Displaying items by tag: Iran

Thursday, 10 November 2022 21:40

Iran: family fears for rapper’s life

‘Someone’s crime was that her hair was flowing in the wind. Someone’s crime was that he or she was brave and outspoken.’ These lyrics could cost Iranian rap artist Toomaj Salehi his life. The underground rebel rapper was arrested and faces a death penalty. 14,000 Iranians have been arrested since September when an Iranian woman died after being detained by ‘morality police’ for not wearing her hijab properly. Salehi’s uncle had a phone call from his friend saying ‘Our whereabouts have been leaked’. Later fifty people raided Salehi’s residence. He is accused of propagandist activity against the government, cooperation with hostile governments, and forming illegal groups to create insecurity in the country. His uncle has information he was tortured. He said, ‘We still do not know anything about Salehi’s health condition, or if he is alive’. Pray for the family.

Published in Worldwide
Friday, 28 October 2022 12:15

Iran: 15 killed, 40 injured by ISIS

At least 15 people were killed and 40 others were injured in a terrorist attack at the Shahcheragh Shrine in the city of Shiraz. Two children were among the victims. Iranian security forces have arrested two of the suspected attackers, and a manhunt is underway to capture a third. The terror group ISIS has claimed responsibility for the attack, releasing a statement through its affiliated Amaq news agency that said one of its members had ‘targeted groups of Sunni refusal infidels inside the shrine with his Kalashnikov machine gun, causing the death of tens of them.’ The attack happened on the same day that clashes broke out throughout Iran and thousands of people came to the burial site of Kurdish Mahsa Amini to mark 40 days since her death. Iranian news ISNA said it’s unclear if the attack was related to the protests.

Published in Worldwide
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Thursday, 20 October 2022 23:41

Iranian Christians released from prison

Naser Navard Goltapeh, 61 years old, has served nearly five years in Evin prison for ‘acting against national security with the intention to overthrow the regime’. Having been told on 17 October that he had been pardoned, he has now returned home. His ‘crime’ was running a house church. His conviction was a result of his alleged links to churches and Christian groups outside Iran. His requests for a retrial were rejected four times by the authorities. Evin prison is notorious for abuse and torture of prisoners. He was kept in solitary confinement for two months undergoing gruelling interrogation. Fariba Dalir was set free the following day. She had been sentenced to five years in prison for establishing an evangelical Christian house church. Their release comes in the midst of widespread anti-government protests. It is not known if their release is linked to the fire at the prison on 15 October.

Published in Praise Reports
Thursday, 20 October 2022 23:20

Russia: violating UN sanctions with Iranian drones

The Americans, French, and British agree that ‘kamikaze’ drones unleashed by Russia into Ukraine were made in Iran and violate a UN security council resolution barring Iranian transfers of certain military technologies. Ukraine has identified the drones - or unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) - as Iranian Shahed-136 weapons, called kamikaze drones after the Japanese fighter pilots who flew suicide missions in World War Two. Iran denies supplying weapons to Russia, but the USA said, ‘Russia's plan is to import hundreds of Iranian UAVs of various types. There is extensive proof of Russia using them in Ukraine. The deepening alliance between Russia and Iran is something the whole world should see as a threat. Russia and Iran provided key military support for President Bashar al-Assad in the Syrian civil war.’ The EU's foreign policy chief said it is ‘gathering evidence’ on the Iranian drones and is ready to act - implying intensification of sanctions.

Published in Europe
Thursday, 20 October 2022 23:13

Iran: fire and shootings at Evin prison

Nine days after a fire and shooting killed ten at Lakan prison,  a fire in Evin prison killed at least eight. Evin is notorious for human rights abuses such as lengthy interrogations and torture of political prisoners, including many arrested during recent nationwide protests. The government claims the fire was part of an escape attempt, but witnesses inside the prison deny it. Global Catalytic Ministries said over the last four weeks of protests thousands have been arrested. The prison guards and wardens are saying, ‘To show that we’re in control, we will start a fire and shoot some prisoners so as to create a spirit of fear among these newly arrested people.’ The Iranian government has responded brutally to the recent protests, killing over 200 people using live fire and beatings. Nevertheless, huge crowds continue to gather, chanting ‘Death to the dictator.’

