Serious Health Concerns for Arash Sadeghi after a 42 day Hunger Strike!

Arash Sadeghi and his wife Golrokh Ebrahimi Iraee must be freed immediately and unconditionally!

Arash Sadeghi is an Iranian human rights activist who is currently serving a 15 year prison sentence on trumped up charges of “spreading propaganda against the system” and “insulting the founder of the Islamic Republic.” In reality Arash is a human rights activist who has been arrested, tortured and imprisoned for his peaceful human rights activities.

Aras Sadeghi’s wife Golrokh Ebrahimi Iraee is also a political prisoner who is serving a six year prison sentence at the notorious Evin prison for “insulting Islamic sanctities”. Golrokh is a peaceful activist and a writer, and the true reason for her imprisonment is an unpublished story she wrote about stoning in Iran.

42 days ago Arash Sadeghi went on a hunger strike in protest to the arrest and imprisonment of his wife. There are some unconfirmed reports that Arash was able to hear Golrokh being tortured in a cell nearby. According to reports coming in from activists in Iran Arash’s health is deteriorating at an alarming rate, and prison officials have had no choice but to transfer him to a hospital outside of the prison.

It is sad and disappointing to see this young and brave couple be sentenced to a combined 21 years of prison in the brutal Evin prison, for their peaceful human rights activities, while the Canadian Liberal Government turns a blind eye to this atrocity and considers re-establishing its political ties with the Islamic Regime in Iran.

Arash Sadeghi, Golrokh Ebrahimi and all other political prisoners in Iran must be released IMMEDIATELY and UNCONDITIONALLY. Canada must start to hold the Islamic Regime in Iran accountable for the violent human rights abuses it carries out on a systematic basis.

Mousavi Ardebili, a founding member of the Islamic Republic Party and a close friend to Khomeini (the butcher of Iran) died this week in Iran at the age of 90.

Mousavi Ardebili was appointed as Chief Justice of Iran in 1981 and remained Chief Justice until 1989. Ardebili was a key perpetrator in the 1988 massacre of thousands of Iranian political prisoners, who were subjected to 10 minute mock trials behind closed doors, and were summarily executed. Ardebili’s support and complacency for the mass murder of thousands of political prisoners was confirmed in a letter written by Ali Montazeri to Khomeini (the butcher of Iran) which stated:

“This situation with Mr. Mousavi Ardebili whom I know to be more liberal than others, he said in the Friday prayer that all of them must be executed…And then people chant during the Friday prayers that the Monafegin (Mujahedin) prisoners much be executed.”

It should be noted that Montazeri himself was a founder and a key figure in the Islamic Republic Party, and a designated successor to the “Supreme Leader” Khomeini. In fact between 1985 and 1989 he served as the “Deputy Supreme Leader”, and was arguably the second most powerful person in the country, yet he did not stop or interfere with the massacre of thousands of political prisoners, many of whom had already served their prison sentences.

While many Reformists consider both Ardebili and Montazeri as figures who opposed the 1988 Iranian Massacre, it is crucial to remember their positions within the government, and the power they possessed at the time these atrocities took place. While some groups might want to “re-write” history, we will not forget the role Ardebili and Montazeri played in one of the most heinous crimes against humanity in modern history.

Sayeh Hassan, Iranian Canadian Lawyer and Chairwoman of Marze Por Gohar Movement Down with the Islamic Regime in Iran

Long Live Iran

Press Release

TORONTO

Date: November 17th 2016

Statement of Sayeh Hassan , the New Chairwoman of the MPG Resistance Movement

It is with great pleasure that I announce my election as the Chairwoman of the Marzepogohar Resistance Movement of Iran (MPG).

When I decided to become a political activist and fight against the Islamic dictatorship some 15 years ago, I was quite inexperienced; however, there were certain principles that were engrained in me and I knew I would never compromise.

I believed and still do, that Iran needs to become a Secular Republic, that the Islamic Regime in Iran must be overthrown by the people of Iran without any foreign military interference, and that the Iranian people must be able to choose their own path. Lastly, I have always been proud of our history and our ancient Lion and Sun flag which I have named my blog after.

