Five protesters sentenced to death by Iran regime

Five protesters sentenced to death by Iran regime
Tehran has accused Western intelligence services of fomenting the protests and seeking to instigate a civil war in Iran. (AP)
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Updated 07 December 2022

Five protesters sentenced to death by Iran regime

Five protesters sentenced to death by Iran regime
  • 1,200 students ‘poisoned’ on eve of demo

JEDDAH: Iran’s regime on Tuesday sentenced five people to death for allegedly killing a member of a paramilitary force affiliated with Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard. Eleven others received prison sentences.

The 13 men and three minors had been charged with killing Ruhollah Ajamian, a member of the Basij, a paramilitary volunteer branch of Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guard.

The five sentenced to death Monday were charged by Iran’s Revolutionary Court, along with eight others. Three boys were charged by Iran’s Criminal Court. Judiciary spokesman Masoud Setayeshi provided no evidence to support any of the accusations in an official report.

Officials did not disclose the identities of the 16. They said their sentences can be appealed, the longest being 25 years.

The alleged killing took place In Karaj, near Tehran, on Nov. 12 when a group of men chased and attacked Ajamian with knives and stones, the regime claims.

The sentencing comes amid months of anti-government demonstrations that have been violently suppressed by Iran’s security forces. The protests, now entering their third month, were sparked by the death in police custody of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini, who was detained for allegedly violating the country’s strict dress code.

Iran’s Revolutionary Guards on Tuesday arrested 12 people accused of being linked to overseas agents and planning “subversive action,” the elite force said.

Tehran has accused Western intelligence services of fomenting the protests and seeking to instigate a civil war in Iran.

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Meanwhile, a group of 1,200 university students in Iran have been struck by a food poisoning outbreak on the eve of nationwide anti-regime demonstrations set to be held throughout the country, the Daily Telegraph reported.

The students at Kharazmi and Arak universities, as well as four other institutions, threw their provided food onto surrounding streets in protest, with the country’s national student union accusing authorities of deliberately poisoning people.

In a statement, the union said: “Our past experiences of similar incidents at the Isfahan University negates the authorities’ reason for this mass food poisoning.”

Officials have blamed the outbreak on waterborne bacteria.

However, clinics in several affected universities have also closed or run out of supplies to treat dehydration and other associated symptoms of food poisoning, in a sign that the outbreak may have been a deliberate strategy to thwart the national protest movement.

It came as a three-day nationwide strike was due to begin on Wednesday, intensifying public pressure against the regime.


Japan condemns attacks in Palestine and Israel

Japan condemns attacks in Palestine and Israel
Updated 5 min 51 sec ago

Japan condemns attacks in Palestine and Israel

Japan condemns attacks in Palestine and Israel

TOKYO: Japan has expressed “serious concern” about what it calls “the growing tensions surrounding Israel and Palestine,” where a number of civilians have been killed in recent days in areas that include East Jerusalem and Jenin.

A statement by the Foreign Ministry in Tokyo stated: “Japan strongly condemns any terror attacks, including the one at a Jerusalem synagogue.”

The statement said Japan extends its sincere condolences to the bereaved families.

Japan urged all parties concerned to exert self-restraint and avoid any unilateral action in order to avert further escalation of the situation and to restore calm to the area.

This story was originally published on Arab News Japan


Iran jails couple in viral dancing video: activists

Iran jails couple in viral dancing video: activists
Updated 18 min 11 sec ago

Iran jails couple in viral dancing video: activists

Iran jails couple in viral dancing video: activists
  • A revolutionary court in Tehran sentenced them each to 10 years and six months in prison
  • As well as bans on using the Internet and leaving Iran

