Maziar Samiee: Statement of Support Issued by Male Equal Rights Defenders Condeming Arrest and Detention

Sunday 4 November 2007

Following the student protest on October 30, 2007 at the Sociology Faculty of Allameh Tabatabai University, which was organized in objection to sentences issued for student activists eight students were arrested by plain clothes security officials which later were identified as agents of the Information and Security Ministry. Five of the students arrested were released on the following day, but three of those students remain in prison and according to reports are being held in Section 209 of Evin Prison administered by the Information and Security Ministry. Maziar Samiee, a social and human rights activist is one of those detained. Maziar is an active member of the One Million Signatures Campaign and an equal rights defender.

The arrest of Maziar Samiee occurs at a time when government officials have seriously increased the pressure on social activists and seek stifle through intensive crackdowns, the most peaceful of social movements. The increasing use of violence in blind reactions to social demands and objections demonstrate the incapacity of government officials in appropriately responding to social demands. In fact, violence and patriarchy are two interwoven elements which can only survive in concert. Such unrestrained violence uses all available devices at its disposal to protect the interest of fundamentalism and patriarchy—a violence which cannot comprehend nor tolerate the activism of social activists.

We, a group of male equal rights defenders, while condemning and objecting to the arrest of student activists, specifically Maziar Samiee, hereby announce that the pressures and costs inflicted upon social activists will indeed not prevent them from continuing with their path, rather these pressures will work to ensure that activists believe in their cause more than ever before and will compel them to continue along their path with greater determination.

Read the statement in its original Farsi on the weblog "Men for Gender Equality" established and administered by the Men’s Committee of the One Million Signatures Campaign


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