Having armed myself with these principles I started searching for people or organizations that had similar beliefs, hopes and dreams for Iran, and that’s when I discovered and joined the Marzeporgohar Movement (formerly, MPG Party) in 2003. After a few years I was promoted to the Head of the Human Rights Committee where I focused on bringing awareness about the human rights situation in Iran.

Over the past 15 years of my activism, I have never come across a political party, movement or organization whose ideals, goals and dreams align with mine the way it has with Marzeporgohar and the wonderful, smart and hard working people who have made this organization what it has become.

That is why I feel privileged to have been elected as the Chairwoman of the Marzepogohar Movement, and I look forward to following in the steps of Roozbeh Farahanipour, the founder and the outgoing Marzeporgohar Chairman, who with his hard work, dedication and the love he has for Iran and Iranians, has been able to make the Marzeporgohar Movement a real threat to the Theocratic dictatorship in Iran.

I have every intention of using my expertise as a Criminal Defence Lawyer and my experience as a political activist and blogger to ensure that we continue in the path towards success which can only be realized by the overthrow of the Islamic Regime in Iran and the establishment of a secular and democratic republic.

Among the things I would love to see us accomplish in the next year are the development of an extensive English website where we can reach out to the younger Iranian generation living abroad who may not be fluent in reading or writing in Farsi, as well as promoting our movement in Canada and European Countries where they may not be as familiar with the Marzeporgohar Movement as they are in Iran and in the United States. I would like to see us building similar connections, both politically and through the media in other countries, as we currently have in the United States.

I strongly believe that the path to political success will come from the involvement and support of the younger Iranian generation both inside and outside of Iran. To that end, we must make greater use of social media including Telegram, Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp, Youtube, Skype and other available and popular Apps in Iran, in order to ensure that we are connected to the younger generation, to guarantee that they can hear us, and most importantly that We can HEAR THEM.

I look forward to working with all Marzeporgohar members to take the Marzeporgohar Movement to the Next Level and ever closer to the overthrow of the Islamic Regime in Iran and the rebuilding of our beautiful mother country

Sayeh Hassan

Chairwoman

Marze Por Gohar resistance movement

Down with Islamic Republic of Iran

Long Live Iran

Contact: Sayehhassan30@gmail.com

Golrokh Ebrahimi Iraee, a young Iranian activist and writer was arrested on October 24th after the Islamic authorities violently raided her home and broke her front door.

According to Amnesty International and other news sources she has been transferred to the notorious Evin Prison to serve a six (6) year prison sentence on charges of “insulting Islamic sanctities.” Ms. Ebrahimi-Iraee’s husband Arash Sadeghi, a human rights activist and a political prisoner has started a hunger strike to protest her arrest.

Golrokh Ebrahimi Iraee is one many female Iranian activists and writers how have been arrested recently on trumped up charges, subjected to unfair trials behind closed doors with no due process and imprisoned.

Canada must condemn Islamic Regime’s systematic arrest of peaceful political activists and writers and condemn these brutal human rights violations. It’s crucial for Canada not to turn a blind eye to the Islamic Regime’s brutality and arrest of innocent young people who carry out their activism in a peaceful matter, especially while considering renewing diplomatic relations with this Islamic dictatorship, and re-opening their embassy in Ottawa.

See Below Amnesty International Report on Golrokh Ebrahimi Iraee

The Iranian authorities must immediately and unconditionally release writer and human rights activist Golrokh Ebrahimi Iraee, following her arrest today, Amnesty International urged.

Despite the fact that no official summons has been issued, Golrokh Ebrahimi Iraee’s home was raided this morning by officials, who violently broke through her front door before taking her to Evin Prison in Tehran. It appears that she has been taken to the women’s ward to begin serving her six-year sentence. She has been convicted of charges including “insulting Islamic sanctities,” for writing an unpublished story about the horrific practice of stoning in Iran. Golrokh Ebrahimi Iraee’s husband, Arash Sadeghi, a human rights activist and prisoner of conscience, has since started a hunger strike in protest at her imprisonment.

