Currently Browsing

Posts Tagged ‘ Zahra Rahnavard ’

  • 22 March 2012
  • Posted By Richard Abott
  • 0 Comments
  • Human Rights in Iran, Sanctions, US-Iran War

Iranian human rights and democracy defenders on sanctions and war

Below is a compendium of public statements by notable Iranian human rights and democracy defenders regarding the impact that sanctions and threats of war have on Iran:

Iran sanctions strengthen Ahmadinejad regime – Karroubi, The Guardian, August 11, 2010:

  • “These sanctions have given an excuse to the Iranian government to suppress the opposition by blaming them for the unstable situation of the country,”
  • “Look at Cuba and North Korea,” he said. “Have sanctions brought democracy to their people? They have just made them more isolated and given them the opportunity to crack down on their opposition without bothering themselves about the international attention.”
  • “On the one hand, the government’s mishandling of the economy has resulted in deep recession and rising inflation inside the country, which has crippled the people of Iran and resulted in the closure of numerous factories. On the other hand, we have sanctions which are strengthening the illegitimate government.”
  • In relation to how the current Iranian regime treats its opponents more harshly than the shah, who was sensitive to international criticism, did: “But because Iran is getting more isolated, more and more they [Ahmadinejad’s government] are becoming indifferent to what the world is thinking about them,” he said.
  • Mir Hossein Mousavi co-authored a public letter with Karroubi: “Sanctions have targeted the most vulnerable social classes of Iran including workers and farmers,” the letter said.

  • 1 July 2010
  • Posted By Setareh Tabatabaie
  • 3 Comments
  • Events in Iran, Human Rights in Iran

A Half-Hearted Attempt at Accountability

A military court in Iran sentenced two men on Wednesday to death and nine others to jail for the torture of three protesters which resulted in their death last summer at the notorious Kahrizak detention center.  According to the report on Jahan News, an additional 33 others  were also accused of attacking a student dormitory in Tehran.  Despite this development, however, many human rights violations in Iran continue.

Following is a list of some of the many ongoing human rights abuses in Iran that should not be overlooked.  Unfortunately, this isn’t an exhaustive list.

-Currently, Zeinab Jalalian is on death row for moharebeh, or waging war against God, in a trial that has been roundly condemned as unfair and unjust by human rights defenders in Iran and around the world. Reports indicate that Jalalian’s trial lasted only minutes, she was denied access to a lawyer, and no evidence was presented against Jalalian during her trial.

-On June 26, approximately 50 houses owned by Baha’is were demolished in a village northeast of Tehran. According to an eyewitness, the houses were set on fire and then demolished by four bulldozers. “We informed the governor’s office that they were destroying our houses, but they did nothing to prevent it,” he said.

-According to Human Rights Watch, there are 16 Iranian-Kurds on death row in the notorious Evin prison. Their names are Rostam Arkia, Hossein Khezri, Anvar Rostami, Mohammad Amin Abdolahi, Ghader Mohammadzadeh, Habibollah Latifi, Sherko Moarefi, Mostafa Salimi, Hassan Tali, Iraj Mohammadi, Rashid Akhkandi, Mohammad Amin Agoushi, Ahmad Pouladkhani, Sayed Sami Hosseini, Sayed Jamal Mohammadi, and Aziz Mohammadzadeh.

-Majid Tavakoli, a renowned Iranian student activist, is currently suffering from a rapidly deteriorating physical condition in Evin Prison. According to Human Rights House of Iran, Tavakoli is suffering from abdominal bleeding.

Despite the concerns raised by Tavakoli’s prison mates, prison officials have yet to transfer him to the infirmary at Evin.  Tavakoli’s physical condition has deteriorated to the extent that he is no longer able to speak on the phone.  After days of no news, although he contacted his mother briefly today, he was unfortunately unable to speak to her for long due to his incessant coughing.

-Isa Saharkhiz is an imprisoned journalist who has been in prison for a period of one year without due process. He is suffering from hypotension and low blood pressure and recently collapsed for the second time. Prison officials have refused to transfer him to the prison infirmary despite his deteriorating condition.

-There is no news of political activist Mehdi Ale-Ziarat who was originally detained on June 10, 2010. He is a member of “Tose’eye Melli” (National Development) student publication and has worked on a number of articles and photos which were to be used in the first issue of this journal.

These are but a few of the many human rights abuses still going on in Iran.  This list could be far longer.  While news of the Iranian government finally punishing some of those responsible for such abuses is welcome, continued human rights violations show that the government is half-hearted at best in its attempt to display some accountability here.

Iranian Women Band Together, Caution Against Broad Sanctions

March 8th, International Women’s Day, was celebrated with even more passion this year in Tehran.

