(1) Iranian anger over German football cartoon (2) Iran to hang teenage rape victim

February 22, 2006

CONTENTS

1. German cartoonist goes into hiding
2. Death by hanging
3. Iranian government angry at BBC’s “anti-Iran tendency”
4. “Anger in Iran over German football cartoon” (DPA, Feb. 13, 2006)
5. “German cartoonist gets death threats” (United Press International, Feb. 14, 2006)
6. “Iran to hang teenage girl attacked by rapists” (Iran Focus, Jan. 7, 2006)
7. “Iran continues BBC website embargo” (The Guardian, Feb. 13, 2006)



GERMAN CARTOONIST GOES INTO HIDING

[Note by Tom Gross]

This is the second of two dispatches today on Iran.

The first two articles below concern Iranian anger over a cartoon in the German newspaper Tagesspiegelin, which depicted the Iranian national soccer team standing in a World Cup stadium with bomb belts strapped to their jerseys. The cartoonist, Klaus Stuttmann, has now received death threats and has been forced to move out of his apartment. He says that the drawing was intended to criticize German politicians favoring a deployment of soldiers to safeguard the World Cup soccer tournament due to be held in Germany this coming June.

The German World Cup football (soccer) cartoon from Tagesspiegelin which is the subject of the Iranian anger can be viewed here.

DEATH BY HANGING

An Iranian court has sentenced an 18-year-old girl to death by hanging after she unintentionally killed a man while defending herself as he and two other men tried to gang rape her and her niece in a Tehran park. In August 2004, Iran hanged a 16-year-old girl in the northern town of Neka after she had been raped. (For more, please see the article below.)

IRANIAN GOVERNMENT ANGRY AT BBC’S “ANTI-IRAN TENDENCY”

The Iranian government has announced that it will continue to block the BBC’s Persian-language website until the corporation drops its “anti-Iran tendency”. The BBC said the website normally received 30 million page views a month, making it the corporation’s most popular foreign-language online destination. In January it was read by about one third of Iran’s seven million internet users. (For more, please see the article below.)

I attach four articles. There are summaries first for those who don’t have time to read the articles in full.

-- Tom Gross

 

SUMMARIES

“IT IS NOW CLEAR THAT THE GERMANS ARE UNDER THE INFLUENCE OF THE ZIONISTS…”

“Anger in Iran over German football cartoon” (DPA German Press agency, February 13, 2006)

The general secretary of the Iranian press association has called for action over a football [soccer] cartoon printed in a German newspaper showing the Iranian national team standing in a World Cup stadium with bomb belts strapped to their jerseys.

Manuchehr Sandi called the cartoon, which was printed in the Friday edition of Berlin’s Tagesspiegel, a “dirty joke” and in an interview with the IRNA news agency demanded the German Embassy in Tehran give an “appropriate reaction” to it.

Earlier, the Iranian newspaper 90 published the cartoon, calling it “shameless” and demanded the Iranian football federation to lodge an official protest. “It is now clear that the Germans are under the influence of the Zionists (Israel) and have lowered themselves to become their scarecrows,” wrote 90.

Iran’s most famous sports journalist, Ardeschir Larudi, accused the Tagesspiegel of becoming the first newspaper in Germany to demand Iran’s exclusion from this summer’s World Cup in Germany, which runs June 9 to July 9.

 

GERMAN CARTOONIST RECEIVES DEATH THREATS

“German cartoonist gets death threats” (United Press International, February 14, 2006)

[There is a summary only of this article attached.]

A German cartoonist has received death threats for a caricature mocking his country’s eagerness to use army soldiers to safeguard the upcoming soccer World Cup.

The Tagesspiegel, a Berlin-based newspaper, published a cartoon Friday by caricaturist Klaus Stuttmann that depicted four heavily armed Bundeswehr soldiers facing four Iranian soccer players equipped with explosive belts.

The drawing was meant to criticize German politicians favoring the deployment to safeguard the month-long tournament. Stuttmann employed irony to show that it was not necessary to deploy armed troops, as there are no soccer players that would commit terrorist acts.

