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Islam, Women and Feminism ( 20 Aug 2019, NewAgeIslam.Com)

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How A Delhi Software Engineer Helped 32 Kashmiri Girls In Pune Return Home Safely

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Agency A Saudi woman walks with her luggage as she arrives at King Fahd International Airport in Dammam, Saudi Arabia,

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American Muslim Philosopher Amina Wadud, ‘Lady Imam’ On 25 Years Of The Gender Jihad

Saudi Arabia Implements End to Travel Restrictions for Saudi Women

In One Day, 1,000 Saudi Women Travel Without The Need Of A Guardian’s Consent

Saudi Arabian Women Celebrate As Travel Reforms Come Into Effect

Saudi Women Submit First Passport Applications

Restaurant In Pakistan Apologises After Refusing To Serve Hindu Women

Girl Students Vow to Make Pakistan Green, Clean

Allow Iranian Women to Attend Matches, Says Asian Soccer Official

Honouring Women Victimized by Iranian Regime’s Unbridled Terrorism

Aras Amiri: Iran Upholds 10-Year Sentence for Woman Accused Of Spying

Garda Probe after Young Muslim Woman Assaulted and Allegedly Had Her Hijab Removed In Dundrum

Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau

URL: http://www.newageislam.com/islam,-women-and-feminism/new-age-islam-news-bureau/how-a-delhi-software-engineer-helped-32-kashmiri-girls-in-pune-return-home-safely/d/119526

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How A Delhi Software Engineer Helped 32 Kashmiri Girls In Pune Return Home Safely

by Meera Kalyani

August 21, 2019

After the abrogation of the special status of Jammu and Kashmir, there have been restrictions imposed on communication and the movement of people in the state, which has been a source of worry for the state’s residents living outside. But one software engineer from Delhi went out of his way to ensure that 32 girls from the state who wanted to get back home safely were able to do so.

On August 5, Harminder Singh Ahluwalia went live on Facebook to tell all Kashmiris outside the state who were feeling unsafe that they could either contact him or take shelter in the nearest gurdwaras. The post went viral and 32 girls from Kashmir, who were trying to get back home, got in touch with him.

“They were panicky,” he told indianexpress.com over the telephone. “I got a call from a woman named Rukaya, She told me that there were 32 Kashmiri girls, all from underprivileged families, just waiting to get back home, because of the recent government moves in Kashmir.”

The girls, who were between 17 and 22 years of age, were in Pune for a nursing training and placement programme as part of the Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Grameen Kaushalya Yojana. Ahluwalia said the girls told him that they just wanted to go back home as they couldn’t get in touch with the families due to all communication lines being disrupted.

The coordinator of the contingent contacted the state government and was assured assistance from the Army once they reached Srinagar. But they didn’t have the funds to get there. Ahluwalia then sought donations to fund the girls’ journey back home with another Facebook live August 8.

“A Sikh businessman was quick to contact me and sponsored the air tickets for the girls and four volunteers,” Ahluwalia said.

On August 9, the group reached Srinagar, and with the assistance of the Army, all of them were escorted home and reunited with their families.

Ahluwalia’s actions were widely praised on social media:

Ayshaa

@kicktotrolls

Harminder Singh Ahluwalia Ji Has Done a great Honurable Deed. Getting #kashmirigirls  safely Home. Salute to People Like You. #kashmir #KashmirIssue #Kashmiris

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10:51 PM - Aug 13, 2019

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"Meanwhile, a Sikh activist from Delhi, Harminder Singh Ahluwalia, collected Rs 4 lakh in donations to buy tickets to help 34 Kashmiri girls, stuck in Maharashtra, reach Srinagar. Harminder and two others also accompanied the girls."

https://indianexpress.com/article/india/kashmiri-girls-article-akal-takht-jathedar-370-5893819/ …

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American Muslim Philosopher Amina Wadud, ‘Lady Imam’ On 25 Years Of The Gender Jihad

20 AUGUST 2019

A quarter of a century after delivering her historic and still controversial Khutbah (sermon) at the Claremont Main Road Mosque (CMRM), American Muslim philosopher Professor Amina Wadud returned to Cape Town to reflect on her life and activism.