“Golrokh Ebrahimi Iraee is the latest young writer and activist to be caught up in Iran’s relentless crackdown on artistic expression. Her imprisonment for peacefully voicing her opposition to stoning is a terrible injustice and an outrageous assault on freedom of expression. It is also a shocking and deeply disturbing display of support for the cruel and inhuman punishment of stoning,” said Magdalena Mughrabi, Deputy Director for the Middle East and North Africa at Amnesty International.

“The Iranian authorities must break this cycle of injustice and immediately and unconditionally release Golrokh Ebrahimi Iraee. We also urge them to ensure that her conviction is quashed.”

The unpublished fictional story, for which Golrokh Ebrahimi Iraee has been convicted of “insulting Islamic sanctities”, describes the emotional reaction of a young woman who watches the film The Stoning of Soraya M - which tells the true story of a young woman stoned to death for adultery - and becomes so enraged that she burns a copy of the Qur’an.

The story was discovered by authorities when Golrokh Ebrahimi Iraee was arrested together with her husband, Arash Sadeghi, who is currently serving a 15-year prison sentence in Evin Prison on charges including “spreading propaganda against the system”, “gathering and colluding against national security” and “insulting the founder of the Islamic Republic”, which stem from his peaceful human rights activities.

On 6 September 2014 both were arrested at Arash Sadeghi’s workplace in Tehran by men believed to be Revolutionary Guards. The men showed no arrest warrant, but took the couple back to their home, where they proceeded to search through their possessions and found the story which Golrokh Ebrahimi had written.

Arash Sadeghi was subsequently moved to Evin prison while Golrokh Ebrahimi Iraee was transferred to a secret location. She was detained there for one night before also being transferred to Evin prison, where she was held for 20 days without access to her family, a lawyer or a court. Her first three days were spent in solitary confinement.

During her detention, Golrokh Ebrahimi Iraee was subjected to extended interrogations, where she was blindfolded and warned she could face execution for “insulting Islam”. In the next cell she could hear her husband being threatened and verbally abused by his interrogators. Arash Sadeghi has since stated that he was punched in the head, kicked, slapped and choked while in custody.

Golrokh Ebrahimi Iraee was tried and sentenced to six years imprisonment in two brief sessions by a Revolutionary Court in Tehran. She had no legal representation at the trial. The first lawyer she appointed was put under pressure by intelligence and security officials to withdraw from the case, and the second was barred from reading her court case and representing her. She was not given the chance to speak in her own defence, because the first session was focused on her husband’s activism. At the second session she was in hospital recovering from major surgery and could not be present; she provided the court with her medical records, but her request to adjourn the hearing was rejected.

Earlier this month Golrokh Ebrahimi Iraee received a phone call from the Centre for the Implementation of Sentences ordering her to present herself to Evin Prison to begin serving her six-year prison sentence, and threatening that if she did not she would be picked up on the street or her house would be raided. However, she was never served with a formal summons.

“Golrokh Ebrahimi is being punished for the peaceful exercise of her human rights. But the crime at the root of this case is Iran’s ongoing retention of the horrific practice of stoning, which amounts to torture. Instead of doggedly intimidating and imprisoning critical voices, the authorities should abolish this cruel punishment once and for all,” said Magdalena Mughrabi.

“Unraveled: Obamacare, Religious Liberty, and Executive Power” is a comprehensive book on Obamacare with in-depth discussions about the issues that led some groups to support it while others vehemently opposed it.

The book is expertly divided into eight (8) sections making it easy to follow and comprehend. Given the limited knowledge I had about Obamacare prior to reading Josh Blackman’s book I found section I-IV most useful for my purposes, as these sections gave an excellent overview of both legal and political issues related to Obamacare.

The first section “The Promise of Obamacare” discusses the birth of the bill and the legal issues that plagued it almost immediately. Part II “Conscience and Contraception” is probably one of the most interesting chapters with a focus on the controversial issues of abortion, contraception and the initial rejection of Obamacare by pro-life democrats.

