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Committee for the Defence of the Iranian People's Rights

Justice For Iranian Workers
Feministi School
Coup against Dr.Mossadegh
Iran Today, Vol. 26, No.2, Autumn 2014, is published:


- Editorial- Honesty and Action - The Way Forward Page 2

- Journalist arrests ask questions of Rouhani's 'reforms' page 3

- The Plight of Teachers and the Dire Situation of Education in Iran Page 4

- Challenges of Independent Trade Unionism in Iran Page 6

- Iran and the 'New' Plan for a New Middle East Page 8

- Where Life is A Little Stranger - reflections on the film industry in Iran Page 10

- Book Review- WOMEN OF EVIN: WARD 209 By: Jila Baniyaghoob Page 14 ...more


So President Hassan Rouhani has tweeted his congratulations to Maryam Mirzakhani, the first woman to win the prestigious Fields Medal for Mathematics, with photos showing her both bareheaded and wearing a hijab. A positive sign of President Rouhani's commitment to improving the condition of Iranian women? Hardly: in June the Iranian news agency ILNA published a list of Candidate Rouhani's pre-election promises to women and revealed that not one had been fulfilled. Even for Rouhani's much heralded female deputy Shahindokht Molavardi, women's rights are secondary to the wishes of the supreme leader, Khamenei. 'The plan for segregating women is unscientific', 'We must pay attention to the women who form 50% of our population', 'Arrests and imprisonments have no place in the cultural arena', are just some of Rouhani's electoral statements since ignored. Opportunities for women's employment have regressed (down 23% over 5 years), yet a majority of postgraduates are women. The City of Tehran has even banned women from management posts. This seems to be a deliberate move to hide the fact that in an economy in crisis a government unable to create jobs seeks to confine women to the home. Khamenei has said that women's employment is a secondary issue and that women, the home and family cannot be separated. ...more

CODIR Mourns Simin Behbahani's passing away
Feminist Poet Simin Behbahani dies aged 87

The prize-winning poet Simin Behbahani, often called 'the lionness of Iran' has died at the age of 87. Using traditional Persian verse forms she wrote over 600 poems on subjects as diverse as earthquakes and prostitution. She took the ghazal, a sonnet-like form traditionally expressing a man's desires towards a woman and turned it round, daring to express a woman's desire for a man. Through her work she constantly challenged the Iranian authorities, in particular with demands for equal rights for women. Her love poems were often set to music by Iranian singers. Twice nominated for the Nobel Prize for literature, in 2009 Simin Behbahani was awarded the Simone de Beauvoir prize for women's literature and in 2013 the prestigious Janus Pannonius award for poetry. Her work was so controversial that in 2006 the Iranian authorities shut down an opposition newspaper for printing one of her poems. In 2010, aged 82 and blind, she was barred from attending an International Women's Day event in Paris. Prevented from boarding the plane, she was interrogated through the night regarding what she had written on the 2009 elections, considered fraudulent by opponents of the Islamic regime. ...more

Simin Behbahani: Formidable Iranian poet and fearless activist

Iran's most famous poet has died at the age of 87. Simin Behbahani was loved by many ordinary Iranians but drew the disapproval of the authorities, whom she challenged throughout her life, reports BBC Persian's Golnoosh Golshani. Simin Behbahani was not only Iran's most influential poet but also one of the most important women in the long history of Persian literature. Her main influence was her mother, Arghun, who also wrote poetry and played the tar, a long-necked lute. Arghun was a progressive woman for her time and her house was a popular meeting place for writers and social activists. It was she who discovered the poet in Simin when she was still a teenageer. In what proved to be her last media interview in 2013, Behbahani told BBC Persian how she had written her first poem at the age of 14. ...more

