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Category Archives: Iran

Four Years Later, Still No Justice for Neda’s Murder

On the fourth anniversary of the death of Neda Agha Soltan in the aftermath of the 2009 presidential elections, her mother told the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran, “There was supposed to be a court trial held, but in the past four years there hasn’t been a trial. The case file is still open. I don’t know what else to say. I just hope one day they will show me her murderer and tell me, ‘This is the murderer of your child.’”

Describing her expectations for justice, Hajar Rostami Motlagh, Neda Agha Soltan’s mother said, “I expected a court trial to be held for my daughter’s murder, and it hasn’t happened. I don’t know if I will ever hear an answer in my lifetime!”

Neda’s mother expressed her wishes for the future, saying, “I don’t know what to say. I just hope that one day everyone will be free, and God willing, Neda will also have achieved her goal. I can’t say anything else. Answering these questions is hard for me,” Hajar Rostami Motlagh said.

Asked whether they were able to easily hold Neda’s anniversary memorial this year, Hajar Rostami said, “Yes, thank God. It was very safe and easy. People attended also. We were going back home and there was yet another group of Neda’s fans coming to her grave site.”

Neda Agha Soltan, born on January 23, 1983, was fatally shot during a protest against the results of the 2009 presidential election on Saturday, June 20, 2009, in Tehran’s Amirabad neighborhood at the intersection of Khosravi and Salehi Streets. So far, it is not clear who shot and killed her, and no one has taken responsibility for her death. During the months following her death, the state radio and television and some Iranian authorities offered different versions of her death on several occasions. Over the past four years, the police and security forces have restricted or shown violence to those who visit her gravesite to conduct observance ceremonies for her.

In August 2011, just before the UN Special Rapporteur on human rights in Iran presented his first report to the UN, the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran conducted an interview with Hajar Rostami. “Two years, three months, and two days after my daughter’s death, all I want is to first ask Mr. Ahmadinejad why we should have such lack of security in our country for some to come, kill, and go, without any particular consequences. When, speaking with one of the most reputable media outlets in the world, Mr. Ahmadinejad says that Neda was murdered by BBC operatives, he must have documents and evidence for his statements. Therefore I want him to introduce those behind my daughter’s death,” said Hajar Rostami, pointing out her daughter’s futile murder investigation.

Four Years Later, Still No Justice for Neda’s Murder : International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran.

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Posted by on June 24, 2013 in Iran

 

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Iran arrests prosecutor linked to torture death of Canadian journalist

Montreal-based photojournalist Zahra Kazemi died under suspicious circumstances in Iran July 10, 2003.

HO / CP

Montreal-based photojournalist Zahra Kazemi died under suspicious circumstances in Iran July 10, 2003.

TEHRAN, IRAN—A senior Iranian government official and former Tehran prosecutor general linked to the death of a Canadian journalist has been arrested, two years after a parliamentary probe found him responsible for deaths by torture of at least three jailed anti-government protesters, state media reported.

Saeed Mortazavi — a close ally of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad — was taken to Tehran’s Evin prison late Monday night, according to the reports, which gave few details on the arrest.

Mortazavi has been at the centre of a growing confrontation between Ahmadinejad and the president’s conservative rivals in parliament ahead of the June presidential election.

Ahmadinejad cannot run a third time because of term limits and many of his allies have either been arrested or pushed to the political margins because of the president’s attempt to extend his powers.

Mortazavi’s detention came a day after Ahmadinejad displayed in parliament a barely audible video showing Fazel Larijani, brother of parliament speaker Ali Larijani, meeting with Mortazavi and allegedly seeking a bribe in return for ensuring his brother’s support for the president. Ali Larijani denied any links to the video.

Ahmadinejad strongly denounced Mortazavi’s arrest, accusing the judiciary of being run as a “family institution” — a reference to the Larijanis. Ayatollah Sadeq Larijani, another brother of Ali Larijani, is Iran’s judiciary chief.

“The judiciary should be the judiciary of the nation and not one special family’s private organization,” said Ahmadinejad in remarks posted on the president’s website.

“This is very ugly. It’s not appropriate for the people of the Islamic Republic and the judiciary,” Ahmadinejad said before leaving Tuesday for Egypt, to attend a summit of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation. “I’ll definitely pursue this matter seriously when I return.”

Mortazavi was Tehran city prosecutor in 2009, during massive protests in the wake of Ahmadinejad’s disputed re-election. At the time, he was responsible for Kahrizak prison in the Iranian capital, where at least three anti-government protesters were tortured to death. He now heads the country’s social security fund.

Mortazavi has also been linked to the death of Montreal photojournalist Zahra Kazemi. An Iranian-born Canadian, the 54-year-old Kazemi was arrested in June 2003 for taking photographs outside Iran’s notorious Evin prison.

Kazemi was tortured and beaten in custody and later died in hospital.

Kazemi’s family have accused Mortazavi of obstruction of justice after her death.

Iran’s reformists have openly criticized Mortazavi during his years in the judiciary. He was even dubbed “butcher of the press” for the closures of more than 120 newspapers and the imprisonment of dozens of journalists and political activists over the past 13 years.

The semiofficial Mehr news agency said Mortazavi was detained at midnight Monday while Fars, another semiofficial news agency, said he was detained as he was leaving work and taken to Evin prison, just north of Tehran.

