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Jury Photocall – The 7th Rome Film Festival (Leila Hatami)

10 Nov
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In Competition Jury members (L-R) PJ Hogan, Chris Fujiwara, Leila Hatami, Jury President Jeff Nichols and Jury members Edgardo Cozarinsky, Valentina Cervi and Timur Bekmambetov attend the Jury Photocall during the 7th Rome Film Festival at the Auditorium Parco Della Musica on November 8, 2012 in Rome, Italy.
(November 8, 2012 – Source: Stefania D’Alessandro/Getty Images Europe)

Jury Photocall – The 7th Rome Film Festival (Leila Hatami) is a post from: Persian Icons – پرشین آیکانز and our Facebook page is

Women Prisoners: Hunger Strike

5 Nov

10 brave female political prisoners in Evin prison in Iran:

Nasrin Sotoudeh, human rights defender lawyer is on hunger strike since October 17. Nasrin is protesting at the authorities’ harassment of her family and restrictions on her visitation rights. The Evin Prison Disciplinary Council has apparently placed a three-week ban on her receiving family visits. Since her arrest in 2010, Sotoudeh was held for a lengthy period in solitary confinement and has been regularly prevented from face-to-face meetings with her family, including her two children or making phone calls to other family members.

The following political prisoners went on a hunger strike on October 31 in protest of the harassment and degrading treatment by the Evin prison authorities:

Bahareh Hedayat is a student activist and a member of the One Million Signature Campaign which is committed to ending discrimination against women in Iranian law. She is serving a 10-year prison sentence for “insulting the president”, “insulting the Leader” and “gathering and colluding to commit crimes against national security”.

Zhila Bani Yaghoob, an award-winning journalist and women’s rights activist, was summoned to Evin Prison on 2 September 2012 to serve a one-year prison sentence. In addition to her imprisonment, she has been banned from media and journalistic activities for 30 years after conviction of “spreading propaganda against the system” and “insulting the president”.

Shiva Nazar Ahari is a journalist, human rights activist and a member of the Committee of Human Rights Reporters. She is currently serving a four-year prison sentence for her peaceful human rights activities.

Mahsa Amrabadi, a journalist detained for two months after the disputed 2009 presidential election, is currently serving a one-year prison sentence for “spreading propaganda against the system through interviews and reports”.

Zhila Karamzadeh-Makvandi is a member of the Mothers of Laleh Park (formerly known as the “Mourning Mothers”), which campaigns against human rights violations such as unlawful killings, arbitrary arrests, torture and enforced disappearance. Many of its members are women whose children were killed, detained or who disappeared in the unrest which followed the June 2009 election.

Nassim Soltanbeigi, student rights activist last time arrested in 2010, sentenced to total of 6 years in prison.

Hakimeh Shokri is a member of “Mothers of Laleh Park” (aka Mourning Mothers), a group actively supporting the mothers of individuals arrested and killed during post election demonstrations. She was arrested in Beheshte Zahra Cemetery in Tehran on December 5th, 2009 after attending the funeral of Amir Arshad Tajmir, killed during the post election demonstrations.

Nazanin Deihimi Translator of children’s books – Student in theater, arrested on 14 Feb 2011 during protest. Released on bail in Apr 2011, and on Oct 3, 2012 reported to Evin to serve her 8 months sentence.

Raheleh Zokaee among the lesser-known prisoners, received one-year prison sentence for “propaganda against the regime.” 

Women Prisoners: Hunger Strike is a post from: Persian Icons – پرشین آیکانز and our Facebook page is

Nasrin Sotoudeh, Incarcerated Human Rights Lawyer on Hunger Strike, Transferred to Solitary Confinement

5 Nov

November 4th, 2012 – According to reports received by The Peace Activists in Exile Campaign, in the latest attempt to coerce  Nasrin Sotoudeh to break her hunger strike, the incarcerated human rights lawyer now on the 18th day of her hunger strike was reportedly transferred to solitary confinement last Wednesday October 31st, 2012.

Soutoudeh’s husband Reza Khandan, confirmed that he was informed that he and other family members have been banned from visiting with Nasrin when he arrived at the visitation area at Evin today. It looks as though Sotoudeh’s transfer from the general female ward to solitary confinement was preplanned.

Nasrin Sotoudeh is a lawyer, human rights and civil rights activist.  She is a member of the Defender of Human Rights Center in Iran, a member of the One Million Signature Campaign (seeking to end legalized discrimination against women) and The Society for the Protection of Children.  Prior to her arrest and incarceration, Sotoudeh was  legal council for a large number of human rights activist, women’s rights activists, victims of child abuse and children on death row.