“You are a part of the making of me,” she said, addressing a room filled almost entirely with women, of all races and ages, many of them wearing headscarves.

She was delivering a public lecture on Sunday, 18 August, opening a week-long series of events hosted by the University of Cape Town’s (UCT) Department of Religious Studies and the African Gender Institute. The series, titled “The Gender Ethics and Religious Authority 2019 Programme”, is a celebration of championing Muslim women’s religious authority.

Wadud is a prominent female imam and is both celebrated and criticised for her role as a trailblazer in the pursuit of gender equality in Islam. This struggle is popularly known as the Gender Jihad, a term coined by the progressive Muslim movement in South Africa.

On 12 August 1994, she delivered the first woman-led khutbah at the CMRM, which is known for its support of an egalitarian approach to Islam. She focused on what she knew intimately as a mother of five – the womb and giving life – and explained how this reflected Islam.

News of the khutbah, which was delivered to a mixed-gender congregation, resounded across the world. It was met with praise and enthusiasm, particularly by Muslim women yearning to be represented at the minbar (pulpit).

But the backlash was immense.

Werewolves and fear

“[It was] the first place that I have ever experienced being chastised by Muslims,” the philosopher said of that experience in South Africa.

The backlash, she said, was because she had presented an idea that broke with the male-centred and mainstream approach to Islam. It was also because she had laid bare her experiences as a woman.

Breaking with tradition is not new for Wadud. She was born Mary Teasley, in 1952. Her father was a Methodist minister and the church where he preached was attached to her childhood home. Early in her student years, she practised Buddhism before converting to Islam at the age of 20.

She brought to her readings and practice of Islam “all the love from [her] father” and “all the stillness from [her] Buddhist practice”.

Five months into her new life as a pious Muslim, Wadud found the faith’s holy text.

“When I found the Quran, I found love,” she said.

Islam is the “most natural thing” and is the surrendering to “the rhythm of the entire universe”.

“You are not a servant of Allah if you are incongruent with the natural rhythm of the universe. It is so organic, it is so beautiful.”

It was, therefore, shocking to her that the backlash she faced following the 1994 khutbah came from her fellow Muslims.

Male Muslim leaders, who Wadud called “certain guardians of the faith”, demanded that the Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU), where she was employed as a professor of religion and philosophy, fire her for having delivered the now-iconic khutbah.

“They would strip from me the source of survival for myself and my children, and call it Islam,” she said.

The campaign against Wadud caused her to isolate herself out of fear, leading to her turning down requests for more khutbahs and public appearances.

“The werewolf in Muslim clothing [was] waiting just around the corner … I’m afraid of him, quite frankly.

“In fact, fear or terror is exactly what they want to inspire in your heart,” she said.

The “Lady Imam”

Criticism and fear may have forced Wadud into the confines of her office at VCU but it didn’t stop her Gender Jihad focus. Instead, she began working on constructing a new model to understand one’s relationship with Allah, and the relationship between men and women in terms of the Divine.

Throughout her readings within varied scholarly legacies in Islam, she encountered a vertical model of these relationships, which supported hierarchical forms of power between men and women. In some of these patriarchal readings, the relationship between Allah and women was also seen to be mediated by and through women’s relationships to men.

Feeling that this was the incorrect interpretation of Islam, Wadud adopted the tawhidic paradigm. A triangular model replaced the vertical one she had encountered in, for example, Sachiko Murata’s The Tao of Islam. In the tawhid, Allah is at the apex and on the left and right, in no fixed position, are male and female.

It spoke to her egalitarian vision of Islam and to “Allah’s oneness”. Through it, she realised that “it was no longer possible for any member of our community, at any place, of any gender, no matter how long the beard or how vicious the assertions, to separate me again from my Lord”.

“And then, I became the Lady Imam.”

Following the adoption of the tawhidic paradigm and reinvigorated by it, Wadud began again accepting invitations for public appearances. In 2005, she delivered a follow-up khutbah to another mixed-gender congregation, this time in New York.

Among the ripples of life and activism are sermons to mixed-gender congregations that continue to take place across the world. In 2007 she was awarded the Danish Democracy Prize and a biography written by Pulitzer Prize finalist Carla Power is in the pipeline.

