Mounting concern about Iranian refugee journalists in Turkey

first_img RSF_en As Turkey neighbours Iran, these refugees and their families continue to be exposed to the possibility of persecution by the Iranian intelligence agencies. At the same time, the Turkish immigration services are extremely reluctant to provide them with the administrative cooperation they need to complete their applications for asylum and resettlement in safer countries. And the coronavirus crisis is compounding all of their problems.Intractable red tapeUntil the end of 2018, refugees arriving in Turkey applied directly to UNHCR for asylum. But this is no longer the case, as UNHCR says on its website: “The State of Turkey is the principal provider of protection in Turkey. Registration with the Turkish authorities is therefore the most important way of securing your rights in Turkey.”This change has had a big impact on refugees. The applications of Iranian journalists now have to be examined by the Turkish immigration authorities and police, who take their time. The waiting time is now even longer because the United States, which used to accept asylum and resettlement applications under President Obama, has ceased to do so on President Trump’s orders.Resettlement proposals are no longer being submitted to the United States. At the same time, many Iranian refugees have ceased to benefit from the various forms of assistance accorded to asylum seekers, including the health card that significantly reduced their medical expenses. Its loss makes them more vulnerable if they catch Covid-19. News March 18, 2021 Find out more One of the men who spoke Persian told him that the Turkish police had decided to protect him because he was threatened with being kidnapped by Iranians. At the same time, he was repeatedly interrogated about his journalistic activities and his family in Iran. He was finally told that he was in danger and that “either you cooperate and you will be transferred to Ankara, or you will be sent back to Iran.”When he refused to cooperate, he was immediately driven across the border into the northern Iran and was handed over to Revolutionary Guards in the city of Tabriz that same evening. This outcome showed that his abductors had been Iranians all along.Iranian journalists in Turkey are also familiar with the murder of Masoud Molavi Vardanjani, the controversial editor of The Black Box website, who had worked for the Revolutionary Guards before fleeing Iran and who had published allegations about corruption within the Revolutionary Guards and in Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei’s family, including his son Mojtaba. He was gunned down on an Istanbul street in November 2019, a year after his arrival in Turkey. Reuters quoted two senior Turkish officials as saying the murder was instigated by two intelligence officers stationed in Iran’s consulate in Turkey.Coronavirus, a new threatThe fear and anxiety of Iranian refugees in Turkey has grown since the start of the Covid-19 epidemic. Alireza Roshan, a poet, writer and journalist with the Majzoban Noor website who fled to Turkey with his wife and son in March 2018, said the epidemic has made his future much more uncertain, especially as “the immigration services have stopped all processing and UNHCR is powerless.”The situation for some exiles began deteriorating long before the epidemic. An Iranian journalist who has been in Turkey since 2014 and who asked not to be identified said his application for resettlement in the United States was initially accepted, only to be suspended, like the refugee reception programme, by the Trump administration in 2017.No agency has taken on his case since then, with the result that the only certainties left to him are extremely sombre. He is no longer able to enjoy the benefits accorded to asylum seekers, while he faces both the threats the Iranian authorities are making against him on social media and the threat of catching the coronavirus.Iran is ranked 173rd out of 180 countries in RSF’s 2020 World Press Freedom Index, while Turkey is ranked 154th. Reporters Without Borders (RSF) calls on the Turkish authorities and the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) to do everything possible to guarantee the safety of Iranian journalists who have fled to Turkey and to speed up their resettlement in third countries because their situation has worsened as a result of the coronavirus epidemic. IranMiddle East – North Africa Covid19ImprisonedCitizen-journalistsUnited Nations Twelve Iranian journalists and citizen-journalists who fled Iran to escape violence and arbitrary arrest and imprisonment are currently in an extremely difficult situation in Turkey. Receive email alerts Help by sharing this information The plight of Iranian journalists trapped in Turkey is all the more urgent and worrying because they continue to be exposed to danger from neighbouring Iran. The various Iranian intelligences services, including the Revolutionary Guards, continue to directly threaten these journalists and the families they have left behind.“Turkey must provide refugee journalists with effective protection and, together with UNHCR, must provide them with all the assistance they need so that their asylum applications can be completed within a reasonable period of time,” said Reza Moini, the head of RSF’s Iran desk. “We remind the Turkish authorities and UNHCR of the urgent need to speed up resettlement procedures or to establish a mechanism for evacuating them to third countries where their safety can be guaranteed.”Living “in the shadow of fear”“I have always been threatened by the Iranian regime in Turkey,” the journalist, blogger and satirical writer Sharagim Zand said in a recent email to RSF. Threatened with arrest in Iran, Zand fled to Turkey in 2014 and applied for asylum, while continuing to work for various media outlets such as IranWire and Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL), and often posting on social media.After living “in the shadow of fear” for the past five and a half years, Zand says he has seen a recent increase in the Iranian regime’s threats. “They are now threatening to find me and kill me,” he says, with the result that he is “more and more afraid” to leave his home.Recent cases of abduction and murder within the Iranian exile community have shown that such threats must be taken seriously because Iran has the ability to carry them out.Kidnapped or murdered by Iranian agentsGilan Noo news website editor Arash Shoa-e Shargh, who fled Iran after being convicted of “spreading false news” and “publishing without permission,” was abducted outside his home in Van, in eastern Turkey, on 5 February 2018 and resurfaced 25 days later in a prison in Iran. One of his relatives told RSF: “He was arrested outside his home by armed men who identified themselves as police officers” and was taken, handcuffed and blindfolded, to an underground car park with three cells, where he was held for the next three weeks. Behnam Mohammadi, Kayhan london After Hengameh Shahidi’s pardon, RSF asks Supreme Leader to free all imprisoned journalists April 30, 2020 Mounting concern about Iranian refugee journalists in Turkey Follow the news on Iran to go further News Iran: Press freedom violations recounted in real time January 2020 June 9, 2021 Find out more News IranMiddle East – North Africa Covid19ImprisonedCitizen-journalistsUnited Nations Call for Iranian New Year pardons for Iran’s 21 imprisoned journalists News Organisation February 25, 2021 Find out morelast_img read more

