The story of “honor killings” in Iran

The misogynist ideology promoted by the mullahs’ regime ruling Iran is the main reason behind an unfortunate phenomenon known as “honor killings” that have long plagued this country.

Two new cases of “honor killings” in Iran under the mullahs’ regime. This includes Reyhaneh Ameri, 22, killed on June 15 by her father with an ax for coming home late; and Fatemeh Barihi, 19, beheaded by her husband.

In late May, Romina Ashrafi, 13, was beheaded in her sleep by her own father. These innocent women are the victims of honor killings in Iran which are sanctioned & institutionalized by the laws of the clerical regime.

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The story of Reyhaneh Ameri

Reyhaneh’s sister went to her parents’ home on Monday at around 8:30 or 9 am. When she entered there was no one home and Reyhaneh’s room was locked. She knocks constantly and no one answers. She notices the rugs are in disarray. A few minutes later her father comes home.

Her mother says when left the house in the morning Reyhaneh was still in her room & her door was open. Then she tells her daughter what happened the night before. Reyhaneh had returned home at around 11:30 pm & had a quarrel with her father. After that she went to her room.

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Reyhaneh’s father tells his wife, “One day I will kill that girl!”

In 2017 he once tried to kill her and severely beat her with a stick, leaving her entire body swollen. Reyhaneh’s arms & leg were broken & her sister intervened to save her life.

Reyhaneh’s sister becomes nervous & says something might have happened to her. Reyhaneh’s mother and sister finally open her door & see the room in a mess. All her clothes are on the floor. Her mother begins to gather up the clothes, only to see they are wet.

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When she pulls the clothes aside Reyhaneh’s mother sees the middle of the room is full of blood. There is blood also on the walls. They call the police. When they arrive, the officers see blood under the rugs. They believe Reyhaneh was dragged from her room to a car.

Reyhaneh’s father had many axes and they realize one of them is not in its place. They start thinking he may have used it to attack Reyhaneh. While the police wait for Reyhaneh’s father to come back home, they track Reyhaneh’s mobile phone to a deserted area.

The tracking device shows the location near the village of Ekhtiar Abad, a 15-min drive from the city of Kerman in south-central Iran. When Reyhaneh’s father comes home he is immediately arrested by the police. He is angry and denies knowing anything.

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The trunk of his car was full of blood. So was the back license plate. Reyhaneh’s father is arrested and her mother is sent to a hospital. They search for Reyhaneh until 11 pm. Her father wouldn’t say anything other than that it wasn’t him & he hadn’t killed Reyhaneh.

At 11 pm he says with a smile that he did kill Reyhaneh with a blow of his ax to her head, and left her body in an open area near the city of Kerman. When they find Reyhaneh she was dead. Physicians at the forensics said she was alive until 9 pm. She was suffering for hours.

The story of Fatemeh Barihi

Fatemeh was forced to marry to her abusive cousin at the age of 17. She was beheaded by her husband. State media justified this heinous murder by writing this is the result of Fatemeh fleeing her husband & betraying him the day after their marriage.

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This is the regime’s attempt to justify this killing under the mullahs’ laws that allow men to kill his wife in case of adultery. One of Fatemeh’s relatives has spoken out & shed light on the truth.

A few years ago Fatemeh’s sister was forced to marry a few years ago (Fatemeh’s future brother-in-law). The result was nothing but being beaten by her husband, a miscarriage due to blow to her body, and finally, a woman without any hope in life. Fatemeh didn’t want this.

Fatemeh’s husband was more of the same & she was constantly under physical & psychological pressure. As a result, with the help of a friend, Fatemeh fled her husband a few months into their marriage & goes to the city of Mashhad in northeast Iran.

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Some time later Fatemeh’s father finds her (how, it is not certain) & returns her to Abadan, southwest Iran. Her father remembers how they his own sister was beheaded. She was accused of adultery for seeking a divorce from her husband who was sentenced to life in jail.

Abadan

Therefore, seeking an “easier death,” he poisons Fatemeh. But Fatemeh’s mother finds out & saves her life. Fatemeh was then taken to a river & beheaded. It is said that since Fatemeh’s father will not seek justice due to his fear. Fatemeh’s murderer will walk free.

The story of Somayeh Fat’hi

According to the Hengaw human rights organization, Somayeh Fat’hi, an 18-year old woman from the city of Kermanshah, western Iran, was murdered by her father, brother and other family members in what is being described as an “honor killing.” Somayeh was reportedly married and pregnant and was poisoned on Thursday, June 18, due to having “contact with a young man.”

The family has not held a ceremony and “none of the murderers were arrested,” according to the Hengaw report. It is also worth noting that state police officials have denied reports of Somayeh Fat’hi being killed.

This is the fifth case of women being killed in “honor killings” by their fathers, brothers or husbands during the past few weeks. The exact number of such acts of murders in Iran are not declared by officials and state institutions. However, back in December 2019 the state-run ISNA news agency issued a report citing university research saying “around 375 and 450 honor killings” are taking place each year across Iran.

This reports further adds that “honor killings” add up to around 20 percent of all murders in Iran and 50 percent of family-related murders.

Increasing number of cases

There are reports of new cases being reported from across Iran.

Hajareh Hossein-bor was murdered on May 4 by her husband. Her digestive tract had been burned by acid forced down her throat. She was unconscious and could hardly breathe. Her body was found with her head full of thorns, and both her arms and hands had been pounded by stones.

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There are also reports that Leyla Farrokhi has recently been killed by her husband in the city of Karaj, west of the Iranian capital Tehran. Her husband then committed suicide. Their 19-year old daughter, witness to this tragedy, is reportedly injured.

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Leyla Farrokhi—Karaj, west of Tehran, Iran

There are also cases of women being severely beaten by their husbands.

This 22-year old woman was beaten and tortured by her 80-year old husband! The man literally attacked his wife with a hot metal rod for not working in their farm! Reports indicate neighbors helped the beaten young woman and her 5-year old son flee to find refuge.

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22-year old mother beaten with a hot metal rod by her 80-year old husband

This lady’s husband — a drug-addict for a few years according to sources — had been transferred to a rehabilitation camp by members of his family and those of his wife’s. However, when the husband returns home he takes his wife to a deserted field and nearly beats her to death. Due to the severity of his wife’s injuries he takes her to a hospital on June 4.

