Click here to read this mailing online.

Your email updates, powered by FeedBlitz

Here is a sample subscription for you. Click here to start your FREE subscription

"IRAN WATCH CANADA " - 5 new articles

  2. Iran's Foreign Affairs Spokesperson : After Three Years Of No Relation ,Iran And Canada Resumed Their Discussion To Reopen Their Diplomatic Relation …..
  3. RSF : Iran with 32 journalists in prison Rank 169 out of 180 countries in the world
  4. April 26th, 2016Your Excellency, the Pre...
  5. Iran has difficult road to reform never mind democracy …..Second Round of Election For Majles ( Parliament ) in Iran ….Khamenei , Sepah , Basij and their fundamentalists thugs brings tension and clashes during second round of election campaign , This clashes happened in Tabriz University between pro-moderate ( Zahra Saei - a moderate woman candidate ) and fundamentalists forces …….
  6. More Recent Articles
  8. Prior Mailing Archive

For Immediate Release

Iran: Flawed Convictions for Journalists
Intensified Crackdown on Media Freedom

(Beirut, May 3, 2016) – An Iranian court convicted three journalists and a family member of another journalist on April 25, 2016 on vague national security charges, Human Rights Watch said today. The four, along with a fifth journalist, have been detained since November, 2015. The authorities should quash their convictions and release them.

The revolutionary court sentenced the journalists, Afarin Chitsaz, Ehsan Mazandarani, and Saman Safarzaei, to terms of ten, seven, and five years respectively, and Davoud Assadi, the brother of Houshang Assadi, a journalist who lives in France, to five years. The trial of the fourth journalist, Isa Saharkhiz, who is hospitalized, was postponed. The five appear to have been prosecuted on overly broad charges that are inconsistent with human rights law, including charges of insulting the Supreme Leader, Human Rights Watch said.

“It seems these journalists have done nothing other than exercise their right to free speech,” said Sarah Leah Whitson, Middle East director at Human Rights Watch. “Iran should vacate these apparently unfair convictions and stop targeting journalists and others with these overly broad and vague national security charges.”

The arrest and harsh sentencing occurred in the context of the hardline Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps’ renewed crackdown on media freedom since the election of President Hassan Rouhani, a moderate, in 2013. Iranian state television and media reports claimed that the journalists were part of an “infiltration network” colluding with foreign media, but have yet to offer any evidence supporting these allegations. On September 21, Fars news, an agency considered supportive of the Revolutionary Guards, reported that 12 parliamentarians have warned about the infiltration of individuals close to western intelligence agencies in Iranian domestic “chain newspapers,” a term used by hardliners to describe newspapers close to the reformists. They asked the authorities to take action.

Mazandarani is the managing editor of the daily Farhikhtegan, while Safarzaei writes for the monthly publicationAndisheh Pouya. Both publications are considered sympathetic to reformist politicians. Chitsaz, a former actress, is a regular contributor to Iran, the Rouhani administration’s official newspaper on foreign policy issues. Saharkhiz is a veteran journalist and a founding member of the Society for the Defense of Freedom of the Press (SDFP). He received aHellman-Hammett award in 2012 under a program administered by Human Rights Watch for journalists who have been victims of political persecution.

Mahmoud Alizadeh Tabatabaei, a lawyer who represents Saharkhiz, Mazandarani, and Assadi, told Human Rights Watch on April 25 that Branch 28 of Tehran’s Revolutionary Court sentenced Mazandarani on charges of “assembly and collusion against national security,” and “propaganda against the state.” Safarzaei and Assadi were sentenced for “assembly and collusion against national security,” and for alleged collaboration with Persian-language media outlets abroad.

In the past, Iranian authorities have targeted relatives and friends of foreign-based Persian-language journalists, such as journalists working for BBC Persian to obtain information or silence them.