Iranian poet and women's rights advocate Simin Behbahani dies

'Lioness of Iran' who was nominated twice for the Nobel prize in literature dies aged 87 in Tehran hospital
Famed Iranian poet Simin Behbahani, who wrote of the joys of love, demanded equal rights for women and spoke out about the challenges facing those living in her homeland, died on Thursday aged 87. Behbahani had been hospitalised and unconscious in Tehran since 6 August and later died of heart failure and breathing problems, Iran's official IRNA news agency reported. Behbahani, born Simin Khalili on 20 July 20 1927, saw her poetry often used by Iranian singers as the basis for love songs. Her poems came in a variety of styles, far from classical and routine forms normally associated with Persian prose. Behbahani's work also focused on the challenges facing Iran in the wake of its Islamic Revolution in 1979 and women's rights, her strong words earning her the nickname of the "Lioness of Iran". Behbahani, who studied law at Tehran university in the 1950s, was awarded the Simone de Beauvoir Prize for Women's Freedom in 2009 and was nominated twice for the Nobel Prize in literature. ...more

Iran: New wave of attacks against journalists as repression escalates

A sharp rise in arrests, prosecutions and imprisonment of independent journalists in Iran signals the authorities' utter determination to crush hopes for increased freedom heralded by the election of President Hassan Rouhani, said Amnesty International in a new briefing today. "The way journalists are being treated puts everything journalism should stand for at risk in Iran. Anyone deemed critical of the authorities has been at increased risk of arrest and prosecution in recent months, creating an intense climate of fear where voicing any criticism has become a direct road to prison," said Hassiba Hadj Sahraoui, Deputy Middle East and North Africa Programme Director at Amnesty International. "The authorities' zero tolerance for anything other than state-sanctioned ideas and voices means that merely reporting the news can put people at risk of incarceration."The wave of repression which intensified after the disputed presidential election in 2009 has reached new highs over the past few months. ...more

27 Journalists Now Detained in Iran, says IFJ!

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) has issued a renewed appeal for the government of Iran to show its commitment to press freedom and human rights by releasing the ever increasing number of journalists being held in the country. According to statistics from IFJ affiliate, the Association of Iranian Journalists (AoIJ), there are now 27 journalists imprisoned in Iran - making it one of the worst jailers of journalists in the world. A number of those journalists have been imprisoned over the course of the last few months as the country's government has stepped up its clampdown on freedom of expression and press freedom. ...more

Iran's trade unions publish their International Messenger!
UNION MESSENGER No.2, July 2014 is published.

In this issue:

- Greetings to the Brave Reza Shahabi and Courageous Union of Tehran Transit Workers! Page 1

- Tehran Transit Workers Union (VAHED):
- Stop Reza Shahabi's Persecution and End his Inhuman Conditions! Page 1

- Strong-arming labour activists for what purpose? Page 2

- A report to the periodical meeting of Autoworkers Unions in Spain page 3

- General Secretary of ITUC writes to Iranian President Page 3

- Iran's Teachers Union Leader Addresses International Conference of Teachers Page 4

- Message of the Union of Metalworkers and Mechanics of Iran Reaches to ILO Page 4

- About "Payam-e Sandica" Page 5

- Statement of UMMI:
- Stop the War and Killing of Women, Children and Working People in Gaza! Page 5 ...more

Iran's trade unions publish their International Messenger!
UNION MESSENGER No.1 is published.

In this issue

- Introduction!





Trade Unions in Iran call for international Solidarity! Release Reza Shahabi from prison!

The statement below has been forwarded to the public relation department of the 'Metalworkers and Mechanics Trade Union' by the 'Syndicate of Workers of Tehran and Suburbs Bus Company'. As well as circulating this statement, we give our total support to the demands of Reza Shahabi and the 'Syndicate of Workers of Tehran and Suburbs Bus Company' in relation to asking him to end his hunger strike.
Metalworkers and Mechanic Trade Union (Syndicate)
Founding Board of the Syndicate of Paint Workers and decorators - Tehran
Syndicate of Paint Workers - Alboorz Province
15th July 2014 ...more

