Islam News Bureau
16 September 2023
Canada Issue New Iran Sanctions Ahead Of Anniversary Of Mahsa Amini’s Death on
Women's Plight To Be Discussed At UNGA, Taliban Say 'don't Interfere'
Women Are Still Fighting
Fighters Killed In Turkish Drone Strike: Syria Kurds
Plumptre’s Move To Al-Ittihad Adds Star Power To Saudi Women’s Premier League
Into Unrest, Iranian Women Still Defying Hijab Laws
New Age Islam News Bureau
US, UK, Canada Issue New Iran Sanctions
Ahead Of Anniversary Of Mahsa Amini’s Death on
September 15, 2023
WASHINGTON: The US, Britain and Canada
on Friday imposed more sanctions on Iran ahead of the one-year anniversary of
the death of Kurdish Iranian woman Mahsa Amini whilst in Iran’s morality police
custody, which sparked months of anti-government protests that faced an often
Amini, 22, died on Sept. 16 last year
after being arrested for allegedly flouting the Islamic Republic’s mandatory
dress code. Her death sparked months of anti-government protests that marked
the biggest show of opposition to Iranian authorities in years. Iranian
security forces have been deployed in her hometown in anticipation of unrest
The US, Britain, and Canada, along with
the European Union, have announced multiple rounds of sanctions against Iran,
citing the widespread and often violent crackdown on protests after the death
“Mahsa’s tragic and senseless death in
the custody of Iran’s so-called ‘Morality Police’ sparked demonstrations across
Iran that were met with unspeakable violence, mass arrests, systemic Internet
disruptions and censorship by the Iranian regime,” US Secretary of State Antony
Blinken said in a statement.
Mahsa Zhina Amini’s death a year ago
sparked protests across Iran that were met with violence, mass arrests, and
systemic internet disruption by the regime. We'll continue to take appropriate
actions against those who suppress Iranians’ basic human rights.
— Secretary Antony Blinken (@SecBlinken)
September 15, 2023
“We will continue to take appropriate
action, alongside our international partners, to hold accountable those who
suppress Iranians’ exercise of human rights,” he said, adding that Canada,
Australia, and other partners were also imposing sanctions this week.
The US Treasury Department in a separate
statement said it imposed sanctions on more than two dozen people and entities
it said were connected to Iran’s “violent suppression” of protests in the wake
of Amini’s death its crack down on dissenting voices and restrictions to
The action targets 29 people and groups,
including 18 key members of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps and Iran’s
Law Enforcement Forces, as well as the head of Iran’s Prisons Organizations,
the department said. They also target officials linked to Iran’s Internet
blockade and several media outlets.
The sanctions target LEF spokesperson
Saeed Montazerolmehdi, multiple LEF and IRGC commanders, and Iran’s Prisons
Organization chief Gholamali Mohammadi.
Douran Software Technologies CEO Alireza
Abedinejad as well as state-controlled media organizations Press TV, Tasnim
News Agency and Fars News were also among those sanctioned.
“The United States ... will continue to
take collective action against those who suppress Iranians’ exercise of their
human rights,” the Treasury’s Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial
Intelligence, Brian Nelson, said in the statement.
White House national security adviser
Jake Sullivan said that Washington would have more sanctions in coming days.
“We’ll continue to sanction Iranian
behavior, whether it is flouting basic norms of human rights contained in the
Universal Declaration or it’s relative to the work that Iran is doing to
provide weapons to Russia to kill Ukrainian civilians, and we’ll have more
designations on that in the coming days,” Sullivan told reporters.
The US has taken several actions
targeting the supply of Iranian drones to Russia, reflecting its concerns about
Iranian-Russian military cooperation and Russia’s use of Iranian drones in its
conflict with Ukraine.
Britain separately announced its
sanctions targeting senior Iranian decision makers, including Iran’s minister
for culture and Islamic guidance, his deputy, the mayor of Tehran and an
Iranian police spokesman.
One year on from Mahsa Amini's death, it
is tragic that in 2023 Iranian women continue to fight for their fundamental
Today the UK with other partners have
sanctioned those responsible for Iran's repressive laws.
We will continue to stand with the
Lord (Tariq)Ahmad of Wimbledon (@tariqahmadbt)
September 15, 2023
Canada’s sanctions package announced on
Friday, which was its fourteenth since October last year against Iran, listed
restrictions against six individuals. They included members of the IRGC and the
“Supreme Council for Cultural Revolution,” the Canadian government said.
The EU added four Iranian officials to
its sanctions blacklist over a crackdown on demonstrators.
The 27-nation bloc has already imposed
visa bans and asset freezes on around 170 Iranian individuals, companies and
agencies over the repression.
The four officials targeted included a
commander in Iran’s Revolutionary Guard, two regional police chiefs and a
Four prisons, a news agency associated
with the Guards and the Supreme Council of Cyberspace, which monitors the
Internet, were also placed on the blacklist.
In a statement, the EU’s 27 nations said
they “reaffirm their strong support for the fundamental rights of Iranian women
and men and their aspirations.”
“We continue to consider all appropriate
options at our disposal to address any issues of concern,” they said.
