SHAFAQNA (Shia International News Association) -- There's the miracle of childbirth. And then there's the miracle of a child shaking hands with her doctor before she's exited the womb.
In October, Randy Atkins was poised with camera as his wife Alicia gave birth via C-section. He was planning on capturing the moment for friends and family, but he didn't expect to snap an image that would captivate the planet.
In an unbelievable debut, Nevaeh Atkins, age one millisecond, reached out from her mother's belly and offered her own delivery doctor a hand.
"The doctor called me over and said, 'Hey, she's grabbing my finger.' So I ran over there and just grabbed the shot and I was just in awe looking at it. It was such an amazing picture," Randy Atkins told the website AZFamily.com. The Phoenix-based Atkins and his wife Alicia shared the incredible photo on Facebook the day after Christmas. Soon after the image was shared by hundreds and viewed by more than 10,000 users, making it the first and most unexpected viral baby photo of 2013.
"We didn't think we were going to get such positive feedback. We thought we would get more negative 'that's disgusting…'" Alicia remarked. "[Instead] everybody just thought it was the best thing in the world."
In an age of doctored images that make the surreal seem almost possible, Atkins' very real image is particularly startling. According to staff at the Arizona hospital where Nevaeh was born, the "baby reaching" phenomenon has happened in the past--or so it's been said. But Atkins' image may be the first hard evidence.
Babies can shake hands from the womb. Pretty impressive. That's more than you can say for some adults.
Alicia tagged her doctor Allan Sawyer, who also delivered her two other children, in the photo she posted to Facebook, and even presented him with canvas print of the image. That is, after all, Sawyer's big finger in the picture. But back to the far more incredible little hand.
"I am in awe of this photo," Alicia wrote beneath her post. "Something to remember forever."
It's also something to use in twenty years, when Nevaeh is filling out job applications. Go ahead, ask the kid who practically delivered herself if she's ambitious. Two words: see photo. www.shafaqna.com/English
SHAFAQNA (Shia International News Association) - The most disruptive technologies in 2012 include energy storage technology no one thought would ever work, gesture-based interfaces that will make touch screens look as quaint as floppy disks, and computers and connectivity so cheap they’re adding billions more people to the internet. For a technology to make it onto this list, it didn’t have to be invented in 2012; in many cases, it’s enough that there was a significant development this year in its journey toward rewriting our relationship with machines and each other.
Leap adds gesture control to any device with a USB port.Leap Motion
1. Controlling computers without touching them
Leap Motion, Pointgrab, Elliptic
In June I wrote that Leap Motion, the company responsible for a $70 add-on to any computer that could replace every input device save the keyboard, was about to launch the most disruptive technology since the smart phone. About the size of a packet of gum, the Leap is an outwardly simple device that can determine the position of any object in its field of view to a resolution of a hundredth of a millimeter, the company claims. The result is a sensor that could enable ultra-precise gesture-based interfaces with sufficient variety that they are likely to make interacting with a computer through a trackpad, mouse or touchscreen seem antediluvian. As I noted at the time:
…Leap operates in three dimensions rather than two. Forget pinch-to-zoom; imagine “push to scroll,” rotating your flattened hand to control the orientation of an object with a full six degrees of freedom, or using both hands at once to control either end of a bezier surface you’re casually sculpting as part of an object you’ll be sending to your 3D printer.
Since the company revealed the Leap, it has been overwhelmed by demand from developers who are now working with it to apply its technology to everything from education to medicine. For the everyday user, Leap means being able to move a cursor on a screen simply by lifting a finger an inch or so off the keyboard and pointing, as well as a thousand other potentially more complicated gestures, all of which can be accomplished without the sweeping arm movements or impractical ergonomics of previous gesture-based systems.
