1. Sepa'h-e pAsdArAn va sharyetE kouni! 2. NEWS - Iran says more 'terrorist' attacks in Tehran 3. fwd: frmandhspah, jryan svmy dr kmyn anqlab nSsth ast)1( 4. U.S. condemns Mujahideen attack in Tehran 5. Croat 2 Iran 0 final! 6. Sarkouhi Interview 7. Women Lawyers at Risk 8. Daily Blasts Ebtekar for Silence on Nuke Tests 9. Despotism Harms Society, not Freedom 10. Freedom for Opposition Parties Inevitable, says Yazdi 11. Sarkouhi Concerned About Violations of Freedom 12. Jews: The invisible Iranians
srdar rHym Cfvy frmandh spah pasdaran anqlab aslamy: agr ksy bh ma ahant krd, yqhaS ra mygyrym v rhayS nmyknym
.srvys syasy:sydrHym Cfvy frmandh spah pasdaran anqlab aslamy dyrvz dr yk nSst danSjvyy ba Cdha prsS danSjvyan mvajh Sd, prsShayy kh vy ba vjvdteyyn yk vqt dvsaeth nyz ntvanst bh tmamy Anan pasK dhd. ayn nSst prsS v pasK dr kmal AramS brgzar Sd. frmandh spah pasdaran drabtday ayn nSst Cmymy gft kh bh svalat,Cadqanh pasK Kvahd dad ama raje bh aSKaC Haxr bh aXharnXr nyst. srdar Cfvy dr pasK bh prsS yky az danSjvyan kh gfth bvd nyrvy antXamy babsyjyha ba by mhry rftar myknd gft: bayd hSyar baSym, edh ay tlaS darnd taspah, nyrvy antXamy, Cdav syma v qvh qxayyh ra txeyf knnd. vy tvxyH dad kh txeyf ayn arkan anqlab, txeyf nXam v bh zyan anqlab aslamy ast. frmandh spah pasdaran gft:antqad bayd baSd, ama bayd mvaXb bvd byn bradran yk Kanvadh,aKtlaf bvjvd nyayd. danSjvyy az srdar Cfvy prsydSma aSarh krdh ayd kh grvh svm, Snasayy Sdh, Gra Anha ra merfy nmyknyd. srdar Cfvy gft:mn hSdar dadm.spah yk mjmveh bsyar pyGydh ast v bakmk hmyn mjmveh Kyly az enaCr grvh svm ra Snasayy krdh ama dr eyn Hal dst Anan ranyz bazgZaSth ta grvh v rvznamh drst knnd vly ma srbzngah bh sraQSan myrvym. vy kh gfth hayS ba fryadhay srdar anqlaby afSa kn, afSa kn tayyd mySd, afzvd:mn dr qm v dr mCaHbh aKyrm ba nSryh pyam anqlab gftm kh zmanS kh rsyd, myvh ra Kvahym Gyd. frmandh spah pasdaran anqlab aslamy aXhar daSt:myvh ra bayd gZaSt ta brsd, alan An myvh kal ast, Kvb kh rsyd bh dst Sma bsyjyha my Gynym. srdar Cfvy dr pasK bh prsS yky dygr az danSjvyan draynbarh kh dr qm raje bh bsyjyha Gh gftyd kh astkbar ayn qdr srv Cda krd, gft:mn tvxyHat lazm ra dr gft v gv ba nSryh pyam anqlab dadh am. anCafa Anha Kyly namrdy krdnd, namrdha dr kSvr ma zyad Sdhand v ma az ayn fxayy kh bvjvd Amdh, mtasfym. vy tCryH krd:ma Kar br GSm v astKvan br glv Cbr myknym ama mn bh envan yk frd dr mqabl hr xd anqlaby kh elyh ayn mlt v nXam tvTih knd, kvtah nKvahm Amd. srdar Cfvy afzvd:hngamy kh zmanS fra rsd, ba knar zdn nqabhay ayn grvh, dsthay byganh ra dr pSt ayn qlmha v nqabha nSan mydhym. vy gft:brKy az ayn grvhha hm aknvn dr Hal jme Avry aslHh hstnd, ma jvab aslHh Anan ra nyz ba aslHh Kvahym dad. danSjvyy az frmandh spah pasdaran anqlab aslamy prsyd Gra ps az sKnrany dr qm bh ahanthayy kh mTrH Sd, srye pasK ndadyd. frmandh spah pasdaran anqlab aslamy pasK dad ma yk sng dr daKl lanh marhay zhry sng Kvrdh az ayn anqlab andaKtym v frCt dadym ta hmh Anan az lanh hay Kvd byrvn Aynd. srdar Cfvy afzvd:ayn yky az taktykhay ma bvd ta Anha ra bhtr Snasayy knym.hmyn hjdhm hm dadgah yky az ayn afrad ast. vy gft:mn Kvd Kadm v srbaz mlt v kSvr hstm.spah v bsyj yk arzS ast, aynha bh arzSha ahant krdnd. bh gzarS Kbrngargrvh aKbar frhngy Kbrgzary jmhvry aslamy, frmandh spah pasdaran anqlab aslamy takyd krd: bdanyd rvHyh mn ayn Tvry nyst.agr ksy ahant bh ma krd, yqh aS ra mygyrym v rhayS nmyknym. frmandh spah pasdaran anqlab aslamy dr pasK bh prsSy drbarh mrz dKalt spah dr msail syasy gft: AnGh ra kh Hxrt amam)rh( nyrvhay nXamy az jmlh spah raaz An mne krdh, vard band, jnaH syasy v Hzb Sdn, ast. vy afzvd:nyrvhay mslH xmn eml bh ayn frmayS amam)rh( bayd bynS syasy daSth baSnd ta kvrkvranh aTaet nknnd.