Unfortunately, murder and domestic violence takes place everywhere in our world.

But in Iran, the laws of the mullahs’ regime literally support murderers, allowing them to pre-plan and kill their female family members, knowing they can walk free.

In Iran under the mullahs’ regime, violence against women, domestic violence and honor killings have not been criminalized in the so-called Constitution and other laws of the clerical regime in Iran. In fact, they are sanctioned and institutionalized.

Such honor killings and shocking tragedies are the tragic result of the mullahs’ misogynistic laws. Laws that do not criminalize violence against women, including domestic violence, serve to perpetuate it.

The adoption of such hideous and medieval laws, as well as unfair trials, all come into play following four decades of miseries and misfortunes the mullahs’ regime has imposed on the people of Iran.

What’s the solution?

Regime change in Iran by the people of Iran. No need for a new war, nor even a single dollar to be spent. Supporting the Iranian people and recognizing their right to establish a free and democratic Iran that fully recognizes human rights for all, regardless of gender, faith, race, and ethnicity.

Iran claims 225 killed in November 2019 uprising, opposition says at least 1,500

After six months of denial, Iran’s interior minister says up to 225 people were killed during the November 2019 protests following a petrol price hike imposed by the ruling regime to help compensate a devastated economy, according to reports on Sunday, May 31.

Officials in Iran have yet to issue an overall death toll for the unrest and refuse to provide any names. The timing of this acknowledgement is of no coincident. Knowing the world is focused on developments inside the U.S. and the global coronavirus pandemic, Tehran has chosen now to make this announcement with hopes of putting a lid on the actual death toll and bringing an issue to an end.

It is worth noting that the Iranian opposition National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) was repeatedly issuing statements with updates on the number of protesters killed, injured and arrested by the Iranian regime’s authorities during the November 2019 uprising. After a string of similar reports, the NCRI reported on December 16 that over 1,500 protesters were killed by the regime’s security forces.

Death toll in Iran crackdown exceeds 300, Amnesty says
Riot police disperse protesters against increased gas prices on a highway in Tehran, Iran, on November 16, 2019. Nazanin Tabatabaee/West Asia News Agency, via REUTERS

One week later, on November 23 Reuters issued a special report also indicating over 1,500 protesters were killed, citing three officials inside the Iranian regime’s Interior Ministry.

“About 1,500 people were killed during less than two weeks of unrest that started on Nov. 15. The toll, provided to Reuters by three Iranian interior ministry officials, included at least 17 teenagers and about 400 women as well as some members of the security forces and police,” the report reads.

Did Iran authorize three Interior Ministry officials to talk to Reuters and provide the 1,500 count to help keep a lid on the actual number of protesters killed and at least bring a political end to the NCRI reports? Quite possibly.

Now after six months of denial, at a time when the world is focusing on the global COVID-19 pandemic and the U.S. is engulfed in domestic developments just four months from the November 2020 presidential election, Iran’s regime considers this the perfect timing to issue a report with numbers far below that of the NCRI and Reuters, and even less than that of Amnesty International’s 304 death count report. From the regime’s perspective, this will bring a desperately needed end to this ordeal.

However, scenes of the November 2019 massacre launched by the regime against peaceful protesters will never be forgotten. Just recently, the U.S. Treasury Department sanctioned Iranian Interior Minister Abdolreza Rahmani Fazli and other senior law enforcement officials in connection with serious human rights abuses.

“The Iranian regime violently suppresses dissent of the Iranian people, including peaceful protests, through physical and psychological abuse,” said Treasury Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin.

Hassan Shahvarpour Najafabadi, Commander of the IRGC’s Vali Asr Base in Khuzestan province during the IRGC’s violent suppression of protestors in Nov 2019. In this province & Mahshahr alone, the IRGC killed at least 100 protestors in 3 days.

The scenes became horrific as regime security forces opened indiscriminate fire into crowds of protesters, killing men, women and children. This footage from is from the Saveh road located southwest of the Iranian capital Tehran. Scenes of protesters shot by the regime’s security forces opening fire. A man is heard saying four people were killed in this scene.

Shiraz was described as the epicenter of the Iranian people’s uprising against the mullahs’ regime. It was also probably the city where regime forces showed the utmost brutality. This footage is from November 18, 2019.

WARNING – DISTURBING FOOTAGE

The smaller cities surrounding Tehran were also scenes of major protests. Regime officials were ordering security forces to open fire and even shoot at point blank range, knowing the protesters were only just a few kilometers away from rallying towards sensitive regime headquarters in the capital Tehran.

This footage is from the city of Shahriar on November 16, 2019.

And regime forces resorted to unspeakable brutality. This footage is dated November 16, 2019, from the city of Karaj, located west of Tehran.

WARNING – DISTURBING FOOTAGE

Saveh, another city located southwest of Tehran, witnessed scenes of security forces opening direct fire at protesters as demonstrations continued over the gasoline price hike.

On May 20, 2020, the U.S. administration further indicated its insistence on standing alongside the Iranian people and not tolerating the regime’s dreadful human rights violations.

The Iranian people support sanctions against the mullahs’ regime ruling Iran. Listen to this internet taxi driver recording a message on March 25 saying specifically, “”Please do not provide any money to the Islamic republic. Not a single rial [Iranian currency] reaches the people. Please do not lift the sanctions from the filthy mullahs… That is exactly what they want.”

Even when the regime’s own state-media ask ordinary people about U.S. sanctions and their conditions, the answers provided are quite interesting, to say the least. This young man specifically points the finger at the mullahs’ regime and the ongoing financial corruption and embezzlement plaguing the country.

The Iranian people understand very well that U.S. sanctions also prevent the regime from funding the Assad regime & terrorist groups across the Middle East.

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Iran’s regime has been known to prop the murders Assad killing machine in Syria along with numerous other terrorist militia extremist groups checkered across the Middle East (Credit: FDD)

Mark my word: The at least 1,500 innocent Iranians killed by the mullahs during the brave November 2019 uprising did not die in vain.

I’ll end this piece with this footage. This is just one reason we, the Iranian people, will never forget the regime’s massacre back in November 2019. The scene is indeed painful and heartbreaking. But justice will be served.

User ID leak: Iran using coronavirus crisis to spy on ordinary Iranians

As the world rightly focuses on addressing the coronavirus pandemic, a lesser discussed issue is how the Iranian regime is taking advantage of the status quo in many different ways. And with China’s support.

