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pen interThe Assembly of Delegates of PEN International, meeting at its 80th World Congress in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, 29th September to 2nd October 2014

A change of government in the Islamic Republic of Iran in August 2013 raised hopes for greater tolerance, but in spite of pledges made by President Rouhani to protect and promote freedom of expression, the new administration has not made any significant improvements in this respect to date. Although some apparently cosmetic gestures have been made, such as the release of journalist and lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh in September 2013, dozens remain behind bars and arrests are continuing – for example, that of poets and lyricists Fatemeh Ekhtesari and Mehdi Moosavi summoned on 7 December 2013 and held for over a month in Evin prison.

Well over 20 writers are currently detained in Iran for the peaceful expression of their opinions. Recent months have seen several journalists and filmmakeras arrested and/or imprisoned, including journalist Saba Azarpeik, filmmaker Mahnaz Mohammadi, blogger Mehdi Khazali (later released), journalist Reyhaneh Tabatabaei and journalist and blogger Marzieh Rasouli.

Newspapers have been closed and numerous journalists, bloggers, writers, and minority language advocates have been arrested or continue to serve lengthy prison terms for the peaceful exercise of their right to free expression. Restrictive policies and practices limit the ability of people in Iran to access information and communicate in private via the internet.

Censorship is an ever more suffocating phenomenon in all areas of political, social and cultural life.  For example, books that have been accepted even after long “legal and religious procedures” and have been approved for publication are again seized by government censors.  Writers are fleeing Iran in droves, for fear of arbitrary arrest, torture or other ill-treatment, or even the death penalty, while others have decided they simply cannot practise their profession in the current climate in Iran.

PEN International calls on the authorities in the Islamic Republic of Iran to:

 

  • Release immediately and unconditionally all  writers, journalists and bloggers who are held solely in connection with the peaceful exercise of their right to freedom of expression;
  • Abolish all forms of censorship and allow the free dissemination of information in line with international human rights standards
  • End the repression of and discrimination against ethnic minorities, including allowing them to express themselves freely in the language of their choice, both orally and in writing and to have their culture  valued, and their literature promoted and distributed;
  • Abide by Iran’s obligations under international human rights treaties to protect the rights to freedom of expression, association and assembly.

 

Annex: Non-exhaustive list of major cases in the Islamic Republic of Iran documented by PEN International in its 2013 Case List.

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 An open letter to Mr. John Ralston Saul The president of international PEN

About the possibility of impending execution of Mr. Arjang Davoodi

 

Mr. President

With warmest regards

 

arjangHereby we inform you that Mr. Arjang Davoodi, poet, writer and political activist who once before was sentenced to 15 years in prison because he had wrote an article about the murder of Zahra Kazemi -Canadian citizen who was killed by judge Mortazavi under torture- and had spent 11 years (Months?) in prison, now again and without a fair trial has been sentenced to death along with 20 years and 8 months more incarceration. He has been accused writing a book and presenting an alternative for Islamic regime of Iran and has been sentenced to death because of it.

 

There are also some other accusations made against him such as “establishing organizations like The Movement Iranian’s Freedom and the Confederation of Iranian Students”, also “writing a manifest against Islamic Regime of Iran” and “insulting the leader and the founder of Islamic Regime and military officials and clergy” and also “blasphemy” and “cooperation with Jean Kokan in the process of making the movie Forbidden Iran”.

In the movie “Forbidden Iran” the judge Saeed Mortazavi has been accused of murdering Zahra Kazemi, the Canadian journalist, in 2003; this claim resulted in his previous sentences which was 15 years prison, 74 lashes and 5 years deprivation of civil rights.

In the time that he was serving (caring out) his sentence and in different prisons, he has had several hunger strikes to protest against the prison condition, prison guards behavior and the political and social conditions of Iran; and according to the website that provides news about him and his condition, he has lost part of his sight and hearing abilities.

 

Mr. President

The political, cultural, social and economic conditions of Iran is catastrophic and Islamic regime tries to control the situation by using censorship, repression, intimidation, imprisonment, torture and execution.

