Iran's detainees; US-China talks come to an end; Chavez ends diplomatic relations with Colombis, and more

Top of the Agenda: Iran’s Detainees

Outrage is growing in Iran amid reports that people detained since last month’s protests surrounding the country’s disputed election have been abused, and some even killed, in prison (NYT).

The reports have appeared on opposition-linked websites, and some hospital workers have told human rights activists they have seen evidence of more than 100 protester deaths. The Iranian government puts the death toll at 20, and says 500 total have been arrested (WSJ).

Responding to pressure, the Iranian government freed about 140 people (Tehran Times) that had been imprisoned in Evin prison since the protests. Officials said 150 people, charged with more serious crimes, are still being detained inside Tehran's main prison, Evin.
Meanwhile, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei also ordered the closure of Kahrizak detention centre (BBC), saying it had failed to "preserve the rights of detainees."

Analysis:
The Christian Science Monitor looks at the political power struggles going on in the Iranian government, noting the reformist Grand Ayatollah Yousef Sanei’s statement that "those forcing confessions out of them [prisoners] are sinners."

Expert Shaul Bakhash says a recent speech by former President Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani and a call for a referendum by former President Mohammad Khatami gave new life to the opposition movement.

In Newsweek, Fareed Zakaria says the best strategy for the Unites States is to “do nothing” about Iran for now, because it does not make sense to try to negotiate with Tehran.

Background:
A recent Human Rights Watch report describes detainee treatment in Iran.

A new CFR Backgrounder looks at Iran’s media landscape, and how it has been affected by the political uprising.

 

PACIFIC RIM: U.S.-China Dialogue Ends

Wrapping up two days of top-level talks in Washington, U.S. and Chinese leaders pledged to increase cooperation on economic, environmental, and political issues. The Financial Times outlines the commitments both countries made as a result of the dialogue, and notes continued tension on climate change policy.

A Foreign Policy briefing book examines the U.S. policy agenda and strategy toward China.

Uighurs: Exiled Uighur activist Rebiya Kadeer arrived in Tokyo for a three-day visit, angering the Chinese government (Xinhua). China says Kadeer was behind the July 5 riot in Xinjiang province that killed nearly 200 people. Kadeer denies any involvement in the recent unrest in Xinjiang.

In a CFR podcast, Dru C. Gladney, an expert on China's ethnic minorities, says the Urumqi riots began as protests for social justice, and really had "nothing to do with Islam, or separatism, or independence."

 

ELSEWHERE:

Iraq raids Iranian exile camp in Diyala.
Nigerian death count rises in violence.
Chavez ends diplomatic relations with Colombia.

 

This is an excerpt of the CFR.org Daily News Brief. The full version is available on CFR.org

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