this issue," Ms Merkel said.

Six million Jews are estimated to have died at the hands of Germany's 1933-1945 Nazi regime and post World War II German governments have made it a matter of policy to strongly support Israel.

Mr Chirac said he completely agreed with Ms Merkel and that France was outraged by the Iranian leader's statement.

His comments follow a call in October for Israel to be "wiped off the map", which sparked widespread international condemnation.

US Denounces Iran Pres' Call For Jewish State In Europe


NEW YORK -(Dow Jones)- The U.S. State Department said Thursday that the Iranian president's suggestion that a Jewish state be established in Europe is " clearly both appalling and reprehensible."

Spokesman Adam Ereli said the statement by President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad certainly doesn't "inspire hope among any of us in the international community that the government of Iran is prepared to engage as a responsible member of that community."

According to a transcript of a news briefing, Ereli said the Iranian leader's comment was "part of what appears to be a consistent pattern of rhetoric that is both hostile and out of touch with values that the rest of us in the international community live by."

Iran's Ahmadinejad wants Israel moved to Europe

Yahoo News:

Iran's hardline President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad triggered a new international outcry by saying the "tumour" of the state of Israel should be relocated to Europe. His outspoken remarks were greeted with outrage from Germany, Israel and the United States, at the forefront of an international campaign to prevent the Islamic regime from acquiring nuclear weapons.

Ahmadinejad, who in October said arch-enemy Israel "must be wiped off the map", said that if Germany and Austria felt believed Jews were massacred during World War II, a state of Israel should be established on their soil.

"You believe the Jews were oppressed, why should the Palestinian Muslims have to pay the price?" he asked in an interview with Iranian state television's Arabic-language satellite channel, Al-Alam.

"You oppressed them, so give a part of Europe to the Zionist regime so they can establish any government they want. We would support it," he said, according to a transcript of his original Farsi-language comments given to AFP.

"So, Germany and Austria, come and give one, two or any number of your provinces to the Zionist regime so they can create a country there... and the problem will be solved at its root," he said.

"Why do they insist on imposing themselves on other powers and creating a tumour so there is always tension and conflict?"

Ahmadinejad, a straight-talking former commando who swept to the presidency after a shock election win in June, is no stranger to controversy.

"Unfortunately this is not the first time that the Iranian leader has expressed outrageous and racist views towards Jews and Israel," said Israeli foreign ministry spokesman Mark Regev.

"I hope that these outrageous remarks will be a wake-up call to people who have any illusions about the nature of the regime in Iran."

Israel's views were echoed by the United States, its closest ally.

"It just further underscores our concerns about the regime in Iran. And it's all the more reason why it's so important that the regime not have the ability to develop nuclear weapons," said White House spokesman Scott McClellan.

German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said the EU's nuclear diplomacy is "not made easier by the fact that Mr Ahmadinejad comes up with new ideas, that the people of Israel could move to Germany and Austria, to resolve the Middle East problem."

In his interview, Ahmadinejad also referred to the Holocaust as a matter of belief, and raised the issue of revisionist historians -- who attempt to establish that figures on the number of Jews killed by the Nazis are wildly exaggerated -- being prosecuted in Europe.

"Is it not true that European countries insist that they committed a Jewish genocide? They say that Hitler burned millions of Jews in furnaces... and exiled them," he said.

"Then because the Jews have been oppressed during the Second World War, therefore they (the Europeans) have to support the occupying regime of Qods (Jerusalem). We do not accept this."

The Holocaust was Nazi Germany's systematic slaughter of an estimated six million Jews between 1933 and 1945.

Official Iranian media frequently carry sympathetic interviews with Holocaust revisionists, and the regime itself also refuses to recognise Israel.

Ahmadinejad also proposed "a referendum in Palestine for all the original Palestinians" to decide on the future of what is now Israel, the Gaza Strip and West Bank.

But he said "the best solution is resistance so that the enemies of the Palestinians accept the reality and the right of the Palestinian people to have land."

He was speaking in the Muslim holy city of Mecca in Saudi Arabia where he was attending a summit of the Organisation of the Islamic Conference.

After calling for Israel to be "wiped off the map" in October, Iran was chastised by the UN Security Council and drew fierce condemnation from the West -- already alarmed over Iran's nuclear ambitions and ballistic missile programme.

A scheduled visit to Iran by UN Secretary General Kofi Annan was also called off as a result of the remark.

Ahmadinejad's tone has also been a major departure from his pro-reform predecessor Mohammad Khatami, who had eased anti-Western rhetoric and sought to bring Iran out of international isolation by calling for a "dialogue among civilisations."

Tuesday, December 06, 2005



Tehran, 22 Nov. (AKI) - Iran's religious authorities in the holy Shiite city of Qom have officially invited Cuba's revolutionary leader Fidel Castro, to convert to Islam, according to Hojatolislam Mohammad Reza Hakimi, quoted by Iran's Farda news agency. "I met Castro together with the Iranian foreign minister, Saiid Salili, and gave him some sacred Islamic texts translated into Spanish," said Hakimi, who recently returned from a government visit to Cuba.

