Iran introduces 2,000 new morality police units in response to women’s hijab protests

Iran has introduced 2,000 new morality police units in reaction to what officials call an “increasing defiance” of the compulsory wearing of hijabs. The units, called “resistance groups for verbal and practical response to bad-hijabi women”, were launched recently in the northern province of Gilan as part of a pilot scheme. They are each made up of six women who have the power to arrest and detain those they deem to be flouting the country’s strict veiling laws. The move comes amid a growing backlash by women in the Islamic…

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Iran To Block Social Media In Case Of War With U.S.

Iran would block its citizens’ access to social media if war were to break out with the U.S., the head of the country’s Passive Defense Organization has said. In a speech on Sunday, May 26, brigadier-general Gholamreza Jalali of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps said, the U.S. “uses social media for media and psychological operations to influence Iranians’ minds.” He added that Washington has the opportunity to exercise soft power in exploiting both Iran’s lack of a defensive national intranet and its weakened economy, using “social media for placing its…

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Amnesty: Proposed Iranian Law Restricting Access to Lawyer Would Be Crushing Blow for Justice

A contemptible amendment to the Iran’s code of criminal procedure could effectively strip detainees who are facing punishments such as the death penalty, life imprisonment and amputation, of the right to access a lawyer while they are under investigation, Amnesty International announced on Thursday, May 16. An analysis of the bill published by the organization Thursday details how, if passed, the amended law would permit the prosecution to immediately deprive individuals arrested on “national security” and certain other serious criminal charges of access to a lawyer for 20 days, which…

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Journalists Condemn Arrest of Reformist Reporter Ahead of World Press Freedom Day

Marzieh Amiri, a reporter for the reformist Shargh newspaper, has been in Evin Prison’s Ward 209 under the control of the Intelligence Ministry since she was arrested while covering a Labor Day protest in Tehran on May 1, the Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI) has learned. Amiri was detained after she went to a detention center on Vozara St. to inquire about workers’ rights activists who’d been arrested at a rally near Iran’s Parliament, according to tweets by Shargh reporters. Judicial authorities have not commented on the reason…

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Memo to Zarif: Stop Taking Dual Nationals as Hostages

Foreign Minister Javad Zarif’s statement today that he has the “authority” to exchange Iranian-Americans imprisoned in Iran with the US is a glaring admission that these prisoners are being held as political hostages. “If ever there was a question that imprisoned dual nationals in Iran are being used as political pawns, Zarif publicly admitted today that his government has taken these people as hostages,” said Hadi Ghaemi, executive director of the Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI). “The foreign minister spoke as though he was trying to make a…

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Anti-Compulsory Hijab Protester, Mother in Widely Shared Tehran Metro Video Both Arrested

Activist Yasaman Aryani was arrested in Tehran on April 10, 2019, after appearing in a widely shared video of women peacefully protesting Iran’s compulsory hijab law in a Tehran Metro train on March 8, International Women’s Day. Her mother, Monireh Arabshahi, was detained the following day after she inquired about her daughter, the Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI) has learned. They are both being held in the Vozara Detention Center based on a complaint by the judiciary’s Islamic Guidance branch, according to news reports. Aryani, 23, and her mother can…

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Britain To Grant ‘Diplomatic Protection’ To Dual Citizen Imprisoned In Iran

Britain says it will grant “diplomatic protection” to Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, a U.K.-Iranian dual citizen imprisoned in Tehran since 2016, citing “unacceptable treatment” during her three years of detention. “I have today decided that the U.K. will take a step that is extremely unusual and exercise diplomatic protection,” Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt said in a statement on March 7. “This represents formal recognition by the British government that her treatment fails to meet Iran’s obligations under international law and elevates it to a formal state-to-state issue.” Hunt added, however, that it…

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Report: Situation of Human Rights Defenders in Iran- 2018

In 2018, the pressure upon and suppression of human rights activists in Iran intensified through detention, threats and imprisonment. Iranian authorities view human rights defenders as threats to the security of the state.   The report on the condition of Iranian human rights defenders in 2018 coincides with the 40th anniversary of the Islamic revolution in February 1979. We have chosen the second half of February for publication of the report because it marks the start of the darkest era in modern Iranian history with regards to the persecution of…

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Iran: Harsh Sentence for Rights Lawyer Threatens Activism

The prominent human rights lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh’s draconian sentence for her peaceful activism shows the threat posed by Iran’s revolutionary courts to human rights work, the Center for Human Rights in Iran and Human Rights Watch said today. Iran should immediately and unconditionally release Sotoudeh and other human rights defenders who are unjustly spending Nowruz, the Persian New Year, behind bars. On March 11, 2019, Reza Khandan, Sotoudeh’s husband, announced that authorities had formally communicated to her that they had added another 33 years in prison and 148 lashes to…

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Authorities Raid Home of Detained Baha’i Citizen Noora Pourmoradian, Arrest her Parents

The aggression against Baha’is in Iran was still palpable Thursday, September 27th when Shiraz-based Security forces raided the home of Shirazi Baha’i prisoner of conscience Noora Pourmoradian, seizing her personal belongings and temporarily detaining her mother and father. Claiming that the search was necessary to the completion of Noora’s case, security forces threatened the Pourmoradian family with “severe consequences” if they leaked photo evidence or publicly disclosed information about the incident. “To intimidate them, they handcuffed Mr. Saeid Pourmoradian (Noora’s father) and took him into the car, menacing him [about…

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