Part III “shutdowns discusses Obama’s difficulty with the implementation of Obamacare and the problems surround the HealthCare.gov. website, while Part IV focuses on the time period between October 1st 2013 and December 30ths 2013 with a deeper look at the technical difficulties surrounding HealthCare.gov including the fact that only six (6) people were able to register on the first day that the website was launched.

As a criminal defence lawyer and a human rights advocate for me the most fascinating aspect of “Unraveled” was the deliberation surrounding the freedom of religion debate including the case law that was reviewed in detail and helped shed light on the issue as a whole.

I would highly recommend this book to anyone who is interested in Obamacare, even those with very limited knowledge, as Josh Blackman has managed to write a book that is both detailed, comprehensive and at the same time easy to follow and understand.

I was provided with a copy of this book for the purpose of review.

“One Cowrie Shell” is a tale of growing up, love, loyalty and betrayal. It’s the story of a young African tribesman Jaiye, whose love for Kambi causes him to betray his tribe and make terrible decisions that have serious consequences for himself and those around him.

While the story is historic with a focus on slavery some of the themes in the book are just as relevant today as they were during the time of slavery. In “One Cowrie Shell” two African tribes the Youruba and Dahomey are constantly battling each other, capturing prisoners and selling the prisoners to slave traders in return for cowrie shell’s and tools. While both tribes keep on fighting neither one has any idea when and why the fighting started and why it continues.

Unfortunately this theme is still very much relevant in today’s world where we see sects within countries destroying each other without gaining anything from the destruction, and various countries especially in the Middle East and Africa waging war against each other while those who are responsible for creating and selling weaponry benefit and profit from the destruction.

While I really enjoyed the story and the different themes in this book I found the writing itself can be improved, as there was a lot of repetition throughout the entire book. The constant repetition gave the book a simplistic style making it more appropriate for a younger audience. I would love to see a more polished and well edited version of this book, as the story itself is captivating and well worth the read.

I was provided with a review copy of this book for review purposes.

I recently had the pleasure of writing an op-ed on Women's Human Rights and Pro-Democracy movement in Iran for the "American Military News" Please see the op-ed below with the original link on the American Military Website.

“Female Chess Players threaten boycott after being told to wear hijab at the World Championship in Iran.”, “Iranian women defy Supreme Leader’s Fatwa against bicycling.” These are the news stories we have become accustomed to reading about women in Iran, the attempts by the Islamic Regime to repress women’s rights, and the fight of brave Iranian women against the Islamic tyranny in Iran.

Living in secular democracies may sometimes cause us to take for granted some of our most basic rights including the right to choose one’s own clothing, the right to choose what subjects to study, the right to choose a career path, the right to choose when and where to travel and the right to choose our partners and the type of relationship we would like to have.

Unfortunately in many Islamic countries, including Iran, women don’t have any of these basic rights that we enjoy in secular and democratic countries.

As young women grow up in Iran they are told that they have to cover themselves and wear the “Islamic Hejab” which is prescribed by law. From the very beginning this very basic right to choose what to wear is taken away from young women and lack of compliance often leads to arrests, imprisonment, and flogging.

Young women are not allowed to wear makeup or nail polish. They are not allowed to travel without the permission of their male guardian. Women are not allowed to enter relationships outside of marriage. Any relationship outside of marriage will lead to arrests, lashing, and even stoning. The barbaric act of stoning is still carried out by the Islamic Regime in Iran. Same sex relationships are also outlawed and a woman that chooses to enter into a same sex relationship can be flogged or even stoned.

In November of 2012 the Islamic Regime passed a new law banning women from entering 77 different degree programs from English Literature to Biology to mining engineering. This was part of Islamic Regime’s efforts to push women back in to the home instead of allowing women to be productive members of society. Fortunately this plan was not successful, Iranian women continue to attend university in large numbers and work outside of the home regularly.