Mr. “Ahmed Shahid ‘Special Rapporteur on Human Rights in Iran in his latest report stated that at least 825 people have been executed in Iran in the period between June 2013 and June 2014 which represents the” increasing concern” about execution in Iran.

According to his report Islamic Regime still continues executing underage prisoners and at least 8 underage inmates have been executed that have been under 18 years old when they have committed any crime; the UN Secretary-General Mr. Ban kimon, stated his concern of “Executions in Iran” in his annual report.

Moreover, The Human Rights Committee of the UN General Assembly on Tuesday, November 18, 2014, adopted a resolution on human rights violations in Iran, especially the “number of executions” by the Islamic regime which has caused a great concern; this resolution emphasizes that 850 people have been executed in Iran in the course of only 15 months.

 

Resolution adopted by the Third Committee of the UN General Assembly, condemned the Islamic Republic of Iran for continuing a systematic violations against the human rights of the people of Iran, especially because of the alarming increase in the frequency of executions, public executions and the continuation of the juvenile death penalty, torture and cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment, especially flagellation and amputations, widespread and serious restrictions on the right to organize, freedom of assembly and freedom of opinion and expression, consistency filtering or blocking or preventing access to the Internet and satellite jamming and censorship or banning the media, systematic persecution of human rights defenders, journalists, bloggers and social media users that they are constantly at risk of arrest, detention, exile, long and harsh sentences, including death sentences; the amputation of human beings based on Islamic law, pervasive inequality and violence against women and perpetuate discrimination against women and girls in law and in practice, and continuing discrimination against ethnic and religious minorities, etc.

 

Now and after serving 11 years of his previous sentence, Arnang Davoodi has been sentenced to death without a fair trial and the right if having a lawyer present and without his own presence in the trial.

 

He currently serves his time in the first block of Bandar Abbas prison; he was transferred from 12th block of Rajai-Shahr prison in Karaj to the block 209 in Evin prison, and then was transferred to Bandar Abbas after 127 day imprisonment in solitary.

According to the sources of human right organizations, his family members have been pressure and have been threatened by the government.

 

Mr. President

In the name of humanity and the defense of human rights and freedom of thought and expression, I expect from you is to prevent the execution of Arjang Davoodi, primarily for the abolition of censorship and death, issue a call for a campaign to put pressure on Islamic regime of Iran and help to end the current rulers of the anti-people and suffocating policies.

With many thanks and regards

The president of Iranian PEN in exile

Bahram Rahmani

 2014-12-01

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armThe announcement of the Iranian PEN Centre ( in Exile) about exhibition of books by the Iranian Islamic regime  on the occasion of  the International PEN Congress in Bishkek(Kyrgyzstan).

 

Iranian PEN in Exile is a part of International PEN and one of its annual Congress participants. This year and for the first time in PEN’s history, its annual congress had been held in Bishkek, capital of Kyrgyzstan which starts on Monday September 29th.

 

According to the decision of Iranian PEN’s in Exile board members, Mr Bahram Rahmani, as President of PEN in Exile and Mr. Nasser Pejman one International Secretary of the Board were to attend just as they did the last year in Iceland, but since too many threats has been made against Bahram Rahmani and his relatives recently by the Islamic government in Iran, the board recommended that he should not participate and he decided to consider the their advise and not to participate, and now Mr. Nasser Pejman is the only member of Iranian PEN in Exile in the International PEN’s Congress.

 

The Embassy of the Islamic Republic of Iran in Kyrgyzstan, has have a book exhibition in the congress hall, with a large number of books mostly Khomeini’s books translated into Russian, in addition to the books of Masnavi of Rumi and other books for presentation to the authors under the flag of the Islamic Republic of Iran.

When Nasser Pejman, saw Khomeini’s books and his pictures, and talked to them to protest against killing of prisoners, torture, intimidation and repression of freedoms in the Islamic state, they started threatening him and taking pictures of him.

