Date: Dec 18, 1998 [ 0: 0: 0]

Subject: DNI-NEWS Digest - 16 Dec 1998 to 17 Dec 1998

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Subject: DNI-NEWS Digest - 16 Dec 1998 to 17 Dec 1998
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There are 6 messages totalling 302 lines in this issue.

Topics of the day:

1. Iran Says Stray U.S.-U.K. Missile Hits Border City, AP Reports
2. HRW: Background Briefing On The Killings in Iran
3. HRW: Iranian Writer Escapes Possible Murder Attempt
4. NEWS - Iran Protests After Hit By Errant Missile
5. Fresh hope for Pinochet as House of Lords overturns its own decision
6. punish those who do not pray

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Date: Thu, 17 Dec 1998 20:54:38 +0100
From: Farhad Abdolian <farhad.abdolian@RSA.ERICSSON.SE>
Subject: Iran Says Stray U.S.-U.K. Missile Hits Border City, AP Reports

Tehran, Dec. 17 (Bloomberg) -- A stray missile from the U.S.- U.K. attack
on Iraq hit the Iranian border city of Khorramshahr today, the Associated
Press reported, citing Tehran state-run radio. The U.S. and Britain
launched joint airstrikes against Iraq late yesterday after a report by
United Nations chief weapons inspector Richard Butler said Iraq didn't
fully cooperate with inspectors. A resident of horramshahr, a large port
city with major oil facilities 25 miles east of Basra, Iraq, said the
missile shattered windows of several buildings, though he didn't know if
there were fatalities or injuries,
the AP said.

U.S. Defense Secretary William Cohen said the first night of bombing by
cruise missiles inflicted ``severe damage'' on Iraqi targets, which include
suspected missile factories, storage sites and military intelligence and
command installations.

(AP 12/17 www.nytimes.com/aponline)

------------------------------

Date: Thu, 17 Dec 1998 20:55:09 +0100
From: Farhad Abdolian <farhad.abdolian@RSA.ERICSSON.SE>
Subject: HRW: Background Briefing On The Killings in Iran

Human Rights Watch statement:

Background Briefing On The Killings in Iran

Five Iranian writers have been killed in the last four weeks in Iran. All of
the writers were critics of the government; all lived in Tehran. The police
have so far not announced any suspects.

*Jafar Pouyandeh, a translator and writer, disappeared on December 9 while on
his way to a meeting of publishers at 2.00 p.m. in midtown Tehran. His body
was
found on December 13. The family was contacted by the police who informed them
that his body had been found in Shar-e Ray, a suburb of Tehran, and had been
moved to a Tehran city morgue. According to the family, Pouyandeh was
apparently strangled although no autopsy has yet been carried out.

*The body of Mohammad Mokhtari, a writer and poet, was found in a Tehran city
morgue on December 9. He was last seen alive on December 3, going to a local
shop. Marks on his head and neck made it appear that he had been murdered,
possibly by strangulation. Pouyandeh and Mokhtari had been summoned with four
other prominent writers on October 1998 by the authorities in connection with
their attempt to establish an independent writers association.

*The body of Majid Sharif, a prominent writer and political critic, was found
by police in a Tehran street and the family was able to identify it at the
Tehran city morgue on November 24. He had disappeared on November 20. Sharif's
articles criticizing government policies appeared in a monthly magazine,
Iran-e
Farda (Iran's Tomorrow), which was closed down by court order on December 5.

*Darioush Forouhar, and his wife Parvaneh Forouhar (née Eskandari),were
stabbed
to death in their Tehran home on November 22. Forouhar was the leader of the
banned Iran Nation Party and a former minister of labor in the transitional
government of Mehdi Bazargan. His wife Parvaneh was a prominent critic of the
Iranian government. The Forouhars frequently protested the restrictions placed
on their nonviolent political activities by the Iranian authorities and had
expressed fear about their personal safety.

