Tag Archives: Iran

[Blog] The Mockery and Barbarism of Iran’s “Judiciary” by Jose Mario De Vega

The Mockery and Barbarism of Iran’s “Judiciary”
by Jose Mario De Vega

I refer to “Iran: Death Sentence for Facebook Posts”, the Human Rights Watch, December 2nd with regard to the “imminent risk of execution” of a 30-year-old man for “insulting the prophet”.

Mario De Vega

I concur with the Human Rights Watch’s position that “Iran’s judiciary should vacate the death sentence of a 30-year-old man who faces imminent execution for Facebook posts linked to his account.”

Eric Goldstein, the deputy Middle East and North Africa director said that:

“It is simply shocking that anyone should face the gallows simply because of Internet postings that are deemed to be crude, offensive, or insulting…”

“Iran should urgently revise its penal code to eliminate provisions that criminalize peaceful free expression, especially when they punish its exercise with death.”

As narrated by the said report:

“On November 24, 2014, Iran’s Supreme Court upheld a criminal court ruling sentencing Soheil Arabi to hang. The court transferred his file to the judiciary’s implementation unit, opening the way for his execution.

“A Tehran criminal court had convicted him in August of sabb al-nabbi, or “insulting the prophet,” referring to the Prophet Muhammad, which carries the death penalty. Arabi’s legal team has asked the judiciary to suspend the death sentence and review the case.

“Nastaran Naimi, Arabi’s wife, told Human Rights Watch that intelligence agents linked with Iran’s Revolutionary Guards arrested her and her husband at their home in Tehran in November 2013. They soon released her but transferred her husband to a special section of Evin prison that the Revolutionary Guards control, where they kept him in solitary confinement for two months, subjected him to long interrogation sessions, and prevented him from meeting his lawyer, she said. They later transferred Arabi to Ward 350 of Evin prison.”

Commentaries:

Did the so-called “supreme court” put into consideration the vital fact that the accused were kept in solitary confinement?

Putting or placing a detainee in solitary confinement is not allowed under international law.
Such practice is a grave violation of the International Declaration of Human Rights and the United Nations Convention against Torture.

I say that it is a violation of the Convention against torture, because isolating an individual detainee from the rest is a form of mental and psychological torture.

Worst, the bastard Iranian so-called Revolutionary Guards did so, in two brutal months.

Is the so-called court aware that the accused were subjected to long interrogation sessions?

Is the so-called court has any idea that besides the fact that the accused were placed in solitary confinement, subjected to long interrogation hours, he was also deliberately denied seeing and conferring with his lawyer?

All of these acts are violations of the constitutional, civil and international rights of the accused.

Base on all these violations to the rights of Arabi, he, as a matter of right is entitle to an acquittal!

Yet, the bloody idiotic and bastard court, instead of doing that not only affirmed the judgment of the lower court, worst it even inserted another offense or crime to the prejudice of Arabi.

Grave Abuse of Discretion

Vahid Moshkhani, the lawyer of Arabi, told Human Rights Watch “that instead of upholding or overruling the lower court verdict, the Supreme Court unlawfully added the charge of efsad-e fel arz, or “sowing corruption of earth,” to Arabi’s case. In addition to carrying a possible death sentence, the charge also forecloses the possibility of amnesty, he said.”

Commentaries:

It is a basic principle in criminal law, in all judicial trials, wherein said jurisdiction subscribe to the universal standard of justice and equity that a court which call itself a supreme court can only affirm or deny the judgment or ruling made by a lower court.

Said superior court, if it is truly fair and conforms to the international practice has no power whatsoever to change or modify or add up the allegation or the charge originally subject of the indictment to the prejudice of the accused.

Further, it has also no power to increase the penalty or punishment.

To illustrate:

If A were charged originally for the crime of acts of lasciviousness (example: touching the breast of a woman by-stander), he on appeal cannot be charge by the higher court by the crime of rape.

