Iranian Women Activists Shadi Sadr and Mahboubeh Abasgholizadeh Released
the arrival of Nourouz (the Iranian New Year on March 21) is marked with
the release of the last two detained women defenders, Shadi Sadr and Mahboobeh
Abasgholizadeh; they were released on March 19.
Abasgholizadeh were among the thirty-three women's rights defenders arrested
during the peaceful March 4th demonstration in front of Tehran's
Revolutionary Court. Authorities gradually released the women during the first
week of the arrests. Sadr and Abasgholizadeh spent March 6 thru 15 in solitary
confinement. Throughout their detainment they were kept in ward 209 of Evin
Prison (run by the Ministry of Intelligence of the Islamic Republic of
Iran). According to their families, on March 15 both were transferred from
solitary confinement into the same cell and were given newspapers to
read. As a condition of their release, their bail was set at 200
million toman each, a prohibitively high amount.
On March 15,
the offices of two non-government organizations run by Sadr and Abasgholizadeh
were shut down and sealed by the Revolutionary Court. One NGO, Raahi (The Path
to Empowerment), which provides legal counsel for predominantly marginalized
under-represented women involved in criminal and/or family law cases.
NGO, Markaz Karvarzi Sazmanhaye Gheyr Dolati (NGO Training Center), provides
training and capacity building for civil activists and advocacy NGOs and was
founded by Abasgholizadeh.
March 4, 2007, a group of women’s right defenders gathered in front of the
Revolutionary Court in Tehran to stand in solidarity with five women activists
who were summoned for a previous peaceful gathering demanding equal rights. The
arrest of women happened, as they demanded their constitutional right to
peaceful gathering. Article 27 of the Constitution of Islamic Republic of Iran
guarantees citizens the freedom to assemble peacefully. Despite such
guarantee, the national security police resorted to verbal and physical violence
and the arrest of thirty-three women defenders.
to Free Women's Rights Defenders in Iran was launched immediately after the
recent arrests. It has worked closely with family members and friends of
detainees to protest their illegal arrest and to demand their immediate and
unconditional release. The campaign has received strong support from
international organizations such as Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, Human
Rights First, and prominent national and
international figures. These include620 Iranian intellectuals, artists,
journalists, lawyers and activists, Louise Arbour, the United Nations High
Commissioner for Human Rights, and members of the German and Swedish
parliaments, who appealed to the Iranian authorities for immediate and
unconditional release of the women’s rights defenders. The families and friends
of the two women have also lobbied with the judiciary authorities through Medhi
Karrobi, the previous Chairman of the Parliament, for the release of Sadr and
Abasgholizadeh before Norouz.
organizers of the Campaign to Free Women's Rights Defenders in Iran wish to
thank all the individuals and organizations whose support, coverage, and actions
this success made the campaign successful.
women’s rights defenders have been released, the struggle for women’s human
rights continues, and so do the campaigns to defend both the civil liberties and
the inalienable human rights of all women in Iran. We encourage you to learn
more about these campaigns, and specially the Stop Stoning Forever Campaign
launched by Shadi Sadr and Mahboubeh Abasgholizadeh.
Stoning is a
punishment for adultery decreed by Iran’s Islamic Penal Code. Most of the
condemned defendants are women. The objective of this campaign is to reform
Iran’s Islamic Penal Codes that stoning will never again be issued as a
sentence, or practiced as a punishment. The Network of Volunteer Lawyers
involved with this campaign initiated a continuous search for people within the
prisons of Iran who have been sentenced to be stoned. So far, nine women
and women are being represented by the Network of Volunteer Lawyers to challenge
the sentence. The Stop Stoning Forever campaign has begun through the
coordinated efforts of a number of women’s non-governmental organizations, women
activists and the Network of Volunteer Lawyers.
... Payvand News - 3/20/07 ... --