However, that did not convince those protesting against equating Iran’s soccer team with terrorists. The author has received several death threats, according to the Tagesspiegel. He has since moved out of his apartment.

 

IRAN TO HANG TEENAGE GIRL ATTACKED BY RAPISTS

“Iran to hang teenage girl attacked by rapists” (Iran Focus, January 7, 2006)

An Iranian court has sentenced a teenage rape victim to death by hanging after she weepingly confessed that she had unintentionally killed a man who had tried to rape both her and her niece.

The state-run daily Etemaad reported that 18-year-old Nazanin confessed to stabbing one of three men who had attacked the pair while they were spending some time in a park west of the Iranian capital in March 2005.

Nazanin, who was 17 years old at the time of the incident, described how the three men pushed her and her 16-year-old niece Somayeh onto the ground and tried to rape them, and said that she took out a knife from her pocket and stabbed one of the men in the hand.

As the girls tried to escape, the men once again attacked them, and at this point, Nazanin said, she stabbed one of the men in the chest. The teenage girl, however, broke down in tears in court as she explained that she had no intention of killing the man but was merely defending herself and her younger niece from rape. The court, however, issued on Tuesday a sentence for Nazanin to be hanged to death.

In August 2004, Iran’s Islamic penal system sentenced a 16-year-old girl, Atefeh Rajabi, to death after a sham trial, in which she was accused of committing “acts incompatible with chastity”. The teenage victim had no access to a lawyer at any stage and efforts by her family to retain one were to no avail. She was eventually hanged in public in the northern town of Neka.

 

IRAN CONTINUES EMBARGO OF THE BBC WEBSITE

“Iran continues BBC website embargo” (By Julia Day, The Guardian, February 13, 2006)

Iranian government today said it would continue to block the BBC’s Persian-language website until the corporation dropped its ‘anti-Iranian tendency’ and changed its stance on Islamic issues.

Last month the BBC said access to BBC Persian.com, the biggest website in the Persian language, was being blocked inside Iran after its traffic figures dropped “substantially” within the country.

The Iranian culture minister, Mohammad Hossein Saffar-Harandi, said at a news conference today: “What was done to the BBC Persian-language website... was carried out because it was pursuing an anti-Iranian tendency in its activities.”

… Mr Saffar-Harandi did not say exactly what aspect of the BBC’s coverage had upset the Iranian authorities.

The BBC said the website normally received 30 million page views a month, making it the corporation’s most popular foreign-language online destination. In January it was read by about one third of Iran’s seven million internet users…



FULL ARTICLES

ANGER IN IRAN OVER GERMAN FOOTBALL CARTOON

Anger in Iran over German football cartoon
DPA (German Press Agency, Deutsche Presse-Agentur)
February 13, 2006

www.expatica.com/source/site_article.asp?subchannel_id=52&story_id=27598&name=Anger+in+Iran+over+German+football+cartoon

The general secretary of the Iranian press association called Sunday for action over a football cartoon printed in a German newspaper showing the Iranian national team standing in a World Cup stadium with bomb belts strapped to their jerseys.

Manuchehr Sandi called the cartoon, which was printed in the Friday edition of Berlin’s Tagesspiegel, a “dirty joke” and in an interview with the ISNA news agency demanded the German Embassy in Tehran give an “appropriate reaction” to it.

The cartoon also depicts German soldiers standing in the stadium with a caption saying “Why at the World Cup of all places does the German army have to be on duty?”

The newspaper said it regretted the reactions from Iran.

Earlier Sunday, the Iranian newspaper 90 published the cartoon, calling it “shameless” and demanded the Iranian football federation to lodge an official protest.

“It is now clear that the Germans are under the influence of the Zionists (Israel) and have lowered themselves to become their scarecrows,” wrote 90.

Iran’s most famous sports journalist, Ardeschir Larudi, accused the Tagesspiegel of becoming the first newspaper in Germany to demand Iran’s exclusion from this summer’s World Cup in Germany, which runs June 9 to July 9.

