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SL pardons, reduces jail terms of 793 prisoners; other crackdown begins...

05 Dec 2009 20:0410 Comments

Iranian leader pardons or reduce jail terms for over 793 prisoners

BBC Monitoring | Farda News | Dec. 5, 2009

Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has pardoned or reduced prison terms of 793 prisoners on the eve of a religious festival, Iranian state TV's first network reported on 5 December.

The TV said that Khamenei had agreed with a proposal by the Judiciary Chief Sadegh Larijani on the occasion of Eid al-Ghadir, place where, based on Shia belief, Prophet Muhammad appointed Imam Ali as his successor.

The TV did not mention any names or offenses committed by the prisoners.

'Mourning Mothers' arrested at Tehran protest

Two members of One Million Signatures Campaign Detained in Isfahan

HRI | Dec. 5, 2009

Security forces arrested fifteen women belonging to the Committee of Mourning Mothers in Tehran today, the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran reported.

Mourning Mothers is formed by women whose children were killed during post-election protests and their supporters. Members of the group include the mothers of Neda Agha-Soltan and Sohrab Aarabi. They have been staging weekly protests at Laleh Park in Tehran, demanding accountability and prosecution of those responsible for murdering their children.

According to eyewitnesses, large numbers of police and plain-clothes agents occupied Laleh Park today, preventing the Mourning Mothers and protestors from entering the park. Anyone who managed to enter the park was arrested. Fifteen mothers were reportedly taken into detention.

Security and intelligence forces have also stepped up persecution and detention of women's rights activists belonging to the One Million Signatures Campaign. Today, intelligence agents detained Hayedeh Tabesh in Isfahan, the website Change for Equality reported.

On 23 November, another member of the One Million Signatures Campaign in Isfahan, Mehrnoosh Etemadi, was arrested at her home. She has been allowed only one visit with her family, during which she told them she is "under pressure." Her lawyer, Mina Jaafari, has not been allowed to meet with her. Her only charge is reportedly "membership in the One Million Signatures Campaign," which is not a recognizable charge under the Iranian laws.

Nabavi back in Evin Prison

Alborz | Dec. 5, 2009

Reformist activist Behzad Nabavi was locked up in section 2A of Evin Prison after the completion of his ten-day release from prison.

The Reformist Emrouz website reported that Nabavi went to branch 15 of the Revolution Court on Saturday morning where he was informed that Judge Abolghasem Salavati, the judge who had granted him the temporary release, was on vacation.

Nabavi then went to see the head of the Tehran Revolution Courts, who told him that because he had violated the terms of his temporary release by meeting with non-family members and discussing non-permitted issues, he must immediately refer himself to Evin Prison.

After the announcement of Nabavi's verdict, he was granted a 10-day break from prison. He was not supposed to conduct interviews or engage in political activities during the break. The Reformist figure refused to agree to those terms.

At approximately 10 am, Nabavi was signed in by Evin authorities and taken to section 2A.

Nabavi underwent a surgical procedure in Tehran on Monday and was still using a catheter. According to his medical records, he is still suffering from heart palpitations and there has been no change in his heart condition. Doctors and the medical examiner have advised against imprisoning him in Evin.

Internet down in Iran ahead of planned protests

AFP | Dec. 5, 2009

Most of the Iranian capital's Internet links with the outside world were down on Saturday, two days ahead of planned demonstrations by opponents of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

Sources close to Iran's technical services told AFP the cut was the result of "a decision by the authorities" rather than a technical breakdown, but telecommunications ministry officials were unavailable for comment.

Iranian opposition groups are preparing to hold fresh demonstrations on Monday, several websites reported, as the nation marks the annual Students Day.

Tehran on December 7 marks the 1953 killing by the shah's security forces of three students, just months after a US-backed coup toppled popular prime minister Mohammad Mossadegh.

IRGC has gift for students on Student Day

Tabnak | Dec. 4, 2009

An Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corp commander said that the organization would take 'cultural measures' against students on 16 Azar (Dec. 7).

When asked about the measures that would be taken against any possible unrest in universities on Student's Day, Brigadier General Ali Fazli told the Islamic Republic News Agency that, "Our measures are cultural ones; we intend to give flowers to students at all universities across Iran, and especially in Tehran."