Acts of lasciviousness is a lesser offense, while rape is a capital crime.

It is a well-entrenched rule in criminal law that the accused is only mandated to answer or reply to the allegation as stated or stipulated in the original complaint.

To answer another charge or accusation not included in the original complaint will be a violation of the constitutional right of the accused to know the nature and the cause of the accusation against him or her.

The bias and incompetence of the so-called supreme court of Iran

Moshkani, Arabi’s defense counsel said that the Supreme Court “rejected his client’s defense that he had not written many of the Facebook posts and that he was merely sharing others’ views on the social media site.”

The question here is:

Is the mere act of sharing others’ views on the social media site enough for the authorities to arrest this man and charged him of “insulting the prophet”?

What kind of fucking “law” is this?

However, Iran does have that fucking “law”!

Article 263 of the revised Islamic Penal Code expressly “provides that a person who “insults the Prophet” while drunk or by quoting others, among other acts, will be subjected to 74 lashes and not sentenced to death.”

Nonetheless, when the lower court handed its judgment, which was reviewed by the Human Rights Watch, said court “relied on Arabi’s confessions and “available images and printouts” attributed to his Facebook page, and concluded that his actions “constitute clear proof” that he insulted the Prophet Muhammad and should be sentenced to death.”

Commentaries:

This is outrageous!

Art. 263 is clearly a blasphemy law which has no right to exist in any democratic and modern criminal statutes.

In the words of Robert Green Ingersoll:

“All laws defining and punishing blasphemy were passed by impudent bigots, and should be at once repealed by honest men.

“An infinite God ought to be able to protect himself, without going in partnership with State Legislatures.”

The Question of “sowing corruption of earth”

Comment/Question:

What the fuck is that?

It is a basic rule in law, specifically in Statutory Construction that if a law is so vague and so bloody ambiguous, that law carries no force or effect whatsoever for being so pervasive and plenary.

The Iranian authorities instead of sentencing Arabi to death should have acquitted or at least discharged him!

Jose Mario Dolor De Vega

Philosophy and Social Science lecturer
Unibersidad de Manila

All submissions are republished and redistributed in the same way that it was originally published online and sent to us. We may edit submission in a way that does not alter or change the original material.

Human Rights Online Philippines does not hold copyright over these materials. Author/s and original source/s of information are retained including the URL contained within the tagline and byline of the articles, news information, photos etc.

[Int’l/Petition] A Solution for Syria -www.avaaz.org

A Solution for Syria-www.avaaz.org

Photo source avaaz

Avaaz

Dear friends,

Just weeks ago the kids in this image were gassed to death in their sleep. There is one peaceful way to stop these massacres – if Iran and the US sit down to talks and bring the warring parties to the table to get a ceasefire. For the first time the two Presidents are showing dialogue is possible. Let’s tell them the world wants talks to start saving lives now! Sign up:

Sign the petition
Just weeks ago the kids in this image were gassed to death in their sleep, but it feels the world has forgotten them and got stuck in a debate between US strikes or doing nothing. Now there is a glimmer of hope for a peaceful way to stop these massacres.

Syria’s bloody war has been fuelled by rivalry between Iran, Assad‘s main backer, and the US and their allies. But this vile chemical attack has changed their discourse: Iran’s new moderate president condemned the gassing and Obama signalled he’d work with “anybody” to resolve the conflict. Let’s urgently call on both leaders to sit down to talks and bring the warring parties together before any more lives are lost.

Right now, the global drums of war are beating over Syria, but if enough of us make sure Rouhani and Obama know the world wants bold diplomacy, we could end the nightmare for thousands of terrified Syrian children under threat of new gas attacks. We have no time to lose. Click now to join this urgent call — when we reach one million signers we will deliver the petition directly to the two presidents:

http://www.avaaz.org/en/solution_for_syria_loc/?bSItwcb&v=28858

Syria’s the most brutal war of our generation, and this chemical attack on innocent civilians is the worst our world has seen in 30 years. The world has a responsibility to protect Syrians from extermination, but for two years the international community has been shamefully gridlocked and has failed the innocent victims. Now, despite overwhelming evidence that Assad’s forces launched the attack, Syria’s backers have sown doubt and, wary of war, the world is unsure about a humanitarian intervention. These talks are a new chance to stop the bloodshed.

