Iran

Ayatollah Shirazi is originally from Shiraz, Iran and has penned dozens of books on the improvement of morals, fiqh and the exegesis of Quran. Shirazi writes on the “great” sins, of which adultery is one, but offers some specifically Shia commentary. While he condones stoning, his opinion stresses the near impossibility of proving adultery by witness and the lack of compulsion in confession. Here he also seems to oppose the “Judges’ Knowledge: “It is not permitted for the Judge to goad the accused to confess.

Radio Farda, an American-based Persian-language radio program, interviewed the Grand Ayatollah Montazeri on his opinions about the practice of stoning, and specifically whether the sentence of stoning can be vacated and replaced by another punishment. He responded as follows:

On Wednesday 11 May 2011, Iranian security forces arrested Maryam Bahreman, an Iranian women’s rights and civil society activist in Shiraz. Bahreman is a founding member, and was the general secretary, of the Association of Women of Pars (Anjome Zanan Pars), which was established in 2003. As a member of this association, she was active in many women's movement activities including the One Million Signature Campaign. Bahreman was also a participant at the 55th session of the UN Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) conference in New York in March of this year, where she was on a panel about women and ICT. 

Justice for Iran (JFI) commends the decision of the European Union (EU), as announced this month, to sanction 32 Iranian state officials complicit in or responsible for human rights abuses in Iran.  The council decision published in the official Journal of the European Union obliges the 27 Member States of the EU to enforce travel bans and asset freezes against a list of judges, law enforcement officials and commanders in Iran’s Revolutionary Guards.  It also calls upon third States, outside the European Union, to adopt similar restrictive measures.  

PEN American Center today named Nasrin Sotoudeh, a writer, lawyer, and leader of the women’s and children’s rights movement in Iran, as the recipient of its 2011 PEN/Barbara Goldsmith Freedom to Write Award. Sotoudeh was arrested on September 4, 2010, and is now serving an 11-year sentence for her outspoken advocacy in defense of her clients arrested after the June 2009 presidential elections and interviews she gave to human rights organizations and media about their cases.

The Gender Justice Uncovered 2010 Awards ask us to "Seek to identify the best and worst decisions or statements related to gender made in English, Spanish or Portuguese within a judicial process. A jury, made up of three renowned figures will choose the “Gavel” and the “Bludgeon” decisions. The three most sexist decisions will receive bronze, silver and gold Bludgeons and the three decisions that best promote gender equality will receive bronze, silver and gold Gavels. The People’s Choice Awards will be given based on the votes from the public. Those who nominate the winners of the People's Choice Awards will be invited to attend the Awards ceremony in Madrid. Deadline to nominate: April 4, 2011; Deadline to vote: April 25, 2011; The winners will be announced on June 2, 2011 at a very special ceremony!” Justice For Iran has nominated Ayatollah Mohseni Ejei, Iran’s general prosecutor and the majority of Iranian Supreme Court because of their recent unfair and discriminatory decision which discredit women’s right for divorce based on the marriage contract’s conditions. 

Iranian women are exposed to a variety of discriminations with charges ranging from gender-related and ethnic issues over religious and political beliefs to the defense of their own rights and those of underprivileged groups within the Islamic Republic of Iran.On the occasion of the 100th International Women’s Day we publish a list of imprisoned Iranian women to expose the extent of this discrimination. As to the prisoners of conscience the two most vulnerable groups are the religious minorities of Baha’i and Christians, both persecuted relentlessly as they pose a serious challenge to the autocratic Islamist system. With regards to ethnic discriminations members of the Kurd and Baluchi minorities are most endangered.

The Iranian regime has been accused of hijacking the death of a young pro-democracy protester killed during rallies in Tehran on Monday. A family member of Saane Zhaleh, a 26-year-old theatre student at Tehran University of Arts, told the Guardian that the Iranian authorities had launched a campaign to depict the pro-opposition protester as a member of the government-sponsored basiji militia who had been killed by what they described as terrorists.

Other nations and the UN should speak out against a wave of executions in Iran, the Nobel Peace Laureate Shirin Ebadi and six human rights organizations said today. Shirin Ebadi and the human rights groups called on the Iranian Judiciary and Parliament to institute an immediate moratorium on all executions. At least 86 people have been executed since the start of 2011, according to information received by the six organizations. The groups are Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, Reporters without Borders, the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran, the International Federation for Human Rights, and its affiliate, the Iranian League for the Defence of Human Rights. At least eight of those executed in January were political prisoners, convicted of “enmity against God” (moharebeh) for participating in demonstrations, or for their alleged links to opposition groups.

Amnesty International has condemned the Iranian authorities for breaking up an apparently peaceful march held in Tehran in support of Egyptian and Tunisian protests.  Protests were also reportedly held in other cities across Iran, such as Esfahan, Shiraz and Kermanshah. Opposition leaders Mir Hossein Mousavi and Mehdi Karroubi were placed under house arrest by the authorities ahead of the protests on Monday.  

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