Freedom of speech comes with no strings attached…

Month: May, 2011

President Obama’s advisor fails

President Obama failed to follow the Royal protocols of the British monarch in several occasions during his visit to Buckingham Palace. This is while his wife failed to do so during their last visit to the UK.

It is to be considered that if such a mistake happens once, it is the advisor’s fault. But if happens again, then it would lead one to the conclusion that it is the president’s fault for keeping taking advice from that particular advisor in a particular matter.

During the visit to the UK last time, Michelle Obama, the American first lady, put her hand arounds around Her Majesty the Queen, this is against the British Royal protocol. One must never touch a member of the Royal Family. This protocol applies to the handshakes as well. Unless one is offered a handshake by a member of the Royal Family, one mustn’t attempt to offer a hand.

This year, on the other hand, President Obama himself failed to follow the protocols.

  • When the orchestra started to play the British National Anthem (God Save the Queen), President Obama continued his speech. Whether he was finished with his speech or not, he mustn’t have spoken while the anthem was being played.
  • President Obama raised his glass before Her Majesty the Queen. It matters not whether the toast speech has been given by Her Majesty, or by the guest to Her Majesty’s life; it is Her Majesty the Queen who raises the glass first. Doing otherwise may be considered as a disrespect to the Royal Family. It is to be noticed that when President Obama raised the glass, the Queen turned towards him, stared at him surprisingly, and then turned back towards the table, and grabbed her glass. Thereafter, the guests, who were mostly British, attempted to raise glasses.
A part of the British Royal protocol:
  • One must never raise a glass of drink before Her Majesty the Queen
  • One must never speak while the orchestra is playing
  • One must remain silent whenever the anthem “God Save the Queen” is being performed. Also, everyone must stand up and no one is to raise a glass to one’s health.
  • Never touch Her Majesty the Queen, or any other member of the British Royal Family.
  • It is always Her Majesty the Queen who raises a glass, and the rest of the guests drink wine to her health. However, Her Majesty drinks not from the glass, and puts it back on the table.
  • While having a tea with the Royal Family, one must only raise the teacup to drink, not the cup and saucer, and to return the cup to the sauce after each sip.

Islamic Democracy and its applications in Iran: A visual introduction

Islamic Democracy and its applications in Iran: A visual introduction
A Pouria Hadjibagheri Human Rights Promotional Project – 2011

Does it even work?

Mexico: Condemn the killing of LGBT activist

Amnesty International – UK

On 4 May 2011, Quetzalcoatl Leija Herrera was attacked and killed in Chilpancingo, southern Mexico, by unknown assailants. The attack appears to have happened when he was walking home after spending the evening socialising.

Quetzalcoatl Leija Herrera was an outspoken advocate of LGBT rights. He and his colleagues organised an annual Gay Pride and diversity march in Chilancingo every June. In previous years they had received telephone death threats warning them not to hold the march. After filing complaints with the authorities, they were granted police protection during the marches.

The circumstances of Quetzalcoatl’s killing remain unclear, but we are concerned that it may be related to his position as Director of CEPRODHEI (Centre for Study and Projects on Integrated Human Development), and his work as an outspoken advocate of gay rights.

Please take action by sending an Email to Lic. Ángel Heladio Aguirre Rivero, Mexian politician and governor, through Amnesty International: CLICK HERE or copy/paste the following URL to your browser address bar:




Thank you for your assistance in this Human Rights issue,

Pouria Hadjibagheri

Member of Amnesty International, United Nations and British Red Cross

Interview with Steve Slack – Director of Sexual Health and HIV of the NHS in Sheffield, UK

IDAHO: International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia
Part of the documentary about the Status of the Asylum Seekers in the UK
Interview with Steve Slack: Director of Sexual Health and HIV Service of the National Health Service in Sheffield, UK.

Apologies for the poor quality of sound. This clip shall be edited further for the main project.

Interviewer, producer and cinematograph: Pouria Hadjibagheri

Director: Michael Gawthorp

Extent of Child Abuse in Iran

Iran is a well known country in terms of violation of human rights.