Eventually one person from the Embassy of the Iranian Islamic state approach Mr. Pejman and suggest that they could have a discussions with him, but he refuses since we believe that a discussion with the representatives of the tens of thousands of executions, stoning, oppression and terror, censorship and repression can not be held and many representatives of different PENs suport his decision since The Islamic Republic of Iran is so exposed that everybody knows that this regime is a reign of terror and has been fighting against freedom the first day of its establishment.

A small part of the crimes committed by the Islamic government in Iran has been described in an open letter from B. Rahmani to the Congress of PEN-International.

And then the Embassy of the Islamic Republic, was notoriously forced to  close down their exhibition and go.

 

We are extremely grateful and thank our colleagues and PEN’s representatives for supporting us and protesting against Islamic regime and its representatives Bishkek and forcing them to leave the hall after a couple of hours; but we ask the authorities, especially the Central Asian PEN responsible for holding that Congress in Kyrgyzstan to be cautious about the influence of Islamic regime and to ensure the safety of our representatives further.

We also expect that International PEN Congress strongly condemn this action of the the Islamic regime.

 

IRANIAN PEN CENTER(IN EXILE)

30 september 2014

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arm26.05.2014
Dear Mr. President John Ralston Saul,
We want to communicate with regret that after several extraordinary meetings of the Members of the Board of the Iranian PEN Center (in exile) that affiliation as a member and member of the Board of Mr. Abtin Aeineh (Secretary and treasurer of our Centre), from today May 26, 2014 until the next session of the General Assembly of the Iranian PEN Center (in exile), for its final decision is suspended.
The majority of the Steering Committee has opted for this decision for several reasons such as behavior contrary to the statute provided by our center and repeated baseless allegations to some members.
In addition to this, Mr Abtin Aeineh as Secretary and Treasurer of our Centre has not done any of his duties and responsibilities as decided during the meetings of the Steering Committee.
For this we have been forced to take this decision which we inform you with this communication.
Thank you for your attention and with best regards.
Bahram Rahmani – President
bahram.rehmani@gmail.com

Faryar Asadian – Vice-President
j.asadian@yahoo.de

Nasser Pejman.- International Secretary
pejmnass@sunrise.ch

Iranian PEN Center (in exile)
26.05.2014

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The Islamic Government of Iran is one of the few Countries in the World, which never pay any attention to the humanity, social, political and the cultural Universal Law. This Government suppressed hardly the Persons who used the critical Words and also the political, social and cultural oppositions under pressed. Therefore there is no life and employment security for the Iranian Peoples at all. The leadership of Islamic Republic of Iran, especially Sayed Ali Khamenei, known as the first Class Enemy of the freedom of thinking, writing and expressing in the World. The following Reports as you see are the latest cultural news about Iran.

* Reporters without Borders have published the classifying of the freedom of the mass Media in 2014. Iran has reached among 180 Countries in the World, the place of 173rd and also the Syria is most dangerous for the Journalists or Reporters.
Classification of the mass Media in the World at 2014, has taken place on the base of seven points (indicators) by the Reporters without Borders (Organization).
According to Christophe Delores the Director of this Organization, these Points are as follow: The level of suppressing and under pressure, the Pluralism, the Independent, the common Atmosphere and self-censor-ship, the framework of the Law, transparency and the ability of the infrastructures.

According to these indicators among 180 Countries in the World, Finland, Holland and Norway are at the top of the table and the Turkmenistan, North-Coria and Eretria are at the Bottom (below) of table. Iran is in the 173rd places.
Syria, which has been supported by Islamic Republic of Iran, among 180 Countries is in the Place of 177 and it is most dangerous Country (place) in the World for the Reporters (Journalists).
The Report of Reporters without Borders has been included The Censor-ship at the present of the revolutions guards and the financial support of Assad regime, the problem of the atomic energy or human rights affairs and the situation of the political and religious Prisoners.
This Organization has mentioned that at the End of 2013 AD, Iran was with 50 Journalist and weblogs writers as Prisoners, one of 5 Countries in the World that named as Prison of Journalist.
Even though they Release some of the political Prisoners, but as Mr. Hassan Rohani (before election) promised that he would releases all political Prisoners and he will bettered the freedom situation (it is not true) it remained all his Promises without any results.
The Pressure of Security Police on the international Journalists for mass Media remained as it was and the Pressure in the Country of the Families of independent (Iranian) Journalist in Abroad continued permanently.
The Reporters without Borders Organization for the first time has published the List of hundred Journalists in the World and have introduced them as hero for their Reports.
In this list the name of 4 Iranian Journalists, Mrs. Jila Bani Jaaqoub, Mr. Adnan Hassanpour, Mr. Siamak Qaderi and Mr. Saeed Matinpour have been mentioned. Accept Mrs. Jila Bani Jaaqoub, that she is free and is Website Director of Iranian Women Organization, all other 3 Iranian Journalist are in Prison.