"The IRGC is responsible for fighting the enemy's soft war and we plan to take students to former battle fields [from the Iraq-Iran war] on the 'Passengers of Light Caravans' so that they can form an understanding of the courageous deeds of our soldiers [during the war]," he said. "Of course we have heard rumors that certain parties intend to incite unrest in universities on Student Day but we believe nothing serious will happen."

"We do not have any assessments about what is being said [will take place on] 16 Azar," he went on to say, "but we have adopted necessary measures."

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The situation in the country is getting too hot to handle and Khomeini knows it. They need to back off and pretend they are on the side of the people.I am happy for reduced sentences, but these moves are just band aids when the real medicine is a secular democracy.Mullahs and their clan must disappear from Iranian politics for ever.

Ali / December 5, 2009 10:38 PM

Some one please explain to Khamanei, It is "carrot OR stick" , not carrot AND stick. You cant arrest tens of students and mourning mothers at Laleh park, and give " clemency" to political prisoners on the same day.

Keivan / December 5, 2009 11:34 PM

Quick correction; and Khamanei* knows it

Payom / December 6, 2009 12:12 AM

These are no political prisoners that will be released. They' ll probably release thieves, drugrunners and users, maybe murderers, but no students or otherwise opponents of the regime. If anything, they make room this way, for more political prisoners, ahead of demo's on 16 Azar / 7 December

sara / December 6, 2009 1:45 AM

Lanat bar khamenei khomeini and all the khame khomies.

Cyrus_Bozorg / December 6, 2009 2:34 AM

Perhaps unrelated, but important: Iran on Saturday (Dec. 5,2009) banned foreign media from reporting on a student rally next week that authorities fear could turn into a new round of protests against June's disputed presidential election, Reuters reported.
This is the truth about our country friends. This is the truth about the leadership. This is the truth. We must have a change of government.We need a government of the people for the people.Our duty is to tell the world we want no part of the Islamic Republic.We are smart, we are educated and we can demand change.God bless our people, God bless country.

Reza / December 6, 2009 3:42 AM

All political systems, secular or religious, in time become totalitarian and there is no guarantee that those in charge of a secular Iran would be any different. What is more likely to happen is that allegiances will change and very likely the torturers, murderers and thugs will re-brand themselves as is happening with the ousted Baathists in Iraq or as happened with the communist apparatchiks in the USSR. Many of the ex-communists have taken over the former state enterprises at a paltry price and still occupy positions of great power and influence as well as run the KGB. The best way forward is for the development of a strong civil society and for citizens to continue to push the boundaries within the law and accepted norms. If Khamanei is playing the 'soft' war then it may be the time for the opposition to play an even 'softer' fight!

Rezvan / December 6, 2009 3:21 PM

Rezvan, are you serious? This is the most twisted explaination I have ever heard in my entire life.Just because some countries in the world are having problems we should remain indifferent to the existing murderers running our country. The establishment of a strong civil society under the banner of the barbaric Republic. What high school did you graduate from? Why didn't the world keep the likes of Hitler in the hopes that under the Nazis Germany would gain a strong civil society?Citizens continue to push the boundaries under the sharia law. We want to see this regime buried six feet under.You are sick or on Khamenei's payroll.How can anyone with half a brain talk about law and order in Iran?

Arman / December 7, 2009 8:04 AM

when your enemy cheers for you, proceed with caution
this was a quote from Khomeini, whatever may be said about him,he was politically astute. ask yourself why is bonjovi, cnn, etc on our side now. what we lack is an unemotional assessment and a plan that has an end a goal and is not just a call to end the clerical rule. the green movement's plan to work within the constituion is a good plan in this respect

karimi / December 8, 2009 2:24 AM

Karimi, if you are referring to the Americans or the American government, they have no obligation to us outside their own national interest. The enemy of Iran is the Islamic Republic and its founder whom thanks to the good lord is buried six feet under. Bonjovi's support for the Iranian people? Great, I hope we see more support from others sources too. Thank God I am not paranoid. The green movement is a good start. The ultimate goal should be the total removal of mullahcracy and the establishment of rule of law under any democratic and secular system of government the Iranian people decide upon in a free and fair referendum. FREE IRAN.

Reza / December 8, 2009 5:29 AM