UL researcher awarded €1.5m European grant for energy research

first_imgRecently awarded EU funding, Dr MicheáL Scanlon will continue his research work at the University of Limerick University of Limerick researcher Dr Micheál ScanlonA University of Limerick (UL) researcher is to benefit from an European Research Council (ERC) Starting Grant to the tune of €1.5m in the further development of clean energy.Electrochemist Dr Micheál Scanlon is to further develop his research into unfurling a new way of imitating photosynthesis in the leaves of plants to generate clean electricity or solar fuels such as hydrogen gas.The UL researcher is the only ERC award recipient in Ireland in the area of physical sciences, and one of only three Irish-based researchers to be funded this year.Sign up for the weekly Limerick Post newsletter Sign Up The research is aimed at finding solutions for the world’s rapidly growing energy consumption which will double over the next 30 years.Dr Scanlon’s research into solar photovoltaic (PV) technology is deemed vital to achieve environmentally sustainable progress.Within the next 15 years, the solar PV market in Europe alone is projected to be worth €10bn per annum.The new approach taken by the UL researcher aims to eliminate the use of solid materials and instead achieve solar energy conversion using a liquid-to-liquid interface.“Liquid-liquid interfaces are found everywhere in nature, including in the membranes of cells in plant leaves, which are photosynthetic. There are light-harvesting molecules called chlorophyll in these membranes.“The liquid-liquid interfaces I use have the fantastic ability to trap and bring molecules together, especially molecules that are similar to chlorophyll. By coating these interfaces in all sorts of light-harvesting molecules, I can create an artificial photosynthetic membrane capable of producing energy.”The funding grant will go to assisting Dr Scanlon’s goal to study the interaction of light with the artificial photosynthetic membranes he is creating.The grant was welcomed by Dr Mary Shire, vice-president of research at UL.“Receiving a European Research Grant is a tremendous accolade for any researcher and this year, Dr Scanlon is one of only three Irish-based researchers to receive an ERC award. We look forward to the progress and findings of his research at the Bernal Institute in UL.” Previous articleFunding secured for Limerick tidal energy turbine projectNext articleLimerick gets set for a feast of Pig ‘n’ Porter Staff Reporter WhatsApp TAGSDr Micheál ScanlonERC grantfeaturedUniversity of Limerick Print Linkedin Limerick nurse helping the fight against COVID-19, calls for round the clock garda patrols near University of Limerick following “out of control” student parties Gardai make arrests following chaotic student party near University of Limerick NewsUL researcher awarded €1.5m European grant for energy researchBy Staff Reporter – July 13, 2017 956 Decision on FIBA European Championships in Limerick to be made in May center_img Advertisement Facebook University of Limerick ceases funding for off-campus Garda COVID-patrols after sanctioning students following massive street party Twitter Email Walk in Covid testing available in Limerick from Saturday 10th April RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR University of Limerick research identifies secrets of Fantasy Premier League success last_img read more

Increased resource teaching hours will be offset by rise in student numbers – Mc…

first_img Google+ Pinterest 448 new cases of Covid 19 reported today Previous articleAlmost 4,400 Donegal students begin state examinations todayNext articleTwo men killed on A5 between Newbuildings and Magheramason admin Homepage BannerNews Three factors driving Donegal housing market – Robinson Facebook Facebook A Donegal Deputy says an increase in resource teaching hours announced by the education Minister will make little impact on the overall resource teacher shortage.Fianna Fail’s Education Spokesperson Charlie McConalogue says Jan O’Sullivan’s announcement of 237 teaching posts for the next term will be offset by an increase in student numbers.Deputy McConalogue says the teacher shortage is felt most in smaller schools……….Audio Player Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume. Nine Til Noon Show – Listen back to Wednesday’s Programme Twitter Twittercenter_img WhatsApp News, Sport and Obituaries on Wednesday May 26th Google+ RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR Pinterest Increased resource teaching hours will be offset by rise in student numbers – Mc Conalogue By admin – June 3, 2015 Help sought in search for missing 27 year old in Letterkenny NPHET ‘positive’ on easing restrictions – Donnelly WhatsApplast_img read more