"We spoke with Castro for several hours, and I think I almost managed to convince him to become a Muslim," Hakimi added. "Castro certain that Cuba is suffering from a lack of spirituality, and seems very interested in Islam, above all in the writing of Iran's revolutionary leader, Ayatallah Khomeini," Hakimi continued.

Khomeini in 1989 invited Mikhail Gorbachev, former president of the Soviet Union, to renounce Communism and to convert to Islam. Gorbachev's political and economic reforms in the mid-1980s triggered the non-violent transition from authoritarian to democratic forms of government in Eastern Europe, and from state-controlled to more free-market economies.

Monday, December 05, 2005

Netanyahu warns of Iran nuclear threat


Ex-prime minister says Israel should take ‘bold and courageous’ action Updated: 5:59 p.m. ET Dec. 4, 2005

JERUSALEM - Israel should take “bold and courageous” action against arch-foe Iran’s nuclear program, similar to its 1981 air strike on the main Iraqi atomic reactor, former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Sunday.

The frontrunner to head Israel’s right-wing Likud Party ahead of March 28 elections, Netanyahu has been drawing battle lines with Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, who last week voiced hope that foreign diplomacy would prevent Iran getting the bomb.

“It must be understood that Iran cannot be allowed to develop a nuclear threat against Israel,” Netanyahu told Israel Radio.

“I will pursue the legacy of (Prime Minister) Menachem Begin, who through a bold and courageous move did not allow a neighbor of Iran, Iraq, to develop such a threat. I believe that this is what Israel should do,” he said.

Believed to be the Middle East’s only nuclear power, Israel under Begin sent warplanes to bomb the Iraqi reactor in Osiraq in 1981. Saddam Hussein’s quest for nuclear arms was driven underground until U.N. inspectors uncovered a secret program a decade later.

Independent experts believe Israel, perhaps with U.S. support, could mount a similar strike against Iran, though its facilities are numerous, dispersed and well-defended.

Iran, the world’s fourth-biggest oil producer, says its nuclear program is for energy needs only. It has vowed to retaliate against any attack.

Netanyahu said he was calling for “any action necessary to prevent a situation in which Iran threatens us with nuclear weapons”.

Tensions between Iran and Israel escalated after Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad called in October for the Jewish state to be “wiped off the map”. Iran later said the remarks, which drew global censure, did not constitute a threat.

Sharon said on Thursday that Israel could not accept the emergence of a nuclear-armed Iran but steered clear of directly threatening military action.

Sharon reaffirmed Israel’s support for diplomatic efforts, led by the United States and the European Union, to curb Iranian uranium enrichment -- a key step for creating nuclear arms.

Israeli officials have said that, unless stopped, Iran will achieve the know-how to build a bomb by March next year. Independent estimates have put Iran years away from such a capability.

Israeli Military Doubts Pressure on Iran

Yahoo News:

By RAMIT PLUSHNICK-MASTI, Associated Press Writer

Sun Dec 4, 8:06 PM ET

Israel's military chief of staff said Sunday he did not believe diplomatic pressure will put a halt to Iran's nuclear ambitions.

"The fact that the Iranians are successful time after time in getting away from international pressure ... encourages them to continue their nuclear project," Lt. Gen. Dan Halutz told foreign journalists in Tel Aviv. "I believe that the political means that are used by the Europeans and the U.S. to convince the Iranians to stop the project will not succeed."

Israel — which destroyed an unfinished Iraqi nuclear reactor in a 1981 air strike — considers Iran its biggest threat, and dismisses Tehran's claims that its nuclear program is peaceful.

Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, however, insisted Israel was not spearheading efforts to block Iran from becoming a nuclear power, but reiterated, "We can't have a situation where Iran will become a nuclear power."

With all the confusion surrounding the sale of nuclear materials following the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, it is not clear how advanced Iran is in its quest to develop a nuclear warhead, Halutz said.

Last month, the European Union accused Iran of having documents that show how to make nuclear warheads, and joined the United States in warning Tehran that it could face referral to the U.N. Security Council for possible sanctions.

There are military options to deal with Tehran, Halutz said.

"Who is the one to implement it? That is another question that I'm not going to answer. 'When?' is another question that I'm not going to answer. But there are options worldwide," he said.

On Friday, Israel successfully tested its Arrow missile defense system against a missile similar to Iran's Shahab-3, which potentially could be equipped with a nuclear warhead to reach Israel or several U.S. military installations in the Middle East.

Israeli concerns about Tehran's intentions — already heightened after Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said in October that Israel must be "wiped off the map" — were compounded by media reports that Russia would sell Iran missiles and other defense systems valued at more than $1 billion.

A Russian government spokesman said Saturday that weapons sales to Iran are purely for defensive purposes, but did not comment on the reported details of the deal.