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Subject: DNI-NEWS Digest - 30 Jan 1999 to 31 Jan 1999

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Subject: DNI-NEWS Digest - 30 Jan 1999 to 31 Jan 1999
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There are 12 messages totalling 1088 lines in this issue.

Topics of the day:

1. New Iranian designers struggle to keep up with Europe
2. Iranian parliament approves austerity budget for next year
3. Iranians prepare for 10 days of lavish revolutionary celebrations
4. Two decades on, the shah becomes just another museum-piece
5. Iranian president set to visit Germany: report
6. Iran to stage pop festival to celebrate Islamic revolution
7. Iraq dissident: No US intervention
8. Unemployment, most serious problem for Iranian youth: Rafsanjani
9. Iranian currency continues downward slide
10. NEWS99 - Deputy in Charge of the Press Resigns
11. NEWS99 - Committee to Arbitrate Over Candidate Screening
12. Fwd: Urgent: Amir Entezaam's Trial

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

Date: Mon, 1 Feb 1999 00:01:12 GMT
From: Farhad Abdolian <farhad@ALGONET.SE>
Subject: New Iranian designers struggle to keep up with Europe

TEHRAN, Jan 31 (AFP) - Behind an austere facade tucked away in a
garden in Tehran's northern suburbs, two young designers try to keep
up with the latest European trends for a growing clientele of
wealthy and fashion-conscious Iranians.
Like many others in the business, Shokuh and Foruzan Zavieh find
themselves working under difficult conditions and try to keep their
operations dicreet in a country ruled by an Islamic government
hostile to Western trends.
The showroom where the two sisters show off their new winter
collection is open only to female customers even though they offer
ready-to-wear designs for men as well as women.
And the workshop behind where some 30 tailors turn out their
designs is segregated by sex in accordance with Islamic morals.
But with the meagre means at their disposal, the two women
endeavour to produce the most sophisticated haute couture.
In a country where sexy images of women are forbidden, the
designers' only exposure to the international world of fashion is
through magazines they sneak into the country on their return from
foreign trips or secure on the black market here.
Some designers take greater risks and hook up to a European
fashion channel through satellites, which are banned in the Islamic
republic.
Admirably, most manage to keep up with the latest trends, which
coupled with their low prices, has even earned some of them clients
in Europe and America.
The Zaviehs said they had established contacts in New York, San
Francisco and Montreal to distribute a limited quantity of their
designs.
Ironically, the new generation of talented fashion designers
emerged after the 1979 Islamic revolution, when the authorities
imposed a dress code for women and banned the import of luxury
items, which they see as a symbol of upper class vanity.
But the regulations have done little to stem Iranians' love for
fashion.
Although women are obliged to comply with the dress code in
public and wear a long overcoat and scarf, they leap at the
opportunity to flaunt their taste for clothes at private house
parties.
Many fashion-conscious women even make a point of modifying the
obligatory cloak in a way that makes a class or cultural statement
and sets them apart from the traditional classes and their black
chadors.
Shadi Parand, another young designer, says she is constantly
challenged by the demand here for the latest Paris fashions.
"Upper middle class Iranians have a more sophisticated taste for
fashion than the middle classes in America or Europe," says Parand,
who studied haute couture marketing in Paris and worked for four
years at a design room manufacturing firm in New York.
"Many teenagers born after the revolution have a better eye for
European fashion than the previous generation," she said.
Parand's line of avant-garde ready-to-wear could be presented at
any hip chain store in London or Los Angeles.
For her outer garments for public wearing, she may not feel free
to indulge in extravagant decor, but she manages to apply the latest
cut in fashion and make them keep their original allure.
The election in May 1997 of moderate President Mohammad Khatami
has led to a more tolerant atmosphere, with the official media now
openly discussing young people's infatuation with Western trends,
although often disapprovingly.
"Unfortunately, our young people have become a slave to Western
fashion," Kar-Kargar newspaper said recently. "They try to keep up
with the latest trends at all costs."
But the paper acknowledged that "one cannot deny and suppress
the desire for fashionable trends," and advised the authorities to
seek instead to "channel their tastes according to traditional
standards".
At least one dress-maker here is trying to do just that with her
colourful ethnic designs borrowed from illustrations from classical
poetry and rural fashion.
But Maryam Mahdavi's ideas of replacing popular jeans with
free-flowing Kurdish-style pants and Indian-style loose-hanging
outfits appeal more to the exotic tastes of the middle-aged upper
class than to the young.
"Many young people make fun of my designs and think they are
old-fashioned. Most people are after Western fashion," she
acknowledged ruefully.