42 million Iranian “Telegram” user IDs and phone numbers leaked online, according to a recent report. Iran’s regime has a history of using apps to place the general public, especially activists and dissidents, under a watchful eye.

The incident follows a similar case in 2016 when Reuters reported 15 million Telegram user IDs, phone numbers, and one-time verification codes were identified by Iranian hackers, resulting in more than a dozen compromised accounts.

The information contained in this recently exposed database poses a clear risk to users. Not only does it reveal who in Iran uses Telegram (or a Telegram fork), it also opens them up to attack.

SIM swap attacks are one example. A SIM-swap attack occurs when the attacker convinces a phone carrier to move a phone number to a new SIM card, allowing them to send and receive the victim’s SMS messages and phone calls. The attacker could then receive their one-time access verification codes, granting full access to app accounts and messages.

Affected users could also be at risk of targeted phishing or scams using the phone numbers in the database.

IRGC role

Just recently Google Play removed an Android app developed by Iran’s regime—supposedly launched “to test and keep track of COVID-19 (coronavirus) infections”—while users accuse the regime of collecting phone numbers and real-time geo-location data.

Once installed, the app asks for access to real-time geo-location details, which it would immediately upload to a remote server. Furthermore, it was soon discovered that the app had been developed by a company that has previously built other apps for the Iranian regime.

Smart Land Strategy, linked to Iran’s Revolutionary Guards (IRGC), previously built Telegram Gold and HotGram, both removed from Play Store for secretly collecting user data and reports of the apps being developed at the behest of Iran’s intelligence agencies, according to a report.

“… the Iranian government could be using the current COVID-19 pandemic as a ruse to trick millions of Iranians into installing the app, collect their device and location details, and then install malware on their devices through a subsequent update,” the report warns.

Malign past & China’s support

Back in February 2018, the Iranian opposition coalition National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) held a press conference in Washington warning, “… the regime has created close to 100 spyware apps, including Mobogram, Telegram Farsi, Hotgram, Wispi, and Telegram Talayi, that resemble popular apps and spy on the unwitting Iranians who download them by mistake.”

NCRI press conference in Washington, DC
Alireza Jafarzadeh, Deputy Director of the Washington office of the dissident National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), speaking to reporters at a Feb. 15, 2018 news conference on “cyberwarfare” being waged by Iran’s government. (Photo courtesy of NCRI)

Iran’s regime is now taking advantage of the coronavirus crisis to launch an app aimed at spying on ordinary Iranians further indicates the mullahs are lying about the numbers of COVID-19 deaths and cases and are only concerned about maintaining their establishment in power.

Back in March 2012, a Chinese telecommunications equipment company sold Iran’s largest telecom firm a powerful surveillance system capable of monitoring landline, mobile and internet communications, according to Reuters citing interviews and contract documents show.

“The system was part of a 98.6 million euro ($130.6 million at the time) contract for networking equipment supplied by Shenzhen, China-based ZTE Corp to the Telecommunication Co of Iran (TCI), according to the documents. Government-controlled TCI has a near monopoly on Iran’s landline telephone services and much of Iran’s internet traffic is required to flow through its network.

“Human rights groups say they have documented numerous cases in which the Iranian government tracked down and arrested critics by monitoring their telephone calls or internet activities. Iran this month set up a Supreme Council of Cyberspace, headed by President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who said it would protect ‘against internet evils,’ according to Iranian state television.”

Months later, the FBI launched an investigation into allegations that a top Chinese maker of phone equipment supplied Iran with U.S.-made hardware and software, including a powerful surveillance system, in violation of federal laws and a trade embargo, according to the Wired citing a report by The Smoking Gun.

Investigators, who began their probe earlier in 2012, also found evidence that the company planned to obstruct a Department of Commerce inquiry into the contract behind the sales.

Apologists/lobbyists to the rescue

Chief Iran apologist/lobbyist Trita Parsi was quick to push Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif’s talking points about U.S. sanctions after Google took actions against Iran’s spying app.

Negar Mortazavi, another known Iranian apologist/lobbyists, claimed this could “help people self-diagnose the coronavirus.” Self-diagnosing is scientifically impossible. But that is not important for Mortazavi.

Why? Because as an Iran apologist/lobbyist with close ties to Zarif, her sole focus is to push Tehran’s talking points. Even the article cited by Mortazavi in her tweet reads:

“But that app was booted from Google’s Play Store recently, reports ZDNet.”

Why? Because of “misleading claims,” according to the report, that it could detect COVID-19 infections, something that is impossible through an app.

Another important reminder: Iran’s regime uses indigenous apps to gain information about Iranian dissidents. Even despite the ongoing coronavirus, security and maintaining their grip on power is the regime’s number one priority.

During this holiday season, please don’t forget Iran’s Christian community

The regime in Iran is known for its gross human rights violations, including a fierce crackdown on Christians that goes unabated as we speak, according to human rights monitoring organizations.

The International Christian Concern (ICC) reported on Wednesday, December 11, citing Iran’s state media saying regime authorities arrested an unnamed Christian near the country’s border with Azerbaijan.

The ICC wrote that “very little information about the arrested individual is shared. However, the report does cite some of the so-called justifications of arrest including [its attempts to] ‘publicize evangelical Christianity,’ ‘establish house churches’ and ‘destroy Abrahamic religions [by] disturbing public opinion in the public and virtual spheres.’ A number of items related to this individual were confiscated.”

It is a known fact that the regime in Iran has a long history of imposing harsh crackdown on the minority Christian community.

Last year the regime arrested more than 100 Christians in December, charities reported, amid a growing crackdown by the Islamic Republic. Many of the 114 detained were converts to Christianity from a Muslim background, accused of “proselytizing.”

In Iran, conversion to Christianity can be a crime meriting a sentence of more than 10 years imprisonment. Christian advocacy groups have in the past reported a growing underground evangelical movement in Iran, where they say increasing numbers of people who have become curious about the minority religion are arrested.

While Christianity is officially tolerated in Iran, reports indicate the regime’s so-called courts benefit themselves of several criminal provisions to persecute Christians, including “propagating against the Islamic Republic in favor of Christianity” and “orienting toward the land of Christianity,” or more ominously, “enmity against God” and “insulting the Prophet,” crimes that can even carry the death sentence.

