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How Can Two Ladies be a Threat to National Security?

By Syma Sayyah, Tehran


I was on my way to a meeting in center of Tehran today when I passed the office that Mahboubeh Abbasgholizadeh and Shadi Sadr used to work in a couple of years ago.  I had met them there several times with other female friends to chat and discuss things.


They welcomed others to use their facilities despite the hard and effective work that they and their colleagues did there at the Rahie center for those women who do not have anywhere else or anyone else to turn to.  They offered them free legal and social services, which they would never be able to afford financially or emotionally at the time.


Shadi Sadr
Shadi Sadr
Jila Baniyaghoub
Mahbubeh Abbasgholizadeh

Both Shadi and Mahboubeh gave hope to so many destitute women on the edge of self destruction due to the unfairness of the law and their inability to obtain proper legal services.  I have sent many women to Shadi’s open workshops to learn about their rights and how the legal system operates here, as many mistakes are made simply due to lack of knowledge.  Her workshops were an act of kindness and generosity, as Shadi and Mahboubeh were always helping others from death, stoning, writing to the authorities on behalf of clients and requesting clemency or delay, and openly informing people of their activities through their campaigning about specific issues


I came to know Mahboubeh through mutual friends.  I had been to her office a few times when she ran workshops to help and educate women about their own abilities and rights.  She was born into a traditional family and in the past ten years she has made big steps in discovering herself, her abilities, rights and constantly educating herself and improving her life and the lives of those around her.  I have always held her in very high regard for her public achievements and especially for her personal achievements.  I can well imagine the hardships and the struggles which she must have been through to get where she is.


Shadi Sadr and Mahboubeh Abbasgholizadeh have been detained in prison since Sunday 4th March.  They were arrested along with 31 other ladies all of whom have been released.  Why have they been detained?  They have been charged with a warrant for being “a threat to national security”.  I find it sad that the state that can be threatened by the work of two women whose work is public knowledge.  All they advocate and practice is available on their website.  I am sure that those in authority know full well that our two dear sisters and friends are only helping to make a better Iran for all of us including their own beloved women folk.


As our Iranian New Year approaches, only a week away, please join me in hoping and praying for the immediate and unconditional release of Mahboubeh and Shadi.


... Payvand News - 3/13/07 ... --

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