Saturday, January 31, 2009

Convert to Christian Couple Arrested, Tortured and Threatened

Tina Rad beaten and interrogated
by security police forces

On June 3 2008, a newly converted Christian couple was arrested by police for holding Bible studies with Muslims in their home and attending a house church. Security police forces tortured them and threatened to put their 4-year-old daughter in an institution after arresting them for holding Bible studies and attending a house church.

28 year old Tina Rad was charged with “activities against the holy religion of Islam for reading the Bible with Muslims in her home in east Tehran and trying to convert them". Officials charged her husband, 31 year old Makan Arya, with “activities against national security” after seizing the couple from their home and forcing them to leave their 4 year old daughter ill and unattended.

Authorities kept them in an unknown jail for four days, which left them badly bruised from beatings. Eventually the couple was pressured into signing a statement claiming they had not changed their religion from Islam and promising that they would stay away from their house church and other Christians.

Rad was released on bail of US$30,000, and her husband was freed on payment of US$20,000. “The next time there may also be an apostasy charge, if you don’t stop with your Jesus,” a female security police officer told Rad during interrogation. Under Iran’s strict Islamic laws, Muslims who convert from Islam to another religion can be executed.

Unfortunately Iranian police forces abuse their power and fabricate charges like drug trafficking, insulting prophet, insulting religious leaders and et cetera on victims specially prisoners of conscience. They beat you to the point that you will say and you will do whatever they ask for and they will want you to confess on things that you haven’t done, they will ask you to do things that is against your will and untrue but under severe torture, victim just doesn’t have any other option like Tina and Makan in this case.

Please watch the following video from 2:13 to listen to her story about problems after conversion to Christianity:

Hat tips: The voice of the Martyrs

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Iran executed 22 people two days in a row

Iran executed 22 people two days in a row in Tehran and a few other cities on January 20 and January 21 last week. 10 men were executed in Tehran’s Evin prison and 12 men in other cities; nine men in city of Yazd, 2 men in city of Isfahan and a man in city of Karaj.

Iran has the highest number of executions in the world after China. Iran executed at least 246 people last year. Crimes like adultery, armed robbery, apostasy, drug trafficking, murder and rape is punished by death in Iran.

We condemn the execution of 22 people in Iran. The death penalty is an arbitrary and useless process and unfortunately Iranian Judiciary is using confessions under torture as strong evidence so it makes unfair from the beginning. Iran judiciary is infamous for unfair trials.

France condemned the execution by hanging of 22 people in Iran, and called on Iran to consider ways to abolish the death penalty and as they said:

The death penalty is contrary to human dignity and has no proven crime-deterring effects. France-Diplomatie condemns death penalty in Iran.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Islamic Regime of Iran: Stop Destroying Individual & Mass Graves

Authorities in Islamic regime of Iran sometime during 9 - 16 January 2009, destroyed hundreds of individual and mass, unmarked graves by bulldozer in south of Tehran. These mass and individual unmarked graves belongs to political prisoners who executed by Iranian authorities during August 1988 and February 1989. Most of them are reposed by authorities in mass graves without any marks.

In August 1988 and February 1989 the Iranian authorities carried out a massive wave of executions of political prisoners – the largest since those carried out in the first and second year after the Iranian revolution in 1979. In all, between 4,500 and 10,000 prisoners are believed to have been killed.

Amnesty International calls on the Iranian authorities to immediately stop the destruction of hundreds of individual and mass, unmarked graves in Khavaran, south Tehran, to ensure that the site is preserved and to initiate a forensic investigation at the site as part of a long-overdue thorough, independent and impartial investigation into mass executions which began in 1988, often referred to in Iran as the “prison massacres”. The organization fears that these actions of the Iranian authorities are aimed at destroying evidence of human rights violations and depriving the families of the victims of the 1988 killings of their right to truth, justice and reparation. Link to Amnesty document

Note: I have to remind you Islamic Republic of Iran has had a long history of destroying graves specially religious minorities like Baha’is and ethnic minorities like Kurds and Balochis.

Also here is a documentary about horrifying experience of political prisoners in Iran; from people who witnessed first hand those executions; they got lucky to be alive today after spending years in prison and experiencing barbaric tortures, they survived and could run away out of that country at last but they still carry heartbreaking and devastating pain with themselves forever.

This documentary comes in 5 parts with English language subtitle.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Iran: Release university students

Unfortunately in last few days the University of Shiraz students in Iran have been subjected to persecution by the Islamic regime. Scores of students have been suspended from their studies and/or arrested by the security forces for taking part in the Student Day (Dec 7th) rallies and for protesting against the regime for its brutal repression and imposition of economic austerity.

37 students have been summoned by the University’s Disciplinary Committee, of whom 18 have been suspended for a period of 28 terms in total. 10 students were called to report to the Intelligence Ministry’s headquarters in the city of Shiraz, upon which they were all arrested and detained. Some of those students have been released on heavy bail; however, seven are still in jail.

Despite these attacks, students of the University of Shiraz have not remained silent and are continuing to hold protest rallies to demand the release of their colleagues. In their gatherings students have been vehemently speaking out against the Islamic regime’s leaders and they demanded:

  • Immediate and unconditional release of all their detained colleagues;
  • Revoking of all disciplinary orders;
  • Revoking of all detention and summons orders;
  • Revoking of all bail orders;
  • Dismantling of the University’s draconian Disciplinary Committee and Security.

We urge you to condemn the Islamic Republic of Iran for brutal repression of people, and support Shiraz students and their demands and to call on the Islamic regime in Iran to immediately release students and meet their demands.

