February 28, 2014

Maryam Rajavi meets Norway lawmakers in Oslo

Mrs. Rajavi highlighted the deplorable human rights situation in Iran, Tehran's meddling in Syria and the need for action regarding the mullahs' nuclear threat
OSLO, Norway, February 26, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- In a meeting with members of the Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and Defence in the Norwegian Parliament (Stortinget), and representatives from other committees in the Norwegian Parliament, Wednesday February 26, Mrs. Maryam Rajavi, President-elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran discussed questions related to Iran. Mr. Kristian Norheim, Second Deputy- chairman of the Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and Defence led the meeting. Mr. Norheim represents the Progress Party, a coalition partner in the government of Norway.
In her remarks before the Norwegian parliamentarians, Mrs. Rajavi elaborated on the deplorable human rights situation in Iran, including the dramatic rise in executions. She said that Hassan Rouhani has been part and parcel of the Iranian regime from Day One and that any notion that he is an actor for reform and moderation would be a mirage. Mrs. Rajavi warned that pinning hope on changes by Rouhani has only emboldened the mullahs to continue their destructive policies.
Mrs. Rajavi stated that Tehran retreated one step from its efforts to attain nuclear weapons only because of social and international pressure. She emphasized that only through a decisive policy by the international community, including tougher sanctions, implementing Security Council resolutions and the additional Protocol, snap inspections and shutting down all of the regime's nuclear sites could one prevent the terrorists ruling Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons.
While addressing the immediate threats to Camp Liberty, where nearly 3,000 members of the Iranian opposition PMOI/MEK reside, Mrs. Rajavi called for immediate action to ensure the protection and security of Liberty residents, who are protected persons under the Geneva Conventions. This said was indispensable to avert the occurrence of humanitarian catastrophe.
In 2013, forces affiliated with the Iranian regime launched four missile attacks on Camp Liberty.
The Iranian opposition leader said Tehran's relentless support for the Assad dictatorship represented the depth of the Iranian regime's regional strategy.
The members of the Norwegian Parliament shared their views and posed a number of questions to Mrs. Rajavi. They also condemned the flagrant violations of human rights in Iran. Underscoring the need to guarantee the security and protection of Liberty residents, they also stressed upon the responsibility of the international community, including Norway, concerning this urgent humanitarian crisis.

