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Election Protests Lead to Hundreds of Murders by Iran


November 25 2009
Election Protests Lead to Hundreds of Murders by Iran
by Arn Specter, (Twitter), Phila.

The following is becoming a typical scanario in dictatorial nations
that repress their people; especially protesters, dissidents.
First the government is strongly supported by the military and/or
religious leaders. They hold power with a virtual iron fist yet pretend
to the world that the people are living under democratic rule or some-
thing close to it, acceptable by the Western World. Behind the scenes
though civil and human rights are suppressed, the media is controlled,
women's rights trampled upon in the name of religion, education is allowed
though dissent is forbidden and severely punished with arrests, imprisonment
and executions (murders), sometimes for minor crimes, though with
political motivations, opposition political parties stifled although allowed
to run for office, then elections are tampered with fraud giving the
incumbant a victory by a wide margin. Then the opposing candidate(s)
and the people complain, even show evidence of the fraud and the State
clamps down, repressing the people even more after their protests die down
and the foreign media go home. Arrests are made as various notable protesters
are chosen, to be made as example for the others to be wary, trials held-
often without due legal representation, verdicts rendered and sentences
pronounced.
Imprisonment follows and executions occur, explained away
by the State as justified and necessary under their elected authority
- elected by the people- of the fair and just nation of competant leaders
acting under the established laws of the society.
The local and national media are controlled or shut down, while the
foreign press is given as little truth as possible, the crimes against the
people, the protesters, dismissed and explained as the actions of rebels
or militants who have disobeyed the laws and forment dissent among the public.
Sometimes other nations are accused of funding and infiltrating the ranks of the militant protesters. Much to the dismay of the State leaders however, due to the world wide media networks along with the Internet, much information gets out
and the government is forced to defend itself against international criticism.
In serious situations the United Nations, European Union or the United States or other major power body or agency seeks justice and issues forth warnings, resolutions and sanctions against the ruling party. These reprimands and
punishments may or may not yield the intended results, yet the State is
revealed for it's harsh rule and inhumane violations of civil and human rights;
yea even outright murders, called under the guise as legal executions.
The chief perpetrators in the world, in this regard are:
1) China and 2) Iran in the number of murder (executions) in the world today. Here are articles, photos and links proving a case against IRAN today:
Arn Specter, Phila. (Twitter)
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Contents:
1) Worldwide Protests Against Iran (Photos)
2) Summary of Election Events (Wikipedia, Extensive Report)
3) Iran executes 13 Sunni rebels amidst political tension from election protests (Article)
4) Iran’s Death Penalty Is Seen as a Political Tactic
5) UN blasts Iran's human rights violations (Sen. Carl Levin's Resolution)
6) Iran frees activist on bail in mass trial

1) Opposition groups want the world to know that protest against
Iran for Human Rights Abuses are happening in many countries;
From TIME magazine view protests and protestors in Washington,D.C.
and Los Angeles in the U.S. in London, Stockholm, Berlin, Paris, The Hague, Athens, Vienna in Europe, and Kiev (Ukraine), Dubai (United Arab Emigrates) , and in South Korea (the Iranian National Team).

http://www.time.com/time/photogallery/0,29307,1905312_1898468,00.html
Protesting Iran's Election Around the World, (16) Photos with Captions

Links to: the Turbulent Aftermath of Iran's Election (53) Photos , Captions

Link to: Oposition Warns of Vote-Rigging (article with links)

Link to: The 10 Ahmadinejad-isms
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
2) for a very extensive Summary of Election Events we look to
www.wikipedia.org
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iranian_presidential_election,_2009#Aftermath
Here are some excerpts:

Iran's tenth presidential election was held on 12 June 2009,[1][2] with incumbent Mahmoud Ahmadinejad running against three challengers. The next morning the Islamic Republic News Agency, Iran's official news agency, announced that with two-thirds of the votes counted, Ahmadinejad had won the election with 62% of the votes cast,[3] and that Mir-Hossein Mousavi had received 34% of the votes cast.[4][5] The European Union,[6] United Kingdom[7] and several western countries expressed concern over alleged irregularities during the vote,[6] and many analysts and journalists from the United States, Europe and other western based media voiced doubts about the authenticity of the results.[8][9][10][11] Meanwhile many OIC member states, as well as Russia, China, India, and Brazil, have congratulated Ahmadinejad on his victory.