Paris — FRA
Paris, Jan 31, 2023 Agence France Presse: An Iranian court has handed jail sentences of over 10 years each to a young couple who danced in front of one of Tehran’s main landmarks in a video seen as a symbol of defiance against the regime, activists said on Tuesday.
Astiyazh Haghighi and her fiance Amir Mohammad Ahmadi, both in their early 20s, had been arrested in early November after a video went viral of them dancing romantically in front of the Azadi Tower in Tehran.PARIS: An Iranian court has handed jail sentences of over 10 years each to a young couple who danced in front of one of Tehran’s main landmarks in a video seen as a symbol of defiance against the regime, activists said on Tuesday.
Astiyazh Haghighi and her fiance Amir Mohammad Ahmadi, both in their early 20s, had been arrested in early November after a video went viral of them dancing romantically in front of the Azadi Tower in Tehran.
Haghighi did not wear a headscarf in defiance of the Islamic republic’s strict rules for women, while women are also not allowed to dance in public in Iran, let alone with a man.
A revolutionary court in Tehran sentenced them each to 10 years and six months in prison, as well as bans on using the Internet and leaving Iran, the US-based Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA) said.
The couple, who already had a following in Tehran as popular Instagram bloggers, were convicted of “encouraging corruption and public prostitution” as well as “gathering with the intention of disrupting national security,” it added.
HRANA cited sources close to their families as saying they had been deprived of lawyers during the court proceedings while attempts to secure their release on bail have been rejected.
It said Haghighi is now in the notorious Qarchak prison for women outside Tehran, whose conditions are regularly condemned by activists.
Iranian authorities have clamped down severely on all forms of dissent since the death in September of Mahsa Amini, who had been arrested for allegedly violating the headscarf rules, sparked protests that have turned into a movement against the regime.
At least 14,000 people have been arrested, according to the United Nations, ranging from prominent celebrities, journalists and lawyers to ordinary people who took to the streets.
The couple’s video had been hailed as a symbol of the freedoms demanded by the protest movement, with Ahmadi at one moment lifting his partner in the air as her long hair flowed behind.
One of the main icons of the Iranian capital, the gigantic and futuristic Azadi (Freedom) Tower is a place of huge sensitivity.
It opened under the rule of the last shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi in the early 1970s when it was known as the Shahyad (In Memory of the Shah) Tower.
It was renamed after the shah was ousted in 1979 with the creation of the Islamic republic. Its architect, a member of the Bahai faith which is not recognized in today’s Iran, now lives in exile.


Haghighi did not wear a headscarf in defiance of the Islamic republic’s strict rules for women, while women are also not allowed to dance in public in Iran, let alone with a man.
A revolutionary court in Tehran sentenced them each to 10 years and six months in prison, as well as bans on using the Internet and leaving Iran, the US-based Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA) said.
The couple, who already had a following in Tehran as popular Instagram bloggers, were convicted of “encouraging corruption and public prostitution” as well as “gathering with the intention of disrupting national security,” it added.
HRANA cited sources close to their families as saying they had been deprived of lawyers during the court proceedings while attempts to secure their release on bail have been rejected.
It said Haghighi is now in the notorious Qarchak prison for women outside Tehran, whose conditions are regularly condemned by activists.
Iranian authorities have clamped down severely on all forms of dissent since the death in September of Mahsa Amini, who had been arrested for allegedly violating the headscarf rules, sparked protests that have turned into a movement against the regime.
At least 14,000 people have been arrested, according to the United Nations, ranging from prominent celebrities, journalists and lawyers to ordinary people who took to the streets.
The couple’s video had been hailed as a symbol of the freedoms demanded by the protest movement, with Ahmadi at one moment lifting his partner in the air as her long hair flowed behind.
One of the main icons of the Iranian capital, the gigantic and futuristic Azadi (Freedom) Tower is a place of huge sensitivity.
It opened under the rule of the last shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi in the early 1970s when it was known as the Shahyad (In Memory of the Shah) Tower.
It was renamed after the shah was ousted in 1979 with the creation of the Islamic republic. Its architect, a member of the Bahai faith which is not recognized in today’s Iran, now lives in exile.
sjw/ah/kir


Arab Petroleum provided 93.2% of Japan’s imports in December

Arab Petroleum provided 93.2% of Japan’s imports in December
Updated 23 min 37 sec ago

Arab Petroleum provided 93.2% of Japan’s imports in December

Arab Petroleum provided 93.2% of Japan’s imports in December

TOKYO: Japan remained heavily dependent on Arab crude oil to generate about 30 percent of its energy needs for its economy in December 2022, data showed.

In numbers, Arab Petroleum provided 93.2% of the 91.87 million barrels of oil imported by Japan in that month, with 93.2% of that amount, or 85.62 million barrels, coming from the six Arab countries of Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain, and Oman, according to data from the Agency for Natural Resources and Energy of the Japanese Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry.