srdar Cfvy tCryH krd:spah yk rkn CddrCd eqydty, syasy v nXamy ast. frmandh spah pasdaran anqlab aslamy gft:dr bed syasy, spah KT syasy dard.KT dyrvz ma KT amam bvd v KT amam ma KT vlayt fqyh ast v ma mtnasb ba ayn KT syasy, brnamh hay Kvd ra jlv mybrym. vy aXhardaSt:dr bed amnyty tmam tHvlaty kh dr aTraf ayran rvy mydhd,mstqyma br amnyt ma tacyrgZar ast. srdar Cfvy afzvd:bTvr mcal agr yk Hkvmt Amrykayy dr afQanstan bh qdrt brsd, tacyry mstqym br amnyt ayran brjay Kvahd gZaSt. frmandh spah pasdaran anqlab aslamy gft:Hrkt Talban drafQanstan yk Hrkt Amrykayy ast.aynha hmh aS thdyd ast.
vy aXhardaSt:bsyary ndansth mygvynd kh mamvryt spah dfae az mrzhast ama Anan nmydannd kh dfae az mrzha ba artS jmhvry aslamy ayran ast, agr dSmn azmrz ebvr krd An hngam ma hmannd hSt sal dvran dfae mqds ba Anan vard nbrdKvahym Sd. srdar Cfvy dreyn Hal gft:anqlab aslamy, mrz spah ast v spah mrz jQrafyayy ndard. frmandh spah pasdaran anqlab aslamy dr adamh takyd krd: San spah bsyar fratr az An ast kh vard jnaH bndyhay syasy Svd ma dr jryanat syasy dKalty nmyknym ama hngamy kh bbynym asas nXam v anqlab dr KTr ast bna bh tdbyr rhbr frzanh anqlab v mCvbh Svray amnyt mly vard mydan mySvym. srdar Cfvy afzvd:vqty mn mybynm yk jryan tvTih frhngy brah aftadh, Hq Kvd mydanm kh az anqlab dr brabr ayn jryan dfae knm.frmandh mn mqam meXm rhbry ast v aySan mra mne nkrdh and. =end=
State-run Tehran radio, monitored by the BBC, said the second blast occurred on Tuesday night in an administrative building in the capital causing "some damage."
The radio said a "hypocrite terrorist group" fled from the Revolutionary Guards headquarters when challenged but left explosives and ammunition at the scene.
Hypocrites -- monafeqin in Persian -- is the term used by the Iranian government to describe the Iraq-based Iranian armed rebel group Mujahideen Khalq (People's Holy Warriors).
The group, which was designated by the U.S. State Department last year as a foreign terrorist organization, claimed responsibility for Tuesday's blast at the court.
In addition to the three fatalities, six people were hurt.
Farid Soleimani, a spokesman for the Mujahideen, told Reuters by telephone from the Iraqi capital Baghdad on Wednesday that "several Revolutionary Guards were killed or wounded and buildings were damaged" in a mortar attack on their headquarters in east Tehran.
He said the attack by Mujahideen units came from several directions.
"Scores of mortars were dropped. At least five hit the main building," Soleimani said.
He said the attack was in retaliation for the slaying of four Mujahideen members in October who he said were killed in western Iran by Revolutionary Guard units sent from Tehran.
A Mujahideen statement faxed to Reuters said it launched another mortar attack on a central ammunition depot in north Tehran on Tuesday night "and massive, successive explosions could be heard in northern Tehran for hours."
The Tehran provincial governor's office earlier called for a mass turn-out at the funerals of the three people killed in the court explosion "to show their hatred for the terrorist grouplet Monafeqin."
Iran's official news agency IRNA rejected the Mujahideen claim of responsibility for the court blast, calling it a desperate attempt to rekindle support for "a shattered organization."
It said the blast was caused by negligence during the handling of explosives being used as evidence in a case.
Revolutionary courts were set up after Iran's 1979 Islamic revolution to deal with political and other crimes according to laws based on the Muslim sharia legal code.
"They have claimed responsibility for the explosion in a desperate attempt to get away from the dead end they are trapped in," the agency said.
Soleimani said after the blast that "dozens of the regime's interrogators and torturers were killed and injured."
IRNA said the claim was merely an attempt to prop up the morale of a spent force.
"The Monafeqin have been facing protests from their supporters for a long time and they have lost the ability to run the remains of their shattered organization," IRNA said.
"Therefore, they cling to any lie in order to reconstruct the broken morale of their supporters."
Iran has previously blamed the Mujahideen for cross-border raids from Iraq and bombings.
The Mujahideen has denied attacking civilians but has claimed responsibility for hitting military, economic and state targets in Iran.
A large bomb in 1994 killed 26 people at a Shi'ite Muslim shrine in the northeastern holy city of Mashhad. Iran blamed the Mujahideen, but the group denied responsibility.
