فريدون زرنگار، مصاحبه با محمدحسين آغاسي (تهران)
Summary of Today's BroadcastRFE/RL Persian ServiceWednesday, September 04, 2002
- 14-year old sentenced for bad mouthing a regime official
- Khatami's election law reform
- Jail sentence for Bushehr MP
- Expansion of presidential powers
- Shantytown resists demolition
- Majles criticism of oil ministry
- Iran-GCC common market
- Iran imports electricity from Turkmenistan
- Independence of the judiciary
- Farah Pahlavi on 1987 mass executions
- Privatization's dead end
Court Sentences 14-Year-Old for Insulting Official
A Tehran court sentenced a 14-year-old to 12 months in jail and 50 lashes for bad mouthing a regime official during a street scuffle with a friend. The court had the verdict executed before allowing the boy to appeal.
* Tehran-based lawyer Mohammad Hossein Aghasi tells RFE/RL that youths between 14-18 years of age must be tried in special juvenile courts. He adds that the decision to carry out the verdict immediately violates the trial code. (Fereydoun Zarnegar)
Khatami's Election Law Reform Bill
* The Majles national security and foreign relations committee approved President Khatami's bill that would reduce the power of the Guardians Council to vet applicants for candidacy in parliamentary and local elections. The bill, certain to be rejected by the Guardians' Council after approval by the full Majles, would test the ability of the regime's two factions to reach compromise. (Mehdi Khalaji)
High Court Approves Bushehr MP's Jail Sentence
The judiciary's high court approved the seven months jail sentence for pro-reform Bushehr MP Mohammad Dadfar, publisher of the banned newspaper "Ayneh-ye Jonub." MPs Fatemeh Haqiqatju and Mohsen Mirdamadi have previously received jail sentences for criticizing the judiciary and Guardians Council. Mirdamadi, head of the Majles national security and foreign relations committee, has said he will not appeal his jail sentence.
* Hamedan MP Hossein Loqmanian, the only MP to go to jail so far, tells RFE/RL that the judiciary must have learned something from his case. He was freed from jail last May, a week after he began serving his 4-month sentence by order of the Supreme Leader after the Majles Speaker threatened to resign over his imprisonment. Loqmanian could not say if the unpredictable judiciary would actually jail Dadfar, but predicts a strong Majles reaction to the sentence after its two-week recess. (Jamshid Zand)
Conflict Over Expansion of Presidential Powers
* Khatami's proposal to expand the powers of the president opens a new front in the factional conflict within the regime. Both factions see it as a challenge to the Supreme Leader's absolute power and a key issue determining the future shape of the regime. (Mehdi Khalaji)
Residents Resist Demolition of their Homes
* Residents of Zurabad, a crowded shantytown in the suburbs of Karaj, clashed with police today to prevent demolition of their homes by municipal workers. A resident who witnessed the clash tells RFE/RL that some of the more aggressive residents were arrested. He says the structures were built without permit, but the residents are holding out in order to receive more money from the municipal government to relocate. (Jamshid Zand)
The Sullen Majority
* Second part of Sunday New York Times magazine report on Iranian youths, by Tim Judah. (Fariba Mavedat, London)
Majles Criticism of the Oil Ministry
Head of the Majles oil and gas subcommittee, Mohammad Rashidian, said the subcommittee has finished its investigation of irregularities in the oil ministry. He said the subcommittee criticized the ministry for not having written its by-laws. The subcommittee also criticized the buy-back contracts that the oil ministry has signed with foreign oil companies.
* Tehran-based energy reporter Hossein Nazarian tells RFE/RL that the present oil minister cannot be blamed because the by-laws were delayed for 15 years. Furthermore, the buyback contracts are, according to the Islamic Republic constitution, the only way to involve foreign companies in Iran's oil and gas industry. However, since the contracts provide a very short time for the foreign companies to recoup their capital and make profits, they affect the quality of the technology foreign contractors use, perhaps to the long-term detriment of Iran's oil industry. (Fereydoun Zarnegar)
GCC Considers Common Market with Iran
* The GCC foreign ministers' communiqu‚ issued after their meeting in Jeddah yesterday said they would consider setting up a common market or free trade zone with Iran. They also asked Iran to peacefully turn over the disputed Persian Gulf islands Tonbs and Abu Musa to the UAE. (Jamshid Chalangi, Cairo)
Turkmenistan Begins Exporting Electricity to Iran
* Turkmenistan began delivering 5 megawats per day of electricity to Iran over a 27-kilometer line, implementing a $69,000 contract signed last year. Turkmenistan plans to export electricity to Turkey via Iran's lines. (Mani Kasravi, Moscow)
Civil Society and Human Rights: Independence of the Judiciary
* Washington-based lawyer and human rights advocate Mehrangiz Kar examines the "independence" of the Islamic Republic Judiciary under current laws.