Christian leaders in Iran constantly say pressure on Christians increases every year around Christmas. 2018 and 2019 have proven to be particularly severe.

In August 2018, Fox News reported the plight of Iran’s persecuted Christian community has significantly worsened over the past few weeks, with the mullahs’ regime ramping up prison terms and other judicial actions.

In the same month, Amnesty International called on Iran to immediately release four Iranian Christians, including pastor Victor Bet-Tamraz and his wife Shamiram Issavi.

statement from Amnesty International said: “They have been targeted solely for peacefully practicing their Christian faith.”

Amnesty and Human Rights Watch blasted the mullahs’ regime for its sweeping violent crackdown targeting Christians and Dervishes, including imposing lengthy prison terms on the members of the religious minority groups, according to August 2018 reports.

“… a large number of those who have converted to Christianity were arrested in Fars, Isfahan and Azerbaijan provinces. On August 1, 2013, in an assault on a home-church in Isfahan, a number of the participants were apprehended,” according to a 2013 report posted by the Iranian opposition coalition National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI).

In March 2017, a report shed light on even small cases gaining the attention of Iran’s ruthless Revolutionary Guards (IRGC). “The Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps late last month arrested two Iranian Catholics in northwestern Iran and seized their Bibles and prayer books,” according to a Wall Street Journal report.

In 2014, three Christian pastors were charged with “acting against state security and organizing the overthrow of the regime.” They were accused of “acting against the state security and organizing the overthrow of the regime’ which if proved is punishable by death.”

Way back in 1994, Reverend Dibaj, Bishop Haik Hovsepian Mehr and Bishop Tateos Michaelian were brutally murdered by the regime’s Ministry of Intelligence and Security agents. This dreadful act came after the murder of Bishop Tateos Michaelian, whose body was found two days prior to that.

These news reports began opening the eyes of all observers across the globe to the viciousness of the mullahs’ regime in regard to members of religious minority communities inside Iran.

During this holiday season, our prayers should also include those who are detained and under torture in Iran for their religious beliefs, from Christians to Baha’is, Sufis (Gonabadi Dervishes) and Sunnis, and Shia Muslims, as the mullahs’ regime in Iran cannot tolerate anyone who is not aligned with them.

All the while, the November uprising in Iran provide assurance that the Iranian people are determined to rid this wonderful country of the evil mullahs’ rule.

How Iran signals future waves of crackdown, terror attacks

The recent car bombing incident in Chabahar, southeast Iran, sounds alarm bells for those familiar with the history of the Iranian regime. What is being described as a suicide car bombing outside a city police station, considering the conglomerate of Iran’s security entities, is quite suspicious to say the least.

With a long history of crackdown and execution campaigns following such attacks with questionable nature, there is concern of the clerical regime preparing yet another onslaught targeting a particular sector of Iran’s society. The Chabahar incident bears signs of regime hallmarks paving the path for yet another wave of atrocities.

Iranian Arabs

Back in September, a military parade in the southwestern city of Ahvaz became the target of gunmen going on a rampage, opening fire and killing 25 people in the process, with half of those killed being members of the regime’s notorious Revolutionary Guards (IRGC).

Targeting a military parade and the IRGC allows the regime to play the innocent game. The entire incident looked very misleading and convenient:

– IRGC members in very clean clothes rescuing small children before cameras,
– the attackers reaching the stage where many high ranking officials were watching the parade but only targeting low-ranking IRGC members,
– the ambush taking place just days before US President Donald Trump chairing a United Nations Security Council session focusing on Iran,
– and the attack leading to a major crackdown against the Iranian Arab community in Ahvaz and Khuzestan Province.
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif posted this tweet using terms “respond swiftly and decisively,” signaling a heavy clampdown to come.

It’s also interesting how Zarif quickly reached a conclusion of terrorists being “recruited, trained, armed & paid by a foreign regime” just hours after the attack, suggesting the text was prepared and merely needed a few carefully prepared photos.

Up to 600 activists were arrested, according to Amnesty International, in very overt public raids, clearly indicating the authorities’ intention to install a climate of fear among restive locals and across the country.

Following the crackdown, disturbing reports from locals and human rights organizations indicated around 22 men were executed “in secret” within days in November. As always, Iranian regime officials have and continue to dismiss those reports.

“The timing suggests that the Iranian authorities are using the attack in Ahwaz as an excuse to lash out against members of the Ahwazi Arab ethnic minority, including civil society and political activists, in order to crush dissent in Khuzestan province,” according to Philip Luther, Amnesty International’s Research and Advocacy Director for the Middle East and North Africa.

 

Iranian Kurds

In June of last year, another suspicious attack targeted Iran’s parliament and the mausoleum of regime founder Ruhollah Khomeini.

Six assailants armed with AK-47 rifles and explosive vests aimed their assault at two heavily secured sites in the Iranian capital. The twin attack left 17 killed and dozens more wounded, raising numerous questions about how the attackers were able to penetrate two symbolic and fortified sites.

People cannot bring even a pen into the parliament without passing through security, one wounded individual said to the media at the time. There were also comments among social media users inside Iran raising questions over if ISIS was actually behind the attack; and how the entire scenario provided pretext for the regime to launch a new oppressive wave.

The Iranian regime’s security forces responded to this attack by first launching a wave of arrests against Iran’s Kurdish communities, especially in Kermanshah Province bordering Iraq. Dozens of Kurdish citizens were apprehended on vague charges of cooperating with “extremist religious groups” in various Iranian cities. Eight of the detainees were sentenced to death in May.

Furthermore, Iran launched a series of ballistic missiles into the Syria-Iraq border area, claiming to target ISIS positions. All in all, the entire dossier was used by the Iranian regime to justify a massive crackdown against the Kurdish community, respond to accusations of why Iran has never been targeted by ISIS, and launch a highly publicized missile attack to boost the lowering morale of its depleting social base back home.

Looking abroad

Using such so-called threats at home, Iran’s regime justifies its targeting of dissidents exiled abroad, with a specific surge witnessed this year in Europe.

Danish authorities are accusing the Iranian regime of seeking to assassinate an Arab separatist leader living in Denmark. Tehran claims the figure is linked to the group that carried out the Ahwaz attack back in September.

