Iran’s parliament voted to restrict the internet amid growing popular discontent and escalating protests, calling for Khamenei’s ouster. Iran’s parliament on 28 July approved a bill to ban foreign messengers and step up internet censorship. During the unofficial parliamentary session, 121 members voted in favour, and 74 voted against the bill.
The parliament agreed to discuss the bill requiring social media companies to have an office in Iran and be registered with the government.
Failing to do so would see them banned by the authorities. The bill also takes control of the internet away from the civilian government and places it under the armed forces.
After the passing of the bill, it will be forwarded to the Cultural Commission, where it can be put in pilot implementation. The pilot implementation will last between three to five years before it is finalized. The “Protection of the Rights of Cyberspace Users” project severely restricts the Internet access in Iran.
Immediately after Ebrahim Raisi was announced as Iran’s next president, Amnesty International’s Secretary General, Agnès Callamard, said on 19 June 2021: “That Ebrahim Raisi has risen to the presidency instead of being investigated for the crimes against humanity of murder, enforced disappearance and torture, is a grim reminder that impunity reigns supreme in Iran.
In 2018, our organization documented how Ebrahim Raisi had been a member of the ‘death commission’ which forcibly disappeared and extra judicially executed in secret thousands of political dissidents in Evin and Gohardasht prisons near Tehran in 1988. The circumstances surrounding the fate of the victims and the whereabouts of their bodies are, to this day, systematically concealed by the Iranian authorities, amounting to ongoing crimes against humanity.”
Three days of Water shortage Iran protests in the south-western Khuzestan, south Province have turned deadly, with the state security forces killing at least two protesters. Ghasem Khozeiri, 17, who was shot and wounded by security forces during Friday protests in Kuta Abdullah, Ahvaz, died later at the hospital. According to local reports, Mostafa Naeemawi, was shot and killed on the same day in the restive city of Shadegan. The state-run IRNA News Agency confirmed a young man was killed and said “seditionists” shot Mostafa during in the protests. The regime uses the word seditionists to refer to protesters. IRNA quoted Omid Sabripour, a local government chief of the city of Shadegan in Khuzestan province, as saying “a number of Shadegan’s people had gathered to protest water shortages due to the drought, during which opportunists and rioters shot dead one of the demonstrators.” He said the person had been killed by a stray bullet fired into the air.
On Saturday, Sunday, and Monday, hundreds of thousands of Iranian expatriates in 105 different countries tuned in to a series of live-streamed speeches by high-profile politicians, freedom-loving people, and the supporters of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI). During the three-day Free Iran World Summit over 1,000 political dignitaries took part in the event as members of delegations representing the United States, United Kingdom, European Union, the Arab world, and beyond.
The keynote speaker of all three events was Mrs. Maryam Rajavi, the NCRI’s president-elect. On Saturday, those remarks largely focused on Iran’s domestic affairs and the perceived vulnerability of the clerical regime, but also touched upon the international community’s inaction vis-à-vis the ongoing human rights violations in Iran and export of terrorism abroad.
Monday marks the conclusion of the three-day Free Iran 2021 world summit organized by the Iranian resistance for the purpose of promoting more assertive policies toward the Iranian regime and demonstrating the prospect for regime change to be brought about by the country’s domestic population.
President-elect Mrs. Maryam Rajavi used her keynote speech on Saturday to highlight the theocratic regime’s apparent fear of escalating protest movements and to call on Western powers for a firm policy towards the Iranian regime. In her follow-up remarks on Sunday, she gave voice to more specific criticisms of existing Western policies, especially in the wake of the 2015 Iran nuclear deal.
As Mrs. Rajavi described the situation, those revelations, including the location of the regime’s fortified nuclear facility at Fordo, have presented a crucial challenge to Tehran’s persistent strategy of “hiding its nuclear program” and “deceiving the world” while also courting Western efforts to “stop or curb this project by granting concessions or by showing complacency.”
The international community must hold Ebrahim Raisi, the new president of the Iranian regime, to account for his crimes against humanity, politicians from around the world emphasized on the third and final day of the Free Iran 2021 World Summit. Raisi, a key figure in the 1988 massacre of Iranian political prisoners, has become notoriously renowned as the “henchman of 1988.” He is sanctioned in the U.S. and Europe for his human rights abuses. And the speakers at the Free Iran conference urged their governments not to deal with a regime whose head of state is a murderer. “As far as the international community is concerned, this is a test of whether it will engage and deal with this genocidal regime or whether it will stand with the Iranian people,” said Mrs. Maryam Rajavi, the president-elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), in her address to the conference.
No information is available on the health conditions of Arzhang Davoudi, 68, who has been detained in the high security ward of Rajaishahr Prison (Gohardasht) in Karaj, isolated from other inmates since 27 May 2021.
Political prisoner Arzhang Davoudi was transferred to Rajaishahr Prison after long years of exile in remote prisons in Ahvaz, Bandar Abbas, and Zabol. Prisons authorities and Intelligence Ministry agents held him incommunicado and subjected him to torture and harassment in a bid to break him.
The Greater Tehran Penitentiary did not accept Mr. Davoudi, fearing that his contact with young prisoners arrested and detained during the November 2019 protests would boost their morale and resistance in prison.
The authorities of Rajaishahr Prison have also refrained from admitting him to the ward of political prisoners. They have held him in solitary confinement in the high security ward.
In the past month, the Iranian authorities have warned social media users and media activists that they would severely deal with those calling for a boycott of the elections. It comes when Iranians are calling for a massive boycott of the elections. On 17 May this year, the Guardian Council, the body that oversees legislations and elections, disqualified major regime officials, who have applied to run in the elections, paving the way for the definite victory of Chief Justice Ebrahim Raisi. In the past month, several Iran officials have backed Internet filtering in Iran and threatened Iranians who call for the election boycott. The Chief Justice of Kurdistan said in a meeting on June 1 that anyone who crossed the regimes “red line” in cyberspace regarding the upcoming elections would be severely dealt with. According to the state-run ISNA News Agency, Seyed Hossein Hosseini said the Judiciary would monitor everyone’s activities on the internet and that offenders would be “severely” dealt with without any leniency. “Maximum turnout and choosing the best candidate are the most important priorities of the elections,” the Head of the Judiciary in the western province said in the third session of the Prevention and Examination of Electoral Crimes and Violations Office.
The Iranian regime’s Ministry of Intelligence and Security (MOIS) has recently informed the family of political prisoner Mehran Gharebaghi in Behbahan that he had been sentenced to death.
Mehran Gharebaghi, 29, a Bachelor of Science in Agriculture, was arrested on 18 January 2020, along with a friend, Majid Khademi, 29, and transferred to Behbahan Prison after a month-long interrogation.
The MOIS agents demanded that Mehran’s family pressure him to recant, collaborate with the ministry. This they said must happen before a formal court ruling is issued.
In late 2020, the public and Revolutionary Prosecutor of Behbahan arraigned them with charges of “propaganda against the state,” “complicity in destruction and setting fire to public property,” “participation in disturbing public order,” “participation in making civilian incendiary material” and “membership in an opposition group (The People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK), and corruption on Earth.”