It’s always been believed that the US would never talk to Iran and that Iran would never help the US solve the Syrian crisis, but current evidence points to change and hope. President Obama may launch strikes, but he has no public support for a longer war, and he is looking for a way out of a sustained conflict. And 130 members of the US Congress are calling on President Obama to talk with Iran. A massive global public push for diplomacy right now could push Obama towards talks.

Iran’s former President Ahmadinejad spent billions supplying cash and weapons to the Assad regime. But the new President Rouhani was elected on a ticket to build bridges with the West and favours a political settlement with the Syrian opposition. The chemical attack is eroding Iranian public support for Assad, rekindling painful memories of Iraq’s gas attacks on Iran, and insiders say pressure is building to reconsider Iran’s support for Assad. This could be a tipping point to bring Rouhani to the table.

Talks won’t stop the horror overnight, but there is no quick and easy solution. We urgently need to get started on a path that can stop the killing of innocent children and bring the world closer together rather than tear us further apart. Let’s get the US and Iran to start talks now:

http://www.avaaz.org/en/solution_for_syria_loc/?bSItwcb&v=28858

A roadmap has already been put in motion for a Syrian peace process in Geneva, but this is the first time there could be the political will to overlook all the differences and sit down. Iran is the only country in the world with sufficient influence in Syria to push the regime to the table. And the US, with its Middle East allies, can push the opposition to sit down.

It took the horror of the Second World War to get the United Nations and the Declaration of Human Rights. Maybe the horror of Syria might finally push the US and Iran, and their moderate presidents, to address longstanding differences and build the basis for a more lasting peace for Syria and the region, with consequences for a host of global issues from nuclear proliferation to peace in Israel and Palestine. Our community has stood by the Syrian people from the very beginning. Now they need us more than ever. Let’s give it our best shot.

With hope,

Alice, Luis, Ian, Emily, Bissan, Antonia, Ricken, Lisa, Mais and the whole Avaaz team

Human Rights Online Philippines does not hold copyright over these materials. Author/s and original source/s of information are retained including the URL contained within the tagline and byline of the articles, news information, photos etc.

[Blog] Sports and Humanity by Jose Mario De Vega

Sports and Humanity

Mario De Vega

I refer to the article of Joey Ramirez’ “Are Filipinos Racists?”, Rappler, August 12th and the “2014 FIBA World Cup Cancelled to Avoid More Derogatory Remarks in Case of Gilas Defeat”, sowhatsnews.wordpress.com, August 12th.

Though, the latter is a fictionalized article, a spoof and a satire, it also shows in a certain extent the thesis highlighted by the first piece.

As a philosophy teacher, a revolutionary and a radical humanist, I am categorically against all forms of discrimination, such as racism!

Hence, I condemned to the highest possible extent all of those individuals and idiotic freaks who committed acts of racism and discrimination!

Steve Connor reporting for The Independent, “A Philosophy of Sport”, January 6, 2012 noted that:

“For the Ancient Greeks, the relationship between sport and philosophy was obvious. The basis of a classical education was the alphabet plus swimming. The habits and discipline of preparing the mind and body were parallel and complementary. Plato, his name derived from platon or broad-shouldered, was an accomplished wrestler. Aristotle, an avid fan of the beauty of the pentathlete, taught at the Lyceum – itself a gymnasium.”