frmandhspah, jryan svmy dr kmyn anqlab nSsth ast)1( ................................................ thran - ayrna, 21 Krdad 7731 brabr ba dv Jvin 8991 syd "rHym Cfvy" frmandh spah pasdaran anqlab aslamyay~ran rvz sh Snbh dr sKnany dr danSgah thran ,gft ,mlt bayd hSyar baSd, jryan svmy bh kmyn nSsth v tlaS dard ta nyrvhay vfadar bh anqlab ra bh jan ykdygr byandazd. frmandh spah dr jme byS az dv hzar danSjvy bsyjy danSgahhay thran gft, jryan svm ,yk jryan vabsth bh byganh ast kh myKvahd asas dyn ra drayn kSvr az byn bbrd. vy gft , jryanhay syasy jameh bayd mraqb " jryan svm " baSnd v bh nfe an Hrkt nknnd. Cfvy tCryH krd , spah pasdaran anqlab aslamy evaml ayn jryan svm ra tHt nXr dard v ajazh nKvahd dad kh dstan alvdh , anqlab aslamy ra az dst mlt ayran brbaynd. vy az tmamy nyrvhay vfadar bh anqlab aslamy Kvast ta atHad Kvd ra dr brabr dSmnan HfX knnd, dSmnany kh aknvn asas nXam aslamy ra hdf qrar dadh and. Cfvy gft , dsthayy tlaS darnd taba srdadn nQmhhay tfrqh afknanh v tSnj angyz, Gnyn alqa knnd kh myan mrdm v msvvlan jdayy aftadh ast vy az tmam mlt bvyJh danSjvyan Kvast ta" bh hvS baSnd" v ngZarnd kh anqlab aslamy az msyry kh amam Kmyny )rh (an ra trsym v rhbr frzanh anqlab prGmdar an ast , mnHrf Svd. frmandh spah pasdaran anqlab aslamy gft , danSjvyan v danSgahyan bayd badly praz ayman , GSmany bCyr v qdm hayy astvar , az astqlal ayran aslamy dfae knnd. Cfvy tCryH krd , dlhay fryb Kvrdh v syast bazan nadan kh dnbal ftnh gry hstnd bdannd ,CaHb ayn anqlab amam zman )ej ( ast v ftnh ha nqS br ab Kvahd Sd. vy dr adamh bh bHc "andyShhay dfaey Hxrt amam )rh ( v amnyt mly" prdaKt v gft Hkvmty kh Hxrt amam )rh ( an ra bnagZard aknvn bh algvyy bray kSvrhay Kvahan astqlal vaqey , mbdl Sdh ast rHym Cfvy dr pasK bh prsS yky az danSjvyan kh gfth bvd " nyrvy antXamy ba bsyjyha ba bymhry rftar myknd " gft , bayd hSyar baSym, edhay tlaS darnd ta spah , nyrvy antXamy , Cdav syma v qvh qxayyh ra txeyf knnd. vy tvxyH dad kh " txeyf ayn arkan anqlab , txeyf nXam v bh zyan anqlab aslamy ast frmandh spah pasdaran gft , antqad bayd baSd , ama bayd mvaXb bvd byn bradran yk Kanvadh , " aKtlaf " bvjvd nyayd. danSjvy dygry az srdar Cfvy prsyd" Sma dr sKnrany Kvd aSarh krdyd kh grvh svm , Snasayy Sdh , Gra anha ra merfy nmyknyd." srdar Cfvy gft , mn hSdar dadmspah yk mjmveh bsyar pyGydh ast v bakmk hmyn mjmveh Kyly az enaCr grvh svm ra Snasayy krdh ama dreynHal dst anan ra nyz bazgZaSth ta " grvh v rvznamh " drst knnd vly ma "srbzngah " bh sraQSan myrvym. vy kh gfth hayS ba fryadhay " srdar anqlaby afSa kn ,afSa kn " tayyd mySd , afzvd, mn dr qm v dr mCaHbh aKyrm ba nSryh "pyam anqlab" gftm kh " zmanS kh rsyd , myvh ra Kvahym Gyd " frmandh spah pasdaran anqlab aslamy aXhar daSt , " myvh ra bayd gZaSt ta brsd , alan an myvh kal ast , Kvb kh rsyd bh dst Sma bsyjy ha my Gynym " srdar Cfvy dr pasK bh prsS yky dygr az danSjvyan draynbarh kh "dr qm raje bh bsyjyha Gh gftyd kh astkbar ayn qdr srv Cda krd" , gft , mn tvxyHat lazm ra dr gft v gv ba nSryh pyam anqlab dadh am " anCafa anha Kyly namrdy krdnd , namrdha dr kSvr ma zyad Sdhand v ma az ayn fxayy kh bvjvd amdh, mtasfym ." vy tCryH krd , ma Kar br GSm v astKvan br glv Cbr myknym ama mn bh envan yk frd dr mqabl hr xd anqlaby kh elyh ayn mlt v nXam tvTih knd , kvtah nKvahm amd. srdar Cfvy afzvd,hngamy kh zmanS fra rsd , ba knar zdn nqabhay ayn grvh, dsthay byganh ra dr pSt ayn" qlm ha" v " nqab ha" nSan my dhym vy gft , brKy az ayn grvhha hm aknvn dr Hal jmeAvry aslHh hstnd , ma jvab aslHh anan ra nyz ba aslHh Kvahym dad. danSjvyy az frmandh spah pasdaran anqlab aslamy prsyd " Gra ps az sKnrany dr qm bh ahanthayy kh mTrH Sd , srye pasK ndadyd" frmandh spah pasdaran anqlab aslamy pasK dad" ma yk sng dr daKl lanh marhay zhry sng Kvrdh az ayn anqlab andaKtym v frCt dadym ta hmh anan az lanhhay Kvd byrvn aynd." srdar Cfvy afzvd, ayn yky az taktykhay ma bvd ta anha ra bhtr Snasayy knymhmyn hjdhm hm dadgah yky az ayn afrad ast vy gft , mn Kvd Kadm v srbaz mlt v kSvr hstmspah v bsyj yk arzS ast , aynha bh arzSha ahant krdnd. frmandh spah pasdaran anqlab aslamy takyd krd , agr ksy ahant bh ma krd , yqhaS ra mygyrym v rhayS nmyknym." frmandh spah pasdaran anqlab aslamy dr adamh ayn jlsh prsS v pasK, tCryH krd kh dSmnan agr fkr krdhand kh mytvannd Aram Aram ayn anqlab ra az byn bbrnd, "kvr Kvandhand, mlt ma hvSyar ast." srdar Cfvy afzvd, spah pasdaran anqlab aslamy dnbal kar syasy nyst v az hyG band v grvhy dnbalh rvy nmyknd, ama nyrvhay spah, syast ra my- fhmnd v daray drk v Sevr syasy hstnd. vy dradamh gft, "svvalha bySmar v vqt andk ast." mn tmamy svvalat by pasK Sma ra ba Kvd Kvahm brd, ta dr frCty mnasbtr bh Anha pasK dhm. srdar Cfvy, dr abtday sKnan Kvd yad Hxrt amam ) rh ( ra gramy daSt v az danSjvyan Kvast ta dr mrasm sal yad artHal Hxrt amam, fealanh Srkt knnd byS az dv hzar tn az danSjvyany kh bray gvS dadn bh sKnan vy dr msjd danSgah thran grd Amdh bvdnd , dr ayn hngam, yk Cda Sear dadnd kh "srdar anqlaby , Hmaytt myknym. srdar Hzb allhy tv nvr GSm mayy." bh gzarS Kbrngar ayrna, Hxvr anbvh Kvahran bsyjy drayn mrasm rvHany kamla mHsvs bvd. =end=
WASHINGTON, June 3 (Reuters) - The United States condemned on Wednesday rebel attacks which killed three people and injured six in the Iranian capital Tehran.