Mousavi issued a statement saying, "I'm warning that I won't surrender to this charade," and urged his supporters to fight the decision, without committing acts of violence.[9] Protests, in favour of Mousavi and against the alleged fraud, broke out in Tehran. Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei urged the nation to unite behind Ahmadinejad, labeling his victory as a "divine assessment".[12] Mousavi lodged an official appeal against the result to the Guardian Council on 14 June.[13] On 15 June, Khamenei announced there would be an investigation into vote-rigging claims, which would take seven to ten days.[14] On 16 June, the Guardian Council announced it will recount the votes. However, Mousavi stated that 14 million unused ballots were missing, giving a chance to manipulate the results.[15] On 29 June, Iran's electoral board completed the partial recount, and concluded that Ahmadinejad won the election, amidst protest from the opposition.[16]

The President of Iran is the highest official elected by direct popular vote, but does not control foreign policy or the armed forces. Candidates have to be vetted by the Guardian Council, a twelve member body consisting of six clerics (selected by Iran's Supreme Leader) and six lawyers (proposed by the head of Iran's judicial system and voted in by the Parliament).[17]

The inauguration of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was held on 5 August in Tehran amid protests held outside the Parliament.[18]

[edit] Pre-election violence
On 1 June, a campaign office of Ahmadinejad's primary opponent, Mir-Hossein Mousavi, was torched. The office was located in the city of Qum, in northwest Iran. No group claimed responsibility for the attack. At the same time, it was reported that an assassination had been attempted against former president Mohammad Khatami by means of a bomb placed on an aircraft he was to board.[87]
[edit] Blocking of communications
Mobile phone communications were interrupted in Tehran on election day and the BBC has stated that "heavy electronic jamming" was being used to halt their broadcasts.[88] On 23 May 2009, the Iranian government temporarily blocked access to Facebook across the country. Gulfnews.com reported that this move was a response to the use of Facebook by candidates running against Ahmadinejad.[89] PC World reported that Mousavi's Facebook page had more than 6,600 supporters.[90] Access was restored by 26 May 2009.[91]

[edit] Alleged vote rigging or coup attempt
In an interview taken after third partial results were announced, Mohsen Makhmalbaf said he was told that there was to be a coup on Saturday.[92] Makhmalbaf also claimed to be Mousavi's official speaker, which was refuted by Mousavi's official site Ghalamnews. Makhmalbaf then claimed that Ghalamnews is hacked, which was refuted this time by Ghalamnews, Kaleme, and officials at Mousavi's campaign headquarter, which repeated that only these two sites and his campaign headquarter are reliable sources for Mousavi's position and people should not consider any other source as reliable. [93]

The New York Times quoted an employee of the Interior Ministry claiming that "the government had been preparing its fraud for weeks, purging anyone of doubtful loyalty and importing pliable staff members from around the country."[44] The New Yorker stated that "dissident employees of the Interior Ministry... have reportedly issued an open letter" saying that the election was stolen.[41] The Guardian has also mentioned "reports of a leaked interior ministry figures allegedly suggesting Mousavi had won", although the article questioned the credibility of the report.[14]

The Guardian reported on 17 June 2009 that an Iranian news website identified at least 30 polling sites with turnout over 100% and 200 sites with turnout over 95%.[94] On 21 June 2009, a spokesman from the Guardian Council (an organ of the Iranian government) stated that the number of votes cast exceeded the number of eligible voters in no more than 50 cities, something the Council argued was a normal phenomenon which had taken place in previous elections as people are not obliged to vote where registered (when they have been born).[95][96]

On June 18, Iranian film makers Marjane Satrapi and Mohsen Makhmalbaf appeared before Green Party members in the European Parliament to present a document allegedly received from a member of the Iranian electoral commission claiming that that the liberal candidate Mir Hossein Mousavi had actually won the election, and that the conservative incumbent Mahmoud Ahmedinejad had received only 12% of the vote.[97][98][99]

