Thursday, August 10, 2006

IRAN NEWS ROUND-UP - English & Links to Farsi

Mansour Osanlou, leader of the Greater Tehran Bus Drivers Union, released from prison

A received report from Tehran: Mansour Osanlou was released from prison at 3:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Aug. 9th. Leaving the prison gates, he was greeted by his entire family, friends and fellow union activists who were waiting for him outside.

After a brief visit and embrace with the well wishers, he headed home with the caravan that had showed up at the prison to salute him. Osanlou appeared tired and weak.

Mansour Osanlou was arrested in December 2005 and without ever really being charged with any concrete or specific charges, spent almost 8 months in prison.

Advaar News reported that Saeed Torabian, member of the board of directors of the greater Tehran bus drivers union said: “Osanlou, the chairperson of the union was arrested directly following the Labor strikes in December last year and was detained in Evin prison’s ward 209 for more than 7 and a half months and was released on $175,000 bail this afternoon at 15:30 from Evin prison.”

Torabian who made the announcement of Osanlou’s release in front of Evin prison added that Osanlou’s freedom is as a result of all of the efforts and assistance of Iranian freedom-lovers. Osanlou in a short interview with the reporter from Advaar News thanked all those who during his detention made every effort t see him released.
Islamic regime plans to dispatch Arabic-speaking Iranians from the city of Ahvaz to Lebanon (Volunteers being recruited from Prisons like in the movies).

According to received reports, the Islamic regime is encouraging young Arabic-speaking residents from city of Ahvaz (Province of Khuzestan*) to participate in the war in Lebanon alongside Hezbollah against Israeli forces. Each person is being offered approximately $10,000.

The Islamic regime has told the volunteers that since they are Arabic-speakers, their presence in Lebanon will not be conspicuous. Volunteers will first go through a short basic training camp in Iran and then will be dispatched to Lebanon.

Previous reports also indicate that the Islamic regime has also granted full pardons to criminals who are either serving life-in-prison or are on death-row in Iran, in exchange for their volunteering to go to Lebanon. The conditions of prisons in Iran is so deplorable that already 400 prisoners have chosen going to war in Lebanon over staying in the regime’s prisons.

* The province of Khuzestan borders on Iraq and a large majority of the residents of that province are bilingual Persian and Arabic-speakers.

Urgent Appeal to All Supporters of Human Rights

By Shadi Sadr, Tehran

As an Iranian lawyer and a human rights defender, I am writing to you to ask you to help me save the life of a woman sentenced to death by stoning! Asharf Kalhori, who is currently in Evin prison in Tehran, is scheduled to be stoned to death by the end of July 2006 for the crime of having "sex".

I am voluntarily representing Ashraf, the mother of four children of ages 9 to 19 to save her from stoning. She had an extramarital affair because she never loved her husband, but her request for divorce had been rejected by the court based on the fact that she had children and, therefore, had to resume living with her husband. Therefore, some women whose divorce requests are denied opt for extramarital affairs.

If you believe that stoning is not an appropriate punishment for a woman having sex with a man other than her husband, if you believe that having sex is not a crime and does not turn a person into a criminal, and if you believe that Ahsraf Kalhori does not deserve to die for having had sex, then please express your opposition to stoning.

Your voice counts! I am asking you to please raise your voice against stoning Ashraf Kalhori by signing the petition addressed to the Iranian Head of the Judiciary and the Iranian Parliament representatives. We can save Ashraf's life and, furthermore, together demand a ban on stoning for ever!

Please sign this petition and let the Iranian Head of Judiciary and the Iranian Parliament know that there exists grand opposition to stoning women for having sex, and that we all appose stoning as the ultimate cruel, inhuman and degrading punishment.

Please forward this letter to others who may be interested.

Shadi Sadr
Attorney at Law
Tehran, Iran
A report on the financial and armament assistance offered to Hezbollah by the Mullahs

This report has been sent to Iran Press News by a reliable insider of the Islamic regime who wishes to remain anonymous:

“As someone who has for years been involved in the financial and armaments dealings of the Islamic regime with the Lebanese branch of Hezbollah, I felt I should impart some of the reliable information. Between the years 2003 and 2004 the equivalent of six billion dollars of income from oil sales went missing and it was not clear how and in what way it had been spent.

After complaints about this matter intensified, in the private meetings of the Islamic regime’s parliament (known as Majles) it was announced that ‘that sum had been set aside as a cash reserve for emergency situations’.

But soon after it came to light that at the order of Mr. Khamenei, $1.5 billion from the total amount had been allotted for buying advanced and modern weapons for the Lebanese Hezbollah.

This amount was poured into an account at the MEAB Bank (bank Middle East and Africa). So far as I personally know this is a violation of the Security Council Resolution 1373 of the United Nations in the ban on aid to organizations that are on the U.N. terrorist list. It is for this reason that the regime’s officials have repeatedly denied this issue.