February 20, 2014


A high-level conference involving some of the most prominent political and religious leaders in Iraq, was held in the European Parliament, Brussels, on Wednesday 19th February. Organised and chaired by Struan Stevenson, MEP, President of the European Parliament's Delegation for Relations with Iraq, the conference focused on human rights in Iraq and featured speeches from Sheik Dr Rafe Al Refaei - Grand Mufti of Iraq, Saleem Abdullah Al-Jabori - Chair of the HR Committee in the Council of Representatives, Haidar Mulla - Member of the Iraqi Council of Representatives, Minister Falah Mustafa Bakir - KRG Head of Department of Foreign Relations, Yonadam Kanna - Chair of the Labour and Social Affairs Committee in the Iraqi Council of Representatives, Kamel Zozo - Syriac Assyrian Chaldean Movement, Elisabetta Zamparutti - 'Hands Off Cain' NGO, Btrus Sliwa - Head of the KRG's Independent Human Rights Board, Dr Abdul- Razzaq Rahim al- Shemmeri- Spokesman for the Herak Delegation from Al Anbar Governorate, Dr Sabah Al-Mukhtar - President of the Arab Lawyers Union, UK, Dr Mohammad Taha Hamdoon, Spokesman of the Popular Movement in Iraq, Dr Moneir Hashm Al-Aobyde, Spokesman for the Movement of Baghdad and many others. The eminent speakers were welcomed by Dr. Charles Tannock MEP, Foreign Affairs Spokesman for the ECR Group.
Many Iraqi guests had travelled to Brussels to participate in the conference, which follows the publication of a highly critical report on Iraq by the European Parliament's Directorate-General for External Policies - entitled "Iraq's deadly spiral towards a civil war". A resolution condemning the on-going violence and abuse of human rights in Iraq is also under preparation in the European Parliament and will be debated in Strasbourg next Wednesday, 26th February. The draft resolution refers repeatedly to the damning report on the abuse of women in Iraq published recently by Human Rights Watch.
Speaking after the Conference, Struan Stevenson MEP said: 
"Last November, I was in Iraq. I met with many leading politicians, religious leaders and with courageous men and women who had led popular uprisings and protests in Al Anbar and 6 provinces of Iraq and in many Iraqi cities. The message from all of them was identical. They told me that lawlessness, terrorism, corruption and the systematic abuse of human rights are each a daily feature of life in Iraq. They told me that Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki is rapidly becoming another Saddam Hussein and that modern Iraq is a dust bowl of violence and bloodshed. More than 9,500 people died last year in bomb attacks and assassinations in an increasingly ugly insurgency that threatens to take the country back to the civil war that erupted from 2006-2008. Over 1000 have died already this year.
"It was these same people, people from different ethnic backgrounds, from different faiths and creeds, but who share a desire to see freedom, democracy, justice and peace restored to their country, who urged me to organise today’s conference, so that they could come to the European Parliament and reveal the truth about Iraq to the West. I am deeply grateful to them and thank them for the expense, effort and courage they have expended to come here today.
"They told us in graphic detail how Maliki is using the Iraqi military in a genocidal campaign of ethnic cleansing against the Sunni population of Ramadi and Fallujah, aided and abetted by a generous supply of missiles, rockets, drones and other weaponry from the US, which he uses to slaughter his own people, on the pretext that they are terrorists. The US has even decided to sell and rent Maliki Apache helicopters which he will use to massacre men, women and children in Al Anbar. It is an outrage. 
"I am also appalled at the treatment of the 3000 refugees in Camp Liberty who are incarcerated in prison-like conditions and where the Iraqis are even restricting supplies of food and preventing emptying of sewage tanks, causing the camp to flood with polluted sewerage water and risking health. These defenceless people have been repeatedly attacked by Maliki's forces, including the horrific massacre of 52 of their colleagues in Camp Ashraf last September, when 7 hostages were seized, 6 of whom are women and nothing has been heard from them since. The limp-wristed response from the west has simply encouraged further atrocities of this kind.
"It is time the West woke up to the tragedy of Iraq. It was the US and the UK - George W. Bush and Tony Blair - who invaded Iraq and overthrew Saddam, declaring: "Mission accomplished". They boasted that they had left behind "a functioning democracy", when in fact they left behind a basket case. It was the US who colluded with Iran to return Maliki to power after the last election, even although he had lost that election by 2 seats. Now, in breach of the Erbil Agreement, Maliki has retained control over the Defence, Intelligence and Interior Ministries in his own office and he has even created new, independent security 6 intelligence organisation that is answerable only to him, giving him despotic powers.
"There is still time for the West to reassert its authority and make amends for its disastrous intervention in Iraq. The UN, US and EU must tell Maliki that his whirlwind of bloodshed, violence, corruption and abuse will no longer be tolerated. Unless there are free and fair elections on 30th April that can restore a semblance of democracy to Iraq and provide the beleaguered people of that country with a non-sectarian, secular government, committed to the restoration of the rule of law and respect for human rights, then the economic umbilical cord to the West must be severed."
In his address to the conference Dr Rafe Al Refaei - the Grand Mufti of Iraq, said: "Maliki is following a heinous policy of indiscriminate bombings of innocent people. The people of Al-Anbar did not start the war. We did everything to reach a peaceful settlement. Maliki forces attacked the peaceful rallies. They have bombarded the houses of innocent people. My own brother was killed last week in the bombardment and was not from al Qaeda or from Daesh. When Maliki launched his so-called war against terrorists in the desert in Anbar province not a single combatant of al Qaeda was killed. The only people killed were innocent shepherds. What is happening in Fallujah is genocide. 1000 civilians have been injured. Events in Iraq have taken a very dangerous turn. It could lead to a civil war in which all Iraqi people will lose. The European Parliament should deal with this matter. We've been handed on a golden platter to the Iranian govt." 