Aftermath [edit] Protests

Main article: 2009 Iranian election protests
Clashes broke out between police and groups protesting the election results from early morning on Saturday onward. Initially, the protests were largely peaceful. However, as time passed, they became increasingly violent. Some protesters began to get violent after the results of the election were announced. Angry crowds in Tehran broke into shops, tore down signs, and smashed windows.[106] Civil unrest took place as protesters set fire to tires outside the Interior Ministry building and others formed a human chain of around 300 people to close off a major Tehran street.[22]

The demonstrations grew bigger and more heated than the 1999 student protests.[12] Al Jazeera English described the 13 June situation as the "biggest unrest since the 1979 revolution." It also reported that protests seemed spontaneous without any formal organization.[107] Two hundred people protested outside Iran's embassy in London on 13 June.[108] Ynet has stated that "tens of thousands" protested on 13 June.[109] Demonstrators are chanting phrases such as "Down with the dictator", "Death to the dictator", and "Give us our votes back".[9][109] Mousavi has urged for calm and asked that his supporters refrain from acts of violence.[9]

Protesters in Tehran, June 16
Ynet reported on 14 June that two people had died in the rioting so far.[109] That day, protests had been organized in front of the Iranian embassies in Turkey,[19] Dubai,[19] Paris,[110] Berlin,[110] London,[111] Rome,[112] Sydney,[113] Vienna[110] and The Hague.[114] In response to the reformist protests, tens of thousands of people rallied in Tehran on 14 June to support the victory of Ahmadinejad.[13]

On 15 June, Mousavi[115] rallied, with anywhere from hundreds of thousands[45] to three million,[116] of his supporters in Tehran, despite being warned by state officials that any such rally would be illegal. The demonstration, the largest in the Islamic Republic of Iran's 30-year history, was Mousavi's first public appearance after the election. Protests focused around Azadi Tower, around which lines of people stretched for more than nine kilometers met. Gunshots were reported to have been fired at the rally, where Mousavi had spoke to his supporters saying, "The vote of the people is more important than Mousavi or any other person."[19][45] All three opposition candidates appeared.[116]

Competing rallies for Mousavi and for Ahmadinejad took place on 16 June. The pro-Ahmadinejad protesters, chanting the phrases "Death to America!" and "Death to Israel!", outnumbered their opponents, but they did not match the numbers of opponents who had protested the day before. Reports from the state media and elsewhere stated on 16 June that seven people have died in all of the protests so far.[15][117] However, Times Online quoted a Rasoul Akram Hospital nurse that day who asserted that 28 people have suffered from "bullet wounds" and eight have died so far.[118] Over half a million reformist Iranians marched silently from from Haft-e-Tir Squre to Vali Asr Square on 17 June. The National Iranian American Council stated that day that 32 people had died protesting so far.[45]

[edit] Government actions

Where is my vote? The motto used by demonstrators.
[edit] Arrests
See also: Law enforcement in Iran and Human rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran
On the weekend of 13 and 14 June, in a series of raids across Tehran, the government arrested over 170 people, according to police officials.[119] Among them were prominent reformist politicians, including MIRO founder Behzad Nabavi, IIPF leader Mohsen Mirdamadi, and former president Mohammad Khatami's brother Mohammad-Reza Khatami, who was later released.[6][120][121] Also arrested were Mostafa Tajzadeh and Mohsen Aminzadeh, whom the IRNA said were involved in orchestrating protests on 13 June.[121] Anonymous sources said that the police stormed the headquarters of the IIPF and arrested a number of people.[12][122] Iranian journalist Mashallah Shamsolvaezin claimed that presidential candidate Mir-Hossein Mousavi was put under house arrest, although officials denied this.[123] An estimated 200 people were detained after clashes with students at Tehran university, although many were later released.[124]

Acting Police Chief Ahmad-Reza Radan stated via the state press service on the 14th that “in the interrogation of related rebels, we intend to find the link between the plotters and foreign media".[125] A judiciary spokesman said they had not been arrested but that they were summoned, "warned not to increase tension," and later released.[126] Intelligence minister Gholam Hossein Mohseni-Ejehei linked some arrests to terrorism supported from outside Iran, stating that "more than 20 explosive consignments were discovered".[127] Others, he said, were "counter-revolutionary groups" who had "penetrated election headquarters" of the election candidates.[127]