Banned, cancelled

It has not, however, meant the criticism has stopped or slowed down: Her texts are banned in the United Arab Emirates and earlier this year, organisers who had invited her to deliver a khutbah in Durban were forced to cancel following condemnation by other Muslim leaders.

She concluded her lecture with another insight into her approach to her beloved faith.

“Everything, everything is connected … how intimately you are connected with life itself.”

Every relationship must “reflect fundamentally what we believe is the offer that was given to us upon creation”.

Muslims, said Wadud, must know themselves and in so doing, will realise that they are but a reflection of each other. This is a crucial part of the journey towards achieving a relationship of intimacy with Allah.

“If we can have [that] on this side of the divide, then, when we die, we can experience no barrier between us and our creator.”

https://www.news.uct.ac.za/article/-2019-08-20-lady-imam-on-25-years-of-the-gender-jihad

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Saudi Arabia Implements End to Travel Restrictions for Saudi Women

August 20, 2019

RIYADH: New laws that mean Saudi women no longer require permission from a male guardian to travel or obtain a passport came into effect Tuesday.

The rules were announced in a royal decree of sweeping reforms last month. It means adult women can travel feely and exercise more control over family matters.

“The passports and civil status departments and their branches in all regions of the Kingdom have started to implement the amendments stipulated in the royal decree,” Saudi Press Agency reported.

The decree said every Saudi citizen had the right to obtain a passport, and limits the need for a guardian’s approval to minors only.

The Kingdom has steadily removed some restrictions in recent years, including ending a ban on women driving last year.

The regulatory changes stipulated that a Saudi passport should be issued to any citizen who applies for it and that any person above the age of 21 does not need permission to travel.

They also granted women for the first time the right to register child birth, marriage or divorce and to be issued official family documents and be eligible as a guardian to children who are minors.

http://www.arabnews.com/node/1542731/saudi-arabia

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In One Day, 1,000 Saudi Women Travel Without The Need Of A Guardian’s Consent

20 August 2019

Over 1,000 Saudi women above the age of 21 went through passport control in Saudi Arabia’s Eastern Province on Monday without the consent of their male guardians, according to al-Yaum newspaper, a Dammam-based Saudi daily.

Earlier in August, Saudi Arabia issued new laws that loosen restrictions on women by allowing any citizen to apply for a passport and travel freely.

According to the law’s amendments, Saudi women above 21 will be allowed to apply for passports and travel freely without a male guardian’s permission. Other changes issued in the decrees allow women to register a marriage, divorce, or child’s birth and to be issued official family documents. It also stipulates that a father or mother can be the legal guardian of a child.

Princess Reema bint Bandar, Saudi Arabia’s Ambassador to the US and the first Saudi female ambassador, said that the new developments for women were “history in the making.”

“I am elated to confirm that Saudi Arabia will be enacting amendments to its labor and civil laws that are designed to elevate the status of Saudi women within our society, including granting them the right to apply for passports and travel independently,” the ambassador said in a tweet.

https://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/gulf/2019/08/20/In-one-day-1-000-Saudi-women-travel-without-the-need-of-a-guardian-s-consent.html

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Saudi Arabian Women Celebrate As Travel Reforms Come Into Effect

Aug 20, 2019

Hundreds of Saudi Arabian women reportedly crossed into Bahrain unaccompanied on Monday as landmark reforms lifting restrictions on travelling without men’s permission came into effect.

Royal decrees issued at the start of this month ended the need for women to obtain the permission of male guardians to travel or obtain passports.

The move is part of expanded social reforms led by Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman that last year also granted women the right to drive, as well as study at university, undergo surgery or get a job without male consent.

Women took to social media to praise the new liberalisation.

“The women’s age begins,” one wrote on Twitter. Another expressed her gratitude to the Crown Prince, posting: “Thank you, MBS.”

Under the old system, women had to seek permission from their official guardians – usually their father or husband, but sometimes a brother or son – to marry, apply for a passport or leave Saudi Arabia.

The new decrees grant every adult citizen, male or female, the right to freely obtain a passport, but did retain some restrictions on the under-21s and the rights of women to request passports for their children.

Paternal permission is still required for under-21s without study plans to travel abroad and only the male parent can apply for passports for offspring under 15.

