This year, the
International Women's Day is marked by the attack, arrest and detention of
women's rights defenders in front of Tehran's Revolutionary Court. On
Sunday March 4th, thirty three women were arrested following a
peaceful demonstration. As of now thirty of these women have been released.
Those released confirm that the remaining women— Shadi Sadr, Mahbubeh
Abbasgholizadeh, and Jila Baniyaghoub,— are still in ward 209 of Evin Prison
(run by the Ministry of Intelligence of Islamic Republic of Iran, designated
primarily for the political prisoners). The reason for their detention is
drafting a statement that called for the gathering.
March 4, 2007, women's right defenders gathered in front of the Revolutionary
Court in Tehran to protest the court proceedings of Nooshin Amhadi Khorasani,
Parvin Ardalan, Shahla Entesari and Susan Tahmasebi, Fariba Davoodi Mohajer—five
prominent members of Iranian women's organizations who were arrested in pervious
peaceful gatherings. As indicated by the women's right activists and their
legal teams the charges are in violation of the article 27 of the Constitution
of Islamic Republic of Iran, which guarantees the citizens' right to assemble
peacefully. In violation of such right, the security police forces
attacked women's legal and peaceful gathering and arrested thirty-three
On March 5,
fifty family members and friends of detainees gathered in front of the main
entrance of Evin prison to protest the illegal arrests of their loved ones and
to demand their immediate release. Consequently, prison authorities declared
that Evin prison does not have the authority to release the detainees, as they
are kept in ward 209, which is monitored and supervised by the Ministry of
following days, two groups of women were released from prison. This morning, at
around 2:00 am, another group of fifteen women were released. It seems the
reason for keeping the three women in detention is that they have accepted full
responsibility for drafting the call for the gathering that took place on March
international human rights and women organizations and prominent figures
including Iranian political and social activists, lawyers, writers, journalists,
and academics have denounced the arrest of women's rights advocates demanding
their immediate and unconditional release, including Louise Arbor, the UN High
Commissioner for Human Rights, Irene Khan, Amnesty International General
Secretary, Human Rights Watch, Human Rights First, Women Living Under Muslim
Laws, Women's Initiative for Gender Justice and the Observatory. Yet, more
women's rights advocates are being summoned to the court and threatened by
arrest. This is while the authorities are promising release of more detainees.
The Campaign to Free Women Rights Defenders in
has been launched immediately after the arrest of women activists by a group of
transnational activists. For more information about the campaign and the
complete list of supporters, please visit the site:
Updated and Detailed Information:
Women's Rights Defenders in Iran Campaign coordinators are ready to provide
detailed information about the status of women detainees.
coordinators are willing to put reporters and news agencies in touch with the
families and lawyers of the women in custody. The campaign coordinators can be
contacted by phone or email.
Abbasgholizadeh is the editor of the Zanan quarterly journal
and is a key member of the Campaign Against Stoning. She has also served as the
director of the NGO Training Center. In November 2004, Mahboobeh Abbasgholozadeh
was arrested as a result of her activism on women's rights and was detained for
over a month.
Shadi Sadr is a prominent lawyer, journalist, and
activist. She founded Zanan-e Iran, the first website dedicated to the
work of Iranian women's rights activists, and she has written numerous articles
and several books on the subject of Iranian women and their legal rights. Shadi
Sadr has represented a number of persecuted activists and journalists and has
donated her time in successfully overturning the convictions of several women
sentenced to execution.
Baniyaghoub is a well-known journalist. She is the editor of the
website of the Iranian Women's Society and the editor of the society and women's
sections of Sarmaye newspaper . She is best-known for her book on
Iranian women's journalism and for her reports from Iraq and Afghanistan.
... Payvand News - 3/8/07 ... --