Other companies are working to bring gesture-based interfaces into computers through a variety of competing technologies. (Leap uses a pair of cameras and a handful of infrared lights, but the company’s “secret sauce” is apparently its software, which runs on the computer rather than the Leap sensor, and processes what those cameras see.) Elliptic Labs, for example, uses ultrasound transducers and tiny microphones embedded in PCs to “see” where a user’s hands are in the same way that a bat uses echoes. PointGrab, on the other hand, has a camera-based technology that is already available in gesture-controlled televisions, and it’s about to debut in PCs from Acer and Fujitsu. Pointgrab’s system isn’t as accurate as a Leap, but it has the advantage of working with any device that has a forward-facing camera.
Google’s Project Glass puts the internet on your face.Google
2. Fusing the real and the virtual
Google Glass, car windshields from GM and Daimler
Whenever there is a piece of glass between a person and the world, there’s an opportunity to put information on it. Augmented reality (AR), as it’s known, is the way we’ll fuse the virtual and the real worlds, supplementing the screens on our mobile devices with screens that know what we’re looking at and can superimpose anything a computer can display. The potential applications are endless: Software that displays the names and bios of people we meet; turn-by-turn directions that appear to float in the air before us; glasses that superimpose ads on the world, or block real-world ads if we don’t want to see them.
Google did a lot of marketing this year for Project Glass, its effort to put a single small, transparent display on a pair of otherwise lens-free eyeglasses. (The company reckons that Glass will be on sale by 2014.) But it won’t offer full-blown AR. Google Glass can give you directions or display a Google Hangout, but to convincingly superimpose virtual, three-dimensional objects on a person’s view of reality, it would have to know the position and orientation of his or her head to a degree of precision that has yet to exist outside the laboratory. Google’s engineers know this, so initial models of Google Glass consist of a display meant to hover just outside a user’s field of view, rather than fill it.
A convincing fusion of the virtual and the real might arrive sooner in cars than in glasses. Able to carry more processing power, better orientation sensors and an all-encompassing display—the windshield—our vehicles could become home to a new level of immersion. These kinds of “heads-up displays” have existed in aircraft for decades. And if that seems like a recipe for distraction, all the companies working on this technology, from GM to Daimler, emphasize that the first goal of augmented reality displays in car windshields would be increased safety (paywall).
COMPRESSED AIR BATTERIES
Compressed air storage systems normally return only 10% of the energy put into them, but LightSail’s storage modules return up to 70%.LightSail
3. The world’s most cost-effective energy storage
The story of LightSail Energy is a litany of surprising facts. In a field dominated by male engineers, its founder, Danielle Fong, is a 24-year-old woman who dropped out of both middle school and (later) a PhD at Princeton. And the company’s technology takes an energy storage technique no one thought was workable—compressed air—and adds a simple physical trick inspired by something Fong read in a century-old book. The problem Fong solved is that, due to basic physics, when air is compressed, it gets hot, up to 1,000°C. That means most of the energy that could be stored in compressed air is lost as heat. Fong’s solution was to add a fine mist of water to air as it’s being compressed, and then to recover that water and use it to store the heat energy generated.
The result, LightSail claims, is a technology as efficient as batteries—it will supposedly return up to 70% of the energy put into it—but significantly cheaper. This combination of price, simplicity and build-it-anywhere flexibility has attracted investors like Bill Gates and, in the company’s $37.5 million Series D financing round, the investor (and PayPal co-founder) Peter Thiel, who usually makes a point of avoiding clean energy.
LightSail sells its technology not merely as a way to store renewable energy for when it’s needed, but also as a way to displace a lot of the new power plants and electricity transmission infrastructure that the world has planned. The idea is that putting affordable energy storage exactly where it’s needed could eliminate spending on both, regardless of whether the energy is being produced by renewables.
AUTONOMOUS ELECTRIC VEHICLES
Arcimoto’s electric cars are technically motorcycles, but in a world of self-driving vehicles, perhaps that’s all we need.Arcimoto
4. The end of cars as we know them
Arcimoto, Google driverless car
Companies—like ExxonMobil—that argue that electric cars won’t go mainstream until they have the same range as conventional vehicles aren’t taking account of changes in how we use cars that might make their range less important. And critics who say self-driving cars won’t catch on because they don’t offer a big enough advantage over driving yourself miss the fact that in many cities, people prefer to rent a fully autonomous vehicle by the hour than to own a car themselves. (We call such vehicles “taxis”.)
2012 is the year it occurred to at least a handful of observers that at the intersection of these two trends is something truly startling: A future in which cars are no less ubiquitous, but the way in which we use them more closely resembles mass transit.
The logic, briefly, is that self-driving cars could be much safer than conventional vehicles because they’ll crash less. That will allow them to become much lighter as they shed the crumple zones and crash cages typical of today’s cars. Lighter vehicles, like the three-wheeled Arcimoto, which is technically a motorcycle, can go further on batteries. They’ll also have lower maintenance costs because they have fewer moving parts (no gearbox, for instance).
Now, there’s an obvious chicken-and-egg problem here. If the only way to become light enough to make battery power a viable option is to have fewer safety features, then autonomous electric cars have to be less susceptible to accidents. To be less susceptible to accidents, they have to be isolated from conventional cars with their erratic human drivers. To be isolated from conventional cars, they need to be widespread enough to have their own lanes and roads. And to be that widespread, they have to already be light enough to make battery power viable.
Still, that hasn’t put some visionaries off. Here’s how Mark Frohnmayer, CEO of Oregon electric car company Arcimoto, describing the future to Discovery Canada:
“Ultimately, you’re just going to hit a button on your smartphone, a vehicle will pull up, you’ll get in. And once you start to get a lot of [autonomous electric vehicles] on the road, they can do things that no cars can do. They can flock together, they can be more efficient in terms of how they use energy; so what we’ll see is a dramatic reduction in congestion, smaller lanes, a dramatically reduced need for parking lots, and better utilization of our urban cores. Within the next 20 years the potential for just a fundamental reboot of the topology of our cities.”
But maybe there’s a gradualist way to get there. Self-driving cars are already legal in California, and Google CEO Sergey Brin said they could be mainstream within five years.
ULTRA-CHEAP WEB DEVICES
The Ubislate tablet is less expensive than even the cheapest smartphones.Datawind
5. Five billion people with internet access
Jana, Jolla, Facebook, Datawind and countless Shenzhen manufacturers
“The thing to look for in the next year is that you have one to two billion Android handsets coming on-line,” Silicon Valley investor Marc Andreessen told Quartz recently. “We’ve never had the ability in our industry to reach five billion people with a computer and now we have the ability to do that. That’s big.”
Since 2000, the number of mobile phones in the developing world has increased by 1,700%, and now many of those people are upgrading to smartphones with data plans that cost as little as $2. The price of an internet-capable smartphone has now fallen to $50, and in India it’s possible to get tablets like the Aakash 2 for half that. The explosion of smartphone adoption in China, which is now consuming the devices faster than the US, has created openings for unconventional mobile companies like the Finnish/Chinese Jolla. It’s also cementing the dominance of internet giants like Facebook, who have created stripped-down versions of their sites that can be used on a basic feature phone, and persuaded mobile providers to give people access to those sites for free.
What does it mean that another one or two billion people are encountering the internet for the first time? If the value of the network is proportional to its size, what happens when most of Earth’s inhabitants can tap into a common pool of information and contacts? New internet users aren’t going to necessarily translate into profits for companies like Facebook, but whole new businesses that can reach billions of people, like Jana’s marketing and payments platform, are being synthesized from even the most primitive mobile networks.
But this is also a story about education, economic development, opportunity, government transparency and even revolutions—all of which, pundits argue, could flow from this level of connectedness.- www.shfaqna.com/English
SHAFAQNA (Shia International News Association) -- According to the study, close to 80 percent of Hindu congregations are located in metropolitan areas with population greater than a million. Of these metro areas, the researchers found San Jose to be the most Hindu city with approximately 2.5 percent identifying as a Hindu adherent. The researchers found the greater area of Baltimore, MD to be the least Hindu city with only 0.003 percent identifying as a Hindu adherent.
The researchers define adherents to be those with an affiliation to a congregation including children, members and attendees who are not members, and believe that the adherent measure is the most complete and comparable across religious groups.Congregations are defined as groups of people who meet regularly at a pre-announced time and location.
Approximately 641,200 Hindu adherents and 1,625 congregations were reported across the country. With more than 80,000 Hindu adherents, the greater area of New York, NY-NJ-PA reported the highest number of Hindu adherents, whereas the greater area of Baltimore, MD reported the lowest -- only 71 identified as Hindu adherents. Similarly, with 195 congregations, the greater area of New York, NY-NJ-PA reported the highest number of congregations in a million-plus metropolitan area, whereas the greater area of Providence, RI-MA reported the lowest with just three Buddhist congregations.
Only 416 counties across the country reported the presence of Hindu adherents, and as the map below shows, most Hindu adherents in the United States live near the East Coast or the West Coast.
SHAFAQNA (Shia International News Association) – Climate change and the environment were not major topics of the presidential campaign. And on Wednesday, President Obama said that while he believes more needs to be done to address what's happening, he won't "ignore jobs and growth simply to address climate change."
But former Vice President Al Gore, who won a Nobel Peace Prize for his work raising awareness on climate issues, tells NPR that he's convinced "more and more people in both political parties are taking a hard look at it and saying 'yes we really do need to do something about this.' "
After weather disasters such as Superstorm Sandy, a devastating drought across much of the U.S. this past year and other recent catastrophes, Gore said, more and more Americans are concluding that the issue can't be left for their children and grandchildren to solve. "People are getting the idea that we owe it to ourselves," Gore told Weekend All Things Considered host Guy Raz. "It's affecting us right here and now."
Polling, such as that done by Gallup, shows that while concern about global warming is down from the peak (72 percent) hit in 2000, the number of Americans who express that worry has been on the rise in the past year.
Obama's challenge, the 2000 Democratic presidential nominee said, will be changing the minds of lawmakers who remain skeptical about whether the climate is changing and whether humans are a factor. "It's fair to say that the real solution to the climate crisis will require a legislative act by the Congress," he said. "So the president does have the challenge of persuading them to act."
But, Gore said, "it's not the first time that we've faced political difficulties in trying to resolve a really important challenge. ... That's one of the reasons we have a president in our Constitution — to lead the country."
This evening, at 7 p.m. ET, Gore wraps up 24 Hours of Reality: The Dirty Weather Report. It's part of the Climate Reality Project, which attempts to "mobilize social consensus around climate change." You can watch the show here. It's been a series of reports from all 24 time zones around the world.
And what is "dirty weather?"
"Dirty energy creates dirty weather," Gore said. It's a reason why "storms are stronger," floods are more destructive and weather catastrophes seem to be happening more often. "That's dirty weather."
Much more from the conversation is due on Saturday's edition of Weekend All Things Considered. Click here to find an NPR station that broadcasts the show.— www.shafaqna.com/English
SHAFAQNA (Shia International News Association) –For the first time in the battle between Samsung and Apple, the former sold more of a single model in one quarter than the latter. In Q3 2012 the Samsung Galaxy S III sold more units than Apple’s iPhone 4S, a solid 18 million to 16.2 million.
While the comparison is a little bit skewed since the Galaxy S III was at its peak during the three-month period between June 30 to September 30 and the iPhone 4S was in its waning months, the figure is still impressive. Global smartphone marketshare of the Galaxy S III rose from 3.5% in Q2 to 10.7% in Q3, while the iPhone 4S dropped from 12.7% to 9.7%.
The figures don’t take into account the inevitable rise of the iPhone 5, which sold six million units in the short period between September 21st (its release date) and the end of month, but neither do they add up the millions of other Galaxy devices sold around the world. Samsung has created itself a veritable army of Galaxy-branded products, from the still-strong Galaxy S II series to the Galaxy Note II and everything in between.