Family Law in Iran is also stacked against women due to the oppressive nature of Sharia Law. Under Sharia law men can legally have up to four (4) permanent, and many temporary, wives and men are generally awarded the custody of their children after divorce. In 2013 the Islamic Regime approved a new law which allows men to marry their step children who are 13 years or older, essentially legalizing pedophilia.

While things might appear bleak for women in Iran, there is a bright light: the strength and determination of Iranian women to tirelessly fight for their rights. While women face systematic and widespread persecution by the Islamic Regime, they still manage to be in the forefront of the pro-democracy and human rights movements in Iran. In 2015 as part of the “Stealthy Freedom Movement” Iranian women took to social media to post pictures of themselves without the mandatory hejab, creating a major uproar not only within social media but internationally.

Most recently after the Fatwa of Ali Khamenei banning Iranian women from riding bikes, women took to social media once again posting pictures of themselves writing their bikes, clearly and openly defying this oppressive fatwa.

One of the things that has been significantly lacking in the past 35 years is the lack of support from women in democratic countries for women in Iran, however that seems to be changing significantly as women worldwide start to realize that violations of the rights of women in one country can affect the rights of women worldwide.

The most recent example of this is female chess players being told they must compete at next year’s world championship (which is being hosted in Iran) wearing the hijab. World’s top female chess players have reacted with horror to being forced to wear the mandatory hijab and have threatened to boycott the tournament. With strong international pressure from women worldwide I am hopeful that the Islamic Regime will be forced to take a step back, and every step back for the Islamic Regime is a step forward for the Iranian Women and the women’s rights movement in Iran!

Sayeh Hassan is an Iranian Pro-Democracy activist. She is the author of the shiro-khorshid-forever blog (www.shiro-khorshid-forever.blogspot.com) which focuses on the pro-democracy movement and Regime Change in Iran.She regularly speaks at conferences, has appeared on television and radio programs and her writing has been published by publications such as National Post, Toronto Star & Ottawa Citizen. She can be contacted atsayehhassan30@gmail.com

آزادی دکتر هما هودفر شهروند ایرانی کانادا از زندان های رژیم جمهوری اسلامی خبر مسرت بخشی بود، اما نباید فراموش کرد که هم اکنون هزاران زندانی سیاسی دیگر در بند رژیم اسلامی اسیرند و سعید ملک پور شهروند ایرانی کانادایی یکی‌ دیگر از این زندانیان می باشد.

به عنوان یک فعال دموکراسی برای ایران ما می توانیم و باید نقش مهمی در تحت فشار گذاشتن رژیم جمهوری اسلامی داشته و رژیم را وادار کنیم که به خاطر نقض سیستماتیک حقوق بشر پاسخگو باشد. و اطمینان داشته باشیم صدای آنهایی که حقوق اولیه شان پایمال شده است را هم در کانادا و هم در سراسر جهان شنیده شده است.

نکته قابل اهمیتی که بایستی به آن اشاره کرد، این است که نقض سیستماتیک حقوق بشر در ایران، شامل دستگیری و زندانی مخالفان سیاسی یا آنهایی که به چشم مخالف سیاسی دیده می شوند، نشانگر معضلی بزرگتر در سیستم هست که گویای این است که دیکتاتوری اسلامی هیچ احترامی برای حقوق شهروندان خود ندارد. به عنوان شهروند ایرانی- کانادایی که ممکن است به کیس هایی مثل، دکتر هما هودفر و سعید ملک پور بیشتر بپردازیم نباید سرکوب زنان، معلمان، روزنامه نگاران، کارگران، دانشجویان، و مخالفان سیاسی رژیم را از یاد ببریم و هوشیارانه باید صدای آنها باشیم.

همچنین می بایستی دقت کنیم که پاره ای اوقات رژیم اسلامی احتمالا از افرادی مثل دکتر هودفر برای پیشبرد اهداف سیاسی خود استفاده می کند و در این مورد معین برای رابطه احتمالی دیپلماتیک مجدد با کانادا و بازگشایی احتمالی سفارت رژیم اوتاوا!