Other plots of the Iranian regime have also been foiled in Albania back in March and in France in late June, both targeting large rallies of the principle Iranian opposition entity, the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK). Paris is refusing to dispatch a new ambassador to Tehran and is not accepting Iran’s envoy in Paris until the regime provides a clear explanation over the Paris bomb plot targeting a massive rally.

The convention was attended by tens of thousands of Iranian exiles and senior international figures including Rudy Giuliani, lawyer of US President Donald Trump, and former US House Speaker Newt Gingrich.

Final thoughts

Considering the nature and history of the Iranian regime, and recent developments following the Chabahar bombing, there is legitimate concern of Iranian authorities carrying out a new wave of crackdown and executions possibly targeting the minority Baluchi community in the southeast.

There are already reports of arrests in this area with authorities claiming they are in connection to the recent attack. Interesting are remarks and threats heard from Iran’s “moderate” President Hassan Rouhani at a Tehran conference on Saturday.

“With Iran being weakened through sanctions, many will be in danger… You won’t survive the rubble of drugs, refugees, bombs & assassinations…”

Iran’s ‘Moderate’ President Appoints Justice Minister Linked With Torture, Mass Executions

The Federalist

Who is Iran’s Alireza Avayi? Now Iran’s justice minister, he is also among those involved in imprisoning, torturing, and executing Iranians in the past 39 years.

It appears the “moderate reformist” Iranian President Hassan Rouhani appointed Avayi to replace the defamed Mostafa Pourmohammadi and continue his crackdown policy in the face of an uprising nation.

Avayi’s recent speech at the United Nations Human Rights Council disgraced this world body and resulted in numerous protests. His appointment calls for a deep look into this individual’s past.

Prior to the clerical regime’s rule, a UNESCO institution was established in the city of Dezful to fight illiteracy and support children. It was later renamed the “Teachers’ Club.” Following the 1979 revolution, like many other centers the UNESCO building was used as a prison where young dissidents were held, tortured, and killed. In the early 1980s, the “UNESCO prison” had four rooms filled with 350 inmates.

As the regime escalated its crackdown, this facility saw the construction of six quarantine rooms, along with 40 other wards and cells. More cells were made available in newly constructed basement to prevent inmates from hearing the screams of those under torture.During the 1988 massacre of more than 30,000 political prisoners, in which most of the victims were members and supporters of the Iranian opposition People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK), Avayi was promoted to the Death Commission in Dezful. Shocking stories of Dezful’s “UNESCO Prison” remained hidden for years until Mohammad Reza Ashough, a former inmate able to escape this jail, shed light on its atrocities.

Based on Ashoogh’s reports, the Death Commission in charge of the UNESCO prison consisted of Mohammad Hossein Ahmadi, a cleric; Shamsedin Kazemi, an interrogator; Alireza Avayi, a public prosecutor; and an Intelligence Ministry representative, along with Hardavane, the prison warden, and a number of guards.

From 1981 to 1983, nearly all executions were carried out in the prison courtyard, where prisoners were tied to trees and executed by firing squads. Ashough’s reports indicate teenagers such as Abdulreza Zanguyee, 15, Hamid Asekh, 15, and Gholamreza Golalzadeh, 16, were among those executed.

The mass grave of political prisoners executed in Ahvaz, found in a barren land located three kilometres from this city’s Behesht Abad cemetery, is yet another crime on Avayi’s report card. A dirt road from this cemetery was used by the families of the executed political prisoners to visit this site.

The land used to be full of date trees. Those executed in the years of 1982 and 1983 are said to be buried in this area, and this trend continued until the 1988 massacre when all victims in Ahvaz were mass buried at this site. At the time, Ahvaz judiciary officials immediately made arrangements for the mass graves to be covered by cement, aiming to prevent any possible discovery of the victims’ bodies.

As the Tehran Province judiciary chief in 2009, Avayi played an important role in launching kangaroo courts seeking death sentences and long prison terms for those arrested during the nationwide uprising.

On 9 July 2009, the police arrested a large number of protesters outside Tehran University. Under orders of Saeed Mortazavi, Tehran’s public prosecutor, and his deputies Hassan Zare Dehnavi and Ali Akbar Heidari-Far, they were transferred to the Kahrizak detention center. Three of these individuals, Mohsen Rouholamini, Amir Javadifar, and Mohammad Kamrani were murdered under torture.

Exactly a year later, in an interview with Keyhan daily, known as the mouthpiece of Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, Avayi emphasized the method used in Kahrizak dossier was “correct.”

From 10 October 2011 to this day, the European Union has blacklisted Avayi for his effective role in the crackdown imposed on the Iranian people. The EU statement describes Avayi as responsible for arbitrary arrests, violating detainees’ rights, increasing the number of executions, and other human rights violations.

Despite all this, the “moderate reformist” Rouhani appointed Avayi as chairman of the President’s Special Inspector’s Office in 2016 and Minister of Justice in 2017. Instead of an invitation to speak at the UNHRC in Geneva, Avayi must face justice for his role in the Iranian regime’s ongoing crimes.

According to Agence France Press, “As Avaie arrived in Switzerland Monday, a Swiss lawyer filed a complaint on behalf of the National Council of Resistance of Iran, asking the Swiss attorney general to prosecute the Iranian minister for crimes against humanity.”

This is a litmus test for the European Union to live up to its initial blacklisting and take on meaningful measures for Tehran to pay for its human rights violations. Only then can the EU claim to be standing alongside the Iranian people’s will for a better future.

Iran’s Challenges in Rouhani’s Second Term

The second term of Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has officially begun. His first four years were experienced by the people of Iran, the region and the international community. It is necessary to discuss the challenges his second term will pose. The most important matter in Iranian politics is the issue of hegemony, authority and power. As long as the regime is formed around the supreme leader, known as the velayet-e faqih, the presidency and his executive branch will literally be functioning to his service and demands. In such a structure, the president in the Iranian regime, now Rouhani, literally enjoys no authority. Former Iranian president Mohammad Khatami once described his role as a mere “procurer.”

Considering the fact that Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei has blessed the nucleardeal known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), Rouhani’s role is to provide for the establishment’s best interests while dodging and sidestepping international demands.

Khamenei understands very well there is no better option for his regime’s future. Yet he also needs to maintain a straight face before a social base that may even accuse him of giving in to the enemy, being the United States, the “Great Arrogance.”

Following the JCPOA signing Khamenei has to this day ordered the Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) to launch 15 ballistic missile tests, all in violation of United Nations Security Council Resolution 2231 and all supervised by Rouhani as chair of the Supreme National Security Council.