Neil Mawston of Strategic Analytics, the firm behind the figures, said in a statement, “We expect the new iPhone 5 to outship Samsung’s Galaxy S3 in the coming fourth quarter of 2012 and Apple should soon reclaim the title of the world’s most popular smartphone model.” The firm attributed the rise of the Galaxy S III to its large screen, “extensive distribution across dozens of countries, and generous operator subsidies,” which have often undercut the iPhone in many markets.
The takeaway from these figures, other than the title of “top smartphone,” is that Samsung has risen incredibly quickly to take on the incumbent leader in the market, and with Android making up the majority of newly-sold smartphones in the market, the situation may be very different a year from now.— www.shafaqna.com/English
SHAFAQNA (Shia International News Association) - With almost half of French see Muslims as a threat to their national identity, the majority of people in France believe Islam too influential role in their society, a new survey has found.
"Our poll shows a further hardening in French people's opinions," Jerome Fourquet, head of Ifop's opinion department, told Le Figaro and cited by Reuters.
An IFOP poll found that most French see Islam is playing too influential role in their society.
It found that 43% of French see Muslim presence in France is a threat to the national identity.
Only 17% of respondents opine that the Muslim presence was enriching French society.
Forty percent of those questioned were indifferent to the presence of Islam, the survey showed.
The poll, which included 1,736 people, also showed a growing resistance to the Islamic symbols in France.
Forth-three percent of respondents said they opposed the building of more mosques in France, up from 39% in 2010.
The poll also revealed that 63% of respondents oppose the wearing of Islamic headscarf in public, compared to 59% two years ago.
In 2004, France banned Muslims from wearing hijab, an obligatory code of dress, in public places. Several European countries followed the French example.
France has also outlawed the wearing of face-veil in public.
The integration of French Muslims was thrust into the spotlight in March when a self-proclaimed Al-Qaeda gunman went on a shooting spree in southwest France that killed three Jewish children, a rabbi and three soldiers.
"In recent years, there has not been a week when Islam has not been in the heart of the news for social reasons: the veil, halal food, for dramatic news like terrorist attacks or geopolitical reasons," Fourquet said.
France is home to a Muslim minority of six millions, Europe’s largest.
Muslim leaders have blamed French politicians for stoking the fear of Islam in the country.
"Islam has left the spiritual sphere to become a political subject," Mohamed Moussaoui, president of the umbrella French Council of Muslim Faith (CFCM), said.
"Attempts to associate marginal practices with mainstream Muslim religion fuels the rejection of every aspect of Islam."
Former president Nicolas Sarkozy has adopted a series of measures to restrict Muslim freedoms in an effort to win support of far-right voters.
Under Sarkozy, the French government a national debate on the role of Islam in French society.
The French government also outlawed Muslim street prayers, a sight far-right leader Marine Le Pen likened to the Nazi occupation.
Muslims have also complained of restrictions on building mosques to perform their daily prayers.
Uproar has also gripped France recently after Jean Francois Cope, candidate to lead the Movement for a Popular Movement (UMP) party suggested this month that French Muslim youths were tearing pain au chocolate pastries from children's hands during Islam's fasting month of Ramadan.
The publication of the poll also came after a far-right group occupied a mosque in the western city of Poitiers at the weekend and issued a "declaration of war" against what it called the Islamisation of France.— www.shafaqna.com/English
Source: On Islam
SHAFAQNA (Shia International News Association) — The survey by pollster Ifop in Le Figaro newspaper showed that 60 percent of people believed that Islam was "too important" in France in terms of its influence and visibility, up from 55 percent two years ago.
It found that 43 percent of respondents considered the presence of the Muslim community as a threat to their national identity, compared with just 17 percent who said it enriched society. Forty percent of those questioned were indifferent to the presence of Islam, Le Figaro said.
"Our poll shows a further hardening in French people's opinions," Jerome Fourquet, head of Ifop's opinion department, told the newspaper.
Mohammed Moussaoui, president of the French Muslim Council (CFCM), said fear of Islam was being stoked by political manipulation of concern over immigration and fears the growing Muslim population could lead to the imposition of sharia law.
