Published in German daily “Frankfurter Rundschau” on 17 August 2010
Source (English):
English translation provided by Elli Mee

Due to the scandal around the Iranian taekwondo fighter Mohammad Soleimani at the Olympic Youth Games, sport has become a minor issue.

The ugly face of politics has once again dominated a sportive event: “We are still verifying the facts. So far, no concrete steps have been taken [against the Iranian team], but the keyword is up to now” – said IOC vice-president Thomas Bach after the éclat around the Iranian athlete Mohammad Soleimani, who had withdrawn from the taekwondo final against Israeli Gili Haimovitz at the Olympic Youth Games in Singapore.

An influential IOC member, who did not want to be named, said: “For 31 years, the Iranians have been straining our patience. They boycott matches against Israeli opponents at every major tournament, and we can do nothing about it. This must finally change.“ IOC member and former vice-president Kevin Gosper (Australia) could barely restrain his anger: “You may cite me as saying that I am very disappointed.”

Thomas Bach added: “We have checked the medical certificate. The athlete is indeed injured and was taken to hospital for an X-ray. There have been similar incidents in the past, but one should not just generalize them.”

Since the 1979 revolution, Iran is giving the cold shoulder to Israel, which it does not recognize as a state. The Islamic Republic has even threatened to wipe Israel off the map. On Tuesday, the Israelis asked the US government for help because of the threat posed by the Iranian nuclear program.

The Iranian government’s interference in sport lead to a major scandal during the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens. Back then, judo world champion Arash Miresmaeili did not attend a match against the Israeli Ehud Vaks, allegedly because of overweight.

( sid)

Published in popular German daily “Bild-Zeitung” on 26 July 2010
Source (German):

English translation kindly provided by Elli Mee

He agitates against Israel, the United States, and Western countries in general – but now, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad (53) gets lost in detail. The crazy Iranian dictator lashes out at Paul the octopus!

The octopus from Oberhausen (Western Germany) correctly predicted all of Germany’s World Cup results, and also picked Spain to become world champion in football. This made the squid from the “Sea Life” aquarium world famous. Even in Iran…

However, Ahmadinejad sees in Paul a symbol of Western propaganda techniques and superstition.

“Those who believe in such things may not rule the nations of the world”, the president said in a speech in Tehran, according to the official Iranian news agency IRNA.

In contrast to this, “the Iranian nation with its love for all saintly values” is going to “create a humane world striving for absolute perfection”, Ahmadinejad added.

(Editor’s note: Please also read Enduring America’s piece on this issue!)

Published on the website of German public service radio channel “Deutschlandradio” on 20 June 2010
Source (German):
English translation by @germantoenglish

One year ago, on 20 June 2009, the student Neda Agha Soltan was shot dead during a protest in Tehran. Since then, no action has been taken by Iranian authorities to solve this crime, says Amnesty International. Despite extensive evidence like videos and numerous eyewitness reports, the regime has so far inhibited an independent investigation of the case. Instead, Tehran continues to blame broadcasting agencies like BBC and CNN for Neda’s death. According to Amnesty International, this case is paradigmatic for the human rights abuses in Iran.

Published in German local daily “Kölnische Rundschau” (Cologne) on 6 June 2010
Source (German):

Iranian filmmaker Daryush Shokof, who had been missing for several days, is alive. 55-year old Shokof was found late Saturday evening on the banks of the Rhine river in the suburb Cologne-Porz – completely soaked, and in a bad physical condition.

Cologne – Daryush Shokof, the 55-year old Iranian filmmaker who had been missing for days, is alive, although in a poor physical condition, according to information provided to Rundschau by police circles.

The 55-year old was found on the banks of the Rhine river in Porz, a suburb of Cologne, on late Saturday evening. Witnesses had called the police after they discovered a completely soaked person on Rheinberg street at about 11:15 p.m. The headquarters of the Cologne police thereupon started an operation under the heading “helpless person”. Police officers in situ called an ambulance, and Shokof was transferred to a hospital. Reportedly the Iranian filmmaker is not seriously injured. “We do not know how he got there. He has not yet told us anything”, a policeman informed Rundschau. The filmmaker and regime critic had been missing without a trace since late May. He had been last seen at the Cologne central station, after that his trace went cold. He had intended to travel to Paris.