Zahra Rahnavard – the outspoken wife of the presidential election challenger, Mir Hossein Mousavi –  issued a statement at a meeting with members of the women’s rights movement in Iran praising all the brave women of the Green Movement for their struggles during the past nine months.  She referred to the Green Movement as a very diverse network of ethnic groups, unions, students and of course women.

Rahnavard referred to the women’s movement in Iran as one of the most constructive approaches in shaping the future of freedom and democracy under the umbrella of the newly born Green Movement.  Representatives from Mothers for Peace – another organization formed after the disputed June 2009 elections that actively supports the Green Movement — joined Rahnavard in expressing alarm about the potential for the democratic movement to be derailed by punitive economic sanctions imposed by the west.

Non-violence in a civil disobedience struggle is a major principle for Mothers for Peace. Violence has many faces, and we identify economic-sanctions as a vivid face of violence. Sanctions are a silent war against any nation that has risen up for democracy. Sanctions will exacerbate violence and crackdowns. Women and children are always the first group suffering from sanctions.

  • 27 January 2010
  • Posted By NIAC
  • 1 Comments
  • Events in Iran, Human Rights in Iran

Zahra: No compromise, no recognition of Ahmadinejad government

“We have made a shield of our chest and are ready for any kind of attack and terror,” stated Zahra Rahnavard, wife of Mir Hossein Mousavi, responding to a question about the prices their family has had to pay. “These prices have not been paid for Mr. Mousavi, but for the Green movement. We are not focused on the individual and individualism and our family is no different than the rest of the people making sacrifices and paying a price.

In an interview with Rooz Online (via Payvand.com/news), Dr. Rahnavard also lashed out at rumors that the Green trifecta – Mousavi, Mehdi Karroubi and Mohammad Khatami – had made a back-door compromise to recognize Ahmadinejad’s government.

This is absolutely not true, no compromise whatsoever is in the works. I don’t see any compromise in [Mousavi’s latest] statement, rather I believe it lays out the minimum desires and aspirations of the people of Iran that the current regime could easily fulfill.

Interesting use of the term “current regime,” no? She’s appearing as pragmatic as possible – which is good considering the position they’re in. Speculation remains on whether or not this government – this regime, rather – can make a compromise.

When asked whether or not she believes they’ll compromise, she gave the typical vague Persian answer best embodied in the term, “Khoda midaaneh.”

I cannot foresee what will happen in the future. I can only hope that whatever happens is in the best interest of the people of Iran and that it honors our nation. I want to emphasize the fact that we neither acknowledge the legitimacy of Ahmadinejad’s government, nor are we making any behind the scenes compromises.

For more, please click here.


  • 9 September 2009
  • Posted By Matthew Negreanu
  • 0 Comments
  • Events in Iran, Human Rights in Iran, Iran Election 2009

Shapour Kazemi still in Evin; pressure on Mousavi

shapour_kazemiThree hundred employees of Dr. Shapour Kazemi, Zahra Rahnavard’s brother, pleaded for his release from Evin prison today in an open letter to Sadegh Larijani, Iran’s Chief of Judiciary.

The letter emphasizes the high academic and scientific achievements of Dr. Kazemi for Iran’s electronic industry, while mentioning the fact that he has not been involved in political activities at any time in his life. The letter asks for Kazemi’s immediate release and for the restoration of his rights.

Shapour Kazemi, aged 62, a brother-in-law of Mir Hossein Mousavi, has been imprisoned in Evin for about 60 days. The main reason for his arrest is presumably his relationship to Mousavi. He is being held without charge and does not have access to a lawyer.  He is reported to have had one meeting with his mother, which was filmed by prison guards. Amnesty International fears that he is not being given regular access to medication, which he needs for high blood pressure. Zahra Rahnavard has said that he was detained to put pressure on her and her husband to openly accept the outcome of the 12 June 2009 presidential election.

  • 21 July 2009
  • Posted By Sanaz Tofighrad
  • 0 Comments
  • Events in Iran, Human Rights in Iran, Iran Election 2009

Mousavi’s brother-in-law detained since last month

According to Mowj Camp, the brother of Zahra Rahnavard (Mousavi’s wife), has been arrested for over a month.  Mousavi’s family, however, made an “ethical decision” to keep this a secret until the conservative Javan Newspaper revealed this news today.

“Mousavi’s family did not announce this news because they did not want Mousavi’s positions regarding the detainees to be considered personal or the families of other detainees to think Mousavi is more concerned about his own relatives…”

Mousavi and his wife met with some of the families of detainees yesterday.  In that meeting, some families became “extremely restless” and Zahra Rahnavard tried to “comfort” them by revealing her own secret and said “she understands their pain.”  She requested this news to be kept confidential.

However, Javan Newspaper, which belongs to the Sepah (IRGC), revealed this secret today and accused Rahnavard’s brother of “leading the unrest.”

Sign the Petition

 

7,349 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.

Sincerely,

[signature]

Share this with your friends: