Canada is a dangerous place for Iranian citizens

Iran warns its citizens that Canada is a dangerous place:

 Iran warns its citizens that Canada is a dangerous place


Iran warns its citizens that Canada is a dangerous place

 

Tehran has officially warned its citizens and expatriates that Canada is a dangerous place in the latest swipe as both government’s trade accusations. So many Iranians live in Canada’s largest city that it’s often called ‘Tehranto’ among the moneyed elites in the Islamic Republic and thousands among the Iranian diaspora travel back and forth annually. But with relations so seriously soured between the two governments that Canada has closed its embassy in Tehran and kicked Iranian diplomats out of Ottawa, the ruling Islamic theocracy and the conservative Harper government are now trading insults in the form of travel advisories. “Avoid all travel,” the Harper government warned Canadians in the latest ‘red’ advisory. Not to be outdone, the Iran’s Foreign Ministry on Wednesday issued a stark warning about the risks for Iranians travelling to Canada. Tehran warned – for instance – of the risks of police violence, citing clashes between students and authorities in Montreal over threatened tuition increases. In the wake of the embassy closing, “Islamphobia and Iranphobia have not stopped in Canada, rather escalated over the past few days,” reported the semi-official news agency Irna, quoting from the Foreign Ministry travel warning. It added Iranian expatriates has been arrested and expelled and deprived of basic rights, including banking transactions – apparently a reference to financial sanctions imposed by Canada and other governments on Iran over its controversial nuclear program. Iran warned that murder and other violent crime was on the rise in Canada, adding that the forced closing of its embassy in Ottawa meant there were no diplomats available to assist Iranian citizens. Iran’s Foreign Ministry spokesman, Ramin Mehmanparast, has been strident in denouncing the Harper government in recent weeks. At one point he said the “hostile attitude of the Canadian racist government is …. dictated by the Zionist regime and the UK.” Meanwhile, Canada’s Foreign Minister John Baird has called the Islamic Regime the greatest threat to world peace. In the battle of the travel warnings, Ottawa struck first. “In the context of heightened regional tensions, Iranian-Canadian dual citizens may be particularly vulnerable to investigation and harassment by Iranian authorities,” Ottawa said in its travel advisory posted online. It also warned about the risk of visitors and dual nationals getting swept up in protests. “On several occasions, demonstrations resulted in violent clashes. People near demonstrations have been assaulted, and deaths have been reported,” Canada’s warning said. In Tehran, the government took a not-so-veiled slap at the “Canadian government’s double-standard about human rights [which] has been the focus of the world and Canadian public opinion,” it said, an apparent reference to the Harper government’s staunch support of Israel. Few Canadians, other than those who hold dual citizenship or have family ties in Iran, have visited Iran in the decades since the Islamic Revolution in 1979. So Ottawa’s travel warning is aimed primarily at Iranian-Canadians. However, thousands of Iranians, both tourists on group tours and individual travelers have routinely visited Canada in recent years. The flow has been so significant that Ottawa used to assign additional consular officers to the Canadian embassy in Tehran to cope. That ended last spring as relations worsened and Ottawa told Iranians they would need to get visas issued in Turkey.

Apple Inc. Riot’s

Riot at Foxconn Factory Underscores Rift in China

Riot at Foxconn Factory Underscores Rift in China

 The online postings were from a disturbance late Sunday that shut down a manufacturing facility in Taiyuan in north China, where 79,000 workers were employed. State-run news media said 5,000 police officers had to be called in to quell a riot that began as a dispute involving a group of workers and security guards at a factory dormitory. The unrest was noteworthy because the factory site is managed by Foxconn Technology, one of the world’s biggest electronics manufacturers and an important supplier to companies like Apple, Dell, Microsoft and Hewlett-Packard. A spokesman for Foxconn said the company was investigating the cause of the incident. But analysts say worker unrest in China has grown more common because workers are more aware of their rights, and yet have few outlets to challenge or negotiate with their employers. When they do, though, the results can be ugly and, because of social media and the Web, almost instantly transmitted to the world in their rawest and most unfiltered form. “At first it was a conflict between the security guards and some workers,” said a man who was reached by telephone after he posted images online. The man said he was a Foxconn employee. “But I think the real reason is they were frustrated with life.” The company said that as many as 2,000 workers were involved in the incident but that it was confined to an employee dormitory and “no production facilities or equipment have been affected.” Nonetheless, the plant was closed, the company said. Foxconn, which is based in Taiwan and employs more than 1.1 million workers in China, declined to say whether the Taiyuan plant made products for the Apple iPhone 5, which went on sale last week. A spokesman said the factory supplied goods to many consumer electronics brands. An employee at the Taiyuan plant said iPhone components were made there. Supply-chain experts say most Apple-related production takes place in other parts of China, particularly in the provinces of Sichuan, Guangdong and Henan. Apple referred questions to Foxconn. Labor unrest in Taiyuan, in northern China’s Shanxi Province, comes as strikes and other worker protests appear to be increasing in frequency this year compared with last year, said Geoffrey Crothall, spokesman for the China Labor Bulletin, a nonprofit advocacy group in Hong Kong seeking collective bargaining and other protections for workers in mainland China. Many of the protests this year appear to be related to the country’s economic slowdown, as employees demand the payment of overdue wages from financially struggling companies, or insist on compensation when money-losing factories in coastal provinces are closed and moved to lower-cost cities in the interior. But the level of labor unrest in China this year has not yet matched 2010, when a surge in inflation sparked a wave of worker demands for higher pay, Mr. Crothall said. The Taiyuan protest comes at a politically delicate time in China, with a Communist Party Congress expected in the coming weeks to anoint a new general secretary and a new slate of members for the country’s most powerful body, the Standing Committee of the Politburo. The government has been tightening security ahead of the conclave through measures like restricting the issuance of visas and devoting considerable resources to watching and containing disturbances like the recent anti-Japanese demonstrations. But the calendar may also be on Foxconn’s side. A weeklong public holiday starts this weekend to mark the country’s national day on Oct. 1. Factories across the country will close to allow workers to go home — and in the case of Foxconn’s Taiyuan factory, the dispersal of workers to hometowns could allow tempers to cool. Mr. Crothall said that while the cause of the latest dispute in Taiyuan remained unclear, his group had found an online video of the police there using a megaphone to address “workers from Henan” — the adjacent province to the south of Shanxi. The police officer said that the workers’ concerns would be addressed. Disputes involving large groups of migrant workers are common in China. In some cases, workers protest after believing that they have been promised a certain pay package and traveled a long distance to claim it, only to find on arrival that the details were different from what they expected. In other cases, workers from different provinces with different cultural traditions coming together in a single factory have clashed over social issues or perceived slights. The disturbance is the latest problem to hit Foxconn. Foxconn, which is part of Hon Hai Group of Taiwan, has been struggling to improve labor conditions at its China factories after reports about labor abuse and work safety violations. Apple and Foxconn have worked together to improve conditions, raise pay and improve labor standards, particularly since March when the Fair Labor Association, a monitoring group invited by Apple to investigate conditions, found widespread problems. Mr. Crothall said workers in China had become emboldened. “They’re more willing to stand up for their rights, to stand up to injustice,” he said, adding that damage to factory buildings and equipment still appeared to be unusual, occurring in fewer than 1 in 20 protests. The same Taiyuan factory was the site of a brief strike during a pay dispute last March, the Hong Kong news media reported then. Social media postings suggested that some injuries might have occurred when people were trampled in crowds of protesters.