The Iranian Diaspora Brief

The Iranian Diaspora Brief: August 30, 2021

Top Stories

New Hardline Iranian President Appoints Two Men Wanted By Interpol To Cabinet | The Telegraph

Two of the new hardline Iranian president’s cabinet choices are wanted by Interpol for their alleged involvement in a 1994 bombing of a Jewish centre in Buenos Aires. On July 18 1994 a van packed with explosives detonated at the Buenos Aires Argentine Israelite Mutual Association (AMIA) building, in the largest terror attack in Argentina’s history. 87 people were killed and more than 100 were injured. Lebanon’s Hizbollah, an Iran-backed paramilitary group, is widely believed to have been behind the attack and according to an Argentine inquiry committee, the decision to launch it was made by Iran’s leadership.

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Iran Prisoners Say Rights Groups Must Look Into Psychological Torture | Iran International

In the aftermath of this week’s release of hacked security-camera footage of prisoner abuse at Tehran’s Evin prison, 28 political prisoners in the prison have demanded an investigation of psychological torture of political prisoners and their families and urged international human rights organizations to scrutinize prison conditions. While Amnesty International called the video recordings “shocking,” many former and current prisoners have alleged more serious ill-treatment including sexual abuse and pressure to obtain confessions in prisons including Evin, where the Revolutionary Guards runs its own wards for political and security prisoners.

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Iran Continues Religious Persecution, Two Bahais Sentenced To Prison In Tehran | Eurasia Review

Two Iranian Bahais were sentenced to a total of two years of prison by Tehran’s Appeals Court. According to the Human Rights News Agency, the two Bahais were identified as Abbas Taef and Attoallah Zafar. They were each sentenced to one year of prison by Tehran’s Revolutionary Court for “acting against national security by promoting the Bahai faith”. The Provincial Appeals court confirmed their sentence on July 6. Abbas and Attoallah were detained on September 28, 2019, by Intelligence Agents. Their homes were raided upon arrest, and their personal belongings were confiscated. They were later released on bail.

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Regime Abuses

Baha’is Protest ‘Economic Strangulation’ Of Iran Property Seizures | Iran International

The Baha’i International Community (BIC) has urged the United Nations and other international bodies to intervene with Iran’s government to ensure that Baha’is are not dispossessed of property. “Confiscation of properties remains a tactic used in the persecution of Iran’s Baha’is, over the past four decades, because of their beliefs,” said a statement Wednesday by the BIC(link is external), a non-governmental organization.

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Analysis: Falsehoods And Contradictions In The Rulings Against The Afkari Brothers | Center For Human Rights In Iran

Nearly a year after the unlawful execution of wrestling champion Navid Afkari, a request by his brother Vahid, who along with a third Afkari brother was prosecuted in connection with Navid’s alleged crime, for a judicial review of his 25-year prison sentence was turned down by Iran’s Supreme Court, despite evidence of an investigation marked by holes, inconsistencies and torture, the family’s lawyer Saeid Dehghan announced on August 23, 2021.

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European Dignitaries And International Law Experts Describe 1988 Massacre In Iran As Genocide And A Crime Against Humanity | EU Reporter

In 1988, based on a fatwa (religious order) by the founder of the Islamic Republic, Ruhollah Khomeini, the clerical regime executed at least 30,000 political prisoners, more than 90% of whom were activists of the Mujahedin-e Khalq (MEK/PMOI), the principal Iranian opposition movement. They were massacred for their steadfast commitment to MEK’s ideals and the Iranian people’s freedom. The victims were buried in secret mass graves and there has never been an independent UN inquiry. Maryam Rajavi, the president-elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), and hundreds of prominent political figures, as well as jurists and leading experts on human rights and international law from around the world, participated in the conference.

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In The News

Armed Kurdish Group Claims Killed Iranian Paramilitary Official | Rudaw

An Iranian-Kurdish opposition group claimed on Sunday to have killed an official from Iran’s Basij paramilitary force. Taher Pourdaranab, labeled a “notorious spy,” was in charge of a Basij base in Mahabad, West Azerbaijan province. He was injured on Wednesday by the Zagros Eagles, an armed Kurdish group, the Kurdistan Democratic Party of Iran (KDPI) announced. He died from his injuries two days later in hospital. Iranian state media reported Pourdaranab was shot by “members of terrorist groups” and was buried in Mahabad on Sunday evening in a ceremony attended by the governor and city officials.

