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Committee for the Defence of the Iranian People's Rights

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Shahram Ahmadi, a Sunni Muslim man from Iran's Kurdish minority, is at imminent risk of execution. He was sentenced to death for "enmity against God" after a grossly unfair trial, and his death sentence has been upheld by the Supreme Court. Shahram Ahmadi, aged 28, learned in October 2015 that his death sentence had been upheld by the Supreme Court. The judge overseeing the implementation of sentences in Raja' Shahr Prison in Karaj, where he is held, has apparently told him that his execution could be carried out any moment Shahram Ahmadi says that he has not been able to obtain a copy of the verdicts against him and know the evidence and the legal reasoning on which they rest. Shahram Ahmadi was arrested in April 2009 in Sanandaj, Kordestan Province, on his way home. He has said he was shot and beaten on the street by men from the Revolutionary Guards, and taken to hospital, where he was interrogated. He spent almost three years in pre-trial detention, without access to a lawyer or his family. He has said he was tortured and otherwise ill-treated to make him "confess": this included prolonged solitary confinement, kicking and punching and being denied his medication. He met his state-appointed lawyer for the first time at his trial before Branch 28 of the Revolutionary Court in Tehran, on 2 October 2012, which he says lasted only five minutes. He was told in April 2013 that the court had sentenced him to death for "enmity against God" (moharebeh) because of his alleged membership of Salafist groups. He has denied the charge, saying that he was targeted because of his faith.


Joint Letter to the Member States of the UN General Assembly on the Protection of Human Rights in Iran

We, the undersigned human rights and civil society organizations, urge your government to vote in favor of Resolution A/C.3/70/L.45 on the promotion and protection of human rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran. This vote will take place during the 70th session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), scheduled for the Third Committee on Thursday, 19 November 2015. The recent nuclear accord between Iran and the P5+1 provides the international community with an opportunity to focus attention on the chronically dire human rights situation in Iran. Support for the UNGA resolution will help prioritize human rights and reaffirm the international community's core recommendations for how Iranian authorities can best meet their international rights obligations.


Iran refuses to free student activist Bahareh Hedayat after six years in jail

Seven years ago this summer, everything was set for the marriage ceremony of a young Iranian couple who had met and fallen in love at university. But on the day before the wedding, plain clothes officers raided the house of Bahareh Hedayat, a leading student activist, and took her to prison. It wasn't a surprise; she had been arrested twice before that, but the timing could not have been a coincidence. When she was released a month later, she didn't feel in mood for a big ceremony, as is customary in Iran. The couple simply moved in together. That incident didn't shake her commitment to fight for human rights. In fact, since then, Hedayat and her husband, Amin Ahmadian, have spent only a year together. She has been in jail the rest of the time. ...more

Iran - the price of a place at the table

The Islamic Republic has now gained sufficient breathing space to continue its rule by suppressing internal opposition, writes JANE GREEN. The inclusion of the Islamic Republic of Iran in the current negotiations in Vienna, regarding the conflict in Syria, marks a significant shift in the way in which the West sees the role of Iran in the Middle East. Iran's presence is the latest stage in a process that has been going on for some years, as a quiet rapprochement between the United States and the Islamic Republic has been developing. Since 2000 an influential document, Rebuilding America's Defenses, published by the neo-conservative think tank, the Project for the New American Century (PNAC), has been the blueprint for all US administrations, including the administration of Barack Obama. The document's main tenet is that the US should "seek to preserve and extend its position of global leadership" arguing in further detail that, "The true cost of not meeting our defense requirements will be a lessened capacity for American global leadership and, ultimately, the loss of a global security order that is uniquely friendly to American principles and prosperity." ...more

