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  • 15 February 2010
  • Posted By Layla Armeen
  • Events in Iran, Human Rights in Iran, Iran Election 2009

Karroubi Son Brutalized After Feb. 11 Arrest (updated)

Fatemeh Karroubi, the wife of Mehdi Karroubi who is one of Iran’s main opposition leaders, claims her youngest son was arrested, tortured and threatened with rape after the February 11 anti-government protests. In an open letter to Ayatollah Ali Khamenei — the Supreme Leader of the Islamic Republic of Iran — Mrs. Karroubi discusses the current political turmoil in Iran and pleads for due process and restoration of the rule of law in the country.

After giving a brief history of her and her husband’s key involvement during the revolution, Mrs. Karroubi describes the events of the Feb. 11 and what led to her son’s brutal treatment by the Basij and the anti-riot police. She claims that her son, Ali Karroubi 37, was arrested with no legal basis then beaten and humiliated in a nearby mosque.

They took him to the Amiral Momenin Mosque and he was beaten along with other detainees. He was recognized when they were registering the detainees by name. Then, after ten minutes, after the agents got the order from higher officials, he was separated from the other detainees and beaten severely. They used the Mosque as a place of torturing the children of the people of the country. Along with physical torture, Ali was subjected to verbal assault against his parents and was under severe psychological torture. When Ali protested the insult against his parents, the physical and psychological tortures were increased.

Once Ali Karroubi was ordered to be released by the higher ups, she said, the agent in charge expressed his regrets that they could not keep him for another 24 hours, or else “he would have delivered his dead body.”

At the end of her letter, she appeals to Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and asks for his direct intervention in stopping these appalling acts of injustice by the current elements in power.  She despises the “lack of an independent judicial system” and demands the Supreme Leader to intervene before it is too late.


update: Jaras reports that Tehran’s District Attorney, Jafar Dolat-Abadi is denying Karroubi’s arrest.  “If he claims that he was arrested then he needs to show reason and provide proof to his place of detention.”

“Through systematic investigations within the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC), the Ministry of Intelligence and the Police it appears that no individual with this name was ever arrested,” Dolat-Abadi continued.

No word yet on how a person can convince the District Attorney they were arrested…

  • 16 August 2009
  • Posted By Artin
  • Human Rights in Iran, Iran Election 2009

Mousavi Reveals Details about Election Day

Mir-Hossein Mousavi today shed light on what transpired after the polls closed on election day.

“Initially, I thought what I witnessed was due to mismanagement, and I tried personally to contact officials of the nation,” he said. “That very day I called the Chief of Judiciary twice, the Prosecutor-General twice, and the Speaker of the Majles twice, and the House of the Leader four times to raise the issue.”

Mousavi added that some days before the election he took into consideration “specific information” about multiple “scenarios” that could have occurred on Election Day, which he received from the “great wave of people who contacted” his campaign organization.

Mousavi confirmed that he had predicted some of the events of Election Day, such as the attacks from that afternoon against his campaign organization.

Mousavi criticized the people who called the election protests dependent on “foreigners,” turning their arguments against them by arguing that they are the ones who have served the interests of the West.

“To find the main suspects, look amongst the people that organized the toxic propaganda that attacked the people’s confidence and peace–with their melancholy resolutions, they have served the enemy.”

“Certainly the currents that have attacked the people in Kayhan and Seda va Sima [IRIB multimedia channel] in the past two months have supplied the interests of America and the United Kingdom.”

This happens at a time when Kayhan is accusing Mousavi of “clear cooperation with foreigners.” Officials of the Judiciary have accused some of the imprisoned post-election protestors of “clear cooperation with foreigners” as well.

Mousavi said that the government “violates the basic principles of judicial procedure” in the mass trial of political detainees. He added, “If the frequent reports we are receiving are true, then we must all bury our heads underground.” [It appears he is referring to claims of rape and Abu
Ghraib-style abuse by the guards, and the deaths that have occurred].

Mousavi said if the recent reports by Mr. Karroubi prove true, it makes reaching a solution much more difficult, and “it greatly widens the scope of justification for protests and pessimism.”

Mousavi emphasized that it is not possible to execute some parts of the Constitution but “throw away” other parts of it.

  • 10 August 2009
  • Posted By David Elliott
  • Human Rights in Iran

ICHRI: Iran Torture and Ill-Treatment Systematic

The International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran just issued a statement about efforts by some Iranian government officials to downplay reports of extensive human rights abuses:

Iran: Torture and Ill-Treatment Systematic, Not Result of “Negligence” and “Carelessness”

Independent investigation urgently needed to establish the truth

(10 August 2009) While Iranian authorities have claimed that abuse of detainees arrested for participating in peaceful demonstrations, or simply on the basis of their political beliefs, has been the result of “negligence” and “carelessness,” the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran said the abuse was systematic and reflected a policy of suppressing dissent, intimidating the population, and corroborating charges by producing false confessions.

