12/18/2007, 00.00
IRAN
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A nervous Iranian regime "lashes out" against the population

Under pressure from the international community, the authorities are carrying out a violent campaign of intimidation to discourage Iranians from participating in any form of protest against the government, or against the male authority figure in the family. Many internet cafes that do not respect Islamic values have been closed, women have been arrested, and executions have been broadcast on state television. And tomorrow, in the prison in Evin, a young wife who was abused by her husband will be sentenced for having rebelled against him.
Tehran (AsiaNews) - The anxiety of the Iranian regime, under pressure from the international community on the matters of its nuclear programme and its respect for human rights, continues to be "vented" on the population. Concerned that widespread dissatisfaction among the people may give rise to increasingly prominent forms of protest and anti-government demonstrations, the Iranian authorities are carrying out a campaign of intimidation charazterised by public hangings, the arrest of students, capital sentences against women and minors, the closing of internet cafes that do not respect Islamic values.
 
The news of hangings - especially when these are public - are part of the regime's propaganda to stop the people from participating in open-air protests, or even from posing the slightest opposition to authority, whether in the family or in society. Scheduled for tomorrow, in the notorious Evin prison in Tehran, is the execution of a young woman found guilty of defending herself against the violence inflicted by her husband. Rahele killed him a few years ago in order to put an end to a life of abuse. The woman, mother of two children aged 5 and 3, is asking her mother-in-law to pardon her, to spare her from the death penalty. Iran's laws, inspired by the "lex talionis", places in the hands of the victim's family the fate of the person who has committed voluntary or involuntary homicide. But Rahele is herself a victim, a victim of the domestic violence practiced with impunity by husbands and fathers against their wives and daughters.
 
Last December 11, the state television broadcast the images of a prisoner who was hung from a crane in front of a large crowd. The same broadcaster then disseminated the images of three other condemned persons who were hung from a scaffold in a police courtyard, in the north-western city of Bonjnourd. The practise of filming executions and releasing them on the internet has developed only within the past two years, and according to experts it is a clear sign of the anxiety that reigns among the Iranian mullahs.
 
The repression is also being unleashed against the places where people meet and where information comes from the outside: universities and internet cafes. Colonel Nader Sarkari, an agent of the state special forces (SSF), informed the official news agency IRNA that between December 14 and 15 alone, 435 coffee shops were raided, 170 were warned, and "23 persons were arrested", 11 of whom were women. "The use of immoral videogames, obscene photos, and the presence of women wearing improper hijab are among the factors that required the imposition of restrictive measures", Sarkari said. The closing of internet cafes coincides with a new wave of oppression against women, under the pretext of "improper dress".
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