[fund] persecution of opposition

Amnesty International fears the Iranian authorities are implementing a programme that will isolate Iranians from the outside world after contact with more than 60 foreign institutions, including human rights organizations, was banned. A statement issued by the Iranian authorities on Tuesday also designates as subversive a number of foreign media outlets, thereby criminalizing contacts with them. The move leaves anyone making such contacts at risk of prosecution and appears designed to hide from the world the true scale of what is happening in Iran and to obstruct reporting on human rights violations, the organization said.

During the past few days after the incidents of Ashura, large number of activists such as Mansoureh Shojaee, Zohreh Tanekaboni, Badarolssadat Mofid, Mahin Fahimi, Leyla Tavassoli, Noushin Ebadi, Nasrin Vaziri, Nilofar Hashemi Azar, Atiyeh Yousefi, Bahareh Hedayat, Nafiseh Asghari, Maryam Ziya, Mahsa Hekmat, Parisa Kakayi, Forough Mirzayie, Sara Tavsoli and many others have been arrested.

Hedy Epstein, 85-year-old Holocaust survivor, has stolen our hearts. At four feet-ten, she is a giant. Her gentle smile lights up every room that she enters, and yet if you saw her on the street, you might not immediately sense her power.  Unless you paid close attention, you would just see a sweet little old lady. When she came to Cairo, Hedy decided to undertake a fast in support of the people of Gaza, a particularly apt form of protest given the inadequacy of both the supply and type of food the people there have access to. Malnutrition is endemic in Gaza, and children's growth is stunted; people frequently go hungry.

Following increasing threats and harassment earlier in the year, Nobel laureate and women's rights advocate Shirin Ebadi has been unable to return to Iran since the June 2009 presidential election. She has, however, remained vocal in her defense of human rights, and as a result, her 47-year old sister, Noushin--a professor of dentistry who is not engaged in any human rights work or political activity--was arrested in her home in Tehran by security officials on Monday, December 28. The previous week, Noushin Ebadi had been contacted by officials and ordered to tell her sister to stop her work.

The Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders, a joint programme of the World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT) and the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH), requests your urgent intervention in the following situation in Uzbekistan. The Observatory has been informed by reliable sources about the judicial harassment faced by Ms. Umida Ahmedova, a women human rights defender, photographer and film-maker from Uzbekistan.  According to the information received, on December 16, 2009, Ms. Umida Ahmedova was informed by the Mirobod Department of Internal Affairs that she was facing charges of “slander” and “insult” (respectively Articles 139 and 140 of the Uzbek Criminal Code) of the Uzbek people.

There is an internal document that has not been leaked, or perhaps has not even been written, but all the forces are acting according to its inspiration: the Shin Bet, Israel Defense Forces, Border Police, police, and civil and military judges. They have found the true enemy who refuses to whither away: The popular struggle against the occupation. Over the past few months, the efforts to suppress the struggle have increased. The target: Palestinians and Jewish Israelis unwilling to give up their right to resist reign of demographic separation and Jewish supremacy. The means: Dispersing demonstrations with live ammunition, late-night army raids and mass arrests.

At least five people, including human rights activists, have been arrested in Iran while on their way to attend the funeral of Grand Ayatollah Hosseinali Montazeri, a senior cleric who criticized the Iranian government’s crackdown on demonstrators in the aftermath of the June contested presidential elections. Their whereabouts are unknown, and they are at risk of torture or other ill-treatment. Shiva Nazar Ahari and Kouhyar Goudarzi, two human rights activists and members of the Committee of Human Rights Reporters (CHRR), and Saeed Haeri, were arrested by police officers and officials from the Ministry of Intelligence on 20 December in Tehran. They were taken from a bus which was about to drive to the northern city of Qom, where the funeral of Grand Ayatollah Montazeri took place on 21 December. Also on board the bus were civil society activists and relatives of some of those arrested following the disputed 12 June 2009 presidential election.

The on-camera martyrdom of Neda Agha-Soltan, the 26-year old philosophy student shot dead during the protests after the fraudulent presidential election in Iran in June, caught the imagination of the world. But the post-election crackdown has two other victims whose fates better capture the radical shift in the country’s political culture.

La militante saharaouie Aminatou Haidar, en grève de la faim depuis 32 jours, a quitté les Canaries jeudi soir à bord d'un avion médicalisé pour Laâyoune, chef-lieu du Sahara occidental, a constaté un journaliste de l'AFP. Elle était sortie peu avant de l'hôpital pour se rendre à l'aéroport de Lanzarote, une des îles de l'archipel des Canaries. Plusieurs centaines de ses sympathisants ont applaudi le départ vers 22H15 (heure locale et GMT) de l'avion dont le vol vers Laâyoune, son lieu de résidence, devrait prendre moins de deux heures.

A Western Sahara activist expelled by Morocco has been allowed to return from Spain after maintaining a hunger strike for 32 days. Aminatou Haidar, 42, left Lanzarote airport in the Canary Islands on a small, private plane after a deal was reached, details of which are unclear. She said her fast would continue until she was safely home with her children. Living on only sweetened water, she has developed health problems, and left hospital in Lanzarote in an ambulance."This is a triumph for international law, for human rights, for international justice and for the cause" of the Western Sahara, she told reporters as she left.

لَقِّم المحتوى