Arrested Campaign Members Released After Court Hearing

Monday 11 June 2007

After spending a day in detention and a court hearing, Ehteram Shadfar, 62, and her neighbor, 50, who was arrested while collecting signatures in support of the Campaign and wishes to remain anonymous, were released on their own personal guarantee. Both women’s hearings were held at the Security Branch of the Revolutionary Courts.

Assault on the Campaign and its Members Continues: Ehteram Shadfar Arrested

Change for Equality: On the verge of the anniversary of the day of solidarity of Iranian women, and their peaceful demonstration objecting to discriminatory laws on June 12, 2 members of the One Million Signatures Campaign were arrested. Ehteram Shadfar, who is a member of the Women’s Cultural Center and an active member of the Campaign, was arrested along with another member of the Campaign who wishes to remain anonymous.

Ehteram (Zeinab) Shadfar’s door bell rang at 1:00pm. When she went down to answer the door, she was greeted by police, who also had in their custody a 50 year old neighbor also a member of the Campaign.

According to Maryam Taghavi, Ehteram’s daughter, at the scene of her mother’s arrest, she saw a plain clothes official, a woman in full chador and a soldier. "They were not in a police car. My mother’s friend, who is 50 years old, was arrested while collecting signatures, and then the officials came to our house to arrest my mother as well. They possessed no warrant for their arrests. When faced with my objections, the officials explained that they were taking my mother and her friend for questioning and that there was no need to worry, that they would be back home in an hour. But not only did they not return in the hour’s time promised by the officials, but instead the judge in charge of their case issued an order for arrest."

After going to several police stations, Maryam Taghavi, along with Fakhri Shadfar, Ehteram’s sister and some friends learned that the two women had been transferred to Niloufar police station and then to Vozara Detention Center, where they are currently being held.

While expressing her frustration at having to go to several police stations before finally being told where here mother and their neighbor was being held, and the fact the charges against the two women remain unknown, Maryam Taghavi, who is a medical doctor, expressed concern for her mother’s health. Officials did not allow Maryam to visit with her mother, but did allow the families to deliver medicine to the two women.

While the two women have not been officially charged, it is believed that they were arrested for collecting signatures in support of the Campaign. It should be noted that signatures, once collected, will be presented to the Parliament, so apparently it is now illegal for women’s rights activists to address the parliament in anyway.

Translated by: Tesa Sabet



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