Kurdish journalist Shamzin Jihad sentenced in Iran
The Kurdish National Congress of North America condemns the arrest, imprisonment, and sentencing of Shamzin Jihad, a Kurdish journalist in Iran.
The Iranian government continues its prosecution of Kurds who dare to express their ethnic identity. Amnesty International reports, Judicial authorities curtailed freedoms of expression, opinion and association, including of ethnic minorities; scores of publications were closed, Internet sites were filtered and journalists were imprisoned. In the same report, it is stated that most executions were carried out against the Kurdish minority, often in public. Numerous reports of this kind demonstrate that the Iranian congress continues to criminalize the most basic human rights and that the Iranian judicial system is completely lacking the desire and ability to apply the most basic human laws.
Shamzin Jihads sentencing in the city of Mahabat is an example of how the Iranian regime criminalizes any and all expressions of Kurdish identity. The governments case is based on her declaration that she is a Kurd and that she refers to her place of birth as Kurdistan. In this age of free speech and human rights, Ms. Jihads commitment to her true identity should be celebrated and not punished. We are prepared to support her through this ordeal and to bring to the worlds attention the continued injustices the Iranian regime is committing against the Kurds.
The Kurdish National Congress calls on the Iranian government to immediately release the Kurdish journalist Shamzin Jihad, stop the unjust policies against the Kurdish people in Kurdistan of Iran, adhere to United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights respecting freedom of opinion and expression, and to commit to principles of the Charter of the United Nations, article 1 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights recognizing that all peoples have the right of self-determination.
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Iran conditions nuclear talks on US attitude
TEHRAN, Jan. 16 (Xinhuanet) -- Iran reiterated Sunday that a changed US attitude toward Tehran is the sole precondition for Iran's possible engagement in a direct dialogue on its nuclear issue with the United States, the official IRNA news agency reported.
"The most explicit demand of Iran for entering into dialogue with the United States is that it changes its behavior and attitude toward the Islamic Republic," Foreign Ministry spokesman Hamid-Reza Asefi was quoted as saying.
"Iran has clear-cut policies in regard to this matter, and we do not really consider the negotiations necessary," Asefi said, pointing out Iran and the United States are actually holding talks through various intermediaries.
"Since the United States has shown no change in attitude and any such talks would render no positive outcome, there is no need for direct talks," Asefi added.
Iran and the United States, who had been close allies in the 1970s, turned into enemies following the Islamic Revolution of Iran in 1979.
The United States accuses Iran of developing secret nuclear weapons and sponsoring terrorists, labelling Iran as part of the so-called "axis of evil" and imposing harsh sanctions on Iran.
Iran, in return, terms the United States as the enemy of the whole Islamic world.