But if it is proven that the Security Council Resolution 1373 had been violated and the Lebanese Hezbollah had in fact been helped, it can have very serious repercussions for the regime. The regime gave away and gifted billions of dollars to the Lebanese Hezbollah, which I witnessed with my own two eyes but then, in 2004 the regime’s own interior ministry put out an official report that had been prepared for the authorities of the regime that clearly stated that more than 40 million unlucky people in Iran live under the poverty line.

(Hamid-Reza Taraghi, the manager of the MOTALEHFEH political party referring to this report in a February 2004 Jaam’eh-Jam newspaper report, clarified the information and said that in fact the correct statistic was forty-two million people rather than 40 million living under the poverty line).

Hundreds of thousands of educated Iranian youths are unemployed due to lack of sufficient funding for programs to create job opportunities or are not employed in jobs that by no means meet their standard of education. Hundreds of villages and towns and big cities of Iran are deprived of urban facilities such as water pipelines, gas and electricity. Refurbishing roads all over the country, according to officials, will cost all of a half of that $1.5 billion that was gifted to the Lebanese.

The health and medical care conditions in the country can even be sorted out with this same amount. The deteriorating and non-functional foundations of the country’s old telecom system to the chaotic and erratic mobile phone and Internet networks can most definitely be repaired with this amount. While these and thousands of other cases are in dire need of resolving and budgeting, Mr. Khamenei continues to siphon of our money to send money and arms to the Lebanese Hezbollah.”

Anonymous Tehran
Medical report on the hunger strike of Ahmad Batebi

Today 15/5/85 (6 August 2006) is the ninth day of the arrest and hunger strike of Ahmad Batebi.

As an independent physician who has been in charge of Ahmad Batebi's health outside of prison, I feel it necessary to note some points about his physical condition:

1- As a result of disk herniation (L4 & L5) due to a blow, Ahmad Batebi is in need of ongoing physiotherapy, medication and further investigation for an operation. If lack of treatment and hunger strike continue, he will face complete physical and sensory paralysis in the lower body.

2- High blood haemoglobin (17 g/dl), which is normally between 12-14 g/dl, will result in arteriosclerosis and an eventual heart attack.

3- High cholesterol, uric acid and triglyceride, which if not treated will irreparably damage his vital organs, namely kidneys, liver and heart.

4- His kidney haemorrhage may possibly be the result of high blood haemoglobin or kidney stone and needs further investigation.

5- Stomach bloating and duodenal ulcer, which can worsen and result in the puncturing of the stomach and/or duodenum, causing internal bleeding.

In light of the above, regarding Mr Ahmad Batebi's many physical ailments, I find it necessary to warn all those responsible and the doctors inside the prison that if his hunger strike does not end and he is not transferred to outside medical care, he will meet the same unfortunate fate of Akbar Mohammadi.

The life of a human being is in danger; his situation needs addressing before another unfortunate incident arises.

Dr Hesam Firouzi
Concerns for a political prisoner with Cancer

According to human rights activists in Iran, political prisoners, Hassan Nahid, a telecommunications engineer who has been detained in Evin prison, suffers from cancer and needs to be under the constant care of specialists to receive treatment for his fatal illness, outside of prison. Nahid has repeatedly visited the Evin prison infirmary for medical help and was recently given pill that have caused him to lose a noticeable amount of weight. When he complained however the Evin prison wardens, in an attempt to humiliate him, said: "You don’t have cancer, you’re just suffering from psychological problems".

Human rights activists in Iran while expressing concerns about the status of Hassan Nahid, call for his treatment in a specialized cancer center and request that all human rights organizations and the United Nations to dispatch their representatives and rapporteurs to the prisons in Iran in order to prevent further violations of human rights by the Islamic regime.
The fate of the Islamic Revolution will be gauged in Lebanon

Saeed Abootaleb, member of the revolutionary guards’ Qods Brigade (aka Jerusalem Brigade) and member of Islamic parliament said: "The fate of the Islamic Revolution will be gauged in Lebanon. If Hezbollah fails, the one hundred-year-old product of our Ulama (Islamic scholar), Faghi (Islamic jurisprudent) and the Islamic dignitaries efforts, will be destroyed. "

Abootaleb spoke to a crowd in the Kerman Province: "War with Lebanon is the facade of a small war with the Islamic Republic. Hezbollah does not fight for the Islamic republic but for our Islamic revolution.”
Anti-Semitic films produced by the Islamic republic on sale in Germany

As the Middle East war rages on, some mosques in Germany show films produced in Iran by the Islamic regime whose subject-matter is about combating Israel. One of these films is entitled “The Children of Al-Aqsa Mosque”, in which it shows Palestinian children being indoctrinated in the struggle against Israel. German intelligence was able to obtain a collection of these films in a mosque in Hamburg. Another of the films in the collection, entitled “Zahra’s Blue Eyes” was produced by the Tehran’s Saba center for the Arts. German intelligence agents say that most of these films produced by the Islamic republic are on sale in mosques and other Islamic centers in Germany.

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