“Iran was the second country (after Japan) to qualify for the World Cup and it is totally unfair to present the players in this way,” he told ISNA.

“We have to protest against this cartoon but we Iranians should remain civilised and not trade insults for insults.”

 

IRAN TO HANG TEENAGE GIRL ATTACKED BY RAPISTS

Iran to hang teenage girl attacked by rapists
Iran Focus
January 7, 2006

An Iranian court has sentenced a teenage rape victim to death by hanging after she weepingly confessed that she had unintentionally killed a man who had tried to rape both her and her niece.

The state-run daily Etemaad reported on Saturday that 18-year-old Nazanin confessed to stabbing one of three men who had attacked the pair along with their boyfriends while they were spending some time in a park west of the Iranian capital in March 2005.

Nazanin, who was 17 years old at the time of the incident, said that after the three men started to throw stones at them, the two girls’ boyfriends quickly escaped on their motorbikes leaving the pair helpless.

She described how the three men pushed her and her 16-year-old niece Somayeh onto the ground and tried to rape them, and said that she took out a knife from her pocket and stabbed one of the men in the hand.

As the girls tried to escape, the men once again attacked them, and at this point, Nazanin said, she stabbed one of the men in the chest. The teenage girl, however, broke down in tears in court as she explained that she had no intention of killing the man but was merely defending herself and her younger niece from rape, the report said.

The court, however, issued on Tuesday a sentence for Nazanin to be hanged to death.

Last week, a court in the city of Rasht, northern Iran, sentenced Delara Darabi to death by hanging charged with murder when she was 17 years old. Darabi has denied the charges.

In August 2004, Iran’s Islamic penal system sentenced a 16-year-old girl, Atefeh Rajabi, to death after a sham trial, in which she was accused of committing “acts incompatible with chastity”.

The teenage victim had no access to a lawyer at any stage and efforts by her family to retain one were to no avail. Atefeh personally defended herself and told the religious judge that he should punish those who force women into adultery, not the victims. She was eventually hanged in public in the northern town of Neka.

 

IRAN CONTINUES BBC WEBSITE EMBARGO

Iran continues BBC website embargo
By Julia Day
The Guardian
February 13, 2006

media.guardian.co.uk/newmedia/story/0,,1708962,00.html

Iranian government today said it would continue to block the BBC’s Persian-language website until the corporation dropped its ‘anti-Iranian tendency’ and changed its stance on Islamic issues.

Last month the BBC said access to BBC Persian.com, the biggest website in the Persian language, was being blocked inside Iran after its traffic figures dropped “substantially” within the country.

The Iranian culture minister, Mohammad Hossein Saffar-Harandi, said at a news conference today: “What was done to the BBC Persian-language website ... was carried out because it was pursuing an anti-Iranian tendency in its activities.”

He continued: “It is clear that we will not allow it. But as for how long the ban will continue, it depends on the approach the BBC chooses in its treatment of the Islamic world and Iran.”

Mr Saffar-Harandi did not say exactly what aspect of the BBC’s coverage had upset the Iranian authorities.

The BBC said the website normally received 30 million page views a month, making it the corporation’s most popular foreign-language online destination. In January it was read by about one third of Iran’s seven million internet users.

The BBC World Service director, Nigel Chapman said last month: “BBC Persian.com is a major source of news for Iranians and has the biggest impact of any online site or newspaper in Persian.

“We are very concerned at this action and regret that it deprives a great number of ordinary Iranians of a trusted source of impartial and editorially independent news and information.”

A BBC spokesman said that the corporation had received no official complaint from Iran about its serviceand has asked for the site to be unblocked.

“The BBC World Service approaches its coverage of Iran and Islamic issues with the highest standards of impartiality and editorial independence,” he said.

“We note that we haven’t had specific complaints about coverage from the authorities and would be willing to hear if they have specific issues. We know our Persian language website has been blocked for a month. We have asked the authorities to rectify the situation and have engaged in some discussions. We are currently awaiting a reply.”


All notes and summaries copyright © Tom Gross. All rights reserved.