Student forced out of Iran

first_imgPolice surveillanceAlongside his daily classes at Tehran University, the student was taking part in the production of a multi-part documentary for the English-language regional television station, Press TV.The student said that he feared that he and his friend were under police surveillance.“From my first day, whenever I tried to make phone calls, I could hear background noise and voices,” he said. “One of my friends, Kamran, was followed by Iranian authorities after he published a range of reformist material. Police stopped him when he was on his way to visit me.”The student said that he had made “repeated trips out of the city”. These are forbidden by Iranian policy on the movement of foreign nationals and may have contributed to his black-listing by authorities.On one occasion, during a visit to an Iranian ski resort, he was turned over to the police after the hotel receptionist discovered he wasn’t carrying his passport.In addition, he suggested that involvement with a number of individuals who were under surveillance for other reasons may also have put him at risk. A number of his colleagues, who were involved in the Press TV project, had been previously employed at independent media offices that had been shut down by the Iranian government for publishing ‘reformist material’, including the popular Salam newspaper.Two of the contacts the student made included an environmental activist and a campaigner for gay and women’s rights.The student said that it was only in the last few weeks of his stay in Iran that his position became untenable. Embassy responseThe student emphasised that Oxford University staff provided him with extensive advice and assistance. He said, “They were extremely helpful, especially as it was early on a Sunday morning.”They directed him to the British Embassy, who are believed to have said they “Had no experience of [the Disciplinary Force]” and therefore strongly advised him to refrain from attending the interview, and to leave the country immediately.The student said that, “On returning home, I was assured by my departmental supervisors that arrangement for the coming term, both in terms of my academic schedule and my financing, would be taken care of  by the University.”However, the student said that he was having problems finding accommodation. He described his college as “unhelpful” in this respect.He said, “I am presently planning to live with a group of Pakistani friends and family, after spotting an advertisement in the window of a halal butcher in Cowley.”When asked about the implications of the incident for other Middle-East language students on their years abroad, he suggested they ought to be “far less trusting” of those people they make contact with overseas.“Be careful of trusting supervisors at the host university,” he said. “Keep your head down; if you’re English and speak Farsi, you’ll attract enough attention as you are. Don’t court any more.” “I lied a lot in the interview”center_img A second-year modern languages student has been forced to abandon his year abroad after being hounded out of Iran by its security services.The student, who wished to remain anonymous, had been resident in Tehran for over six months when he was urged to return to the UK by consular authorities. He said, “A man interrupted a language class that I was in at university and demanded that I answer his questions about my stay in Iran. He asked for a list of all my local friends, their addresses and their phone numbers.He admitted that he “lied a lot” during this interview, giving names of coffee shops and museums which he had never visited, as well as telling his interrogator that nearly all his friends in Tehran were foreign.A few days later, the student was detained again by a large group of men. He said that they were “asking the same questions, but much more forcibly, and using a much greater number of people.”Following this questioning, the student received a letter from the ‘Disciplinary Force of Iran’. His immediate presence was requested at their headquarters in connection with “serious concerns over [his] visa.”last_img read more