The kingdom’s passport department on Monday announced that those under 21 can travel without their parents’ permission if they have proof of enrolment in education abroad.

Other reforms granted women’s rights to register a marriage, divorce or child’s birth, be issued official family documents and become a child’s official guardian.

Requesting passports for adopted children – previously a complex process requiring special permission – has been simplified for adoptive fathers and mothers alike.

https://www.thenational.ae/world/mena/saudi-arabian-women-celebrate-as-travel-reforms-come-into-effect-1.900587

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Saudi Women Submit First Passport Applications

August 21, 2019

Riyadh: Saudi Arabia on Tuesday began implementing a landmark reform allowing women over the age of 21 to receive passports and travel abroad without permission, authorities said.

The reform was announced earlier in August.

“The passport department has started receiving applications for women aged 21 and above to issue or renew passports and to travel outside the kingdom without permission,” the department said on Twitter.

Women in the kingdom have long required permission from males for these tasks.

The reform follows a string of reforms by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, including a landmark decree last year that overturned the ban on women drivers.

In other changes unveiled earlier this month, Saudi women were also granted the right to officially register childbirth, marriage or divorce and to be recognised as a guardian to children who are minors — same as men.

https://gulfnews.com/world/gulf/saudi/saudi-women-submit-first-passport-applications-1.1566345499826

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Restaurant In Pakistan Apologises After Refusing To Serve Hindu Women

August 20, 2019

Zubair Qureshi

Islamabad: A restaurant in Thatta, Sindh, has apologised to a group of women for refusing to serve them because they are Hindus.

The incident took place on Saturday when women members of the minority wing of Pakistan People’s Party on their way to Larkana stopped at the restaurant called Al Habib, located along the National Highway.

The restaurant management sensing they were Hindus refused to serve them food and asked them to leave.

This was widely reported in Sindhi newspapers of Thatta and Karachi and a campaign was also launched against the discriminatory act of the restaurant management.

The reaction was so strong that the hotel manager Mansoor Kalwar along with attendants invited Hindu community members to the restaurant and formally apologised to them for the incident.

Kalwar also presented Sindhi ajrak (shawl) to the women as a mark of honour and respect according to local traditions.

Kapil Dev, a human-rights activist, while talking to Gulf News on Tuesday confirmed the matter was settled as the restaurant management realised their actions were not acceptable in Sindhi traditions.

“They invited our honourable Hindu families back and broke bread with them,” he said.

The matter stands settled now and the women have also accepted their apology, he added.

Dev was the first to report the matter on social media.

Activists across religions condemned the incident.

“This land belongs to Sindhis and such acts of discrimination on the basis of religion will distort our exemplary interfaith harmony,” said Dev.

Talking to Gulf News, Kalwar, manager of the restaurant, said the matter was resolved. It was nothing but a misunderstanding between one of the attendants of the restaurant and a minority member of the party, he said.

"Our attendant had only requested the woman not to spit on the floor that resulted in a minor altercation and the delegation members exaggerated it into a Hindu-Muslim issue, which was very unfortunate," he said.

https://gulfnews.com/world/asia/pakistan/restaurant-in-pakistan-apologises-after-refusing-to-serve-hindu-women-1.65911654

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Girl Students Vow to Make Pakistan Green, Clean

August 21, 2019

MINGORA: The students and teachers of Government Postgraduate Girls College Saidu Sharif here on Tuesday vowed to play active role to help make Pakistan green and clean.

They were speaking at a function after planting saplings during the monsoon tree plantation drive at the college.

Principal Dr Nargis Ara presided over the function while a large number of students and teachers attended it.

The participants said that those countries made progress where men and women worked side by side in all sectors. They said that women of Swat would play role in progress and development of the country.

“Our students and teachers are united to make this country strong, clean and green. Our students and teachers took part in the ‘Plant for Pakistan’ drive,” said Dr Nargis and urged every student and teacher to plant a tree.

She also expressed her sympathies with the people of India-held Kashmir and condemned the atrocities of Indian army.

“The international community must step up and play its role to resolve the Kashmir issue. I hear and see that people raise voice for global warming, climate change and other issues but unfortunately they are silent on the alarming issue of India-held Kashmir,” said the principal of the college.