Plato’s Understanding of Sports

As lucidly stated by Professor Jernej Pisk, “What is Good Sport: Plato’s View”:

“For the Greeks sport was a sign of their culture and something inherent. Therefore also Plato could not avoid sport. Gymnastics and music are for him two of the oldest parts of culture. Plato found the mission of his life in political activity – in education. So he touched sport many times in his dialogs and exposed its role in the education of young people. All education is directed to the development of virtue. The value of sport is above all in development of the virtue of fortitude. This is not surprising if we recall that Greeks before Plato had understood sport as agon, that is competition for glory and honor where at the same time also courage has to be demonstrated. Plato took over this understanding of sport, he deepened it and included it in his educational system.”

Today, sport is part and parcel of the curriculum of any modern educational system. It is my view that this is the world’s way of following the Greek adage that, to have a complete individual, the person must have a healthy body, in a healthy mind, in a healthy soul.

The Question of Sportsmanship

Wikipedia define Sportsmanship (or sometimes sportspersonship) “an aspiration or ethos that a sport or activity will be enjoyed for its own sake, with proper consideration for fairness, ethics, respect, and a sense of fellowship with one’s competitors. A sore loser refers to one who does not take defeat well, whereas a good sport means being a “good winner” as well as being a “good loser””.

In general, indeed, “sportsmanship refers to virtues such as fairness, self-control, courage, and persistence…”

Fairness implies that to be a true sportsman, a competitor will abide by the rules of the game and will not resort to cheating or other forms of unjust means, just to win.

Self-control is refers to the character of the athlete. He or she must not give in to her or his emotion, especially when the contest is becoming dramatic and emotional.

Courage is the virtue that shows the person’s act of not giving up on the game until the final whistle.

While persistence, just like courage is the act of holding on to the struggle until the very end!

The FIBA Championship game between the Philippines and Iran

I congratulated the Filipinos for finally winning against the South Koreans at the semi-finals. (See my article, “Dare to Fail, Strive to Succeed: A Discourse on Life’s Struggle and the Way of the Warrior A Tribute to the Team (GILAS) Philippines”, Human Rights Online Philippines, August 11th, Etniko Bandido Infoshop, August 11th and Blog Watch Citizen Media, August 11th).

Said win gave the locals the right to meet the reigning FIBA Champion Iran in the Finals.

Though I am rooting for GILAS, as a realist, I perfectly knew that the Filipinos must exert all efforts in order to defeat these big men.

Though, the Philippines lost to Iran, I have nothing but respect and admiration to our players. They fought the Iranians tooth and nail. We are the only team that gave them a hard time. We lost, but we kept our head high!

Some bastard Filipinos’ Racism and Discrimination

I would like to reiterate my condemnation of those racists, idiots and bigots that destroys the beauty, not only of sports but of humanity.

To quote from Joey Ramirez:

Online Offense

“Then the online onslaught began. I suddenly saw posts crying foul.

“One by one, I saw status updates that focused on how the Iran basketball team “smelled” and that we would have won had our players worn gas masks. There were memes posted about how it was a battle of Puso (heart) vs. Putok (body odor), and how it was natural for the latter to win.

“Another faction complained about the height of the Iranian players, and how “unfair” this was for our boys.
“The worst of the lot was when people started singling out individual players, calling them “yucky looking” and at least three people mentioning a particular player, saying that “you look like a pedophile!”

“This might be a good time to talk about Pinoy Pride.”

Comment:

I would like to commend the author for writing this article and so as Rappler for publishing this piece.

I condemn those creatures who unjustly said that the Iranians as “smelly”, that they have “body odor” and that the Filipinos should have wore gas masks in facing them!

All of these comments are examples of below the belt pronouncements. These are all perfect example of character assassination. These are clear cut discrimination. This is racism. Worst, this is racism in its worst form!

In Logic, this is a perfect example of the fallacy of argumentum ad hominem.

If those idiots are proud to call themselves as Filipinos, then I am ashamed to call myself one. Shame on them and shame on us!

