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Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Iranian Woman Raped and Murdered by Basij Forces in Tabriz



"According to HRANA, Elnaz Babazadeh, a 26 year old woman was raped and murdered by Basij forces in the city of Tabriz (northwestern Iran) last week. According to the reports, Basij forces stopped Babazadeh in her car for not following the Iranian regime’s dress code. Elnaz resisted and ignored orders given by the Basij forces.

"Then the Basij forces who had initially stopped her jumped into her car and threatened her with a gun. Two other Basij members joined in and all together they beat and raped her. They murdered Babazadeh and dumped her body close to Emamiyeh cemetery.

"After local investigation was conducted by HRANA members in Tabriz, it was confirmed at Babazadeh’s funeral that the person who killed her was the son of a high-ranking Revolutionary Guards member.

"The intentions of the savage Basij members was to put a stop to the 'improper' way women in society dressed. Basij members believe this is their duty to God."

And Iran is a member of the UN's Women's Commission...


Background on the Basij can be found here:

"The Pasdaran was given the mandate of organizing a large people's militia, the Basij, in 1980. Islamic Revolution Guards (Vezarat-e Sepah Pasdaran-e Enqelab-e Islamic) is in charge of the paramilitary national Mobilization of the Oppressed (Baseej-e Mostazafan) Organisation. It is from Basij ranks that volunteers were drawn to launch "human wave" attacks against the Iraqis, particularly around Basra.

"The precise size of the Basij is an open question. Basij membership comprises mainly boys, old men, and those who recently finished their military service. Article 151 of the Constitution says the government is obligated to provide military-training facilities for everyone in the country, in accordance with the precepts of Islam under which all individuals should have the ability to take up arms in defense of their country

"Iranian officials frequently cite a figure of 20 million, but this appears to be an exaggeration based on revolutionary leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini's November 1979 decree creating the Basij. Khomeini said at the time that 'a country with 20 million youths must have 20 million riflemen or a military with 20 million soldiers; such a country will never be destroyed.' In a 1985 Iranian News Agency report, Hojjatoleslam Rahmani, head of the Basij forces of the Pasdaran, was quoted as stating that there were close to 3 million volunteers in the paramilitary force receiving training in some 11,000 centers.

[...]

"The Niruyeh Moghavemat Basij - the Mobilisation Resistance Force - was the strong right arm of Ayatollah Khomeini. Its volunteers were martyred in their tens of thousands in the Iran-Iraq war, and were given the role of moral police at home. The supreme leader's equally conservative successor, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, has been careful not to let any of Iran's overlapping security forces fall under the control of his elected rival.

"Ashura Brigades were reportedly created in 1993 after anti-government riots erupted in various Iranian cities. In 1998 they consisted of 17,000 Islamic militia men and women, and were composed of elements of the Revolutionary Guards and the Baseej volunteer militia.

"The Basij, or Baseej paramilitary volunteer forces, come under the control of the Revolutionary Guards. They have been active in monitoring the activities of citizens, enforcing the hijab and arresting women for violating the dress code, and seizing 'indecent' material and satellite dish antennae. In May 1999 the Minister of Islamic Culture and Guidance stated in public remarks that the Government might support an easing of the satellite ban. However, Supreme Leader Khamenei, who makes the ultimate determination on issues that involve radio and television broadcasting, quickly criticised any potential change as amounting to 'surrender' to Western culture, effectively ending any further debate of the idea. The 'Special Basijis' are not permitted to participate in political parties or groups, although other members of the Basij can belong to political associations if they are not on a Basij mission and do not use the name or resources of the Basij for the association. Basijis can participate in specialist or trade associations.

"Hezbollahi 'partisans of God' consist of religious zealots who consider themselves as preservers of the Revolution. They have been active in harassing government critics and intellectuals, have firebombed bookstores and disrupted meetings. They are said to gather at the invitation of the state-affiliated media and generally act without meaningful police restraint or fear of persecution."

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