“Instead of show trials of innocent people, there should be prosecution of those responsible for torturing them, and for the shootings, beatings, and ill-treatment that have resulted in numerous deaths on the streets and in detention, “stated Aaron Rhodes, a spokesperson for the Campaign.

Two Iranian officials, Prosecutor General Ghorban Ali Dorri Najafabadi and Police Chief General Ismail Ahmadi Moghaddam, have acknowledged the abuse of prisoners in Kahrizak prison. The head of the facility and three guards have reportedly been dismissed.

Documentation assembled by the Campaign and other human rights organizations, as well as credible media accounts, show that the abuse of prisoners has not been limited to the Kahrizak prison.  It has also taken place at Evin prison and in other detention facilities in Tehran and elsewhere in Iran.

The abuse of detainees has been widespread, affecting as many as 2,500 persons who have been detained. The Campaign has reviewed reports by numerous detainees, many of which have been collected firsthand by the Campaign. Virtually all these reports include descriptions of treatment that is classified as torture and ill-treatment under international law.

  • 9 August 2009
  • Posted By David Elliott
  • Events in Iran, Human Rights in Iran, Iran Election 2009

Sunday News Roundup

Washington Post: With Iran Blaming West, Dual Citizens Are Targets

Among the more than 100 people on trial after Iran’s disputed presidential election are two dual citizens: Kian Tajbakhsh, 47, an American Iranian urban planner, and Maziar Bahari, 42, a Canadian Iranian filmmaker and Newsweek reporter.


New York Times: Iran Prosecutor General Acknowledges Torture

A top judiciary official acknowledged Saturday that some detainees arrested after post-election protests had been tortured in Iranian prisons, the first such acknowledgment by a senior Iranian official. […]


Speaking to reporters at a news conference, Qorbanali Dori-Najafabadi, the prosecutor general, said “mistakes” had led to a few “painful accidents which cannot be defended, and those who were involved should be punished.”


Such mistakes, he said, included “the Kahrizak incident,” a reference to the deaths of several detainees at Kahrizak detention center in southwestern Tehran.


His comments came after weeks of reports that detainees had been tortured, and they fell somewhere between an admission and an accusation, as most of the arrests were made by the Revolutionary Guards and the paramilitary Basij militia, groups that are not under the control of the judiciary.


Even so, the statement was likely to be incendiary in Iran, where allegations of torture by Shah Mohammed Reza Pahlavi became a central justification of the 1979 revolution that brought the hard-line clerics to power.


Detainees’ accusations of torture have already prompted a parliamentary investigation of abuses at Kahrizak, which was closed last month by order of Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.


Mr. Dori-Najafabadi said his team had tried to change the situation after taking control of the arrests last month, the ILNA news agency reported, and he encouraged people to come forward with complaints.


“Maybe there were cases of torture in the early days after the election,” he was quoted as saying, “but we are willing to follow up any complaints or irregularities that have taken place.”


In another indication of dissension, he said a special judiciary committee had recommended the release of Saeed Hajjarian, a prominent reformist. Mr. Hajjarian’s family said he had been tortured, and has expressed concern about his health. Last week, the Iranian authorities said Mr. Hajjarian had been moved to a site with access to doctors.


Mr. Dori-Najafabadi also said that about 100 people had been arrested every day after the post-election demonstrations began, and that there were efforts to release about the same number daily. There are nearly 200 detainees today, he said.



Iran’s Police Chief admits election demonstrators were tortured

Iran’s police chief admitted today that protesters arrested after June’s disputed presidential election had been tortured while in custody in a notorious prison in south-west Tehran. But he denied any of the detainees died as a result of their mistreatment.


In remarks reported by state-run media, General Ismail Ahmadi Moghaddam said the chief of the Kahrizak detention centre had been dismissed and punished.


“The head of the centre has been sacked and jailed. Three policemen who beat detainees have been jailed as well,” the official IRNA news agency quoted Moghaddam as saying.

IRGC Commander: Arrest Mousavi, Karroubi, & Khatami

“If Mousavi, (defeated candidate Mehdi) Karoubi and (former president Mohammad) Khatami are main suspects behind the soft revolution in Iran, which they are, we expect the judiciary … to go after them, arrest them, put them on trial and punish them,” said Yadollah Javan, a senior Guards commander, the official IRNA news agency reported.

U.S. National Security Advisor Calls for Release of Americans in Iran

The United States has sent strong messages to Iran urging the release of three American hikers who were detained there recently, U.S. national security adviser Jim Jones said on Sunday.


“We have sent strong messages that we would like these three young people released as soon as possible, and also others that they have in their custody as well,” Jones told NBC’s “Meet the Press.” The Iranian government acknowledged on Sunday that it had the three Americans in its custody, he said.

Fars News: Ahmadinejad to introduce new cabinet next Monday.