Another article on this subject was published in the local daily Kölner Stadtanzeiger on 6 June.

English summary by Anusche Noring:
According to this article, three teenage pupils first discovered Shokof, who approached them with drenched clothes and in a disoriented state, reiterating in English: “My name is Shokof, call the police, I’m kidnapped.”

Published on German public radio channel “Deutschlandradio” on 27 May 2010
Source (German):
English translation provided by @germantoenglish

Human rights activists deplore new cases of arbitrary prison sentences in Iran. They refer to two members of a critical student organization – women’s rights acitvist Bahareh Hedayat, and her fellow student Milad Asadi. The International Society for Human Rights reports that both werde sentenced to several years imprisonment. They were punished for peacefully exercising their right to free expression. According to official announcements, the students werde sentenced for spreading anti-government propaganda and acting against national security. Both are currently detained in Tehran’s Evin prison.

Published on the website of German public radio channel “Deutschlandradio” on 10 May 2010
Source (German):
English translation provided by @germantoenglish

Censorship in Iran is nothing new. Today, however, censorship has reached a new dimension, according to the Iranian Writer’s Association. For the first time, publishers were summoned by security authorities in the context of the Tehran book fair. Several renowned publishing houses were barred from participating in the exhibition. According to Iranian online media, only books that were published after president Ahmadinejad took office in 2005 were accepted for the exhibition. – The Tehran book fair is the leading literature-related public and trade fair in the Middle East and Central Asia.

Published in German daily “Die Welt” on 7. May 2010
Source (German):

By Florian Hanauer

Dozens of refugees from Iran who stranded in Turkey months ago could possibly soon find refuge in Hamburg. The black-green coalition* has agreed that Hamburg is willing to take in some of them, most of them journalists.

“In Iran, opposition members, journalists, and ordinary citizens risked their lives to protest against the disputed re-election of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Those who escaped arrest are now in need of the solidarity of the community of democratic states”, said Antje Möller, floor leader of the Green Alternative List (GAL). Hamburg is going to accept a rate of refugees that extends the number assigned by the federal distribution basis, she added.

* Translator’s note: The “black-green coalition” comprises of the parties CDU and Green Party, and is the governing coalition in the city of Hamburg

Published on the website of German public service radio channel “Deutschlandradio” on 15. April 2010
Source (German):
English translation provided by @germantoenglish

The Iranian film director Jafar Panahi was arrested. Minister of Culture Mohammad Hosseini claimed that according to information provided to him, Panahi had planned to make a film about the events in the aftermath of the re-election of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. The outcome of the poll had caused massive protests throughout Iran. Panahi’s wife denied that her husband had been working on such a movie project. The 49-year-old director is one of the most renowned film makers in Iran. He received awards at festivals in Berlin, Venice, and Cannes. Because of his support for the opposition he was not allowed to leave Iran for the past several months.

Published on the website of German public radio channel “Deutschlandradio” on 7. April 2010
Source (German):
English translation by @germantoenglish

Rafi Pitts is determined to achieve that his new film will be shown in Iran. Talking to the [German daily] “Süddeutsche Zeitung”, the British-Iranian director said that after the unrest everything has become much more complicated in Iran. There was hardly any space to breathe – for the movie industry as well as for the people. Yet he intends to return to Iran, disregarding all potential consequences, Pitt emphasized. – He made his new film “Time of Wrath”, rather accidentally, shortly prior to the presidential election in 2009 in Iran. The film tells the story of a man who lost his wife and child in times of unrest and kills a policeman. The Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance had issued a filming permit.

Published on the website of public service radio channel “Deutschlandradio” on 7. April 2010
Source (German):
English translation by @germantoenglish

The petition to the spiritual leader of Iran was signed by writers and journalists from all around the world. They appeal to Ayatollah Khamenei for the release of detained reporters and bloggers. In a statement published on the internet, the “Committee for the Protection of Journalists” writes that 3,500 people have signed the petition, among them Margaret Atwood, Jonathan Franzen, Mario Vargas Llosa, and Nadine Gordimer. According to information provided by the Committee, they have hopes that an international awareness for their fate will help to encourage those detainees. 34 journalists are said to be currently imprisoned in Iran, 18 more journalists are bound to return to prison after the [Iranian] New Year holidays.

