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Newly Elected Reformist Council Member Arrested For Calling Prophet Mohammad “Secular”

Javad Giahshenas, a newly elected reformist member of the city council in Hamadan, northwestern Iran, was arrested for allegedly insulting the Prophet Mohammad. “The merciful prophet was secular and Islam is the same as liberalism,” Giahshenas was quoted saying during a presidential campaign event at

More Than 15,000 Petition Iran’s Judiciary to Free Prominent Teachers’ Rights Activist

An online petition signed by more than 15,000 people calling for the release of imprisoned teachers’ rights leader Esmail Abdi has been delivered to the judiciary and the office of the president. “Mr. Abdi is not

Rouhani: Delivering Human Rights After the Election

Rouhani’s pathway to fulfill his promise: Utilize his power, negotiate the system, hold rights violators responsible, engage and empower civil society The re-election of President Hassan Rouhani on May 19, 2017 was due in large part to the perception by the Iranian citizenry that his government would do more

Newly Reelected Rouhani Abandons Promise to End Six-Year House Arrest of Opposition Leaders

In his first news conference after being declared the winner of Iran’s May 19, 2017 election, President Hassan Rouhani refused to commit to ending the more than six-year extrajudicial house arrests of three opposition

Activists Acquitted of National Security Charges for Peaceful Defense of Labor Rights

Trade union activists Jafar Azimzadeh and Shapour Ehsani-Rad have been acquitted of the charge of ‘acting against national security’ for peacefully advocating for labor rights. “The Appeals Court’s decision explicitly states that a review of

Rouhani’s Battle With Hardliners Over UN 2030 Educational Guidelines Follows Him Into Second Term

A major challenge for newly reelected President Hassan Rouhani’s second term is integrating guidelines from a UN agenda into the country’s educational system—a project he began in the summer of 2016 that was stalled by fierce opposition from hardliners. Show More Summary

Formerly Imprisoned Lawyer and Religious Minority Activist Expelled From University Without Explanation

Mostafa Daneshjou, a formerly imprisoned lawyer and member of a Sufi religious order known as the Gonabadi Dervishes, has been expelled from university without explanation, the Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI) has learned. “I think the reason why they expelled me was my belief in the Gonabadi order,” Daneshjou told CHRI. “I have […]

Baha’i Persecution Worsens Under Rouhani Government

The persecution of the Baha’i religious minority in Iran has grown worse under President Hassan Rouhani, the spokesperson for the community at the United Nations in Geneva told the Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI). “Unfortunately, the situation has not changed in the past four years and if we look at the number of […]

Imprisoned Children’s Rights Activist Atena Daemi Serving Seven Year Sentence Denied Medical Care

The chief physician of Evin Prison has refused to hospitalize imprisoned children’s rights activist Atena Daemi—currently serving a seven-year prison sentence for her peaceful activism—to receive urgent medical treatment for her more than 40-day hunger strike, her mother told the Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI). “On Monday (May 15, 2017) Atena was taken to […]

Presidential Vote Count To be Announced Gradually in May 2017 Elections

The authority in charge of counting ballots in Iran’s presidential election has backed down from its initial decision to announce the winner after all votes have been counted. “The Interior Ministry actually agrees that it is more practical to report the vote count gradually,” said Assistant Interior Minister Mohammad Hossein Moghimi on May 17, two days […]

Most Yarsani Religious Minority Candidates Disqualified From Iran’s 2017 Councils Elections

The majority of Yarsani candidates seeking seats in Iran’s May 2017 elections for local councils have been disqualified, the faith’s spokesman, Siavash Hayati, told the Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI).  “In Eslamabad-e Gharb (Kermanshah Province), Mr. Farzad Almasi wanted to run in the city council elections, but he was disqualified because of his civil […]

Iran Election Update

Iran Election Update  |  May 17, 2017  12:41 pm EST Items of Note This newsletter marks our last email send-out of updates about the elections. Check our Iran Election Update section on our website regularly for live updates. Rouhani...Show More Summary

Judiciary Forbids Campaigners From Printing Rouhani’s Criticism of Revolutionary Guard

Hardliners Working to Suppress Reformist Leader’s Endorsement of Rouhani Since reformist leader Mohammad Khatami endorsed incumbent President Hassan Rouhani’s second-term election campaign, hardliners have been working to suppress the...Show More Summary

Judiciary Announces Arrests of Election Campaign Staff One Week After Rouhani’s Criticism

A week after incumbent President Hassan Rouhani criticized Iran’s hardline judiciary, its spokesman has announced that dozens of government officials will face possible prosecution for unspecified election campaign violations. “MoreShow More Summary

Rouhani’s Attempt to Adopt UNESCO Educational Guidelines Emerges as 2017 Election Issue

In the run-up to Iran’s presidential election on May 19, 2017, the country’s hardline supreme leader has strongly denounced the Rouhani government’s attempt to integrate guidelines from a UN agenda into the country’s educational system. Show More Summary

Iranian Women’s Rights Activists Use Elections as “Opportunities” to Put Forth Demands

A member of the Women’s Citizenship Center, a non-governmental organization in Tehran, told the Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI) that women’s rights activists are increasingly using their leverage as an important voting block to put forth their demands during elections. On May 6, 2017, more than 180 women’s rights activists signed a declaration stating […]

Prominent Kurdish Activist Facing More Prison Time After Serving 10 Years in Evin Prison

Prominent Kurdish rights activist Mohammad Sadiq Kaboudvand was freed from Evin Prison in Tehran on May 12, 2017 after serving 10 years for his peaceful activism. However, the founder of the Human Rights Organization of Kurdistan has another conviction that could put him back behind bars. “I have a six-month conviction that is supposed to be […]

Pro-Rouhani Editor Arrested Ahead of May 2017 Elections Remains Detained Without Charge

The family of Tahereh Riahi, an editor who has been detained since December 2016 without charge, is calling on President Hassan Rouhani to “keep his word on individual liberties and the rights of citizens” and facilitate Riahi’s release, an informed source told the Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI).  “Now that Mr. Rouhani is delivering slogans […]

29 EU Parliamentarians Say Iran Must End Crackdown Ahead of Elections

Letter to Mogherini Condemns Numerous Arrests and Summons May 15, 2017—This week 29 members of the European Parliament wrote a public letter to Federica Mogherini, the high representative of the European Union for foreign affairs and...Show More Summary

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