Saleem Abdullah Al-Jabori - Chair of the HR Committee in the Council of Representatives said: "We called on the international community to come to our rescue, but we were faced with just talk and no action. Now Iraqi women's tears have dried up. We're sick of unfulfilled promises. But all of this has not put an end to bloodshed in Iraq. All of the violations are serious, all are important. They are issues of international governance and international law. We Iraqis are the ones who suffer. Investigators use torture to obtain confessions. We need to adopt legislation that will put a stop to violations of prisoners. A person can be detained for years on false accusations. But HR violations will not lead to the eradication of terrorism. Our committee has managed to get many women released from prison. Iraq is rich in diversity, but the killing still goes on. There are around 10 car bombs every day. The Iraqi media should be given more freedom to report the truth. Tens of thousands of civilians have been displaced in al Anbar Province. A generation has lost all of its rights."

Haidar Mulla - Member of the Iraqi Council of Representatives said: "Mr Stevenson has increased the influence of the EU in Iraq and in particular, he has increased the importance of HR. We had hoped that Iraq would become a democracy after the fall of the previous regime. But our HR record is not something we should be proud of. Our task is difficult and complex. We have to pave the way for a culture that respects HR. Until now GoI did not implement article 19 on HR. This is not a gift to the people. It is their right. Currently there is a ratio of one military personnel to 27 civilians and even so we cannot live peacefully. We have a political crisis and we have to deal with it politically."

Btrus Sliwa - Head of the Independent KRG Human Rights Board said: "The Ministry of HR was abolished in 2009 because it was being politically influenced. The government set up an independent board not linked to any political body. There is a high rate of domestic violence against women in parts of Kurdistan which we have legislated to stop. There are also now an estimated 200,000 IDPs in Kurdistan as well as over 200,000 refugees from Syria." 

Dr Abdul-Razzaq Rahim Al Shemmeri - speaker for the Herak Delegation from the al-Anbar Governorate said: "This is my first time in the EU and I have come to bring the true voice of Anbar to the European Parliament. Why do you turn a blind eye to the Shia militias who slaughter our people? The Sunni movement entered the conflict through the demonstrations and sit-ins which started in 2012. But it was clear from the start that there was no political will to deal with the demonstrators in a peaceful way. Maliki's army invaded the places where the demonstrators were gathering. The crimes being committed there are similar to Bosnia, Herzegovina. Anti-terrorist forces were sent by the GoI in 2013 to arrest leaders of the so-called terrorist movement in Anbar under the pretext of fighting terrorism. Maliki resorted to threatening us, stating it was a rebellion under influence of foreign forces. He told his forces to finish us off before we finished him off!"

Dr Sabah al-Mukhtar - UN Permanent Representative, Arab lawyers Union, said: "Sending foreign troops to spread democracy turns the concept upside down. HR abuses occur in every country, but Iraq has a unique situation. Maliki abuses all of the human rights of all of the people, all of the time. Iraq is also bottom of the transparency international list of corrupt states, behind even Somalia and Sudan. Why did the Americans liberate Iraq and then hand it over to the mullahs in Iran? 

Minister Falah Mustafa Bakir - KRG Head of Department of Foreign Relations, said: "HR is not a privilege. It is a basic right. We care about HR because as Kurds we have a long experience of suffering. Our democracy is in its infancy. No-one can claim they are perfect. Respect for HR is what we care about in Kurdistan. We have a culture of tolerance and peaceful coexistence. This has led to prosperity for the people and an economic boom. Diversity is the source of our strength. We have also provided shelter for IDPs and refugees. The KRG also focused on women and children to address issues that empower and protect them. Women must be part of society and properly protected in all walks of life. Unlike the federal government in Baghdad, we have always welcomed UN HR reports. As Kurds we will not accept the status of 2nd class citizens. We'd like to see all of Iraq become like Kurdistan."

Kamel Zozo, representing the Syriac Assyrian Chaldean Movement said: "Iraq is a country for all of us. As Christians we've been there since the creation of Iraq. Now we are filled with bitterness and sadness when we see what has happened to the ethnic minorities. The system of government in Iraq is now a despotic one. Christians are doomed to extinction. This is the land of our fathers and forefathers and yet we are being driven from it. We must enact necessary laws to give us protection. Plans to change the demography of Nineveh and other regions are directly targeting the Christian community. We are being pushed into an unknown future. Can I request that EP pays attention to the minorities in Iraq."