"Islam has left the spiritual sphere to become a political subject," he said, in response to the poll. "Attempts to associate marginal practices with mainstream Muslim religion fuels the rejection of every aspect of Islam."
The survey, carried out on October 15-18 on 1,736 people, showed a growing resistance to the symbols of the Islamic faith. Some 43 percent of those questioned were opposed to more mosque building, up from 39 percent in 2010.
Sixty-three percent opposed Muslim women wearing the veil or Islamic headscarves in public, compared with 59 percent two years ago. Sarkozy's previous conservative banned the wearing of full-face veils.— www.shafaqna.com/English
SHAFAQNA (Shia International News Association) — Which company has the most valuable brand according to news media, social media, and Twitter combined? If you guessed Apple, you’d be wrong. If you guessed Google, you’d still be wrong. General Sentiment‘s latest data lists the top 20 companies in the following order:
The eight-page “Q3 2012 Global Brands Media Value Report” (PDF) explains what happened:
Facebook joined our Media Value rankings this quarter and immediately dominated the list. Months after its IPO, the social networking service is still at the forefront of many minds. In mid-September, the company’s stock saw a boost after CEO Mark Zuckerberg gave his first interview since Facebook went public. However, Barron’s deemed its stock “still too pricey” near the end of the quarter.
Apple passed Google this quarter and retained the second place spot. The iPhone 5 made its much-awaited debut in late September. While many were excited about the new smartphone, its unveiling was quickly accompanied by criticism of the iOS 6 Maps app. CEO Tim Cook released a statement soon after apologizing for the failings of the new Maps app.
Google fell from first to third, dropping behind Apple and newly initiated Facebook. The search giant was often mentioned alongside criticism of Apple’s iOS 6 Maps; many stated that Apple should have just kept supporting Google Maps. Google’s stock set a new record in late September, surpassing the all-time high last seen in November 2007.
Apple passing Google we can understand, but how on Earth did Facebook manage to catapult itself to first place? After all, both companies are much bigger, make much more money, and have been around for much longer. Furthermore, the most recent brand report from Interbrand showed Facebook debuting on its top 100 list at number 69.
So, what gives? Read the bullet list again, and you’ll see that the iOS 6 Maps fiasco actually helped Apple beat out Google. As Forbes notes, this is a classic case of “all good news is good news” or “there is no such thing as bad publicity.”
Apple may be the best when it comes to the rumor mill and users complaining about some defect or another, and Google may be always in the news for entering an exciting new market or getting smacked around by some government, but when it comes to privacy disasters and user outrage, Facebook wins by a landslide. Oh, and the company’s poor stock performance also can’t hurt. I’m serious: in this case it can’t hurt the social networking giant, it can only help.— www.shafaqna.com/English
Source: The Next Web
SHAFAQNA (Shia International News Association) — NATO says the majority of attacks by Afghan security forces against coalition troops are driven primarily by personal grievances rather than an infiltration by insurgents.
"Some 10% we know are related to the insurgency," Brig. Gen. Gunter Katz, a spokesman for the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force, said late Friday.
The news follows word that U.S. Marine Gen. John Allen, commander of NATO troops in Afghanistan, ordered all troops in the country to carry loaded weapons around the clock following a spate of attacks by people wearing Afghan security uniforms, a U.S. official with direct knowledge of the order told CNN.
Allen's order, made in recent days, was divulged amid two more so-called green-on-blue or insider attacks Friday.
There have been a record 31 such attacks this year that have resulted in the deaths of 39 NATO service members, according to a report Friday on NATO's official online video channel.
Coalition steps up fight against Afghan 'green-on-blue' attacks
The British Ministry of Defence, meanwhile, said Saturday that a British soldier was killed "by enemy action" Friday while on sentry duty in Helmand province in the south.
The death was not related to a green-on-blue attack, said Maj. Martyn Crighton, an ISAF spokesman. He did not release details about the attack or the nationality of the service member killed.