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

Date: Mon, 1 Feb 1999 00:01:19 GMT
From: Farhad Abdolian <farhad@ALGONET.SE>
Subject: Iranian parliament approves austerity budget for next year

TEHRAN, Jan 31 (AFP) - The Iranian parliament adopted a strict
austerity budget for the coming financial year Sunday just as the
country prepared to kick off 10 days of lavish celebrations to mark
the 20th anniversary of the Islamic revolution.
The budget is designed to tackle a severe recession prompted by
a sharp fall in the price of the government's main source of
revenue, oil.
Only approved after two weeks of often stormy debate in
parliament, the budget still has to be approved by the country's
constitutional council.
It anticipates an oil price of just over 11.8 dollars a barrel
in the coming year, 9.2 percent down on this year, generating
revenues from oil and oil products of 12.084 billion dollars.
The budget foresees spending of 97,553 billion rials (31 billion
dollars at the official exchange rate) for the coming year but still
predicts a budget deficit of five billion dollars or more.
The government is facing a 6.3 billion dollar budget deficit for
the current financial year, and is set to raise taxes by over 34
percent for the coming year, though many MPs said it is unlikely to
obtain forecast tax revenues.
The economy is expected to register growth of just 0.5 percent
this year, with inflation already running at an official 18 percent,
but widely put at as high as 35 to 40 percent.
Scarce foreign exchange and a depressed economy have also led to
a sharp fall in the value of the currency, the rial, which has
tumbled from 7,500 rials to the dollar on the illegal open exchange
market here to a record of over 8,000 to the dollar on Saturday.
The fall has been so drastic that it has been reported on state
radio, in contrast to past media silence on "black market" and
supposedly non-existent forex transactions by street dealers.
The country has restricted such transactions since 1995 in a bid
to restrict imports and prevent the flight of precious foreign
currency.
It maintains three official rates of 1,750, 3,000 and 5,700
rials to the dollar for state transactions, licensed exporters and
certain travellers respectively.
Military spending is down in the new budget from 2,900 billion
rials (966 million dollars) this year to 2,800 billion rials (933
million dollars), to be used for the purchase of high-tech weapons
and equipment for the country's defence industry.
Parliament has also approved 10.5 billion dollars of foreign
investment for the country's oil and gas industries, with returns to
be paid on a buy-back basis, the investor getting a share of
production.
The government is expected to allocate a total of six billion
dollars for oil and gas projects, and another 4.5 billion dollars
for petrochemicals, railway construction, the purchase and launch of
telecommunication satellites, agriculture and sewerage systems.
To cut costly subsidies and wasteful consumption, parliament has
also approved a 75 percent rise in the price of petrol from 200
rials (6 cents) to 350 rials a litre (11 cents).
A 275 percent price hike proposed by the government was rejected
as inflationary and an intolerable burden on lower income groups.
Iran, the second largest oil producer in the Middle East,
depends on oil sales for more than 80 percent of its hard currency
earnings.
The budget forecasts crude sale revenues of 10.612 billion
dollars and revenues from the sale of oil products worth 1.472
billion dollars.

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

Date: Mon, 1 Feb 1999 00:01:27 GMT
From: Farhad Abdolian <farhad@ALGONET.SE>
Subject: Iranians prepare for 10 days of lavish revolutionary celebrations

TEHRAN, Jan 31 (AFP) - Iranians prepared on Sunday for the start
of 10 days of lavish celebrations marking the 20th anniversary of
the Islamic revolution, with expensive laser and fire work displays
and even a pop festival planned to celebrate the big event.
At precisely 9:33 a.m. (0603 GMT) Monday sirens will blare,
factory hooters sound and even church bells ring to announce the
official launch of the nationwide festivities.
At that exact time on February 1, 1979 an Air France Boeing 747
carrying the late revolutionary leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khoemini
touched down at Tehran's Mehrabad Aiport bringing him back from 15
years of exile to a rapturous welcome from hundreds of thousands of
ordinary Iranians.
Air force helicopters will drop hundreds of thousands of flowers
along the route the ayatollah took from the airport to the vast
Behesht-e-Zahra cemetry south of the capital where he delivered his
first speech to the adoring masses upon his triumphant return.
More than 30,000 schoolgirls will file solemnly into the huge,
gold-domed mausoleum at the cemetery where Khomeini was buried after
his death 10 years ago in June to lay flowers on his grave.
Dozens of lorries and coaches decked out with flowers and
portraits of the father of the revolution will form a "caravan of
joy" through the streets of the capital.
The celebrations marking the 10 Days of Dawn, as they are known
in official jargon, will continue right through to February 11, the
date when the last imperial government of Prime Minister Shapur
Bakhtiar was finally overthrown.
Organizers say events will be held in every one of Iran's 600
town and 30,000 villages for the 20th anniversary celebrations.
No expense has been spared despite a mounting economic crisis
here prompted by a sharp fall in the price of oil, Iran's main
export.
The streets, public buildings, schools and mosques of Tehran and
all Iran's major cities have been decked out with coloured lights
and huge portraits of Khomeini and his successor as supreme leader,
Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.
On the eve of the big day Sunday the authorities planned a vast
fireworks display in the west of the capital to set the scene for
the string of celebrations.
A laser light show is planned in the skies over the capital and
for the first time the Islamic authorities are to stage a pop
festival to cater for the tastes of Iran's vast teenage population.
In one of the world's youngest populations, nearly 50 percent of
Iranians were born after the revolution.
State radio and television plan a series of special programmes
devoted to ordinary people's memories of the heady days of the
revolution.
The authorities are also promising to inaugurate "thousands" of
long-awaited public works projects, notably the first section of the
Tehran metro, which has been under construction since the days of
the shah.
The line which will link the city centre with the western
satellite town of Karaj, has been made an urgent necessity by the
chronic traffic problems caused by the meteoric growth of the
capital's population, which has more than doubled to 12 million
since the revolution.
On Sunday morning a state radio presenter criticised the
authorities for rejecting broadcasters' requests to come and discuss
the projects they planned to inaugurate.
For the first time since the revolution, two European theatre
groups are to take part in international theatre and film festivals
Iran holds each year to mark the anniversary "dawn".
The Theater an der Ruhr group from Germany kicks off a series of
perfomances of European plays on Sunday evening.
The celebrations close on February 11 with a mass demonstration
at a large public monument close to the airport which the shah built
to the memory of his ancestors but which the new authorities rapidly
rebaptised the Freedom Monument in the days immediately after the
revolution.