Afghan refugees in Iran being sent to fight and die for Assad in Syria

Iran is recruiting Afghan refugees to fight in Syria, promising a monthly salary and residence permits in exchange for what it claims to be a sacred endeavour to save Shia shrines in Damascus. The Fatemioun military division of Afghan refugees living in Iran and Syria is now the second largest foreign military contingent fighting in support of Bashar al-Assad, the Syrian president, after the Lebanese militia Hezbollah. Iranian state-affiliated agencies reported in May that at least 200 Fatemioun members had been killed in Syria since the beginning of the war. How many more have died since is not clear. ...more

Iran: Imprisoned cartoonist subjected to forced 'virginity test'

A recent revelation by satirical cartoonist Atena Farghadani that she was forced to undergo a "virginity and pregnancy test", prior to her trial for a charge of "illegitimate sexual relations" for shaking hands with her lawyer, has added another stain on Iran's shameful record of violence against women, Amnesty International said today. In a note written by Atena Farghadani leaked from prison, which has been seen by Amnesty International, she says the judicial authorities took her to a medical centre outside the prison on 12 August 2015 and forced her to submit to the tests, purportedly with the purpose of investigating the charge against her. "It is shocking that on top of imposing a ludicrous charge on Atena Farghadani for the 'crime' of shaking hands with her lawyer, the Iranian authorities have forced her to undergo a 'virginity and pregnancy test'," said Said Boumedouha, Deputy Director of Amnesty International's Middle East and North Africa Programme. ...more

Act now! Free Ismail Abdi, Iranian teacher union leader

Incarceration of Iranian Teacher Union Leader Ismail Abdi

On behalf of the British trade union movement and our 6 million members, I urge you to convey to your government our call for them to release Ismail Abdi immediately and unconditionally and drop all charges against him as he is a prisoner of conscience held solely for his peaceful trade union activities, and to ensure that he is granted regular access to an independent lawyer of his own choosing if he is not released immediately. I understand that Ismail Abdi, a leader of the Iranian teachers' trade union was arrested on 27 June after he went to the Prosecutor's Office at Evin Prison to inquire about the travel ban placed on him. He had been prevented from travelling to Armenia to apply for a visa to attend the 7th Education International World Congress in Ottawa, Canada in July 2015 (Education International is the global teachers' trade union to which several British education unions belong.) ...more

Iran: Attacks on Workers' Rights Escalating

The ITUC has expressed alarm at increased repression of workers' rights in Iran over the past several months.

On 15 September, retired and former president of the Haft Tapeh Sugar Company Workers' Syndicate, Ali Nejati, was arrested after the police raided his home. The next day Mahmoud Salehi, a founding member Bakery Workers' Union in the city of Saqez (Kurdistan Province) who was arrested on 28 April, was sentenced to nine years imprisonment. ...more

Statement on the death in custody of Shahrokh Zamani in Iran

The Committee for the Defence of the Iranian People's Rights (CODIR) has demanded a full and independent investigation into the circumstances of the tragic death in custody of Shahrokh Zamani, Iranian labour activist, at Rajai Shahr Prison. Zamani was active in Iran's labour movement, helping to facilitate the establishment of independent workers' associations. He belonged to a committee that oversaw the creation of workers' groups and was a member of Iran's Building Painters and Decorators Syndicate. He was arrested in Tabriz on 4th June 2011 on charges of "propaganda against the regime", "insulting the Supreme Leader" and "helping to establish groups that undermined national security." ...more

IRAN TODAY Vol. 27, No.2, Autumn 2015 is published.

In this issue:

- Editorial: 5+1=Hypocrisy Page 2

- Iran's government does not recognise trade union by Habib Mehrzad, CODIR's Co-ordinator in Canada Page 3

- IRAN's TEACHERS FIGHT FOR THE FUTURE OF EDUCATION by Dr. Liz Payne investigares for Iran Today Page 4,5