Elisabetta Zamparutti - Italian politician in the Radical Movement and Treasurer of "Hands off Cain" NGO, said: "Executions began again after a suspension in August 2005. Over 600 people have been executed since then, 117 last year alone. Iraq is now 3rd behind China and Iran for the number of executions it carries out. There are wooden gallows working overtime in the old intelligence HQ building in Baghdad, where Saddam was hanged. No records of these executions are kept. The justice system in Iraq is broken. Those executed are not represented properly. Evidence taken from secret informants cannot be challenged in court. We need to reflect on the situation in Iraq today."

Struan Stevenson MEP
President of the European Parliament's Delegation for Relations with Iraq

February 19, 2014

Vice-President of the European Parliament meets the Grand Mufti of Iraq

Press release by office of Dr Alejo Vidal-Quadras, Vice-President of the European Parliament
Brussels- 18 February 2014- Today Alejo Vidal-Quadras, Vice-President of the European Parliament, met Dr Rafe al-Refaei, the Grand Mufti of Iraqi Sunnis who is currently in Belgium.
Vidal-Quadras expressed his deep condolences for the tragic death of the brother of Dr al-Refaei during the blind bombardment of the residential areas of the city of Fallujah four days ago by Prime Minister Maliki’s forces and emphasized the support of European lawmakers for the democratic movement in Iraq saying: "after 8 years of pain and suffering, now is the time to end Maliki’s dictatorship."
Dr al-Refaei thanked the Vice-President for his support and explained the crimes against humanity committed by the Iraqi Government, especially the mass executions, and said: "Maliki is able to commit such crimes with the backing of the Iranian regime and it is really the Iranian Quds force which is ruling Iraq." Dr al-Refaei added: "Although the Sunnis are the target of a brutal ethnic cleansing, the Iraqi people as a whole including the Shias, Christians and other minorities are being severely repressed."

The Grand Mufti of Iraq said “It is a Divine law and an ethical obligation to safeguard the safety and security of Iranian opposition PMOI members in Iraq. Any abuse which results to their suffering would strike a blow to our humanity. “
Mr Vidal-Quadras thanked Dr al-Refaei for his support for the Iranian refugees in Iraq and said that treatment of refugees is a serious benchmark for democracy.

February 18, 2014

Iran:31 executions in six days since beginning of Bakhtiaris protests... · Twenty executions on the day of February 18

In an attempt to reign in the rage and discontent of the people and the wave of protests in various cities in the country and in order to heighten the atmosphere of terror, today, Tuesday, February 18, the clerical regime hanged 20 prisoners in a series of group executions in different cities of the country. Eight prisoners in Ghezel Hessar Prison, five prisoners in Bandar Abbas, four prisoners in Kerman, and three prisoners in Qazvin were executed.
Also on the previous day, Monday, February 17, four prisoners were hanged in prisons of Noshahr and Zanjan. The criminal prosecutor of the mullahs’ regime in Noshahr termed these executions: “lesson by example and terrorizing of others”.
Moreover, on February 15, two prisoner of 23 and 37 years of age were publicly hanged in the Golshahr district of city of Karaj. On February 13, a woman by the name of Fatema Abbaspour, 45, was sent to the gallows in Roudbar after spending nine years in prison. On this same day, two prisoners were publicly hanged in the Kouzehgari district of Shiraz and two more were hanged in Mashhad’s Vakilabad Prison.
Thus, since the onset of protests by the Bakhtiari compatriots and in fear of the spread of the uprising, the mullahs’ regime has executed 31 prisoners with the number of executions reaching 131 since the beginning of 2014.
The Iranian Resistance calls on the international community, in particular the UN Security Council, the United States, the European Union, and the human rights defenders throughout the world to resort to urgent action against the group and arbitrary executions of this year that have taken on an unprecedented scale. Continuing and expanding economic and political relations with this regime and closing the eyes on these anti-human atrocities, whatever the pretext, only serves to encourage the persistence and intensification of the group executions and must hence be stopped.