Twelve such tests were carried out during Obama’s tenure, without any punishments imposed. The next three tests, however, saw the new Trump administration taking action each time by slapping new sanctions.

Iran’s measures have not been limited to ballistic missile launches.They include collaborating with North Korea on nuclear weapons and ballistic missile tests, instigating US Navy warships in the Persian Gulf, continuing involvement in Syria and supporting Bashar Assad’s killings of innocent civilians, providing the Lebanese Hezbollah underground missile factories, and arming, equipping and financing the Houthis in Yemen

The message received by the outside world is the JCPOA has emboldened Tehran, its destabilizing measures must be contained and sanctions increased.

The end of the Obama years and Donald Trump taking the helm at the White House, while believing the JCPOA is the worst deal in US history, has made circumstances even more difficult for Tehran. As defined above, obvious is the fact that Iran began violating the JCPOA spirit from the very beginning.

Considering that Tehran has failed to change any approaches in different fields, it is Rouhani’s mission, as the facilitator of Khamenei’s policies, is to portray Iran in compliance with the JCPOA.

Iran’s global correspondents have major demands and expectations from Iran. The Riyadh Summit in May, which the US and 55 other countries attended, ended with a statement placing certain conditions before Rouhani and the regime in its entirety:

  • Stop supporting terrorism in Bahrain, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia, and rein in all terror cells;
  • End ongoing provocations in Gulf waters;
  • Order back all IRGC members, Shiite militias and proxy forces from the four Arab capitals of Baghdad, Beirut, Damascus and Sanaa;
  • Refrain from attacking embassies and diplomatic missions in Iran;
  • End plots to assassinate ambassadors in various cities;
  • Halt all ballistic missile test launches;

While these are all under the authority of Khamenei and IRGC, Rouhani has a record of supporting and facilitating such actions.

Therefore, there is no actual expectation that Rouhani will bring any change in his second term as this regime’s president. This was quite obvious from his humiliating inauguration ceremony. Which senior Western or Arab state official from a leading country took part in this event? None.

The most important official to take part was EU foreign policy chief Frederica Mogherini, who merely attended as head of the JCPOA committee. Her entire visit became a complete embarrassment, being seen with a mandatory scarf and taking selfies with members of the parliament of a regime with a terrible human rights record.

European media and officials went as far as using the terms “shameful” and “disgraceful” for Mogherini supporting the president of a regime who has explicitly described this regime’s 38-year rule as riddled with executions and prisons.

During Rouhani’s first tenure the world witnessed this regime send more than 3,000 individuals to the gallows. Amnesty International has issued a comprehensive reportexpressing grave concerns over human rights violations in Iran.

And speaking of prisons, political prisoners across the country are enduring extremely harsh conditions. Dozens have been on hunger strike since July 30th after being transferred to a hall and placed under extreme surveillance. They are also deprived of minimal hygiene products, adequate clothing and even family visits.

The heavy shadow of increasing sanctions pose a very difficult economic hurdle for Rouhani and the clerical regime. The current circumstances have left Iran’s market, domestic and foreign investors in limbo, and literally locked the country’s economy.

Add to this situation Iran’s systematic economic corruption, smuggling and credit institutions associated to the IRGC, the regime’s security organs and Khamenei himself.

Further add the IRGC economic empire, and a conglomerate of foundations and organs supervised by Khamenei. This leaves no breathing room or hope for the average Iranian.

There is literally no solution for Rouhani as the regime’s president. He is running a politically, economically and socially-failed administration. And this failure is of fundamental importance.

Considering the absence of former president Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, one can reach an absolute conclusion that Iran’s so-called “moderate” and/or “reformist” current has come to a complete end.

This branch of the Iranian regime, which played a very important role in maintaining the entire clerical establishment in power, will no longer be able to function to its intended role.

The JCPOA has failed politically. This pact was hoped to open new relations between the West and Iran, and especially lead to significant and meaningful economic relations. Again, another failure.

The JCPOA only enjoyed any chance of success under the former Obama administration. This window of opportunity for Tehran has obviously been closed.

The fate of presidents in the clerical regime are quite obvious, and concerning for Rouhani. A look back provides a preview of a grim future awaiting Rouhani:

  1. Abolhassan Bani Sadr (1980) – sacked and removed from power
  2. Mohammad-Ali Rajai (1981) – killed
  3. Ali Khamenei (1981-89) – transitioned to the role of Supreme Leader
  4. Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani (1989-97) – died a very suspicious death and diminished proile
  5. Mohammad Khatami (1997-2005) – dubbed a “seditionist” and dismissed
  6. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad (2005-13) – described as “deviant” and sidelined
  7. Hassan Rouhani (2013-…) – To be determined

Despite all the efforts made by the Iranian regime and its lobbies with millions of dollars, there are very few figures left who truly have any hopes of change from within this regime, let alone by Rouhani.

The most important and gravest challenge before him, being part and parcel of the clerical establishment, is the threat of Iran’s powder keg society rendering nationwide protests and uprisings.

The average Iranian is completely opposed to the ruling regime, and those sitting on the throne in Tehran are no longer able to bandage the bleeding wounds of this corrupt system.

Iran is heading for regime change and such a platform is gaining international recognition as we speak.

How Iran views the new US sanctions

The recent Iran sanctions ratified by the U.S. Congress and signed into law by President Donald Trump specifically target the Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) and have caused very interesting reactions from Tehran.

Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei has remained silent, signaling his state of shock. His regime’s president, Hassan Rouhani, also indicated the toll of these new measures.

“…first, the Majlis (parliament) will take steps in this regard. If they have the Congress, we have the Majlis,” he said in a weak reaction. This is a president whose executive branch is in charge of the Iran nuclear deal, passing on the official response to the legislative branch.

Aside from legal and technical aspects of these sanctions, Tehran is currently facing regime change policy and support for the Iranian opposition, represented in the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI).

Ahmad Khatami, a member of Iran’s Assembly of Experts, said Iran’s enemies are seeking to topple the establishment. This has left the entire Iranian regime deeply concerned, rendering it unable to establish a strong position in the face of the status quo.

Prior to this Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araqchi also expressed weak remarks in response to the new U.S. sanctions.

