Iran Election Guide

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Entries in Hengameh Shahidi (4)


Iran Feature: The Week in Civil Society --- Political Prisoners, Freedom of Expression, and Killer Smog (Arseh Sevom)

Hila Sedighi, threatened with imprisonment, recites her poetry

We have letters for you this week. The most heartbreaking comes from 21-year-old Zanyar Moradi, who begs the world to take notice as he and his cousin face imminent execution. Nobel Prize laureate Shirin Ebadi calls on UNICEF to visit children living in prison with incarcerated mothers. The children of former Presidential candidates Mehdi Karroubi and Mir Hossein Mousavi have called for an end to their house arrest. The Supreme Leader has been deluged with letters demanding free and fair elections.

Meanwhile, Tehran's polluted skies literally take your breath away, claiming more than 4000 lives over one year. Three Iranian writers are honoured with Hellman-Hammett grants for their commitment to free expression, and a group of Iranians in London form an organisation to encourage reading. Iran is said to be working on controls for social networking sites as it steps up its harassment of the families of journalists.

Finally, after her release from prison, Hengameh Shahidi, a former advisor to Mehdi Karroubi, has turned her attention to art.

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Iran Feature: How a Political Prisoner Found Art for Her Activism (Bozorgmehr)

Hengameh ShahidiAfter two years in prison for protesting against rigged elections, Hengameh Shahidi, an Iranian journalist and human rights activist, picked up a paintbrush for the first time. Freed from Evin prison – where she was held in solitary confinement and allegedly tortured – art offered her a release.

“I still do not understand how a violent atmosphere has woken up a delicate part of me,” she says.

Now she hopes her paintings will help raise awareness about the plight of 200 or so political prisoners still in Iranian jails, many of them forgotten or ignored by a population afraid to speak out.

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The Latest from Iran (13 February): The Economic Squeeze


Journalist and activist Henghameh Shahidi, serving a six-year sentence for "propaganda" and "actions against national security", speaking to a visitor in Evin Prison

2120 GMT: Claimed footage of Tehran residents chanting "Allahu Akbar (God is Great)" this evening:

2020 GMT: Cyber-Watch. How significant was the regime's tightening grip on the Internet from last Thursday, including the cut-off of services like Gmail, Yahoo Mail, and Hotmail?

The Tor Project, which assists users who face surveillance and filtering, offers this image:

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The Latest from Iran (19 June): Politics Through Divination

2020 GMT: Political Prisoner Watch. Journalist Rahman Bouzari of the reformist Shargh newspaper has reportedly been released from Evin Prison.

1835 GMT: The Battle Within. The hard-line Mashregh News discusses the conflict over the Ahmadinejad Government's appointment of Mohammad Sharif Malekzadeh (see 0640 and 1225 GMT) as the staff and finance manager of the Foreign Ministry.

The website says there are eight reasons for the appointment, including the vacancy of about 50 Ambassadorial posts for more than a year. It claims that the team around controversial Ahmadinejad aide Esfandiar Rahim-Mashai, who is close to Malekzadeh, will choose the new Ambassadors.

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