Published in Worldwide
Thursday, 13 October 2022 20:27

Iran: increasingly tense atmosphere

Security forces have killed at least 201 people in unrest following the death in custody of a woman arrested for breaking strict hijab rules. Now people honk car horns supporting any women they see not covered up. Protests against the security forces are in the evening and afternoon in different locations. At night, those who do not leave their houses shout ‘down with the dictator’ out of their windows in big and smaller cities. The protests are not just about women wearing the hijab; that was just the spark. They have always been about basic human rights. Iranians have always wanted what westerners might take for granted as a normal life. A protester said, ‘We want life, liberty, justice, accountability, freedom of choice and assembly, a free press. We want access to our basic human rights and an inclusive government that is actually elected by the people through a proper election and that works for the people.’ See also

Published in Worldwide
Friday, 07 October 2022 10:28

Iran: exiled queen’s message to the military

Iran’s exiled Queen Pahlavi called on military forces not to allow the authorities to use them as ‘tools of repression’. In an audio twitter message she addressed the police, army, Revolutionary Guard, paramilitary Basij forces, and plainclothes agents to imagine their own sisters, brothers, fathers and mothers before their eyes, urging them not to allow leaders to make them tools to suppress people. Describing the regime’s crackdown on popular protests after the death of Mahsa Amini in police custody as ‘brutal and inhumane’, she said people from different walks of life and with different ideologies have risen up to eliminate the oppression. ‘You are also from this nation, so be with this nation,’ she said. Last month she released a similar message, lauding popular protests against ‘forces of darkness’ and decrying ‘harrowing savage crackdowns’ on nationwide rallies. Her son said, ‘Multiple reports indicate strikes spreading from cultural and educational sectors to the service and industry sectors. Nationwide strikes and protests will bring this regime to its knees.’

Published in Worldwide
Thursday, 29 September 2022 20:29

Iran: protests against government

Thousands of defiant protesters flooded Tehran streets on the ninth day after the suspicious death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini while held in custody for not properly wearing the hijab headscarf. The regime cracked down with force, killing at least 41 and shutting down the web and social media for 80 million citizens, but outrage over Amini’s death has only expanded. Officials claim Mahsa died due to underlying health issues; her family says that is not true. Women defiantly burn their hijabs and headscarves and cut their hair. The USA announced it will expand Iranian internet services to support free-flowing information.The internet is needed when protesters want to organise themselves and share footage of what is happening with the outside world. Also billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk is giving the country Starlink, a satellite constellation providing internet access to 40 countries - a true game-changer.

Published in Worldwide
Friday, 09 September 2022 09:44

China giving weapons to Putin

Russia has to buy military hardware from North Korea and Iran as sanctions squeeze its ability to supply weaponry. Iran and North Korea, also targets of sanctions, have deepened ties with Russia since Putin invaded Ukraine. Kim Jong-un accused the West of pursuing a ‘hegemonic policy’ that justified Russia's use of force, and vowed to deepen ‘comradely friendship’ with Moscow. Putin said the two countries would expand their ‘comprehensive and constructive bilateral relations’. Last week the Biden administration said the first shipments of Iranian-made drones had been delivered to Russia, and Russian operators are in Iran receiving training on the Mohajer-6 and Shahed series weapons. Many of the drones have been beset by mechanical and technical problems since delivery. Iran officially denied delivering weapons to either side of the conflict, but the USA said Tehran was planning to supply Moscow with potentially hundreds of drones, some with combat capabilities for its war in Ukraine.

Published in Worldwide
Friday, 26 August 2022 09:54

Iran: Baha’i persecution

Over 200 security forces entered Roshankouh village in northern Iran to demolish houses and farms belonging to members of the Baha’i faith. They blocked the roads leading to the village and arrested anyone who tried to stop them. They confiscated mobile phones and warned locals not to take photos or videos of them using heavy construction machinery to demolish buildings. Since early June, Iran has intensified its systematic campaign to suppress the religious minority, raiding households, shutting down businesses, arresting many, and putting Baha’i on trial, including three of the former leaders of the community. 50 Baha’i homes were demolished in the same province; the authorities confiscated the assets of 27 Baha’i families who had lived there for several generations, claiming that the money they earned was ‘unlawfully earned’. 20+ Baha'i businesses were closed in July. Very little Christian love and witness to them exists, although some Persian Christians have begun to reach out to them.

Published in Worldwide
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