Wednesday, December 21, 2005


Human Rights Watch notes bloody past of PM Ahmedinaj's cabinet ministers

A major problem with US media is that there are so few genuinely independent outlets. One of the most different sources of news, one that I read all too rarely, is IPS News: In a report titled "Ministers of Murder: Iran's New Security Cabinet", Human Rights Watch (HRW) charged that Ahmedinejad's interior minister, Mustafa Pour-Mohammadi, played a major role in the summary executions of thousands of political prisoners in 1988 and is also implicated in the 1998 so-called "serial murders" of five prominent dissidents when he served in the Information Ministry. And it said that the new minister of information, Gholamhussein Mohseni Ezhei, led a campaign in the late 1990s that resulted in the closure of more than 100 newspapers when he served as prosecutor general of the Special Court for the Clergy. He is also alleged by credible sources to have ordered the killing of an influential political activist, Pirouz Davani, in 1998.... Of the two ministers, Pour-Mohammadi's record is the most ominous. In 1988, according to the report, he played a key role in a programme that resulted in the execution of thousands of political prisoners, most of whom had already been sentenced to prison terms. The programme was launched toward the end of the Iran-Iraq war after an unsuccessful effort by the Iraq-based Mojahedin-e Khalq (MeK) to topple the government in Tehran. Another interesting tidbit. There may be significant fissures in the Iranian government: The latest HRW report may well add to that impression and even have repercussions in the Majlis, whose mainly conservative membership has itself been made uneasy by the president's radical rhetoric and appointments, according to the report's main author, Hadi Ghaemi. Several nominations by Ahmedinejad to cabinet posts have been rejected by the Majlis. And in what was taken as a sign of growing concern about his direction, nearly 100 deputies have called for the impeachment of his defence minister in response to the fatal crash last weekend of a military transport plane.
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