Published in weekly magazine “Der Spiegel” on October 13, 2009

The daughter of a close ally to Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad seeks refuge in Germany: Filmmaker Nargef [sic! – further on correct spelling will be used] Kalhor has applied for asylum in Germany. She is a supporter of the Iranian reform movement.

Nürnberg/Tehran – Narges Kalhor participated in the Nuremberg Film Festival for Human Rights and presented a film about torture. Then, the 25 year old filmmaker refused to return to Iran and applied for asylum. Meanwhile she is staying in a reception camp near Nuremberg, said a festival spokesman.

Her father, Mehdi Kalhor, according to sources in Tehran is said to be a close ally of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. The former documentarian has been his adviser on cultural affairs since August 2005. His daughter had been at the Nuremberg festival to present her short movie “”The Rake”. The Kafka-adaptation taking place in Iran is also critical of the regime, said the festival spokesman.

(Mehdi) Kalhor has confirmed the asylum application to the Iranian News Agency Mehr. He said he did not know why his daughter had applied for asylum. He had not met her since he divorced his wife a year ago. His daughter had been “used” for propaganda purposes by “enemies of the country”, said Kalhor. He had advised her to “not take the path in which there is no turning back.”

In a video that was posted on YouTube on Monday, Kalhor expressed her support for the reform movement in Iran. She continued in saying said that she and her father had different opinions, and she was sure that he had not seen her movie. Nevertheless she hopes for his support. “A person can change any time”, Kalhor said.


Published in weekly magazine “Der Spiegel” on October 13, 2009

He was one of the two mouthpieces of the election protests in Tehran – now the Iranian judiciary has opened a procedure against Mehdi Karroubi. Reason: He had denounced torture and sexual abuse of detainees.


Tehran – Following his public allegations about anti-government detainees being raped in prison, the Iranian opposition leader Mehdi Karroubi is facing trial. According to news agency IRNA, the Ministry of Justice has initiated the respective procedures on Tuesday.

The results of the commission of inquiry have been received by the office of the public prosecutor. “Mr Karroubi will be held accountable at the clerical court”, said Tehran’s prosecutor Abbas Jafari-Dolatabadi according to IRNA. Besides Mr Karroubi, “further individuals” will be summoned to court.

The commission at the Ministry of Justice had presented their final report in early September. The accusations made by Karroubi were “baseless, far from reality, and completely fabricated”, the paper said.

Karroubi has accused President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s regime of massive torture against oppositional detainees.
In several prisons, government critics were also sexually abused. In September, 90 former inmates of the controversial Kahrizak detention center had filed complaints about mistreatment.

Karroubi and opposition candidate [Mir] Hossein Moussavi were both defeated in the Iranian presidential elections on June 12. Both accuse the regime of massive electoral fraud. Their supporters went to the streets in their hundreds of thousands to protest against the officially announced results. The powerful Iranian Guardian Council demanded to put the “instigators of the protests” on trial.

Meanwhile, six people were executed in Iran. As reported by “Kayhan” newspaper on Tuesday, four men and two women were hanged last week in the city of Ahvaz in southwestern Iran. Five of the executed persons were convicted drug traffickers, one was a murderer. In Iran, a number of serious crimes is punishable by death, among them murder, rape, armed robbery, and smuggling of more than 5 kilograms of narcotics.

Last week, three regime opponents have been sentenced to death. They had been protesting against the controversial re-election of Ahmadinejad. The judgements are not yet final.