The Iranian Diaspora Brief

The Iranian Diaspora Brief: September 16, 2021

Top Stories

Executed Iranian Wrestler Navid Afkari Still Offers ‘Message Of Freedom,’ Says Mother | CNN

The mother of Navid Afkari, the wrestling star executed by the Iranian government, says her family still has “no peace” over a year since her son’s death. In a rare interview with CNN Sport’s Don Riddell, Bahieh Namjoo says she is aware of the dangers that come with speaking out against the Iranian government, but insists she is determined to maintain ​her son’s legacy and help her two other sons get out of prison.​ “My motivation [for speaking out] is for my two sons who have now been imprisoned for a year in Adel Abad prison,” she says via video call from Iran, on the eve of the first anniversary of Navid’s death.

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Iran Musician Brutalized By Tehran Hopes Grammys Will Save Him: ‘My Last Chance’ | Newsweek

Iranian dissident musician Mehdi Rajabian has been blacklisted, imprisoned, and suppressed by the regime in Tehran for making music it deems unacceptable. Despite it all, the 31-year-old is releasing a new album—one he warns could be his final protest. Rajabian wrote his previous album while in prison serving a six-year term for his illegal music. The composer’s repeated use of female voices in his music particularly rankled the Iranian authorities. He and his brother Hossein went on hunger strike while imprisoned in 2016. Rajabian eventually required hospital treatment for internal bleeding. He lost 33 pounds and was left with severely swollen muscles all over his body.

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Iranian Defense Attorney Prosecuted For Defending Workers’ Rights | Iran Human Rights Monitor

Farzaneh Zilabi, a lawyer representing workers in their dispute with a sugar company in southwest Iran, has been sentenced to prison and exile. The Revolutionary Court of Ahvaz sentenced Farzaneh Zilabi to one year in prison and two years ban on traveling abroad. Zilabi’s lawyer, Nasser Zarafshan, said she has been convicted of “spreading propaganda against the regime”. He stated that the decision was a “punishment for defending the workers”. In May 8, 2021, Zilabi was taken to court for representing the workers of the Haft Tappeh sugar mill, near the southwestern city of Shush.

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Regime Abuses

A Decade Of Deaths In Custody Unpunished Amid Systemic Impunity For Torture In Iran | Amnesty International

Iranian authorities have failed to provide accountability for at least 72 deaths in custody since January 2010, despite credible reports that they resulted from torture or other ill-treatment or the lethal use of firearms and tear gas by officials, said Amnesty International following yesterday’s reports of yet another suspicious death in custody. The findings, which are based on Amnesty International’s long-term research and a comprehensive review of reporting by credible human rights groups and media outlets, reveal that since January 2010, at least 72 deaths occurred at 42 prisons and detention centers in 16 provinces across the country.

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Inhuman Restrictions On Javad Hossein Nejad, Detained November 2019 Protester | Iran Human Rights Monitor

The authorities have stepped up inhuman restrictions on Javad Hossein Nejad, a November 2019 protester detainedin the Central Prison of Mashhad. Political prisoner Javad Hossein Nejad does not have permission to call his father, who has suffered a heart attack and is critically ill. The Central Prison of Mashhad authorities, also known as Vakilabad Prison, have deprived Mr. Hossein Nejad of his right to call his family. Last week, they disconnected his call and took away his phone card. During this period, he could call home only once for five minutes in the presence of prison agents. Mr. Hossein Nejad’s father suffered a heart attack on September 11. He is presently hospitalized in the Razavi Hospital of Mashhad. He seeks to see his son. But prison authorities do not allow his son to visit him.

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In The News

Kurd Political Prisoner Suspiciously Dies In Northwestern Iran | Iran Human Rights Monitor

The Ministry of Intelligence contacted the family of a Kurdish prisoner on Thursday, September 9, informing them of the death of their son in prison. The Kurdish prisoner has been identified by Kurdish websites as 31-year-old Yasser Mangouri, who worked as a lathe operator. Yasser was married and father to three children. The authorities have not yet provided the family with information on the manner or date of his death. Security agencies have so far refused to return the body of the prisoner to his family. Yasser Mangouri’s family held a memorial ceremoney for him today, despite the fact that his body has not yet been handed over to them. Mr. Mangouri was arrested by security forces on July 17.