Published on the website of German daily newspaper “Bild” on 19. March 2010
Source (German):
Translation (excerpts) by @germantoenglish

Hackers started an attack on 400 million facebook users via internet.
As reported by the the antivir producer McAfee, hackers are currently sending e-mails with contaminated attachments. In these e-mails, facebook users are informed that their password has been reset. They are told to click on the attachment of the e-mail in order to get new login data . If users open the attachment, several malware programs will install themselves on their computers, that can extract passwords and other sensitive data.

There have been repeated attacks on facebook users, mostly via the internal news service of this internet platform. Now, hackers for the first time use the private e-mail accounts of the users to spread spam mails.

A Facebook spokesperson did not comment on this particular case, however, he referred to an announcement published on the websites of the users on Wednesday. Facebook in this announcement warned its members to not open the e-mails and delete them. According to McAfee, the hackers could contaminate millions of computers.

Published in Austrian daily newspaper “Der Standard” on 17. March 2010
Source (German):
English translation kindly provided by Elli Mee

Westerwelle favors common action by EU member states

The German government no longer wants to accept the disturbance of its “Deutsche Welle” foreign radio programme by Iran. In a joint letter with his French and British colleagues, the German foreign minister Guido Westerwelle argued in favour of a common reaction by the EU member states, as the German foreign office confirmed on Wednesday. A declaration in this matter could be passed already during the meeting of the EU foreign ministers on coming Monday in Brussels.

According to a report by the French newspaper “Le Figaro”, there are already plans for further sanctions. For example, companies like Siemens or Nokia could be prohibited from exporting technologies that enable the monitoring of e-mail and telephone communications.

For several months now, there has been broadcast interference from Iran against many foreign-based radio and TV stations.


Published on German public radio channel “Deutschlandradio” on 17. March 2010
Source (German):
English translation by @germantoenglish

Germany, France, and Great Britain intend to undermine the censorship in Iran. The foreign ministers of the three countries launched an appeal calling on the European Union to initiate respective steps. Above all, the jamming of foreign broadcasting services shall be stopped. According to the appeal, these interventions aim at depriving the Iranian populace of their right to information. In December, BBC and Deutsche Welle had complained about their broadcasting activities being jammed. Furthermore, Iran should be stopped from importing technologies to facilitate the monitoring of mass media.

Published on the website of popular German daily newspaper “Bild” on March 5 2010
Source (German):

Shirin Ebadi will be awarded the Bonn International Democracy Award (Picture: dpa/archive)

Bonn (dpa/lnw) – The Iranian lawyer and human rights activist Shirin Ebadi will be awarded this year’s Bonn International Democracy Award. Ms Ebadi will receive the award, coming with a prize money of 10,000 Euro, on 20. May in a ceremonial act. This was announced on Friday by the chairman of the “Association International Democracy Award” and director of Deutsche Welle, Erik Bettermann, in Bonn. The jury honors the Nobel Peace Prize Laureate for her staunch defense of the rule of law and democracy in Iran. For many years Ebadi has been struggling for observance of constitutional laws, especially those of women and children.


Also published on Deutsche Welle:,,12356_cid_5324997,00.html, with the addition that the speech in honor of the awardee will be givven by German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle.

Published on the webiste of German public radio channel “Deutschlandradio” on March 3 2010
Source (German):

For the 10th time since the unrest in Iran started, the judiciary has sentenced a protester to death. Opposition websites report that an appeals court in Tehran confirmed the death verdict against a 20-year-old man. The young man had participated in a demonstration in December. The judges accused him of agitation against the Iranian leadership and Islam.

The demonstrations had started after the disputed re-election of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Two supporters of monarchist groups were already hanged.