- Cutting through the nuclear smokescreen by Jane Green page 6,7

- Time for action on the domestic front Page 8

- Rouhani and Minorities In Iran Page 9

- Women's Rights under Rouhani - No Progress by Linda Sherwood Page 10



Mohammad Ali Taheri has been sentenced to death in Iran for "spreading corruption on earth" through his spiritual beliefs and teachings. He is a prisoner of conscience. Mohammad Ali Taheri received a death sentence on 1 August for "spreading corruption on earth" (efsad-e fel arz) by establishing a new spiritual group called Erfan-e Halgheh. He had been tried before Branch 26 of the Revolutionary Court in two sessions, on 11 March and 29 April. He has until 20 August to appeal, which he intends to do. Amnesty International understands that Mohammad Ali Taheri's death sentence for the charge of "spreading corruption on earth" is based on the same spiritual teachings and practices which were relied upon in October 2011 to convict him of several offences, including "insulting Islamic sanctities", and sentence him to five years' imprisonment, 74 lashes and a fine of nine billion rials (US$300,000). Mohammad Ali Taheri has been since serving this prison sentence in solitary confinement in Section 2A of Tehran's Evin Prison, which is run by the Revolutionary Guards. ...more


Iranian human rights defender Narges Mohammadi, imprisoned since 5 May, was taken to hospital on 1 August suffering from partial paralysis. She is being denied the specialized treatment she needs, and is facing charges based on her human rights activities. She is a prisoner of conscience. Narges Mohammadi was taken from Tehran's Evin Prison to the city's Taleghani Hospital on 1 August, she had suffered partial paralysis for eight hours that day. Doctors at the hospital advised her that she needed to be examined by a specialist in order to be treated. Despite this medical recommendation, she was returned to Evin Prison the next day without receiving specialized care. Narges Mohammadi's husband, Taghi Rahmani, a refugee in Paris, France, has said that Narges Mohammadi was also taken to hospital on 27 July after complaining of lung pains. He said the doctor advised that Narges Mohammadi needed to be hospitalized for treatment of a possible pulmonary embolism (a blood clot in her lungs), but she was returned to prison without receiving adequate care. The next day, prison officials refused to take her to an appointment with a neurologist for her medical history of partial paralysis. ...more

Unison calls for the Release of Ismail Abdi, Secretary General of Iran's Teachers' Trade Association

We ask you to convey our concerns to your government and call on them to release Ismail Abdi immediately and unconditionally and drop all charges against him. In the event that he is not released we request that he is granted regular access to an independent lawyer of his own choosing. I understand that Ismail Abdi was arrested on 27 June for allegedly "organising and participating in illegal gatherings", after he enquired at the prosecutor's office at Evin Prison about a travel ban placed upon him. He had been prevented from travelling to Armenia to apply for a visa to attend the World Congress of Education International, the global teachers' union, in Ottawa, Canada in July 2015. ...more

Britain Union of Teachers Demands Abdi's Freedom


News has reached us in recent days of the re-arrest and detention of the General Secretary of the Iranian Teachers' Association, Mr Esmail Abdi as a result of his legitimate trade union activities. I write on behalf of National Union of Teachers to express our grave concern at the treatment of Mr Abdi - his arrest and the nature of the allegations against him. According to reports that we have received, Mr Abdi was taken into custody on 27 June after he had been prevented from traveling to Armenia to obtain a travel visa to participate in Education International's (EI) 7th World Congress in Ottawa, Canada, from 21 - 26 July. We have also learned that after Mr. Abdi's passport had been confiscated at the border, he was instructed to return to Tehran to meet with the prosecutors' office. After having reported to the prosecutors' office he was arrested. ...more

Canadian Teachers' Union Calls for Abdi's Release

I am writing on behalf of the Canadian Teachers' Federation, the voice of nearly 200,000 teachers in Canada and an Affiliate Member of the 30-million member Education International (EI). As one of the host organizations of EI's 7th World Congress, the CTF echoes EI's call to release immediately our colleague Mr. Esmail Abdi, the General Secretary of the Iranian Teachers' Trade Association (ITTA) and to secure his right to travel to Canada to attend the Congress in Ottawa, Canada, July 21-26, 2015. ...more

Iran Today, Vol. 27, No.2, Autumn 2015
CODIR Bulletin March 2015
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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