Child abuse is observed on a daily basis in Iran. Unfortunately the state, on the other hand, sponsors these abuses to some extent, mainly due to the Islamic rules. Allowing underaged marriages, executions and not taking proper actions against physical abuses done by the parents (especially the father), are the most commonly observed cases.

There are 4 types of Child Abuse:

  • Neglect: Failing to provide the child with basic needs (i.e. proper clothing, hygiene and so forth)
  • Physical: Causing physical harms or injuries to the child.
  • Emotional: Causing emotional or psychological damages to the child which may lead the child to suffer lifelong psychological difficulties.
  • Sexual: A very complicated form of abuse. It is important to notice that sexual abuse does not merely involve body contact. Exposing a child to sexual situations or material is sexually abusive, whether or not touching is involved.

The child shall have the right to freedom of expression; this right shall include freedom to seek, receive and impart information and ideas of all kinds, regardless of frontiers, either orally, in writing or in print, in the form of art, or through any other media of the child’s choice.  United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (article 13)

It is observed that the  school kids are taught they should lay down their lives for the regime; an Iranian textbook for grade 10, shows how child soldiers are presented as role models for children to revere and imitate. [1]

In December of 2006, Law Enforcement officers in Tabriz, Iran were informed that a 47 day-old girl by the name of Maedeh had been killed by her father. The officers discovered the baby’s body in the family’s back yard. The 33 year-old drug-addicted father confessed that he strangled the baby when she was crying and buried her in the back yard two weeks prior. [2]

The state Welfare Organization announced earlier this month that there have been almost 150,000 cases of child abuse recorded in Iran over the last six months. [3 – Reported on 21/May/2010]

I have received a report regarding a very recent case of child abuse in Iran, which also includes a photograph. The report suggests that the 4 years old Nima was playing with his friend, a neighbour’s child. They were making lots of noise when Nima’s mother asked the neighbour’s child out and started hitting Nima by hand, and other things that she could reach for. After a few minutes, once the so-called mother realised that Nima is unconscious, she called her husband, and they took Nima to the hospital. The mother was then arrested, but after interviewing both mother and father, the police reported that they claim various things. The mother claims that she is to be blamed, and the father claims that he has done it. The parents have been released on bail awaiting their hearing.

The reporter requested their name to remain confidential for security reasons.

This is a photograph of little Nima:

Pouria Hadjibagheri

Political, Civil Rights and LGBT Activist

Trained in Child safeguarding by the British Red Cross




[1] Institute for monitoring peace and cultural tolerance in school education – report: State Sponsored Child Abuse in Iran – p. 2

[2] Iranian and Kurdish Women’s Rights Organisation – report: The problem of child abuse in Iran:  [http://www.ikwro.org.uk/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&catid=1%3Ageneral&id=242%3Athe-problem-of-child-abuse-in-iran&Itemid=2]

[3] Payvand Iran News: Iranian Government ‘Failing To Address’ Child Abuse Problem [ http://www.payvand.com/news/10/may/1224.html %5D


RedCross Training Course on Child safeguarding

Amnesty International Report on Iran – 2007

Exporting Soldiers

Unofficial reports from Iran suggest that the Iranian government has started paying its trained soldiers an amount of $ 10,000 US to volunteer in order to go to Syria and join the defence.

This is not the first instance as it has happened several times before. The best known example is the Lebanese Hisbollah whose troops are mainly trained by the Iranian government and are a dependant of the Iranian Sepah military.

The source from Iran, whose name is not to be disclosed for security reasons, indicated that this has been happening for about 2 weeks now and that the Iranian forces were directly involved in the attacks which took place against the people in Syria.

Response to a letter

3 weeks ago, I wrote a letter to the British secretary of state for the Home Office, Theresa May, MP.

I received a letter today from the UK Border Agency in response to it, written on behalf of the secretary. I am therefore sharing both the letter and the response in here.

Take Action, Protect the Human, EFFECTIVELY.



I apologise for the poor condition of the response letter. It was delivered to me like this (blame the Royal Mail).