[fund] persecution of opposition

UPDATE: Shiva Nazar's trial, due to take place on 23 May, has been postponed without a future date being set. In March 2010, Women’s human rights defender and WLUML council member, Shadi Sadr, took the extraordinary step of dedicating her International Women of Courage Award to Shiva Nazar Ahari, a young human rights activist and a member of the Committee of Human Rights Reporters (CHRR), currently imprisoned in Iran for ‘acts against national security’. Sadr refrained from attending the award ceremony in the U.S. in the hope that her absence would draw the international community’s attention to Nazar Ahari’s dire situation, urging the audience in a speech recorded for the event that “any measures available to you [be taken] to help to free Shiva along with other human rights activists and journalists in Iranian prisons”. According to Nazar Ahari’s mother, she will be brought to trial at Revolutionary Court No. 26 on Sunday 23 May. The offences she is being accused of carry severe penalties. Please see attached our sample letter . You can follow this link (and scroll down) to watch a series of films in Farsi on Shiva by Iranian WHRD, filmmaker and WLUML ally, Mahboubeh Abbasgholizadeh.

La Française qui était détenue à Téhéran depuis juillet 2009 est rentrée à Paris hier. Une libération activement revendiquée par Me Abdoulaye Wade et sa diplomatie. L’universitaire française Clotilde Reiss a été libérée samedi dernier par Téhéran. Accusée d’espionnage, la Française a été arrêtée le 1er juillet 2009, dans la capitale iranienne. Il lui était reproché d’avoir filmé des sites classés sensibles et des scènes de manifestations lors des contestations électorales du 12 juin dernier. Dans les colonnes du journal Le Monde, le Président Abdoulaye Wade accuse cependant indirectement la France d’avoir retardé une libération qui était possible il y a six mois.

Deux activistes féministes, Shadi Sadr et Mahboubeh Abbas-Gholizadeh, qui se trouvent à l'étranger, ont été condamnées à des peines de prison, selon l'agence Ilna. L'avocate Shadi Sadr a été condamnée à six ans de prison et 74 coups de fouet pour action contre la sécurité nationale et trouble à l'ordre public, selon son avocat Mohammad Mostaphaie.

A French teaching assistant whom the Iranian regime accused of spying for the west said she was "very, very happy" to be back on home turf today after a Tehran court commuted a prison sentence that had kept her in Iran for 10 months. Making a brief but emotional statement at the Elysée palace, Clotilde Reiss, 24, thanked various French and Iranian figures – including the French president, Nicolas Sarkozy – for supporting her through the ordeal and securing her release.

Iran has sentenced in absentia award-winning women's rights activist Shadi Sadr and another fellow activist to jail and lashes over a protest in 2007, their lawyer told ILNA news agency on Sunday. Former MP Mohsen Armin, who is a senior member of a reformist party which backs opposition leader Mir Hossein Mousavi, was also arrested in Tehran on Sunday, his daughter told a reformist website. The revolutionary court "has sentenced Shadi Sadr, 35, to six years in jail and 74 lashes for acting against national security and harming public order," lawyer Mohammad Mostafai said. Update on Iran: Last two women human rights defenders released from prison on heavy bail

The rights of citizens in Egypt to assemble and express their views are increasingly coming under threat. The government of Egypt has stepped up efforts to clamp down on dissent from political activist and civil society organisations. Political protests are being violently suppressed and a new law threatens the independence of civil society organisations.

The Afghan authorities have cancelled the operating licences of 152 national and 20 international NGOs, accusing them of not being accountable. “All NGOs have to report [their activities] to the Ministry of Economy [MoE] every six months but these NGOs have not reported for almost two years and therefore they [their operating licences] have been annulled,” Seddiq Amarkhil, MoE’s spokesman, told IRIN, adding that the NGOs had the right of appeal. 

Les autorités iraniennes ont pendu hier matin cinq militants kurdes, dont une femme, qu’elles accusent d’avoir mené des attentats terroristes dans le pays. Ils ont été exécutés pour “moharebeh”, c’est à dire « inimitié envers Dieu », et auraient “confessé avoir dirigé des opérations terroristes durant ces dernières années”, selon l’agence de presse officielle IRNA. Les victimes se nomment Shirin Alamhouli (une femme), Farzad Kamangar, Ali Heidarian, Farhad Vakili et Mehdi Eslamian. Toujours selon l’agence de presse officielle iranienne ISNA, les quatre premiers étaient membres du groupe Kurde rebelle PJAK (le parti de la vie libre du Kurdistan), un groupe nationaliste et séparatiste kurde. Eslamian aurait été lui membre du groupe monarchiste de “l’Assemblée du Royaume d’Iran”.

The sudden execution of five Iranian political prisoners today appears to signal a government policy of relying on politically-motivated executions to strengthen its position vis-à-vis its opposition through terror and intimidation, the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran said. The Campaign condemned the execution of five political prisoners, including Farzad Kamangar, a 34-year-old teacher and social worker, who was charged with Moharebeh (taking up arms against God),  convicted and sentenced to death in February 2008, after a seven-minute long  trial in which “zero evidence” was presented. Four others also executed included Shirin Alam Holi, Ali Heidarian, Farhad Vakili and Mehdi Eslamian.

Four human rights defenders who were acquitted in the High Criminal Court in October 2009 after the case against them collapsed when forensic evidence proved police statements to be false, have apparently now been convicted and sentenced by the Court of Appeal. Reports indicate that the human rights defenders, Sadeq Jawad Ahmed Al-Fardan, member of the Committee of the Unemployed; Sayed Omran Hameed Adnan, member of the Committee Against One Percent; Fadhel Abbas Mohamed Ashoor, member of the Committee to Combat High Prices; and Habib Mohamed Habib Ashoor, member of the Committee for Detainees were sentenced on the 28 March 2010 by the Court of Appeals to three years in prison, for the alleged murder of a police officer and the attempted killing of two of his comrades during a riot. The four human rights defenders have not yet been re-arrested.

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