Saudi Arabia alone provided the biggest share of the imports, 37.64 million barrels or 41% of the total. The United Arab Emirates supplied 36.4% or 33.47 million barrels. Kuwait provided 8.8% or 7.27 million barrels, and Qatar supplied 5% or 3.89 million barrels. Japan also imported 2.1%, about two million barrels, from Bahrain and another 0.5% or, 479 thousand barrels, from Oman.

Notably, imports of crude oil from Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates amounted to 77.4% of the country’s total oil imports in December 2022 making both countries crucial for Japan to maintain its energy security.

The data showed a notable increase from the United States of America at 4%. Central and South America provided 1.4%, Southeast Asia 1.2%, Brunei 0.3%, and Oceania 0.1%.

Sanctions against Russian and Iranian oil have continued as Japanese companies followed the policy of the USA.

The figures cited represent the quantities of oil that reached refineries, tanks, and warehouses in ports in Japan during December 2022. Japan uses oil to generate about a third of its energy needs.

This story was originally published on Arab News Japan


British supermodel Naomi Campbell spotted in Abu Dhabi with her daughter  

British supermodel Naomi Campbell spotted in Abu Dhabi with her daughter  
Updated 25 min 58 sec ago

British supermodel Naomi Campbell spotted in Abu Dhabi with her daughter  

British supermodel Naomi Campbell spotted in Abu Dhabi with her daughter  

DUBAI: British supermodel Naomi Campbell was spotted in Abu Dhabi visiting the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque this week. 

The 52-year-old catwalk star shared images of herself at the touristic hotspot in the UAE wearing a leopard print abaya with a grey headscarf.  

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Dr Naomi Campbell (@naomi)

Campbell visited the mosque with her daughter. In some of the pictures she shared on Instagram, Campbell can be seen standing in one of the mosque’s halls holding her little girl’s hands.  

“Splendor of Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque,” she wrote on Instagram to her 14 million followers. “Thank you (for the) breathtaking tour,” she added, thanking her organizers.  

Since announcing the arrival of her daughter in May 2021, Campbell has only shared a few images of her child. 


Mekkonen returns to Dubai Marathon’s ‘life-changing’ streets

Mekkonen returns to Dubai Marathon’s ‘life-changing’ streets
Updated 31 January 2023

Mekkonen returns to Dubai Marathon’s ‘life-changing’ streets

Mekkonen returns to Dubai Marathon’s ‘life-changing’ streets
  • Former champion confirmed for Feb. 12 race after winning in 2014, finishing third in 2016

DUBAI: Former winner and unofficial junior world record holder Tsegaye Mekonnen will return to the scene of his greatest triumph when he lines up at the start of the 2023 Dubai Marathon on Feb. 12.

On his official marathon debut nine years ago, Mekonnen clinched first place as he clocked the fastest time by an 18-year-old runner in two hours, four minutes and 32 seconds, nine seconds shy of the course record and 69 seconds off the world record — a time he was on course to beat at the half-way split.

Twelve months earlier, the young Ethiopian had taken part in Dubai as a pacemaker so the whirlwind start to his marathon career was as unexpected as it was explosive. Two years later he was back running over the streets he described as “life-changing”, finishing third in the 2016 Dubai Marathon.

Still the youngest winner in the history of the Middle East’s oldest Marathon, Mekonnen has an impressive CV as a young runner with his 2014 Dubai victory being the third fastest time in history by an athlete making his full marathon debut.

Held under the aegis of the Dubai Sports Council, the 2023 Dubai Marathon will see the World Athletics Gold Label race finally return to the sporting calendar after a three-year absence.

By his own admission, victory in Dubai was a life-changing experience for the now 27-year-old. “Winning in Dubai meant I was able to buy a house in Addis Ababa and I bought a car to be able to go to training,” he said. “I was also able to stop school and concentrate fully on running. It is definitely a completely different life for me now.”

Since that mercurial debut, Mekonnen scored a fifth-place finish at the 2014 London Marathon (two hours, eight minutes and six seconds), won the 2017 Hamburg Marathon (two hours, seven minutes and 26 seconds) and finished runner-up in the 2018 Shanghai International Marathon (two hours, nine minutes and 18 seconds).

Over the past few years, he has had to deal with injury as well as a lack of race opportunities due to the COVID-19 pandemic. But the runner will return to Dubai eager to rekindle old memories on the flat and fast course that changed his life and had him dreaming of a future world record.