IranMiddle East – North Africa News Call for Iranian New Year pardons for Iran’s 21 imprisoned journalists Organisation RSF_en June 9, 2021 Find out more After Hengameh Shahidi’s pardon, RSF asks Supreme Leader to free all imprisoned journalists Fotos: Arash Ashoorinia (www.kosuf.com ) Help by sharing this information News Receive email alerts to go further Iran: Press freedom violations recounted in real time January 2020 June 18, 2013 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Hope for 54 imprisoned journalists and netizens? IranMiddle East – North Africa March 18, 2021 Find out more The presidential and municipal elections held in Iran on 14 June lacked objective media coverage. The more than 50 million Iranian voters were denied freely reported and independent information when making their choice. Nonetheless, although the media were muzzled, Iranians used the elections to express their views and vote against Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei’s policies.“This election showed yet again that the people’s vote for change in June 2009 was stolen by Iran’s two predators of press freedom, Ali Khamenei and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad,” Reporters Without Borders said. “The two have been responsible for the persecution and arbitrary arrests of more than 300 journalists and netizens, and their torture by the intelligence services.”Hassan Rohani, the moderate conservative candidate who had promised change and was backed by reformers, was declared outright winner in the first round on 15 June with more than 51 per cent of the votes.“Mr. Rohani, you are now the Islamic Republic’s seventh president, elected thanks to massive support from Iranian reformers and progressives. Your election follows Mahmoud Ahmadinedjad’s eight-year presidency, in which repressive measures and abuses against civil society and journalists were stepped up, especially during his second term.“Your campaign promises included references to a desire to work for freedom of expression and media freedom, and the release of all political prisoners. These firm undertakings encouraged progressives, especially young people and women, to vote en masse for you. It is now your duty to keep these promises, and to ensure that they are not empty, meaningless words.“You are now the repository of hope of extricating Iran from the crisis that has paralyzed it for years, guaranteeing free and independent information for the entire people, and respecting the Islamic Republics international undertakings, especially as regards freedom of information. Your fellow citizens will not feel free until these demands have been met.”On 21 May, Reporters Without Borders wrote to you and the seven other presidential candidates stressing the need to put respect for fundamental freedoms, including freedom of information, at the centre of your presidency. Today, we reiterate these demands to you, the new president:- Demand the unconditional release of the 54 journalists and netizens currently imprisoned in Iran. Some were arrested following President Ahmadinejad’s disputed reelection in June 2009 and are still being held four years later. Their only crime is to have exercised their constitutional right to freedom of information. This right will not be observed in Iran as long as arrests and arbitrary detentions remain a systematic practice by officials bent on muzzling the media and silencing civil society.- Begin an overhaul of media legislation in order to decriminalize press offences and guarantee freedom of information without discrimination based on language, religion or political opinion. A revision of the 1986 press law (amended in 2000 and 2009 to include online publications) is urgently needed because it allows the authorities to persecute news providers on charges of “attacking the Islamic Republic,” “insulting the Supreme Leader” and “disseminating false information.” Amendments requiring online publications to be licensed must be repealed.- Ensure that Iranian citizens have free, uncensored and unmonitored Internet access. The launching of a “Halal Internet” designed to impose a digital apartheid, constitutes a danger for Iran.- End arbitrary actions and impunity. The murders of dissident journalists must not go unpunished. They include the deaths of Ebrahim Zalzadeh, Majid Charif, Mohammed Mokhtari, Mohammed Jafar Pouyandeh and Pirouz Davani, all executed by agents of the Ministry of Intelligence and National Security in November and December 1988. They also include the deaths in detention of Zahra Kazemi (2003), Ayfer Serçe (2006), the young blogger Omidreza Mirsayafi, of Iran-e-Farda journalist Hoda Saber’s, and women’s rights activist Haleh Sahabi (2012) and Sattar Beheshti (2012). Those who ordered and carried out these crimes must be brought to justice. News Follow the news on Iran News February 25, 2021 Find out more
Paul O’Connell has given his seal of approval to the new Ireland coaching team headed up by former Leinster boss Joe Schmidt. O’Connell was among a group of more than 40 players to be involved in a national squad training camp with Schmidt that ended on Monday. It was the first chance for Schmidt, his fellow New Zealander John Plumtree and Australian Les Kiss to assess resources ahead of the Guinness Series in November that features appointments with Samoa, Australia and New Zealand on successive weekends. “We found out last season that you are only a few injuries away from being made a little bit vulnerable, so we have got to try to build that depth. “If we can build that it will give us a little bit more stability going forward, and we can be a little bit more regular with our team performance. “Hopefully, we can gain the consistency that enables us to be really competitive, no