Members of Khamenei’s camp have used their platform in Friday prayers to call on Rouhani’s cabinet to take a strong stance. There are voices also saying that Iran’s Central Bank and the entire government will eventually be sanctioned.

Iran’s reactions are of political importance as they indicate how this crisis is resulting in major internal tension.

“This is the mother of all sanctions,” said Foad Izadi, a Tehran University assistant professor, in a recent interview with state TV. “Based on the text, for example, the IRGC will be linked to the government as the government approves the defense budget. Thus, as this military entity is considered a terrorist organization, the government will suffer the same consequences.”

Elements of Khamenei’s camp, known as the conservatives/hardliners/principalists, are demanding Iran exit the nuclear deal altogether, while Rouhani’s camp is arguing the IRGC was under such sanctions in the past.

The entire regime in Iran, however, is forced to follow in line with the nuclear deal and lacks the will to do otherwise. There are concerns inside Iran that the nuclear deal will lead to similar pacts demanded by the international community, such as Tehran’s ballistic missile drive, meddling in other countries, and support for terrorism abroad, and most importantly, the mullahs’ grave human rights violations dossier.

Khamenei, who has the last word in all national security and foreign affairs, had launched the nuclear negotiations even prior to Rouhani’s first term.

Iran’s regime is currently facing two paths of death or suicide. Khamenei himself has been heard saying any change in behavior will result in regime change. Therefore, his entire apparatus lacks any capacity for meaningful change.

To this end, it appears Iran is seeking to maintain the nuclear deal intact with support from the Europeans. However, even such a policy has its own problems for a ruling system of this nature. Khamenei knows the Europeans will also demand changes, especially in Iran’s human rights dossier. This means another dead end for the mullahs.

Even those who naively dubbed Rouhani a “reformist” have questions to answer after he recently met with several senior IRGC commanders. This is yet another sign that Rouhani is calibrating his ties with the belligerent IRGC. Under Rouhani’s watch the defense budget has risen and the IRGC’s ballistic missile production has advanced dramatically.

All the while, Tehran is facing even larger challenges of regime change. Iran’s powder-keg society continues to gain momentum with daily protests and the organized NCRI opposition is enjoying increasing support.

For over 35 years this organization has emphasized the fact that Iran only understands strong language and must be sanctioned meaningfully. The world is only now beginning to comprehend.

Even during the Bush administration, NCRI President Maryam Rajavi reiterated the fact that while her coalition had blown the whistle on Iran’s clandestine nuclear weapons program, the main threat emanating from Tehran was its meddling in Iraq and export of terrorism and fundamentalism. This phenomenon is far more dangerous than Tehran’s nuclear ambitions, Rajavi emphasized.

The recent sanctions imposed on Iran by the U.S. Congress is in line with this argument. They first target the Iranian regime and seek to tackle the mullahs’ destructive policies that have plunged the Middle East into flames and threaten the entire globe.

The world is beginning to understand how peace and stability in the Middle East hinges on reining in Iran’s utterly dangerous bellicosity.

As the Trump administration continues to weigh its Iran policy with a possibility of regime change on the table, there are voices heard arguing such a move, citing the failures witnessed in the past two decades.

The very reason regime change campaigns in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, and Syria have failed is the lack of an organized opposition movement ready to provide the alternative afterwards.

Iran enjoys such an alternative, symbolized in the NCRI, its President Maryam Rajavi and her ten-point-plan delivering a free and democratic Iran.

Read more: http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2017/08/how_iran_views_the_new_us_sanctions.html#ixzz4pKoiIjC7
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Is Iran expanding its spying and lobbying efforts?

The Iranian intelligence minister’s recent remarks, pertaining to Tehran overseeing a spy/lobby network in important capitals across the world, is cause for concern. Mahmoud Alavi, Iran’s spy chief, bragged about the regime’s capability to run a lobby group in Washington with the aim of promoting Tehran’s hardline agenda.

According to Alavi, Iranian dual citizens in the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom have maintained their loyalty to the “Islamic revolution,” the mullahs’ hallmark motto ever since 1979, through which they have wreaked havoc across the region and beyond.

A “lobby group for the Islamic Republic of Iran” is actively bolstering Tehran’s status in the international stage and helping to sell and legitimize its nuclear ambitions as just causes to the globe, Alavi claimed

The head of Iran’s intelligence apparatus did not bother to name the specific lobby entity. One certain group, however, the National Iranian American Council, has been the target of major criticism in the past several months, with accusations of the group lobbying on Tehran’s behalf. Various dissident organizations are demanding the Trump administration to launch an official probe digging into NIAC’s history and nature of its current events.

Congress has also been petitioned to investigate ties between Iran and the NIAC, and the latter’s active drive to promote a pro-Tehran agenda in Washington. Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., and Rep. Ed Royce, R-Calif., who chair the foreign affairs committees in each chamber of Congress, have received specific letters signaling the importance of urgent action in this regard.

NIAC was once again under the spotlight this January for its actions of presenting a positive image of the Iran nuclear deal and advocating a pro-diplomatic approach with Tehran. The media reported extensively on how two senior Iranian regime supporters, former Iranian nuclear diplomat Hossein Mousavian and NIAC founder and president Trita Parsi, enjoyed access to the Obama White House on more than 30 occasions, conducting meetings with senior administration officials.

Such meetings took place at critical points of the Obama administration’s decision-making process and engagement with Iran in their effort to push forward the nuclear deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.

Alavi’s recent remarks are source for serious concern as entities advocating Iran’s agenda in the American capital are obliged by the Foreign Agents Registration Act to disclose the nature of their work. This even includes conditions where the relationship does not involve money exchanges, at least not through legal and opaque channels.

A legitimate question now hovers over the possibility of any ties between the groups referred to by Iran’s intelligence minister and the Islamic Republic’s positions on foreign policy.

Another just query circles around the many visits Parsi has made to the White House and the State Department during former President Obama‘s tenure, and can they be attributed to what the Iranian intelligence minister describes as lobbying for Tehran.

Any group seen to be advocating the promotion of Iran’s ballistic missile program, and caring less about the Iranian people’s human rights and the regime’s crackdown, should be subject of suspicion.

For years Iran has been known to forward an official plot of boosting relations with groups promoting anti-war and pro-regime policies in the West. Improving contacts with Iranian dual nationals living in the West has been high on Tehran’s agenda on this matter.