The U.S. State Department noted in a statement that the rebel group the Mujahideen Khalq claimed responsibility for the attacks and that the U.S. government includes the Mujahideen on its list of terrorist organisations.
``The United States Government strongly condemns the terrorist attacks in Tehran... We offer our condolences to the victims,'' the statement said.
``The United States Government reiterates its strong condemnation of any and all terrorist attacks wherever they occur,'' it added.
Analysts say Washington's public position on the Mujahideen is heavily influenced by its desire to open a dialogue with the Iranian government. Behind the scenes, the Mujahideen's allies continue to run offices in Washington.
One explosion, the first of two in Tehran on Tuesday, killed three people at an Islamic Revolutionary courthouse. The Mujahideen said the only people there would be those who interrogate and torture political dissidents.
Iran's official news agency IRNA said a second explosion occurred on Tuesday night in a military industrial building in the capital, without causing casualties.
On Wednesday Iran said had foiled a second attack by the Mujahideen, this time against the Tehran headquarters of the Revolutionary Guards.
Copyright 1998 Reuters Limited. All rights reserved.
Only 11 days to Iran-Yoguslavia only 18 days to Iran-USA only 22 days to Iran-Germany
Regards, Farhad A.
Translated by Nilou Mobasser from the Persian original of an exclusive two-part interview with Faraj Sarkoohi by the Tehran daily Jamia(Society) on 17 and 18 March 1998.
From November 1996 onwards, your story was one of the most hotly-debated cultural and political issues reported in foreign media. What was the story and how did it turn out?
There isn't enough time on this occasion for me to describe what me and some other writers have been through over the last three years. I think everyone knows about my recent experience. In my letter to my wife dated 3 January 1997 - which was not published in Iran, but caused quite a stir - I referred to some of the things that had happened to me. I don't want to go over that now - it would be like putting salt on open wounds. Suffice it to say that, in November 1996, when I was going to Germany to see my wife and children, I was arrested and I was released on 20 December 1996. In February 1997, I was rearrested and I was held until February 1998.
You are familiar with the things some people and some media in Iran have said against me, although you have not heard everything. In the last few years, especially after the publication of the 'Statement of 134 writers' in 1994 - of which I was one of the signatories and one of the eight people who collected the signatures - and later on when a number of writers, including me, spoke of the need to revive the Writers' Association of Iran, a flood of unjustified accusations and a wave of baseless stories and false reports were published about us by some official and semi-official media, and we were also put under pressure in other ways.
It is tiresome to talk about oneself, but, since you asked, apart from what I went through in prison, before and after being detained, some people and some mass media in Iran trampled over legal, humanitarian and ethical standards, and they seemed to have no shame about resorting to slander, baseless accusations, cooking up false stories and so on. The main aim was this: Concocting cases against, and tarnishing the characters of writers who opposed official and unofficial censorship, involuntary self-censorship, the imposition of a monotone cultural climate, taking a political approach to cultural issues and cultural activists; and who believed in freedom of expression, opinion and belief, and in the need for the presence of the Writers' Association of Iran in the cultural arena.
But, in the event, my story seems to have unfolded in a way whereby things did not turn out as they had intended. My case was handed over to Branch 11 of the Islamic Revolution Court. After studying the accusations for a few days and listening to my defence - explaining that the accusations were false and the confessions forced - they found me not guilty of the charges of spying, contacts with foreigners, contacts with political opposition groups and so on. This is documented in the court's records.
In the end, the court sentenced me for writing the letter to my wife, which was published abroad - based on Article 500 of the Islamic Penal Law - on the charge of 'Propaganda against the Islamic Republic' - to the most severe punishment, that is, one year in prison. And, after serving the full sentence, I was released on 28 January 1998. In a report published at the time in official media, it was stated that I was sentenced in accordance with Article 500. This is the text of Article 500: 'Anyone who engages in any kind of propaganda against the system of the Islamic Republic or to the benefit of opposition groups or organisations will be sentenced from between three months to one year in prison.'
