July 22 – Belgium’s parliament pushed through a controversial agreement this week, which would allow the country to carry out prisoner swaps with Iran.

The treaty — which was approved by 79 of the 131 lawmakers who attended the debate — enables Iranians imprisoned in Belgium to serve their prison sentences in Iran, and Belgian prisoners in Iran to serve their jail time in Belgium.

Critics of the deal said Parliament’s approval could pave the way for the release of Assadollah Assadi, an Iranian man convicted of terrorism after being found guilty of taking part in a bomb plot aimed at a rally in France attended by opponents of the regime.

Iran’s government has issued indictments against 20 people believed to be responsible for the collapse of the 10-story Metropol building in the city of Abadan on May 23 which left 43 people dead.

The collapse sparked anti-corruption demonstrations following ongoing nationwide protests about government mismanagement and corruption.

Iran’s judiciary confirmed that the defendants had been placed in custody, in a report on its official website.

And women in Iran continued to protest against mandatory hijab laws by unveiling in public spaces and uploading videos of the action on social media.

The movement began on July 12, after gender equality activists called on women and men in the country to show support for the right to choose whether or not to wear the hijab.

The campaign launched in response to a week-long government campaign to force women to obey the rules and to raise awareness of punishments for those who failed to do so.

Reports of an increased police presence on the streets to monitor hijab compliance was denied by a prominent conservative Abdollah Ganji, who said the reports were blown out of proportion and that arrests of women for flouting hijab laws were still rare.


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