February 15, 2014

Mullahs’ regime leaders emphasize on the obligatory nature of Salman Rushdie’s sentence to overshadow their nuclear deal and its ensuing crises

While accepting the Geneva accord and the forced one-step-retreat from the nuclear projects brought along extensive crises for the clerical regime, its leaders are attempting to eclipse these crises by once again emphasizing on the death sentence for Salman Rushdie in the 25th anniversary of this fatwa.
Mullah Ahmad Khatami, member of the Assembly of Experts and a close associate of Khamenei, in the Tehran Friday prayer called the death decree for Rushdie a “historical fatwa”. He said: “The important thing is that this fatwa is as fresh as ever for the Muslims and faithful Muslims are looking for an opportunity to implement Imam’s fatwa.” Considering the circumstances where the fatwa was issued he said: “It was exactly after the acceptance of resolution 598. Our enemies thought that with the acceptance of the resolution, Imam has retreated from his principles. Then this incident happened and showed to the world that the revered Imam has not retreated one iota from his principles.” Mullah Khatami underscored that even if Salman Rushdie repents, it will not affect the sentence. (Mashregh state-run website, February 14)
Mullah Olama, Khamenei’s representative in Kermanshah said: “…this historical fatwa revived the world of Islam. Since the issuance of this historic fatwa, Salman Rushdie has been living in very harsh condition that imposes a hefty expense on Britain to hide and protect him.” (Tasnim news agency, affiliated with the terrorist Qods Force, February 14)
Hassan Rouhani, mullahs’ regime new President, has also reiterated and supported the fatwa for killing Salman Rushdie on many occasions. In 2009 he commented: “We say this is the duty of Muslims. And this duty is determined by God, and this is not only Iran’s view but all Muslim scholars have also asserted this fatwa.… Its overseers are all Muslims, whose duty it is to carry out the order if it is within their power.”
Elsewhere he has also stated: “Even if Salman Rushdie is killed, the fight is not over, but will begin at other points and on various other issues; similar to our description of the freedom of political parties or women’s rights that is different from their (West’s) interpretation. The fight is the fight of two cultures.” (Islamic Political Thought, Volume 3)

In replicating Khomeini, Khamenei has once again raised the issue of this criminal fatwa in a failed attempt to overshadow the incurable crises of his regime that is engulfed in crises.

Prime Ministry elements escalate their hampering of residents’ access to medical services

On February 11-12, Iraqi suppressive forces under command of the Iraqi Prime Ministry, in an anti-human act, prevented patients who had gone to Baghdad hospital from purchasing their medication as prescribed and written by their physicians. Similarly, on Wednesday, February 12, the agents that accompany the patients to the hospital interfered with the patients’ medical affairs and hampered patients’ appointments with their specialist doctors.
In another harassing and repressive example, these agents used a cutter to tear into pieces the identification card of one of the patients in order to cause problems for him in getting to the hospital.
These criminal acts are conducted under the supervision of a criminal intelligence Major called Ahmed Khozair that is affiliated with the Iraqi Prime Ministry who has played a very active role in the imposition of five years of blockade in Ashraf and Camp Liberty and in particular the medical siege. He has also played a direct role in the massacre, mass execution, and abductions of September 1, 2013 and April 8, 2011 in Ashraf.
Obstructing free access to medical services and delaying treatment of patients has led to the tormenting-to-death of 18 residents of Ashraf and Camp Liberty.

The Iranian Resistance warns of the consequences of this anti-human medical siege and the presence of such criminals as Ahmed Khozair in Camp Liberty who pave the way for another massacre and calls on the United Nations and the United States government to resort to urgent action to end this blockade and terminate the presence of these criminal elements at Camp Liberty.

February 9, 2014

AFP: General Convention of Iranians in Paris denounced the mollahes regime

AFP - Representatives from more than 300 Iranian Europe, the United States and Australia associations gathered Saturday, Feb. 8 in Paris to denounce the mullahs' regime.
After this first " general agreement " , the representatives of these associations, composed of academics, doctors, teachers, intellectuals , adopted a resolution in which they support " the overthrow of the religious dictatorship in its entirety , as only way to bring freedom and a democratic republic in Iran, based on the separation of religion and state , " the statement of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI ), the PMOI is the main component .
" The resolution stresses that Iranian society is in a volatile situation and the theocracy is in its phase reversal . Adds that regime change is to reach " the statement said .
The text also condemns " the silence of the international community to wild and systematic violations of human rights violations in Iran and the commitments of the UN and the U.S. government for the protection of the residents of Camp Liberty " which houses Iranian refugees in Iraq.
Camp Liberty was bombarded by dozens of rockets on December 26 , killing four Iranian dissidents and wounding 70 other people , according to the NCRI .