Despite this clear verdict, some official newspapers are still accusing me of the charges of which I was exonerated by the Revolution Court. According to the law, making accusations against anyone before the trial has taken place is an offence. And repeating accusations of which the Revolution Court has exonerated me - such as spying, contacts with foreigners and so on - is an even more serious offence. In both these instances, the law gives me the right to demand justice, especially in view of the fact that I have been found not guilty. I have so far refrained from taking this to the judicial authorities. If I do so - at least judging on the basis the court's records and its verdict - any fair-minded and neutral court would rule in my favour.
Of course, not all the domestic press adopted this same approach. Some behaved as I have just explained and I will not mention their names. Some thought it best to adopt silence. Some others adhered to the rules of fairness and the standards of journalism as far as they were able. And I would like to express my gratitude to those of my writer and journalist colleagues who sought to discover the truth
In the past, you've been active in the fields of literary criticism and journalism. What are your plans now that you've been released from prison?
My main love and interest is my writing and literary criticism. And I hope I'll have the opportunity to pursue my cultural and professional activities, in my own country, in the fields of literary criticism and journalism. At the moment, the book An Imprint of the Times, which is a collection of literary articles, is ready for its second edition. Another collection of my articles has been compiled and is ready for publication. Writing a book about contemporary poetry and fiction, and a research work on a number of cultural topics in contemporary culture are nearing completion and I hope these books will be granted printing and publication permits. A number of foreign universities and cultural institutions have invited my to speak about contemporary literature and culture and to receive literary awards. I've been invited to the international gathering of journalists which is being held in the framework of UNESCO's programmes in Sweden. Of course, I have not been granted a passport yet. If I'm allowed to go abroad, I intend to travel for a short time and then to return to Iran and to continue my cultural work in my own country.
What is the situation with your passport and why was this issue raised by foreign media?
I have requested a passport but they haven't given me one yet. Nowadays, everyone speaks of the law, the rule of law and civil society but, in some instances, things seem to be much the same as before. On the basis of the court's verdict, I was given the most severe sentence allowed under Article 500; that is, one year in prison. And I have served this sentence in full. No other punishment was stipulated in the verdict, other than that one year in prison. And the judicial authorities have told me themselves that there is no legal reason why I should not be allowed to travel.
I have gone to see the judicial authorities at the Revolution Court on several occasions, without any result. I had to answer the cultural invitations by saying that the situation with my passport was not yet clear and that is why they raised this issue.
News agencies have reported that you've written a letter to the international writers' association PEN. Why did you writer the letter and to which media have you granted interviews?
While I was in prison, the different branches of PEN, which is the professional association of the writers of the world, as well as many prominent writers, artists, journalists and intellectuals, and some cultural institutions and mass media, and many other people did a great deal to defend me and freedom of expression, of which I was unaware. Even now, I don't know the names and addresses of all those people and organisations. PEN has accepted me as a member and I asked PEN, as a member, to convey my gratitude - by publishing and disseminating my letter - to all the organisations and everyone who fought for my freedom and for freedom of expression. I have not given any interviews so far.
Your story took on political dimensions, and various circles and media made political capital out of it. Why did this happen?
In the past two decades, I've been engaged in the of writing literary articles, journalism and working as the editor-in-chief of a socio-cultural journal. I have worked, alongside some other Iranian writers, in the writers' consultative group, against censorship self-censorship and the imposition of a monotone culture, and for the perpetuation of the activities of the Writers' Association. This is a cultural record. If my story took on a political dimension and if people behaved in this or that way, the reasons for it have to be sought not in my record but in the methods that were used.
Updated: 1 April 1998 http://www.oneworld.org
(New York, May 19) -- Three international human rights organizations today expressed concern to the speaker of the Iranian parliament over comments made by one parliamentarian about women lawyers in Iran. The three organizations -- Human Rights Watch, the Lawyers Committee for Human Rights, and the International Federation of Human Rights (FIDH) -- warned that two prominent women lawyers, Shirin Ebadi and Mehrangiz Kar, could now be at risk of attack by religious vigilantes.
The comments were made on April 12, 1998, during a discussion in the Islamic Consultative Assembly (Majles, or parliament) about an amendment to Article 6 of the Press Law, concerning media coverage of women's issues. Majles member Dr. Marzieh Wahid Dastjerdi referred to people who had debated women's rights issues in the press, and made clear references to articles by prominent lawyers, threatening that "we are going to deal with these people ourselves." Although Dr. Dastjerdi did not name the women lawyers, it was clear in that context that the lawyers were Shirin Ebadi and Mehrangiz Kar, who have been outspoken advocates of greater rights for women in Iran. In the past, vigilante violence has followed the statements of government officials criticizing individuals or institutions. For example, at a medical conference in Tehran on May 12, Dr. Dastjerdi strongly criticized an Iranian surgeon who had spoken out on against a proposed law on gender segregation in health care. One day later, vigilantes of the Ansar-e Hezbollahi, or Partisans of the Party of God, attacked and beat the surgeon.
"We recognize that opposing points of view should be recognized in the course of parliamentary debates," said Hanny Megally, executive director of the Middle East and North Africa division of Human Rights Watch. "But the words of parliamentarians should not legitimize political violence by zealots." The letter urges the speaker of the Majles, Hojatoleslam Ali Akbar Nategh-Nouri, to condemn Dr. Dastjerdi's comments.
Lawyers Committee for Human Rights Human Rights Watch International Federation for Human Rights
The full text of the letter is attached.
His Excellency Hojatoleslam Ali Akbar Nateq-Nouri Speaker of the Islamic Consultative Assembly Tehran Iran May 19, 1998 Your Excellency:
The Lawyers Committee for Human Rights, Human Rights Watch and the International Federation for Human Rights, three independent non-governmental organizations which work for the promotion and protection of human rights around the world, are writing to you to express their concern over comments made by a member of the Islamic Consultative Assembly (Majles) about prominent women lawyers in Iran. We fear that these comments may place the lawyers at risk of attack by vigilantes, and have a chilling effect on the ability of lawyers to take part in public discussion of matters concerning the law, to the detriment of respect for the rule of law in the Islamic Republic of Iran.