To that faction who complained about the height of our opponent, he or she or they just shown their idiocy and ignorance. The game of basketball is not only being decided by height, but also by speed, shooting accuracy, stamina, will-power, determination, etc.

Our boys may be “small”, but I certainly believe that they have big hearts and giant spirits.

Those idiots who engaged in name-calling and unjust accusation such as calling some Iranian players as “yucky looking” and “you look like a pedophile!” are bastard bigots of the worst kind.

Question

Do we have no sexual monsters here? Is this country free of criminals? Has that idiot forgotten that our country did possess the worst politicians in the entire planet?

Indeed, “this might be a good time to talk about Pinoy Pride.”

What does that mean? Does it mean that we are proud of lampooning and disparaging other people?

Does it mean that we are happy to attack other people below the belt?

Does it mean that to protect our “pride” we must engaged in slandering our people?

Hell no! I do not think so!

As the author further asserted:

“It’s a nebulous concept at best, because I subscribe to the late George Carlin’s philosophy: why be proud for something you were born into? Just as you happened to be a certain height, you also happened to be born in the Philippines. It is not an “achievement” to be paraded around.

“When people win in, say, international singing contests, I attribute it to that person’s personal singing talent and the hard work s/he put into it. I never understood the idea that it’s because “galing yan sa Pinas kasi!” (he/she is from the Philippines) – we barely have enough facilities for basic education, much less support for something viewed as “extras” like the arts. It has always felt like nakikisakay tayo, us piggybacking on the coattails of someone’s personal achievement.

“And when things don’t go our way, we are quick to view it as luto (a done deal); or we were singled out because of our color/nationality; and how discriminated we are on the world stage.”

Comment:

I overwhelmingly concur with the author’s concurrence with George Carlin’s philosophy!

Why should we be proud that we were born in a specific country? Should we also be proud that we were born tall? Or that we were born with fine features?

Myopic thinking like these clearly shows the arrogance and ignorance of people or rather creatures, such as those damned Filipino racists and idiotic bigots!

They failed to realize that nationality, color of skin, gender, sex, etc. are mere baggage or labels! They are just historical accident. It is NOT these things that will definitely define us in the final analysis but rather our virtue and character!

To quote from my article, “The true spirit of the Olympics and China’s approach”, The China Daily Mail, August 7, 2012:

“The Olympic Games is the Celebration of the Human Spirit, not merely the pursuit of the gold medal — that is my central message!

“Beyond the medals and the victory, what is also at stake at the said event is to highlight the indomitability of the human will, the tenacity of the spirit of the various athletes, their ways of conquering their limitations and fears, to emphasise the courage of all the players to go out and participate in the spirit of universal and international brotherhood through sports, to applaud the winners and achievers, to again and again to commend the braveness of the heart and unshakable value of the human spirit!

“The Olympic Games, as envisioned by the ancient Greeks, is not being held, simply to boast and/or to brag, who among the nation-participants have the largest/biggest medals harvested or captured; rather it is a celebration of manifesting the nobility of the boldness of man, his resilience, his passion and controlled fury, his willingness to go on regardless and irrespective of the result. That is the primordial point!

“It is a celebration of the courage, dignity and tenacity of man under pressure, in pain — both in defeat and in triumph!!!

“As the time-honoured principle of sportsmanship kept on reminding us:

“It doesn’t matter whether you win or lose the game; what matters most in the end is how you played the game!”

A Filipino who won abroad whether in a sports competition or a singing contest or whatever, won not because he or she is a Filipino but because he or she excelled in the said sport! The same is true with beauty contest. The contestant won because of her inner beauty and her brilliance not because of her nation or country. Yes, she is carrying the nation on her shoulder, yet at the actual competition, she can only rely upon herself.

We hate discrimination, yet some of our stupid citizens also love to discriminate. This is a shame!
Remember that bastard TV personality who alluded to the Vice-President of this country as “maiitim at maliliit na mga maligno (dark, little ghouls).”

