Iran Election Guide

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Entries in Committee to Protect Journalists (15)


Iran Live Coverage: Detaining the Journalists

Campaign poster for 15 journalists imprisoned in late January

2044 GMT:Communications Watch. Four Grand Ayatollahs --- Nasser Makarem-Shirazi, Hossein Nouri Hamedani, Jafar Sohbhani, and Seyyed Sajjad Alavi Gorgani--- have issued fatwas banning Iran's first 3G service Rightel, in part because of its video-call function.

"The decadence and corruption associated with [Rightel’s] use outweighs its benefits,” decreed Grand Ayatollah Makarem-Shirazi. “It will cause new deviances in our society, which is unfortunately already plagued with deviances.”

Ayatollah Alavi Gorghani said that the video-call service would “jeopardize the public chastity” and “inflicts numerous damages” on Iran’s religion and political system.

Rightel, which sponsored Iran’s recent International Fajr Film Festival,,# allows customers to use both video-call and multi-media messaging functions. The company offers pay-and-go, contact, and data-card packages.

Petitions to ban Rightel have sprung up, and 17 MPs have asked President Ahmadinejad and the Ministry of Intelligence to act.

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Iran Propaganda 101: What's Missing from This Story About Detained Journalists?

On Tuesday, Iran State outlet Press TV noticed a story by the Committee to Protect Journalists about a record-setting 232 reporters in prison as of 1 December 2012. Or, rather, they noticed part of it, "Turkey is World’s Worst Jailer of Journalists": 

Turkey has been named as the world’s worst jailer of the press by imprisoning at least 49 journalists on terror-related charges, press freedom watchdog says....

The International Press Institute (IPI) and the Turkish Journalists Association (TGC), however, say Turkey has 71 jailed journalists. 

So what's missing from the story? Well, if Press TV had made the defiant leap from #1 to #2, it might have noticed something closer to home.

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Syria, Egypt (and Beyond) Live Coverage: Internet Returns as Regime Tries to Hold Damascus "Periphery"

Saturday's rallies for Egyptian President Morsi and the draft Constitution

See also Syria Feature: How the Assad Regime Shut Down the Internet
Syria, Egypt (and Beyond) Live Coverage: Breaking Through the Blackout

2135 GMT: Yemen Two tribesmen have been killed following intensive Government shelling in Marib province, east of the capital Sanaa. According to Associated Press, citing an anonymous official, the shelling "was aimed at intimidating militants who attacked a crude oil pipeline just half an hour after repairs to it were completed a day earlier".

2130 GMT: Syria. Journalist Jenan Moussa reports on food shortages and rising prices in Aleppo:

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Bahrain Live Coverage: Day 100 of a Hunger Strike

The march today protesting closer ties with Saudi Arabia

See also Bahrain Opinion: On Day 100 of a Hunger Strike, Thoughts About the Regime's Strategy
Syria (and Beyond) Live Coverage: The Students Rise in Aleppo
Thursday's Bahrain Live Coverage: Playing the Iran Card

2008 GMT: After today's mass rally, the Ministry of Interior is trying to cap the show of oppposition:

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Syria (and Beyond) Live Coverage: "Time to Call It What It Is"

Despite shelling, the people protest on Friday in Hawleh, west of the Syrian city Homs

See also Bahrain Live Coverage: The Many 1000s on the Highway
Friday's Syria (and Beyond) Live Coverage: The Deaths at the University

1950 GMT: Syria. The Local Co-ordination Committees in Syria say 27 people have died in violence today, with nine killed in Aleppo Province, eight in Barzeh outside Damascus, and six in Homs Province.

1800 GMT: Egypt. The head of the military prosecution, Adel El-Morsi, has announced that all women arrested during Friday demonstrations at the Ministry of Defence will be released.

According to lawyers and military statements, at least 14 women amongst the hundreds arrested on Friday were to be detained for 15 days pending investigations. They faced charges including infringing upon state institutions, using violence against members of the armed forces, halting traffic, and congregating and trespassing on a military area.

It was reported earlier today that 179 people seized on Friday were being held on 15-day detention orders. Ahram Online has claimed from a military source, however, that orders have been handed down to 300 people.

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The Latest from Iran (23 February): Don't Panic!

See also Iran Snapshot: The World's Worst Pundit Today --- Mr Tucker Carlson
Iran Snap Analysis: Nuclear Postures and "War is Coming!"
The Latest from Iran (22 February): Rafsanjani Far from Finished?

2134 GMT: A Warning to Ahmadinejad. Prominent cleric Mehdi Taeb, the brother of an important Revoutionary Guards commander, has put out a wide-ranging statement. He said oil sanctions against "impossible" and declared that the Islamic Constancy Front, vying for influence in the Parliamentary elections, has no relation with the "deviant current". That deviant current "has swallowed Satan", and the "2009 fitna (sedition) was one of their invisible actions".

Most interesting, however, was Taeb's message for the President. He said Ahmadinejad's right-hand man, Esfandiar Rahim-Mashai, is seeking his downfall, although the Iranian people are too intelligent for this. He continued that "most elites have deserted Ahmadinejad, but most people accept him with Ayatollah Khamenei if not with Rahim-Mashai".

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The Latest from Iran (8 December): Waiting for the Return of the Hidden Drone

Iran TV's presentation of the claimed US drone

See also The Latest from Iran (7 December): Rallying the Students

1820 GMT: Drone Watch. More of the regime's presentation of the supposed US RQ-170 drone --- a Revolutionary Guards commander proclaims, "The drone was caught in an electronic ambush and it was brought down with minimum damage. With God's assistance, we caught one of the most advanced American planes, in a trap set by Iran."

The left wing of the aircraft appeared to be broken and mended on the beige-coloured drone. The belly of the plane was covered with posters, “We’ll trample America underfoot.”

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Syria, Bahrain (and Beyond) LiveBlog: Conflict Moves Towards the Centre

Two videos of the thousands in the funeral procession in Ala'ali in Bahrain, for a man killed on Wednesday after an incident with a police jeep, before the march was dispersed by security forces:

See also Bahrain Special: The Commission of Inquiry's Report...& 14 Key Points About It
Egypt LiveBlog: The Fighting Resumes
Wednesday's Bahrain (and Beyond) LiveBlog: The Report of the Commission of Inquiry

2013 GMT: Claimed footage from Ala'ali in Bahrain of stone-throwing youth defying fire from security forces:

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Belarus Updates: When a One-Armed Man is Arrested for Clapping....

Protesters Detained in MinskKonstantin Kaplin, an unemployed man from the western town of Grodno, says he was convicted this week of applauding in public and fined the equivalent of $200, despite overwhelming evidence of his innocence: He is officially registered as a disabled person and has only one arm.

Mr. Kaplin insists that he was only standing nearby and attempting to photograph demonstrators with his cell phone when plainclothes police grabbed him.

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Iran Feature: The Limbo of the Refugee Journalists (Arjomand)

Nima biked to Turkey. He'd been in and out of the Iranian prison system on political charges for the past decade. He was sure he was on the no-fly list and the police were monitoring buses and trains leaving the capital, so he rode his bicycle more than 500 miles from Tehran to Tabriz in eastern Iran. From there, he got on a train to Van on the Turkish side of the border, bribing his way through customs with what money he'd been able to bring with him. From Van he biked almost 900 miles to Ankara to register for refugee status with the United Nations.

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