On 16 June, Reuters reported that former vice-president Mohammad-Ali Abtahi and former presidential advisor Saeed Hajjarian had been arrested.[128] Human rights lawyer Abdolfattah Soltani, who had been demanding a recount of all votes, was also arrested on the Tuesday according to Shirin Ebadi, who said that security officials had posed as clients.[129] Over 100 students were arrested after security forces fired tear gas at protesters at Shiraz university on the same day.[124] Reporters Without Borders reported that 5 of 11 arrested journalists were still detention as of 16 June, and that a further 10 journalists were unaccounted for and may have been arrested.[124]

On 17 June, former foreign minister and secretary-general of the Freedom Movement of Iran, Ebrahim Yazdi, was arrested while undergoing tests at Pars hospital in Tehran.[124][130] He was held overnight in Evin Prison before being released and returning to hospital, where according to Human Rights Watch he remained under guard.[131][132] In Tabriz, other Freedom Movement activists and eight members of the IIPF were arrested, with reports of at least 100 civic figures' arrests.[124] The total number of arrests across Iran since the election was reported as 500.[124]

Aaron Rhodes, a spokesman for the international campaign for human rights in Iran, stated that "Iranian intelligence and security forces are using the public protests to engage in what appears to be a major purge of reform-oriented individuals whose situations in detention could be life-threatening".[124] In Isfahan Province, prosecutor-general Mohammadreza Habibi warned that dissidents could face execution under Islamic law.[133]

[edit] Censorship
Wikinews has related news: News services and World Wide Web companies increase Farsi services after Iranian presidential election

See also: Censorship in Iran and Communications in Iran
According to the Telegraph, on 14 June "Iran's regime was doing its utmost to choke off the flow of news from its capital."[134] Reporters from the Italian public television broadcaster RAI stated that one of its interpreters was beaten with clubs by riot police and the officers then confiscated the cameraman's tapes.[12] The Al Arabiya's offices in Tehran were closed on June 14 for a week by Iranian authorities, who gave no explanation for the decision.[135] Meanwhile, the director of BBC World Service accused the Iranian Government of jamming its broadcasts to the country. Peter Horrocks said audiences in Iran, the Middle East and Europe had been affected by an electronic block on satellites used to broadcast the BBC Persian Television signal to Iran, adding: "It seems to be part of a pattern of behaviour by the Iranian authorities to limit the reporting of the aftermath of the disputed election".[6][136]

Al Jazeera English has leveled allegations of direct media censorship by the Iranian government, stating that "some of the newspapers have been given notices to change their editorials or their main headlines".[3] BBC correspondent John Simpson was arrested, his material confiscated, and then released.[137] NBC News offices in Tehran were raided, with cameras and other equipment confiscated. ABC News reporter Jim Sciutto also has had material taken. People from the German public broadcasters ZDF and ARD have been harassed as well, with men carrying batons and knives reportedly storming the ARD's Tehran office. A BBC corporate official has referred to the network's conflict with the regime as 'electronic warfare'.[45]

On 13 June 2009, when thousands of opposition supporters clashed with the police, Facebook was filtered again. Some news websites were also blocked by the Iranian authorities. Mobile phone services including text messaging also stopped or became very difficult to use.[107] Specifically, all websites affiliated with the BBC were shut off,[9] as were ones with The Guardian.[22] Associated Press labeled the actions "ominous measures apparently seeking to undercut liberal voices".[12] The restrictions were likely intended to prevent Mousavi's supporters from organizing large-scale protests.[126] The protesters used phone calls, e-mails and word of mouth to get around the measures.[19]

Ahmadinejad has responded to concerns by saying, "[d]on't worry about freedom in Iran... Newspapers come and go and reappear. Don't worry about it."[138] In response to the crackdown, anti-regime activists have repeatedly taken down Ahmadinejad's and Khamenei's websites. According to CNN, the United States State Department has worked with Twitter to expand the website's access in Iran.[45]