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

Date: Mon, 1 Feb 1999 00:01:33 GMT
From: Farhad Abdolian <farhad@ALGONET.SE>
Subject: Two decades on, the shah becomes just another museum-piece

TEHRAN, Jan 31 (AFP) - Twenty years after the overthrow of the
shah, the remaining monuments of his rule are becoming just another
part of Iran's national heritage as the fury that brought millions
of demonstrators onto the streets fades into history.
The principal palaces where the shah lived and entertained his
guests are now museums where schoolchildren are taken on outings and
ordinary people go for a day out.
And while the new regime's original intention in opening the
palaces to the public may have been to expose the wealth of the
hated imperial family, these days they are to all intents and
purposes just ordinary historical showcases.
The array of imperial portraits and momentos, and wealth of
largely imported antiques are generally left to speak for themselves
without the addition of critical commentary.
"Everything has gone back to normal now," said one of the
caretakers at the Niavaran Palace, in the far north of the capital,
which the shah made his principal private residence in his later
years.
"Noone is after anyone else any more -- everyone is entitled to
their own opinion regarding the shah," he said, asking not to be
named.
"People say all sorts of things about him. Some curse him, some
say: 'May he rest in peace,' and say good things about him."
With the passage of time, fewer Iranians now visit the palaces
-- a few hundred on weekdays and a few thousand on holidays,
according to staff -- but their motives are still largely the same.
"All sorts of people come -- many are curious to know how the
shah lived," said a curator at the Niavaran.
The arrangement of the exhibits inside the palaces is clearly
designed to satisfy the desire to gawp.
At the Niavaran a sign proudly announces the "chamber for
make-up" of the shah's third wife Farah, while at the nearby
Saadabad Palace a display case presents the "personal equipments" of
his father Reza Shah and visitors can even peer into an imperial
toilet.
At the Niavaran the personal wardrobes of both the shah and his
wife are exposed to the critical gaze of the whims of fashion --
with the change of tastes in their beloved West, their imported
French clothes and shoes now seem rather gawdy.
An array of sports jackets in loud floral patterns and screaming
checks and a pair of long-haired apres-ski boots betray the
influence on the imperial couple of the Western tastes of the 70s.
"A lot of people say they are surprised by how modest the place
is," the palace's curator said. "They say there are grander places
than this in Tehran now."
The palace still houses a large collection of valuable imported
Western paintings and antiques -- the empress was a keen collector
and patron with a particular taste for modern art.
Paintings by Utrillo and Chagall were on display and the guide
insisted there was a Cezanne too.
The palace is also filled with porcelain and furniture of the
French Louis XV and Empire periods, as well as other antiques the
couple were given or picked up during their travels.
But the imported Western art leaves most ordinary Iranian
visitors unmoved, the curator said.
"People take a very general look. They have no interest in the
paintings and furniture -- they have no idea of how valuable they
are. They leave saying there are bigger, glitzier houses than this
in Tehran."
Museum staff said the impression of ordinariness had been
compounded by the transfer of some of the more obviously valuable
objects for safekeeping elsewhere.
Some 600 kilogrammes of gold that used to adorn the palace have
been moved to the central bank, they said, including a large
collection of gold coins and a three-kilogramme solid gold statue
which was a gift from an Arab monarch.
But the more modest momentos of the shah's connection with the
United States have been left on view -- an American painting given
by President Lyndon Johnson and his wife, and a ceremonial key to
West Palm Beach, Florida, to name just two.
One of the museum staff has worked at the Niavaran for the past
30 years and remembers its days as an imperial palace and the sudden
departure of the shah and his wife shortly before the revolution.
"They said goodbye to all the retainers -- I didn't think they'd
return, although the empress told everyone: 'We'll be back,'" he
said.
"The shah didn't take anything with him, just two suitcases of
sports clothes."
He chuckled when asked what he remembered of Niavaran's days as
an imperial palace.
"You could write four or five books about all the things that
went on."

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

Date: Mon, 1 Feb 1999 00:01:40 GMT
From: Farhad Abdolian <farhad@ALGONET.SE>
Subject: Iranian president set to visit Germany: report

BONN, Jan 30 (AFP) - German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder is
"delighted" at a planned visit by Iranian President Mohammad
Khatami, spokesman Bodo Hombach was quoted Saturday as saying.
Chancellery Minister Hombach is set to travel to Tehran next
week when he will hand over an invitation from Schroeder for Khatami
to visit Germany in the spring, the daily Die Welt reported.
Khatami's European trip is also expected to take in Italy and
France.
While in Tehran, Hombach will seek to improve economic and
cultural ties, as well as pave the way for a Khatami visit, the
paper said.
However the minister would not confirm that the Iranian
President would receive a formal invitation.
Another point of concern for Germany, and Hombach, is the case
of Helmut Hofer, German businessman who faces the death penalty in
Iran.
Hofer was sentenced to death early last year for having an
affair with a Moslem woman, not permitted under the laws of Iran's
Islamic republic.
Die Welt saw Hombach's visit as a sign that the Hofer matter
will be happily resolved.
Twenty years after the Islamic Revolution, Iran has toned down
its harsh rhetoric and shifted its goal from exporting its radical
ideology to seeking more normal relations with the rest of the
Moslem world.
It was not until Khatami's election in May 1997 that Iran
managed to charm the outside world with his detente policies, trying
to reintegrate the country into the world community.