به عنوان جامعه ایرانی- کانادایی وظیفه ماست که نه تنها برای آزادی زندانیان سیاسی کمپین به راه بیاندازیم، بلکه برای یک ایرانِ سکولار- دموکراتیک بکوشیم. یکی از مهمترین وظایفی که ما می توانیم انجام دهیم ارتباط با دولت کانادا و آگاه کردن آنها از وضعیت زندانیان سیاسی می باشد و می توانیم از آنها در خواست کنیم که فشارِ سیاسی روی جمهوری اسلامی بگذارند. می بایست با نمایندگانِ خود در پارلمان و با مقامات دولتی که به حقوق بشر یا امور خارجه مربوط می شوند یا در این زمینه ها فعال هستند، ارتباط برقرار کنیم. مایه تاسف است که دولت لیبرال مایل به همکاری با جمهوری اسلامی می باشد و در نظر گرفته که به طور جدی برای بازگشایی سفارت جمهوری اسلامی تلاش کند. با این کار آنها چراغ سبز نشان می دهند که نقض حقوق بشر توسط جمهوری اسلامی در جامعه جهانی برایشان قابل تحمل است.

به خاطر این موضوع بسیار مهم است که ما، جامعه ایرانی کانادایی با نمایندگان خود ارتباط برقرار کنیم و آنها را در جریان نگرانی خود نسبت به وضعیت حقوق بشر و معضلات سیاسی قرار دهیم. همان قدر که مهم است نمایندگان خود را از وضعیت نابسامان حقوق بشر در ایران مطلع کنیم، می بایستی اذهان عمومی را نیز با نوشتن مقالات به زبان انگلیسی و با فعالیت گسترده در شبکه های اجتماعی مثل فیسبوک و توییتر، آگاه سازیم، تا بتوانیم با مردم کانادا ارتباط برقرار کنیم.

برای این کار ما نیاز داریم که با رسانه های چاپی، رادیو و تلویزیون کانادایی تماس برقرار کنیم تا بتوانیم پیام مان را در سطح گسترده به مردم کانادا برسانیم. هر فردی می تواند تغییری در جامعه به وجود بیاورد و این مستلزم برداشتن قدم هایی هر چند کوچک برای رساندن صدای بی صدایانی باشد که تحت سلطه جمهوری اسلامی هستند.

سایه حسن

وکیل ایرانی- کانادایی، وبلاگ نویس و کنشگر خواهان دموکراسی و مخالف جمهوری اسلامی

Please see the original article here

مسئولیت و راهکارهای جامعه ایرانی کانادایی در پیوند با نقض حقوق بشر در ایران

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang arrives in Ottawa on Wednesday to meet with Justin Trudeau and discuss a possible Extradition Treaty between Canada and China. While China claims the extradition would be geared towards “economic fugitives” I am greatly concerned that real targets may be Chinese dissidents who are currently living in Canada.

As well it is no secret that China is one of the worst human rights violators in the world with the highest rate of execution per capita in the world. There is serious concern surrounding China’s judicial process including rule of law and due process. The Chinese Government systematically arrests, imprisons and tortures peaceful Falun Gong practitioners and there is credible evidence that China may be killing Falun Gong practitioners in prison, and selling their organs for profit!

China is also known for its execution of non-political prisoners including those accused of “economic crimes”. Agreeing to an Extradition Treaty with China will put Canada in the position of sending people back to face torture and even execution which goes against Canada’s obligations not to extradite people who would be facing the death penalty.

Perhaps the most terrifying aspect of the possible Extradition Treaty is that Prime Minister is doing it for economic gain only. Canada will not gain anything from an extradition treaty as China’s extradition law does not allow anyone of Chinese nationality to be extradited to a foreign country. Canada is only considering the extradition treaty in order to gain more favorable terms around Canola Imports!

If Justin Trudeau is willing to send people to their death for favorable terms surrounding Canola Import what is to stop him from agreeing to have an extradition treaty with a dictatorship like Iran for economic gain, and endanger the lives of Iranian Canadians like myself who are considered to be “criminals” by the Regime in Iran for our political activities against the dictatorship?