Maryam Rajavi, President of the Iranian Resistance and guest of honor rally in Paris , called the " 35-year regime of the Supreme Leader " as " the reign of a permanent disaster " and assured that the scheme was " in its phase end " .
transtaled by google from french

February 4, 2014

Intensification of Camp Liberty’s siege, stonewalling residents’ access to medical services, and obstructing drainage of sewage... Call for revocation of anti-human siege and expulsion of criminal elements from Camp Liberty

In an anti-human measure on Sunday and Monday, February 2 and 3, the suppressive Iraqi forces under command of Maliki prevented Iraqi sewage tankers from entering the camp to drain the black water tanks and returned all these tankers. Presently, the camp is facing an acute problem regarding drainage of black water tanks. With the overflow of these tanks or their rupture, sewage will escape and pollute the camp all over and in turn lead to the breakout of dangerous diseases.
Since January 9, 2014, Sadeq Mohammed Kadhim and Ahmed Khozair who have both played an active role in the massacre of Ashraf residents have escalated the siege and pressures on camp residents, including restricting drainage of black water tanks and entry of fuel to the camp. Ahmed Khozair has ordered that at any time just two vehicles may drain the sewage tanks while previously there were five tankers allocated to this job.
In the meantime, hampering entry of fuel will soon severely aggravate the shortage of electricity.
In yet another development, on February 2, upon orders from Ahmed Khozair, the ambulance that was taking the patients was delayed for 1.5 hours which resulted in some patients missing their medical appointments. Moreover, a Prime Ministry element that in breach of the agreements accompanies the patients to the hospital in Baghdad has harassed the patients and interfered in their medical affairs and introduced restrictions for them. In an anti-human act, he prevented a patient from having a medical lab test and barred another patient from purchasing the medication that had been ordered by the physician.

The Iranian Resistance warns of the provocative and dangerous measures implemented by elements such as Ahmed Khozair and calls on the United Nations and the United States that have numerously committed themselves in writing to the safety and security of Camp Liberty residents to adopt all measures necessary to end this criminal blockade and have elements such as Ahmed Khozair removed from the camp.

Howard Dean: US must protect Iranian dissidents in Camp Liberty

NCRI - The United States must keep its promise to protect the residents of Camp Liberty before they can be transferred to safe havens outside Iraq, former Governor Howard Dean has told a meeting at the US Senate.
Mr Dean also condemned Iran's terrorist meddling in the Middle East and accused the US of sacrificing Liberty residents to keep Iran at the nuclear arms negotiating table.
He said: "These 3,000 people in Camp Liberty were disarmed by American troops in 2004 voluntarily in exchange for a piece of paper... that said these are protected people under the Geneva Convention and the Americans will take responsibility for protecting them.
"Now there is loose talk in the state department that our obligation ran out in 2009 when we turned everything over to Iraq. That is the kind of talk that we cannot have. That is the path to cynicism.
"You do not sell out 3,000 unarmed people because they become inconvenient, because you hope to pacify a group of people that do not have a history of keeping their word and who are as we sit at the table, killing Americans by supplying IED’s to Afghan Taliban."
Former Vermont governor Mr Dean said he did not oppose an agreement with Iran - but not at the cost of 3,000 innocent residents of Camp Liberty, who have been subjected to repeated deadly attacks.
He added: "We are not keeping out word. This country has always stood for human rights... and what I expect in these negotiations is for us to stand up for human rights.
"We need to stand up to the mullahs. And if the mullahs today are going to break off these negotiations because we took 3,000 refugees into this country, than these are not the people we ought to be negotiating with.
"This is not the time to exercise cynicism in American policy. This is the time to exercise nobility. 3,000 people, and over 100 have already been murdered in cold blood. We disarmed them, we promised to keep them safe.  We have yet to keep our word.
"It is too late to do anything except to airlift these folks into the United States. Then they can be airlifted around the world.
"Give these 3,000 people their lives back, which we promised to do. That ought to be a condition of these negotiations, and we ought to not to sign any agreement until those 3,000 people are safe."
Iranian refugees in Camp Liberty in Iraq are members and supporters of the People's Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK) who have been living in Iraq since over two decades ago in Camp Ashraf.