During discussion in the Majles on April 12, 1998 about the amendment to Article 6 of the Press Law concerning the representation of women and the coverage of women's issues, Majles member Dr. Marzieh Wahid Dastjerdi referring to those who had debated women's rights issues in the press and making clear references to articles by prominent lawyers, threatened that "we are going to deal with these people ourselves." Although the women lawyers were not named in this instance it was clear from the references made that the women referred to were the lawyers Shirin Ebadi and Mehrangiz Kar.
While we recognize that opposing points of view should be expressed in the course of parliamentary debates, the words of parliamentarians should not legitimize political violence by zealots - such as the so called Partisans of the Party of God, (Ansar-e Hezbollahi), - who take into their own hands the enforcement of religious orthodoxy. There is a pattern of statements by government officials or parliamentarians criticizing individuals or institutions being followed by vigilante violence. For example, on May 12, at a Medical conference in Tehran, an Iranian surgeon who spoke out against a proposed law on gender segregation in health care was first strongly criticized by Dr. Dastjerdi, and one day later, beaten by Ansar-e Hezbollahi vigilantes at the same conference. The Minister of the Interior, Hojatoleslam Abdollah Nouri, apologized to the surgeons, but no action has been taken to apprehend or prosecute these vigilantes.
The United Nations Basic Principles on the Role of Lawyers adopted by the Eighth UN Congress on the Prevention of Crime and the Treatment of Offenders and welcomed by the 45th General Assembly of the UN, with the assent of the Islamic Republic, on December 14, 1990, sets out guarantees necessary for the functioning of lawyers. They provide in Principle 16 that:
Governments shall ensure that lawyers a) are able to perform all of their professional functions without intimidation, hindrance, harassment or improper interference;...
In relation to lawyers' right to freedom of expression and association the Basic Principles provide in Principle 23:
...In particular, they [lawyers] shall have the right to take part in public discussion of maters concerning the law,...
In their comments on laws affecting women, Ms. Ebadi and Ms. Kar were exercising their internationally recognized right to comment on matters concerning the law and to promote the cause of justice and human rights. The nature and tone of comments made by the members of the Majles mentioned above could have lead to harmful consequences to the personal security of the individuals concerned and detrimental to the process of considered law making in the Islamic Republic.
As Speaker of the Majles, we respectfully urge you to promote and welcome the involvement of lawyers in public debate of matters concerning the law in the Islamic Republic as being in the best interests of the society. We ask that you condemn irresponsible comments from members of the Majles that may endanger the personal security of lawyers exercising their fundamental rights.
Thank you for your consideration of these matters.
Neil Hicks Senior Program Coordinator Lawyers Committee for Human Rights
Hanny Megally Executive Director Middle East Division Human Rights Watch
Patrick Baudoin President Federation Internationale des Ligues de Droits de l'Homme
Pak Nukes & Ebtekar's EPO
By Amin Sabooni
Even if one accepts and admits (obviously Iran Daily does not) that responding to nuclear explosions in our backyard, is the sole province of politicians and atomic experts, the silence of Iran's Environment Protection Organization is rather strange and invites repri-mand of the highest order. That Dr. Masoumeh Ebtekar and the EPO bureaucracy has decided to completely ignore Pakistan's six nuclear tests 30 miles away from our Sistan-Baluchistan border, is serious cause for concern.
Friendship and cooperation has always been, and must be, a two-way street. Islamabad may have enjoyed a sound and splendid relationship with Tehran over five decades, but this does not mean it should be accorded special treatment in all cases all the time. Pakistan must be made to understand that there is a fine line between not desiring to give offense and becoming the prisoner of cordiality. On more occasions than one, our Pakistani brothers have compelled us to presume the bilateral relationship is a burdensome regulation Islamabad has hon-ored mostly in the breach.
Whatever the cost and consequences of the good neighborliness, President Mohammad Khatami should not allow it to become confused with the health and future of our nation. Testing nuclear devices "to get even" with a hostile neighbor is one thing. Endangering the health of a friendly country's children and environment with radiation and other dead-ly after-effects, is something else. This is where her eminence Ms. Ebtekar comes in.
As far as our limited knowledge allows us, the EPO's track record has never been impressive, either before or after her selection. We recall that Dr. Hadi Manafi, the former environmental chief, could not hold the attention of his countrymen for more than 30 seconds, whenever he "talked" about the very technical business of protecting the environment.
The new vice-president does not seem to have done better. Heading an environment organization makes you no more an environmentalist, than having a piano makes you a pianist. Atrue measure of one's worth includes performance and legitimate benefits others gain from your endeavor.
That the EPO had the liberty not to reflect, leave alone condemn, the Pakistani nuclear blasts in such close proximity to our towns and villages, bears out our worst fears. No word, nor a statement or expression of concern by the EPO over the possible effects of the nuclear detonations on our air, water, habitat .... is not and must not be a government policy. If it is, it should be defeated.
Granted, the Indo-Pak nuke testing spree is extremely sensitive and will be the central point of international rumination for months to come. And certainly Iran had no contingency plan for what had never been considered a contingency.
The entire subject of nuclear anything is highly compartmentalized between politicians, military interests, ecologists and a divided scientific community. In the midst of this, the EPO has a clear enough mandate with respect to public education. An organized public awareness campaign that would raise the national consciousness about any future nuclear events, seems to be the order of the day.
