Insider news & Analysis in Iran

 

38-year-old, Nazanin Zaghari Ratcliffe, from Hampstead in London, was arrested at the airport in Iran, awaiting her flight home. She had been visiting family in Tehran with her small daughter, Gabriella. Ratcliffe is a dual-nationality citizen, a charity worker, who has been sentenced to five years, after being accused of being a western spy, and has been in prison in Iran since April. 

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By INU Staff 
INU - On Friday, Voice of America News reported upon the case of Robin Shahini, the Iranian-American political prisoner who was arrested last July while visiting family in Iran and subsequently sentenced to 18 years in prison on vague charges including “collaboration with a hostile government.” Shahini initiated a hunger strike in February in an effort to bring attention to the injustices in his case, and according to his sister that hunger strike is ongoing and has now entered its third week.

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In the summer of 1988, on the basis of a fatwa by the regime’s then-Supreme Leader Ruhollah Khomeini, the Iranian regime executed tens of thousands of political prisoners held in jails across Iran. The vast majority of the victims were activists of the opposition the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI) or (MEK).

A joint written statement about the 1988 massacre in Iran, and the need for the international community to hold the perpetrators to account, has been submitted to the current session of the Human Rights Council by Six human rights organisations with consultative status to the United Nations human rights body. The joint written statement is titled: “The 1988 massacre of political prisoners in Iran constitutes a crime against humanity”.

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By INU Staff 

INU - In recent months, there has been much discussion of the possibility of the Islamic Republic of Iran reducing the frequency with which it implements capital sentences against non-violent drug offenders. Support for a parliamentary initiative to change the maximum sentencing laws has reportedly gained support in the wake of frequent mass executions and international outcry against the consistently world-leading rate of state-sanctioned killings in the Iranian judicial system.

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Early this week, Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty reported upon separate bans that had been visited upon an Iranian brother and sister who had each been playing competitive chess on an international level. According to the head of the Iranian Chess Federation, neither sibling can be permitted to be part of the Iranian national chess team or even to enter chess tournaments inside the country from this point forward.

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By INU Staff 
INU - Earlier this week, the Los Angeles Times reported upon Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei’s recent statements explicitly rejecting the notion of “national reconciliation.” The article explains that these statements all but guarantee that one of President Hassan Rouhani’s key campaign promises will remain unfulfilled when he stands for reelection in May. Furthermore, it is a probable sign that the hardline principles underlying Iran’s Islamic theocracy will remain essentially uncompromised, despite the prevalence of pro-reconciliation and pro-reform sentiment.

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