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Syrian Refugees Collectivizing in Jordan Becomes a Security Issue — by Katy Montoya

Katy Montoya, an undergraduate at Swarthmore College, has undertaken some ambitious research on the situation of Syrian refugees in Jordan. Following previous work on refugees in Jordan posted on Syria Comment (here, here, and here),...Show More Summary

Free Them Now: End Arbitrary House Arrests of Green Movement Leaders

(February 17, 2015) – The Iranian Judiciary and Iran’s National Security Council should put an immediate end to four years of extrajudicial house arrest of Green Movement leaders Mir Hossein Mousavi, Mehdi Karroubi and Zahra Rahnavard, the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran said today.

Omid Kokabee, in Letter from Prison, Accepts Prestigious Science Award

An acceptance speech [Link to full letter] by Omid Kokabee, written from his prison cell in Iran, was delivered at the Award Ceremony for the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) 2014 Freedom and Responsibly Award on February 13.

Prisoner of Conscience’s Life at Risk at Evin Prison

Pourseifi, a radio host and senior producer for Iranian state radio, was a member of the Society for the Defense of Working and Homeless Children. He was arrested in 2009 on charges of "cooperating with the Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA),” and was later released. Show More Summary

Row over Solo Singing of Women Grows in Iran

There is a growing row between Hassan Rouhani's Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance and conservative Iranian clerics over the issue of women's singing in Iran. At least two Grand Ayatollahs said earlier this month that they will not allow women's (public) singing.

Execution of Juvenile Offender is Imminent

The family of a juvenile offender on death row has been informed that he will be executed on February 19, 2015. Saman Naseem, 20, was 17 years old when he was arrested and later put on trial on charges of moharebeh (enmity with God) for membership in the PJAK (Party for Free Life of Kurdistan), an armed Kurdish opposition group.

Syria News Round-Up Feb. 9, 2015

From a friend commenting on discrepancy in SOHR’s recent numbers: SOHR is all over the place with numbers. This is his latest: here. The new number is 210k; he says that 100k are civilians 80%+ of which are men. He estimates 85k+ fighters unaccounted for across all sides. Show More Summary

J.K. Gani’s “The Role of Ideology in Syrian-US Relations” — Reviewed by Julio Rivera

by Julio Rivera Julio Rivera is a PhD student in the department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations at the University of Chicago where he focuses on Syrian political history. Before pursuing his PhD, Julio spent three years working as a Syria political analyst for the Department of Defense, spanning the period prior to and […] The post J.K. Show More Summary

After Burning of Muaz al-Kasasbeh, Jordan & al-Azhar’s Gestures of Vengeance Will Not Heal

by Matthew Barber The following is not research or analysis, but a few reflections on the film released by IS in which Jordanian pilot Muaz al-Kasasbeh was burned alive inside a metal cage. I won’t claim that my moral reflections are especially profound, but I believe the traumatic nature of this event warrants further conversation. Show More Summary

Iran’s IRGC Intensifies Crackdown on Facebook Users with 12 Arrests and 24 Summons

An IRGC cyberspace specialist, Mostafa Alizadeh, announced in a statement on Iranian state television on February 1, that 12 Iranian Facebook users have been arrested on charges of "spreading corruption, and [carrying out a] mission to change family lifestyles." He added that 24 other citizens were summoned to answer questions about their Facebook activities.

Labor Protests Sweep Iran

A wave of labor protests has been sweeping through Iran over the past ten days. The protests are focused on workers' demands for wage increases to keep up with the growing rate of inflation, payment of back wages, and other issues such as layoffs and non-renewal of labor contracts.

Cartoon 105: Ahmad Jannati on the House Arrests

  On January 24, 2015, hardliner cleric and member of the Guardian Council, Ahmad Jannati, reacted to conservative Member of the Parliament Ali Motahari’s interrupted speech at the Iranian Parliament, in which he asked for an end to the state of house arrest of Green Movement leaders Mir Hossein Mousavi and his wife, Zahra Rahnavard, […]

Book Review: ISIS: Inside the Army of Terror

ISIS: Inside the Army of Terror Michael Weiss & Hassan Hassan £5.99, 1169p. (I-Phone Reading). Reviewed by Aymenn Jawad Al-Tamimi. The rise of the Islamic State in Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS, subsequently calling itself just “The Islamic...Show More Summary

Teachers Protest Wages That Are Below the Official Poverty Line

Strikes continue in a number of Iranian cities Teachers in the cities of Marivan, Baneh, and Shahrood, who have refused to attend class since January 20 in protest against wages that are below the official poverty line, have announced that they would not abandon their protest until their demands for salary increases are taken into […]

Jason Rezaian To Be Put on Trial Soon, Says Head of Tehran Judiciary

Journalist Imprisoned Over Six Months without Access to Lawyer or Publicly Released Charges In another vague statement about the status of the imprisoned Washington Post reporter, Jason Rezaian, the Iranian Judiciary has announced that Rezaian will be put on trial “soon,” while failing to provide any information about his charges. On January 28, 2015, Gholamhossein […]

'Uncoordinated Deconfliction' in Syria: A Recipe to Contain, Not Defeat, ISIS

2 months agoMiddle East / Syria : Eighth Gate

Andrew J. Tabler Also available in ??????? January 26, 2015 If Washington continues to bomb ISIS while sidestepping the question of Assad's future, Syria may wind up partitioned between jihadist and Iranian-backed forces. Washington's...Show More Summary

Prominent Human Rights Activist Detained and Kept from Seeing Vice President of German Parliament

Human rights activist Narges Mohammadi was detained by security agents for several hours as she tried to meet with the Vice President of the German Parliament, Claudia Roth, in Tehran on the afternoon of January 25, 2015, according to Saham News. She was released at midnight, after she was interrogated and threatened with imprisonment. Roth, who […]

MPs Move to Permanently Ban Journalists Connected to Shuttered Publications

A few days after the Iranian Judiciary ordered the reformist Mardom-e Emrooz newspaper banned, ultra conservative members of the Iranian Parliament are working on legislation to permanently ban journalists who have worked for reformist publications that were shut down by the authorities. The measure is meant to ensure that such journalists will not resurface and […]

Jabhat al-Nusra and the Druze of Idlib Province

By Aymenn Jawad Al-Tamimi While most analysis of the Druze in Syria focuses on their positions in Suwayda province- where they constitute the majority of the population- as well as Jabal al-Sheikh in Damascus/Quneitra provinces, it should...Show More Summary

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