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Soutoudeh has been on hunger strike since October 17th, 2012 protesting the harassment and illegal treatment of her family members during their prison visitations, in addition to the illegal  banning of her young daughter from leaving the country.

It looks as though this latest transfer to solitary confinement is designed to further increase pressure on Sotoudeh. Given the past history of death of political prisoners such as Hoda Saber while on hunger strike in solitary confinement, it goes without saying that there is much concern regarding her Soutoudeh’s well being.

The recent wave of news regarding Sotoudeh’s hunger strike has attracted the attention of the international community.  In fact the Iranian authorities cancelled a European Parliament delegation’s trip to Iran after they requested to meet with Soutoudeh while in the country. 

Source: The Peace Activists in Exile Campaign 

Translation by Banooye Sabz

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40.000 supporters demand freedom for Sakharov winner Nasrin Sotoudeh

5 Nov

40.000 SUPPORTERS  as well as  24  groups and Non-Governmental Organizations DEMAND FREEDOM FOR SAKHAROV WINNER NASRIN SOTOUDEH.


Iranian human rights lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh has been on hunger strike since the morning of 17 October 2012 in protest at the authorities’ denial of her repeated requests to have face-to-face meetings with her family. She is a prisoner of conscience and should be released immediately and unconditionally.

Your support of Nasrin Sotoudeh made a difference to her and many others affiliated with her when she was on hunger strike in Evin prison back in 2010 . We need your support one more time to demand freedom for her and avoid further undue pressure and cruelty against her and other Prisoners of conscience in Iran, who have not committed any crime other than defending our collective basic freedom.

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“I am particularly concerned about the situation of Ms. Sotoudeh, whose state of health is reportedly deteriorating due to the hunger strike she commenced on 17 October to denounce her prison conditions and the restrictions imposed on members of her family,” UN special rapporteur for human rights in Iran Ahmed Shaheed said in a statement.  Poster courtesy of Adam Evolution



Nasrin Sotoudeh is a lawyer who is in prison for simply defending her clients and insisting that Iranian authorities respect human rights. Nasrin Sotoudeh has long been an outspoken advocate of the rights of women, children, and prisoners of conscience, exposing the failure of Iranian authorities to uphold the law. These brave actions have made her a target.

Your help in inviting your friends and family to this “Support Page” will be greatly appreciated. We would not be where we are today without your generous help and moral support. Please accept our thanks and deep felt gratitude for your continued support .

International Campaign In support Nasrin Sotoudeh supported by following Organizations and Non-Governmental Organizations:

1-Martin Ennals Foundation (

2- Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights / OHCHR (

3 – International Federation of Human Rights Leagues (

4- Florence City Council (

5- Commission for Peace and Human Rights, Italy

6- Amnesty International Norway’s youth Group

7- Amnesty International @ MIT ( )

8-Middle East and North Africa Unit of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights

9- Neda For A Free Iran (

10- Iran Human Rights Italia (

11- International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran  (

12- Amnesty International Netherlands (

13- Activists of Verein Südwind Entwicklungspolitik in Geneva (

14- Sepidedam (

15- Iranian Park Laleh Mothers (

16- Green Expert of Iran (

17- Int. Campaign in Support of Jafar Panahi (

18- Green Activists for a Democratic Iran (

19-Azadegan Norway (

20- Human Chain Project (

21- female = male (

22- Bistodo Khordad Hamburg (

23- PersianIcons (  

24- Fondazione Alexander Langer Stiftung – Italy (

Please contact us if you also would like to support our campaign:

 Related Articles: 

Nasrin Sotoudeh message to MEA: I am proud to defend each and very one of the cases I have accepted on behalf of my clients.

Speaking of Sotoudeh’s physical condition, Khandan told the Campaign, “She is so weak and skinny, she is hardly recognizable

Free Nasrin’s photostream by Amnesty International Norway’s youth Group

“Florence embraces Nasrin Sotoudeh and calls for her release”

40.000 supporters demand freedom for Sakharov winner Nasrin Sotoudeh is a post from: Persian Icons – پرشین آیکانز and our Facebook page is

Hillary Clinton calls on Iranian gov’t to release jailed filmmaker and ‘all political prisoners’

5 Nov

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton released the following statement regarding the Iranian government’s imprisonment of Iranian human rights lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh and filmmaker Jafar Panahi:

The United States congratulates Iranian human rights lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh and filmmaker Jafar Panahi for receiving the European Parliament’s Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought. We also wish to congratulate the other finalists, Ales Byalyatski, a recipient of the State Department’s 2011 Human Rights Defender award, Nadezhda Andreyevna Tolokonnikova, Yekaterina Samutsevich and Maria Alyokhina.


