February 19, 2019

IRAN: Iran's Religious Police Bans Dog Walking In Public Spaces, Bans A Pop Group After A Woman Sang A 12 Second Solo At Their Concert, Arrested 5 Female Christian Converts Who Left Islam.

BBC News, UK
written by Martin Morgan
Tuesday January 29, 2019

Iran's capital city has banned the public from walking pet dogs, as part of a long-standing official campaign to discourage dog-ownership.

Tehran Police Chief Hossein Rahimi said "we have received permission from the Tehran Prosecutor's Office, and will take measures against people walking dogs in public spaces, such as parks".

'Fear and anxiety'

He told the Young Journalists Club news agency that the ban was due to dogs "creating fear and anxiety" among members of the public.

As if this were not draconian enough, Brigadier-General Rahimi added that driving with a dog in your car was also banned.

"It is forbidden to drive dogs around in cars and, if this is observed, serious police action will be taken against the car-owners in question," he told the agency, which was set up by Iran's state broadcaster to train young journalists.

Owning dogs as pets, and walking them in public, has been contentious ever since the 1979 Islamic Revolution in Iran, and owners have sometimes had their dogs confiscated.

Dogs are viewed as "unclean" by Iran's Islamic authorities, who also regard dog-ownership as a symbol of the pro-Western policy of the ousted monarchy.

The Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance banned the media from publishing any advertisements for pets or pet-related products back in 2010, and there was a push in parliament five years ago to fine and even flog dog-walkers.

The latest anti-dog drive has not created great waves on social media, although one Twitter user asked whether the people of Tehran will be forced to ride camels next.
The Daily Mail, UK
written by Ross Ibbetson
Thursday February 14, 2019

A pop group has been banned by Iran's religious police after a female guitarist sang a 12 second solo at their concert in Tehran.

Negin Parsa was playing guitar in singer Hamid Askari's well known band on January 30 at the Milad Tower concert venue.

But Iranian law - which is dictated by Islamic Sharia law - only permits that women sing in front of other women and can only sing in front of men as part of a duet or chorus.

During large concerts such as Askari's, performances are monitored by supervisors and Parsa's microphone was taken away shortly after her singing.

But Askari decided to flout the regulations and brought his microphone over to share with Parsa in a show of defiance, France 24 reported.

Parsa shared a picture on Instagram of the pair of them sharing the microphone, saying: 'Many people talk a lot but when their business interests are compromised it turns out to be just slogans.'

She thanked him for representing her and 'all the girls in your land.'

As a result of the law breaking, the Iranian authorities told them they would be censored until further notice while they review the case, the French news site reported.

The Office of Music of the Ministry of Guidance stated there had been a 'violation', according to local media.

Askari said he had been performing for more than 14 years and understood the government's red-line, having never once crossed it, Fararu reported.

Parsa is a 29-year-old composer and multi-talented musician who has collaborated with many of Iran's pop stars, specialising in rock music.

Last month there was reportedly a similar incident involving Ali Ghamsari, a popular folk musician, who also had a woman sing.

Ghamsari was given warnings and the woman's microphone was cut during the singing.
Pakistan Christian Post
written by Staff
Thursday January 31, 2019

Tehran: January 31, 2019. Iranian Christians request prayer following the arrests of five female converts from Islam to Christianity. These include Ruhsari Kamberi, a 65-year old who was arrested and detained in Karaj, and forced to endure ten days of intensive interrogation.

Early one morning, shortly before Christmas 2018, Ruhsari Kamberi was arrested at her home by three members of Iranian intelligence. They searched her residence, confiscating mobile phones, Bibles and other Christian materials, then took her to the intelligence offices for questioning. Fewer details are available concerning four other female Christian converts, from different church groups, who were arrested at the same time.

Ruhsari was interrogated from morning until evening for ten consecutive days, then released after paying 30 million Toman bail. Two weeks ago she was brought before the prosecutor to answer charges of “acting against national security” and forced to go to a religious leader to be “instructed” and offered the opportunity to return to Islam.

Friends of Ruhsari have been shocked by this disrespectful treatment towards an elderly woman and report that she has been very upset by her experience.

Source: Middle East Concern

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