Later, the students held the flags of Pakistan and Kashmir and chanted slogans to show solidarity with the people of India-held Kashmir. They also sang national songs and delivered speeches to show love for the country.

“We will work restlessly for our beloved country side by side with men. We will make it one of the strongest and developed countries in the world,” said Iqra Khan, a student of first year.

The students also said that they would raise the issue of Kashmir at every forum and would fight for it until the issue was resolved.

https://www.dawn.com/news/1500694/girl-students-vow-to-make-pakistan-green-clean

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Allow Iranian Women to Attend Matches, Says Asian Soccer Official

August 20, 2019

KUALA LUMPUR - Iranian women should be allowed to attend men's World Cup qualifiers in the Islamic Republic later this year, a top Asian soccer official said Tuesday, ramping up pressure on Tehran to end a long-running ban.

Iranian women have long been barred from watching men's teams play, but Tehran relaxed the rule last year to allow hundreds of women to watch the Asian Champions League final organized by the Asian Football Confederation (AFC).

The AFC, the Asian football governing body which has 47 members that include Iran, said it was working to help world soccer governing body FIFA find an "amicable solution" that would allow them to attend future games.

"Everybody needs to be catered, it's an inclusive game. Women play the game in Iran, men play the game, so everybody should be able to watch," AFC general secretary Windsor John told the Thomson Reuters Foundation in an interview.

"For us at the end of the day, we respect the local law, but we also want to promote the game," he said at the AFC headquarters in Kuala Lumpur.

Female football fans have long campaigned that the ban, imposed under Iran's Islamic law after the 1979 revolution, be lifted.

Increased pressure

Last year, some risked arrest by donning fake beards and wigs to attend a major game in Tehran's Azadi Stadium, while others traveled to Russia for the World Cup, plastering social media with photos of themselves cheering on their team.

FIFA wrote to the Iranian Football Federation in June asking it to provide a timeline toward women being able to buy tickets for the qualifiers, which begin Sept. 5.

John lauded the access for Iranian women at the Asian Champions League final last year, but said the current situation involved "different scenarios."

"[The concern is] if it starts with football, will there be other ripple effects, will other forces or entities now ask for the same privilege," said the No. 2 at the AFC.

"A lot of things are on the table at the moment, we really don't know which direction it is going."

There were hopes that the breakthrough last November would lead to a loosening of the ban, but female fans have been denied access to matches since.

In June, some were detained by security forces when they went to the Azadi Stadium for a friendly against Syria.

FIFA pledge

John said there was "huge potential" for women's football to develop in Asia, with attitudes changing even in conservative countries such as Saudi Arabia, which lifted a ban on women attending matches last year.

FIFA has pledged to expand women's role in the sport, appointing Fatma Samoura in 2016 as its first female secretary general, and this year's women's World Cup drew record crowds and television audiences.

John said a Saudi woman would be appointed to the AFC committee overseeing the development of women's football, though he declined to identify the new member by name.

"It's a huge, huge positive development for football development in Asia," he said.

https://www.voanews.com/middle-east/allow-iranian-women-attend-matches-says-asian-soccer-official

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Honouring Women Victimized by Iranian Regime’s Unbridled Terrorism

Aug 21, 2019

Iranian women have always borne the brunt of the clerical regime’s suppression with their flesh and bone. As for occupation, education, sports and clothing, they suffer from restrictions and deprivations far more than men. However, they enjoy “equality” in executions, arrests and torture. In every political impasse and economic crisis, women are the first group to pay the price. On the flip side of the coin, the regime’s unbridled terrorism has no mercy on female opponents.

On August 21, International Day of Remembrance and Tribute to the Victims of Terrorism, we commemorate Iranian women who became victims of the Iranian regime’s terrorism for their opposition to the regime.

Effat Haddad and Fereshteh Esfandiari

On the morning of May 17, 1995, terrorists dispatched by the Iranian Intelligence Ministry to Baghdad opened fire from behind on a vehicle carrying five women, members of the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK), and escaped.

Effat Haddad and Fereshteh Esfandiari were killed in this attack and Sedigheh Khodaii Sefat was seriously wounded.

Effat Haddad had four children from 9 to 14 years old. She was a member of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) and one of the officials in charge of logistics in the National Liberation Army of Iran (NLA).

