Here, There and Everywhere

Posts tagged ‘Iranian’

In Jail With Her Innocent Clients

Dear Gabriel,

ye2012_nasrin_rcNasrin Sotoudeh has had enough.

One of Iran’s most prominent human rights attorneys, Nasrin is serving a six-year prison sentence for defending political activists and juveniles facing the death penalty.

While Nasrin is in jail, authorities have gone out of their way to harass her husband and children.

LIGHT THE WAY to freedom for prisoners of conscience around the world. Click here to support Amnesty International’s work to defend human rights.

Iranian authorities are doing their utmost to silence the families of political prisoners.

When Nasrin’s husband Reza Khandan wrote a letter protesting her harsh treatment in prison, he was accused of “disturbing public opinion,” detained in Evin Prison overnight and questioned while blindfolded.

When authorities discovered that Nasrin had been using a tissue to write her defense for an upcoming court hearing, they cut off face-to-face visits with her 13-year-old daughter and five-year-old son.

Nasrin went on a seven-week hunger strike in protest.

But there is hope. The “judicial restrictions” placed on Nasrin’s daughter were removed today after increased public pressure from Amnesty International activists and others, ending Nasrin’s hunger strike.

Nobel Peace Prize laureate Shirin Ebadi has denounced Nasrin’s unjust imprisonment, calling her a “sincere colleague and a very courageous Iranian attorney.”

In October, after receiving the Martin Ennals Award for human rights defenders, Nasrin issued the following statement from prison:

Iranian society has never ignored its fundamental rights, but has paid heavily in doing so. They have never stopped their efforts because of arrest, incarceration, [or] judicial prosecution. I am proud to defend each and every one of [my] cases. I am glad and satisfied to endure incarceration alongside my innocent clients.

Nasrin’s children need their mother back, and the Iranian people need their brave human rights hero set free.

Your gift today can make a difference to victims of repression like Nasrin. Donate now.

Gabriel, your generosity makes Amnesty work.

Thank you for your continued dedication and support.

Sincerely,
Suzanne Nossel
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL USA

Talk With Iran – No Killing

Dear Gabriel,

As we approach the ninth anniversary of the invasion of Iraq, we once again see dangerous momentum for another irresponsible, unnecessary and costly war — this time with Iran.

Fear-mongering and propaganda aside, Iran is not an imminent threat to the United States — and we haven’t yet exhausted all avenues for diplomacy to ensure Iran does not acquire a nuclear weapon.

But as a result of the Iranian Revolution over 30 years ago, current law makes it very difficult for American diplomats to talk directly to representatives of the Iranian government.

That is why Congresswoman Barbara Lee has introduced legislation that, in her words, “directs the President to appoint a Special Envoy for Iran to ensure that all diplomatic avenues are pursued to avoid a war with Iran and to prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon.”1

Click here to automatically sign the petition. Tell your member of Congress to co-sponsor Rep. Lee’s bill to avoid an unnecessary and costly war with Iran.

Whether or not you think your representative will co-sponsor the bill, we need you to speak out.

Unfortunately, while the American people are opposed to another war of choice,2 those pushing for war have been far more vocal and organized than the rest of us.

Our friends on the Hill have told us that congressional offices are hearing from people who want us to go to war, but not from those who would like to see a diplomatic solution.

Not only will your petition signature signal support for Rep. Lee’s bill, it will also ensure that those howling for war are not met with a deafening silence on our side.

Our allies in Congress will know their constituents want them to remain steadfast, and other lawmakers will be put on notice that their constituents reject the dangerous saber-rattling that might bring our nation to the brink of war.

We can’t afford to remain a silent majority. We must push back on the ever-increasing clamor for war.

Click here to automatically sign the petition. Tell your member of Congress to co-sponsor Rep. Lee’s bill to avoid an unnecessary and costly war with Iran.

While there are no easy solutions to addressing the challenges we face with Iran, it is imperative that we pursue diplomacy.

We know all too well the consequences of starting an unnecessary war.

The war in Iraq was a catastrophic mistake and a tremendous moral failure.

But right now with Iran, all options are on the table except direct negotiations. That’s a recipe for another needless war.