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Hundreds Of Activists In Iran Blast Khamenei’s Ban On Western Vaccines | Iran International

More than 570 civic, political, university and trade union activists in Iran have issued a statement condemning the Islamic Republic’s “false” claims to produce Covid-19 vaccines as well as the ban on importing Western vaccines by Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei. The activists have also voiced support for five attorneys and activists who were arrested on August 14 to prevent them from taking legal action against Khamenei and other officials for mismanagement of the Covid-19 pandemic response and delay in mass vaccination. Authorities have released Maryam Afrafaraz, a civic activist, but four others are still in detention.

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Lebanon’s Hezbollah Agrees To Third Shipment Of Iranian Fuel | Reuters

The leader of Lebanon’s Iran-backed Hezbollah group, Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah, said on Friday a third vessel of Iranian fuel was agreed to ease crippling shortages in the country. “We have agreed to start loading a third vessel,” Nasrallah said in a televised speech. “The coming days will prove those doubtful about the shipments arriving with fuel wrong … and our words will be clear when the first vessel reaches Lebanon.” On Sunday Nasrallah had said the first vessel carrying Iranian fuel for Lebanon had already departed.

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30 Yemeni Troops Killed In Strike Blamed On Iran-Backed Rebels | AFP

Strikes on Yemen’s largest airbase today killed at least 30 pro-government troops and wounded scores more, say medical and loyalist sources who blame Iran-backed Houthi rebels for the attack. “More than 30 have been killed and at least 56 were injured,” armed forces spokesman Mohammed al-Naqib, who had earlier accused the Huthis of being behind the attack, tells AFP. A military medic confirms the death toll after it jumped from seven fatalities earlier in the day.

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Iran Leader Names Another AMIA Bombing Suspect As Official, Angering Argentina | Buenos Aires Times

Argentina’s government this week condemned the appointment of a second official in new Iran President Ebrahim Raisi’s administration wanted by Interpol in relation to the 1994 bombing of the AMIA Jewish community centre in Buenos Aires. The Foreign Ministry issued a statement expressing Argentina’s “strongest condemnation” of the approval of former Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps leader Mohsen Rezaei as Iran’s vice-president for economic affairs. The news comes just two weeks after it emerged that Raisi – who ran against Rezaei in this year’s presidential election – had nominated Ahmad Vahidi, a former leader of the Quds, the powerful paramilitary arm of the Revolutionary Guard, for the post of interior minister.

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Iran Lawmaker Says Video Of Prison Abuse Is Made Up By ‘Zionists’ | Iran International

A member of Iran’s parliament has claimed Sunday that videos released by hackers showing mistreatment and abuse of political prisoners in Iran is manufactured by “Zionists”. An Iranian “hacktivist” group, Tapandegan, distributed many video images from security cameras in Evin prison on August 22-24, which it said had been obtained by previously unknown hackers called Edalat-e Ali (‘Ali’s Justice’) to highlight human rights violations, particularly against political prisoners. The videos showed beatings and abuse in various wards against handcuffed prisoners. Hassan Norouzi, a cleric who is deputy chairman of parliament’s committee on legal affairs said there is no torture in Iran’s prisons and prisons must be relocated from large cities. He suggested building “prison cities” to also house the families of the prisoners, but did not elaborate further.

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Iran’s Minorities Could Do With Some Champions Abroad | Hussain Abdul-Hussain For Syndication Bureau

Of the 29 articles in the final statement of the recent Arab League summit in Saudi Arabia, none expressed support toward the Arabs living on the Iranian side of the Arabian Gulf, despite recent incidents that show how they are being squeezed by the regime. It is, of course, highly distasteful to have to speak in terms of race, ethnicity and sectarian divisions, but that is the unavoidable tone of politics in Iran. Tehran exploits all this in the furtherance of its regional ambitions that, in the case of Arab residents within its borders has resulted in Amnesty International’s cataloging of infringements of those rights they share with all humanity; that is to say, their very human rights. Indeed, recent Iranian politics is a sad history of repression against minorities of all stripes living on the northern shores of the Gulf.  

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As Ebrahim Raisi Begins His Presidential Role, Oppression Is Set To Soar | Naveed Sadehi For Global Voices

The Islamic Republic of Iran inaugurated its eighth president on August 5. Ebrahim Raisi, the former Chief Justice and head of the regime’s judiciary apparatus, won the presidential election on June 19 in a landslide victory. Many observers both in Iran and internationally were hardly surprised at Raisi’s victory. Leading up to the vote, the regime took all the steps it could to ensure the Chief Justice would win at the polls. Just weeks before the election, Iran’s Guardian Council, a regulatory body controlled by Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, swiftly and unilaterally disqualified the vast majority of Raisi’s opposition from the ballot, including many popular reformist candidates who had been gaining public support in the months prior.