Know Photoshop? Great, but odds are you’re still not a designer

first_img 9SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Jeff Kjoller Jeff has extensive experience in branding, art direction and graphic design, having served employers and clients in a creative capacity for more than twenty-five years. After graduating from the University … Web: www.loudthought.biz Details I’ve played a lot of great flight simulator games, sometimes managing to avoid crashing on takeoff. That doesn’t make me a pilot. I’ve also seen more episodes of “Cops” than I care to admit. That doesn’t make me a policeman.Like my faux experiences as a pilot and policeman, too many well-meaning credit union marketers try their luck with advertising layout and design. In some cases, it’s understandable. After all, if you are a one-person shop, it may feel like the weight of the world is on your shoulders and that you must handle all aspects of your marketing, including design.While I can sympathize with that plight, I need to let you in on a little secret. In order for your marketing to really take off and fly, you should leave the layout and design element of it to the professionals. This isn’t to sound snobby or condescending — far from it. Advertising layout and design is both an art and a science, one whose abilities are both inherited and taught/trained. Those gifted enough to practice layout and design often spend years honing their craft, both in academic and workplace environments.Need a few more reasons to consider leaving design work to the pros? Consider the following.Expense misconceptions. The expense of investing in a designer doesn’t necessarily have to break your marketing budget. Sure, as with most things, you can spend just about whatever you want. However, with many qualified and talented designers, you can hire them to do quality work for a reasonable price. The payoff? Your marketing materials look ten-times better and the stress and hassle of design work is off your shoulders, leaving you with more time to focus on other things.True collaboration. Designers truly interested in your credit union success won’t just cram their ideas down your throat. Professional designers take the vision you have for creative materials, run with it and knock your socks off with the end product. They will take the time to listen to you, learn the ins and outs of your particular credit union and mold the vision you have for materials into tangible results.Brand protection. Skilled designers will work on your materials with a holistic approach that both appreciates and protects your brand. As branding becomes an increasingly important element of business marketing, your credit union should look for design professionals that respect its brand and work hard to protect it during the creation of new materials.Herd mentality. Hiring a professional designer can help your material stand out from the herd. Have you seen how many marketing materials banks and credit unions pump out these days? The average consumer is hit by thousands of advertising messages a day — a fair number of those from your direct competitors. A great way for your credit union to rise above this din is to work with a qualified professional designer that creates materials that grab and hold your target market’s attention.Money saver. Playing it cheap actually costs you in the long run. Churning out homegrown marketing materials may seem to save you money up front — but in the long run, you’ll end up paying more to make it look right.There’s nothing wrong with a do-it-yourself attitude when it comes to most things. Flying an airplane or conducting an undercover drug bust are not among those things (unless you happen to be a professional pilot or policeman). Credit union marketing professionals that both recognize the limits of their design experience and the importance of having the best possible looking marketing collateral available will understand this and make the investment of hiring a professional designer.last_img read more

Rights groups highlight cases of police brutality on National Police’s 74th anniversary