Fereshteh Esfandiari was an experienced announcer of the PMOI’s Voice of Mojahed Radio.

Zahra Rajabi

On the night of February 20, 1996, Zahra Rajabi who had travelled to Turkey to attend to the situation of Iranian refugees in that country was assassinated in Istanbul by the Iranian regime’s terrorist diplomats and three other terrorists directly sent by the Intelligence Ministry in Tehran to carry out this mission according to a plan approved by the regime’s Supreme Security Council.

Zahra Rajabi was in charge of refugee affairs in the National Council of Resistance of Iran. She was a member of the PMOI’s Leadership Council. She had studied at Tehran’s Melli University and graduated in Architectural Engineering. During her time in college, she became one of the leaders of the student movement in Tehran.

Pouran Najafi

Pouran Najafi and five other PMOI members were killed in the first missile attack on Camp Liberty on February 9, 2013. Camp Liberty accommodated some 3,000 members of the PMOI who were protected persons under the Fourth Geneva Convention.

Born in 1960 in Rasht, Pouran Najafi had a daughter and a son. She had spent five years in the clerical regime’s jails as a political prisoner and had written a book about her experiences and what she had witnessed in prison.

Kolsoum Serahati

On June 15, 2013, simultaneous with Rouhani’s election as the regime’s president, the clerical regime’s terrorists launched another terrorist attack, firing dozens of 107mm missiles at Camp Liberty in a bid to take more lives of PMOI members. Kolsoum Serahati was among the victims of this attack.

Massacre on September 1, 2013

Iraqi mercenaries of the Iranian regime infiltrated into Camp Ashraf on September 1, 2013, bent on slaughtering more than 100 PMOI members based there. They killed 52 of them including six women and abducted 7, including another six women. No information has been available on the fate of the hostages to date.

Zohreh Ghaemi, Giti Givechinian, Mitra Bagherzadeh, Jila Tolou, Fatemeh Kamyab, and Maryam Hosseini were among the victims of this vicious terrorist attack on residents of Camp Ashraf.

The history of the Iranian regime shows that four decades of appeasement by the West has enabled and emboldened the mullahs to commit countless crimes with impunity. The time has come for major powers to give up their appeasement of the first state-sponsor and the central banker of terrorism and the world’s top record holder of executions, and stop giving it concessions.

It is time for them to stand on the side of the Iranian people and Resistance. Any commerce, trade or exchange with the mullahs’ regime which turns a blind eye on the abuse of Iranian people’s human rights and ignores double discriminations against Iranian women, will encourage the clerical regime to continue their suppression and ceaseless executions, trample the Iranian people’s rights and ignore the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the UN Charter. 

https://women.ncr-iran.org/2019/08/21/honoring-women-victimized-by-iranian-regimes-unbridled-terrorism/

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Aras Amiri: Iran Upholds 10-Year Sentence for Woman Accused Of Spying

Aug 20, 2019

British Council employee Aras Amiri faces 10 years in jail for spying charges in Iran after losing her final appeal.

Ms Amiri, who is also an aesthetics and art theory student at Kingston University, was arrested in March 2018 while visiting her ill grandmother in Tehran.

The Iranian national, who has permanent residency status in the United Kingdom, has not been allowed to leave Iran since.

In May, she was sentenced to 10 years in prison after being accused of spying for the British Council, where she worked promoting Iranian culture in Britain. The Iranian judiciary said Ms Amiri was “in charge of the Iran desk in the British Council and was co-operating with Britain’s intelligence agency”.

She appealed the sentence by writing a letter to Ebrahim Raeesi, Chief Justice of the Iranian judicial system. Iran Wire previously said it had seen the letter, in which she provided details about her arrest and imprisonment.

Ms Amiri said she was arrested on the street and taken to a hotel in Tehran for questioning before being transferred to the notorious Evin prison, where British-Iranian national Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe is also serving a sentence for espionage.

Bail was set at 700 million Iranian rials (Dh61,066), but despite the money being posted in cash, Ms Amiri was not released.

She spent 30 days in solitary confinement and was interrogated continuously by Iranian authorities about her job at the British Council, and that she only learnt of her sentencing on espionage charges when she watched it on Iranian national television.

