The Iranian Diaspora Brief

The Iranian Diaspora Brief: August 23, 2021

Top Stories

Leaked Footage Shows Grim Conditions In Iran’s Evin Prison | Associated Press

The guard in a control room at Iran’s notorious Evin prison springs to attention as one by one, monitors in front of him suddenly blink off and display something very different from the surveillance footage he had been watching. “Cyberattack,” the monitors flash. Other guards gather around, holding up their mobile phones and filming, or making urgent calls. ”General protest until the freedom of political prisoners” reads another line on the screens. An online account, purportedly by an entity describing itself as a group of hackers, shared footage of the incident, as well as parts of other surveillance video it seized, with The Associated Press. The alleged hackers said the release of the footage was an effort to show the grim conditions at the prison, known for holding political prisoners and those with ties abroad who are often used as bargaining chips in negotiations with the West.

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Iran Official On Trial Linked To Terrorist Who Murdered Jews And Kurds | The Jerusalem Post

The alleged Iranian regime mass murderer Hamid Noury, who is currently on trial in Stockholm, Sweden for the massacre of 136 Iranians in Gohardasht prison in Karaj, invited former Iranian intelligence chief and internationally wanted terrorist Ali Fallahian, to dinner. The International Criminal Police Organization issued an arrest warrant for Fallahian due to his role in the bombing of the Asociación Mutual Israelita Argentina Jewish community center in Buenos Aires in 1994, resulting in the murders of 85 people and injury of hundreds. The revelation was disclosed in August by the London-based “Iran International” news organization on its Persian language website.

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Conservative Ex-Parliamentarian Says Russia Has ‘Infiltrated’ Iran | Iran International

In an interview published by Ensaf News, colorful former conservative lawmaker Ali Motahari has alleged that Russia has “infiltrated” Iran and played a “destructive role” since the 1979 Revolution. Motahari suggested both the Soviet embassy and the pro-Soviet Tudeh Party played a role in Iranian students taking over the United States embassy in Tehran in 1979. More recently, said Motahari, Russian worries over “Iran reaching an agreement with the West” had led it to try to sabotage Iran’s nuclear talks with world powers.

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Regime Abuses

Iran: Detained Protester Amir Hossein Moradi In Critical Condition In Tehran Prison | Eurasia Review

A young man detained during protests in Tehran in 2019 is in critical condition, according to another political prisoner who is currently on leave from the Greater Tehran Prison. Hossein Qashqaei wrote in a tweet on August 16 that despite his deteriorating condition, prison authorities refrain from releasing political prisoner Amir Hossein Moradi. Qashqaei said Amir Hossein Moradi could not tolerate prison conditions and that prison officials refused to give him his medication despite his various ailments.

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Supreme Court Turns Down Appeal For Hamed Qareh Oghlani’s 13-Year Sentence | Iran Human Rights Monitor

The Iranian Supreme Court turned down the appeal by Hamed Qareh Oghlani after only five days. Hamed Qareh Oghlani is sentenced to 13 years in prison. The 41st Branch of the Supreme Court upheld the ruling on February 8, 2021, and issued it electronically on February 16, 2021. The 2nd Branch of the Revolutionary Court of Urmia convened on September 28, 2020. It sentenced Hamed Qareh Oghlani to death on the charge of Moharebeh (waging war on God) through membership in the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran, for the first part of his case.

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In The News

Iran Reports Increase In Child Marriages | Radio Free Europe

Iranian officials have reported an increase in the overall number of child marriages last year compared to 2019. According to the Statistics Center of Iran, the marriage rate of girls aged 10-14 last year increased by 10.5 percent compared to 2019. It says 31,379 girls in that age bracket were married in 2020 compared to 28,373 cases the previous year. The legal age for marriage in Iran is 13 years for girls and 15 years for boys, though it is acceptable for children younger to be married with a father’s permission.

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Iran’s Political Groups Denounce Government For Trusting Taliban | Iran International

Several Iranian religious reformists as well as the National Front of Iran, a nationalist group established in the 1950s to support -then- Prime Minister Mohammad Mosaddeq, have strongly criticized the Islamic Republic for trusting the Taliban and denounced Tehran’s “shameful and annoying” behavior in whitewashing the group’s record. The National Front of Iran characterized the takeover of Afghanistan by the Taliban as “Occupation of Afghanistan by reactionary Taliban terrorists” in an August 18 statement published on the front’s website (link is external), and called it a humanitarian catastrophe condemned by history.

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The People’s Mujahidin: The Iranian Dissidents Seeking Regime Change In Tehran | The Times

Close to a seaside town in rural Albania is a curious domain, a land unto its own that few outsiders have visited. It is not marked on maps. Men cradling automatic weapons guard its border. They scrutinise my passport and check my rucksack for weapons. My car, I am informed, will not be allowed through. Through the bars of a gate I see a road lined with flags leading uphill to a giant white archway, crowned by golden lions — my first glimpse into this mysterious state within a state. It is the headquarters of an exiled Iranian opposition movement committed to overthrowing the fundamentalist Islamic regime in Tehran.

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Breakthrough Support For Iran’s Baha’is: #Stophatepropaganda Campaign Reaches 88 Million | Iran Press Watch

A campaign—calling on Iran’s government to end 40 years of government-sponsored hate speech against the country’s Baha’is—has reached over 88 million people as it trended around the world. The Baha’i International Community (BIC) tracked more than 42,000 posts on Twitter, Instagram and other platforms, representing an unprecedented wave of support. A global coalition of government officials, leaders of thought, civil society organizations, activists, celebrities, religious leaders and influencers, including prominent Iranians and many others, showed unparalleled support for Iran’s long-persecuted Baha’i community during the recent #StopHatePropaganda campaign.