Shirin Ebadi calls for release of detainees.

Press TV: Iran Police Chief blamed for Kahrizak prison deaths

Hamid-Reza Katouzian, a member of the Principlist faction that holds the majority of seats in the Parliament (Majlis), said Wednesday that Iran’s Police Chief, Esmail Ahmadi-Moqaddam, is responsible for the death and abuse of detained opposition demonstrators in Kahrizak.


“Unfortunately, the gross misconduct of Kahrizak officials have resulted in the murder of scores of young people,” said Katouzian. “The Iranian Police Chief is duty bound to provide a clear explanation in this regard.”


Robin Wright: In Iran, a Hostage-Taker Is Now Hostage

This new purge may be more profound politically than the campaign against the followers of Mir Hossein Mousavi: The Iranian revolution is eating its children.


Mohsen Mirdamadi saw it all coming. He warned me about it five years ago. The only thing he didn’t foresee was his own role. Last week, he sat in a revolutionary court, dressed in gray prison pajamas, as one of its victims. 

Sign the Petition


7,350 signatures

Tell Google: Stop playing Persian Gulf name games!

May 14, 2012
Larry Page
Chief Executive Officer
Google Inc.
1600 Amphitheatre Parkway
Mountain View, California 94043

Dear Mr. Page:

It has come to our attention that Google has begun omitting the title of the Persian Gulf from its Google Maps application. This is a disconcerting development given the undisputed historic and geographic precedent of the name Persian Gulf, and the more recent history of opening up the name to political, ethnic, and territorial disputes. However unintentionally, in adopting this practice, Google is participating in a dangerous effort to foment tensions and ethnic divisions in the Middle East by politicizing the region’s geographic nomenclature. Members of the Iranian-American community are overwhelmingly opposed to such efforts, particularly at a time when regional tensions already have been pushed to the brink and threaten to spill over into conflict. As the largest grassroots organization in the Iranian-American community, the National Iranian American Council (NIAC) calls on Google to not allow its products to become propaganda tools and to immediately reinstate the historically accurate, apolitical title of “Persian Gulf” in all of its informational products, including Google Maps.

Historically, the name “Persian Gulf” is undisputed. The Greek geographer and astronomer Ptolemy referencing in his writings the “Aquarius Persico.” The Romans referred to the "Mare Persicum." The Arabs historically call the body of water, "Bahr al-Farsia." The legal precedent of this nomenclature is also indisputable, with both the United Nations and the United States Board of Geographic Names confirming the sole legitimacy of the term “Persian Gulf.” Agreement on this matter has also been codified by the signatures of all six bordering Arab countries on United Nations directives declaring this body of water to be the Persian Gulf.

But in the past century, and particularly at times of escalating tensions, there have been efforts to exploit the name of the Persian Gulf as a political tool to foment ethnic division. From colonial interests to Arab interests to Iranian interests, the opening of debate regarding the name of the Persian Gulf has been a recent phenomenon that has been exploited for political gain by all sides. Google should not enable these politicized efforts.

In the 1930s, British adviser to Bahrain Sir Charles Belgrave proposed to rename the Persian Gulf, “Arabian Gulf,” a proposal that was rejected by the British Colonial and Foreign offices. Two decades later, the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company resurrected the term during its dispute with Mohammad Mossadegh, the Iranian Prime Minister whose battle with British oil interests would end in a U.S.-sponsored coup d'état that continues to haunt U.S.-Iran relations. In the 1960s, the title “Arabian Gulf” became central to propaganda efforts during the Pan-Arabism era aimed at exploiting ethnic divisions in the region to unite Arabs against non-Arabs, namely Iranians and Israelis. The term was later employed by Saddam Hussein to justify his aims at territorial expansion. Osama Bin Laden even adopted the phrase in an attempt to rally Arab populations by emphasizing ethnic rivalries in the Middle East.

We have serious concerns that Google is now playing into these efforts of geographic politicization. Unfortunately, this is not the first time Google has stirred controversy on this topic. In 2008, Google Earth began including the term “Arabian Gulf” in addition to Persian Gulf as the name for the body of water. NIAC and others called on you then to stop using this ethnically divisive propaganda term, but to no avail. Instead of following the example of organizations like the National Geographic Society, which in 2004 used term “Arabian Gulf” in its maps but recognized the error and corrected it, Google has apparently decided to allow its informational products to become politicized.

Google should rectify this situation and immediately include the proper name for the Persian Gulf in Google Maps and all of its informational products. The exclusion of the title of the Persian Gulf diminishes your applications as informational tools, and raises questions about the integrity and accuracy of information provided by Google.

We strongly urge you to stay true to Google’s mission – “to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful” – without distorting or politicizing that information. We look forward to an explanation from you regarding the recent removal of the Persian Gulf name from Google Maps and call on you to immediately correct this mistake.



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