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

Date: Mon, 1 Feb 1999 00:01:47 GMT
From: Farhad Abdolian <farhad@ALGONET.SE>
Subject: Iran to stage pop festival to celebrate Islamic revolution

TEHRAN, Jan 30 (AFP) - Tehran is to stage a series of pop
concerts next week as part of celebrations to mark the 20th
anniversary of the 1979 Islamic revolution, the official news agency
IRNA reported Saturday.
The festival, which will feature seven Iranian bands, will be
held from February 7 to February 18 in a bid to cater to Iran's huge
young population, it said.
Immensely popular in the days of the shah, pop music was all but
forbidden after the revolution because of its Western roots.
But a growing number of solo payers of guitar and piano have
been performing for the young in government-funded cultural houses
in the past year to an enthusiastic public reception.
State-run radio and television too have been broadcasting more
Western pop music, albeit without lyrics.
Moderate President Mohammad Khatami, who was elected in May 1997
with the support of mainly young people, has campaigned for an
easing of the restrictions on the lives of young people.
Almost 50 percent of Iran's population was born after the
revolution.

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

Date: Mon, 1 Feb 1999 00:01:53 GMT
From: Farhad Abdolian <farhad@ALGONET.SE>
Subject: Iraq dissident: No US intervention

TEHRAN, Iran, Jan. 30 (UPI) -- A leading Iraqi dissident said the
United States and non-Iraqis have no right to intervene in ousting
President Saddam Hussein.
The head of the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq,
Ayatollah Mohammad Baqer Hakim, said in an interview with the Iranian
``Jomhouri Eslami'' daily that any change in Iraq must come from within
the country.
Hakim's Iranian-backed group, one of seven Iraqi dissident parties
the U.S. found eligible for $97 million in assistance to overthrow the
Iraqi regime, last week rejected the American offer saying it will ``not
accept help from Washington.''
Hakim told the Iranian paper: ``No one outside Iraq's borders is
authorized to decide for the country. Allocation of a certain amount of
money for purchase of arms and equipment for groups will not result in
the downfall of the (Iraqi) regime.''
He said the continued U.S. bombardment of Iraq ``will obviously not
lead to the ousting of the Iraqi regime.''
The Clinton administration wants to keep Saddam Hussein ``contained''
by limiting where Iraqi forces can fly, conducting air strikes to
prevent Baghdad from reconstituting programs to develop weapons of mass
destruction and organizing Iraqi opposition movement to help topple the
ruling regime.
Arab analysts, however, say Washington's involvement in trying to
oust Saddam Hussein will backfire because of the U.S. bombardment of
their country and its pressure to maintain the crippling U.N. sanctions
imposed on Iraq since its invasion of Kuwait in 1990.
They say the Iraqi people inside their country, including those who
oppose Saddam, will not accept Washington's help to get rid of their
leadership, especially since U.S. policy on Iraq, including the trade
embargo, has not affected the regime but seriously damaged their own
livelihoods.

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

Date: Mon, 1 Feb 1999 00:02:03 GMT
From: Farhad Abdolian <farhad@ALGONET.SE>
Subject: Unemployment, most serious problem for Iranian youth: Rafsanjani

TEHRAN, Jan 30 (AFP) - Unemployment is the most serious problem
for Iranian youth in an economy deeply in the grip of a recession,
former Iranian president Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani said Saturday.
"Unemployment is the most serious problem facing young people
today and in coming years," said Rafsanjani, who is now a top
adviser to Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.
According to official statistics, about two million young
Iranians are currently without a job, while the government will have
to generate some 10 million new jobs in coming years to meet demand.
Rafsanjani said the country, currently hard hit by a recession
prompted by plummeting oil prices, "will have trouble ensuring there
are enough jobs for young people in coming years."
Rafsanjani who served two terms as president from 1989 to 1997
told a seminar on youth that "the job market will be faced with a
mass of school leavers."
The young, who constitute over half the Iranian population "are
considerably more demanding than in the past," he warned.
"If we don't respond to their demands and answer their
questions, they will drift away from Islam and the Islamic
revolution," he added.
But Rafsanjani voiced optimism that "Iran is a strong country
and will end up resolving the unemployment problem."
Iran has one of the youngest populations in the world, with half
the total aged 20 years or under.