first_imgThe report records various forms of ill-treatment, including persecution, subjective arrests, discrimination toward Papuans, threats to human rights defenders, improper use of firearms and disproportionate involvement in the handling of the COVID-19 epidemic, as well as police officers holding government positions.Kontras also said the police had no priority in law enforcement and acted arbitrarily in the name of “stability”.Similarly, the Foundation of the Indonesian Legal Aid Institute (YLBHI) said in a statement on Wednesday that, in 2019, it recorded 56 cases of police persecution against civilians, with 601 victims. The number is double the 27 cases of police persecution recorded in 2018.“Impunity [was] enjoyed by the suspects implicated in the acts of violence,” the YLBHI said through a written statement on Wednesday. Human rights organizations have slammed the police over allegations of excessive force and police brutality in time for the 74th anniversary of the National Police on Wednesday.The Commission for Missing Persons and Victims of Violence (Kontras) released on Tuesday a report on excessive force and violence at the hands of the police from July 2019 to June this year.“In the past year, we recorded 921 incidents of police brutality that resulted in 1,627 people getting injured and 304 killed,” Kontras chair Fatia Mauilidiyanti said during a press briefing on Tuesday in Jakarta. Kontras recorded that 4,051 people had been arrested, some of whom were persecuted when exercising their right to protest, including during antiracism protests in Papua and the #ReformasiDikorupsi (Reform the Corrupt) series of rallies in late 2019.Kontras researcher Rivanlee Ananda said the police had no measurable indicators while their subjectivity was very high in regard to civil liberties-related issues.“They often take aim at government critics and use discretion to arrest them,” he said, adding that poor checks and balances within the police institution had resulted in repeated violations of freedom of expression.The YLBHI recorded 67 cases of police involvement in violations against freedom of expression in 2019. “The police involved in the incidents ranged from district units to regional police units,” the YLBHI wrote. “The violations were done in various forms including physical abuse, abduction and the alleged determent of judicial assistance for victims.”Read also: Jakarta riot: Police violence in spotlight after viral beating videoFurthermore, Kontras also found 48 alleged cases of torture committed by police officers: nine toward civilians and 39 toward inmates.The past year also saw a new form of torture, cybertorture, in which the police deliberately use or neglect reports of doxxing and other forms of intimidation, harassment and manipulation of personal information through cyber operations. “Cybertorture causes distress, which could lead to depression and suicide. Victims also lost a sense of security in conveying their feelings in digital space,” Rivanlee said.Kontras highlighted 1,324 incidents of racist and discriminative treatment toward Papuans by the police and 534 shooting incidents resulting in 683 injuries and 287 deaths.“Given the magnitude of shooting incidents, the police should evaluate whether the use of firearms has been in accordance with their regulation,” said Fatia.The report also showed many incidents, besides shootings, in which the police had violated Police Chief Regulation No. 8/2009 on the implementation of the human rights principle in performing duties and Police Chief Regulation No. 1/2009 on the use of force.Kontras reported that the police’s involvement in COVID-19 handling had no accountable indicators and that they tended to abuse their authority, resulting in counterproductive actions and once again, limiting and violating civil rights.Earlier, the National Police chief issued a letter ordering cyberpatrols to monitor the development of opinions in cyberspace during the pandemic. Numerous arrests have been made because the police decided certain expressions had insulted state officials, were considered defamation or spread fake news.“The police should not be at the center of efforts to handle the pandemic. They should stick to their roles and have clear guidelines. Their repressive approach should also be evaluated as it has not done much to curb the virus,” Kontras researcher Danu Aulia Pratama said.The report also highlighted that 30 active and retired police officers held government positions. “Such power relations raise the risk and vulnerability in the use of police force for certain purposes. It will erode police independence,” said Fatia.Given the large number of reported police violations, the YLBHI called on President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo and the House of Representatives to push for police reform and ensure that police who violated the law were duly punished.“We also urge the National Police to obey the principles of human rights in carrying out their duties,” it said.Topics :last_img read more

Stone wins again at Merced

first_imgBy Don Martin IIMERCED, Calif. (July 26) – After grabbing the lead early in the 20-lap Xtreme Motor Sports IMCA Modified main event, Paul Stone pulled away by a wide margin to grab his second win of the sea­son Sunday at Merced Speedway,The win came aboard the Jack Mounce-owned no. 44 car as his own car is being used for special events this season.Bob Williamson was a season-best second ahead of Alex Wilson and Kyle Wilson.Running a smooth race on the bottom groove, Mark Odgers won his first 20-lap Karl Chevrolet Northern SportMod feature of the season.last_img

Mackay sorry for ‘text banter’