Iran: Hassan Rouhani’s food distribution plan sparks unrest

As Hassan Rouhani's program for replacing the food subsidies program with distribution of free food baskets launched on Sunday. But on its first day the launch of the program sparked protests in Iran.
In the freezing cold weather in Tehran, long lines were formed at distribution centers and some people who were successful in receiving the food basket after hours of waiting described the basket as low quality Indian rice and stinking chickens.
This month's food basket contained 10kg of rice, 24 eggs, two frozen chickens, 800 gr of cheese and two bottles of vegetable oil.
Retired government employees and workers earning less than 200 dollars a month are eligible for the program.
According to state-run media, 87% of the retired employees and 13 million workers do not benefit from this food handout.
According to state-run news agency ISNA, a group that received nothing gathered outside the Ministry of Industry and Trade to express his displeasure.
Meanwhile a 60 year old man died in Kermanshah while waiting in line for receiving the food basket. Through SMS messages sent by people the cause of his death was declared overcrowding.

February 3, 2014

Arrest warrants issued for Iraqi judge and journalist by court, for criticizing Nouri al-Maliki

Baghdad (AFP) — Arrest warrants have been issued for the judge who convicted Saddam Hussein and a journalist critical of the government for allegedly libelling Iraq's premier, a watchdog and the judge said Sunday.

Warrants were issued last month for Munir Haddad and Sarmad al-Taie, apparently for criticizing Nuri al-Maliki, under an article of the criminal code that prohibits defaming or insulting government employees.
A local press watchdog said the warrant for Taie, who writes a regular column for the Al-Mada newspaper and is a frequent guest on television current affairs programs, was the first against a journalist since the US-led invasion in 2003.
Maliki's spokesman declined to confirm the premier's office had filed the case.
Haddad, who sentenced Saddam Hussein to death in 2006 and is now a private lawyer, turned himself in last week after being told of the warrant. He was subsequently released on bail.
'The person who filed a case against me was Nuri al-Maliki, accusing me of libel,' Haddad said, telling AFP the original warrant was issued on January 8.
'I did not attack him; I was just practicing my freedom of expression by criticizing the government's performance... I am not against the prime minister, I am not his competitor, I do not have any political allegiance, I do not want to replace him, and I do not want to be in the government.'
Haddad gave no details on the specific comments he made to trigger the accusation, and did not say when he would next appear in court.
Another warrant was issued for Taie, according to Ziad al-Ajili, head of the Baghdad-based Journalism Freedom Observatory.
'The government has filed a legal case against Sarmad al-Taie because of the opinions he expressed on television,' Ajili told AFP, adding the warrant was apparently the first issued against a reporter since Saddam's overthrow.
'This is far away from international standards of freedom of opinion and expression.'
Maliki's spokesman Ali Mussawi declined to say whether or not the premier had initiated the legal case, but said: 'Maliki is like any citizen. He goes to the courts to defend his rights. What is the problem?'
'This is a boost for the judiciary. Everybody, even the prime minister, is subject to the law.'
Iraq is routinely criticised for its poor record on media rights -- it frequently scores towards the bottom of press freedom rankings, and ranks first in the Committee to Protect Journalists' Impunity Index, which tracks unsolved murders of journalists.

Countdown begins for execution of “15 year-old bride” in Iran

State-run news media in Iran have run stories titled: 'The countdown to the execution of a fifteen -year-old bride”, reporting about a 26-year-old mother facing execution on Sunday (Feb. 2) for the murder of her husband, which she denies, in the city of Isfahan.

Farzaneh mother of a 10 year old girl, was married to the man at the age of 15 against her will. The man was killed six years ago.
The woman has been in prison since the alleged offence, which she denies.
Farzaneh's family is now trying to win the consent of the victim's family in which case the death sentence will be canceled.
Execution by the mullahs is a tool for intimidation and repression in society.