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

Date: Mon, 1 Feb 1999 00:02:09 GMT
From: Farhad Abdolian <farhad@ALGONET.SE>
Subject: Iranian currency continues downward slide

TEHRAN, Jan 30 (AFP) - The Iranian rial further plunged against
major foreign currencies on the illegal open market on Saturday
nearing the threshold of 8,000 to the dollar.
The dollar changed hands at 7,970 rials on the black market,
against 7,750 on Thursday.
The fall of the rial has been linked to the government's hard
currency crunch, prompted by plummeting oil prices on the
international market.
Iran banned the open exchange market four years ago in an effort
to prevent the collapse of the rial against major foreign
currencies.
The government maintains three official exchange rates of 1,750,
3,000 and 5,700 rials to the dollar respectively for state
transactions, licensed exporters and some travellers authorised to
receive hard currency.
Iran, which earns more than 80 per cent of its hard currency
from oil exports, faces a six-billion-dollar budget deficit this
fiscal year, which ends on March 20.

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

Date: Mon, 1 Feb 1999 01:07:31 GMT
From: arash@MY-DEJANEWS.COM
Subject: NEWS99 - Deputy in Charge of the Press Resigns

Sunday, January 31, 1999 Published at 23:03 GMT

World: Middle East


Iranian Culture minister says press to remain open


The Iranian minister of culture, Ataullah Mohajerani has said he
would continue to apply what he called an open press law, despite
the resignation of his deputy in charge of the press, Ahmad Borghani.

Mr Borghani was overseeing reforms to extend press freedom but
correspondents say he had been under attack from conservatives who
criticised his liberal views.

From the newsroom of the BBC World Service

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

Date: Mon, 1 Feb 1999 01:08:56 GMT
From: arash@MY-DEJANEWS.COM
Subject: NEWS99 - Committee to Arbitrate Over Candidate Screening

Sunday, January 31, 1999 Published at 09:59 GMT

World: Middle East


Iran tried to settle election feud


The Iranian authorities have established an arbitration committee to
try to settle a bitter dispute between moderates and conservatives over
who should be allowed to stand in local elections.

More than fifty moderate candidates have been disqualified by the
conservative-dominated parliament, but the Interior Ministry -
generally regarded as being reformist - had said it would allow them
to run anyway.

The local elections will be the first since the Islamic revolution twenty
years ago.

Efforts to resolve the feud come as Iran prepares for eleven days of
celebration to mark the anniversary.

From the newsroom of the BBC World Service

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

Date: Sun, 31 Jan 1999 22:56:29 EST
From: KPGBT@AOL.COM
Subject: Fwd: Urgent: Amir Entezaam's Trial

This is a multi-part message in MIME format.

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In a message dated 99-01-31 21:30:53 EST, aamahdi@ee.net writes:

<< Subj: Urgent: Amir Entezaam's Trial
Date: 99-01-31 21:30:53 EST
From: aamahdi@ee.net
Reply-to: ihrwg-d@Tehran.Stanford.EDU


Doostaan, I just received this. We may need to do something.

akbar

According to new information from Iran, released through
Amir Entezam friends and Human Rights supporters, his
trial is set for February 16, 1999. Below is a recent letter from his

wife. All supporters of Human Rights in Iran are strongly urged
to intensify their campaign and letter writing to highlight his
case and demand his immediate freedom. Please forward
this message to all Iranian compatriots and other worldwide
supporters of Human Rights.............F Ashkey

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


Open Letter of Mrs. Elahe Amir-Entezam to the Islamic Human Rights
Commission of Iran
In the Name of Justice
The Honorable Secretary of the Islamic Human Rights Commission of Iran,
I would like to express my gratitude for commission's cooperation in
transferring my husband, Abbas Amir-Entezam, to the hospital to undergo
a
CT scan and other necessary medical tests to investigate his recent
severe headaches. Here I would like to draw your attention to the
problems which we face today:
1) The prison personnel insisted on bringing my husband to the
clinic in prison uniform and handcuffs and chains. In the eyes of the
prison authorities, is there no difference between a political prisoner
and a common criminal that they treat both similarly? Should we resort
to chains and handcuffs to keep a man who has been kept in Iran's
prisons
against the law for more than 17 years and has always showed that he is
not even thinking of escaping prison?

The prison authorities must be aware by now that escaping is not an
honorable act in the view of a political prisoner like my husband.
Instead of preventing criminals, who are a danger to the society, from
escaping, they humiliate my husband daily. Within the prison compound,
they have been transporting him in meat trucks. A highly dangerous
choice since the doors cannot be opened from inside, in case of any
emergency. Not to mention the humiliation that the prisoner must feel
in
being ranked among animal carcass. They even had my husband handcuffed
and chained when they were transferring him to the hospital.
Unfortunately, this was not the first time my husband had been chained
and handcuffed. Therefore, the prison authorities must be aware that no

matter how much they try to portray him as a dangerous prisoner, the
public will recognize their illegal and uncivilized acts.
2) The prison authorities didn't give any attention to the
doctor's recommendation for a short- term hospitalization of my husband,

in order to run tests and make sure he is in a good health. The guard in

charge maintained contact with the authorities, and based on the orders
received, insisted on returning my husband to the prison before any
medical tests could be performed. It seems as if the authorities
suspected the genuineness of his complaints.