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A few hours after the Sakharov Prize was announced, Sotoudeh’s husband Reza Khandan expressed his delight about the Sakharov award in an interview with the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran. “We are happy for the prize, but her condition in prison is worsening,” he said. “We haven’t heard from her since Sunday [October 21], and we heard from one of her cellmates who came out of prison yesterday that her physical condition is very bad.”

The work of Nasrin Sotoudeh and Jafar Panahi to uphold human rights and promote freedom of expression represents the desires of all Iranians to exercise their basic rights and freedoms. Unfortunately, they will not be able to enjoy today’s recognition. Despite her deteriorating health, Iranian authorities have imprisoned Sotoudeh and sentenced her to six more years in prison. Panahi has been sentenced to six years in prison and a 20-year ban on filmmaking and travel has been imposed on him. We call on the Iranian government to release Sotoudeh immediately, lift the restrictions and sentence on Panahi and release all political prisoners and others detained simply for their religious or political beliefs.

According to the International Film Festival of Rotterdam, “last December, Jafar Panahi and his fellow filmmaker Mohammad Rasoulof were sentenced by a Revolutionary Court to six years imprisonment. They were also banned from making films for a period of twenty years(!).”

The indiewire film blog described Panahi’s film, The White Balloon, which the Iranian regime found to be offensive enough to imprison Panahi for, as: 

A classic of the Iranian New Wave, and in its day, the most successful and acclaimed Iranian film to be released in the U.S. ever, Jafar Panahi’s masterpiece “The White Balloon” looks to be AWOL from American screens, big and small. Maybe someone out there knows the status of U.S. home video distribution rights for this important film, but according to my research, “The White Balloon” appears to have vanished into the ether, available for purchase only on obscure Iranian movie websites and in Spanish PAL versions.

Released by Jeff Lipsky and Bingham Ray’s October Films in 1995, “The White Balloon” was hailed by critics for its simplicity of storytelling and delicate touch. Few saw it for its supremely subtle and artfully crafted political perspective–a precursor to Panahi’s equally excellent and more overt social commentaries (i.e. “The Circle,” “Crimson Gold” and “Offside”). It was Jonathan Rosenbaum, in a lengthy review in the Chicago Reader, who saw past the film’s more obvious neorealist aesthetic, discovering something far more complex.

In the meantime, Secretary Clinton is facing criticism of her own when it comes to jailing filmmakers. Charles Woods, the father of slain retired Navy SEAL Tyrone Woods, told a number of media outlets recently that Secretary Clinton told him that she would make sure that the filmmaker behind the video The Innocence of Muslims would be arrested and prosecuted.

That filmmaker, Mark Basseley Yousef, was arrested in southern California one month ago on a probation violation and is being held without bond until his next court date on November 9. 


Hillary Clinton calls on Iranian gov’t to release jailed filmmaker and ‘all political prisoners’ is a post from: Persian Icons – پرشین آیکانز and our Facebook page is

European Parliament visit to Iran canceled

5 Nov

Robert-Jan BartunekReuters

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Iran has canceled a European Parliament delegation visit to Tehran after the group asked to meet two Iranian activists awarded a top EU rights prize, a parliament spokeswoman said on Saturday.

The decision came after senior officials at the parliament, which on Friday awarded its Sakharov prize for human rights and freedom of thought to human rights lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh and filmmaker Jafar Panahi, said they wanted the delegation to meet the two activists.

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A few hours after the Sakharov Prize was announced, Sotoudeh’s husband Reza Khandan expressed his delight about the Sakharov award in an interview with the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran. “We are happy for the prize, but her condition in prison is worsening,” he said. “We haven’t heard from her since Sunday [October 21], and we heard from one of her cellmates who came out of prison yesterday that her physical condition is very bad.” 


“After hearing the new conditions, the Iranians decided to cancel,” European Parliament spokeswoman Satu Helin told Reuters. The delegation was set to travel to Tehran from October 27 to November 2.

Iran’s Mehr news agency quoted an Iranian parliamentary official as saying the European delegation had stated as a “precondition” a visit with Sotoudeh and Panahi.

“The European parliamentary delegation wished to visit two Iranian political prisoners and give them a prize,” said Hossein Sheikholeslam, international affairs adviser to Iran’s parliament, according to Mehr. “Iran did not agree with this condition.”

Ties between Iran and Europe have become increasingly strained over Tehran’s disputed nuclear program.