International reactions

Main article: International reaction to the 2009 Iranian presidential election
[edit] See also
2009 Iranian election protests
2009 Iran poll protests trial
[edit] References (158 references)
^ "Iran To Hold Presidential Election In June 2009" (Reuters). Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty. 7 September 2008. http://www.rferl.org/content/Iran_To_Hold_Presidential_Election_In_June_.... Retrieved 2 December 2008.
Images

Iranian Pictures of Post Election 2009
Iranian Protesters Fill Streets After Election Result - slideshow by The New York Times
The Big Picture: Iran's Disputed Election - high res images by The Boston Globe
Flickr Photos - Iranian Elections 2009 From The Beginning
Election aftermath

Who's Who in Iran? by BBC News

Rafsanjani's Gambit Backfires
Letter from Mousavi to the Guardian Council - Challenging the Results
Roundup: Analyses of Fraud in Iran
Question & Answer on the Iran Crisis
Don't Assume Ahmadinejad Really Lost by Robert Baer, Time Magazine, June 16 2009
Iranian Elections: The ‘Stolen Elections’ Hoax by Professor James Petras
Iran’s Presidential Elections, Islamic Populism and Liberation Theology by Prof. Akbar E. Torbat, Global Research, June 28 2009
Coverage from the Huffington Post: Live-Blogging The Uprising, Aljazeera, BBC, New York Times, The Globe Opinion
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------3) Iran executes 13 Sunni rebels amidst political tension from election protests
www.collegenews.com , 07/15/09
Iranian officials hang 13 members of the Sunni rebel group Jundallah on Tuesday
Tiffany Ayuda

Iranian officials executed 13 members of a Sunni Muslim rebel group on Tuesday morning in Zahedan, a southeastern city, the New York Times reports.

According to the Times, the Iranian state news agency reported that the executions were part of the consequences of the recent controversial presidential election.

Many people have accused the Iranian government of downplaying the number of deaths from the protests, which erupted since the June 12 election.

The Times reported that, according to Hadi Ghaemi, a spokesman for the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran, officials from three different hospitals in Tehran say they’ve received the bodies of 34 protesters that were killed on June 20th alone.

However, the government says that only 20 protesters were killed since the protests.

Despite efforts of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s administration to quell the demonstrations, a political divide continues to grow and tensions are still widespread.

Resalat, a newspaper that has openly supported Ahmadinejad, warned the president in an editorial that members of the political elite and most intellectuals were not confident in his administration. Moreover, the editorial called for Ahmadinejad to appoint members of the opposition in his administration to appease protesters.

The top adviser to Moussavi, the main opposition leader, says

that Moussavi is planning to form a political front, according to the Iranian Labor News Agency. Furthermore, Moussavi and his wife Zahra Rahnavard reportedly visited the family of a 19-year-old man who was shot and killed at a protest three days after the election, according to Iranian web sites.

The state news agency also reports that satellite dishes were now illegal and police officers have been visiting houses to take the dishes away. Because of widespread foreign reports from news organizations abroad about the protests, the government has began cutting off signals and has blamed the foreign press for sparking the protests.

Jundallah, the Sunni rebel group to which the three executed men belonged,

is considered as a terrorist organization by the Iranian government, which has accused it of killing hundreds of Iranians and soldiers.

Iran has accused the U.S. of supporting Jundallah, which is fighting for the ethnic group Baluchi.

The group has also played a part in the divide between the Sunnis and Shiites in Iran. Jundallah says it was responsible for the bombing of a Shiite mosque back in May. As a result, the government hung three men who were accused of being involved in the attack.

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4) Iran’s Death Penalty Is Seen as a Political Tactic

By MICHAEL SLACKMAN
Published: November 22, 2009
CAIRO — A flurry of executions and death sentences in Iran has raised concern that the government is using judicially sanctioned killing to intimidate the political opposition and quell pockets of ethnic unrest around the nation, human rights groups and Iran experts said.

In Iran, where there is precedent for executions to surge in the wake of a crisis, human rights groups said there was mounting evidence that the trend had emerged in response to the political tumult that followed the June presidential election. This month, a fifth person connected to the protests was sentenced to death.