One major task of this network has been discrediting those opposing the regime in Tehran and taking measures against any efforts voicing support for Iran regime change. The main Iranian opposition group, the National Council of Resistance of Iran, and its most important member, the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK), have been the constant target of smear campaigns launched and orchestrated by the Iranian regime and NIAC.

Their nightmare involves Washington discussing possibilities with Iranian opposition groups, and upscaling the effort into direct cooperation aimed at further sanctions and ultimately regime change.

Originally published in Washington Examiner

Amir Basiri (@amir_bas) is a contributor to the Washington Examiner and an Iranian human rights activist.

The Story Of Rahele Zakaie: Another Woman Perished In Iran

Following International Women’s Day on March 8, the plight of Iranian women to finally obtain the freedom and rights they deserve continues. This struggle is resembled in the case of each and every Iranian women.

News of Rahele Zakaie’s death means nothing to many people. Another human being amongst the 7.5 billion now roaming the earth. She died of cancer.

However, her loss brought much sorrow to those women who in recent years were and have been detained in the political prisoners’ ward of Tehran’s notorious Evin Prison, those who shared moments of joy and tears with Rahele.

She had a strange story, with many years behind bars. Thirteen years of her short life she spent in prison for theft and drug-related crimes. She was a drug addict who got clean several times, and despite spending many years behind bars, others’ fondness of her never waned.

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Iranian women inmates sit at their cell in Evin jail, north of Tehran, June 2006. (ATTA KENARE/AFP/Getty Images)

Rahele, a girl from Mashhad in northwest Iran, was acquainted with crime at an early age due to poverty and her family’s background in such a lifestyle. When she was only 11 years old, her uncles used her as cover for an armed robbery. At 13 she was sent off to live with a man who was killed some time later during an armed robbery, leaving behind a 1-year-old boy. At 16, Rahele was put behind bars for theft and drug-related charges.

This was the beginning of her painful in-and-out experience from this to that prison, from interrogation to solitary confinement. She once even claimed responsibility for the narcotics found in the belongings of her friend to save her from being executed. Iran is known to execute several hundred people each year for drug-related charges, a practice condemned by Amnesty International. What Rahele considered the “price of friendship” cost her 10 ruthless years behind bars.

She always dreamed of protecting her son and worried of the fate of her sister’s five-year-old daughter, wanting a better life for her. The little girl’s father had been executed and her mother committed suicide. Rahele wanted to take care of these kids and also support her younger twin brother and sister. She was deprived of any visits and worked long hours in Sari Prison’s doll shop to pay for her son’s mobile phone charges.

However, like many others, the events of 2009 changed Rahele’s life. When prisons were filled with female political prisoners with no means to phone their families, Rahele would make these calls for them. The authorities had accused her of having contact with prisoners related to the Iranian opposition People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK).

During this period she yearned to learn and craved to become a human rights advocate. She quit drugs once again and devoted her time to reading books.

She longed to write her life story and especially the tales of women in various prisons across the country. She once wrote a two-part report about Gharchak Prison, located southeast of Tehran, published in the Focus on Iranian Women website.

She continued her writing about the prisons she had experienced, in Mashhd, Sabzevar, Ghezel Hesar and Evin, describing the horrible spread of skin diseases and inmates using contaminated needles for drug injections. Reading Rahele’s writing demands strong tolerance, like when she talks about the “Mothers’ Ward” in Mashhad’s Vakil Abad Prison, where in each room you see a grieving mother with two little children…

Yet as Rahele explains, no prison was as atrocious as Qarchak. She always wanted to write a book about the place, where each corner contained another nightmare.

Diarrhea and blood vomiting is common. I used to cry all night until morning because of the cold. The cold would literally kill you.”

Prison authorities would kick me hard in the chest during the period that I was breastfeeding my child. I was beaten many times. In the first six months I wasn’t allowed to shower. During these six months I had six periods. When you are repeatedly beaten and tortured, the bleeding is unstoppable. All of my clothes were filled with sh*t and dried blood. After six months I literally cried and begged for a 15-minute shower. I was so happy that I was even smelling that water.”

She also endured much torture.

I was blindfolded and chained to a chair. They beat me so long that I could barely walk. Mr. Monfared grabbed my chest so hard that I fainted of pain. One cannot imagine the horror until they actually experienced it.”

A journalist who spent some time behind bars with Rahele wrote about her:

Despite all the pain she had experienced in her childhood and being behind bars, she was always full of life and loved to learn. She wanted to go to school, learn English and computers. The joy of life was the first thing you saw in Rahele’s eyes. During the little time she had, she would go to the library and had read nearly all the books. This was what made Rahele different for me. Nine years have passed, but she is still in my heart.”

They say Rahele started using drugs time and again to relieve her of the pains, and time and again she quit to start life all over again.

During the short periods of furlough, she would try to contact me to provide news about events inside the prison. She would go to see the families of political prisoners and reassure them that their loved ones were okay. She had come to learn about human rights activities and sought to follow up on these matters. In prison she attempted to gather signatures for a million-signature petition. Rahele didn’t just think about herself. She liked to change the world around her.”

Was Rahele diagnosed with cancer early on?

No. There is no decent medical care or diagnosis in prison. Her cancer was most probably diagnosed at a very late stage, as she passed away soon afterwards. I know she also suffered from dialysis in her last days.”

Rahele is described as different from those in the prison ward.

All the inmates in that ward had common background. They were either human rights advocates or journalists. However, Rahele was from another world. She was a different person from a different atmosphere, with a different language. Maybe that’s why she has remained in the memory of so many.”

Rahele had spent 13 years behind bars and was released on bail in the summer of 2014. She was ordered to live under internal exile for two years in the city of Isfahan, in south-central Iran.

“I will become a new person,” she would say.

She always yearned for freedom. Many nights when she fell asleep dreaming about freedom. However, the cancer had spread and stole her last breath on February 17.

Unfortunately, Iran under the mullahs’ regime is riddled with such painful stories of women across this ancient land. Of those unjustly jailed, tortured and executed, those suffering with faces and bodies scarred with lifelong wounds of acid attacks, and the millions enduring enormous hardships through the course of 38 years of the mullahs’ atrocious and misogynist rule.

Humanity must pledge to bring an end to all the wrongs being imposed against women, especially in countries such as Iran. The 21st century is no place for such continuing atrocities.

Originally published in Forbes