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Lights Go On in Karroubi Home, But Still No Other Sign of Couple

12 Mar 2011 07:24Comments

Press Roundup provides a selected summary of news from the Iranian press and excerpts where the source is in English. Tehran Bureau has not verified these stories and does not vouch for their accuracy. Please refer to the Media Guide to help put the stories in perspective. You can follow breaking news stories on our Twitter feed.

Iran Standard Time (IRST), GMT+3:30


7:00 a.m./March 12 Our columnist Muhammad Sahimi compiled the following news items and commentary:

After 18 days, the lights in the living room, bedroom, and garage of the apartment building where Mehdi Karroubi and his wife, Fatemeh, live were turned on Thursday night. But when members of the family went to the building, no one opened the door. One member of the family said that they still believe their parents have been taken to an unknown location. "If as result of internal and external pressure and the heroic struggle of the nation they have been returned home, we will believe it only when we can see them in person."

In a meeting with the members of the Assembly of Experts, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said that his supporters should not use profanity, engage in immoral behavior, or make false accusations when criticizing his opponents. He said that such behavior only hurts the Islamic Republic. He did not explain how he would prevent such behavior in the future, as he has delivered previously delivered many similar pronouncements, nor did he explain why he did not take an explicit position regarding Saeed Tajik, the Basij member who verbally assaulted Faezeh Hashemi, the same man whose poetry he praised in a meeting with pro-government authors. In his sermon during Friday Prayers in Tehran, Ayatollah Mohammad Emami Kashani also condemned the immorality that can accompany criticism.

The trial of Dr. Ebrahim Yazdi, leader of the Liberation Movement of Iran (LMI), will begin Sunday, March 13. Yazdi, 80, is Iran's oldest political prisoner. He was arrested several months ago in Isfahan on the charge that he had taken part in "illegal Friday Prayers" with some of his friends. He is now charged with founding the LMI. Given that the LMI was founded by former Prime Minister Mehdi Bazargan and Ayatollah Seyyed Mahmoud Taleghani in 1961, it appears that the Islamic Republic has extended its jurisdiction to the era when it did not even exist.

Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani said Friday, "The awakening of the people of Libya may be costly [in lives lost], but will bear fruit. In addition to Libya, such uprisings may happen in other countries too. The new means of mass communication have informed people."

Hossein Marashi, a vice president to Mohammad Khatami during his second term, was released from jail after serving the one-year sentence he received after a short trial in March 2010.

Kourosh Zaeim, author, translator, political activist, and member of the opposition National Front was released from jail. He was arrested just prior to the February 14 demonstrations. Over the past several years, Zaeim has repeatedly been arrested by the Ministry of Intelligence.

Zia-olddin Nabavi, spokesman for the Council for Defense of the Right to Education, which works on behalf of students who have been expelled from universities due to their political activities, has disappeared. He was incarcerated in Karron Prison in the southwestern city of Ahvaz. Nabavi is a graduate of chemical engineering from Noshirvani University in the northern city of Babol. Though he was one of the top students in the national entrance examination for graduate school in 2008, he was prevented from enrolling at his university. He was arrested on June 15, 2009, and after a show trial was given a ten-year jail sentence. His family met with him a month ago, but since then no one knows where he is.

Sayyed Alireza Avaei, head of Tehran judiciary said that he has no precise statistics on the number of people who were arrested on March 8, International Women's Day. This contradicts other officials who had said that nothing happened on that day. He said that often people are arrested, but if it is recognized that they were just passing by, they would be released.

Saeed Saedi and Yahya Ghavami, two Kurdish human rights activists, have been released from detention. They were arrested on December 28, 2010, when they gathered with the family of another Kurdish activist, Habibollah Latifi. They were released after posting bails of $80,000 each. Farnaz Kamali, a political science student at Islamic Azad University of Tehran campus was released from jail, after posting $300,000 bail. She has been charged with "action against national security," "taking part in the February 14 demonstrations," and "supporting the Green Movement's leaders." Three students of Ferdowsi University of Mashhad, Ali Mansoori, Ehsan Kahookar Toosi, and Mohammad Hormoz-zadeh, have also been released from detention. They each posted bail of $50,000. They had been arrested in early February.

Dr. Abdollah Naseri, member of the central committee of the Organization of Islamic Revolution Mojahedin, was released from detention. He was arrested on February 14. He was the head of IRNA, Iran's official news agency, in the Khatami administration.

Sayyed Morteza Akbari, graduate student of political science at Mofid University in Qom, has been arrested. He disappeared on February 16 after taking part in the funeral of Saneh Jaleh, the art student who was killed in the February 14 demonstrations. Akbari had a brief phone conversation with his family, informing them that he is being held in Evin Prison.

Journalist Masoud Bastani has been transferred to the intelligence office of Rajaei Shahr jail in Karaj. Bastani was arrested in the aftermath of the 2009 presidential election and after a show trial was given a sentence of six years. His wife Mahsa Amrabadi was arrested during the February 20 demonstrations. Bastani then wrote a letter to Tehran Prosecutor Abbas Jafari Dolatabadi, telling him, "My wife's only 'offense' is that she is married to me." His transfer to the intelligence unit is apparently a retaliation against the letter.

Hamed Taghipour, a student at Iran University of Science and Technology, has been released from detention. He disappeared on February 14 and was believed to be held in Evn Prison. He is a student of materials science. Vali Sadjadpour, graduate student of civil engineering at Amir Kabir University of Technology, was also released from detention.

Five hundred female teachers who work in poor areas of Tehran province gathered to protest the fact that they have not been paid for five months. They have said that, because of their protest, they have been threatened with being fired from their jobs.

Hani Mohammad-Zadeh, the youngest political prisoner at 19, has been given a sentence of six months in jail and 74 lashes. Arrested in February 2010, he was initially given a sentence of nine months in jail and 84 lashes, but his sentence was reduced by the appeals court.

Dr. Mohammad Sadr, deputy foreign minister in the Khatami administration, said in an interview, "One cannot defend the uprising in Tunisia and Egypt, but treat its own citizens differently." He also said, "Foreign policy represents an extension of the domestic policy. If the two are in the direction of addressing people's demands, they will be accepted by the international community."

Copyright © 2011 Tehran Bureau

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