As such, during our short visit to the hospital, the two guards in
charge
not only watched our every move, but also made medical suggestions to
the
doctors. For instance, they prevented the performance of the
Tuberculosis
skin test on my husband. All this took place in the calmest of
circumstances since I had fully cooperated with the authorities and kept

the entire affair from the media and the public. Therefore, only my
husband's lawyer and I were aware of this transfer to the hospital. But

it was the excessive comings and goings of the guards that drew
attention
and was completely unnecessary.
Dear Secretary of the commission, please accept and convince others as
well that my husband never has or will think of committing an unlawful
act. Clearly, there is no need for handcuffs and chains for
transferring
him from prison to the hospital only a few miles away. Allow me to
remind you that even when he had his passport and permission to leave
Iran, he never thought nor does he think about leaving his country, till

such time that his name has been cleared. He will always remain in his
country and will not escape the law. How ironic that we so steadfastly
respect and abide by the very "laws" or rather lawlessness that has
brought us so much pain only in the hope that it will pave the path for
the rule of law in our country.

3) Having access to medical treatments, for which we pay, is an
indisputable right of my husband. But the authorities could not even
fulfill their responsibility to safeguard this right and limited my
husband's medical treatment to a CT scan only and did not let any other
procedure to take place. These all happened when I, according to the
doctor's recommendation and in spite of all kinds of problems, had
passed
all the administrative stages for a 24-hour hospitalization for him (the

related documents had been previously sent to the commission, along with

a letter).

Dear honorable Secretary of the Commission, for your information, I must

say that during the short period of my husband's house arrest (following

his dismissal from the prison), I did all I could to nurse him back to
health after the numerous damages he had suffered in 17 years of
imprisonment. My husband was re-arrested in relatively good health.
Therefore by this letter I hold the Evin prison authorities and the
ministry of information responsible for any health conditions he may
incur from the date his arrest on September 8, 1998. The reason I used
the term "relatively," in the above is that in the past, in a nightly
transfer from the Evin prison in Tehran to the Ghezel Hesar prison in
the
city of Karaj, in winter, on the back of an open truck, he contracted a
severe ear infection. No matter how many times in a period of 8 months
he
told the authorities that his ear was infected and that he was in pain,
the authorities did not respond, and because of that my husband's
eardrum
was ruptured, causing irreversible hearing loss. Again, these were all
taking place at a time when an honorable prison official told me that
taking care of the prisoner's health is the human and religious duty of
the authorities. He even provide the example of the appendectomy that
was performed on a criminal known as the "Night's Bat," which saved his
life! The "Night's Bat" was a dangerous criminal who had been sentenced

to death and executed after the operation had been performed! The
authorities obviously respected his rights and made sure that a human
being was executed in a perfect health.

Is it not the time for the authorities of Iran to accept the principle
of
equality of all human beings before the law? Shall I compare my
husband's
case to that of the "Night's Bat?" A common criminal toward whom the
prison authorities fulfilled their human and religious duties? But why
do
they not exercise the same compassion toward my husband and deny him
hospitalization and treatment? Or shall I compare him with other
"defendants" who, with final verdict pending, can easily get permission
to leave the country and appear among the foreign official political
circles? But we, for a short hospital stay, must go through a series of

difficult stages, and consider access to medical treatment a special
privilege. After all in those few hours, we underwent all kinds of
security measures. How can such discrimination between the citizens be
explained? It is true that unlike many others, we do not have open or
secret support of any of the existing political factions, but we do have

one protector that we rely upon and that is our god.
4) After the re-arrest of my husband, I could visit my husband in prison

weekly while abiding by all the prison laws. However, during the last
two months, without any logic or explanation, they denied my right to
visit him. In a letter to the head of the prison, I explained my reasons

for visiting my husband again, and I reminded him that Amir-Entezam is
not a new or unknown prisoner. For many years, Amir-Entezam was denied
having visitors or even an attorney. And now that all of the prisoners
can see their immediate family members once a week, since my husband
does
not have a father, a brother, or any children in Iran, visiting my
husband weekly, is the undeniable right of both of us. So far I have
not
received a reply from the authorities. On the other hand, the weekly
meetings between my husband and his lawyers are still confirmed.
However, each time the lawyers are made to wait for one or two hours in
order to see him. Perhaps because the authorities do not realize how
precious the work and the time of these lawyers are. I must remind you
that my husband is not their only client and their time is valuable.
Maybe these unacceptable delays are intended to discourage these
attorneys from defending Amir-Entezam, so that my husband would lose
even
his right to counsel?

Dear Secretary of the Commission, I am presenting these complaints under

extreme duress and in the face of threats and frightening phone calls.
I
have been advised to change my residence, to leave the capital, to stop
talking and to stop writing. Although I am living under dangerous
conditions, up to this date I have not urged any organization or
foundation for any safety arrangements, because I do not wish to draw
any
attention to myself. Nor do I wish to add to this miserable "epidemic."