These murders appear to be part of a pattern of government-condoned repression
directed against critics in Iran going back many years. Many killings of
government critics over the last ten years remain unsolved. They include: Dr.
Kazem Sami, a former minister of health in the transitional government of
Mehdi
Bazargan and leader of a liberal Islamic movement, who was stabbed to death in
his office in Tehran in November 1988; Bishop Haik Hovasepian Mehr, who
came to
international prominence while leading a campaign for the release of Pastor
Mehdi Dibaj and was murdered in January 1994; Hossein Barazandeh-Lagha, an
independent Islamic scholar critical of the government, who was murdered in
the
city of Mashhad in March 1994; Pastor Mehdi Dibaj, who converted from Islam to
Christianity, and had been imprisoned in Sari, northeast Iran from 1983 to
1994, and was killed in July 1994; Haji Mohammad Ziaie, a Sunni Muslim leader
from Bandar-Abas, known to be critical of government policies, who was found
dead in July 1994; Dr. Ahmad Mir-Allai, a member of the editorial board of the
cultural magazine Zendehroud, who was found dead in the street in Isfahan in
October 1995; Professor Ahmad Tafazzoli of Tehran University who was found
dead
in Punak, a suburb northwest of Tehran in January 1997; Ebrahim Zalzadeh, a
publisher whose body was discovered at the morgue in the Tehran city coroner's
department in March 1997; and Molavi Imam Bakhsh Narouie, the prayer leader of
a Sunni mosque, who was killed in the town of Miyankangi in Sistan va
Baluchestan province in June 1998.

------------------------------

Date: Thu, 17 Dec 1998 20:56:16 +0100
From: Farhad Abdolian <farhad.abdolian@RSA.ERICSSON.SE>
Subject: HRW: Iranian Writer Escapes Possible Murder Attempt

Human Rights Watch statement:

Iranian Writer Escapes Possible Murder Attempt

(New York, December 16, 1998) - An Iranian writer escaped an apparent attempt
on his life on December 13, the latest in a spate of killings of Iranian
intellectuals and opposition figures. Human Rights Watch urged the government
to take stronger measures to ensure the safety of independent Iranian writers
and critics.

Akbar Ganji, the editor of the recently-banned weekly newspaper Rah-e No (New
Way), was approached by two unknown men as he was leaving his office in Tehran
at 6:10 p.m. local time on December 13. Ganji had been held incommunicado for
three months in early 1998 for criticizing government policies.

The men asked him, "Where can we find Akbar Ganji?" Ganji, realizing that they
represented a danger, did not identify himself but asked them who they were.
After a brief exchange the two men ran away. In the current threatening
atmosphere for Iranian writers, Ganji is in no doubt that the encounter put
his
life in danger.

Human Rights Watch welcomed President Mohammad Khatami's announcement on
December 14 of a special committee to investigate the killings. In the last
four weeks, five Iranian writers have been killed, and several outspoken
writers and opposition figures have been threatened.

"President Khatami has encouraged writers and opposition figures to speak
openly," said Hanny Megally, executive director of the Middle East and North
Africa division of Human Rights Watch. "Now he has a clear obligation to
protect them."

On December 9, Mr. Jafar Pouyandeh, a translator and writer, disappeared while
on his way to a meeting of publishers in downtown Tehran. His body was
found on
December 13 in a Tehran city morgue. According to his family, Mr. Pouyandeh
was
apparently strangled, although no autopsy has yet been carried out.

Human Rights Watch also welcomed the pledge on December 14 by Ayatollah Ali
Khamenei, Iran's supreme leader, to do everything possible to halt the
killings. "Khamenei's intervention is important" said Megally. "But we now
need
to see him back the words up with deeds." Megally noted that Mohammad Yazdi,
the head of the judiciary, which has been overseeing the investigation of the
murders, has not publicly condemned the murders or promised to try to stop
them.

------------------------------

Date: Thu, 17 Dec 1998 20:56:41 +0100
From: Farhad Abdolian <farhad.abdolian@RSA.ERICSSON.SE>
Subject: NEWS - Iran Protests After Hit By Errant Missile

By Jonathan Lyons

TEHRAN (Reuters) - A stray missile from the allied attack on Iraq crashed
into a southwestern Iranian border city Thursday, causing no casualties but
prompting a strong diplomatic protest from Tehran.

The official IRNA news agency quoted an informed source in the port of
Khorramshahr as saying the missile touched down near the city's central
mosque, shattering nearby windows and damaging property within a 220-yard
radius.

``The source told IRNA that the missile had apparently targeted one of the
Iraqi installations in the city of Basra but instead hit Khorramshahr,''
IRNA said.

The blast spread panic in the city, virtually destroyed during the 1980-1988
Iran-Iraq war, but there were no injuries, the agency said.

Iranian television showed a row of apartments, their hallways strewn with
broken glass.