This recently concluded midterm election, when Nancy Binay run for senator she was attacked viciously because of the color of her skin!

This is a shame!

I have no issue with the right of the people to attack her and question her, but do so responsibly and intellectually! Attack her educational attainment and question her qualification and competence, but not, never the complexion of her skin or her facial features.

Perhaps, some of our people are like this because we lack education and appreciation of the arts, humanities and other social science subjects, yet how would you explain those commentators who appear to be “educated”, yet their education failed to stop them from uttering, shouting, writings and worst, posting their racist and discriminatory remarks?

My view is that those idiots by nature are scoundrels and creatures that utterly lack good moral character!

The Greeks firmly believe that one’s physical prowess is nothing if it is not accompanied by a strong moral constitution and tampered by humility, justice, temperance and the virtue of character.

Are Filipinos Racists?

As Joey Ramirez further stated:

“I know this makes many people uncomfortable, but harping about achievements being dependent on one’s nationality lends itself to racism quite seamlessly. It can’t be helped – if we think that our pride is based on nationality – then any “infraction” is seen as an insult and an attack on this form of pride.

“Which then lends itself also to direct this “infraction” as a racist attack towards others who are seen as the “perpetrators” – and in last night’s case, to insult and disparage the Iranian basketball team that has somehow “wounded” our national pride.

“We feel justified in calling them foul-smelling and in declaring that we should wear protective gear should we come into physical proximity with them.

“We think we raise ourselves up by putting down others for the supposed “characteristics” of another country, as in “everyone knows they all smell bad!”

“We think nothing of calling someone as resembling a pedophile, as if it was a function of nationality, disregarding the fact that every country has its own share of offenders, sexual or otherwise.

“We disrespect the hard work that others have put into their profession – and they just happened to be Iranian, or Chinese, or some other nationality – and instead, label their victories as “cheating” because of their height, or some other physical characteristic that everyone knows would be a boon before stepping into the game.

“We disrespect ourselves, when we imply – actually, we went past implying and stated it outright – that our team didn’t win because of a lack of gas masks, negating and belittling how hard they have worked to get to where they are.

“We feel entitled because of where we were born, and not because of determination, hard work and perseverance.

“Until we celebrate achievement for being the product of hard work, I fear this country will remain stunted, substituting racism for pride.”

Sad but true, but some of our people are bastard racists, bigots and discriminative freaks! I condemn them all!

Nonetheless, let me state for purposes of the records that majority of the Filipinos are not like those creatures!

We are not racist!

We are known all over the world as one of the kindest, warmest and friendliest bunch of people on this planet.

On behalf of the majority of the good Filipinos, let me apologize to all people and nationalities who were offended and hurt by the stupid, preposterous and utterly idiotic acts committed by some of our citizens!

We disowned their ignorance, their idiocy and discrimination!

We condemn, not merely criticize their racism and bigotry!

We are brothers! We are One!

Jose Mario Dolor De Vega

Philosophy lecturer
Polytechnic University of the Philippines

All submissions are republished and redistributed in the same way that it was originally published online and sent to us. We may edit submission in a way that does not alter or change the original material.

Human Rights Online Philippines does not hold copyright over these materials. Author/s and original source/s of information are retained including the URL contained within the tagline and byline of the articles, news information, photos etc.

[Event] Iranian documentary “This Is Not a Film” showing in Active Vista Film Festival

This Is Not a Film is an Iranian documentary film by Jafar Panahi and Mojtaba Mirtahmasb. The film was smuggled from Iran to Cannes in a Flash-Drive hidden inside a birthday cake. It was specially screened at the 2011 Cannes Film Festival. It also took part in the International Competition of the 27.

The film, while an effort by the artist to document his personal struggle is also a powerful political statement. While the film’s courageous gesture is legendary, it also opens up a myriad of discourse on what makes cinema, consequently, art.

This Is Not a Film will be screened at the Active Vista Film Festival opening tomorrow at Robinsons Galleria.