matter who we have available to us. “Coming from 33 games a season (with Leinster) to 10 maximum (with Ireland) and all 10 of them are effectively finals, you don’t do anything other than pick your top side. “We’ve tried to kind of learn a bit more about the experienced guys in this camp, with a sprinkling of younger guys, and we’ve also spoken to a number of younger players and given them the encouragement that we are watching them and we are hoping they continue to develop. “You are always learning about players and about what is best for them and their preparation, and it is the same for players. They are always learning and tweaking things.” Kiss took interim charge for a successful two-Test summer tour to North America and Canada, but that followed a disappointing RBS 6 Nations campaign. Although Ireland began the tournament by beating eventual champions Wales in Cardiff, they did not win another game, drawing against France and losing to England, Scotland and Italy. “Any time you work with someone new and as successful a coach as Joe Schmidt, it is always a good thing,” former Ireland captain O’Connell said. “We’ve only had a small number of sessions with him, but they have been really enjoyable and stimulating. “Joe has a tried and trusted way of running his coaching staff and running the teams he coaches, and you look at the success he has had with Leinster over the last number of years and it is hard not to trust that. “This is our first time working with John, and he has a great rugby CV, having worked in so many great places, particularly Wellington and with the Sharks (in South Africa) for the last number of years.” Schmidt twice led Leinster to Heineken Cup final triumphs, but he has now arrived on the international stage after succeeding Declan Kidney on a three-year contract that incorporates the 2015 World Cup. His first match in charge of Ireland will be against Samoa in Dublin on November 9. “I know the Guinness Series is only weeks away now, and those weeks tend to go very quickly when you are watching a lot of rugby and a lot of footage,” Schmidt told reporters. “There are obviously challenges to build strength and depth in a number of positions. Some of those positions are well known, but right from the back to the front of the team you want to build strength in depth. Press Association
This wasn’t straight déjà vu – Paul didn’t limp back on the court, he didn’t deliver the biggest plays in the biggest moments.No, in the Clippers’ 106-101 win Thursday over San Antonio, they let things get weird.Going with an all-bench lineup for nearly the entire fourth-quarter, Doc Rivers relied upon his improved depth to seal a win against a NBA title contender.“It’s the confidence we have in our bench,” Rivers said.Marreese Speights scored 14 while grabbing seven big rebounds, while standing in and drawing charges. Raymond Felton, Paul’s back-up, relentlessly attacked the San Antonio defense off the dribble for 13 points. Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error “He was awesome,” Rivers said of Felton.And Wes Johnson and Austin Rivers, who combined to shoot 5-of-20, both hit crucial fourth-quarter 3’s.“I thought it was amazing,” DeAndre Jordan said. “Everyone in the second unit is why we won this game.”At one point, Jordan walked to the scorer’s table to check in just as Speights launched a 3. As the shot went through the hoop, Jordan walked back to the bench with a smile on his face. Luc Mbah a Moute also went to check in on multiple occasions only to be called back.The unconventional lineup forced the Spurs to abandon their starting frontcourt, negating some of their size advantages.It’s the second time this season the Clippers have beaten San Antonio. The Spurs have lost only four other times this season.Prior to the game, Popovich said the biggest difference with the Blake Griffin-less Clippers was a more aggressive, urgent Paul.“Chris takes on a lot more leadership and becomes a total, total monster,” Popovich said pregame. He’s got Kobe-like heart of a lion. We’ll see that. He’ll do that while Blake is down. He’ll take a lot on himself and be even more demonstrative in scoring and doing what he’s got to do to motivate his team.”For 22 minutes or so, that’s exactly what Paul did.He scored 19 points on only 11 shots. He grabbed seven boards and handed out six assists to go with a pair of steals.But instead of leaving the bench to check in for his normal fourth quarter minutes, cameras caught Paul trying to do defensive slides while team trainer Jasen Powell looked on.Paul never returned to the Clipper bench because of what the team called “a strained left hamstring.”“I’m OK,” Paul said. “…I’m glad I caught it when I did.”Thursday’s game against San Antonio began a stretch of seven games in 10 days. His status is unknown for the next contest, a home game Friday against Dallas.Instead of walking off the floor into the locker room as a hero, the Clippers celebrated a different group postgame. The cheers could be heard through the walls, as guys like Speights and Felton helped them pick up a huge win.“This group, they really get along,” Rivers said. “They kinda get it.” LOS ANGELES >> San Antonio’s sometimes cantankerous coach Gregg Popovich said he doesn’t spend a lot of time thinking about the Clippers and Spurs epic playoff series two seasons ago.That series ended with Chris Paul hobbling loose long enough to hit a series-ending game winner, a punctuation on the end of an incredible seven-game series.Thursday, he got a reminder.Paul dominated the Spurs, scoring, passing and controlling things, helping his team own a double-digit lead. But during the third quarter, Paul reached for his left hamstring, the same one that slowed him before the biggest shot of his pro career.