Today it’s Canada China, tomorrow it might be Canada Iran or Canada Saudi Arabia or any other dictatorship in the world. We need to speak up now to make sure human lives are not traded for economic gain at least in Canada.

The Honourable Justin Trudeau-Prime Minister of Canada:

The Honourable Stéphane Dion- Minister of Foreign Affairs:

Re: Canada must not Restore Diplomatic Ties with the Islamic Regime in Iran and has a Duty to Canadians not to re-open their Embassy in Ottawa When Canada decided to cut diplomatic ties with the Islamic Regime in Iran four years ago, many Iranian Canadians rejoiced that the Islamic Regime’s Embassy in Ottawa also known as the “House of Terror” would finally be shut down.

At the time many in the Iranian Canadian Community referred to the Embassy as the “House of Terror” because the Embassy served as an operation headquarters for attempts to spy on Canadians and manipulate public policy and opinion. It identified and intimidated pro-democracy activists, with particular regard to Iranian Canadian dissidents whose families in Iran may have been vulnerable. Along with front organizations Embassy personnel penetrated our universities and some “students” boasting embassy connections warned campus democracy activists not to get out of line.

On the eve of the four (4) year anniversary of Canada breaking diplomatic ties with the Islamic Regime in Iran, the Iranian Canadian Congress (ICC) created a petition asking the Canadian Government to re-establish ties with the Islamic Regime in Iran and to re-open the embassy.

It is important to note that ICC does not represent the Iranian Canadian Community as a whole, but only a small numbers of Iranians most of them currently based in Toronto. It is further important to note that while a fraction of our community may support the re-opening of the Islamic Regime Embassy in Ottawa, there is a large number of us who vehemently oppose it!

There is great concern among our community about Islamic Regime’s systematic human rights violations against women, students, journalists, workers, teachers, religious and ethnic minorities and political dissidents in Iran. We watch in horror as Islamic Regime continues to have one of the highest rates of executions in the world. We are horrified to watch our brothers and sisters as they are arrested, arbitrarily detained and tortured for peacefully protesting or standing up for their rights.

We are also extremely concerned about the health and well being of Iranian Canadians currently detained by the Islamic Regime in Iran, including Saeed Malekpour and Homa Hoodfar. As you are well aware Mr. Malekpour has been detained for over eight (8) years, while Ms. Hoodfar was arrested in June of this year and there are serious concerns with regards to her health.

Lastly as opponents of the Islamic Regime in Iran, and activists who campaigned for years for Canada to cut diplomatic ties with the Regime and shut down its embassy, we have serious concerns about the re-opening of the “House of Terror” and the effects that might have on our safety and safety of our families and friends in Iran, as well as our ability to peacefully oppose the Islamic Regime.

We are urging the Canadian Government to continue to take a strong stand against Iran’s human rights violations, and take into account the safety and security of Iranian Canadians living in Canada. We urge Canada not to re-engage with Islamic Regime at a time when the Regime is holding Iranian Canadians hostage and brutalizing its own people.

It’s crucial for Canada to take a strong stand and make it clear to the Islamic Regime that torture, rape, public executions and hostage taking of dual citizens will not be rewarded by renewal of diplomatic relations and the re-opening of the Islamic Regime’s Embassy.

Yours truly,

Sayeh Hassan, Criminal Defence Lawyer, Blogger and Pro-Democracy Activist

Mahmood Ahmadi, Women’s Rights, Children’s Rights and Worker’s Rights Activist

Radio Payam Canada

Mansoureh Nasserchian, Activist, freelancer

Shabnam Assadollahi, Human Rights Activist, Freelance journalist, Former Radio Producer and Host

Homa Arjomand, Coordinator of the International Campaign Against Sharia Court In Canada

Avideh Motmaen Far, political activist, journalist

Yad Mahmodi, Secretariat of the international Committee Against Execution

Iraj Rezaei, Council of Iranian Refugees and Immigrants in Toronto

Soheila Dalvand, Campaign to Free Political Prisoners in Iran (CFPPI), Canada branch

David Aram, Iranian, Canadian labour Solidarity, Canada

In “After Obama, Reviewing American Leadership, Restoring Global Order” Robert Singh does a brilliant job of setting out challenges faced by the Obama administration with respect to foreign policy, analyzing the approaches taken by Obama and finally making suggestions on what the new U.S. administration can do to combat those challenges, and to make sure the United States remains a strong force in world politics.