February 1, 2014

Fourth week of stonewalling drainage of Camp Liberty’s black water tanks by Maliki’s forces To torture the residents and make conditions intolerable for them

The suppressive Ashraf Committee in the Iraqi Prime Ministry is stonewalling the drainage of black water tanks in Camp Liberty since January 9 to intensify the pressures and to psychologically and physically torture camp’s residents.
Major Ahmed Khozair, an element of the Iraqi Prime Ministry and one of the perpetrators of massacres of Ashraf residents in the years of 2009, 2011 and 2013 is responsible for implementing this suppressive measure. Following the September 1 massacre he was transferred to Camp Liberty and ever since residents are facing new difficulties every day that are caused by him and those under his command who are stationed at Camp Liberty’s entrance.
Stirring up problems for drivers of sewage tankers, unjustifiably delaying their work, insulting them, tearing up the drivers’ identity cards, and battering and injuring them is being repeated every day by Ahmed Khozair and his men.
Imposing fresh restrictions in drainage of the black water tanks has resulted in their overflow. Moreover, since these tanks are worn out, delay in their drainage causes the pressure inside to rise up leading to their rupture and consequently contamination of the environment. Therefore, residents are coerced to restrict their water consumption for sanitary purposes that in turn results in added health problems and the outbreak of many diseases in the camp. The Government of Iraq prevents replacing these dilapidated black water tanks with those in Ashraf that are in good condition or new.

The Iranian Resistance brings the attention of the U.S. government and the United Nations and its various bodies, especially the World Health Organization, to these suppressive measures that are a breach of the humanitarian standards and severely threaten the residents’ health and calls for the removal of criminals such as Ahmed Khozair from Camp Liberty who through these provoking acts prepare the ground for the next attacks and massacres.

Iraqi government attempting to cover up Ashraf massacre and role of perpetrators of crimes against humanity

Witnesses are ready to deliver testimony at presence of US and UN representatives on condition that a copy of their testimony is given to them

According to a statement released by Secretariat of the National Council of Resistance of Iran five months after the mass execution and hostage taking of Ashraf residents on September 1st by Iraqi forces, yesterday agents of the Ashraf repressive committee placed a letter signed by “Major Nofel, Camp Ashraf Police Station Chief” on the wall of the Iraqi forces center in Camp Liberty calling on “Camp Ashraf residents” and their “legal representatives” to appear for “the decision of the investigative judge” on 3 September 2013 to deliver their testimony on the “incident” that took place in Ashraf.
Launching the judge decision into action after five months is yet another ring of the conspiracies staged to cloak the crime against humanity and cover up the role of those involved in it. The Iranian Resistance has time and again in statements numbers 65, 73, 77, 86, 92 issued on 25 September, 7 October, 1st and 15th of November announced Maliki’s goal in these investigation is to whitewash his bloody hands and accuse the victims instead of the criminal. He is seeking to introduce the hostages and 42 surviving Ashraf residents as the elements behind this attack and keep those responsible for this crime safe from justice and accountability.
This is while in the past few months the US government, European Union, US Congress, European Parliament, Amnesty International and … have called for independent international investigations into the September 1st massacre and 35 senior US dignitaries, including 10 generals, former US House of Representatives Speakers and presidential candidates, former secretaries and ambassadors, wrote to the US Secretary of State: “Asking the Iraqi government, which committed these atrocities, to perform an impartial investigation and make those results public is absolutely ludicrous. But we do not even have that pretense of objectivity.”
On September 25th, a three-man team dispatched by Diyala police chief General Shemmari, commander of the attack on Ashraf, came to Liberty to interview a number of the eyewitnesses. Two of these individuals were Shemmari’s deputies and commanded the attack. Despite the fact that our lawyers rejected these investigations as illegal, one of the witnesses delivered his testimony for four and half hours. In the end, however, the delegation was not even willing to give a copy of the testimony to the witness himself.
Despite all this, as stated in the abovementioned statements, the residents’ representatives have time and again said to Iraqi forces, UNAMI and US representatives that the residents who survived the Ashraf massacre are ready to testify before representatives of the UN and US Embassy on the condition that a copy of their testimony is given to them so there is no chance of changes being made in their testimony.
The Iranian Resistance once again calls on the UN to conduct an independent and comprehensive probe into the September 1st massacre and place all the perpetrators before justice so Maliki and Khamenei would not be able to cover up this grave crime against humanity, relive the major criminals of any accountability and pave the path for more massive massacres in the future.