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Heard in Iran: Police Attack Protesting Workers

Police Attack Protesting Workers

May 16 – According to the wife of a striking Haft-Tapeh sugarcane factory worker who took part in a march to protest working conditions, police attacked the protestors. "We started to walk towards the center of the city, but police tried to stop us and beat up workers with batons... They even beat women who were walking in the front row... kids were really scared," she said [text in Persian]. The next day, another striking worker said police used tear gas to break up the march; the gas forced one of the protestors, who was injured by chemical weapons during the Iran-Iraq war, to seek medical treatment [text in Persian].

Jailed Kurdish Activist Suffers Stroke

May 21 -- Kurdistan Human Rights Organization leader Mohammad-Sadigh Kabudvand's wife says he "is in critical condition and we're worried about him." Kabudvand, who has been in prison since July 2007, has not been treated since suffering the stroke earlier in the week [text in Persian].

Student Activist Convicted, Sentenced

May 20 -- Following his trial on charges of "disrupting public order," Amir-Kabir University student Ali Nikunesbati said: "I was sentenced to a five-month prison term and ten lashes, but since I don't have a criminal record, they changed it to a fine" [text in Persian].

Baha'i Leaders Arrested

May 16 -- Six Baha'i leaders in Iran have been arrested and there are fears for their safety. According to Baha'i International Community spokeswoman Diane Alai, the last time something like this occurred, the government arrested nine Baha'i leaders in 1980 and none of them were ever heard from again [text in Persian].

A Solution to the Nuclear Impasse?

May 21 -- Tehran-based journalist Mani Daghighi and Geneva-based analyst Mohammad-Reza Jalili discuss whether an updated package of incentives offered by Western governments to convince Iran to give up its nuclear enrichment program will prove effective [text in Persian].

Intelligence Ministry To Run Economy?

May 20-- Following parliamentary approval of draft legislation that gives Iran's Intelligence Ministry power over key economic affairs, a UK-based economist told Radio Farda that Iran's economy will now be politicized and treated as a security issue: "I have no idea how the intelligence ministry will be able to prevent economic corruption," he said [text in Persian].

Iran and the Crisis in Lebanon

May 19 – Radio Farda's weekly roundtable "Viewpoints" featured a debate on Iran's position on the crisis in Lebanon. Guests included Mahan Abedin of the Center for the Study of Terrorism, Ali-Reza Nourizadeh from the Center for Arab and Iranian Studies, and Hassan Yari of the Royal Military College of Canada [text in Persian].

Listeners Speak Out on Campaign to Enforce Islamic Dress Code

May 21 -- Three Radio Farda listeners debate the merits of the police campaign to enforce Islamic codes on proper dress and behavior during the weekly program, "Your Voice is the Voice of Farda [Tomorrow]" [text in Persian].