IRAN – Iranian Analyst at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies Calls on US to Sanction Iran’s “Hanging Judge”
Tzvi Kahn, a contributor to the Hill newspaper and an Iranian analyst at the FDD called for the United States, as part of its Iran strategy, to sanction “the judge of death, ” Abolghassem Salavati, as the European Union did in 2011. Salavati has presided over numerous trials of Iranian dual and foreign nationals, imposing extremely harsh sentences, including the death penalty, extremely long prison sentences, lashes and other unconscionable sentences. He often acts as both the judge and prosecutor and in some cases has denied the use of certain attornies, suggesting the use of others by the defendant.
http://thehill.com/opinion/international/393660-us-should-sanction-irans-notorious-hanging-judge (The Hill, June 22, 2018, by Tzvi Kahn)
IRAN – Who Are The Dual Nationals Imprisoned in Iran?
According to a recent report by the Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI) there are currently at least 14 dual nationals as well as foreign permanent residents currently imprisoned in Iran. The arrests, they report, are usually followed by long periods in solitary confinement and interrogations; lack of due process, denial of consular access or visits by the UN or humanitarian organizations, secretive trials in which the detainee is given limited access to counsel and long prison sentences based on vague or unspecified “national security” ad “espionage” charges. Iran reports that it does not believe in dual nationality. Reuters reported that at least 30 dual natioals had been arrested by the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps since the signing of the nuclear agreement in 2015.
Names of those detained/sentenced are listed in this article:
https://iranhumanrights.org/2018/05/here-are-the-dual-nationals-imprisoned-in-iran/ (Center for Human Rights in Iran, 05/2018)
SAUDI ARABIA – Montreal Grants Honorary Citizenship to Raif Badawi, Jailed Blogger
Montreal, as well as several other locales in Canada have voted unanimously to grant honorary citizenship to Raif Badawi, the imprisoned Saudi Arabian blogger. The Prime Minister of Canada broached the subject with the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia when he was visiting and Badawi’s lawyer provided a brief based on Islamic and Saudi law asking the Prime Minister to consider the brief. The Crown Prince said he would. June 17th will mark six years in jail for Badawi. His wife will be obtaining her Canadian citizenship in the coming days.
Link: https://www.theglobeandmail.com/canada/article-montreal-set-to-debate-naming-jailed-saudi-blogger-raif-badawi-an/ (The Canadian Press, Sidhartha Banerjee, May 28, 2018)\
TURKEY – Erdogan’s Hostage Diplomacy: Western Nationals in Turkish Prisons
The Foundation for Defense of Democracies produced a summary of the political situation in Turkey describing the individuals from western countries who are confined in Turkish prisons and explaining the circumstances and reasons under which they are being held.
Link: http://www.defenddemocracy.org/media-hit/erdogans-hostage-diplomacy-western-nationals-in-turkish-prisons/ (The Foundation for Defense of Democracies, Aykan Erdemir and Eric Edelman, 06/2018)
TURKEY – 26 People Detained by Turkish Government While Trying to Escape to Greece
26 people were detained in Turkey’s border province of Edirne while trying to flee the Turkish government’s round-up of alleged members of the Gulen movement. Six car loads of police, teachers, military students were among those detained. Children were handed over to other relatives.
Thousands of people have fled Turkey following the controversial coup attempt on July 15, 2016. Turkey cancelled passports of many of its citizens. The round-ups of Turkish citizens continues.
Link: https://stockholmcf.org/turkish-govt-detains-26-people-fleeing-to-greece-to-escape-post-coup-witch-hunt/ (SCF, May 27, 2018)
TURKEY – Government Targeting Academics
Human Rights Watch assembled a report of the affect of the Turkish government’s actions towards academics following the signing of the Peace Petition and of the alleged failed coup attempt in July of 2016.
Starting with the signing of the Peace Petition, the government began a massive termination of the academics who signed it. Later when the coup attempt happened the government tied the two groups together and reported all signers as members of the group who attempted the coup. The government is interfering with student protests on campuses, prosecuting student activists, terminating academics who signed the Peace Petition, of which there are thousands.
Link: https://www.hrw.org/news/2018/05/14/turkey-government-targeting-academics (Human Rights Watch, May 14, 2018)
UNITED ARAB EMIRATES – UAE Must Implement UN Recommendations on Rights to Freedom of Expression, Association, and Assembly
The UN’s Universal Periodic Review (UPR) of human rights practices in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) took place in January, during which many concerns were raised and over 230 recommendations given. The Gulf Centre for Human Rights has called on the government of the UAE to heed those recommendations and work to: respect freedom of expression, association, and assembly; end arbitrary detention, enforced disappearance, torture and unfair trials; protect human rights defenders; and establish a free and independent national human rights institution.
https://www.ifex.org/united_arab_emirates/2018/02/07/un-recommendations/ (IFEX, Gulf Centre for Human Rights, February 7, 2018)
TURKEY – Science Behind Bars: How a Turkish Physicist Wrote Research Papers in Prison
Turkish theoretical physicist , Ali Kaya , was arrested three months after that country’s failed coup in July 2016. He spent over a year in jail before being sentenced in December 2017 to six years imprisonment on the vague charge of belonging to a terrorist organization. Due to the time he had already served he was released early, and is fighting his conviction. While locked up he continued his scholarly pursuits, writing three research papers on fundamental topics in cosmology.
https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-018-01370-1 (Nature, Alison Abbott, January 30, 2018)
TURKEY – Turkey’s Politically Motivated Trials: Targeting Academics for Peace
Academics for Peace began in January 2016 with a petition in which Turkish scholars spoke out against human rights violations against Turkey’s Kurdish population. Hundreds of academics lost their jobs or scholarships in the wave of repression that followed. Now, criminal charges loom for the petition signers, who face the prospect of over 7 years in prison if convicted of violating the vague “terrorist propaganda” portion of Turkey’s Anti-Terrorism law.
https://www.indexoncensorship.org/2018/01/turkeys-politically-motivated-trials-targeting-academics-peace/ (Index on Censorship, Noemi Levy-Aksu, January 23, 2018)
UNITED ARAB EMIRATES – UN Raises Concerns Over Human Rights Abuses
A report by the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights depicts a bad situation regarding human rights in the UAE raising concerns over torture of prisoners, injustice against foreign workers, discrimination of women and trafficking of children. Those arrested are often subjected to torture, enforced disappearances, arbitrary detention, and unfair trial practices.
http://icfuae.org.uk/uae-in-the-media/un-raises-concern-over-human-rights-uae (Al Jazeera, January 10, 2018)
IRAN – The University of Tehran Working to Track Protesting Students Who Were Detained
A Committee has been established in an attempt to track the students who were detained following their participation in the recent anti-government protests in Iran. To date it is not clear how many students are involved.
http://www.cnn.com/2018/01/06/middleeast/iran-protests-intl/index.html (CNN, Laura Smith-Spark, January 6, 2018)