(With Reuters and AFP)
Afghanistan Women's Plight To Be
Discussed At UNGA, Taliban Say 'don't Interfere'
Afghan women are on the agenda of the 78th UNGA (Image: AP)
15th September, 2023
As the United Nations General Assembly
gears up for its annual debate, the plight of the women of Afghanistan will be
discussed extensively at the international event. The Secretary-General of the
United Nations, Antonio Guterres, assured that the rights of the women and
girls in Afghanistan will be “very much on the agenda” of the upcoming meeting.
The international body conducted the first session of the annual UNGA meeting
on September 5. The highly anticipated General debate is scheduled to commence
on September 19 in New York.
“The rights of women and girls in
Afghanistan is absolutely central to all concerns and will be one of the issues
that will be very much on the agenda,” the UN Chief asserted during a press
conference on Thursday, Independent reported. The rights of women have been
curbed extensively since the arrival of the draconian Taliban regime in the
country in 2021. The assertion from Guterres came days after the UN’s human
rights chief accused the Taliban regime of waging a “systematic assault” on the
freedom of the people of Afghanistan, especially the women. “The shocking level
of oppression of Afghan women and girls is immeasurably cruel,” UN High
Commissioner for Human Rights Volker Turk remarked during a meeting of the UN
Human Rights Council in Geneva.
Taliban ask for non-interference
Meanwhile, the oppressive regime lashed
out at the international body insisting that the international community should
“not interfere” in the country’s “internal affairs”. “The issue of human rights
is an excuse that is used. In reality, the people of Afghanistan have rights given
to them by Sharia law. Nobody can show that someone else’s rights have been
violated. All individuals have rights, including men, women, children, and the
elderly,” Taliban spokesperso Zabiullah
Mujahid asserted, as per the report by Tolo News.
While the authoritarian regime initially
promised to take a “moderate approach” after taking over Afghanistan in 2021,
Human rights in the Central Asian country is in a state of collapse. Over the
years, Women in Afghanistan are mostly barred from going to public places such
as gyms, national parks, universities, salons, etc. Apart from the Afghanistan issue, world
leaders are expected to discuss the Russia-Ukraine war, humanitarian relief for Morocco after the
catastrophic earthquake, Libya floods, etc.
Two Women Fighters Killed In Turkish
Drone Strike: Syria Kurds
September 16, 2023
BEIRUT: Two women fighters of a military
council linked to the US-backed, Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces were
killed in a Turkish drone strike Friday, their command said.
Ankara routinely carries out drone
strikes against targets in Kurdish-controlled areas of Syria and neighbouring
Iraq but has sharply expanded them in recent weeks.
“Two of our female comrades were
martyred when their car was hit by a drone of the Turkish occupation force on
the road leading to the village of Al-Hattabat, south of Manbij,” said a
statement from the general command of the city’s military council.
A third woman fighter and a male fighter
were wounded in the strike, it added.
Mainly Arab Manbij has been controlled
by the SDF since 2016 when they liberated it from Daesh group jihadists.
The district comes under frequent
bombardment from areas to the west controlled by Turkish troops and their
Clashes between pro-Turkish fighters and
the SDF broke out in the area early this month after the Kurdish-led force
retook a village in the eastern province of DeirEzzor from armed Arab
tribesmen. The fighting left at least 90 people dead.
“Following the recent attacks... by the
mercenaries of the Turkish occupation, their failure to advance on any front
and their heavy losses, the Turkish occupation has... resorted to cowardly and
perfidious tactics aimed at sapping the will of our fighters,” the general command
Turkish drone strikes have killed 58
people in Syria so far this year, according to the Britain-based Syrian
Observatory for Human Rights. Among them were 13 civilians and 42 fighters of
the SDF and its allies.
The SDF was Washington’s main ally in
its military campaign against IS in Syria, but it remains anathema to Turkiye
because of its alleged links to the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), which has
waged a deadly insurgency in southeastern Turkiye for decade
Ashleigh Plumptre’s move to Al-Ittihad
adds star power to Saudi Women’s Premier League
September 15, 2023
There was a sense of deja vu this week
as a Saudi Arabia club went to the top tier of English football and signed one
of the world’s best players.
Al-Ittihad have recruited Ashleigh
Plumptre from Leicester City which means that one of the stars of the women’s
game has made the switch from the home of the Foxes in England’s East Midlands
to join the Tigers in the port of Jeddah.
With the 25-year-old on the radar of
several big European clubs, the signing has whetted appetites for the second
season of the Saudi Women’s Premier League which kicks off next month.
Plumptre is a former England youth international
who switched allegiance to Nigeria and was one of the stars of the World Cup
that ended last month with the Africans losing to England after a penalty
shootout in the knockout stages.
“(I am) grateful to have signed for
Al-Ittihad,” Plumptre reportedly said. “I am excited to start this journey
alongside some incredible human beings. My journey of stepping into more of
myself continues … It’s more than football.”