In at least one instance, a Kurdish activist was hanged after the government added a new charge, raising concerns that cases with political overtones were drawing more serious penalties.

In the short period between the disputed June election and the inauguration of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in August, 115 people were executed, according to statistics compiled by human rights groups from Iranian news agencies. Though the executions mostly involved violent criminals and drug dealers, the number and pace of the killings appeared to be sending a message to the opposition, said human rights groups and Iran experts.

“The regime never expected to see people demonstrate so openly since the elections,” said Hossein Askari, a professor of international affairs at George Washington University. “The executions are intended to frighten them. It is absolutely intended for that purpose.”

The executions have taken place amid rising criticism of Iran’s postelection human rights record. Former officials, intellectuals and journalists have received long prison sentences after brief televised trials, and some prisoners have said they were tortured, raped and sodomized by prison authorities.

Muhammad Ali Abtahi, a former vice president, was sentenced last week to six years in prison “for crimes against internal national security, propaganda against the Islamic republic, insulting the president and creating public disorder by his presence at illegal protests,” a Web site on Iran reported. He was released on bail, pending appeal.

The United Nations passed a draft resolution last week criticizing Iran for numerous human rights abuses; the final resolution is expected to pass the General Assembly.

“The recent spike in executions, particularly of political prisoners, is an attempt to sow fear and spread terror through the population, to persuade them that the powers that be are determined to use all means necessary to put down dissent and that participating in the opposition movement can be highly costly,” said Hadi Ghaemi, a former physics professor who runs the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran.

In recent years, Iran has had the highest rate of executions of any nation except China. That reputation was solidified under President Ahmadinejad, who has presided over a quadrupling in executions, to 346 in 2008 from 86 in 2005, the year he took office, according to Amnesty International.

Iran does not release statistics on executions, so it is impossible to compare monthly or annual rates. But in recent days, there has been a flood of reports from around the country of executions, most involving convicted drug dealers or criminals. On Friday, news reports said that over the previous 10 days, 16 people had been executed in cities including Kerman, Isfahan and Ahwaz.

In mid-October, Behnood Shojaee, who was on death row for committing a murder four years ago at the age of 17, was executed despite international calls for his sentence to be commuted because he was a minor at the time of the crime.

Drewery Dyke, a researcher with Amnesty International, said that it was not unusual for Iranian officials to step up executions in the wake of a political crisis. In 1988, after Iran agreed to a cease-fire with Iraq, the government executed thousands of political prisoners not initially charged with capital crimes and already serving sentences in prison.

“There does seem to be a greater willingness across the spectrum for the authorities to deploy force in every way, from the police through to the administration of justice,” he said. “There seems to be that much higher level of ruthlessness.”

According to Amnesty International, there were 196 executions in Iran in the first half of 2009. Between the June 12 election and the president’s inauguration on Aug. 5, executions surged to an average of two a day, the group said. So far this year, there have been 359 executions, though an exact tally is hard to come by because the group compiles the data based on reports from government-affiliated news sources.

Since the postelection surge in executions, the government has moved aggressively to impose the death penalty on people linked to separatist insurgent groups, even when they have not been convicted of violent activities themselves, human rights groups said.

Concern about executions with political overtones increased with the case of Ehsan Fattahian, 28, who was convicted of belonging to an armed Kurdish group, rights groups said. He was originally sentenced to 10 years in prison, but then the government added the charge of being mohareb, or an enemy of God, and hanged him on Nov. 11.

His parents were not allowed to see his body and the authorities did not permit a public mourning service, opposition Web sites reported.

According to pro-Kurdish rights groups, a special execution team has been sent to the western province of Kordestan, where the groups said 12 Kurdish prisoners were awaiting the death penalty. It was impossible to verify that claim.

After Mr. Fattahian’s execution, a group of Kurdish members of Parliament wrote a letter asking the head of the judiciary to drop death sentences against other Kurdish prisoners, Iranian news agencies reported.

A spokesman at the Iranian mission to the United Nations in New York did not respond to two e-mail messages requesting comment on the use of the death penalty.