first_img The League Managers’ Association issued a statement on Mackay’s behalf which read: “If Malky has caused any offence by these two isolated matters he would wish to sincerely apologise.” The LMA claims the club searched more than 10,000 private text messages and found two from Mackay that were “with the benefit of hindsight, very regrettable and disrespectful of other cultures”. The statement added: “These were…sent in private at a time Malky felt under great pressure and when he was letting off steam to a friend during some friendly text message banter. “The LMA does not condone in any way any potential breach of equal opportunities laws but would also point out that out of over 10,000 text messages and 70,000 documents produced over a long period of time it may not be a complete surprise that some inappropriate comments can sometimes be made by employees, like Malky, working under great pressure in highly charged situations.” However, Mackay was said to be “very concerned about seriously inaccurate and misleading reports” in the media. The statement continued: “It has never been alleged that he wrote any homophobic or sexist messages and he has confirmed he did not do so. “Further, there are incorrect and damaging suggestions that he sent a whole host of offensive and unpleasant messages that are simply not true and which give a grossly distorted and unfair view of Malky’s involvement in this matter. ”Malky finds it strange that these matters were only raised with the FA and in the media now, eight months after his employment ended and the day before he was reported as being offered the opportunity to become manager of Crystal Palace FC. The former Cardiff boss and Iain Moody are alleged to have shared racist, sexist and homophobic texts when the latter was head of recruitment at the club. The pair were sacked by the club last season and the Welsh club have sent a dossier to the Football Association alleging misconduct. Malky Mackay has apologised for sending text messages he admits were “disrespectful of other cultures” – but claims they were “part of friendly text banter”. ”Malky cannot of course comment on the nature of any conduct or communications alleged to have been made by others. ”Malky has said that he will be fully co-operating with any FA investigation and that he looks forward to putting the record straight thereafter.” Press Association Sport understands Cardiff’s sending of the dossier to the FA was not deliberately timed to have any effect on Mackay’s candidacy for the Crystal Palace job. Meanwhile, Moody resigned as sporting director of Crystal Palace on Thursday. Press Associationlast_img read more

Ellen Annuls UL Tuition Hike

first_imgPresident Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has promised the over 25,000 students at the University of Liberia (UL) of her government’s commitment to keeping the tuition at L$175 per credit hour.She assured the students that “not even a dime will be added on the fees per course as is being reportedly proposed by the authorities of the state run university.”The President made the commitment to the students when she paid a brief visit to the main campus of the nation’s premier institution on Capitol Hill in Monrovia on Friday.“I have never been told or informed about any increment at the university by its authorities,” the Visitor to the UL told the students to a round of applause.The president’s statement comes against the backdrop of several threats that continue to come from UL students that they will resist any increment in fees.The UL authorities have planned to increase the tuition from L$175 to US$5 per credit hour; a move that enraged the student body, many of whom are underprivileged and self-supported.President Sirleaf, who upon arrival at the campus, met with vice president for UL relations, Norris Tweh, told the students that if there should be any increment, it will be on a steady or incremental basis rather than the “astronomical jump” that the administration had intended to introduce.She then urged the students to shun violence, which frequently hampers learning activities at the university. UL has a history of violent student protests that have caused frequent interruptions in normal academic activities.She told the students that they should be aware that what is being paid at the UL is very small compared to other state run universities in the sub-region, and as such, they should take advantage of that to pay attention to their education rather than constantly demonstrating for little or no reason.The students, through the Chairman of the Student Unification Party (SUP) Nathan Kpao, earlier told President Sirleaf that they were not prepared to accept increment in tuition fees, and therefore begged the President to intervene in the situation and ensure that it does not happen.They also spoke of the dilapidated state of infrastructures at the university, especially the unpainted buildings, leaking classrooms and lack of laboratories for students, especially those in the department of sciences.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Old-timers Hockey returns to FSJ

first_imgThe Old-timers Hockey Challenge returns to Fort St. John on Saturday March 21st. This year, the Legendary Hockey Heroes team is expected to include Hall of Famers Glenn Anderson, Bryan Trottier and Billy Smith, as well as Doug Bodger, Cliff Ronning, Igor Kravchuk, Dave Williams, Gaston Gingras, Dave Ellett, Gary Leeman, Tony Currie, Jimmy Mann, referee Ron Hoggarth, and more. The former NHL stars will take on the Fort St John Emergency Services Hockey Team, at the North Peace Arena.- Advertisement – Tickets are $20 each, or $60 for a family pack of four. They are now available at Ernie’s Sports Experts at the Totem Mall. A portion of the proceeds from each ticket will go to Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Fort St John. As an added feature, all fans with an Oldtimer’s Hockey Challenge ticket are invited to bring their skates and participate in the Horse Power World Pool Legends Pre Game Public Skate, with some of the Legends, the day of the game, between 3:00 and 4:00pm. -players are subject to change, see http://oldtimershockey.com/ for more info.Advertisementlast_img read more