She joins a Jeddah club on the rise
under coach Kelly Lindsay, the former US international who has managed the
women’s teams of Afghanistan and Morocco. They have been busy in the transfer
market. As well as the new Nigerian defender, there is Morocco’s Salma Amani —
who helped the Atlas Lionesses not just become the first Arab team to play at
the Women’s World Cup this summer but also to get to the knockout stage.
Former Swedish youth international Nor
Mustafa, who arrived by the Red Sea from Scottish club Hibernian, means that
the Tigers will be hoping to mount a title challenge this time after finishing
fifth out of eight in the inaugural season. For the city of Jeddah to be home
to both the male and female champions would be something special.
Fullback Bayan Sadagah is looking
forward to continuing the progress already made. “I used to play for Jeddah
Eagles and after the Saudi Women’s Pro League was created, our club was
acquired by Al-Ittihad,” the defender said. “We were able to use their
facilities and we were happy that we were finally being treated as
professionals and this really pushed us to be more ambitious. We push ourselves
to become better.”
That is the plan for the new season but
taking the title from Al-Nassr will not be easy. The Riyadh team are the ones
to beat with stars including Lina Boussaha, a former French youth international
who played for Paris Saint-Germain before sustaining a serious injury. Her
career is now back on track in Saudi Arabia.
Even the newly-promoted teams are
ambitious. Al-Qadsia have former Benfica coach Luis Andrade.
“We are aiming to be competitive in the
Premier League,” Andrade said as he arrived in the east of the country in
August. “We know that we have a lot of work to do but we are not just there to
make up the numbers.”
The numbers are improving and there are
plans to expand the top tier to 10 teams from next year. Interestingly, there
are 30 sides in the second division which is divided into regional groups of
six. At the end of the season there will be playoffs with three teams coming up
and one going down.
Compared to other Asian powerhouses such
as China and especially Japan, there is a determination to try and catch up as
quickly as possible and the progress made in a short time has been impressive.
In 2019, the women’s department at the
Saudi Arabian Football Federation was established. A year later, came the
Women’s Community Football League and then the Regional Women’s League in 2021.
The Premier League launched in 2022, the same year that the national women’s
team played their first-ever international game, defeating the Seychelles 2-0.
They now have a FIFA ranking.
There is, of course, a bid to host the
2026 Women’s Asian Cup. If that is successful, it would be a huge boost to the
game in the country but even if not, there is a plan to qualify to the
tournament for the first time.
The 2027 World Cup may be a little too
early but with 32 teams participating and the likes of the Philippines and
Vietnam making the 2023 edition, there is always hope. There are now more than
50,000 schoolgirls playing football, over 1,000 female coaches and regional
training centers where the best talent get the best coaching. The development
is continuing at a rapid speed.
First though, is the new season. The
objective is that this is better than last year in terms of the quality of play
and the interest off the pitch. That remains to be seen but the early signs and
the early signings such as Plumptre are very promising.
One year into unrest, Iranian women
still defying hijab laws
September 15, 2023
The mandatory hijab regulations of
Iran's ruling theocracy have faced serious questioning and defiance since
22-year-old Mahsa Amini's death in custody of morality police in September of
A year into the ensuing nationwide
unrest, the Islamic Republic has yet to come to terms with Iranian women over
the hijab, a fundamental pillar of its governance for over four decades.
Last month, the conservative parliament,
packed with loyalists of the 84-year-old Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei,
voted to debate a new hijab and chastity bill behind closed doors. The original
draft was a joint product of President Ebrahim Raisi's hard-line government and
The bill seeks to specifically
criminalize any act in breach of hijab, with punishments ranging from fines and
bans on public service to prison terms up to ten years. Authorities say it is
meant for deterrence and will use smart technology to detect violators. Even
shop owners letting in women who don't meet the strict dress code would face
closures, as they have been in recent months without the bill.
Despite widespread criticism even from
pro-government pundits, the Islamic Republic has been determined to push the
bill, as it is overwhelmed with the trend of Iranian women, particularly
younger ones, appearing in public without headscarves. Defiance has spread
despite the state's prosecution of many female public figures and actors.
Many eyebrows have also been raised at
Iranian judiciary verdicts such as washing corpses or cleaning streets as
punishment for some hijab-defying women.
For months amid the unrest, the morality
police, which enforces the hijab rules, appeared absent from Iranian streets,
sparking speculation that the squad had been abolished for good. But in July,
Iranian authorities confirmed its return, in what appeared to be a message of
And in the run-up to the unrest
anniversary, the intelligence community and security forces have been rounding
up hundreds of activists nationwide, according to a report by the France-based
Kurdistan Human Rights Network. Even some members of the families of last
year's crackdown remain behind bars, as the government seeks to push back on
any plans for commemorations.
Mahsa Amini's father has reportedly been
summoned four times in two weeks and remains under pressure to cancel an
anniversary memorial by her grave.
In anticipation of that ceremony, the
Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, which has led the crackdown, deployed a
military tank inside Amini's cemetery in her hometown of Saqez, while hundreds
of its anti-riot forces were seen parading the streets, according to Hengaw, an
expat rights organization monitoring political developments in Iran.
The same tightened security was reported
in the capital Tehran as well as over a dozen Kurdish cities, which have
constantly been flashpoint areas during the unrest over the past year.
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