Special Iranian units lead crackdown on unrest


Imprisoned Iranian human rights activist Narges Mohammadi says she has been suffering from symptoms similar to those of COVID-19 — the illness caused by the coronavirus — including coughs, fatigue, diarrhea, and loss of smell, and has complained that authorities have not released the results of her test, RFE/RL reports:

In a letter from prison published online on July 13, Mohammadi said she and 11 of her cellmates in the Zanjan prison, some 330 kilometers west of the capital, Tehran, are suspected of having been infected with the coronavirus. Mohammadi, who served as the spokesperson for the Center for Human Rights Defenders in Iran founded by Nobel Peace Prize-winner Shirin Ebadi, said “signs” of an outbreak of coronavirus emerged in the prison about two weeks ago.

“Unfortunately, the judiciary wants to teach her a lesson and force her not to take any stands. Not to be herself. Narges Mohammadi is being denied every basic right because she takes a stand,”her husband, Taghi Rahmani, toldthe New York-based Center for Human Rights In Iran last week.

Iran’s judiciary spokesman today announced that November protesters Mohammad Rajabi, Saeed Tamjidi and Amirhossein Moradi are officially on death row. Iranians on social media are fighting back. We hear them and join them! the Abdorrahman Boroumand Center tweeted (above). @IranRights_org #NoToExecution #اعدام_نکنید

In the months following the killing of Qassem Soleimani in January, Iran has employed a combination of lawfare, aggressive diplomacy, and non-violent active measures in Europe to normalize both its geopolitical agenda and its unsavory activities abroad. This new strategy is proving effective, notes analyst Irina Tsukerman.

By casting itself as victim rather than perpetrator, Iran is bridging the gap between European countries’ commitment to human rights, the rule of law, and due process and their interest in continuing to do business with the Islamic Republic — even at the risk of circumventing US sanctions, she writes. RTWT

While Iran’s regime has been “abuzz” about recent protests in the United States, in just the last round of protests in Iran, in November 2019, up to 1,500 people were killed in a matter of days by Iran’s security forces, the police, the Basij, and the IRGC’s new establishment, the Provincial Guards (IRGC-PG), analyst Saeid Golkar writes for The National Interest:

Established in 2008, the IRGC Provincial Guards have been implemented in each of Iran’s thirty-one provinces, in addition to a separate command for the country’s capital, Tehran. The Provincial Guards now constitute a military administrative system that directly parallels the state’s administrative system but is accountable only to the Supreme Leader and the IRGC’s leadership. This system is beyond the control of the Interior Ministry and, ultimately, the president.

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