We can’t wait for the first bombs to drop. We need to speak out now.

Tell your member of Congress to co-sponsor Rep. Lee’s bill to avoid an unnecessary and costly war with Iran. Click the link below to automatically sign the petition:

http://act.credoaction.com/r/?r=5541954&id=36805-266627-TLJh4Kx&t=10

Social Security is one of the greatest anti-poverty programs in our country’s history and is wildly popular. In addition, despite fear-mongering to the contrary, Social Security is currently running a surplus, will be fully solvent for decades, and is prohibited by law from adding to the deficit.

It’s a sad comment on our political system that an organization that represents older Americans needs to be pushed to stand up for Social Security.

But it’s better to speak out now and ensure AARP stands strong, than try to pick up the pieces after they cave.

Thank you for speaking out to stop another needless war.

Matt Lockshin, Campaign Manager
CREDO Action from Working Assets

Death Sentence for Programming

Dear Gabriel,

Iranians just held parliamentary elections. But many bloggers, students, journalists, filmmakers and other activists couldn’t exercise their right to vote.

They’ll be in jail.

One prisoner, Canadian resident and web programmer Saeed Malekpour, faces a death sentence and could be executed at any time. What did Saeed do to warrant this harsh sentence, based on charges of “insulting and desecrating Islam”? He wrote a web program that was used — without Saeed’s knowledge — for uploading pornographic images online.

Remind the Iranian authorities that death sentences are the ultimate cruel, inhuman and degrading punishment, in violation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Demand that Iran commute Saeed Malekpour’s death sentence for “cyber crimes” and give him a fair trial, free from torture and coercion.

Saeed’s case is a harbinger of what is to come as Iran unleashes a frightening new crackdown on freedom of expression. Amnesty’s report released this week, “We are ordered to crush you”: Expanding Repression of Dissent in Iran, reveals a widening net of repression in Iran — a net increasingly focused on Internet users and free speech on the web.

Freedom of expression was already on life support in Iran. Now, a “Cyber Army” has been unleashed to impose a total information blackout in the country.

Internet users in Iran increasingly find themselves caught in the crosshairs of this new wing of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard, a shadowy group entrusted with cutting off the free flow of information in the country. The “Cyber Army” has also extended its reach abroad, blocking Amnesty’s website in Iran, and carrying out attacks on websites like Twitter and the Voice of America.

Many Iranians are scared into silence. And if anyone dares to fight back and criticize the government publicly, their words will cost them dearly. Harsh sentences like Saeed’s aren’t unheard of, and those imprisoned in Iran often face terrible mistreatment — torture, forced confessions, years of solitary confinement.

Iran cannot be allowed to violate human rights with impunity, online or offline. Saeed Malekpour must not be executed for his alleged crimes. As Iranians head to the ballot box, cast your “vote” today by taking action for freedom of expression in Iran.

Sincerely,

Elise Auerbach
Iran Country Specialist
Amnesty International USA

Photographing Iran

From The Globalist

Recording the Truth in Iran
Photographs by Kaveh Goldestan
Reviewed by Ruchi Shukla

While on assignment for the BBC in the Northern Iraqi town of Kifri in 2003, Iranian photographer Kaveh Golestan died after stepping on a land mine.

Since before the Islamic Revolution of 1979, he was the only Iranian photojournalist who had a continuing presence in the country until his death in 2003.

Variety of images

In his book “Recording the Truth in Iran,” some of his most famous images from different collections have been selected so as to give a historical explanation for the present situation in Iran.

The collections vary in their timeframe as well as their subjects. Although he was primarily a war photographer, Golestan also covered such subjects as the prostitutes in Tehran, children in a mental asylum, the laborers of Tehran — and the Qaderi Dervishes of Kurdistan.

Besides his war-time images, these photographs give us a glimpse into the life of Iran.

History of Iran

Kaveh Golestan has covered all the major political upheavals in his country. His photographs tell the stories of the Iranian Revolution, the Iran-Iraq War, the first Gulf War, the U.S.-led war against the Taliban in Afghanistan and the current war in Iraq.