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Non-English Language Media

  ادامه اعتراض‌ها به احتمال اجرای حکم اعدام حیدر قربانی| BBC News

درحالی که گزارش ها حاکی از احتمال اجرای حکم اعدام حیدر قربانی زندانی کرد است، درخواست ها در شبکه های اجتماعی در مخالفت با اعدام او بالا گرفته است. شبکه حقوق بشر کردستان روز پنجشنبه چهارم شهریور به نقل از صالح نیکبخت وکیل و نزدیکان آقای قربانی نوشت احتمال اجرای حکم او در روزهای آینده قوت گرفته و از سازمان های حقوق بشری و شهروندان ایران خواست به اجرای این حکم اعتراض کنند. سازمان عفو بین‌الملل هم اخیرا در توییتی با اشاره به “شکنجه شدن” آقای قربانی خواستار لغو فوری حکم اعدام او شد. به گزارش شبکه حقوق بشر کردستان صالح نیکبخت گفته است: “دادگاه انقلاب اسلامی شهر سنندج حیدر قربانی را به اتهام “بغی” (شورش مسلحانه) به اعدام محکوم کرده است.

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 ادامه واکنش‌ها به شرایط وخیم زندان‌های ایران پس از انتشار تصاویر هک شده دوربین‌های مداربسته زندان اوین| Voice Of America

در پی انتشار تصاویر هک شده دوربین‌های مداربسته زندان اوین توسط گروه هکری «عدالت علی»، طی روزهای گذشته و واکنش‌های گسترده به انتشار این تصاویر،‌ سازمان عفو بین‌الملل از شرایط نامساعد زنان در زندان سمنان گفت و گروهی از زندانیان سیاسی در زندان اوین نیز اعلام کردند برخی از شکنجه‌های در هیچ دوربینی ثبت نمی‌شود. سازمان عفو بین الملل با خطاب قرار دادن محمدمهدی حاج محمدی، رئیس سازمان زندان‌های ایران، در توئیتر خود نوشت، زنان در زندان سمنان از شرایط غیرانسانی از جمله توالت‌های آلوده بدون سیفون، شیوع شپش و بیماری‌های عفونی، قارچی و عدم دسترسی کافی به حمام، وسایل شست‌و‌شو و خدمات درمانی رنج می‌کشند.

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 عفو‌ بین‌الملل خواستار آزادی دو فعال مدنی و سه وکیل دادگستری در ایران شد| Voice Of America

عفو بین الملل خواستار آزادی فوری آرش کیخسروی، مصطفی نیلی، مهدی محمودیان، محمدرضا فقیهی، و مریم افرافراز شد. سازمان عفو بین الملل روز شنبه ۶ شهریور با انتشار متنی در توئیتر، خواستار آزادی فوری دو فعال مدنی و سه وکیل حقوق بشر در ارتباط با یک پرونده شکایت از سوء‌مدیریت کرونا در ایران شد. در توییت این سازمان آمده است که این افراد «تنها به دلیل تشکیل جلسه‌ای برای گفت‌و‌گو پیرامون اقدام حقوقی احتمالی در پشتیبانی از حق مردم برای برخورداری از واکسن‌های نجات‌بخش کووید۱۹» از ۲۳ مرداد در بازداشت به سر می‌برند. عفو بین الملل بازداشت این افراد را «خودسرانه» خواند و از مردم خواست با بازنشر این پیام، از رهبر جمهوری اسلامی خواستار آزادی فوری آنها شوند.

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 هشدار جامعه جهانی بهائیان نسبت به خطر مصادره املاک شهروندان بهائی در ایران | Voice Of America

جامعه جهانی بهائیان درباره تصمیم دستگاه قضایی جمهوری اسلامی مبنی بر مصادره زمین‌های شهروندان بهائی استان سمنان هشدار داد. در اطلاعیه‌ای که جامعه جهانی بهائیان منتشر کرده، آمده است در چهار دهه گذشته توقیف دارایی‌ها و املاک، یکی از روش‌های سرکوب بهائیان ایران به دلیل اعتقاداتشان بوده است و این بار نیز مقام‌های حکومتی با اقدام به مصادره زمین‌های شش بهائی در استان سمنان، موج جدیدی از خفقان اقتصادی علیه این اقلیت دینی را آغاز کرده است. بنا بر این اطلاعیه، اتهام دادگاه، که آن را دلیل مصادره زمین‌ها عنوان کرده است، تعلق زمین‌ها به موسسات بهائی بوده است. این در حالی است که در سال ۱۳۵۷ حکومت جمهوری اسلامی، موسسات بهائی را بست و حکم رسمی انحلال آنها را در سال ۱۳۶۲ صادر کرد. بنا براین اکنون هیچ ملکی در ایران به موسسات بهائی تعلق ندارد.

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