Tasnim news agency, a website considered supportive of the Revolutionary Guards, reported that Branch 28 of Tehran’s Revolutionary Court sentenced Chitsaz on charges of “assembly and collusion against national security,” and “contact with foreign governments,” though the latter charge does not exist in Iran’s penal code.

Alizadeh Tabatabaei said that the case investigator had dismissed espionage charges against all five before the trial.

Alizadeh Tabatabaei had earlier had told Human Rights Watch that Saharkhiz and Mazandarani were held for three months before finally being formally charged with “acting against national security,” and “propaganda against the state.”

Assadi, Safarzaei, and Mazandarani appeared at Branch 28 of Tehran’s revolutionary court in early March. Chitsaz’s trial was on April 12, domestic media reported. Saharkhiz’s trial, which was scheduled for March 5, was postponed by the court to allow the lawyers to review the case.

Saharkhiz, who spent four years in prison in the aftermath of the disputed 2009 Iranian presidential election, has embarked on several hunger strikes to protest the conditions of his detention inside Ward 2A of Evin prison under Revolutionary Guard supervision.

Mehdi Saharkhiz, Isa Saharkhiz’s son, told Human Rights Watch that his father’s health has gravely deteriorated under detention, and that he had to be transferred to a hospital outside prison on March 9. Mehdi said that his father is facing charges of “assembly and collusion against national security,” “propaganda against the state,” and “insulting the supreme leader,” among others.

As a party to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, Iran has legal obligations to protect the rights to free expression and access to information. The rights to freedom of expression provided under international human rights law may be limited only within narrowly defined boundaries. The penalization of a media outlet, publishers, or journalist solely for being critical of the government or the existing political system can never be considered a necessary justification to restricting the freedom of expression.

However, the overly broad exceptions to free expression contained in the Iranian constitution, security laws, and the Iranian penal code more generally, allow the authorities to suppress these rights beyond the limits set by international law. International human rights law prohibits laws, such as Iran’s, that criminalize criticizing or “insulting” state institutions, including the supreme leader. Furthermore, domestic laws that define crimes in broad and vague terms, and therefore do not permit a person to know what acts constitute a criminal violation also violate international human rights law. Since the disputed 2009 presidential election, revolutionary court judges have increasingly interpreted vaguely drafted provisions of national security charges inconsistently with international law by citing legitimate peaceful dissent as evidence of acting against national security.
As of April, Iran had one of the highest numbers of journalists and social media activists in prison in the world, with at least 32 people behind bars, according to Reporters Without Borders.

For more Human Rights Watch reporting on Iran, please visit:

For more information, please contact: 
In Washington, DC, Tara Sepehri Far (English, Farsi): +1-617-893-0375; or Twitter: @sepherifar
In New York, Sarah Leah Whitson (English): +1-718-213-7342 (mobile); or Twitter: @sarahleah1
In Washington, DC, Ahmed Benchemsi (English, French, Arabic): +1-929-343-7973 (mobile); or Twitter: @AhmedBenchemsi


Iran's Foreign Affairs Spokesperson : After Three Years Of No Relation ,Iran And Canada Resumed Their Discussion To Reopen Their Diplomatic Relation …..

According to news , Mr. Hassan Jaberi the spokesperson of the ministry of foreign affair , Iran and Canada have resumed their bilateral diplomatic negotiation  and two country have met and discussed in New York.

The Diplomatic relation between Iran and Canada was cut off four years ago at the end of September .
On September four years ago the Canadian foreign minister announced that they are going to close their embassy in Iran and asked the Iranian embassy staff to leave Canada.
Four months ago prime Minister Trudeau announced his Government intention to reopen diplomatic talk with Iran.

On February last year the Canadian Government removed part of the sanction against Iran and promised a new economic trade relation with Iran .


RSF : Iran with 32 journalists in prison Rank 169 out of 180 countries in the world


April 26th, 2016Your Excellency, the Pre...