ITF demands Shahabi release

The ITF (International Transport Workers' Federation) has demanded the release of Reza Shahabi, the imprisoned Iranian trade unionist and prisoner of conscience. Shahabi, who is the treasurer of the ITF member union the Syndicate of Workers of Tehran and Suburbs Bus Company (otherwise known as the Vahed union), was unjustly arrested in 2010 and is now on a hunger strike. In a strongly worded letter sent today to Iranian president Hassan Rouhani, the ITF's acting general secretary, Steve Cotton, stated: 'The ITF has written to your government on a number of occasions to demand Shahabi's release and to ensure that he is provided with the medical treatment he needs. The Federation also on several occasions reminded you of your country's international legal obligations to comply with international human rights and labour standards, and in particular on the right to freedom of association and collective bargaining. ...more

Supporting Prisoners in Iran

Insufficient protections for civil and political rights have resulted in the imprisonment of over 895 "prisoners of conscience" and "political prisoners" in the Islamic Republic of Iran. Over half of these Iranians were sentenced for simple and protected acts such as expressing an opinion, associating with an organization that promotes cultural rights, being active on a school campus, showing up to a rally or protest, or believing in an unrecognized religion. My recent report to the UN Human Rights Council reviews the legacy of vague and overly broad laws that lead to the arrest of Iran's journalists, lawyers, students, and hundreds of activists that work to advance the rights of workers, women, and minorities in the country. My report also discusses the abusive practices that result in the torture and denial of fair trail standards that contribute to the unjust convictions of hundreds of human rights defenders. Some political prisoners have also been executed for their alleged crimes, including Gholamreza Khosravi Savadjani and Mah Afrid Amir Khosravi, and Ali Chebeishat and Sayed Khaled Mousavi, recently executed on Moharebeh (enmity against God) charges for their involvement in cultural rights and political groups. ...more

Execution of juvenile offenders breaches international law - Pillay

GENEVA (26 June 2014) UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay expressed concern Thursday about the large number of executions in Iran since the beginning of this year, calling on the authorities to halt, in particular, the imminent execution of a juvenile offender. "The imminent execution of Razieh Ebrahimi has once again brought into stark focus the unacceptable use of the death penalty against juvenile offenders in Iran," Pillay said. Ebrahimi was convicted of killing her husband when she was 17 years old. She was married to him at the age of 14, gave birth to a child when she was 15, and says she was subjected to domestic violence. "Regardless of the circumstances of the crime, the execution of juvenile offenders is clearly prohibited by international human rights law," Pillay added. "Judgements imposing the death penalty on people under the age of 18 and the implementation of such judgements are manifestly incompatible with Iran's international obligations under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the Convention on the Rights of the Child." ...more

Trade unions challenge regimes anti worker policies-Open Letter to Trade Unions and Workers of Iran

The new workers' year started on May 1st of this year while workers were treated in violation of the humanitarian and legal norms and standards. Considering the violation of the Article 41 of Iran's Labour Law pertaining to determination of minimum wage, and then approving a minimum wage by the so-called "workers' representatives" that was 3 times lower than the poverty line and 10% less of the current rate of inflation, which led to the million-strong protest of Iranian workers, a few of Iran's trade unions, i.e. Syndicate of Transit Workers of Tehran Bus Company (Vahed), Union of Metalworkers and Mechanics of Iran, Painters and Internal Decoration Workers and the Union of Project Workers, submitted a protest letter to the Minister of Labour to raise their objection against this illegal measure. What happened to workers after submitting this letter was violation of all legal norms. ...more

Iran Today, Vol. 26, No.2, Autumn 2014
CODIR Bulletin May 2014
CODIR Bulletin March 2014
CODIR Bulletin September 2013
CODIR Bulletin May 2013
CODIR Bulletin March/April 2013
Iran Today Sep 2012
Iran Today Sep 2011
Iran Today Vol21 No2
Iran Today Vol21 No1
Iran Today Vol2 No1
Iran Today Vol2 No2

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