Penalties for possession of videotapes containing explicitly homosexual images and dealing with homoerotic themes; current penalties for the use of satellite dishes [IRN29550.E]

No specific information on penalties in Iranian law for possession of homosexual videos could be found among the sources consulted by the Research Directorate. However, the Research Directorate has found a news report that 28 teenagers had been sentenced to punishments including fines, lashing, and unspecified terms of imprisonment after they were arrested on 24 August 1996 at a party at 41 "vulgar" videotapes, and illegal audio cassettes and compact discs were found (The Houston Chronicle 25 Aug. 1996). For more information on illegal (but not specifically homosexual) videos in Iran, please see Response to Information Requests IRN24239.E of 29 July 1996 and IRN26679.E of 23 April 1997.

Regarding satellite dishes, Index on Censorship carried a report from the French organization "Reporters sans frontières" in its March/April 1998 issue that stated:

A total of 197 Tehrani families had their satellite dishes confiscated and now face fines of up to a million rials (US$315) for violating a ban on such equipment. (91)

This Response was prepared after researching publicly accessible information currently available to the Research Directorate within time constraints. This Response is not, and does not purport to be, conclusive as to the merit of any particular claim to refugee status or asylum. Please find below the list of additional sources consulted in researching this Information Request.

References


The Houston Chronicle. 25 August 1996. "World Briefs." (NEXIS)

Index on Censorship [London]. Vol. 27 No. 2. March/April 1998. "Index Index: Iran."

Additional Sources Consulted


IGLHRC Action Alert [San Francisco]. July/August 1993-No. 6, 1997.

ILGA Bulletin [Brussels]. January-March 1996; July-September 1996; October-December 1996; April-June 1997; October-December 1997; January-March 1998.

Electronic sources: IRB databases, Global News Bank, Internet, REFWORLD, WNC.

Two oral sources consulted did not provide information on the requested subject.

Information dating from 1990 on an organization in Iran called the Arab People's Movement could not be found among the sources consulted by the Research Directorate. However, the Research Directorate was informed by a representative of the Centre for Arab and Iranian Studies (CAIS) in London that there is a very small and politically unimportant group of Iranian exiles, most of whom live in the Netherlands and Germany, who call themselves the Arab People's Movement ("Jonbesh-e Khalq-e Arab" in Persian). This group was founded shortly after the Islamic Revolution, and its aim was the separation from Iran of the province of Khuzestan, where ethnic Arab Iranians are concentrated (and where the city of Ahwaz ( or Ahvaz ( is located). With the help of the Iraqi intelligence services, they carried out armed attacks against Iranian targets in Khuzestan until about 1986 or 1987, when some members of the Arab People's Movement were executed. Since that time they have carried out no activities inside Iran that the representative is aware of (28 May 1998).

The CAIS representative added that this group has sometimes been known by other names, among them the "Movement for the Liberation of Arabistan" (ibid.). Moreover, the Research Directorate was informed by a professor of political science and specialist in Iran at Spring Hill College that although the professor has not heard of an organization called the Arab People's Movement,

There are some underground organizations of Iranians of Arab origin in the province of Khuzestan that have conducted low-level campaigns against the Iranian government for years. These groups come and go and change their names quite regularly. ... these organizations are very insignificant.

This Response was prepared after researching publicly accessible information currently available to the Research Directorate within time constraints. This Response is not, and does not purport to be, conclusive as to the merit of any particular claim to refugee status or asylum.

References


Centre for Arab and Iranian Studies (CAIS), London. 28 May 1998. Telephone interview.

Professor of political science, Spring Hill College, Mobile, Alabama. 26 May 1998. E-mail communication.

Additional Sources Consulted


Hunter, Shireen. 1992. Iran After Khomeini.

Iran: Political Culture in the Islamic Republic. 1992. Edited by Samih Farsoun and Mehrdad Mashayekhi.

Katzman, Kenneth. 1993. The Warriors of Islam.

Moaddel, Mansoor. 1993. Class, Politics and Ideology in the Iranian Revolution.

Electronic sources: IRB databases, Global News Bank, Internet, Keesing's, LEXIS/NEXIS, REFWORLD, WNC.

Three oral sources consulted did not provide information on the requested subject.