April 26th, 2016
Your Excellency, the President of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Dr. Hassan Rouhani
We the undersigned, a group of university professors in North America, write you concerning the dire circumstances of a number of political prisoners in Iran. It is our hope that you would consider intervening on their behalf and arranging for their immediate hospitalization under the care of competent and expert physicians.
Much distressing news is emerging concerning the battle some of these political prisoners are waging against cancer. It is common knowledge that in such cases the patient must be diagnosed in a timely manner and put under the care of competent physicians.
According to reliable sources, political prisoners are routinely denied access to immediate medical care. Prison authorities seem to habitually delay or limit access of inmates to the prison hospital. Medical care providers who have attended to these seriously ill prisoners have lacked proper medical qualifications. They may even have violated their medical oaths. We call upon you to order an immediate investigation of the medical files of the political prisoners named in this letter to ascertain the veracity of our charges.
Many of these political prisoners who are battling cancer are not allowed to visit outside hospitals specializing in oncology. The conditions of prisons add to the stress that cannot help but worsen their ailments. Prisoners who are serving their sentences often come under pressure to collaborate with the security forces as spies or to appear on national television and confess to crimes they have not committed.
Meanwhile, the entire prison is flooded in harmful and potentially carcinogenic telecommunication waves aimed at jamming mobile phones. Prisoners often complain of headaches that may be related to this reckless policy. Drinking water in Evin prison is not safe for consumption. Prisoners’ daily diet is poor and ill-suited to their conditions.