Former Empress on the Anniversary of the 1987 Mass Executions
* Former Empress Farah Pahlavi reminded a group of Iranian reporters in Germany last night of the anniversary of the September 1987 mass execution of young political prisoners in Iranian jails. Thousands were put to death by firing squads in retaliation for an attack on Iran's borders by the Iraq-based Mojahdein-e Khalq Organization (MKO). In Germany to preside over a benefit event for a UNESCO charity that brings sick children from Iran to the US for treatment, she said she had asked German authorities not to deport Iranian asylum seekers back to Iran. She added that Iranians are not a charge on Germany, since they are well educated and are successful in business and academia. (Shahram Mirian, Cologne)
Privatization at a Dead End
Mohammad Ali Akbar, head of the privatization organization, blamed the failure of privatization process on the managers of the state-run enterprises. In an interview today in the Tehran daily Hamshahri he said the president himself should admonish his ministers during a cabinet meeting over the privatization failure. He said the managers do not want to lose their positions and power as a result of the privatization. But Nematzadeh, head of the petrochemical industries company, blamed the privatization organization for the failure in an interview with Tehran daily Hambastegi.
* Privatization of the state industries cannot be accomplished without fundamental reforms in social, judicial and political institutions, says RFE/RL's Paris-based economic commentator Fereydoun Khavand.
ARTS AND IDEAS
Daily Internet Report
* On the seventh anniversary of his website www.iranian.com, Berkley-based founder/editor Jahanshah Javid tells RFE/RL that having lived in exile for a long time, many of his 700 contributors have developed an unrealistic image and expectations of Iran. (Behnam Nateghi, New York)
Daily medical advice (Dr. Mansur Moslehi, Los Angeles)
Daily Book Review
* RFE/RL's Tehran-based book critic Kamran Fani reviews "Sociology and Development" by Yusef Naraqi, published by Farzan-e Ruz in Tehran.
Daily Science Report
* According to the New Scientist magazine, Japanese researchers under Dr. Wenwei Yu at Hokkaido University developed a system that helps partially paralyzed patients to walk by sending signals from their healthy leg to trigger electrical impulses in their paralyzed leg. (Fatemeh Aman, Washington)
Daily reports from Venice Film Festival (Ahmad Ra'fat, Rome)
Song: Doosti (Friendship)
* RFE/RL's music critic Mahmoud Khoshnam plays Doosti, a song by the 1970's pop singer Faramaz Aslani, based on a poem by Hafiz.
* Los Angeles-based DJ Afshin Gorgin spins the latest Persian pop tunes.
Middle East Magazine
* Theater companies from 46 countries take part in Cairo's 14th international experimental theater festival... Persian language professor Adel Abdolmon'em of Mecca's Omolqora University tells RFE/RL about teaching Persian in Saudi Arabia... Police arrest a 59-year-old Egyptian man for having 20 wives. (Farideh Rahbar and Jamshid Chalangi, Cairo)
* US President meets Congress leaders at the White House to discuss his position on Iraq. (Homayoun Majd, Washington)
* British government has no new evidence against Saddam, writes Reuters from London. (Alireza Taheri)
* EU opposes unilateral US action against Saddam, says EU commissioner of foreign relations, Chris Patten. (Jean Khakzad, Paris)
* Arab League foreign ministers meet in Cairo to develop a unified policy towards possible US military action against Saddam. (Jamshid Chalangi, Cairo)
* Bahrain's largest Shiite religious group boycotts parliamentary elections opposing women's right to vote and get elected. (Farideh Rahbar, Cairo)
* Lebanese army clashes with armed Palestinian members of the al-Fath Revolutionary Council in al-Jalil refugee camp. (Jamshid Chalangi, Cairo)
* Former prime minister Golbedin Hekmatyar, leader of the defunct Islamic Party, calls for mass resistance against US troops in Afghanistan in a recorded message. (Alireza Taheri)
* Environmental activists criticize US policy at the earth summit in Johannesburg. (Homayoun Majd, Washington)
يك نوجوان 14 ساله به اتهام دشنام گوئي به يك مقام جمهوري اسلامي به 12 ماه حبس تعزيري و 50 ضربه شلاق محكوم كرد. به رغم ابراز پشيماني متهم و تقاضاي تجديدنظر، راي دادگاه پيش از رسيدگي مرجع تجديدنظر به مورد اجرا گذاشته شد. محمدحسين آغاسي، حقوقدان و وكيل مدافع در تهران، در مصاحبه با راديوآزادي مي گويد: براساس قانون آئين دادرسي كيفري، كساني كه بين سن بلوغ و 18 سال هستند، بايد در دادگاه اطفال محاكمه شوند. وي مي گويد اجراي حكم عليرغم تقاضاي تجديدنظر متهم، يك تخلف انتظامي است.