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Number Of Burials In Tehran Cast Serious Doubt On Government Figures | Iran International

Saeed Kahl, the director of Tehran’s main cemetery, has announced that on Friday 216 Covid-19 victims were buried in the capital, a number that casts doubt on the overall Covid death figures published by the health ministry. In recent days, Iran has been announcing daily Covid deaths in the range of 550-620 nationwide. If in Tehran alone, with 10 percent of the country’s 85-million population, 216 were buried on Friday, the nationwide number seems woefully low. The Behesht Zahra cemetery is run by the Tehran municipality and on a few occasions in the past it has announced figures that put the central government’s Covid numbers in doubt. The health ministry has been refusing to provide regional breakdown of its Covid infection and death figures, making it harder to verify them. Tehran’s daily death rate of above 200 is more than double of the trend prior to the latest pandemic surge, Khal has said.

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Iran Resumes Fuel Exports To Afghanistan After Taliban Request, Union Says | Reuters

Iran restarted exports of gasoline and gasoil to Afghanistan a few days ago, following a request from the Taliban, Iran’s Oil, Gas and Petrochemical Products Exporters’ Union said on Monday. The Sunni Muslim group seized power in Afghanistan last week as the United States and its allies withdrew troops after a 20-year war. The price of gasoline in Afghanistan reached $900 per tonne last week as many panicked Afghans drove out of cities, fearing reprisals and a return to a harsh version of Islamic law the Taliban imposed when in power two decades ago.

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The Taliban Says It Will Respect Women. But We Iranians Have Seen This Movie Before. | Masih Alinejad For The Washington Post

On Tuesday, the Taliban held a news conference in Kabul. Its spokesman, Zabihullah Mujahid, bent over backward to reassure the international community of the group’s benign intentions. He promised an inclusive government, hinted at elections and declared that today’s Taliban has changed considerably since it lost its grip on power 20 years ago. He insisted that the new Taliban government will protect freedom of speech, human rights and women’s rights — within the constraints of Islamic law, he repeatedly added. “We assure that there will be no violence against women,” he claimed. “No prejudice against women will be allowed, but the Islamic values are our framework.” Many observers were struck by the vagueness of the language.

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Protests Against The Arrest Of Lawyers And Activists. They Tried To Quote In Khamenei Judgment | The Editorial Team For Asume Tech

A group of Iranians ran a campaign on social media to demand the release of lawyers and activists arrested by the Iranian authorities for attempting to sue in Supreme leader Ali Khamenei and senior regime officials are charged with the premeditated murder of thousands of coronavirus patients. The campaign began in support of lawyers and civil activists demanding justice and in protest against officials whose management, according to activists, has resulted in the killing of tens of thousands of people in Iran. In parallel, more than 50 lawyers and jurists have asked in a letter to the head of Iranian justice, Gholamhossein Mohseni Ajeeh, the immediate release of these lawyers and civil activists.

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Non-English Language Media

 گزارشگر ویژه سازمان ملل متحد: وضعیت حقوق بشر در ایران «رو به وخامت» است| Voice Of America

جاوید رحمان، گزارشگر ویژه سازمان ملل متحد در امور حقوق بشر ایران، در تازه ترین گزارش خود وضعیت حقوق بشر در ایران را «رو به وخامت» توصیف کرده است. وی در این گزارش به ادامه عدم پایبندی جمهوری اسلامی به موازین حقوق بشری، بازداشت‌های خودسرانه، سرکوب گسترده اعتراضات آبان ۹۸، و سرنگونی هواپیمای اوکراینی توسط سپاه پاسداران اشاره کرده و گفته است خانواده قربانیان این حوادث مورد تهدید قرار گرفته‌اند. جاوید رحمان همچنین به انتخابات ریاست جمهوری ایران و روند بررسی صلاحیت‌های نامزدها نیز اشاره کرده و گفته‌ است در زمان ریاست ابراهیم رئیسی بر قوه قضائیه، موارد بسیار زیادی از نقض حقوق بشر – از جمله اعدام کودکان، شکنجه و اعترافات اجباری، و بازداشت خودسرانه فعالان مدنی – گزارش شده است.

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 دیده‌بان حقوق بشر: مقصر فاجعه کرونا، سوءمدیریت و دستور خامنه‌ای است | The Independent

سازمان دیده‌بان حقوق بشر اعلام کرد ممنوعیت خرید واکسن‌های تولید شده در ایالات متحده و بریتانیا، عدم شفافیت و سوء مدیریت دولتی، تأثیر وخیم همه‌گیری بیماری کرونا در ایران را تشدید کرده است. روز ۱۴ اوت، مقامات ایرانی شش وکیل و فعال برجسته حقوق بشر که به گفته همکارانشان در حال تشکیل شکایت علیه سوءمدیریت مقامات در بحران کووید -۱۹ بودند را دستگیر کردند. البته کی از اعضای گروه را یک شبه آزاد کردند، اما آرش کیخسروی، مهدی محمودیان، مصطفی نیلی، محمدرضا فقیهی و مریم افرافراز همچنان در بازداشت هستند. مقامات ایرانی بدون ارائه شواهد لازم ادعا می‌کنند که تحریم‌ها و تأخیر در واردات واکسن عامل کند شدن واکسیناسیون عمومی است. اظهارات مقامات ارشد ایرانی که در تهیه واکسن‌های نجات دهنده به‌شدت تأثیر داشته و اطلاعات نادرستی را در بین مردم ایران ترویج کرده است.

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