One of my favorite quotes from the book was “underinvestment in the military and overinvestment in global cooperation has left America with more international challenges but fewer capabilities to meet them.” Singh is referring to both threats posed by an “exploding Middle East” as well as “existential threats on the USSR’s scale”. I found myself agreeing with most of Singh’s analysis and reasoning, and found them to be soundly based on objective facts and statistics.

As an Iranian-Canadian pro-democracy activist for me some of the most interesting parts of the book dealt with Iran and how Obama chose to deal with Iran’s nuclear threat. The author discusses in length the Iran nuclear agreement signed in 2015 and makes the analogy “despite the administration offering less an olive branch than entire forest for a nuclear accord.” I certainly agree with the analysis that Obama not only made huge concessions in order to have Iran sign the nuclear agreement (without Iran making similar concessions), Obama also chose to turn a blind eye to Iran’s systematic human rights violations, and gave the Islamic dictatorship the green light to carry on with arresting, torturing and murdering its citizen.

I found a lot of data and statistics in this book to be stirring, in that they show how fluid politics can be and how issues that are not significant during one election campaign may become crucial during the next campaign.

Robert Singh also took some time to give an overview of the history behind both the Republican and Democratic Party and their historic stand on foreign policy, which put the current election campaign and the rise of the two current Presidential nominees Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton into perspective.

I really enjoyed reading this book and found it easy to digest. I would highly recommend it to anyone interested in U.S. politics and foreign policy.

I was provided with a free copy of this book for the purpose of review.

Hard To Believe is a documentary about the state approved murder of Falun Gong practitioners in China, in order to harvest their organs. While many of us may be familiar with the systematic human rights violations in China, which include the imprisonment and torture of Falun Gong practitioners, very few of us are familiar with organ harvesting in China. Hard To Believe sheds light on this inhumane practice by the Chinese Government.

Hard To Believe is about 56 minutes long and very engaging from the beginning to the end. It gives a great overview of the persecution of Falun Gong practice which is a peaceful spiritual practice that focuses on truth and compassion. The Chinese Government considers Falun Gong a cult and started the crackdown on its practitioners in 1999.

According to Hard To Believe there are between half a million to one million Falun Gong Practitioners in prison at any given time in China. The documentary discusses the mandatory blood and eye tests and organ examinations directed at Falun Gong practitioners. We hear from Enver Tohti, a former Chinese surgeon who was told to remove the organs of a live prisoner who had just been shot to be executed. The shot had not killed the prisoner, however Tohti was told not to worry about anesthesia and remove the organs as soon as possible.

We also hear from former political prisoners who were imprisoned and tortured, but also subjected to cornea tests, extensive blood tests and organ examinations.

David Matas a Canadian human rights lawyer who has done extensive research on this issue and has tried to shed light on the brutal practice of organ transplant in China tells us how the organs of Falun Gong practitioners are ideal because of their healthy life styles, and the Chinese Government sells these organs for hundreds of thousands of dollars.

One of the tragedies we learn about in this documentary is the silence of the main stream media, which essentially amounts to giving China the green light to keep on murdering prisoners of conscience to sell their organs for a profit.

After watching this documentary you come to realize it is NOT hard to believe, and it is happening, and it’s time for the international community to stand up and condemn organ harvesting in China. I highly recommend this documentary to any human rights activist or organization who is interested in the human rights situation in China. I encourage you to visit their website at http://www.hardtobelievemovie.com/ and learn how to help.

I was provided with a free copy of this documentary for review purposes.

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