* The Book from Yearewand Abrahamian, translated by Dr. Nasser Zarafshan, the Member of Iranian writer Council, that in Negah Publishing Company has been publish and should be introduced at the books exhibition in Teheran. But the Director of exhibition has ordered to be forbidden that the book of to be introduce in this exhibition, without eny reason. The subject of this book is about Cup de ta of 1953 in Iran.

* Mrs. Shahla Lahiji, the publisher, has said to (newspaper) Sharq: “… first, the place of Books exhibition was unfinished, the Yard was dusty area which structured or erected a Tent with spring weather and rainy, which the Publisher, the University Professors and the Children were placed under this Tent. First of all bring for us this rainy Weather the beuty´atmosphere and clean Air, but it changed to a Situation that the numbers of Books have been ruined. Second, they told us, if we want to bring our Books in books-exhibition; we have to listed (index of names) all our Books and give it to the Control Office that I believe it is a new Office in the books-exhibition. Naturally some of the Books did not have any Chance to be presented (why they did not say, because these books had permanent Permission). Third, from the first year in addition to some Publisher that they did not have enough books even for a small book stand, because the famous Publisher also were forbidding or prohibited (why? Who is allowed legally to forbidden a Publisher to take part in a books-exhibition?).

* According to the Mehr mass Media, on May 6th 2014, Homayoun Amir-zadeh, Director of committee for the control those Publisher, who break the law in a gathering of committee in this books-exhibition in Teheran which all members were presented, said: In this meeting we considered 16 Acts which has been delivered us by observers, for the issuing final Judgments.
The mainly disobeying registered in the Acts was most distribution of not allowed books. That means the Publisher besides their own Published nbooks, they distribute the other Publisher books.
The Cultural and scientific Assistant of the 26th International books-exhibition in Teheran without mentioning the name of forbidden Stands said, that they located in main Corridor and in the part of common Publisher. He mentioned that the Judgment about this 2 Publisher has been reported to the Director of books-exhibition and from this afternoon would be executed and we hang a notify information about our desission on the door of these Stands. These should be a notice for those they try to break the law.

* The Director of investigation of the breaking law in 26th International books-exhibition has reported. Homayoun Amirzadeh gives an interview to Isna and said: 300 examples of Books were violated to the book-introduction in this books-exhibition.
He said in explanation, why they stopped showing these Books, said: There are a Obligation to show the Books in books-exhibition must be observed by Publisher. The content of the Books that we stopped to be showed had problem.
Amirzadeh did not explained about the name of Publishers that they brought such as Books in books-exhibition.

* The Security Police of Ershad (Islamic guidance) in the international books-exhibition in Teheran was among the Visitors and control them. Mojtaba Rahmandost, the Director of the Committee for the Islamic dress Code (scarf) and the Islamic social Commission chastity of Parliament Council answered to the question of Ilna-Reporter: Are you satisfied with the present of Security Police of Ershad (Islamic guidance) in the books-exhibition? He said: I agree with the control of 2 Groups, one observing chastity and Islamic dress Code (scarf) the Visitors and second the Personal in books-exhibition. I believe that if it is necessary, it should be find a way to do something for observing chastity and Islamic dress Code (scarf) in the books-exhibition. The Security Police from Ershad (Islamic guidance) is one of this main Control Obligation of Women and their Islamic dress Code (scarf).

