06192018Tue

Iran Focus: Neka (northern Iran), Aug 31 – The orphaned 16-year-old girl hanged in front of residents in this town close to the Caspian Sea on August 15 suffered years of brutal violence, exploitation and torture in the hands of relatives, local officials and plain strangers, and in a country where girls are the most vulnerable members of society, she had no one to go to for help.
The tragic picture emerges from dozens of interviews conducted by an Iran Focus correspondent with Atefeh Rajabi’s classmates, friends, relatives and neighbors in this humid, overcrowded industrial town that sits on a busy highway linking Tehran with the north of the country.

Iran Focus: Tehran - A man was hanged in public in the city of Arak, (central Iran) on Sunday, August 29.
As the unnamed man was being taken to the gallows, the crowd on the scene called for his life to be spared. Officials, however, went ahead with the hanging.

Associated Press: Foreign Affairs Minister Pierre Pettigrew said Tuesday that Canada has not ruled out sanctions against Iran to protest the death in custody of a Quebec-based photojournalist.
Pettigrew, who was on his first visit to the European Union as Canada's new foreign affairs minister, said he discussed the case of slain Canadian journalist Zahra Kazemi with EU counterparts during two days of meetings in Brussels.

The Washington Times: Iran's parliament is preparing fashion designs for national Islamic costumes to combat what they call the corrupting influence of Western fashion.
Agence France Presse reports the move comes after the supreme leader of the Islamic Republic, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, warned the nation about a "cultural invasion" and the dangers to public morality of imitating foreigners. Iranians needed to design their own styles, he said.

TORONTO STAR: Payam lives alone and never talks about the past. The 46-year-old Iranian with gentle brown eyes and a quiet smile is haunted by the smell of fear and death. Now working as an engineer in England, he walks with special soles in his shoes because his feet have been damaged by torture.

Sunday Telegraph: Atefeh Rajabi appears to have been a fairly normal 16-year-old: sulky, disobedient, and eager to have sex. In London, those attributes earn lectures from parents and teachers on the importance of acting responsibly and not being offensive. In the city of Neka in Iran, where Atefeh Rajabi comes from, they get you hauled up in front of a judge.
Atefeh's typical teenage behaviour meant that she was charged and found guilty of "acts incompatible with chastity".

RFE/RL: The EU's outgoing external relations commissioner, Chris Patten, has said Iran's "backward movement" on human rights and unwillingness to fully meet UN nuclear demands constitute one of the biggest regrets of his career. Patten, who will step down at the end of October, made the remarks in a farewell talk to members of the European Parliament's foreign relations committee in Brussels yesterday.

AFP: The door to Iranian Nobel laureate Shirin Ebadi's home was forced open twice in the past 10 days, she said Wednesday, adding that she believed the break-ins were intended as a threat.
"I'm taking it as a threat, some people want to make me understand that, even at home, I am not secure," she told AFP.

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