By Oliver Towfigh Nia
What everyone around the globe expected became a reality. The Islamic Republic of Pakistan, fearful of falling behind in the nuclear arms race with its arch-enemy, responded by detonat-ing six underground nuclear devices in the remote southwest Chagai Hills area of Baluchistan, May 28 and May 30.
The site of the blast, some 50 kilometers from Pakistan's border with Iran and roughly equidistant from Afghan territory, has naturally sparked discussions on the environmental impact of those explosions on the three neighbors.
Can the Pakistani government really give assurances that no radioac-tivity has been released into the atmosphere? Are we to accept that nuclear fall-out has not seeped into the underground water table? Who is responsible should radioactivity leak out?
The fact is that those six blasts which had around a quarter of the mag-nitude of the Hiroshima atomic bomb blast, took place in an earthquake prone area and 24 hours after the last explosion, Afghanistan was rocked by an earthquake measuring 7.1 on the Richter scale. Thousands were killed. What if an earthquake of the same magnitude hits large population centers like Zahedan or Zabol near the Iran-Pakistan border? Will the fall-out of the Pakistani nuclear tests turn the Baluchistan region into another Chernobyl? Will we see thousands of people suffer from blood, lung and bone cancer? Are we to witness women bearing children with severe birth defects? Should we expect to eat contaminat-ed vegetables and fruit for years to come?
A small breeze is sufficient for blowing radioactive dust into Iranian territory and wreaking havoc on the local population. Till now the world is suffering from the disastrous effects of the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear incident. The deadly flak from that nuclear accident reached every corner of western Europe and Scandinavia. Using the Ukraine disaster as a measure, radioactive fall-out could threaten Iranian cities like Bandar Abbas, Mashhad or even Tehran. Surely the Nawaz Sharif government cannot and will not give guaran-tees that their nuclear trials won't have any deadly effects upon their neighbors.
Indeed, Pakistan's conducting these tests near the border, is an indica-tion of their utter disregard for the public health and safety of their Iranian and Afghan neighbors. Meanwhile, the silence of Iranian officials at the Environment Protection Organization (EPO) and the half-hearted denials by the Iranian Atomic Energy Organization (IAEO), regarding possible nuclear fall-out, are ominous signs that they are not sure either. There are simply no guarantees that there won't be a radioactive conse-quence from these tests.
One can hope that international organizations like the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) or Greenpeace will have the opportuni-ty to monitor the testing site for the next several years to make sure that there is no radioactive fall-out.
The Pakistanis who often refer to Afghans and Iranians as their broth-ers and sisters, should know that a real brother would never put his sib-lings in harm's way. Yet, this is exactly what Pakistan has done.
With reference to your write-up entitled "Pakistan nukes and Ebtekar's EPO" by Mr Amin Sabooni, appearing in your esteemed newspaper's Perspective section on June 2, 1998.
The prime minister of Pakistan and the Pakistan foreign secretary in their press conferences addressed after five nuclear tests were conduct-ed underground by Pakistan on 28th and one conducted underground on 30th May respectively said that there was no release of radioactivi-ty, as a result of these tests. These press conferences were widely cov-ered by the internatonal media including the Iranian media.
A section of the Iranian press and the IRIB also carried a press release issued by the Islamic Republic of Iran's Atomic Energy Organization, saying no radioactivity had infiltrated into Iran's atmosphere owing to Pakistan nuclear tests and there was no room for anxiety.
We are, therefore, surprised and somewhat dismayed to see Amin Sabooni's write-up which criticizes something which perhaps exists only in his imagination.
May I reiterate that as there was no, repeat, no release of radioactivi-ty even in the site area in Pakistan, therefore, the question of any adverse effects on the areas bordering the Islamic Republic of Iran does not arise.
Yours Sincerely, (Fazalur Rahman Malik) Press Counsellor Embassy of Pakistan Tehran
Salam interviewed Ali Akbar Mohtashami and quoted him as saying that, "I believe that if Imam Khomeini were alive and saw the present situation in the country, he would have confirmed Hojj. Khatami as president because of his thoughts and services. Referring to remarks made by some critics stating that excessive freedom will harm the society, Mohtashami noted that by creating an atmosphere in which no one can express his ideas freely will harm the society, not freedom. "I myself during my tenure as interior minister tried to create a free atmosphere for everyone and still believe that we shouldn't accept an idea only because we like it or reject," added Mohtashami. "We should use the experiences of all skilled people irrespective of their ideologies."
Abrar interviewed the secretary general of Iran's Freedom Movement (IFM), Ibrahim Yazdi, and quoted him as saying that although the prevailing balance in Iran doesn't seem to be an enduring one, it is soon going to convert into a new political order. According to Yazdi, "All the discussions concerning political developments, civil society and the rule of law, as well as the statements by the chief executive on tolerating opponents should eventually lead to accepting the fact that all opposition parties, including the IFM, have the right to conduct political activities." When asked why the implementation of regulations with regard to freedom of political parties is delayed, Yazdi pointed out that it is because one faction does not want to admit to the existence of opposing parties. Referring to the performance of the Article 10 Commission, he noted that political parties such as Iran's Freedom Society, have not been granted permissions to function openly.
Sarkouhi talks of violations in Iran
Bonn - Faraj Sarkouhi on the first day of the annual meeting of Amnesty International (German branch) said, "Freedom of expression and the press keep getting violated in Iran and democracy is not being implemented."
He added, "I am deeply concerned about the existing situation despite the positive developments in public awareness."
Commending the support of Amnesty International he noted, "One feels he/she is not all alone in the dark prisons of the dictators since Amnesty International supports him/her."
Sarkouhi who was a dissident writer was imprisoned for eleven months on spying charges and was released last February from Evin prison. He is currently living in Frankfurt, Germany on a one-year stipend given to him by the city of Frankfurt.
