Solitary in Iran Nearly Broke Me. Then I Went Inside America's Prisons. "We throw thousands of men in the hole for the books they read, the company they keep, the beliefs they hold. Here's why." An article on solitary confinement (previously) by Shane Bauer, one of the three American hikers who were detained in Iran in 2009 (previously).
"Israel is our only hope as the post-American president is aiding and abetting a nuclear Iran. Barack Obama is enabling Iran’s Islamic bomb" - Pamela Geller
As the "ground zero mosque" story approaches bipartisan consensus, thanks to unexpected statements by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (joining a growing opposition), several journalists trace the origins of how the Park 51 community center became(warning: CNN) a toxic subject. What they found was Pamela Geller, a blogger at Atlas Shrugs, who has some very interesting vlogs. You may previously know her from this cozy 2006 interview with Bush's infamous anti-UN UN ambassador John Bolton.
Mehdi Kazemi is granted asylum in the UK. Mehdi, now 20, was studying in the UK when Parham (his boyfriend) was arrested for the crime of homosexuality by the Iranian government. Mehdi was named by his boyfriend and warned he was liable to arrest on his planned return. The UK Home Office denied him asylum [despite a thoughtful campaign by human rights campaigners] - because it was said he had overstayed his student visa and was therefore not seen as genuinely seeking asylum. So he escaped to the Netherlands. That's where it gets complicated. [more inside]
Iranian Supreme Court Acquits Murderers Because They Killed the "Morally Corrupt" "Iran's Islamic penal code...says murder charges can be dropped if the accused can prove the killing was done because the victim was morally corrupt. ... This is true even if the killer mistakenly identified the victim as corrupt. ... examples of moral corruption that do permit bloodshed, including armed banditry, adultery by a wife and insults to the Prophet Muhammad."
Rape, Torture, and Lies An ongoing Canadian saga has a sad new twist today: photojournalist Ziba Zahra Kazemi was likely brutally tortured and raped before her death in Iran in 2003. Arrested after a demonstration, the official Iranian line has been that her death was an accident due to injuries from a fall. The ER doctor who treated her has now spoken out, after being granted refugee status in Canada. Wikipedia has an excellent outline of the entire story.
Women In Iran With the slogan of "Women's Right Is Human Right", the website tries to tell the story of struggles, issues and successes of Iranian women, and in this way we would like to extend our hands to and welcome all those who believe in the social and intellectual equality of women and men.
Iranian bloggers challenge the President in the Summit: It all started from a post on the Geneva Summit's blog, DailySummit, asking Iranians to report on the Net censorship. Then, they asked them to post their questions for the Iranian President, who was going to have a press conference. Then reporters asked the questions from the president: Is the there a blacklist for Iranian websites? Do you read Persian weblogs? How hard is it to connect to the Net in Iran? Later they asked tougher questions from the Minister of Telecommunications: Why don't they public the blacklist? Why Sina Motallebi, the blogger, was arrested? Isn't the summit about how technology benefits democracy and human rights? Blogs can definitely be a big part of the answer.
Shirin Ebadi wins Nobel Peace Prize Iranian lawyer and human rights activist Shirin Ebadi has won the Nobel Peace Prize for 2003. Ebadi is Iran's first female judge and a leading figure in the struggle for women's and children's rights in Iran. She is known for representing the interests of persecuted individuals and has braved reprisals for her beliefs.
Abas Amini is knocking on deaths door, after sewing his eyes and mouth shut to bring attention to his request for asylum. He claims if he is sent back to Iran he will be executed for his political past. This guy is hardcore, he is threatening to set himself on fire if anyone tries to force feed him.