The report on the main afternoon bulletin said the projectile was a cruise
missile. But it was unclear whether the weapon's warhead had exploded.

State radio said Foreign Ministry officials protested about the incident to
the ambassador of Switzerland, who represents the United States in Iran, and
the British charge d'affaires.

``The Swiss ambassador and British charge were summoned to the Foreign
Ministry, where the Islamic Republic of Iran's strong protest regarding the
landing of a missile in Khorramshahr was submitted to them,'' it said.

Ministry officials said they held Britain and America, who launched the
joint attack against Iraq in the early hours on Thursday Iran time,
responsible for any damages or injuries.

No comment was immediately available from the Western envoys, but the radio
quoted them as saying the missile had deviated from its trajectory and
expressed their regret.

The radio also quoted the Foreign Ministry as saying Iranian pilgrims to
holy Shi'ite Muslim sites in neighboring Iraq were safe and preparations
were under way for their return home.

Earlier, Iran condemned the military strikes against Iraq as
``unacceptable'' and called for United Nations action to halt the
operations. It also urged Baghdad to cooperate with the United Nations to
implement Security Council resolutions.

``Such unilateral attacks against Iraq will worsen the suffering of the
Iraqi people and increase instability in the region,'' the radio quoted
Foreign Ministry spokesman Hamid Reza Asefi as saying.

``Such willful attacks against that country (Iraq) are unacceptable to the
Islamic Republic of Iran, and Iran urges the U.N. Security Council to take
urgent action to prevent the situation from getting any more dangerous in
the region,'' Asefi said.

He said Iran was against the partition of Iraq and was following
developments closely.

Iran, which condemns the presence of U.S. and other Western forces in the
Gulf, has often opposed military action against neighboring Iraq.

Tehran, Baghdad's foe in a bloody eight-year war, has also repeatedly called
on Iraq to comply with U.N. arms inspections.

An Iranian newspaper said Thursday that President Clinton was politically
doomed, regardless of the outcome of any attack on Iraq, because of the
impending vote on his impeachment.

In an editorial written before the strikes against Iraq, the
English-language Iran Daily said: ``Whether the new planned aggression
transforms into action or not and whatever Mr. Clinton may do, he cannot
change his past.

``When Mr. Clinton's Mideast tour ended Tuesday night, it became more
apparent that his political career, too, may be coming to an end sooner
rather than later,'' said the editorial, quoted by IRNA ahead of
publication.

``Even if he survives (impeachment), the question is what will be his
future? He may be in office but not in power,'' said the newspaper, which is
published by IRNA.

It added that attempts to save Clinton ``appear futile at best.''

------------------------------

Date: Thu, 17 Dec 1998 22:24:41 +0100
From: Farhad Abdolian <farhad.abdolian@RSA.ERICSSON.SE>
Subject: Fresh hope for Pinochet as House of Lords overturns its own decision

Fresh hope for Pinochet as House of Lords overturns its own decision

In a dramatic new twist to the Augusto Pinochet case, the British House of
Lords has overruled its earlier decision that the former Chilean dictator
is not immune from prosecution for human rights violations.

The decision means that the Lords needs to re-examine the extradition
request against Pinochet.

It follows revelations that one of the judges, Lord Hoffman, who declared
Pinochet wasn't above the law simply because he is a former head of state,
had worked for the human rights group Amnesty International.

Pinochet's lawyers successfully argued that Lord Hoffman should have made
clear beforehand his involvement with the organisation.

It's a humiliating and highly embarrassing moment for the Law Lords, who
rarely have their rulings questioned. Lord Hoffman will be disqualifed from
the next hearing into the Spanish extradition request.

In the meantime Augusto Pinochet remains under house arrest near London.

------------------------------

Date: Fri, 18 Dec 1998 01:10:20 +0000
From: "a.abdi" <a.abdi@BTINTERNET.COM>
Subject: punish those who do not pray

The Friday leader of Babol (Iran) stated:

Verbal encouragement of people to go to public prayers is not enough.
Sometimes we need to beat those who do not go to prayers, and to revoke
the licence of non-praying businessmen and to remove them from the list
of those who sell subsidised goods.

You may listen to
http://www.sr.se/ftp/minsprak/pejvak.ra

Asghar

------------------------------

End of DNI-NEWS Digest - 16 Dec 1998 to 17 Dec 1998
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