It seems that certain forces are determined to destroy the secular
intellectuals. However, they must first ask themselves how they will
ever be able to measure their own beliefs in the absence of intellectual

diversity in Iran. How can these blind totalitarian forces question the
loyalty and patriotism of secular Iranians? Have those, who chose to
stay
in the country for the last 20 years and withstood all kinds of
brutality, not proved their loyalty to the country? Surely, the fact
that
they have suffered bombings and the missile strikes and continued to
live
in Iran in the face of all economic and social hardships must be
indicative of their patriotism.
Iranians have been Muslims for centuries and are not new Muslims. We
follow and believe in a religion that has passed onto every generation.
Now if being a person with "different" ideas, like Dariush and Parvaneh
Foruhar (for whom we still mourn) or liberal writers like Sharif,
Mokhtari, Pouyandeh deserve getting killed, let us be considered
"different." All of us regardless of our clothing and occupations, must
undergo certain amount of growth and take steps in order to accomplish
our highest of human ideals. Shame on us, if we let selfishness and
single-mindedness change our resolve. And pity on us if instead of the
"Dialogue of the Civilizations," we witness the "Face Off of the
Beasts."
Dear Secretary of the Commission, with my apologies for taking your
time,
at the end I would like to say that I don't have any demands, except
that
your take note of my points. Though I am aware that writing the above
may
result in more difficult conditions for me and my husband, I still wrote

because I believe it is my duty to do so that lack of awareness of the
authorities may never be posed as an excuse or justification. Also, I
write because my husband continues to believe in the cause of justice in

Iran and as his wife I intend to do all I can to support him. Or
perhaps
in my heart of hearts, there is still a glimmer of hope that we too have

a share in the great quest and possible realization of human rights.

With best wishes for your success,
Elahe Mizani Amir-Entezam
Tehran / Iran

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





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From: aamahdi@ee.net
Subject: Urgent: Amir Entezaam's Trial
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Doostaan, I just received this. We may need to do something.

akbar

According to new information from Iran, released through
Amir Entezam friends and Human Rights supporters, his
trial is set for February 16, 1999. Below is a recent letter from his

wife. All supporters of Human Rights in Iran are strongly urged
to intensify their campaign and letter writing to highlight his
case and demand his immediate freedom. Please forward
this message to all Iranian compatriots and other worldwide
supporters of Human Rights.............F Ashkey

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


Open Letter of Mrs. Elahe Amir-Entezam to the Islamic Human Rights
Commission of Iran
In the Name of Justice
The Honorable Secretary of the Islamic Human Rights Commission of Iran,
I would like to express my gratitude for commission's cooperation in
transferring my husband, Abbas Amir-Entezam, to the hospital to undergo
a
CT scan and other necessary medical tests to investigate his recent
severe headaches. Here I would like to draw your attention to the
problems which we face today:
1) The prison personnel insisted on bringing my husband to the
clinic in prison uniform and handcuffs and chains. In the eyes of the
prison authorities, is there no difference between a political prisoner
and a common criminal that they treat both similarly? Should we resort
to chains and handcuffs to keep a man who has been kept in Iran's
prisons
against the law for more than 17 years and has always showed that he is
not even thinking of escaping prison?

The prison authorities must be aware by now that escaping is not an
honorable act in the view of a political prisoner like my husband.
Instead of preventing criminals, who are a danger to the society, from
escaping, they humiliate my husband daily. Within the prison compound,
they have been transporting him in meat trucks. A highly dangerous
choice since the doors cannot be opened from inside, in case of any
emergency. Not to mention the humiliation that the prisoner must feel
in
being ranked among animal carcass. They even had my husband handcuffed
and chained when they were transferring him to the hospital.
Unfortunately, this was not the first time my husband had been chained
and handcuffed. Therefore, the prison authorities must be aware that no

matter how much they try to portray him as a dangerous prisoner, the
public will recognize their illegal and uncivilized acts.
2) The prison authorities didn't give any attention to the
doctor's recommendation for a short- term hospitalization of my husband,

in order to run tests and make sure he is in a good health. The guard in

charge maintained contact with the authorities, and based on the orders
received, insisted on returning my husband to the prison before any
medical tests could be performed. It seems as if the authorities
suspected the genuineness of his complaints.

As such, during our short visit to the hospital, the two guards in
charge
not only watched our every move, but also made medical suggestions to
the
doctors. For instance, they prevented the performance of the
Tuberculosis
skin test on my husband. All this took place in the calmest of
circumstances since I had fully cooperated with the authorities and kept

the entire affair from the media and the public. Therefore, only my
husband's lawyer and I were aware of this transfer to the hospital. But

it was the excessive comings and goings of the guards that drew
attention
and was completely unnecessary.
Dear Secretary of the commission, please accept and convince others as
well that my husband never has or will think of committing an unlawful
act. Clearly, there is no need for handcuffs and chains for
transferring
him from prison to the hospital only a few miles away. Allow me to
remind you that even when he had his passport and permission to leave
Iran, he never thought nor does he think about leaving his country, till

such time that his name has been cleared. He will always remain in his
country and will not escape the law. How ironic that we so steadfastly
respect and abide by the very "laws" or rather lawlessness that has
brought us so much pain only in the hope that it will pave the path for
the rule of law in our country.

3) Having access to medical treatments, for which we pay, is an
indisputable right of my husband. But the authorities could not even
fulfill their responsibility to safeguard this right and limited my
husband's medical treatment to a CT scan only and did not let any other
procedure to take place. These all happened when I, according to the
doctor's recommendation and in spite of all kinds of problems, had
passed
all the administrative stages for a 24-hour hospitalization for him (the

related documents had been previously sent to the commission, along with

a letter).