This weekend, however, the Supreme Court ruled to uphold the conviction and prison term.

Ms Amiri’s cousins told The National in June that Iran had pressured her to become a spy for the regime in exchange for her freedom.

A UK Foreign Office representative said in May that they were “very concerned by reports that an Iranian British Council employee has been sentenced to jail on charges of espionage”.

The British Council refutes the accusation made against Ms Amiri, who worked as an artistic officer to promote “greater appreciation of Iranian culture in the UK”.

Ms Amiri has a fiancé living in Britain who has been unable to get a visa to visit her in Iran since her arrest.

Meanwhile on Tuesday, the husband of Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe castigated British Prime Minister Boris Johnson for failing to meet her family as her prison conditions worsen.

The rules in Evin prison have recently become stricter, meaning she is no longer allowed to call her husband in the UK and she has been told she can only see her daughter Gabriella once a month. She was previously able to see her every few days.

Since becoming UK prime minister last month, Mr Johnson has come under renewed pressure to engage with Iran to negotiate the release of Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe. During his campaign to enter Downing Street, Mr Johnson said he felt “a deep sense of anguish” over Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe’s case.

While serving as Foreign Secretary between 2016 and 2018, Mr Johnson told the Foreign Affairs Select Committee that Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe had been jailed for “simply teaching people journalism”.

But this was inconsistent with her claims. The dual national said she had made the visit to allow her daughter to meet her Iranian grandparents.

Since then, Mr Johnson has faced backlash for potentially reducing the likelihood of her release.

https://www.thenational.ae/world/mena/aras-amiri-iran-upholds-10-year-sentence-for-woman-accused-of-spying-1.900438

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Garda Probe after Young Muslim Woman Assaulted and Allegedly Had Her Hijab Removed In Dundrum

Aug 21, 2019

GARDAÍ INVESTIGATING an assault in which a Muslim teenager was egged, physically assaulted and allegedly had her hijab removed by a gang of teenagers in Dundrum, south Dublin have appealed for witnesses.

The incident happened in Dundrum village on Sunday afternoon, close to the shopping centre.

A video was shared online showing the young woman being attacked. At one point, the victim is forced to the ground and is kicked.

The teenager was also hit with a number of eggs.

The person who shared the video online claims to be the victim’s sister. The uploader said that the attack was unprovoked and that her sister’s hijab was removed during the incident.

A number of faces of the people involved are clearly identifiable and TheJournal.ie understands gardaí have been made aware of the video.

A spokesperson said: Gardaí are investigating all the circumstances of a number of incidents, including public order and theft, on Main Street Dundrum on the afternoon of Sunday August 18th 2019 involving a group of youths – females and males.

“One incident involves an alleged report of assault on a female which is circulating on social media.”

Gardaí are appealing for anyone with information or anyone with mobile phone footage or dash cam footage to contact Dundrum Garda Station on 01  666 5600, the Garda Confidential Line 1800 666 111 or any Garda Station.

“The investigation will determine the motive behind these incidents,” the spokesperson said. “At this time the incidents are not believed to be racially motivated. Investigations are continuing.”

In a statement this evening, the Muslim Sisters of Éire said: “We, the Muslim Sisters of Eire, condemn the indiscriminate attacks on the young Muslim girls in the Dundrum area.

“The Luas stop is not far from the Dundrum Shopping Center, where pedestrians and foot traffic move by. With little to no intervention, the young women received no compassion or assistance from passers by.”

“We believe that these horrendous and inhumane attacks are against all human and moral values and are crimes that cannot be justified under any circumstances,” they added.

Fine Gael Minister, and local TD for the area, Josepha Madigan said she hopes the perpetrators of this crime are brought to justice swiftly.

She said: “I condemn in the strongest possible terms the assault on a Muslim girl who had her hijab taken from her in Dundrum village yesterday. I hope the perpetrators are brought to justice quickly.”

Head of Amnesty International Ireland, Colm O’Gorman, also denounced the assault today.

He tweeted: “There are real consequences to a toxic discourse which stokes up division & hate. And they are often most suffered by those who are the targets of such hate, not its perpetrators. We must be better than this.”

https://www.thejournal.ie/dundrum-attack-assault-4774201-Aug2019/

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