In 1988, Kaveh Golestan was one of the only photographers who captured the nerve gas attacks outside of the village of Halabja in Iraqi Kurdistan.

Recording the truth

While most Western media did not cover the attacks because they were compliant towards Saddam Hussein — who at that time was still a U.S. ally — Golestan was furious when his images did not make it into any major media besides Time Magazine.

Even while working in London, Golestan made several trips every year to Tehran to photograph and chronicle the happenings in the country.

He was there in 1979 when the Ayatollah Khomeini came back to power — and captured his funeral in 1989. His pictures told the story of the people behind the war lines.

Read entire review and see photos at The Globalist.

Cheapest Trip Ever!

It was on a gorgeous afternoon that I sat at an outside table of a local downtown coffee house and took an unexpected voyage around the world.

I had just put my derriere on a metal chair (made in Italy) and was waiting for my friend Betty (originally from Chicago) to join me with pictures of her recent trip, when the woman at the next table asked about the emblem on my shirt. I told her it was an Iranian National Soccer Team patch. She asked if I knew someone there and I said our family had an Iranian exchange student live with us for a year when I was growing up. She explained that she and her husband, who had just joined her, were fans of Majid Majidi and other Iranian filmmakers. She introduced herself, her husband and their child (Sylvie, Richard and Marcel), just as Betty sat down with her Guatemalan coffee.

Turns out that Sylvie and Richard (Oxman) put on a political/international and cultural event (including documentary films) which is called OneDance and includes filmmakers, educators and activists from around the world. They are also the proprietors of French Paintbox. Several times a year they organize retreats in the Southwest of France and meet participants from around the world. It doesn’t sound like your ordinary tour, as those on the trip have the opportunity to study and paint daily with master teachers’ such as Isabelle Maureau from l’Ecole Nationale Supérieure Des Beaux Arts De Paris. Sylvie said they also take daily excursions to botanical gardens, vineyards, museums, grottoes, country fairs, musical events, cafes, etc. She said it’s always a mixed group and you don’t have to be a painter to attend (thank goodness).

As their son Marcel, who looks like a miniature French movie star, came up to tell me that we both had on the same colored shirts (white), I thought about my wife’s French connections. I mentioned that my father-in-law spoke five languages and that he had lived in France for many years and that he and his wife (my mother-in-law) are originally from Germany. My friend Betty and her son both speak French, as does her husband (whose family goes back to Nova Scotia). Betty, obviously not thinking, asked if any of my children speak French. She should have known that that could send me on a long torrential downpour about my kids.

I looked down at my tennis shoes (made in China) and told them about my daughter, who traveled to Eastern Europe with her husband and how much they liked Italy, The Czech Republic and Turkey. Our other daughter was in Tahiti for three months, as part of her college studies. Two of our sons have been to and loved, Ireland and England and some of our best friends live in Sweden, I concluded, realizing I had never answered the question about speaking French. Sadly, I finally admitted, I don’t speak French or any other language, besides English, but both our daughters can speak Spanish, my wife German and youngest son took French for a year and a half in school. I’ve been trying to learn Kinyarwanda, which is spoken in much of East Africa (especially Rwanda), but still only know a few words.

After Sylvie, Richard and Marcel naturally tired from my monolingual linguistics, having heard all about my wife’s three-month trip to China, the Cameroon and French soccer teams and world politics, they politely said their au revoirs’. Betty was finally able to get a word in edgewise and told me about her trips to the East Coast, Nova Scotia and Nigeria.

About an hour later I walked past a World Bazaar retail store, paid my parking garage ticket (with American dollars), got in my Japanese car, turned on some Brazilian music and drove past Mexican, Sri Lankan, Thai, Indian and Afghani restaurants to my friend’s home on an Italian named street.

I’d only been at the restaurant for a couple of hours, but it seemed like I had traveled the globe. It was a pleasure meeting the Oxmans, hearing about French Paintbox and talking with Betty; but quite ironic that I, a stay-at-home American native, had felt like such a world citizen. For the price of an espresso (coffee from Nicaragua) it was definitely the cheapest trip I’ve ever taken!

Tag Cloud