Troops in Afghan combat situations have always been armed, while only security forces have been regularly armed at the headquarters bases.
Under Allen's order, troops regardless of their tasks will now carry loaded weapons, said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity.
While Katz did not comment on Allen's order, he said ISAF was taking steps to mitigate such attacks.
"Where there is an insurgency, there is going to be an attempt to infiltrate. You can't stop it. But what you can try to do is neutralize it," said Maj. Gen. James Ferron, a deputy commanding general.
Shootings by Afghan forces take toll on NATO troops
Ferron, who oversees NATO's training of Afghan forces, said NATO was trying to not only put a stop to the attacks, but also the conditions that give rise to such assaults.
The attacks come at a critical time for the United States and NATO, which has picked up the pace of training Afghan forces even as it prepares to withdraw its combat troops by the end of 2014.
Violence continued to wrack the country Saturday, with a report that insurgents targeted a bridge being used by people on their way to shop at a bazaar in advance of Eid celebrations that mark the end of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.
Four were killed and 11 wounded Saturday when a bomb exploded in the Shindand district in Afghanistan's western Heart province, a spokesman for the provincial governor said.—www.shafaqna.com/english
SHAFAQNA (Shia International News Association) —The released Iranian national, Shahrzad Mir-Qolikhan, who was in a United States prison for five years over unfounded allegations, tells Press TV that she had “the most horrifying experience” there as a political hostage.
“It was the most horrifying experience that anybody could have in life,” Mir-Qolikhan said in a Thursday interview.
Referring to the ordeal of her five-year incarceration, she said, “It was politically motivated. I was a political hostage.”
“The whole trial, the whole prosecution was all false. It’s like when you are in a spider web and you are hunted there and there is no way out and you cannot do anything,” she pointed out.
Mir-Qolikhan was reportedly kidnapped by US agents in December 2007.
She was detained and sentenced to five years in prison by a Florida federal court. She has consistently denied any wrongdoing.
She gave several interviews to Press TV during her time in prison, speaking of her terrifying ordeal and mistreatment at the hands of prison staff. She said that she had been harshly treated and tortured by prison officials.
Mir-Qolikhan pointed out that the US officials subjected her to “mental torture” by constantly warning her that she will face a 65-year prison sentence if she fails to submit to all their demands.
Pointing to instances of physical torture she had been subjected to, Mir-Qolikhan went on to say that the prison officials kept her “all in chain” in “freezing-cold cells” for 18 hours in an attempt to “exhaust you and break you until you say: Ok. Enough is enough. [I will submit to] whatever you say.”
“During the course of my trials, there were times when I would say: God, I would rather be given death penalty by them…, but I cannot go back in there anymore,” she added.
Mir-Qolikhan lashed out at the US administration for not notifying the Iranian government of her arrest during the first three years of her incarceration, saying Washington concealed the fact from Tehran in an attempt to “cause confusion for the Iranian government.”
“I wrote over 20 letters to President [Barack] Obama, but I never got any response. I wrote many letters to [US Secretary of State] Mrs. Hilary Clinton,” she added.
The Iranian national slammed the US Federal Bureau of Prisons as an apparatus that merely seeks to make money, and added, “At the US prisons, the inmates, not only me, even the American inmates” are treated with no respect. “There is no value. You are not considered a human.”
“Everything that you see from the outside is an image that they create to show to the world. However, if you take your camera inside the prison, you will witness how, even the American citizens, are suffering from the lack of [respect] for human rights…,” she added.
Mir-Qolikhan reiterated her resolve to file a lawsuit with international courts against the US for her illegal detention, saying, “I am still fighting for my case. I am collecting all the falsified documents to have the proof to take the case to the International Court of Justice.”
According to Iran’s Ambassador to Oman Hossein Noushabadi, the Iranian government has also filed complaints with international courts and human rights organizations about the abuse of Mir-Qolikhan’s rights and has even submitted a request for redress.—www.shafaqna.com/english
Source: WR NEWZ