Prisoners are often subjected to psychological pressures which border on “white torture”. The families of these political prisoners are also under constant pressure. Contrary to the rules and regulations of Iranian prisons, political inmates are denied brief furloughs allowed to non-political prisoners.
The number of political prisoners that during the last few months have protested their conditions by engaging in hunger strike has increased. Some have gone so far as sewing their lips in protest. Unfortunately the judicial authorities in the Islamic Republic have no respect for the rudimentary principles of human rights, the Constitution of the Islamic Republic, or even their own rules and regulations governing prisons. The relationship between the totality of these conditions and the epidemic of cancer and other chronic diseases sweeping Iran’s prisons must be carefully studied.
The affliction of the young physicist Omid Kowkabi with cancer of the kidney and the reckless procrastinating policy of prison authorities in failing to provide him with proper care (leading to the removal of his kidney in a recent operation) is a glaring example of the condition we have outlined above.
We also bring to your attention another political prisoner, Hossein Ronaghi, who is suffering from severe kidney failure and who has started a hunger strike to protest his unbearable conditions.
The third example is Isa Saharkhiz who after a prolonged hunger strike is now diagnosed with the cancer of the adrenal glands – a condition that should have been diagnosed and treated much earlier.
The fourth case is Dr. Alireza Raja’i, who after enduring five years of imprisonment is now battling the cancer of the jaw and face. Physicians are dismayed that he was not reported for treatment in a timely fashion.
The fifth case is Dr. Hossein Rafi’i, retired professor of Chemistry at Tehran University, suffering from multiple ailments.
These are just a few, long suffering political prisoners who are still alive. Mohsen Dokmehchi lost his life to cancer while incarcerated. Ahmad Qabel was diagnosed with brain cancer while in prison. He died soon after he was sent to the hospital in the final stages of his affliction.
Contrary to the official promise by the state that old and sick prisoners would be freed to receive treatment, no such accommodations have been made for political prisoners.
Mr. President, although you are not in charge of the Judiciary, you remain the highest ranking elected official in Iran. As such, you are duty-bound to protect the basic rights of Iranian people and those imprisoned on political charges.
We are witness to your admirable work on the global stage for a peaceful resolution of the Iranian nuclear issues based on mutual respect. You have done much to achieve a more respectable image for Iran. We are confident that addressing the dire condition of political prisoners in Iran and their urgent medical needs will enhance the humanitarian image of Iran around the globe.
If the urgent release of these political prisoners is not possible, please allow for a group of independent specialist physicians from within Iran or international organizations such as Doctors without Borders, International Red Crescent/Red Cross and the United Nations) to visit these prisoners and those who have been recently released but who suffer from a variety of ailments. The physicians should be allowed to examine their medical files and assist the medical experts engaged in treatment of these individuals.
Ervand Abrahamian (City University of New York–CUNY)
Janet Afary (University of California Santa Barbara)
Hussein A. Amery (Colorado School of Mines)
Ian Angus (Simon Fraser University)
Abdullahi Ahmed An-Naim (Emory University)
Andrew Arato (New School University)
Talal Asad (CUNY Graduate Center)
Ali Banuazizi (Boston College)
Golbarg Bashi (Pace University)
M. Cherif Bassiouni (De Paul University)
Mehrzad Boroujerdi (Syracuse University)
Laurie A. Brand (University of Southern California)
Allison Busch (Columbia University)
William Carroll (University of Victoria, Canada)
Houchang Esfandiar Chehabi (Boston University)
Noam Chomsky (Massachusetts Institute of Technology – MIT)
Hamid Dabashi (Columbia University)
Fred Dallmayr (University of Notre Dame)
Roxanne L. Euben (Wellesley College)
Samir Gandesha (Simon Fraser University)
Moisés Garduño Garcia (Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México)
Emeritus Irene Gendzier (Boston University)
Alan Gilbert (University of Denver)
Jeffrey Goldfarb (New School University)
Warren S. Goldstein (Harvard University)
Victoria de Grazia (Columbia University)
Ahmad Hadavi (Northwestern University)
Elaine C. Hagopian (Simmons College, Boston)
Wael Hallaq (Columbia University)
Nader Hashemi (University of Denver)
Nubar Hovsepian (Chapman University)
Andreas Huyssen (Columbia University)
Peter R. Johnson (University of Calgary, Alberta, Canada)
Mohsen Kadivar (Duke University)
Hossein Kamaly (Barnard College, Colombia University)
Sudipta Kaviraj (Columbia University)
Banafsheh Madaninejad (Southeastern University)
Mojtaba Mahdavi (University of Alberta, Canada)
Ali Akbar Mahdi (California State University, Northridge)
Ali Mirsepassi (New York University)
Brinkley Messick (Columbia University)
Timothy Mitchel (Columbia University)
Ebrahim Moosa (University of Notre Dame)
Arash Naraghi (Moravian College)
Mehdi Noorbaksh (Harrisburg University)
Mehrdad Nourani (University of Texas, Dallas–UTD)
Sheldon Pollock (Columbia University)
Farhang Rajaee (Carleton University, Canada)
Malcolm L. Rigsby (Henderson State University)
Sara Roy (Harvard University)
Mahmoud Sadri (Texas Woman’s University)
Muhammad Sahimi (University of Southern California)
Emile Sahliyeh (University of North Texas)
Stuart Schaar (Brooklyn College, City University of New York)
Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak (Columbia University)
Andrea L. Stanton (University of Denver)
Mohamad Tavakoli-Targhi (University of Toronto, Canada)
Mahdi Tourage (King’s University College, Canada)
Peyman Vahabzadeh (University of Victoria, Canada)
Jerry Zaslove (Simon Fraser University)
Copies to:
Minister of Health and Medical Training of the Islamic Republic of Iran
Doctors Without Borders
International Red Crescent/Red Cross
United Nations

Iran has difficult road to reform never mind democracy …..Second Round of Election For Majles ( Parliament ) in Iran ….Khamenei , Sepah , Basij and their fundamentalists thugs brings tension and clashes during second round of election campaign , This clashes happened in Tabriz University between pro-moderate ( Zahra Saei - a moderate woman candidate ) and fundamentalists forces …….


More Recent Articles

You Might Like

Click here to safely unsubscribe from "IRAN WATCH CANADA."
Click here to view mailing archives, here to change your preferences, or here to subscribePrivacy