* Hosseinali Amiri, the Speaker of Ministry of interior in the Government of Hassan Rohani in one conversation with the Reporter of Mehr said, “that this Mistry and Police should in the future in the connection of Islamic dress Cod (scarf) and dressing of Iranian citizens do something. Amiri said: Doubtless the People of our society knows the religious Principe and will observe the social Standards. But the Ministry of Interior may have some Program for those, who do not want to move in the frame of this social Standard.” According to him, Ministry of Interior with coope-ration of the Polices planned the Programs for the chastity and Islamic dress Code project and order of enjoining the good (amr-e be maarouf we Nahye az Monker) in the coming time will be execute.”
The Police of Islamic regime in Iran under name of keeping the Islamic value, try to crash with Women that they called them “bad Hejab” not observing the Islamic dress Code (scarf). Of course this Project is for those men and young boys that they have worn unsuitable cloth.
It passed 35 years that Ayatollah Khomeini the creature or founder of Islamic republic of Iran had a speech at Rafah School in Teheran about the Women Islamic dress Code (scarf). On March 7th 1979, he said: “In Islamic Ministries must not be the naked Women. It is allowed to work there, but with the veil of sharia (Islamic dress Code)”. One day after this Speech, the same time of the World Women day (March 8th) there were the protest of thousand Iranian Women in Teheran and all other Cities. The Women demonstrated and wanted that the Government stopped the harshness against the Women don’t want to wear Scarf during a Month after revolution of 79. In this demonstration the Police attacked them. According to the Report of Newspapers in that time, they attacked the Women without Scarf. Therefor after this attack, the Scarf has been obligatory in all Cities in Iran.
At the present time, according to the article 638 of Islamic punishment Law, if one does not wear Scarf, she will be to 10 days to 2 Months Jeal or 74 whips (lash) convicted.

* Ahmad Jennati President of revolution Guard Council and the head of Friday Prayer in Teheran on April 2nd 2014 said: “It shouldn’t allow an anti-Islamic book to be published. The book of dauntless writer, Atheist and careless Person must not be published.”
Jennati warned that”we should be careful, these viruses deleted the Cultural trace (cultural Monument)” and he warned the Cultural and the Islamic guidance Ministry that everthing should be Islamic. They must think Islamic, decide and to meet (prosecute) the problem”.
He said: The different Organization, for the entire religious Seminary (Howzehay elmiye) and Universities are active in cultural background, also the revolution Guard himself has a big role in this subject”.
Jennati wants as well from the Security Organs and the Judiciary branch that they should have the Activities of Opposition under the Control and be ready to violate them. Ali Jennati, the Son of Ahmad Jennati, is now Islamic Culture and Ershad (Islamic guidance) Minister in the Government of Hassan Rohani.
***
It is necessary to be mentioned that some months after the revolution of 1979 the highest revolutionary cultural Council in Iran has been established and it has controlled or keep under his eyes of Government the publishing of the artistic and cultural Works.
At the beginning of establishment of the Government of Hassan Rohani, even though his promises of the Government for opening a Journalistic Atmosphere (has not been realistic). Instead that at least 3 Publications (Newspaper and Magazin) has been suspended (detention) since.
Therefore, the Writers, Journalists and Artists and … do not have Security, under the rule of Islamic Republic of Iran.
We expect from Internationa PEN and his/her member of different Countries to convict the Islamic Republic of Iran, because of breaking the freedom, stoped of free speech and writing of thinking finaly the permanent breaking of human rights, the breaking of rights of Women systematically, the using of savagely tortures in particular to political Prisoners and the execution or put someone to death. We ask the International PEN to support the legitimate activities for cultural, political and social of Iranian Peoples.

IRANIAN PEN CENTER (IN EXILE)
May 4014

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امین افضل‌پور شاعرِ جوانی است که می‌کوشد تا با آزمون و خطا، و تجربه‌ی آنچه که کمتر از سوی شاعران تجربه شده، شعری با...

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