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Syrian Rebels Capture Idlib, by Aron Lund

– Guest post for Syria Comment by Aron Lund, editor of Syria in Crisis On March 28, Syrian rebels and jihadi fighters announced that they had captured the city of Idlib, posting pictures and videos online that showed them in control of government buildings and other landmarks. Show More Summary

Imprisoned Journalist Denied Furlough, Remains with Hardened Criminals

Despite support from the Zanjan Province Prosecutor and prison officials, and repeated requests by family members, journalist Saeed Matinpour’s furlough for the Iranian New Year was not granted and he remains behind bars. In an interview with the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran, Matinpour’s wife, Atieh Taheri, said that officials encouraged Matinpour to […]

Imprisoned Human Rights Defender Denied Furlough Again

For the fourth year in a row, the ailing prominent human rights defender Mohammad Seifzadeh was not granted furlough for the Iranian New Year (March 20-April 1). Furlough, typically granted to prisoners in Iran for a variety of familial, holiday, and medical reasons, is routinely denied to political prisoners as a form of additional punishment. […]

Journalist Remains in Prison Beyond End of Sentence

The journalist Saeed Razavi Faghih has yet to be released from prison even though he completed his one-year sentence on February 28, 2015, because he is facing new, as yet unspecified charges, his brother Massoud told the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran. “When I followed up the reasons why my brother had not […]

Review of “ISIS: The State of Terror”

ISIS: The State of Terror (available here)  By JM Berger & Jessica Stern 385 pp. (hardcover), HarperCollins $27.99 Reviewed by Aymenn Jawad Al-Tamimi The ISIS phenomenon that has swept Iraq and Syria with global repercussions has produced...Show More Summary

UN Keeps Pressure on Iran for its Rights Failures

Human Rights Monitoring Will Continue March 27, 2015—The United Nations Human Rights Council voted today to renew the mandate of Dr. Ahmed Shaheed, the UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Iran, signaling the international community’s continued concern over the state of human rights in Iran. The resolution to renew the mandate […]

Father of Imprisoned Blogger Pleads for His Ill Son’s Release

The father of blogger Hossein Ronaghi Maleki, who, prior to a six-month medical furlough granted for severe illness had been imprisoned since 2009 for his peaceful activities following the disputed 2009 presidential election in Iran, is appealing for an end to his son’s incarceration after the blogger was returned to prison.

Sicilian Pasta with Green Cauliflower Sauce

Cauliflower is a very fashionable vegetable nowadays. You will see it on restaurant menus from San Francisco to New York to London, prepared in myriad ways from sliced thick and served as steak, to roasted, to grated and used instead of flour as a base for gluten-free pizza, and so on. But using it to... View Article

The Administration of the Local Council in Azaz

By Aymenn Jawad Al-Tamimi Readers of my report on my visit to the north Aleppo town of Azaz near the border with Turkey will recall that authority in Azaz is divided between two bodies: the local council and the Shari’a committee. Broadly...Show More Summary

The Kobani Model: Strengthening Kurdish-Arab Relations in Syria

by Nicholas A. Heras and Wladimir van Wilgenburg The Islamic State (IS) suffered a setback at the northern Syrian-Turkish border city of Kobani. This much-heralded event was important for a reason that has potential future ramifications...Show More Summary

Children’s Rights Activist Charged with “Acting against National Security”

Civil and children’s rights activist Atena Daemi has been formally charged, after six months of “temporary detention” in Evin Prison, a source told the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran.

Suspects Identified, but No Action Taken in Attack against Critic of House Arrests

Despite the fact that several suspects have been identified in the recent attack on Member of Parliament Ali Motahari, who was the Iranian Parliament’s most outspoken critic of the continued house arrest of the Green Movement leaders, no arrests have been made so far, according to official statements.

Under scrutiny, Iran Shows Increased, but Limited Cooperation with UN Mechanism

Four years into his mandate as the UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran, Dr. Ahmed Shaheed told UN member states at a meeting of the Human Rights Council today in Geneva that although he has yet to be let into the country for a site visit, Iran is demonstrating other signs of cooperation with the mandate.

The Death of Muhammad al-Assad, a.k.a. “Shaykh al-Jabal”

The Death of Muhammad al-Assad, A.K.A “Shaykh al-Jabal” By: Mohammad D. For Syria Comment, March 14, 2015 Muhammad Tawfiq al-Assad, a.k.a Shaykh al-Jabal, a well known second cousin of the Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, was killed two days ago. Show More Summary

Facebook Users Arrested, Others Will Be Arrested Soon, IRGC Warns

More than 30 people have been targeted by the cyber crime unit of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) this month, including a dozen arrested for their “immoral” activities on Facebook.

Imprisoned Journalist Denied Medical Treatment for Serious War Wounds

Imprisoned journalist and political activist Serajeddin Mirdamadi is in need of urgent medical attention at Evin Prison’s infamous Ward 8, a source told the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran.

Meet the Badris

By A.N. Sheikh Abd al-Aziz al-Badri In the first letter calling for bay?a to IS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, Turki Binali needed to prove that Baghdadi was a descendant of the Quraysh in order to establish that he was entitled to become a caliph. Binali, from Bahrain, now holds an important position as one of […] The post Meet the Badris appeared first on Syria Comment.

Video presents views of al-Qaida’s European jihadists in Syria

A few days ago, al-Jazeera English aired a documentary called “People & Power – Western Jihadis in Syria.” The film, which includes an interview with Dr. Landis, presents discussions with articulate, English-speaking jihadists in Syria’s al-Qaida organization, Jabhat al-Nusra. Show More Summary

Train-and-Equip: Fight for Pluralism in Syria

by Nicholas A. Heras This month, the United States and several of its Middle Eastern allies will begin training Syrian fighters through a revamped train-and-equip program that will form the core first class of Syria’s non-jihadist armed opposition. Show More Summary

Interviewing Asad — by David W. Lesch

Interviewing Asad by David W. Lesch There has been a spate of interviews of Syrian President Bashar al-Asad by Western reporters or media personalities in the last few months. The most recent one was conducted by the BBC, while another notable interview appeared in Foreign Affairs. Show More Summary

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