Note: Letter originally prepared by Mr. Keyvan and I changed it a bit to fit the concept of this blog.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Another Iranian blogger is in detention

Iranian judiciary confirmed on 30 December the detention of Hossein Derakhshan, Iranian-Canadian blogger. His charges are related to insulting Islam’s religious figures.

This move is only the latest in a series of government attempts to tighten the grip on nearly 400,000 active bloggers in the country. (According to Open Net Initiative country report, 400,000 blogs are active and 7 million access the Internet in Iran.)

A bill, which overwhelmingly passed in the Iranian Parliament on its first reading in July 2008, further tightens the squeeze on bloggers. It applies the death penalty to web crimes that threaten “society’s moral security.” These are activities promoting prostitution, corruption or apostasy.

Tala Dowlatshahi, Reporters Without Borders Director – New York: “It is a bill simply put in place to alert the media and other members of civil society that blogging and sending out information, that it is not going to tolerate anybody going against the government’s line.”

Also Tehran’s Prosecutor-General Saeed Mortazavi announced on December 10 the formation of a special prosecutor’s department for Internet crimes that monitor online content and impose penalties for Internet offenses.

By the end of 2008 more bloggers were behind bars. According to RSF, Esmail Jafari of Bushehr was sentenced on charges of “anti-government propaganda” and “disseminating information abroad.” Additionally, the editor of the Azar Zan blog, Shahnaz Gholami, has been imprisoned since November 9 in the northwestern city of Tabriz. And in October, Mojtaba Lotfi from Qom ended up in prison.

In Iran nearly 1000 blogs are blocked every month. They’re all required by law to provide their contact and web content information for the government to monitor otherwise, their blogs and their Internet Service Providers are suspended and they face criminal charges.

Hat tips IranVNC

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Stoning to Death in Iran: A barbaric crime again carried out in Iran

Two men convicted of adultery have been stoned to death while third person escaped execution with serious injuries. Although Iran's judiciary chief Ayatollah Mahmoud Hashemi Shahrudi issued a directive in 2002 to suspend execution by stoning but under Iran's Islamic law, adultery is still punishable by stoning.

The stoning took place in Mashhad in December but judiciary didn't comment about it till press wrote about it.

Stoning is very barbaric way of execution. In stoning, men are buried in a hole to the waist and women are buried in a hole to the shoulders then public hurling of stones at the convict. The convict is spared death if he/she can free himself/herself from the hole.

Human rights groups have been long campaigned to abolish stoning in Iran but still Iran's new Islamic penal code hasn't approved by members of parliament yet.

Unfortunately still eight women and two men are said to be on death row facing stoning sentences.

A 16 years old blogger in prison

Today, let me remind you of young years old Iranian blogger who is in prison.

Ebrahim Mehrnehad was just 16 years old that detained by Iranian authorities and sentenced to five years imprisonment. He was just a youth blogger and was responsible for "Tohidiha" blog which is removed by regime now. (The blog url was was publishing Mr. Tohidi's sentences)

Court sentenced him on charges of "acting against national security" and "spreading propaganda". These charges may relate to his public condemnation of the death sentence imposed on his brother, Yaghoob Mehrnehad. Ebrahim Mehrnehad was not given access to a lawyer and he has been tortured likewise his brother case.

He is a prisoner of conscience, detained solely on account of the peaceful exercise of his rights to freedom of expression and association.

His brother, Yaghoob Mehrnehad, a blogger accused of association with terrorist group, sentenced to death by Iranian judiciary and executed on July 2008.

Reference: Amnesty International

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Death Sentence by Stoning continues in Iran

This is about story of two sisters Zohreh and Azar Kabiri which were charged with adultery. They will be sentenced to death by stoning. The verdict comes six months after each sister had already carried out a sentence of 99 lashes for the same crime.

According to Article 102 of the Islamic Penal Code of Iran stoning defined: "An adulterer man shall be buried in a ditch up to near his waist and an adulterer woman up to near her chest and then stoned to death."

Reference: IranVNC

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Flogging is another form of barbaric punishment in Iran

For those of you out there who still believes flogging is a good form of punishment specially when executed it in public, I want you to watch this video to the end and tell me how do you really feel?

I have to tell you that this flogging sentence happened in a small village, so there is not much people around but if you want to see how it would look like in a big city; take a look at this one.

Could you ever see yourself instead of the guy in the video? How would you expect to be treated? same way?!

Monday, January 5, 2009

Iran hanged 9 people, the day before Christmas day

Islamic Iran on Wednesday, December 24, 2008 hanged nine people convicted of murder in a mass execution in a Tehran prison as well as a drug trafficker in the north of the country, the Fars news agency reported.

According to an AFP count, Wednesday's hangings take to at least 244 the number of executions in Iran in 2008.

The Fars news agency said that eight men and a woman were executed in Tehran's notorious Evin prison, without giving further details.

Murder, adultery, rape, armed robbery, apostasy, and drug trafficking are all punishable by death under sharia law, practiced since the 1979 Islamic revolution.

News sources: Yahoo! News, Radio Free Europe

Iran tortures violently

Warning: Unsuitable for anyone under 14. This film would disturb viewers.

This video belongs to a movement of people united against human rights abuses in the 'war on terror' but I want to tell you I have seen way worst tortures in Iranian police stations and detentions centers than what you see in this video. They break hands, legs, ribs and teeth. They stretch legs and hands from different ways that person would painfully feel is going to tear into pieces from inside out.

I wish you guys would speak up against torture in Iran which dangers lives and no one takes responsibility. Every year many Iranians die under torture but there is no word and stats about it and this is very very sad moment in human history.

Execution of people in Iran in memory

In memory of Atefeh Sahaaleh, She was executed at the age of 16 for adultery she was hanged in public by a crane.