Dear honorable Secretary of the Commission, for your information, I must

say that during the short period of my husband's house arrest (following

his dismissal from the prison), I did all I could to nurse him back to
health after the numerous damages he had suffered in 17 years of
imprisonment. My husband was re-arrested in relatively good health.
Therefore by this letter I hold the Evin prison authorities and the
ministry of information responsible for any health conditions he may
incur from the date his arrest on September 8, 1998. The reason I used
the term "relatively," in the above is that in the past, in a nightly
transfer from the Evin prison in Tehran to the Ghezel Hesar prison in
the
city of Karaj, in winter, on the back of an open truck, he contracted a
severe ear infection. No matter how many times in a period of 8 months
he
told the authorities that his ear was infected and that he was in pain,
the authorities did not respond, and because of that my husband's
eardrum
was ruptured, causing irreversible hearing loss. Again, these were all
taking place at a time when an honorable prison official told me that
taking care of the prisoner's health is the human and religious duty of
the authorities. He even provide the example of the appendectomy that
was performed on a criminal known as the "Night's Bat," which saved his
life! The "Night's Bat" was a dangerous criminal who had been sentenced

to death and executed after the operation had been performed! The
authorities obviously respected his rights and made sure that a human
being was executed in a perfect health.

Is it not the time for the authorities of Iran to accept the principle
of
equality of all human beings before the law? Shall I compare my
husband's
case to that of the "Night's Bat?" A common criminal toward whom the
prison authorities fulfilled their human and religious duties? But why
do
they not exercise the same compassion toward my husband and deny him
hospitalization and treatment? Or shall I compare him with other
"defendants" who, with final verdict pending, can easily get permission
to leave the country and appear among the foreign official political
circles? But we, for a short hospital stay, must go through a series of

difficult stages, and consider access to medical treatment a special
privilege. After all in those few hours, we underwent all kinds of
security measures. How can such discrimination between the citizens be
explained? It is true that unlike many others, we do not have open or
secret support of any of the existing political factions, but we do have

one protector that we rely upon and that is our god.
4) After the re-arrest of my husband, I could visit my husband in prison

weekly while abiding by all the prison laws. However, during the last
two months, without any logic or explanation, they denied my right to
visit him. In a letter to the head of the prison, I explained my reasons

for visiting my husband again, and I reminded him that Amir-Entezam is
not a new or unknown prisoner. For many years, Amir-Entezam was denied
having visitors or even an attorney. And now that all of the prisoners
can see their immediate family members once a week, since my husband
does
not have a father, a brother, or any children in Iran, visiting my
husband weekly, is the undeniable right of both of us. So far I have
not
received a reply from the authorities. On the other hand, the weekly
meetings between my husband and his lawyers are still confirmed.
However, each time the lawyers are made to wait for one or two hours in
order to see him. Perhaps because the authorities do not realize how
precious the work and the time of these lawyers are. I must remind you
that my husband is not their only client and their time is valuable.
Maybe these unacceptable delays are intended to discourage these
attorneys from defending Amir-Entezam, so that my husband would lose
even
his right to counsel?

Dear Secretary of the Commission, I am presenting these complaints under

extreme duress and in the face of threats and frightening phone calls.
I
have been advised to change my residence, to leave the capital, to stop
talking and to stop writing. Although I am living under dangerous
conditions, up to this date I have not urged any organization or
foundation for any safety arrangements, because I do not wish to draw
any
attention to myself. Nor do I wish to add to this miserable "epidemic."

It seems that certain forces are determined to destroy the secular
intellectuals. However, they must first ask themselves how they will
ever be able to measure their own beliefs in the absence of intellectual

diversity in Iran. How can these blind totalitarian forces question the
loyalty and patriotism of secular Iranians? Have those, who chose to
stay
in the country for the last 20 years and withstood all kinds of
brutality, not proved their loyalty to the country? Surely, the fact
that
they have suffered bombings and the missile strikes and continued to
live
in Iran in the face of all economic and social hardships must be
indicative of their patriotism.
Iranians have been Muslims for centuries and are not new Muslims. We
follow and believe in a religion that has passed onto every generation.
Now if being a person with "different" ideas, like Dariush and Parvaneh
Foruhar (for whom we still mourn) or liberal writers like Sharif,
Mokhtari, Pouyandeh deserve getting killed, let us be considered
"different." All of us regardless of our clothing and occupations, must
undergo certain amount of growth and take steps in order to accomplish
our highest of human ideals. Shame on us, if we let selfishness and
single-mindedness change our resolve. And pity on us if instead of the
"Dialogue of the Civilizations," we witness the "Face Off of the
Beasts."
Dear Secretary of the Commission, with my apologies for taking your
time,
at the end I would like to say that I don't have any demands, except
that
your take note of my points. Though I am aware that writing the above
may
result in more difficult conditions for me and my husband, I still wrote

because I believe it is my duty to do so that lack of awareness of the
authorities may never be posed as an excuse or justification. Also, I
write because my husband continues to believe in the cause of justice in

Iran and as his wife I intend to do all I can to support him. Or
perhaps
in my heart of hearts, there is still a glimmer of hope that we too have

a share in the great quest and possible realization of human rights.

With best wishes for your success,
Elahe Mizani Amir-Entezam
Tehran / Iran

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




--part0_917841389_boundary--

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

End of DNI-NEWS Digest - 30 Jan 1999 to 31 Jan 1999
***************************************************