Published on the website of public German radio channel “Deutschlandradio” on 19 February 2010
Source (German):

The European Union does not grant sufficient protection to politically persecuted journalists – this complaint was raised by the organization “Reporters without Borders”. On occasion of the opening of an emergency assistance office in Berlin, Secretary General Jean-Francois Julliard said that EU members should assume their responsibiltiy and provide persecuted journalists with speedy and unbureaucratic help. Instead, these refugees are subjected to the restrictive European asylum regulations and forced to stay in insecure neighboring countries for months. In the last year alone, 159 journalists from 25 countries were forced to leave their country, according to Julliard. Mainly affected are reporters in Somalia, Sri Lanka, and Iran.

Published on the website of German television channel “N-TV” on 18 February 2010
Source (German):
English translation kindly provided by Josh Manning

Members of the Revolutionary Guards (photo: AP)

Political situation becoming tense – Insurance Companies leave Iran

Both insurance companies Munich Re and Allianz are pulling out of Iran. Management has decided that in the light of the current political situation, no new business, contracts, or insurance renewals will be made, announced the world-wide insurance company Munich Re.

Thus the premium volume will be reduced to around 10 million Euros. In 2009, Munich Re contributed a revenue of more than 41 billion Euros. Allianz’s insurance activities in Iran, of which had a negligible volume, would also cease continuing there, said a company speaker.

The US sees that Iran is moving on the path towards a military dictatorship and has warned the country that they would not sit by idly as they build an atomic bomb. US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said, the USA is not planning on attacking Iran. However, it does intend on moving the international community towards imposing economic sanctions.

No new orders from Siemens
In Germany,the Munich based industrial company Siemens, announced that no new orders would be taken in Iran. However, existing contracts will be fulfilled. According to Chief Executive Peter Löscher, business with Iran has been exclusively of civilian character, of which consisted the undertaking of infrastructure, traffic, and medicine technology.

Siemens makes roughly half a billion Euros a year so this business represents not even a percent of their revenue.

Published on the website of German public radio station “Deutschlandradio” on 18 February 2010
Source (German)

“Reporters without borders” reports on a sad record. An unprecedented number of journalists around the world has been detained – currently, there is knowledge of 201 cases in 36 countries. The protests in Iran are reported to be a major cause of the tightening situation. Arrests also occurred in Cambodia, Vietnam and Yemen. 10 years ago, less than 100 journalists were detained. Since 2001 the number has been constantly on the rise.

Published on the website of German weekly magazine “Der Spiegel” on 16 February 2010
Source (German):,1518,678295,00.html#ref=rss
English translation kindly provided by Josh Manning

Director Jafar Panahi: Iran did not let him leave the country to attend the Berlin film festival (Getty images)

Tehran’s might knows no mercy when it comes to critics of the regime – not even when they are shooting a successful international film. Jafar Panahi, a widely renowned film director has had to learn this first hand as the Iranian would find his planned visit to the Berlin Film Festival denied.

Berlin – The renowned Iranian director Jafar Panahi was denied by his homeland to leave the country. The film festival said on Tuesday that the film maker was expected to take part in a discussion during World Cinema Fund Day titled “Iranian Cinema: Present and Future, Expectations Within and Outside the Country”.

Film festival head Dieter Kosslick said: “We are surprised and deeply regret that such a distinguished and internationally praised director be refused to take part in our anniversary festival and speak of his visions of cinema.”

Panahi is considered one of Iran’s top independent movie producers. In 2000, he was praised and given a Golden Lion Award in the Venice Film Festival for his film “The Circle” and was bestowed a Silver Bear Award at the Berlin Film Festival in 2006 for another film, “Offside”. In summer, he was arrested for taking part in the Iranian opposition protests. Both his wife and daughter thought at the time he might have been one of those killed during the demonstrations against Ahmadinejad’s election.


Published on the website of German weekly newspaper “Die Zeit” on February 12 2010
Source (German):
Translated to English by Anusche N.

© Pietro Masturzo

In the daytime, the outraged people took to the streets in order to protest against the result of the presidential election in Iran. When then returned home in the evenings, their protest did not remain silent: They shouted it out from the rooftops of their homes. Just like these women in the night of 24 June 2009. The Italian photographer Pietro Masturzo captured this scene and created a picture, which shows both a special historic moment and how it touches upon people’s lives. At the same time, Masturzo succeeded in creating a photograph which is outstanding in terms of composition and colour. On Friday, this photo was chosen as the 2009 World Press Photo.