Fars had different takes on why Mortazavi was arrested. In one, it said the authorities have Mortazavi for misappropriation of state funds, while in another, it said the arrest was related to Mortazavi’s role in the 2009 prison deaths of the protesters.

The following year, a parliamentary probe into the case found Mortazavi responsible for what had happened at Kahrizak. He was suspended as Tehran prosecutor general and the case remained open for a judicial investigation, though no further action was taken against Mortazavi.

The judiciary said earlier this year that the prison deaths would again be investigated in March.

The three prisoners, detained in mass street protests against Ahmadinejad, died in Kahrizak a month after their arrest. The case significantly embarrassed the authorities and drew some of the fiercest criticism against Iran’s government and its treatment of those arrested in the turmoil following the election.

On Sunday, Iranian lawmakers impeached the country’s labour minister and another Ahmadinejad ally, Abdolreza Sheikholeslami, for appointing Mortazavi as head of the social security fund.

Iran arrests prosecutor linked to torture death of Canadian journalist | Toronto Star.

 
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Posted by on February 5, 2013 in Iran

 

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Ahmadinejad says he is ready to be first Iranian in space

I think we should grant him his wish! Send this douchebag into space!

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, centre, listens to an unidentified pilot during a ceremony to unveil Iran's newest fighter jet, Qaher-313, or Dominant-313,which officials claim can evade radar, in Tehran, Iran, Saturday.

HOSSEIN ZOHREVAND / AP

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, centre, listens to an unidentified pilot during a ceremony to unveil Iran’s newest fighter jet, Qaher-313, or Dominant-313,which officials claim can evade radar, in Tehran, Iran, Saturday.

DUBAI- President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said on Monday he was ready to be the first human sent into orbit by Iran’s fledgling space program, Iranian media reported.

Iran declared last week that it had successfully launched a monkey into space and retrieved it alive, which officials hailed as a major step towards their goal of sending humans into space.

The launch added to Western concerns about Iran’s space program because the same rocket technology could potentially be used to deliver a nuclear warhead on a ballistic missile.

“I am ready to be the first human to be sent to space by Iranian scientists,” Ahmadinejad said on Monday, on the sidelines of an exhibition of space achievements in Tehran, according to the Mehr news agency.

“Sending living things into space is the result of Iranian efforts and the dedication of thousands of Iranian scientists.”

Ahmadinejad is known for provocative public comments and it was unclear whether the suggestion was a serious one.

His second and final term as president ends in June, and his political star has been on the wane since he fell out with parliament early in his second term and appeared to lose the support of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

On Sunday he stood up in parliament to play a tape recording that he said provided evidence of corruption by the family of parliamentary speaker Ali Larijani, his political arch-rival and a likely frontrunner to succeed him as president. Larijani and his brother Fazel denied the accusations.

Ahmadinejad says he is ready to be first Iranian in space | Toronto Star.

 
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Posted by on February 4, 2013 in Iran

 

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Iran ‘successfully’ sends Ahmadinejad into space

A picture released by Iranian Defence Ministry shows the Saffir (Ambassador) rocket carrying Iran's Rassad-1 (Observation-1) satellite ready to launch into space, putting it in orbit 260 kms (163 miles) above the Earth on June 15, 2011. This morning, Iran announced that it had successfully launched a monkey into space as part of its increasingly ambitious space program.

VAHIDREZA ALAEI/AFP/Getty ImagesA picture released by Iranian Defence Ministry shows the Saffir (Ambassador) rocket carrying Iran’s Rassad-1 (Observation-1) satellite ready to launch into space, putting it in orbit 260 kms (163 miles) above the Earth on June 15, 2011. This morning, Iran announced that it had successfully launched a monkey into space as part of its increasingly ambitious space program.
    Only in our dreams, but they sent something similar….a monkey!

TEHRAN, Iran — Iran said Monday it has successfully sent a monkey into space, describing the launch as another step toward Tehran’s goal of a manned space flight.

According to a brief report on state TV, the rocket dubbed Pishgam, or Pioneer in Farsi, reached a height of 120 kilometres. The report gave no other details on the timing or location of the launch, but said the monkey returned to Earth safely.

Iran has long said it seeks to send an astronaut into space as part of its ambitious aerospace program, including plans for a new space centre announced last year. In 2010, Iran said it launched an Explorer rocket into space carrying a mouse, turtle and worms.

The U.S. and its allies worry that technology from the space program could also be used to develop long-range missiles that could potentially be armed with nuclear warheads. Iran denied it seeks atomic weapons and claims it is pursuing nuclear reactors only for energy and medical applications.

Iran has announced several successful launches of satellites, dating back to 2005 in a joint project with Russia.

Tehran has not given details of its planned new space facility, but it already has a major satellite launch complex near Semnan, about 200 kilometres east of Tehran. A satellite monitoring facility is located outside Mahdasht, about 70 kilometres west of the Iranian capital.

Iran says it wants to put its own satellites into orbit to monitor natural disasters in the earthquake-prone nation, improve telecommunications and expand military surveillance in the region.

Iran ‘successfully’ sends a monkey into space, claims it returned to Earth safely | Israel & Middle East | World | News | National Post.

 
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Posted by on January 28, 2013 in Iran

 

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Iranian media report claims Canada steals and sells babies!

Press TV

Iranian media report claims Alberta police abduct, traffic Aboriginal children for profit | News | National Post.

 
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Posted by on December 12, 2012 in Iran