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KDPI Says Will Not Be Forced Out Of Kurdistan Region | Rudaw

A Kurdish opposition party that has been under Iranian bombardment for five days said they will not give into pressure to move out of their bases in the Kurdistan Region. This is “not something to be considered,” Mohammed Nazif Qaderi, a senior Kurdistan Democratic Party of Iran (KDPI) official, told Rudaw’s Shaho Amin on Monday when asked if they will leave the Kurdistan Region.  Tehran and Baghdad may talk about it, he said, but the KDPI “will not accept any agreement outside our own political will and the interests of the people in eastern Kurdistan [Kurdish areas of Iran] and will not give into any pressure.”

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Raisi Elevates Sanctioned Officials With Ties To Khamenei | Iran International

While much of the international community awaits the resumption of the Iran nuclear talks in Vienna, Iran’s President Ebrahim Raisi (Raeesi) has continued to slowly fill his administration. His choices for vice president and some lower-level positions provide insights into the future direction of his presidency. This article will profile his new vice president for executive affairs, vice president for legal affairs, vice president and head of the Martyrs and Veterans Affairs Foundation, deputy foreign minister, and deputy defense minister. To date, Raisi’s presidency continues to be the most sanctioned and wanted presidency since 1979. The president, first vice president, chief of staff, vice president for executive affairs, vice president for parliamentary affairs, vice president for economic affairs, vice president and head of the Atomic Energy Organization, and ministers of defense, interior, roads, oil, and tourism are all sanctioned. The deputy defense minister has also been sanctioned.

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Feted With Petals, Hezbollah Brings Iranian Fuel Into Lebanon | Reuters

Hezbollah began bringing Iranian fuel into Lebanon via Syria on Thursday, a move the Shi’ite Muslim group says should ease a crippling energy crisis but which opponents say risks provoking U.S. sanctions. Dozens of truck carrying Iranian fuel oil entered northeastern Lebanon near the village of al-Ain, where Hezbollah’s yellow flag fluttered from lampposts. “Thank you Iran. Thank you Assad’s Syria,” declared a banner, referring to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. The trucks sounded their horns as they passed through al-Ain. Some onlookers waved Hezbollah’s flag, while a woman and boy threw petals at one vehicle.

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Despite Raisi’s Suppression, Iran’s Opposition Is On The Rise | Majid Rafizadeh For Townhall

As the Iranian regime prepares to confront a myriad of domestic crises, particularly by installing Ebrahim Raisi as its president, it finds itself fighting another losing battle, this time against a determined opposition force seeking its overthrow.  This seminal battle stands to define Iran’s future, and with it, the fate of the Middle East now threatened by religious extremism. Since 2017, the regime has been shell-shocked by at least four major popular uprisings against its shaky extremist rule. In November 2019, Tehran carried out a massacre in the streets, killing at least 1,500 protesters.

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Non-English Language Media

  کاظمی در تهران؛ درخواست ایران برای ‘اخراج و خلع سلاح’ مخالفان کُرد| BBC News

مصطفی کاظمی، نخست وزیر عراق امروز با استقبال رسمی ابراهیم رئیسی رئیس جمهوری ایران وارد تهران شد. مذاکره رسمی رهبران دو کشور بلافاصله در ساختمان اجلاس سران در پایتخت آغاز شد. امروز علی شمخانی، دبیر شورای عالی امنیت ملی نیز در دیداری جداگانه از آقای کاظمی خواست تا مخالفان کرد حکومت ایران از اقیلم کردستان “اخراج و خلع سلاح” شوند. هفت وزیر کابینه عراق او را در این سفر همراهی می‌کنند. گسترش روابط و موضوعات منطقه‌ای و نگرانی‌های امنیتی از جمله محور گفتگوی مقامات دو کشور است. مصطفی کاظمی پیش از سفر به تهران هدف از سفرش را “تقویت روابط دوجانبه” و “گشودن چشم انداز‌های تازه همکاری در عرصه‌های گوناگون و تعمیق روابط دو کشور” عنوان کرده بود.

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 سپاه با هشدار به مقامات اقلیم، مخالفان کرد را تهدید به حمله کرد؛ مخالفان کُرد: ایران مسئول آسیب به غیر نظامیان است| BBC News

فرمانده نیروی زمینی سپاه پاسداران در خصوص آنچه “سوء استفاده” مخالفان مسلح حکومت ایران از “اقلیم شمال عراق” خواند به مقام‌های این منطقه هشدار داد. او همچنین از ساکنان مرزهای شمال غرب ایران خواست از مقر مخالفان مسلح حکومت ایران فاصله بگیرند. در واکنش به این اظهارات گروه‌های مخالف کرد در بیانیه‌ای این تهدید‌ها را محکوم کردند و تهران را مسئول هرگونه آسیب احتمالی به غیرنظامی‌ها دانستند. محمد پاکپور فرمانده نیروی زمینی سپاه در بازدید از پایگاه‌های نظامی شمال غرب ایران، درباره “تحرکات” مخالفان کرد حکومت جمهوری اسلامی هشدار داد و خطاب به مقام‌های اقلیم گفت “ادامه این وضعیت قابل تحمل نیست و سپاه “پاسخ لازم” را خواهد داد.

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 عفو بین‌الملل: مقامات ایران از ژانویه ۲۰۱۰ از پاسخگویی درباره مرگ ۷۲ فرد بازداشت‌شده سر باز زده‌اند| Voice Of America

در پی انتشار گزارش‌هایی مبنی بر مرگ یک زندانی دیگر در ایران، سازمان عفو بین‌الملل در بیانیه‌ای به موارد متعدد مرگ «ناشی از شکنجه یا سایر بدرفتاری‌ها یا استفاده مرگبار از سلاح گرم و گاز اشک آور توسط مقامات» اشاره کرده است. در این بیانیه مطبوعاتی با استناد به تحقیقات و مستندات قبلی سازمان عفو بین‌الملل و بررسی جامع گزارش‌های معتبر سایر گروه‌های حقوق بشری، تصریح شده است: «از ژانویه سال میلادی۲۰۱۰ تا کنون، دست‌کم ۷۲ مورد مرگ در ۴۲ زندان و بازداشتگاه در ۱۶ استان در سراسر کشور رخ داده است. عفو بین الملل در این بیانیه که روز ۲۴ شهریور منتشر شد، گفته است: «این عدم پاسخ‌گویی در حالی ادامه یافته که بر اساس گزارش‌های قابل اعتنا، مرگ‌ این افراد ناشی از شکنجه یا سایر بدرفتاری‌ها یا استفاده مرگبار از سلاح گرم و گاز اشک‌آور توسط مقامات بوده است.

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 سالگرد اعدام نوید افکاری و ادامه فشارها بر خانواده او| The Independent

یک سال پس از اجرای غیرمنتظره حکم اعدام نوید افکاری، فشارها بر خانواده افکاری همچنان ادامه دارد. وحید و حبیب، دو برادرش، همچنان در سلول انفرادی به‌سر می‌برند، سعید و الهام، برادر و خواهر دیگر او نیز مورد ضرب‌وشتم نیروهای امنیتی قرار گرفتند و سعید برای چند ساعت بازداشت شد. علاوه‌بر تهدید خانواده افکاری برای برگزار نکردن مراسم سالگرد، گزارش‌هایی از حضور نیروهای امنیتی در روستای سنگر استان فارس، محل دفن نوید افکاری، و همچنین تهدید برخی بستگان و آشنایان آن‌ها و فعالان مدنی به دستگیری در صورت حضور بر سر مزار نوید افکاری در روز ۲۲ شهریورماه، منتشر شده است. نوید افکاری، کارگر ۲۷ ساله‌ای که ورزش کشتی را نیز به‌طور حرفه‌ای دنبال می‌کرد، پس از اعتراض‌های مرداد ۱۳۹۷ در شیراز دستگیر و صبح روز ۲۲ شهریور  ۱۳۹۹ با وجود ابهام‌های اساسی در پرونده، بدون اجرای تشریفات مربوط به اعدام، ازجمله دیدار خانواده، در زندان عادل‌آباد شیراز اعدام و شبانه دفن شد.

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