But meetings between European and Iranian parliamentary delegations were meant to keep open another line of communication, including with civil society – even though the European Parliament has little influence over dealings with Tehran.

Western countries accuse Iran of seeking a nuclear bomb; Tehran denies this and says its program is for peaceful purposes only.

(Additional reporting By Yeganeh Torbati in Dubai; Editing by Myra MacDonald)


Source: Chicago Tribune

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Letter From Evin To Evin: Hossein Ronaghi Voices Support For On Hunger Strike Nasrin Sotoudeh

5 Nov

Incarcerated blogger and human rights activist Hossein Ronaghi Maleki has written a letter to imprisoned rights attorney Nasrin Sotoudeh.

Nasrin Sotoudeh launched a hunger strike on October 17 protesting violations of her legal rights, and mistreatment of, and pressures put on, her family by the Judiciary.

Reza Khandan, Sotoudeh’s husband, in an interview last week with Kalameh, announcing Nasrin’s hunger strike, said, “I urged her to change her mind and not go on a hunger strike, but she was adamant saying there is nothing else that she can do while imprisoned, my last resort to voice protest is to launch a hunger strike.

Just imagine, a defense attorney who must resort to writing her own defense on a piece of napkin, then for it to be confiscate it, telling her that she has committed an illegal act, and from that date, being denied face-to-face visitation with her children.”

I am concerned for my wife. She has already become so thin and weak that she is unrecognizable to those who have not seen her in some time. Imagine how much worse will it be after she goes on a hunger strike.”

Nasrin Sotoudeh has been imprisoned since September 4, 2010. She was tried and convicted on charges of acting against the national security, propagating against the regime, and membership in The Defenders of Human Rights Center. She was sentenced to six years imprisonment, banned from practicing law and banned from leaving the country for 20 years, and also fined 50,000 Tomans for not observing the Islamic code of attire (Hijab).

Complete text of the letter written by Hossein Ronaghi as provided to the Kalameh site is as follows:

No one is thinking about the flowers

No one is thinking about the goldfish

No one wants to believe

That the garden is dying

That the heart of the garden is inflamed under the sun

That the garden’s mind is slowly, slowly

Emptying from the green memories

And it seems that the garden’s senses

Are something incorporeal, that have rotted in loneliness of the garden

The yard of our home is alone

The yard of our home is yawning, awaiting rain from an unknown cloud

And the pond in our home is empty.

Dear Lady Nasrin,

On the difficult path to liberty, the freedom seeking people inevitably endure much pain and suffering, and the aberrant pain of injustice and oppression. But these sorts of pain and hardships that we, side by side, for our common purpose, have endured for our beloved Iran, is not fruitless.

The Self Sacrificing Lady,

It has been some days since you launched a hunger strike, and I know the reason; to achieve your basic legal and human rights – symbolizing the rights of all of us – which you have been deprived of – just as we have been denied those rights.

Therefore, I do not know if I, like others should urge you to halt your hunger strike or not? If I do, am I not vindicating silence before what is deemed unjust? If I do not, then why do I not join you in your quest? Then why am I so meekly complaining? Why when we see you, see myself and others, do we not speak up?

The Steadfast Lady Of My Land,

You told me one day, in this same prison, that you firmly believe that our work is not in vain. That we are on the right path that will not be without results. And all of our struggles will bear fruit.

You said that in this era of mass communications, no secret will remain hidden, victory will be ours. You told me about Aung San Suu and other freedom fighters as examples. All those who long suffered but steadfast stood, and did not lose faith in the whirlwind of disappointments.

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Dear Nasrin,

We stand by your side, and believe in our goal. Is it not so that we all share the same pain and joy? How could we not be heart broken by the tyranny and oppression that is inflicted upon you.

Yes, we all have been afflicted with pain and sorrow, but there is another fact. The fact of being imprisoned, which is deemed most honorable if it is for defending the rights of others, for defending the honor of others, and for the protection of liberty and justice, the national interest and the progress of our homeland, however unjust and suffering it may cause. That is why we are proud of you and prison-mates such as yourself.

Today, I have decided to exercise my rights; to protest and object to the injustice and oppression that now rule, and the appalling events that have become normal policy, that are occurring under the shadow of lawlessness and against the rule of law.

It is obvious that acts of deception, hypocrisy, lies and repression no longer work, and the people’s awareness has disabled the weapons of threats, enticement and deception.

In the end, and inevitably, the foundations of tyranny will collapse, oppression will cease, and liberty will dawn.

Hossein Ronaghi Maleki
Evin Prison

Source: Kalameh

Translation by Persianbanoo

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