Amnesty International (German branch) on Saturday said that it will watch over human rights in Iran and other countries more intensely than ever before.
The meeting which opened in Hamburg with the motto 'It's time for action' will last until Monday, when new members of the board of directors will be elected.
Amnesty International was founded in London in May, 1961 by a British lawyer, Peter Benson. It is said that more than 1.1 million people in 150 coun-tries are members of this organi-zation and support its policies worldwide.
Iranian Jews seek more visibility - and acceptance
By Maryam Shargh May 29, 1998 The Iranian www.iranian.com
A spontaneous discussion that transpired in the aftermath of a panel discussion on changing Iranian identities struck a chord of seeming cultural contention. It was a discussion on Iranian Jewry and the tendency for Iranians to question the national allegiances of Iranian Jews. "Iranian or Jewish?", they ask.
The discourse developed at the recent seminar organized by the Society for Iranian Studies in Bethesda, Maryland, with the sponsorship of the American Institute of Iranian Studies. The last panelist's topic of presentation was "Ethnicity and religion: Maintaining Iranian Jewish Identity." She ended her discussion by paraphrasing what she said was the collective sentiment of Iranian Jews on the issue of not being accepted by Muslim Iranians: "We were there before Islam," she declared. As she sat down applause rose from the audience. Apparantly there were quite a few Jewish members of the Iranian community in the audience.
"Jews have been in Iran for 2,700 years. That's ninety generations ago! Why do you still not accept us as Iranians?", demanded one vociferous member of the audience standing in the back of the crowded room. "Our parents had two names, one Persian and one Jewish," recalled another member of the audience, and added, "In our generation, we only have one name... a Persian one." Some audience members concurred as she continued. "Sometimes in America, Jewish people ask me what my Hebrew name is and I say I don't have one. They're surprised. We've done everything," she proclaimed. "It's you, the Muslims, who don't accept us."
One young woman, a poet, who had driven all the way from Connecticut to attend the seminar in Maryland said, "I want you to know this is becoming very therapeutic." As she drew laughter from the crowd, she went on to forcefully make her point. "We speak Farsi better than we speak Hebrew, we listen to Persian music, we rejoice at Noruz, which is not the Jewish celebration of the New Year but a Persian one, but still we're accused of having mixed allegiances." She added that her volition to drive from Connecticut to Maryland for a cultural conference on Iran should demonstrate her allegiances.
Seeking to make some peace, one bearded gentleman with a congenial tone stood up to share a childhood memory with us. He recalled that as a Muslim child born to Muslim parents, he was sent to a Jewish school in Tehran. When the Jewish children had Torah lessons , he recalled, the Muslim kids would be sent out for recess, and their Jewish mates were all jealous. "One day," he recalled with a smile, "I came home and said to my mother, 'Mom it's a holiday tomorrow, we don't have school.' My mother thought a little and said, 'what Holiday?' I said 'Mom, It's Purim tomorrow!'" Again the release of laughter came from the crowd. "So the relationship between Jews and Muslims was congenial," he concluded.
"Why shouldn't it have been congenial?" rebutted another member of the audience. Their was no reason why it shouldn't have been because "the Jews are such masters at being minorities" that they "made an effort to keep their Jewry in the background," in order to fit into Persian society. She speculated that perhaps there was some "resentment" from the Iranian Jewish community that they were forced to act this way in order to attain the acceptance from Muslims, that to this day, alludes them.
Leah Baer, the independent scholar that presented the paper concurred.
As the cycle of tension to comic relief began to rebound again, one audience member standing in the back of the now packed room proclaimed, "We're the invisible. We're invisible from Iranian history, Iranian literature, Iranian culture and Iranian society; yet we have made every effort, to assimilate. Isn't it time to look at us?" "Politics," said a faint voice from the distance. Heads began nodding in affirmative unison.
"There's no democratic conception of Iranian identity," claimed one audience member attempting to diffuse the deadlock. The Iranian identity, he explained, is not defined as one set of rules. It is a definition of allegiance, circumstance and proclamation. "We don't accept Iranians as just Iranians, we judge them by their accents, their beliefs, their language skills, and yes even their religion," he charged. "This is why the question of allegiance arises as related to Iranians." Afsaneh Najmabadi of Barnard College, a speaker herself, offered her alternate viewpoint. This is a "troubling" question, she said, that no other minority demands an answer to. "It indicates a prejudice," she said. That response drew the ire of one audience member who walked up to the podium to voice her disappointment that the issue had just been termed as an example of "prejudice" by a "scholar."
The tension was rising again until one woman got up to share her own story. "Years ago in Tehran", she began, when she and her brother were children, they had gone to a gathering where Jews were on one side and Muslims on another. Her brother, she said, had particularly Muslim features. As he went to cross over to the Jewish side from the entrance, a doorman stopped him. "I'm Jewish," he told the doorman. "No you're not," said the doorman ushering him over to the Muslim crowd. Finally he pleaded, "Agha beh Ghora'an-e-Majid, Jouhoudam!" ("I swear to the Qoran, I'm Jewish!")
Cries of laughter arose from the crowd. In the end it was clear that the Jewish community has an Achilles Heel on the issue of "inclusion." Muslim Iranians in the crowd, for their part, seemed genuinely interested in the issue and were even receptive to suggestions on how to break the historic habit of alienating their Jewish compatriots.
The panel had now gone half an hour over its time allotment for that room. So on an ending note one audience member asked the chair of the panel, Houri Berberian, an Armenian, "Now that this has become a vetting session of minority qualms, tell us Madame Chair, what are your thoughts as an Armenian Iranian...?
Laughter again, and luckily for Madame Chair, who turned immediately red, adjournment.