Stories from Quick Reads and Iran
What better than the seventh art to mobilize? In another effort to push for Elections in Lebanon and prevent an extension of the Parliamentary term #NoToExtension, Lebanese NGO Nahwa Al Muwatiniya (meaning Towards Citizenship) held an “Election Film Week”.
Six works from Chile, Iran, China, Ghana and the US, varying between documentaries and fiction are being screened between August 28 to September 2 at Cinema Metropolis (a theater promoting indie movies) in collaboration with the Lebanese Association for Democratic Elections (LADE).
On the Facebook Page of the event, where the programme is listed, the organisers note:
We have been struggling with a fragile democracy in Lebanon, ever since its independence. Today, more than in the darkest days of the civil war, the foundations of our democracy are at risk. But we’re not alone in this. The world is full of stories about the human struggle for self-determination and democratic participation. Broadening our perspective serves our effort to improve the quality of the political system in Lebanon.
The films we picked share stories from different countries, all which portray the election process. Collectively, they reveal a combination of human values and ideals and the efforts politicians make to win an election.
To see a glimpse of the movies, check out the trailer posted on Nahwa Al Muwatiniya Youtube Page.
The current parliament extended its four-year stay for the first time in May 2013. And like a year before, various parties are supporting the move this time around under the pretext of security conditions.
The end of the parliamentary term comes amidst a period of turmoil in Lebanon. The country has lacked a president since May 25 after parliament failed to elect a new head of state and top officials could not reach political consensus. A general strike by syndicates demanding to approve a new enhanced wage scale for civil servants has threatened to paralyze the entire country. Lebanon has experience instability on both Syrian and Israeli borders after soldiers were kidnapped by members of Islamic militant organization ISIS.
Cyber police interrogator Akbar Taghizadeh has been sentenced to three years in prison, two years in exile, and 74 lashes for the murder of dissident blogger Sattar Beheshti, who died under torture while in police detention in November 2012. “On Wednesday afternoon, August 6, news of the sentence was delivered to us by mail. But we do not accept it. It is dastardly and unfair,” said Gohar Eshghi, Beheshti's mother, in an interview with the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran. Many Twitter users, following the story under the #SattahBeheshti hashtag, expressed similar disapproval for the sentencing.
Iran celebrated the 35th anniversary of the Islamic revolution on Tuesday.Some netizens wrote about what hardliners reported after the celebration.Hadi Nili tweeted
Some hardliner #Iran'ian users in social networks shown disappointment about "less" anti-US atmosphere in the annual march of revolution.
— Hadi Nili (@HadiNili) February 11, 2014
Grand Ayatollah Makarem Shirazi, a prominent Shia scholar, has said 3G Internet is immoral and inhumane, Iranian sites reported on Tuesday.
— Omid Memarian (@Omid_M) August 25, 2014
Iran has the highest number of internet users in the Middle East, but its average data speed is about a tenth of the global average.Internet speeds in Iran have accelerated by 30 percent since summer 2013, after Hassan Rohani won the presidential election.
Polish Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski visted Iran past weekedend and found out even a polish news site is filtered in country.Later he found out Iran censored his remark on censorship.Green Voice of Freedom tweeted Polish diplomat slams internet censorship during a news conference with Iranian FM Javad Zarif.
— GreenVoiceOfFreedom (@IranGreenVoice) March 7, 2014
PersianBanoo reported “expelled Qazvin International University student activist, Maryam Shafipour has been sentenced to seven years imprisonment.Previously it was reported by her family that she was beaten by her male interrogators during interrogation sessions”.
— Amin Sabeti (@AminSabeti) February 9, 2014