Since the election crisis, Iran has not allowed foreign reporters to work in the country. But Iranian officials have defended the death penalty in the past.

“We have laws,” Mr. Ahmadinejad said at an appearance at Columbia University in 2007. “People who violate the public rights of the people by using guns, killing people, creating insecurity, sell drugs, distribute drugs at a high level, are sentenced to execution in Iran, and some of these punishments — very few are carried in the public eye, before the public eye. It’s a law based on democratic principles.”

But Mr. Ghaemi of the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran

said that often, death sentences are issued to defendants who have not been given

a proper chance to defend themselves, in trials of questionable fairness and merit.

“There is growing fear that another jump in executions is under way,” he said. “Most troubling is that execution of political prisoners has resumed.”

Mona el-Naggar contributed reporting.

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5) UN blasts Iran's human rights violations
(AFP) – 3 days ago

UNITED NATIONS — A UN panel on Friday blasted Iran for "serious, ongoing and recurring" human rights violations, including violence against protesters after the disputed June presidential elections.

Members of the United Nations human rights committee adopted the damning -- but non-binding -- resolution by with 74 votes in favor, 48 against and with 59 nations abstaining.

In a similar vote last year, before the disputed elections, Iran garnered slightly more support.

One country who shifted support away from Iran was Saudi Arabia, which voted "yes" this year after voting "no" in 2008.

The decision is being seen as a sign of Riyadh's irritation at alleged Iranian support for a Shiite rebellion in Yemen, which has spilled onto Saudi territory.

The resolution expresses "deep concern at the serious, ongoing and recurring human rights violations in the Islamic Republic of Iran."

It condemned the government's response after mass protests that followed President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's disputed June 12 re-election "and the concurrent rise in human rights violations."

Deadly street rallies broke out after the vote, with protesters claiming Ahmadinejad's re-election was rigged.

About 4,000 people were arrested, and 140 of them, including senior reformers and journalists, were shown on state television in mass trials charged with seeking a "soft" overthrow of the regime.

The UN panel lambasted the Iranian government for targeting opposition members, human rights activists and journalists with "harassment, intimidation and persecution, including by arbitrary arrest, detention or disappearance."

Iran's UN ambassador, Mohammad Khazaee, protested against the measure introduced by Canada, saying that Ottawa was revealing "its ill intentions" and "advancing its narrow political agenda."

The 192-member General Assembly was to adopt the text at a later, unspecified date. It will be the 22nd time since 1985 that a UN plenary assembly addresses human rights in Iran.

In Washington, US Democratic Senator Carl Levin introduced a resolution late Thursday condemning the Islamic republic's human rights record, calling for the "immediate release of those wrongfully imprisoned" and the restoration of "meaningful human rights" to all Iranian citizens, his office said.

Levin denounced "Iran's deplorable violations of basic human rights."

Copyright © 2009 AFP. All rights reserved. More »

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6) Iran frees activist on bail in mass trial
Tue Nov 24, 2009
TEHRAN, Iran – Iran's official news agency reports a political activist and former head of the Tehran municipal council has been released on bail in the mass trial of opposition figures accused of fomenting the post-election unrest.

Mohammad Atrianfar headed the council in late 1990s. He was a close ally of Mahdi Karroubi, one of the losing candidates in disputed June presidential election who became a leader of the opposition afterward.

The Tuesday report by IRNA quotes the Tehran prosecutor, Abbas Jafari Dolatabadi, as saying Atrianfar was released on $500,000 bail. He did not say what he was sentenced for.

Atrianfar, who has been in jail since June, was one of several former officials among more than 100 people on trial over post-election protests.

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Arn Specter is a researcher and writer in Philadelphia. His writings on social/political issues including anti-war sentiments, reducing the military budget and disarmament, reduction asnd elimination of nuclear weapons, diplomacy and peacemaking, the U.S. Missile Defense System, Human Rights for Burma and othe countries, affordable Health Care for Everyone, and Animal Welfare issues can be found on www.opednews.com at http://www.opednews.com/populum/diarymanage.php

Arn Specter, P.O. Box 5857, Phila. Pa. 19128, (215) 843-1850, arnpeace@yahoo.com
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